Communication entails the transfer of information from the sender to the receiver. The research focuses on the diverse ways information is filtered or expounded as it moves towards the receiver. The research further focuses on the different factors that distort the original message crafted by the sender. The crafting of communication must consider the environmental factors in crafting correspondence or advertisements.
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In McDonalds fast food Chain during statistics class snack break, three classmates
are munching hamburgers. The conversation goes:
|Friend 1||M||22||Student||Class genius, classmate of Friend 2& 3|
|Friend 2||M||21||Student||Average intelligent –in class|
|Friend 3||M||24||Student||Slow Learner|
|Crew 1||F||18||Crew||Silent, hardworking|
|Crew 2||M||20||Crew||Easily agitated due to culture shock.|
Story: Effective Communication
|Person speakin||Transciption of interaction|
|Friend 1:||“How is your day today?” (The speaker wants to know if friend 2 did not find his class assignment in statistics class difficult).|
|Friend 2:||“So far, my day is fine; the spring weather persuades me to go travel to new vacation spots”. (Friend 2 misinterpreted Friend 1’s intended message. Friend 1 gave an open question where all answers can be considered possible; Friend 1 should have rephrased his question to get a better reply.|
|Friend 3||joins the conversation by enthusiastically commenting “Good for you, my day is filled with stress. I have to brush up on my statistical knowledge”, I am still confused with the terms mean, median, mode, and analysis of variance, hypothesis, and Chi-square”. Here, Friend three speaks on the same topic as Friend one. However, Friend one was annoyed because the question was meant only for friend 2. Friend 1 is not interested in Friend 3’s reply because it is an accepted class knowledge that friend 3 is a slow learner. Friend 1 fears that Friend 3’s answer is a literal cry for help. Friend 3 wants Friend 1, the class genius, to spend some time tutoring friend 3 with his statistics assignment. However, Friend 1 has no intention of wasting his precious time teaching friend 3 statistics. Friend 1 feels that it would take friend 3 to learn the intricacies of statistics. Friend 3’s intended message is “help me with my statistics class”. Friend 1’s intended message to Friend 3 is “sorry, I cannot help you, I have no time for a slow learner like you, and I prefer more intelligent persons”.|
|Crew 1||“Do you want more coffee?” query after 30 minutes of |
|Friend 2||quickly whispers “Can I have some French Fries, |
|Crew 2||Immediately pours a cup of coffee and places it snugly beside Friend 3’w unfinished hamburger. Crew 2 misinterpreted Friend 2’s whisper as “Friend 3 wants a cup of coffee”. Crew 2 misinterpreted Friend 2’s whispered message because Crew 2’s eyes were focused on the next table’s coffee. Likewise, Crew 2 saw Friend 2 smiling at friend 3. Friend 2’s body language was interpreted by Crew 2 as a request to place a cup of coffee on the friend 3’s place.|
|Friend 3||Reacts to Crew 2’s errors by stating “Sorry, but I prefer |
mineral water, can you replace the coffee with a sealed
bottle of purified plastic bottled water.
|Crew 2||Blurts out by stating, “I believe your friend 2 stated that I must give you a cup of coffee. In exchange, the coffee has to be included in your bill”.|
|Friend 2||Angrily replies, “I never ordered the coffee, Crew 2. You should have confirmed the message you erroneously received from the person or persons concerned. Right now, I am complaining to management about your poor quality service, you are both wasting our time and the other clients’ time with your erroneous, stupid, and low quality service”. The crew takes back the coffee and leaves the client’s table in a forlorn manner. Business theory requires that the crew should never argue with the clients. |
The crew may win the argument. However, the win may cause the customers to avoid future visits to the same establishment. Crew 2 interprets the shameful situation as another case of discrimination. Crew 2 feels that Friend 2 is complaining about Crew 2’s poor services because of race discrimination. Crew 2 thinks that Friend 2 was discriminating against Crew 2 because Crew 2 is a North Korean immigrant. In reality, Friend 2 has no intention of discriminating against Crew 2’s Asian culture; Friend 2 would normally issue complaints based on the crew’s service, without regard for the crew’s age, gender, and other factors.
Analysis and Theories of Communication and Behaviour Involved
In terms of Berne’s transactional analysis, friend 3 acts like a child by asking friend 1 to act as his parent; parents often tutor their young children during their childhood years. Friend 3 looks at Friend 1 as a parent. Friend 1 acts as a parent by refusing to teach friend 3; friend 3 is teaching friend 1 to be independent by studying alone. Friend 2, crew 1, and crew 2 act as adults with their conversations. They also treat the receiver of their message as adults. Communication between friend 3 and friend 1 was ineffective because friend 1 refuses to be friend 3’s parent. Crew 2’s “fight” conversation with friend 2 was ineffective because Crew 2 misinterpreted Friend 2’s whisper differently. Friend 2’s body language as a distorted Friend 2’s message.
The story above is a normal occurrence during conversations. The message sender tries to send a vivid picture to the receiver. Normally, the receiver’s culture clouds the original message. The receiver incorporates the body language of the message sender in trying to extract the original message. More often than not, the receiver paints a distorted picture of the sender’s original message (Hargie 1997).
Further, personal factors play a significant role in the correct interpretation or distortion of the original message sent. The distortion can be influenced by the receiver’s gender, age, religion, race, and other biases. The perceptual process catapults into a complex environment due to many influential factors. Perceptual theory states that there are three major forms of perception in a typical social interchange of information. The communication process is an ongoing innovative and creative process that focuses on ensuring that the original message reaches the receiver; the sender’s goal in sending the message is achieved in less time. The affective part of the communication process is managed by the message sender and receiver without any speck of distortion (Dickson 2009).
First, the receiver interprets the message received in one’s own code or language. A male person receiving the words “I am strong enough” will interpret the word strong differently from the female message receiver. The basketball player may interpret the word “steal” as a good act during a basketball game. The person stealing will be proud to venture into such activity. However, a typical person would interpret the word “steal” as taking another person’s belongings without permission; this act is a crime under the U.K. Law. In the above story, Crew 2, the North Korean immigrant, interprets Friend 2’s complaint about the poor service as one way of discriminating against the North Korean McDonald’s crew. The North Korean reaction is interpreted as noise. The North Korean misinterprets the image of a White American as noise that causes the North Korean to cry foul. The discrimination issue would not have erupted if the person filing the complaint was a North Korean McDonalds customer (West 2008).
Second, the receiver of the message may interpret the message based on the interpretations of other listeners or observers. The statistics student, friend 3, wants friend 1, class genius, to help him give the correct interpretation of the statistical words that include mode, mean, median, Chi –square, Analysis of variance, and hypothesis. Consequently, what unfolds during interpersonal communications more than manifests signals that precipitate to diverse receiver behavior or interpretation to each message received (Knapp 2002).
Third, the receiver uses the metaperception process. Here, the receiver is focused on how the sender of the message will judge how the receiver of the message will interpret a picture, story, discussion, topics, and other statements sent. The receiver is conscious on the possibility that the sender of the information will create an impression that is very disappointing to the receiver. In the story above, friend 1 interprets friend 3’s message that he needs tutoring on the statistics subject creates an impression on both friend 1 and friend 2 that friend 3 is a slow learner (Phillips 2008).
Further, the above story shows that communication crops up immediately when the sender and the receiver are aware of each other. The receiver is physically, mentally, and emotionally drawn into the communication process when the perceived behavioral expression of the other person is taken a symbolic action. In the above discussion, the North Korean immigrant interprets the complaint of friend 2 as a symbolic action of discrimination or bias (Konjin 2008).
Furthermore, marketing includes creating customer –based communication. Marketing must communicate to the clients the message its products are of high quality. Marketing also includes communicating the reasonableness of the products’ prices. Marketing includes communication to current and prospective clients informing them that a branch has been set up in their community to afford easy access to the store’s products. Marketing must communicate to its clients by advertising the benefits of owning the company’s products and services (Keillor 2007).
Conclusions and Recommendations
Communication is the transfer of data from the sender to the receiver. The above story is a real life situation. Transactional analysis shows that an a parent, a child, and three adults crop up in the conversation. There are many factors that influence the reception of the original message. The receiver’s culture may distort the original message. Personal factors like age, gender, race, and other biases may taint the original message. The receiver interprets the messages received based on one’s own code or language. Likewise, the receiver may interpret the messages based on the interpretations of other parties. The receiver normally uses the metaperception process to understand incoming communication. Further, communication starts when the sender and the receiver are aware of each other’s intentions. Marketing is a communication process grounded on product, price, place, and promotion strategies.
In terms of recommendation, the company or organization must discuss the communication process to improve information transfer. The company must craft correspondences or advertisements that will create a positive image of the company. The company will incorporate the receivers’ culture and personal biases when communicating the benefits of patronizing the company’s products. To avoid the McDonalds situation, the crafting of communication must ensure a more understandable transfer of information. Indeed, the crafting of communication must include the environmental factors in the crafting of correspondence or advertisements.
Dickson, J., 2009. Skilled Interpersonal Communication. London: Taylor & Francis Press.
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Hargie, O., 2006. The Handbook of Communication. London: Taylor & Francis Press.
Knapp, M., 2002. Handbook of Interpersonal Communication. London: Sage Press.
Konjin, E., 2008. Mediated Interpersonal Communication. London: Taylor & Francis.
Phillips, K., 2008. Diversity and Groups. London: Emerald Press.
West, R., 2008. Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times. London: Cengage Press.