4.0 Module 301 : Conflict Management and Peace Building
4.2.8 Communication and Conflict Handling
The Facilitator should ask the participants what communication is and how they communicate with others.
The Facilitator should ask the following probing questions:
- Do we only communicate with words?
- Why is listening important to communication?
- How does body language communicate? Can you give examples?
- Can a person give contradictory communication clues at the same time? Can you give examples?
- Is communication is different depending upon who you are communicating with? Give some examples.
How Can Communication Be Improved?
Effective communication requires that meaning must be transmitted and understood. The responsibility for communication rests upon Sender.
What the sender can do to improve communication:
- Clarify ideas before communicating
- Examine the purpose of communication
- Remove hierarchical barriers
- Status differences in organizations can limit the effectiveness of communication between superiors and subordinates—this creates a psychological distance which makes employees filter the information they give to management, withholding any information they feel is distasteful.
- Remove interpersonal barriers
- Communication is an interpersonal process, interpersonal barriers such as distrust, defensiveness, and domination hinder open communication.
- Be sensitive to the receiver’s perspective
- The communicator should be empathetic to the receiver i.e. be able to put himself in the shoes of the receiver.
- Develop and maintain credibility
- Credibility is usually measured by one’s expertise on the subject matter being communicated.
- Support words with action.
- Avoid information overload i.e. giving more information than they can handle or process. A gate keeper could be used to screen the information or filtering and prioritizing of information could help reduce overload.
- Avoid information under load
- Giving too little information, this often leads to employee dissatisfaction.
- Be a good listener
- Effective communication takes place only when the sender is satisfied with the receiver’s response.
Other Ways to Improve Communication
- Brief message—a lengthy message gives room for distortion
- Appropriate vocabulary—language used must be understood by both the sender and the receiver
- Accuracy and Completeness
- Selective Communication
- Use of visual devices
- Use of combined media
- Follow up and Good listening