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MNG81001 Management Communication

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Question:

Communication holds the key towards attaining success in any organization and thus receives the most attention from managers especially in today’s global business environment (Park, Reber and Chon 2016). The failure to communicate effectively leads to poor performance and undesirable outcomes. Managers therefore, must realize the correct way to communicate and train their employees properly as well. Even governments of most countries have realized the importance of communication to flourish business and ultimately the country’s economy (Park and Ghauri 2015). The businesses that fail to communicate their business goals and policies to the customers clearly often fall behind in the race to dominate the market.

In this report, the importance of interpersonal communication (IC) and its role in persuading others shall be discussed. The report will begin with a clear explanation of interpersonal communication followed by its importance. Then, a discussion on the effects of interpersonal communication will be done, which will precede the description and importance of persuasion

Defining Interpersonal communication

Communication is categorized into different types that include intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and mass communication (Overall and McNulty 2017). This paper will focus on interpersonal communication as it has a significant role to play in modern organizations. In order to answer the query as to the reason why managers should prioritize effective communication, it is important to explain interpersonal communication clearly.

Interpersonal communication refers to the two-way communication involving two individuals. The sender and the receiver in interpersonal communication communicate via face-to-face communication (Carr and Hayes 2015). It could be either verbal that is spoken or non-verbal that is through gestures and signs. Messages conveyed through interpersonal communication do not possess the same meaning as the words spoken. In cases where the individuals involved in interpersonal communication hail from different linguistic or cultural backgrounds, the messages conveyed sometimes become blurred or confusing. This happens because of the noise, the linguistic and cultural barrier. People from separate cultures might interpret different meanings of the messages conveyed. One good example of this noise in interpersonal communication could be of an individual from Asian and a Western nationality. To the Western individual, kissing on the hand to greet someone is a part of his or her culture but the same is considered unwelcomed for the Asian.

Importance of interpersonal communication

It is of no doubt that, interpersonal communication, however vague or chaotic it could be, has undeniable importance in all spheres of life. In business particularly, interpersonal communication is at use in every stage and thus holds utmost importance. Interpersonal communication is used to resolve conflicts, manage crisis, build strong teams, and become a great leader amongst other things. Thus, one can see the level of importance interpersonal communication has in the field of management or business. Conflicts in organizations occur due to the lack of proper and effective communication, which then leads to poor performance and outcome.

In order to resolve the conflict, managers have to listen to and provide suggestions or instructions to both conflicting parties. As Sarapaivanich and Patterson (2015) opine, budding managers or entrepreneurs often show a deficiency of interpersonal skills when they enter the real world of business. This restricts them from acquiring the skills to manage conflicts. The manager, the author further states, has the most important role in an organization because she or he has to communicate interpersonally with subordinates, clients, guests, peers and superiors to prevent and manage conflicts. Effective management of conflict demonstrates strong leadership along with the ability to motivate. An able leader is thus the one who has refined interpersonal skills that he or she utilizes to manage crisis.

Effects in the workplace

In the workplace, interpersonal communication is the most dominant form of communication because it is inevitable that two individuals would communicate with each other at any point of time for any reason. When two people communicate in a workplace whether for work purpose or just causally, it is bound to produce some result wither positive or negative. Fluker and Murray (2017) highlight the effects of IC in the workplace by referring to the productive interchange of ideas.

The author stresses on the positive effects of IC and states that transformational leadership is a result of effective interpersonal communication. Goby, Nickerson and David (2015) on the other hand focuses on the ways that colleagues from multicultural backgrounds interact with each other and the effect it has on the organization. At the workplace, it is inevitable that people from different cultural and social backgrounds would work together and they would most certainly engage in interpersonal communication. These interactions often lead to increased understanding between colleagues and team. However, IC might also have the negative impact of conflicts as well. When workers representing the dominant class start harassing or bullying workers hailing from minority background, it produces severe consequences. It is thus evident that IC has significant effect in the workplace.

Defining persuasion

Persuasion, in its simplest terms refers to the process of convincing someone successfully to achieve a particular result. It is an umbrella term used in place of influence. Persuasion can endeavor to manipulate the belief, attitudes, behaviors and motivations of an individual. In the field of business, persuasion is used as a tool to mold or change the attitudes of the consumers towards any service or product. Eilu, Baguma and Pettersson (2014) define persuasion as the tool that people use intentionally or intentionally in their everyday life to turn things into their advantage. Every individual is involved in the process of persuasion even without knowing; for example, parents persuade their children to study by comparing them with other children and saying that if they do not study they will not get what others will. (Steinfatt and Janbek 2016) traces the development of the concept of persuasion back to the 1940s and 1950s, when both politicians and advertising campaigners used it as propaganda. The concept has evolved remarkably since then and is now the most powerful tool for managers.

            Managers and leaders across organizations and across countries have recognized the impact of persuasion. It has the power to take a business to peak by making people buy the particular service or product even if it is not significant.

Importance of persuasion

Those who do not have much idea regarding its effectiveness at times perceive persuasion in a negative way. In order to make people understand the positive role of persuasion in business, it is important to bring forth its importance (Jacks and Lancaster 2015). In today’s global business environment, businesses face stiff competition each day. Persuasion helps managers to attract and keep their customers attached to the organization. Those who work in the field of marketing and sales are more aware of the importance of persuasion.

They need this tool to lure and confirm customers in order to earn profit for the company and for themselves as well. Most ad campaigns or solo ads are forms of persuasion. Persuasion is important for political leaders because it decides their fate during elections. If they succeed in persuading the voters, they win elections and consequently attain power. Persuasion is done not only through physical means but also happens at the psychological level as well. During the 19th century when the world was divided into two blocs, the leaders realized the importance of persuasion. In the modern world however, its importance is realized in areas of business and politics only (Jowett and O'donnell 2014).

Practicing the art of persuasion

The Hypodermic Needle theory, the magic bullet theory, Persuasion theory and the Stimulus-response model – all constitute the different theories that may explain the art of using persuasion. These theories help in understanding the influence of persuasion and then practicing it. According to the Hypodermic Needle theory, mss media or for that fact, anyone having some control over things has immediate and powerful effect on the subjects. The magic bullet theory is formed on the same premise. The Persuasion theory on the other hand, states that people could be influenced to act in a certain way by changing their attitudes through use of powerful words or actions.

An understanding of these theories could help in practicing the art of persuasion. Apart from that, managers could also follow certain steps to persuade the receiver (Jarding, Bouchard and Hartley 2017).

  • Repeating a message
  • Being specific with the message, that is postulating the message as per individuals
  • Using contradicting story scenarios to induce an impact
  • Giving personal touch to the message to match receiver setting
  • Taking help from friends to produce warm effect on receivers
  • Provide evidences of interests

Conclusion

The summary thus formed from the report brings forth the picture that interpersonal communication (IC) is important to persuade people or customers. In case of business organizations, the use of IC is highly effective in managing conflicts, crisis, building strong partnerships and creating able leaders.  The report presented a thorough description and explanation of interpersonal communication and then moved on to explaining the importance and effects of IC in the workplace. The definition and importance of persuasion was also discussed in the report. Persuasion is the result of effective IC and people of all spheres for their benefit have used it since long time. Politicians us it for persuading prospective voters to attain power, businesspersons use to attract customers through powerful ads and campaigns. The report also gave ways to practice persuasion in a positive way to garner profit.

References:

Carr, C.T. and Hayes, R.A., 2015. Social media: Defining, developing, and divining. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 23(1), pp.46-65.

Eilu, E., Baguma, R. and Pettersson, J.S., 2014. Persuasion and Acceptance of Mobile Phones as a Voting Tool in Developing Countries. In 4th International Conference on M4D Mobile Communication for Development: M4D 8-9 april 2014 (pp. 83-94).

Fluker, J. and Murray, M., 2017. Transforming Communications In The Workplace: The Impact Of Uc On Perceived Productivity In A Multi-National Corporation. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge & Management, 12.

Goby, V.P., Nickerson, C. and David, E., 2015. Interpersonal communication and diversity climate: promoting workforce localization in the UAE. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 23(3), pp.364-377.

Jacks, J.Z. and Lancaster, L.C., 2015. Fit for persuasion: the effects of nonverbal delivery style, message framing, and gender on message effectiveness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(4), pp.203-213.

Jarding, S., Bouchard, S. and Hartley, J., 2017. Modern Political Advertising and Persuasion. Routledge Handbook of Political Advertising, pp.13-28.

Jowett, G.S. and O'donnell, V., 2014. Propaganda & persuasion. Sage.

Overall, N.C. and McNulty, J.K., 2017. What type of communication during conflict is beneficial for intimate relationships?. Current opinion in psychology, 13, pp.1-5.

Park, B.I. and Ghauri, P.N., 2015. Determinants influencing CSR practices in small and medium sized MNE subsidiaries: A stakeholder perspective. Journal of World Business, 50(1), pp.192-204.

Park, H., Reber, B.H. and Chon, M.G., 2016. Tweeting as health communication: health organizations’ use of twitter for health promotion and public engagement. Journal of health communication, 21(2), pp.188-198.

Sarapaivanich, N. and Patterson, P.G., 2015. The role of interpersonal communication in developing small-medium size enterprise (SME) client loyalty toward an audit firm. International Small Business Journal, 33(8), pp.882-900.

Steinfatt, T. and Janbek, D., 2016. Persuasion and Propaganda in War and Terrorism. In Combating Violent Extremism and Radicalization in the Digital Era (pp. 16-38). IGI Global.

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