Communication is necessary, heard that before? A several times! Animals and plants develop means of communicating; one dog barks and seconds later we witness a choir. Plants communicate too, by using a dense network of fungi.
We humans use words to verbally communicate; non-verbal forms an integral and major part. Well what is communication? James Carey in his book “Communication as Culture” describes communication as “a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired and transformed”.
Communication can be with oneself, with two or more participants or a room full of audience. In a conversation involving two or more participants, each must be given a complete choice. A conversation where one has more say over the rest, leads to rigidity.
A communication does not reach the end unless both participants are at equilibrium, where one does not have to shoulder the responsibility of the other. At all times it is important to maintain each participant satisfied with the outcome of a communication. Rigidity in communication leads to impatience and impatience to silence and competitiveness. We see competitiveness where one claims to know more than the other or when one knows he is right, thus rendering the other participant unimportant.
Open door policy is adopted by most corporates in an attempt to bridge the gap between the higher management and employees. It literally means that every manager’s door is open to every employee, thus encouraging open communication. Employees at times perceive their bosses in a light that may not be a reflection of their actual behavior, this is unfair.Establishing communication between employees and their superiors, gives a sense of being valued and heard, thus reducing silence and competition.
Do you relate to the below instance?
Alex is young enthusiastic man, life of the party and an important member of a renowned football team. Alex was employed at a multinational company, performed well and was the head of the Sales and Marketing vertical. Alex’s love for football was no secret to friends and colleagues including his boss, Ajit.
Alex’s contribution won his team a spot in the finals of a prestigious tournament. The final was to take place on the 6th of January. Alex informed Ajit about his absence on the day of the match, the leave was granted.
A few days later, an important client wanted to meet to discuss future plans and willed that Alex be present. The meeting was arranged for the same day as Alex’s match.
Ajit fully knowing how Alex’s presence would impact the meeting; found him in a fix. He knew too well how important the match was to Alex.
Ajit educated Alex about the benefit the company would gain form the deal and suggested he made it to the meeting instead. Alex was displeased; he was furious and exclaimed that the leave was granted well in advance, long before the meeting was scheduled.
Alex’s decision did not go down well with Ajit. Alex suggested that the meeting be rescheduled for the next day, to which Ajit conveyed that the client had planned his travel especially for the meeting. Alex asked if he could join the meeting via Skype or call, Ajit found the solution much to his liking.
In the above instance we see how Ajit initially influenced Alex’s decision, which lead to animosity. Alex, on the other hand keeping his interest at large decided to forgo the meeting. Eventually both participant arrived at a point of agreement. Freedom of choice gives rise to flexibility.