Communication is the way through which we convey information to the intended person or group of persons as a way of sharing understanding. For it to be effective both interpersonal and intrapersonal skills are applied. Communication is the only way of making things to work out in any organization. The authority has to flow from the top management to the bottom through communication (Athena, 2005). Communication is applicable in several areas in any institution for instance: sharing of ideas among co workers, decision making among the top management, and airing of views of the employees to the top management etc.
Team and group communication processes
The base of any team work is communication. The team leaders motivate the team members to come up with an effective communications strategy. Strategies which will be of value to every participant instead of one bringing about some workload. A communication strategy not well designed leads to much communication on the non intended issues and too little on the critical issues (Athena, 2005). The team has to decide what to communicate, when and how, what media to be applied and individual roles in the process of communication.
In an organization, it’s the duty of the team members to enrich each other with the information, in cases where their duties are interdependent to enhance coordination. Team communication is always standardized whereby each team member is in a position to get what he/she requires at the right time. When individuals or several people realize that there are some changes in their work, they take a wise initiative to inform the whole team to find the solution together. Team communication does not wait for the face to face meeting of every member but it’s done through some signals when the need arises (Schiavo, 2007). Team communications is continuous and involve everyone for easier discussion and decision making. A team is made up of different members with different views and therefore, new skills are employed to ensure effective communication.
Effect of gender and cultural differences on communication
In most organizations, gender and cultural differences affect communication a great deal. In our health care organization the most affected is the physician-patient communication. Some difficulties have been observed especially when the physician is explaining the results. Some patients come to the health care facility already with some pre-conceived beliefs about the cause of the sickness. Therefore, it becomes hard for the physician to change mind of the patient (Schiavo, 2007). Gender differences as well affect much the communication of the physician-patient. Some cultures do not allow women to discuss about their private body organs with other men apart from their husbands.
Misunderstandings occur when people from different societies meet to work or to be served together. They fail to understand each other due to differences in language, emotional expressions, backgrounds values etc. for instance you may find managers working at the same level failing to perform their duties as intended due to communication failure. Each one of them has got a culture with different expectations making it hard for them to work together. Co-workers are seen to misunderstand each other due to different cultural rules and norms such that they cannot even work in the same offices (Schiavo, 2007). Some caregivers are seen failing to perform some of their duties and creating some problems among themselves as the cultural differences cannot allow them to communicate effectively with their fellow caretakers.
Within the organization, misunderstandings are noted arising from gender differences. People are seen receiving different attentions depending on their gender. A female manager may have a hard time to pass her message to the employees, especially if the majority of employees are female. Female junior employees prefer a male leader to a woman leader (Athena, 2005). Female physicians are seen as inferior in some complex health care matters. Gender differences affect the communication from the fact that, since the olden days boys and girls were taught different ways of communicating.
Communication among co-workers is affected by gender differences due to inequalities in speech, vocabularies, gestures as well as movements. Female voices are seen to be taken as non aggressive and subordinate hence creating misunderstandings especially in the managerial levels (Schiavo, 2007). Male and female have got different perceptions of some words used in communication. This has been seen creating misunderstandings especially among the co-workers. The goals and values of both men and women are different and as a result their languages of communication also differ leading to misunderstandings.
To end the shortcomings brought by cultural and gender differences some measures need to be taken. In the organization, cultural awareness promotions should be conducted regularly. This is achieved through company workshops and cultural sessions (huccp.org). Through this, people are made to acknowledge and respect each others culture and how to handle differences when they arise in the process of communication. Cultural differences as well can be solved through deployment of the culturally compatible resources. This works with the management making a step forward to respect the cultures of their employees. In return, the employees will make an effort and perform their responsibilities according to the management culture. This brings about compatibility in the whole organization.
In conclusion, healthy care organizations offer very sensitive services to the public and very needy people depend fully on their assistance. They need to be much effective so as to achieve their set goals and objectives. Communication is very essential as a part of achieving their goals among the work groups, managerial levels, caregivers and even among the patients. I would recommend their teams to have a set communication strategies to be followed. The management should conduct regular organizational workshops, to handle both gender and cultural differences that affect effectiveness of communication.
Athena, D.P. (2005). Communicating About Health: Current Issues and Perspectives. McGraw- Hill companies.
Schiavo, R. (2007). Health Communication: From Theory to Practice. John Wiley and sons. Web.