Effective Communication in the Workplace

One way to have effective communication in a corporation, institution or business is have frequent scheduled meetings. Meetings are one of the most powerful tools for communication in companies 1992, Sandwith, Brauchil, Wright and Petrini). Successful meetings are designed to share information, brainstorm ideas, evaluate ideas, develop plans, make decisions, create a document and to motivate members (2010, Locker, Keinzler). Meetings come in different forms. If you run into your boss in the elevator and he ask you a how a project is coming along, that could be an impromptu meeting. Many companies have weekly meetings either in the beginning of the week in order to set the pace for the work week so everyone will be on the same page. Other companies may meet at the end of the week in order to recap the week before moving into the next week. Annual conferences are often held for various professions such as doctor??™s, psychologist, and educators in order to disseminate new ideas, theories or findings. An effective meeting will determine the success of the meeting and the company. Meetings play an important role in the life of the business and the planning and execution should be thought out and well organized. A well-run meeting, experts say, will leave employees feeling empowered about their role in the meetings outcomes (2005, Cho).

The level of comprehension of all participants in the meeting must be considered. If the audience consists of blue collar employees to upper level management, the comprehensive level of the meeting must be understood by all involved.
Many people do not like to have meetings and feel they are a waste of time, interruption to productivity, too long and too frequent. I have sat in a few boring meetings and trainings during my 25 years in the workforce, so I definitely understand why we don??™t like work meetings. A good meeting is a short meeting or better yet a cancelled meeting. It is important to remember that everyone may not want to be there and may have a negative attitude for that reason alone. It would be important to start the meeting with something interesting or funny. It would be a good ice breaker in order to put everyone in a at ease frame of mind and disarm the negativity.
Group meetings are the most effective means of communicating among people who need to share information and reach a common understanding about that data so they can make and implement good decisions. Complex tasks require extensive dialogue if they are to be done well. Letters, memos, voicemail, E-mail and other non-dialogue means of communication are useful for documenting the results of meetings; however, they do not allow the reciprocity that is critical to effective communication (2002, Broom & Casison).
Some appropriate attitudes to have as a facilitator of a meeting are to be patient, resourceful and supportive. I, as the facilitator of a meeting owe to my colleagues the assuredly that I am prepared and experience the topic at hand.
The people in the meeting will have different backgrounds and working styles from each other. Stakeholders and managers will have a different values and attitudes or interest than a sales person or customer. The differences can be from gender, class, race, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and physical ability (2010, Locker, Kienzler). An example of the age factor difference would be a 25 year-old employee and baby boomer in the same meeting or environment with opposing ideas of how a process should be done. There could be a possible opportunity for conflict, which can be a good tool because conflict is a part of the group dynamics.
Organizing and planning the meeting will ensure it is effective. By communicating (verbal and non verbal) with the team, listen effectively and respond nonverbally to other members in the meeting. Ensure that everyone??™s ideas are considered and that everyone in the meeting is a part of the decision making process.
Meetings can be very successful, making those involved feel like they are part of a team; or they can be a waste of resources and time.
To make the most of your meeting it is important to put some thought into what the meeting is supposed to accomplish, who should attend, what should be discussed, where the best place to have it is, and when would be the most convenient date and time.
Having decided on the basics, equally important is how the meeting is chaired. If you are the chair ensure that you arrive in plenty of time. Great everyone warmly and ensure that everyone is comfortable and able to pay attention without distractions.

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Hanah Cho. (28 December). Meetings can motivate workers, include them in decision-making, experts say. Knight Ridder Tribune Business News,1.

Broom, M., & Casison, J. (2002). From effective groups to powerful teams. Incentive, 176(11), 66.
Sandwith, P., Brauchle, P., Wright, D., & Petrini, C. (1992). Effective Communication. Training & Development, 46(1), 29.
Locker, K. O., & Kienzler, D. S. (2008). Business and Administrative Communication (8th ed.). Columbus, Ohio: McGraw Hill.