1st Edition

Closing the Communication Gap An Effective Method for Achieving Desired Results

By H. James Harrington, Robert Lewis Copyright 2014
    316 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    316 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    Improved communication in business means higher profits. Improved communication in government means happier citizens. Improved communication in healthcare means quicker recoveries, fewer lawsuits, and happier nurses and patients.

    Closing the Communication Gap can help readers improve communication by closing the gap between what the communicator means and what the listener actually understands. It supplies a complete overview of the various elements and dimensions of effective communication needed to stop talking and start communicating.

    Defining and discussing both the formal and the informal communication systems within an organization, the book demonstrates the importance of good communication and details the four types of poor-quality communication. It explains how to create a climate of communication in your organization. It describes how this climate of communication encourages the development of quality relationships as well as what it takes to maintain this culture of communication.

    After reading this book, you will understand how to be a better listener, how to use social media in marketing, how to deal with difficult people, and helpful tips for public speaking. You will gain valuable insights on how to talk to your employees, how to talk to your boss, and the best ways to communicate with a corporation.

    This book can be read for personal growth or it can be used by a company to teach employees the importance of quality communication. Quality assurance departments will find this book useful in lowering errors and waste in the workplace. The book is also suitable as a communication textbook or supplemental text at the introductory university level.

    If a corporation were a person, communication would be the bloodstream.
    —Lee Iacocca, Former CEO, Chrysler Corporation

    Good Talk, More Money
    Poor-Quality Communication
         Withholding Information
    Quality Communication
    Communication and Language
    Quality Relationships
    Virtues, Integrity, and Trust
    Lifelong Learning

    What Happens When Two People Talk—At Work?
    The Basic Scoop on the Communication Loop
         Meet the Loop
         An Autopsy of the Loop
         The Loop Has Soul
         The Loop Has Issues
         The Loop Has Culture
    The Formal Loop and Its Shadow
         Get Loopy with a Network of Communication Loops
    Networks of Loops Loop in Different Directions
         Random Communication
         Downward Communication
         Upward Communication
         Lateral Communication
    The Complexity of Formal Networks of Communication Loops
    Shadow Loops
         How to Use the Informal Communication
         Network, Also Known as the Shadow Loop

    How Do You Talk to Your Boss?
    Nothing to Fear But Fear
         The Downside of Fear
         The Good Side of Fear
         Facing Fear
    Plan the Whole Process
         The Meeting
         Concluding the Meeting
         Execute the Plan
         Follow-up to the Meeting with Your Boss

    How Do You Talk to Your Employees?
    Create an Environment of Openness and Trust by First Being a Listener
         Tell Them Why
         Do It with a Smile
         Adopt a New Philosophy about Organizations and Employees
         Adopt a New Philosophy about Management
         Listen with Your Eyes as Well as Your Ears
         Listen to the Person and Not Just the Employee
         Listen to the Behavior over a Period of Time
         Listen to Themes, to Metaphors, and to What Is Conspicuously Not Discussed
         Listen to Learn
    Create an Environment of Openness and Trust by Becoming an Effective Communicator
         Talk to Your Employees
              One on One
              In a Group
         Write to Your Employees
              Town Meetings
              E-mails, Blogs, and a Tip of the Hat to Texting
    Understand Your Employees
         Personality Type of Each Employee
         Variables Style Management
         Five-Way Communication
         Communication Channels
         Body Language

    How Do I Hear What My Teammates Are Really Saying?
    Rugged Individualism Dies with the Team
         What Makes a Standout Leader?
         The Team Takes Precedence over the Individual
         Maturity Is Imperative for Good Teamwork
         The Ancients Were Right
              Know Thyself
              Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You
    Use the Feedback Loop
         Listen to Your Teammate
         Repeat Back
         Listen to the Feedback
         Repeat the Feedback Loop for a Second Time
         Use the Feedback Loop with Verbal and Written Team Communication
    Discuss Feelings and Body Language
         Listening Filters
         The Johari Window
         Three Rules in Dealing with Emotions in a Team Setting
    Use the Shadow Communication Loop to Further the Team Mission
         Talking at the Water Cooler
         Use the Shadow Loop to Further the Team’s Progress
    Hearing Is Nested in a Relationship with Four Stages
         Developing Role Clarity: Developing Expectations and Gathering Information
         Commitment to the Relationship of Boss/Member of Staff
         Stability and Productivity for a Period of Time
         Experiencing a Pinch in the Relationship
         Dealing with the Pinches in the Relationship Is Crucial
         Dealing with Them Immediately and Effectively Maintains Healthy Relationships
         Ignoring Pinches in Relationships Leads to Disruption and Conflict
              Problems to Solve
              Disagreement and Efforts to Save Face
              Contest Stage and Efforts to Win
              Fight/Flight Stage: Eliminate or Harm the Character of the Other Side
              Holy War: The Object Is to Destroy
    Restoring a Relationship
         Ennui: Settling for the Status Quo and Limbo
         Mute Termination: Quit Job or Fire Employee or Staff Member
         Pretending to Fix the Relationship: Premature Reconciliation
         Unplanned Renegotiation of a Relationship under Extreme Stress
         Ending the Relationship

    How Do I Hear What My Boss Is Really Saying?
    Learn to See the Nonverbal Message If You Want to Really Hear Your Boss
    If Your Boss Believes in You, He or She Will Trust and Therefore Tell You More
         What the Boss Sees Determines What You Get
              Eye Contact (Oculesics)
              Posture and Movement (Kinesics)
              Dress and Appearance (Objectics)
              Gestures and Smile (Kinesics)
    What the Boss Feels Determines What You Get
         Voice and Vocal Variety (Vocalics)
         Words and Nonwords (Verbal Technique and Chronemics)
         Boss Involvement (Objectics)
         Humor (Verbal Technique Using Kinesics, Vocalics, Chronemics)
    What Is Neurolinguistic Programming?
    Your Boss Will Tell You More When You Tune in to His Favorite NLP Channel
         Check Out Your Boss’s Predicates to Learn His or Her Channel
         Check Out Your Boss’s Eye Movements to Learn His or Her NLP Channel
         You Can Have Empathy, Sympathy, and Harmony with Your Boss
    Check Your Boss’s Gestures, Signals, and Other Telltale Actions
         Proxemics: Give Your Boss His or Her Space
         Kinesics: Your Boss’s Body Movements Have Meaning 
         Hand to Face
         Folded Arms
         Crossed Legs
         Eye Signals
    The Boss’s Arrangement of Furniture

    What Do I Say to a Difficult Person or a Bully?
    Do Not Avoid or Ignore Difficult People
         The Dictatorial Personality
         The Know-It-Alls
         The Passive–Aggressive Personality
         The Whiner
         The Downers
         The People Pleaser
         The Nonparticipant
    Do Not "Pass the Buck"
    Use a Procedure to Handle Difficult People
    Use Group Learning Tools to Handle Difficult People
    Use Early Warning Skills and Prevention to Handle Difficult People
    Use Techniques to Handle Difficult People
    Use Fairness and Consistency to Handle Difficult People
    Use the Company’s Counseling and Mental Health Services to Handle Difficult People
    Use Directness and Power to Handle Difficult People

    How Do I Talk to My Customers?
    Treat All People with Respect
    Without Customers, You Are Out of Business
    Listen to Your Customers
         Look Them in the Eye
         Use Friendly Body Language
         Give Feedback and Ask for Feedback
         Do Not Escalate an Angry Situation
    Use Personality Types to Determine Your Communication Strategy

    How Do I Communicate to a Corporation from the Outside?
    Understand and Respect the Corporation’s Culture
    Understand the Corporation’s Personality
    Understand the Corporation’s Formal Communication System
    Understand the Corporation’s Shadow Communication System
    Understand the Corporation’s Environment and Its Pressure/Stress Points
    Plan a Communication Strategy
    Implement the Plan
    Evaluate and Improve the Procedure

    How Do I Communicate to a Corporation from the Inside?
    Introducing Systems Thinking and the Learning Organization
    Understand that a Corporation Is a System
    Understand that a System Has Characteristics
    Understand that an Individual Within a System Must Develop a System Mindset
    System Archetypes Have Been Identified that People
    Who Communicate Within Systems Must Understand
    How Do You Communicate Well in a System?

    How Does a Corporation Use Social Media to Communicate?
    The Rapid Prominence of Social Media
    The Characteristics of Social Media
    The Tools of Social Media and Their Uses
    The Steps to a Corporate Voice in the Social Media Arena
    The Use of Social Media with High-Performance Teams

    Social Communication in the Workplace
    Decide to Become Social
    Become Objective about Yourself
    Discover Your Reason for Being
    Know When to Shut Up
    Use Social Communication in a Group or Team Setting
    Use Social Communication in Public Speaking
    What Happened to Sid?

    Interviewing Guidelines
    Planning the Interview
         Interview Guide Preparation
         Selecting the People to Interview
         Scheduling the Interview
         Location of the Interview
         Inviting the Interviewees
         What Is in It for the Interviewee?
    Appearance in the Interview
    Recording the Interview
    The Interview
    Interview Follow-up
    Gaining Rapport during the Interview
    Interview Techniques for Gaining Highest-Quality Information
         Unspecified Nouns
         Unspecific Verbs
         Words Implying Necessity
         Universal Quantifiers
         Cause and Effect
    After the Interview


    H. James Harrington, Robert Lewis