The existence of positive relationship within communicators in an organization has been accepted as one of the successful factors in effective organizational communication.
It is, therefore, necessary for organizational communicators to make some effort at bringing about positive relationships for successful organizational communication.
Positive relationships in communication will prevail if there is favourable perception about the individuals or parties who are involved in the communication situation within the organization.
Organisations require the right atmosphere or climate in order to operate. There are six main categories that could be used in the promotion of positive relationship in the organization.
They include development of positive personal relationships, focusing problem solving, being honest, showing concern for others and listening with an open mind.
As a matter of guidance, many researchers and writers have provided various guidelines on building and sustaining positive relationships both in and outside the organization.
These guidelines should not be seen as a solution since the individual must also play a significant role in building and sustaining positive relationship.
Jack Gibbs suggests ways to promote positive relationships. Consider them below.
1. Use Deceptive “I” Language
Many communicators unnecessarily attack the other person when delivering a message. Let us consider these examples: “ Your report is too sloppy. You’ll have to retype it.”
“This is the third time this month that you’ve been late for work. You’ll have to be more punctual.” “That was a dumb promise you made. We can never have the job done by the end of the month.”
Statements like these are often called “you” languages because they point a verbal finger of accusation as the receiver.
“You are lazy”, “You are wrong”. The above statements do not enhance the building and sustenance of positive relationship among organizational communicators.
Conversely, descriptive statements are often termed “I” language since they focus on the speaker instead of judging the other person. The “I” language rather fosters positive relationships between organizational communicators.
The “you” statements above can be rephrased in descriptive “I” language as follows: “I’m afraid the boss will get angry at both of us if we turn in a report with these errors.
We’ll get a better reaction if it is retyped”. “Since you’ve been coming in late, I’ve made a lot of excuses when people call asking for you. I’m uncomfortable with that, and that’s why I hope you’ll start showing up on time”.
I’m worried about the promise you made. I don’t see how we can get the job done by the end of the month” Statements like these show that it’s possible to be non-judgemental and still say what you want to say without any verbal attack.
Such statements will rather build and sustain positive relationships between communicators.
2. Focus on solving problems, not controlling others
Some messages try to force others to do something they don’t agree with or understand. If one has a tight deadline, for example, it is easy to say, “Look! I don’t have time to explain, just do it my way.”
What should be noted here is that control shows a lack of regard for the other person’s needs, interests or opinions. It can cause problems in the development of positive relationships even if one attains his objectives.
On the other hand, problem-oriented messages aimed at solving both parties’ needs. The goal is not to solve a problem my way or your way but rather to develop a solution that meets everyone’s needs.
This will build and sustain positive relationships among members of the organization.
3. Be honest; not manipulating
As a matter of human nature, a person who discovers that he/she has been manipulated will exhibit a defensive reaction.
Dishonesty of any form in organizational communication could lead to loss of positive relationships.
Conversely, simply honesty is less likely to result in people being defensive, even when the news is not welcome.
Even though others might something dislike what one says, his reputations as being honest can earn him/her the respect of subordinates, co-workers and management.
4. Show concern for others
Being sufficient, lack of acknowledgement or concern for others, is a strong disconfirming message. By contrast, a genuine message of interest can make a significant difference.
A simple apology for making one wait can do wonders. The secretary who takes the responsibility to get the right person to attend to one’s needs will leave a feeling of appreciation, encouraging the person to do business with the company once again.
The financial controller, who seems genuinely concerned with the amounts officers’ opinions, even if he/she is in disagreement, is easier to work with than the one who appears snobbish.
5. Demonstrate an attitude of equality
Individuals who act in a superior manner imply that others are inferior, clearly a discomforting message. Nobody likes to feel less valuable than another person, and an air of superiority communicates this sort of message.
This kind of attitude can have a negative effect on the development of positive relationships. What should be noted is that the kind of superiority that makes people defensive is not based as much on intelligence, talent or skill as on dignity and respect.
6. Listen with an open mind
An assertion that has been made is that listening with an open mind makes a good sense. Whether the people you are dealing with are in your department or another, subordinates or customers, they probably have knowledge that you do not have. Hearing them out may teach you something useful.
Besides, providing useful information, listening open-mindedly can promote good relationships.
A subordinate whose views are rejected straight away will feel very offended and contribute to the development of negative relationships between the subordinate and the boss.
Conversely, if the subordinate’s views are even rejected after careful consideration is given to such views by the boss, the degree of disappointment from the subordinate would not have any significant effect on him/her.
This will rather lead to the development of positive relationship between the subordinate and the boss.
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