Posted: November 30th, 2013
Table of contents
Executive summary ……………………………………………………….2
Interpersonal communication within organization is very crucial for high performance. More so, in service industries such as hotel, interpersonal communication is the main way of attracting and retaining customers. Thus, Griffith Hotel needs to recognize this fact. Some of the issues and conflicts within Griffith Hotel are caused by poor interpersonal communication that is causing misunderstandings.
The main problem within this hotel is lack of conversations and interaction that can foster teamwork. The front office manager wants to maintain traditional and formal interaction within workers, as well as maintaining high regards for recognition of authority. This has caused a lot of resistance from workers. In his opinion, the front office manager expects the workers to do exactly as he tells them.
To combat this problem, there is need to improve interpersonal communication among all workers and the managers within this department on a mutual level. This requires a place and time where all the workers and managers irrespective of position can meet to interact without formal regards. This will enhance teamwork performance, which will increase the performance of the front office department. However, in order for this to happen, the manger has to be in the lead to creating an interactive environment.
For any organization, interpersonal communication skills are very crucial for ensuring good flow of information upon which decisions are made (Floyd, 2011). Within Griffith Hotel, there are interpersonal communication problems that are causing problems. For instance, Simon, the front office manager has his own idea about how workers ought to behave and treat customers based on his own experience and traditions while the workers are of a different opinion. In several occasions, workers and the management are in a conflict that involves lack of good communication especially in terms of understanding each other’s opinions. This has created problems within the front office. Thus, through a research on interpersonal communication theories, this analysis intends to address the issues within Griffith Hotel. This report identifies the issues within the hotel, conducts a literature review on interpersonal communication skills necessary for solving the issues and gives a recommendation based on the findings.
Several issues within the front office department of Griffith Hotel can be identified. Most of them are related to lack of proper interpersonal communication skills that cause lack of understanding among the workers and their managers. The first problem starts at training of new employees that takes half a day before they are sent to their respective departments. At this half day, new workers hardly have the time to understand the rules and regulations as well as some of the restrictions put across by management. As stated, new front workers are not greeted with happy open arms. They meet total strangers who are supposed to induct them. Moreover, their trainers are not willing and neither are they prepared in advance. At this point, a misunderstanding is already created where there is no formal interaction between new workers and their trainers. Considering that communication between front office workers and customers happen at an interpersonal level, a problem is established when there is lack of such communication between workers (Lauer, 2004).
Another problem within Griffith Hotel is posed different opinions between the workers and management. Simon being the front office manager is rather traditional when it comes to authority and hierarchy. He expects workers to recognize authority and respect his decisions as well as do what he tells them to do. On the other hand, the workers and other assistant managers prefer an informal interaction where they refer to each other by their first names. Simon scolds the workers and reprimands them as he tells them what they ought to do. Workers come with different skills and expect to use some of them, which Simon hardly recognizes. More so, Simon hardly listens to the workers or his assistants that he even dismisses in front of the workers. One principle of effective interpersonal communication is listening actively, which Simon lacks as manager (Levin, 2006). None of the workers is ready to listen to each other to cover the problem.
On the other hand, there is evident competition between the workers; with some feeling, they are better than others are such as Samantha who thinks she ought to be the front office manager. Between the manager and assistant mangers, there seem to be lack of understanding where some will talk back at the manager since they feel he is not doing the right thing. This happens even in front of the workers, and their attitude towards management and work changes. One principle of interpersonal communication that is overridden is depersonalizing conflict. Conflicts are taken rather too personally. Instead, workers should view the problem as being a situation where they all come in to look for a solution instead of a situation of “me versus you” mentality. The main problem within front office of Griffith Hotel is lack of openness and listening to each other’s opinions (Louise, 2004).
Interpersonal communication is a two way, where there has to be a sender and a receiver of the information (Rane, 2011). If the receiver does not get the intended meaning of the message, wrong feedback is given. On the other hand, if the sender does not get his point straight, a misunderstanding occurs. However, the biggest problem within Griffith Hotel front office department is lack of listening to each other’s opinion. Everybody likes to be heard as well as they would like to hear the other person. Therefore, one should always listen to others so they can listen to them as well. Within Griffith Hotel, the front office manager does not listen to anybody else. He believes workers should listen to him and do as he says. Without listening, Simon will never know where the problem lies.
There should be openness to each other where all workers and managers listen to each other and work together toward eliminating their biggest obstacle to performance. Listening to each other would be the first way to start, since this would foster more interaction that is lacking within this department. Active listening is the art of listening and giving feedback to the person talking to indicate that one understands. Active listening is very crucial since the speaker can be aware of the interpretation made by the listener. If it is not the right one, the speaker could try to clarify. However, within Griffith Hotel, passive listening is more evident between the manger and the workers.
Active listening acts as a way of fostering mutual understanding between two or more people. According to Rane (2011), “The quality of relationships with others and job effectiveness largely depend on the listening ability of the individual concerned.” Therefore, active listening is one of the determinants to effective performance within an organization. For managers who want to make informed decisions or to acquire need-based information need to be good listeners. Without such information, it would be hard for managers to make informed decisions. It is proven that lack of active listening among workers within any organization is bound to cause misunderstanding among the workers.
Active listening is quite hard sometimes in different situations. Active listening requires one to be very attentive to grasp each word coming from the speaker. To give feedback it requires one to paraphrase some of the words mentioned and asking for clarification where the message was not clear. This increases the level of understanding between the two people or parties communicating. For workers mangers to know whether workers understand what he instructs them to do, active listening must be adopted, to allow workers to ask questions as well as give their opinions.
Active listening should not be meant for the workers only. Managers need to listen more than the talk since what they need more is information. In fact, everybody should listen more if others are to talk. Giving every body in a group to talk means one has a chance to talk once, but will listen to several others. Therefore, since listening is what one does more, it is important to be actively engaged in active listening. Skills that are employed within active listening include paraphrasing, asking open-ended questions, requesting clarification, reflecting and summarizing.
However, for active listening to take place, there is need to have free communication within the parties. When one party feels subordinated, a hierarchical barrier is created. For instance, Simon in Griffith Hotel wants to maintain hierarchical structure where workers recognize authority. This would not allow a worker to question him. Thus, free interaction is necessary within the organization in order to allow even the workers at the lowest level to listen actively and feel free to ask for clarification. One way of fostering active listening and communication within Griffith Hotel is having some common time for workers within a shift where they can all meet irrespective of position and interact on an informal base. This would allow workers and managers to interact on mutual ground and allow the workers to be free with their mangers to ask any question as well as give their opinions. Passive communication should be avoided at all costs since one may not know whether the listener understood the message.
Active listening requires people to be open minded and ready to listen to others first before they are listened to. It is evident that people who do not listen to their workers make poor leaders and managers. Additionally, leaders who do not engage in active listening never make any informed decisions. For workers working with customers, constant communication should be free flowing at all times to ensure customers are served well. Looking at the case of Griffith Hotel, it is evidence that workers, even mangers within the front office department are not open with each other while the manager hardly listens to the workers. Thus, the decisions he makes are always conflicting with workers and his assistants (Stoppler & Shiel, 2010).
Samantha: Hello sir? Welcome to Griffith Hotel and let me know how I can be of assistant to you
Mr. Branson: My name is Mr. Branson and I have a reservation for tonight
Samantha: Let me check for you sir. Oh, I am sorry there is no reservation for Branson.
Mr. Branson: Are you sure? You might want to check again
Samantha: sure Mr. Branson, let me check again to confirm.
It seems there is no reservation for Mr. Branson. What is your second name? Probably the reservation used another name instead.
Mr. Branson: I do not think so. My assistant made the reservation for me two weeks ago and I received a confirmation email bearing the same name.
Samantha: I have checked twice but I cannot find your name in the reservation list sir.
Mr. Branson: I think you need to check again.
Samantha: Could you by any chance be having the email confirmation so that I can confirm the details used?
Mr. Branson: No I do not have it because I though it was not necessary. I could have it if I go online but at this hour, I am tired and just want to check in.
Samantha: I am sorry Mr. Branson that your name is not in the reservation list but I can get you another room for tonight as we sought out the issue. The only room available is going at $400.
Mr. Branson: my reservation was quoted $275.
Samantha: I understand Mr. Branson. All the rooms quoted at that price are full. There is only one remaining but has extra services. Would like to have it? It is an ensuit room. We could check out your earlier reservation tomorrow if you will still need a room at $275.
Mr. Branson: okay.
Samantha: shall you pay in cash or debt card?
Mr. Branson: I have a debt card.
Samantha: that okay and your room is 520. Here is your key and have a lovely night Mr. Branson.
It is evident that within Griffith Hotel front office department there is lack effective interpersonal communication. Considering this is the department that handles customers first, there is need to ensure their satisfaction as they check in. this is the department that is responsible for marketing the hotel at an interpersonal level. Thus, interpersonal communication at this department is a crucial determinant in performance of the hotel (Bodie, 2011). The department needs to recognize this fact as well as keep their personal differences aside. One of the recommendations I would give to the manager is to adopt an open-minded management method where he is free to listen to the workers. All the workers within this department have had a lot of experience in this field and have skills they would expect to provide for the hotel. Simon should stop telling them what to do all the time, and listen to what they think would be best for the hotel (Bisel, Messersmith, & Kelley, 2012).
As the manager, Simon should b the one to foster active communication within the department. This will allow workers to interact and exchange ideas. He should also be open to other people’s opinions and recognize that his decisions are not welcome by the workers (McNaughton, Hamlin, McCarthy, Head-Reeves, & Schreiner, 2008). Thus, instead of stopping them from using their own skills, he should help them develop their skills by increasing the level of interaction between the employees. One way that this can be done is through a common time for workers within a shift, such as during a break (Julie, 2008). Having a common place where all workers meet for informal interaction. For instance, on Saturday mornings, workers are less formal to each other, and are happy to work during this time than when Simon is around. Thus, such interaction should be adopted. Simon should be loose his formal approach to managing this department.
According to Alex (2012), “The most valuable form of communication is face-to-face.” He further sites that some of the common characteristics of highly performing teams. Some of these characteristics include high level of talking and listening within the group, energetic face-to-face conversations with members facing one another, there is direct connection between members, and members interact even outside work. Within Griffith, this is the opposite and the manger wants things to remain formal, which I the main reason he is failing. To achieve such characteristics, he has to foster an interactive environment for the workers. When they interact freely and informally, teamwork is built. Further and more important is the ability of such interaction to encourage active communication among the members (Burgoon, Berger & Waldron, 2000). On to the contrary, Simon engages rarely in face-to-face conversations with workers except when scolding them of lack of performance. He can do this through interacting with the workers on informal conversations and listening to them as much as he would want them to listen to him. Additionally, he should limit his complaints and focus on specific issues and people who are not performing rather than scolding the whole team. More so, when there is a conflict, it should not be settled in front of other workers. Rather, it should be settled privately in an office away from other people who are not involved.
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