The last organization I was employed at was the U.S. Army. Within this “company”, there are numerous ways of communication with people due to the massive diversification within the organization. Intrapersonal is use commonly through self-motivation to complete difficult tasks that are require of you, i.e. physical fitness test or entering the gas chamber. Interpersonal communication is the most used form by the team leadership (3-5 personnel) in the organization. We use these to ensure that all service member understand their daily requirements. Group communications occurs on average of twice a day when senior leadership take accountability of personnel (100-120 personnel). This method is conducted to ensure team leaders understand daily requirement in the morning, and the status of those requirement at the end of duty day. This time is also used to maintain esprit-de-corps within the organization.
Organizational communication is done less frequently and is typically competed in written form other than face-to-face. These are messages sent down to the lower level managers from the top leaders in the organization through the different level of leadership, which could be up to eight levels before it gets all the way to the team leaders. The Army is one of the most diverse organization in the country, and accommodates all authorized cultures in its organization. This include religion, gender, ethnicity and cultural whether stateside or internationally located.
Communication travels in all directions in the Army organizations with the basic communication model utilized frequently. One typical way is through briefings, either verbal or though PowerPoint presentations. You have your sender of the message who encode it into verbal or picture form, and then transmits it through whichever channel is selected for the brief. And then the receiver will decode the message to fully understand it. Feedback is also commonly used to ensure the message has been decoded correctly. The functions of the Y theory of hierarchy management communication is one where managers listen to all aspect, instead of just from the top down. This method is not widely used in the Army where you are expected to follow orders from higher management. Although there are more and more younger leaders who are trying to utilize this method in today’s modern Army which I think is a step in the right direction.
Three different managerially communication types that that I have witnessed would be, verbal, written and facial expressions. Verbal communication direction happens on a daily basis when assigning task for the day. While written communication occur less frequently among the lower level leaders, but it is required at least month with performance reviews. Facial communication takes place when you either like or dislike requirements assigned to you or your team. Not all requirements in the Army get people excited to complete and facial expressions routinely express that opinion.
There can be many different barriers of communication in the Army, but today I will discuss three. The first would have to be attentional barriers, or not paying attention to direction. This is a common barrier as soldier may be uninterested or distracted when direction is given. Next would have to be a physical barrier to communication. As the Army modernizes in todays world, this is become more of an issue through long geographical distances, uncomfortable working environments and broken equipment. And finally, I would like to discuss the emotional barrier of communication. The most common of this barrier is fear. Fear is the largest barrier we have in the Army, as we train and complete many dangerous tasks. Fear is experienced at all level of employees and management, and is addressed in numerous way to help everyone. A couple of ways would be through repetitive training to ensure confidence in your abilities and through spiritual guidance of your religious leader.
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