In a construction company, numerous communication situations emerge, both in and out of office. Messages are conveyed to various audiences in an attempt to attain set targets seamlessly. A significant communication situation that occurs more often than not includes project planning meetings. Project meetings present a unique communication situation as it relies on the culture of the organization, availability of a homogenous communication channel, and synchronous knowledge levels. It includes communicating to a specific group of people collectively, without which projects would stall, or quality would be compromised. This paper aims to analyze a communication situation in a construction company by detailing its communication process and inherent issues therein. This paper also proposes a presumably better communication process that would resolve current issues. A comprehensive message that incorporates the relevant partakers of the project is a prerequisite to the success of the institution.
Every project constitutes a group leader. In most cases, the group leader is selected from the company's most experienced personnel, based on the number of projects they have handled in the past. In his position, the group leader is obliged to congregate all relevant employees relevant to the project in due consideration of their technical expertise. After considering all the factors and selecting the appropriate group that would presumably complete the project successfully, the company's culture dictates that the group leader communicates directly to these persons through their emails. The organization's culture also dictates to all employees to keep checking their email conversations regularly, just in case of official communication. The application of emails was agreed upon after a deliberation that indicated employees could have issues with their cell phones. Still, their personal computers were routinely available since the company was servicing them. The person considered for the group leader position is expected to have a subtle command of English and be able to communicate in the most straightforward but yet comprehensive manner. Ultimately, he is expected to inform the selected employees of their selection to participate in the project.
The emails sent by the group leader are embroiled in a template which constitutes of the company logo and other details. Inside the message, the group leader is supposed to indicate roles each employee is expected to play in the project. Selected employees are requested to reply below the message with an acknowledgment of receipt of the message. The email also communicates the first meeting date and the required materials necessary for the meeting (BERLO’S SMCR Model of Communication, 2014). Employees are also informed of possible stakeholders, who would be available in the commencement meeting. As earlier indicated, the English language is considered the standard language in the organization. The deep-rooted organization's culture ensures that the message reaches specified persons without disrupting others. Through reading the emails, employees are required to individually access their capabilities and seek clarifications before the meeting day.
The most common types of communication barriers in this set up are psychological. An employee who previously worked in a similar but slightly different environment could be affected by wandering thoughts of all likely situations that could arise in the incoming project. Such employees could easily distort the message and end up misunderstanding their role in the project. Another aspect of wandering thoughts could arise from the overwhelm of preparation for the meeting and the prerequisites necessary. Receivers of information may end up with the wrong or incomplete set of requirements as they try to liken the incoming project with previously handled projects. Another probable barrier to communication, in this case, entails semantics. The encoder (group leader) is likely to use professional jargon that is only familiar to him and other persons in the project with whom they share technical expertise. Such semantics could prove nebulous to other persons of a different profession within the project. The word 'digitizing' is an example of a land surveying jargon that could easily be misunderstood. In the surveying profession, that word is used to imply changing hard copy maps to soft copy maps. In other jobs such as information technology, the term could mean changing a signal from analog to digital.
A myriad of misunderstandings could potentially flaw one-sided communication such as the one used by the construction company to inform their employees of their selection in a project and meeting requirements. These misunderstandings could result in inadequate preparation for the meeting, which could be hurting to the decoder. In that regard, the construction company should seek to modify its communication process to include an element of feedback (Models & Communication, 2011). Allowing almost instant feedback and responses could potentially clear all the doubts and barriers preventing employees from grasping the message with accuracy. A consideration of the Shannon- Weaver's model of communication would probably sort the inherent communication issues.
In conclusion, a transparent communication process is necessary and vital for the success of any organization. Due to issues that could potentially arise in a communication process that involves a group of persons ailing from various professions, the accuracy of the message is deemed to be a priority. While the Berlo's SMCR model is a working communication process in itself, the model is flawed by the mere fact that receivers of the message are not allowed to articulate clarification issues within themselves. Message recipients could fail to understand jargon or would suffer wandering thoughts that would minimize their understanding of the message. In that regard, allowing such decoders to clarify issues affecting them would beneficial for the entire team. The Shannon-Weaver model could, therefore, resolve some of these issues, thus, making communication complete and comprehensive.
BERLO’S SMCR MODEL OF COMMUNICATION. (2014, July 10). Communication Theory. https://www.communicationtheory.org/berlos-smcr-model-of-communication/
Models, in C., & Communication, I. (2011, June 13). Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication. Communication Theory. https://www.communicationtheory.org/shannon-and-weaver-model-of-communication/#:~:text=Later%20it
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Essay on Project Planning Meetings: Communication Challenges in Construction Companies. (2023, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/project-planning-meetings-communication-challenges-in-construction-companies
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