Communication Process And Leadership

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Communication Process And Leadership
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Beaulieu, Lionel J.
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CD16 June1992CommunicationProcessandLeadership1 AdaptedbyLionelJ.Beaulieu2Communicationiscentraltoallhumansocial behavior.Humanscannotsociallyinteractunlessthey communicatethroughsharedsymbols.Through sharingcommonsymbols,peoplecancommunicate information,ideas,andemotions.1Individualsusesymbols--words,gestures, pictures--totransmitmessages--information,ideas, emotions--toothers.Whenpeoplegivesimilar meaningstothesymbols,theycommunicate.Similar meaningsarisefromacommonsocialandcultural background.Themembersofacommunityservice clubhaveacommonsocialandculturalbackground. Theserviceclubmembershavesharedmany experiences.Themeaningswhichtheyassignto word,gesture,andpicturesymbolsarelikelytobe quitesimilar. Communicationisoneoftheessentialelements ofleadership.Withoutcommunication,thereisno leadership.Itispossible,however,tocommunicate withoutleading.Ifamemberofawomen'sclub suggeststhattheclubinitiateabeautificationproject forthecommunitypark,itispossiblethattheclub willnotdoso,eventhoughtheothermembersofthe women'sclubunderstandthecommunication.A beautificationprojectforthecommunityparkwould neverhappen,however,withoutcommunicationof somekind. Inleadershiproles,itisimportantthatyou communicatewhatyoudesiretocommunicate.The basicconcernofthispublicationistherelationship betweencommunicationandleadership. Thispublicationwillfirstfocusontheprocessof communicationtogiveyouanideahowthe communicationacttakesplace.Thesecondpartwill emphasizethesendingofmessagestoindividualsand groupsthroughathirdparty,oftentheleaderofthe group.Inthethirdpart,wewillconsidersomeofthe factorswhichinfluencetheacceptanceof communications.Thefourthpartwilllookat differentcommunicationpatterns.Finally,wewill summarizeandoffersomesuggestionsforleaders.DEFINITIONOFCOMMUNICATIONCommunicationcoversawidetopicarea.Any definitionofatopicasbroadascommunication wouldbetoogeneral,toocomplex,ortoofragmented tobeofmuchusetoacommunityleader.Wecan explainvariousaspectsofcommunicationwith definitions,buttheywouldnotbeunified.Oneway todefinecommunicationistoexplaintheprocessof communication. Applyingthetermprocesstocommunication meansthatitisanongoingevent.Inoursocial interactionwithothers,wearecommunicating. Communication,therefore,istheprocesswherebywe attempttotransmitourthoughts,ideas,wishes,or emotionstoothers. 1.ThisdocumentisCD16,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.Publication date:June1992.ThisarticleisadaptedwithminoreditorialchangesfromLeadershipDevelopment:AnIowaStateSelf-StudyCourse ,byJohn L.TaitandJohnA.Wibe,withtheassistanceofJ.PaulYarborough,IowaStateUniversity,CooperativeExtensionService. 2.LionelJ.Beaulieu,professor,extensionandruralsociology,CooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences, UniversityofFlorida,GainesvilleFL32611. TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/ChristineTaylorStephens,Dean

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page2Forourpurpose,communicationinvolvesonlythe Figure1. Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver(SCMR)ModelofCommunication.information,thoughts,ideas,etc.,thatwewantto transmittoaspecificaudience.Thedefinitionof communicationdoesnotincludeobservedbehavior unlesstheobservedbehaviorisintendedtohelp transmitthemessage.Forinstance,thereisno communicationbetweenaleaderandtwogroup membershavingaconversationontheothersideof theroom,eveniftheleaderisobservingtheir behavior.Thetwogroupmembersdonotintend theirconversationtotransmitanymessagestothe leader.Noristheleaderintendingtotransmitany messagestothetwomembersthroughhis observation.However,theleadercanusegesturesto helptransmitmessagestoaspecificaudienceasa partofthecommunicationprocess. Thegoalofcommunicationistheacceptanceof thesender'smessagebythereceiver.Ifthereceiver understandsthemeaningofamessagewhichasksfor action,butfailstoact,thegoalofcommunicationsis notachieved.Butifthereceiverdoesrespondtothe messagebytakingtheappropriateaction,thegoalof thecommunicationhasbeenachieved.COMMUNICATIONPROCESSMODEL-SMCRTherearemanycommunicationmodelswhich serveavarietyofpurposes.Theyrangefromsingle eventanalyseswhichcanbeusedtoinstruct beginners,tocomplexmodelswhichareusually understoodonlybyspecialistsinthefieldof communication.Wehavechosenthe SenderMessage-Channel-Receiver (SMCR)Modelforthis publication.TheSMCRmodel(Figure1)isuseful forexaminingasinglecommunicativeevent;thatis, itcanisolateoneeventoutoftheongoing communicationprocessandillustratetheactions whichtakeplace.2SenderThe sender (orsource)intheSMCRmodelisthe transmitterofthemessage.Therearefivefactors whichinfluencethesenderinanycommunicationhe transmits: 1.Communicationskills 2.Attitudes 3.Knowledge 4.Positioninthesocialsystem 5.Culture Thesefivefactorsalsoinfluencethereceiverand willonlybesummarizedhere. Therearefiveverbal communicationskills which determineourabilitytotransmitandreceive messages.Twoaresendingskills:speakingand writing.Twoarereceivingskills:listeningand reading.Thefifthisimportanttobothsendingand receiving:thoughtorreasoning.Theextentofthe developmentoftheseskillshelpsdetermineour abilitytocommunicateverbally.

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page3Theeffectivenessofourcommunicationisalso determinedbyourabilitytomakeuseofnonverbal communicationsskills.Asternlookofdisapproval fromthegroupleaderreadilycommunicatestothe groupmemberreceivingthelookthatsomethinghe saidordidwasnotwelltaken. Attitudes,thesecondfactorinfluencingthesender andreceiver,arehardtodefine.Forourpurposewe willsaythatanattitudeisageneralizedtendencyto feelonewayoranotheraboutsomething.For instance,youmayhaveafavorableoranunfavorable attitudetowardvoluntarygroupsworkingtosolve communityproblems.Ifyourattitudeonthismatter isfavorable,youmay,however,feelthatcertain problemscouldbebetterhandledbythecitycouncil. Attitudesinfluenceourcommunicationinthree ways.Attitudestoward ourselves determinehowwe conductourselveswhenwetransmitmessagesto others.Ifwehaveafavorableself-attitude,the receiverswillnoteourself-confidence.Ifwehavean unfavorableself-attitude,thereceiverwillobserveour uneasiness.However,ifourfavorableself-attitudeis toostrong,wetendtobecomebrashandoverbearing, andourcommunicationlosesmuchofitseffectwith thereceiver. Attitudetoward subjectmatter affectsour communicationbypredeterminingthewayweword ourmessagesaboutcertainsubjects.Anexample wouldbeacommunityleaderwithafavorable attitudetowardbringingindustryintothelocalarea. Heislikelytotalkaboutonlythegoodthatindustry couldachieve.Hemaydeliberatelyneglectto mentionthedifficultiesencounteredintryingto recruitnewindustryoranypossibleundesirable effectsthatmightresult. Attitudetowardthe receiver orthereceiver's attitudetowardthesenderisthethirdattitudeitem whichinfluencesourcommunication.Ourmessages arelikelytobeverydifferentwhencommunicating thesamecontenttosomeonewelikeandsomeone wedislike.Wealsostructureourmessagesdifferently whentalkingtosomeoneinahigherpositionthan ours,inthesamepositionorinalowerposition, regardlessofwhetherwelikethemornot. Knowledgelevel hasabearingonourabilityto communicateeffectivelyaboutasubject.A businessmanmightfeelillateasetryingtotalkwith afarmerabouthogs,cattle,corn,orbeans.The farmerwouldprobablynotfeelqualifiedtotalkabout cityslums,urbantrafficproblems,orcitygovernment. However,theymaybothfeelquitecomfortable discussingpolitics. The position ofthesenderandthereceiverin theirrespective socialsystems alsoaffectsthenature ofthecommunicativeact.Eachoneofusoccupiesa positioninoneormoresocialsystems,suchasour family,workgroups,church,community,orthe organizationstowhichwebelong.Weperceivethose withwhomwecommunicateasoccupyingasimilar, higher,orlowerpositionintheirrespectivesocial systems.(Thistiesinwiththeprevioussectionson attitudestowardthereceiverorsender.) Our culture isthefifthinfluencedeterminingour communicationeffectiveness.Communicationis moreeffectivebetweenpersonswithsimilarcultural backgrounds.Cultureisrelativelyindependentof socialpositioninmanycases.Forinstance,a voluntaryassociationleadercouldprobably communicatebetterwiththepeopleinhisowngroup, becauseoftheirsimilarculturalbackground,thanhe couldwithaleaderinthesameorganizationlocated inadifferentgeographicarea.MessageIntheSMCRmodel,the message iswhatthe senderattemptstotransmittohisspecifiedreceivers. Everymessagehasatleasttwomajoraspects(Figure 2):contentandtreatment.3The content ofthemessageincludesthe Figure2. Twomajoraspectsofamessage.assertions,arguments,appeals,andthemeswhichthe sendertransmitstothereceivers.Forinstance, communityleadersmaywishtosendamessageto communityorganizationsappealingforfinancial supportforanewswimmingpool.Thecontextofthe messagemayincludetheresultsofasurveyshowing theneedforanewswimmingpool,theproposedplan forthenewpool,thecostsinvolved,andtheappeal forfinancialsupport. The treatment ofthemessageisthearrangement ororderingofthecontentbythesender.Inthe

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page4aboveexample,thecommunityleaderscanarrange Figure3. SensoryChannels,basedonthefivesenses.thecontentinmanyways.Thereceiverislikelytobe morereceptivetothemessage,however,ifthesender talksaboutthesurveyillustratingtheneedspriorto talkingaboutthecostsandmakingtheappealfor financialsupport. Theselectionofcontentandthetreatmentofthe messagedependuponourcommunicationskills, attitudes,knowledgelevel,ourpositioninsocial systems,andourculture.Theselectionofcontent andthetreatmentofthemessageweusealsodepend uponouraudienceandtheircommunicationskills, knowledge,attitudes,socialposition,andculture.A doctor,forexample,wouldprobablyselectdifferent contentandtreatthemessagedifferentlywhentalking aboutthesamesubjecttotwodifferentaudiences, e.g.,hisfellowdoctorsandagroupofcommunity leaders.ChannelSocialscientistsrecognizetwotypesofchannels: (1) sensorychannels basedonthefivesensesofsight, sound,touch,smell,andtaste,(Figure3)and(2) institutionalizedmeans suchasface-to-face conversation,printedmaterials,andtheelectronic media(Figure4).4Weusetheinstitutionalizedmeanstotransmit mostofourmessages.Eachinstitutionalizedmedium requiresoneormoreofthesensorychannelstocarry themessagefromthesendertothereceiver.For instance,whenweuseface-to-faceconversation(an institutionalizedmedium)wemakeuseofsight (gestures,expressions),sound(voice,othernoises), andpossiblytouch,smell,ortaste. Socialscientistshavegenerallyfoundthatthe receiver'sattentionismorelikelytobegainedifthe senderusesacombinationofinstitutionalizedmeans usingtwoormoresensorychannels.Suppose,for example,someonetellsyourgroupthatthequalityof educationinyourcommunityisnotasgoodasthe publicisledtobelieve.Ifyourgroupcandiscussthe problemsface-to-facewithschooladministrators duringvisitstotheschool(sightandsound)aswellas hearaboutthemthroughinstitutionalizedmeans,such astelevisionandnewspapers,theyaremorelikelyto payattentiontothemessage. Whenapplyingthemulti-channelconcepttoreal situations,youneedtoconsiderthethreebasic institutionalizedmeansandaminimumoftwoofthe sensorychannels,specificallysightandsound. Face-to-faceconversationhasthegreatest potentialforgettingthereceiver'sattention.It shouldbetheprimaryinstitutionalizedmeansusedby leadersinsendingmessagestotheirgroupmembers. However,leadersshouldsupplementface-to-face conversationwithotherinstitutionalizedmeansand sensorychannelsintheircontinuingefforttogainthe attentionoftheirgroupmembers.

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page5 Figure4. InstitutionalizedMeanswhichmakeuseofSensoryChannels.ReceiversThereceiverintheSMCRmodelmustattendto, interpret,andrespondtothetransmittedmessage. Thegoalofcommunicationisreachedwhenthe receiveracceptsthesender'smessage.Attentionand comprehensionarethemeansthereceiverusesto attainthegoalofacceptanceofthemessage(Figure 5). Attention istheprocessbywhichthereceiver tunesinonamessageandlistenstoit,watchesit,or readsit.Thesendermustconsiderhisreceiverand treatthemessageinsuchawaythatthereceiver's attentionismoreeasilygainedandretained. Comprehension impliesunderstandingofthe messagebythereceiver.Hereagain,thesendermust considerhisintendedreceiverandusemessage contentandtreatmentthatwillenablethereceiverto understandthemessage. Oncethereceiverhasattendedtothemessage andcomprehendedorunderstoodthecontent,his nexttaskisto accept themessageonatleastoneof threelevels:the cognitive,thatis,thereceiveraccepts themessagecontentastrue;the affective,thereceiver believesthatthemessageisnotonlytruebutgood; overtaction,wherethereceiverbelievesthemessage istrue,believesitisgood,takestheappropriate action.5Thesendercandomuchindecidingonhis contentandtreatmentofthemessagetogainthe receiver'sattentionandcomprehension.However,he haslittlecontroloverthereceiver'sacceptanceofthe message.Oneconsiderationrequiredatthispointis tonotethatreceiversaremoreinclinedtoaccept messagecontentswhichagreewiththeirprevious attitudes.Thesenderhasalessdifficulttaskifhis messageagreeswiththereceiver'sattitudes.Ifthe receiverdisagreeswiththesender'smessage, acceptanceislesslikely.

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page6 Figure5.FeedbackFeedback isthesender'swayofdeterminingthe effectivenessofhismessage.Duringfeedbackthe directionofthecommunicationprocessisreversed. Whenprovidingfeedback,theoriginalreceivergoes throughthesameprocessasdidtheoriginalsender andthesamefactorsinfluencehimastheydidthe sender. Thereceivermayusethesamechannelfor feedbackasthesenderusedfortheoriginalmessage; thisisusuallythecaseinface-to-faceconversation. Orthereceivermaytakeadifferentchannel,asmight bethecasewhenyouasaleadertransmitamessage toyourgrouprequestingactiononamatteranda groupactsordoesnotactinthewayyouasked.The group'sactionshavethenbecomethefeedback. Anotherexamplemightbetheincreasedsalesofa productduetoradioandtelevisionadvertising.The purchaseoftheproductbythepublicprovides feedbacktothemanufacturerontheeffectivenessof thecommunicatedmessage. Inface-to-faceconversationfeedbackismore easilyperceived.Thesendercantellifthereceivers arepayingattentionwhenhespeakstothem.Ifa receiverfallsasleeporlooksatotherthingsinthe surroundingenvironment,thesenderrealizesthathe doesnothavethereceiver'sattention. Ifthesenderseesfurrowedbrowsorquestioning facialexpressionsinhisreceivers,heknowsthatthey didnotcomprehendhismessage.However,theovert actiontakenbythereceiveristhefeedbackthatthe senderusestodeterminetheamountofinfluencehe hashadwiththereceiver. Feedbackmeasuresinfluence.Weknowthat democraticleadershipinvolvesinfluencingothers. Whenagrouphasbeensuccessfulinraisingmoney foracommunityproject,theycanrightfullyfeelthat theywereinfluential.Ifthegrouphadfailedintheir efforttoraisethemoney,oneofthereasonscouldbe thattheywerenotinfluentialinthecommunity.If yourgrouptakestheactionyouwantthemtotake, youhavebeeninfluential;ifitdoesnot,thenyou werenotinfluential. Feedbackprovidesamethodofeliminating miscommunication.Itismosteffectiveinface-to-face conversationwherefeedbackisinstantaneous.Ifa groupleaderasksoneofthemembersforsomeideas onprojectsforthenextyearandthemembersuggests havingtravelfilms,theleaderknowsimmediatelythat miscommunicationhasoccurred.Thegroupmember suggestedprogramideasandnotprojectideas.The feedbackwouldbeeffectiveiftheleaderwereto immediatelyclarifythedifferencebetweenprograms andprojects.Hadthesituationnotbeenface-to-face, thegroupmembermightstillbethinkingoftravel filmsfornextyear'sproject.THETWO-STEPFLOWOFCOMMUNICATIONWewillnowlookatanothercommunication process,thetwo-stepflow.Thisprocessoccurswhen messagesarerelayedthroughathirdpersonfromthe sendertothereceiver.6AsshowninFigure6,thesender,A,selects messagesfromtheavailableinformationhewishesto transmittoC,thereceiver.Boththesenderandthe receivermaybeeitherindividualsorgroups. Forinstance,Amightbethenationalorstate presidentofavoluntaryassociationwhichhaslocal clubsinnumerouscommunities.Inachievingthe goalsoftheassociation,thenationalorstate presidentwilllikelyneedtocommunicatetothe members,C,inthedifferentlocalclubs. Sincethenationalorstatepresidentisunlikelyto communicatedirectlywitheachindividualmemberof theassociation,weneedathirdperson,B,torelay themessagesfromthesendertothereceiver.Bis

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page7oftenreferredtoastheopinionleader,thegroup Figure6.leader,orthegatekeeper.Thelocalgroupleader (possiblythepresidentorsecretaryofthelocalclub) selectsinformationfromA'smessagesandtransmits itontoC,thereceiversorlocalclubmembers.Thus, wehavetwo-stepflow;fromAtoBandfromBtoC. Thetwo-stepflowcanworkjustaswellinthe oppositedirection. KeytoSuccess. Bisthekeytosuccessofthetwostepflow.Weknowthatnotwopeoplehaveexactly thesamemeaningforamessage.ItisuptoB, however,toinsurethatA'smessage,whenrelayedto C,isascloseaspossibletowhatAactuallysaid. Otherwise,Cwillnotcomprehendthemessageinthe waythatAwanted.Forthisreason,Ashouldrequire feedbackfromBtoseeifBunderstoodcorrectly,and BshouldrequirefeedbackfromCtoseeifC understoodcorrectlywhatwasrelayedtohim.If possible,Ashouldtry,fromtimetotime,togetdirect feedbackfromCtoseeifBisrelayingthemessages properly. Yourgroupcanpracticecommunication improvementbysettingupatwo-stepsituation.Have onememberbeAandtransmitamessagetoanother memberwhoisB.Themessageshouldbewritten downasacheckonaccuracy.Bwillthentransmit themessagetoCwhoisplayedbyathirdgroup member.BothBandCprovidefeedbacktoAwho determineshowaccuratelythemessagewasrelayed. Throughpracticesessionssuchasthese,your groupmemberscandevelopthehabitofproviding feedbacktoindicatetheproximityofmeaningsand alsodevelopskillsinrelayingmessages.Both feedbackandmessagerelayareimportantto successfulgroupcommunication.INFLUENTIALCOMMUNICATIONFACTORSThreethingsaboutthesenderofamessageaffect thereceptabilityofhismessagebythereceiver.7They are: credibility objectivity expertness Thesethreeaspectsofthesenderareinter-related intheireffectonthereceiver.Thereceiver,inorder tobelievethemessageorrespondinthewaythe senderwantshimto,mustperceivethesenderas credible,objective,andexpertinthearea.Ifyour serviceclubwantedtostudycommunityjuvenile delinquencyanditscure,whomwouldyoubringinas guestspeakers? Thepolicechief,countysheriff,probationofficer, orwelfaredirector,wouldbecrediblesourcesonthe extentofdelinquencyinyourarea.Apersonwhose windowswerebrokenseveraltimesbyvandalsmight wellbecredible,butheisnotlikelytobeobjective, norwillhebeanexpert. Wheninvitingaspeakerwhocouldgiveadviceon curesfordelinquency,aprobationofficerorsomeone fromthestatetrainingschoolwouldbemostlikely perceivedascredible,objective,andexpert.However, iftheprobationofficerortrainingschoolstaff memberclaimedthattheirmethodsforcuring delinquencywerebest,theywouldlosetheir objectivity.Ifthereceiversperceivedthis,the messageswouldnotbeacceptedaseasilyasthey wouldifthesenderwereobjective.

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page8Ifthesendertellsuswhatwewanttohear,he Figure7. CommunicationPatterns:A)Circle,B)Chainwillhavelittledifficultygettingustoacceptthe message.However,manytimesthesenderhastotell ussomethingwedonotwanttohear.Whenthis happens,hemustbecredible(someonetheaudience willperceiveastrustworthy),objective(onewholooks atallsidesoftheproblembeforemakinganimpartial decision),anexpert(onewhoisqualifiedtocomment ontheprobleminquestion).COMMUNICATIONPATTERNSThediagramsshowthecommunicationpatterns mostfrequentlyused.Thelargedotrepresentsthe senderortheleader,whilethesmallerdotsindicate thereceiversorothergroupmembers. Eachofthefourpatternspresentsonebasicand seriouscommunicationsproblem.Thatis,nogroup membercommunicatesdirectlywitheveryother groupmember.Threeofthepatternsdonotallow eachmembertocommunicatedirectlywiththe leader. Inthe circle (Figure7a),thegroupmember communicatesonlywiththepersonsnexttohim.A messagefromtheleaderislikelytobechanged considerablybythetimeitcompletesthecircleand getsbacktohim. Withthe chain (Figure7b),wehavethesame problemasinthecircle.Thelastmanmaygeta differentmessagethanthatwhichtheleader transmitted.Anevenworseproblemhereisthatthe sendergetsnofeedback;hedoesn'tknowhowmuch themessageisdistorted. The"Y"(Figure8a)isafurthercomplicationof thechain.Ithasallthecommunicationproblemsof thecircleandthechainandtheadditionaloneof Figure8. CommunicationPatterns:A)Y,B)Wheel.havingthreeseparategroupswhocancommunicate onlythroughtheleader. The wheel (Figure8b)isthebestofthefour. Theleadercancommunicatedirectlywitheachgroup member.However,allofthegroupmemberscannot communicatewitheachother.Thispatterncanbe usedinallgroupsthataresmallenoughtoallow directcommunicationbetweentheleaderandeach member.Largergroupsarealmostforcedtousethe otherpatternsormodificationsofthem. Ifyourgroupcannotusethewheelpattern,your bestinsuranceagainstmessagedistortionisprompt feedback.Remember,theleadersareresponsiblefor implementingandutilizingfeedback. Leadersshouldnote,however,thatasgroups growinnumericalsize,feedbackbecomesmore formalized.Althoughthegoalofourcommunication istogetthereceivertotakesomeappropriateaction, weneedtohavefeedbackfromgroupmembersin waysotherthanovertaction.Wemay,forinstance, wanttoinsurethatthemeaningwasunderstoodor getanopinionfromthereceiveronthemessage contentwithouthimtakinganyovertactionatthe presenttime. Severalmethodscanbeusedtogetsuch feedback.Amongthemethodsareevaluationsheets, verbalreportsfromaudience,listeningteams, questioncards,orreportsandquestionsfrom individualmembers. Ifagroupissmallenoughthateachmembercan communicatewitheveryothermember,theyhavean idealsituation.Communicationwillbeveryinformal andthesender'sgoalofacceptanceofthetransmitted messageismorelikelytobeachieved.This modified

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page9wheel patterndiagramssuchacommunicativeprocess (Figure9).SUMMARYCommunicationisoneoftheessentialelements ofleadership.Throughthecommunicationprocess, leadersattempttoinfluencethebehaviorofothers towardgoals.The Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver modelpresentedinthispublicationisoneframework whichleaderscanusetohelpgainabetter understandingofthecommunicationprocess. The sender andthe receiver ofamessageare bothaffectedbyfiveimportantfactors: communicationskills;attitudes;knowledgelevel; socialposition;andculture. The message iswhatthesenderattemptsto transmittothereceiver.Everymessagehasatleast twomajoraspects:contentandtreatment. Therearetwotypesof channels.Thesensory channelsarethefivesensesofsound,sight,touch, smell,andtaste.Theinstitutionalizedchannelsof communicationincludeface-to-faceconversation, printedwords,andtheelectronicmedia.A combinationofchannels,sensoryand institutionalized,isgenerallymoreeffectiveonthe receiver'sattentiontothemessage. The receiver playsthefinalroleinthe communicationprocess.Thereceiverdeterminesthe neteffectofthemessagebyacceptingornot acceptingthemessage. Feedback helpsthesenderdeterminethe proximityofhisandthereceiver'smeaningforthe message.Italsohelpstopreventmiscommunication and,mostimportant,measurestheamountof influencethesenderhadonthereceiver. The two-stepflowofcommunication ishelpfulin analyzingcommunicationeventswhenmessagesare relayedthroughthirdpersonsfromthesendertothe receiver.Thethirdpersonsareoftenreferredtoas opinionleaders,groupleaders,orgatekeepers.Since thethirdpersonscanpermitsomemessagestocome totheattentionofthegroupwhileblockingout others,itisessentialthattheybegroup-oriented leadersratherthanself-oriented. Inordertoachievemaximumeffectivenesswith Figure9. CommunicationPattern:ModifiedWheel.thereceiver,thesenderofthemessagemustbe perceivedas credible, objective and expert. Ifoneormoreofthesefactorsisabsent,the receiverislesslikelytoattendtothemessageand taketheappropriateaction.Thisisanevengreater problemwhenthesendertransmitsamessagethe receiverdoesnotlikenorcaretohear. Insmallergroups,allmemberscancommunicate witheachotherandtheleader.Largergroupscannot dothisbuttheycanimprovetheircommunicationby judicioususeoffeedback.Feedbackcanhelpreduce miscommunicationinlargegroups.SUGGESTIONSFORLEADERSThefollowinghintsshouldhelpleadersimprove theirinterpersonalcommunication. 1.Inselectingthecontentanddeterminingthe treatmentforthemessage,thesendershouldtake intoconsiderationthereceiver's: a.communicationsskills b.attitudes c.knowledgelevel d.socialposition e.culture 2.Thesendershouldusemorethanone communicationchanneltoachievemaximum effectiveness. 3.Thesendershouldstrivetoinsureaccurate messagerelay.

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CommunicationProcessandLeadership Page104.Thesendershouldinsistonadequatefeedbackto: a.reducemiscommunication b.determineproximityofmeanings c.measuretheleader'sinfluence 5.Thesendershouldbe: a.credible b.objective c.expert 6.Groupscanachievebetterintra-group communicationbyinsuringadequate communicationbetweenallmembersandthe leaders.Communicationcanbeimprovedifall memberscancommunicatewitheachother. However,largergroupswhichcannotdothiscan improvecommunicationbyusingfeedbackand accuratemessagerelay.ENDNOTES1.Yarborough,J.Paul."AModelfortheAnalysis ofReceiverResponsestoCommunication." UnpublishedPh.D.dissertation.Library,Iowa StateUniversity.Ames,Iowa.1968. 2.ThematerialfortheSMCRmodelwasadapted forusefromDavidK.Berol, TheProcessof Communication:AnIntroductiontoTheoryand Practice,Chapter3,(Holt,RinehartandWinston. NewYork,1960). 3.Yarborough,op.cit.,pp.5-7. 4.Beal,GeorgeM.,etal."CommunicationImpact," RuralSociologyReportNo.41.Departmentof SociologyandAnthropology,IowaState University,Ames,Iowa.1967,pp.6-7. 5.Yarborough,op.cit.,pp.15-16. 6.Westley,BruceH.andMalcolmS.MacLeanJr. "AConceptualModelforCommunications Research." DimensionsinCommunication .James H.CampbellandHalW.Helper-(editors). Belmont,Calif:WadsworthPublishingCo.,1965. 7.Yarborough,op.cit.,p.20.