Indirect Communication And Business Ethics
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Yes, sympathy/grief is certainly an example of a “negataive” situation. Let’s continue to analyze more common negative messages in a business context. As discussed in the lead in to this lesson, is the indirect strategy misleading? An example?
A personal situation in which a communicator used an incorrect channel to convey a message was when a manager sent us mass texts to announce that a new coffee machine was available. The message went to both the correct and incorrect recipients, including employees that did not work in that particular office. It was an incorrect channel because the message reached the wrong audience, and the communicator failed to utilize the option for face-to-face communication. It would have been wiser to hold back on the excitement and wait for a moment when most people who worked at the office were available. Instead, the mass messages made members of other departments waiting for their machines to believe that the news communicated a new arrangement for getting coffee. A channel should suit the type of message (Honey, 2019), and the misuse of such channels can make the communicator appear to be phony (Wiles, 2017). Since it was uncourteous to keep them waiting for their machines, they continued using our machine, inconveniencing us and disrupting some routine work activities. Therefore, the channel was incorrect and inefficient in relaying the message.
The indirect strategy is appropriate for managing the emotional aspects of a communicational exchange, and the initial contents of the communication are not meant to be false. Instead, the initial or introductory contents should enrich the context of the main message or core information. Such contents help to gradually build a case for the importance, relevance, or meaning of the central message and establish a relationship with the audience (Ghislain & Casler, 2011). For example, communicating a message of grief requires building some context on the strength and courage that the recipient needs to maintain and the meaningfulness of grief. Thus, the indirect strategy helps reduce shock, anxiety or minimize trauma for the recipients. The strategy can also apply to relaying a positive message by building a context of its meaningfulness to demonstrate the reason for appreciating or embracing good things, successes, or endeavors.
Ghislain, T., & Casler, K. (2011). Indirect Communication and Business Ethics: Kierkegaardian Perspectives. Business & Professional Ethics Journal, 30(3/4): 307-330. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41340861.
Honey, M. (2019). How to pick the most effective communication channels at work. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from https://slack.com/intl/en-ke/blog/collaboration/pick-communication-channels-at-work.
Wiles, J. (2017). How to Choose the Right Communications Channel. Gartner. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/corporate-communications-four-steps-to-choosing-the-right-communication-channel/.
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