BBUS1003 Active Listening and Effective Feedback on Business Communication Assessment A2 Answer
Topic: Active Listening and Effective Feedback on Business Communication
Communication plays a very important and vital role within an organisation not only to manage its internal activities but also to create a good relationship with its stakeholders. Initiating open communication process helps companies to get and give feedback on different aspects especially customers can provide their feedback whereas the company representatives are also able to respond to the customers. In such a communication process, the role of active listening becomes an essential element as without active listening, responding to messages as well as getting and giving feedback becomes difficult. This report, therefore, focuses on the importance of active listening and effective feedback on organisations as well as on both internal and external communication process.
The listening process mainly consists of the five steps that are receiving, interpreting, remembering, evaluating and responding. These five steps are a continuous process. The message of a speaker is received at first which the receiver interpreted and remember the same to evaluate the meaning and respond (Jones, Bodie and Hughes, 2019). If anyone of the processes like remembering and evaluating is not done properly, responding properly to the queries or questions put forward by the speaker will become impossible. According to Worthington and Bodie (2018), active listeners never jump onto find solutions when the speaker is still speaking, rather listens entirely to understand the ideas, opinions and concerns of the speaker. It is obvious from this fact that active listeners are more structured in finding solutions for issues that the speaker is trying to convey which is beneficial in any organisational setting for resolving conflicts between customers and employees and between employees and managers (Jonsdottir and Fridriksdottir, 2019). As in the current case, the value of active listening lies in the fact that through active listening, it is possible to provide possible solutions, more specifically a temporary resolution to the customers who are angry over bad quality products.
Three benefits of active listening:
Active listening has several benefits including but not limited to avoiding misunderstanding, overcoming disagreement as well as building a good relationship. As active listeners always try to listen fully to the speaker, it helps the listener to understand what the speaker is trying to say which helps in avoiding mix-up of information and consequently misunderstanding (Jones, Bodie and Hughes, 2019). Moreover, active listeners can identify the loopholes in the message portrayed by the speaker and therefore helps the speaker to understand the mistakes in their message which in turn helps in overcoming disagreement between the speaker and receiver (Worthington and Bodie, 2018). As both misunderstanding and disagreement are resolved through active listening, active listeners can develop a good relationship with the speaker. In the current case scenario, active listening by the employee regarding customer complaints and concerns on faulty products can help in resolving disagreement and misunderstanding and thereby can help in developing a good relationship with them.
Barriers in listening in a diverse workplace:
Some of the barriers of active listening include noise in the workplace including the noise of customers and other employees talking to each other as well as the noise of mobile phone ring tones. This distracts the receiver from listening and hampers the entire active listening process. Secondly, the physical working environment can also create difficulty in listening. If a workplace is highly congested, it is ideal for active listening, rather a spacious workplace can provide a better environment for listening. However, individual psychological factors including anxiety, stress and personal characteristics like cognitive dissonance can also create barriers in active listening in a diverse workplace (Rani, 2016).
Constructive feedback in developing an open organisational culture:
Organisational culture is about the beliefs, shared values and artefacts about an organisation. For developing an open organisational culture, the shared values and beliefs need to be understood and promoted throughout the organisation. The constructive feedback process in the words of Ramani et al., (2017), allows the company to create open communication process where the low-level employees can also provide feedback to the supervisors and the supervisors are also able to provide feedback to the top management. However, as argued by Riivari and Lämsä (2019), it is necessary that the feedback needs to be always positive or negative, but both the positive and negative feedback is necessary based on the situation. Through the feedback from an employee who is managing the customers to the supervisor, the management can improve on the business activities and operations while the supervisor feedback to the employee on how to deal with the customers can help the employees develop better interpersonal skills to deal with angry and annoying customers. In this way, an open organisational culture through open communication process can be developed which is beneficial for the growth of business whether small or large.
How would I approach to supervisor to outline customer complaints:
Based on the scenario where angry customers have lashed on me for faulty products, I need to provide feedback to the supervisor about the quality of products and the number of angry, non-satisfied customers. However, as I have also made mistakes by rudely replying to a few of them, providing the same to the supervisor may not be fruitful for me. In such a situation, I would go for a paper-based feedback method or a written report detailing customer issues. In order to reduce the communication gap, I would also prefer a face-to-face discussion with the supervisor where I can express my anodynes with the customers and the methods that I used to deal with them. It can help me to get proper feedback from the supervisor and at the same time, based on my feedback on customer complaints, the supervisor can also be able to take required measures to resolve the customer complaints.
From the above analysis, it becomes quite clear that active listening has a very important role to play within the organisation. It is, in fact, one of the best methods for internal and external communication management in relation to customers and employees. It is found out that active listening not only allows resolving to misunderstand but also can be highly beneficial in developing good relationship as a response to customers is fully dependent on how the message from the customers are perceived and understood. Even though diverse workplace comes with a number of barriers to active listening, active listeners always try to find out the methods to continue with their active listening process. Another important aspect identified in the above scenario is constructive feedback. Feedback on the communication process helps in identifying the loopholes and can help in strengthening the weakness of the communication process.