Thursday, 28 April 2011

PERCEPTION & COMMUNICATION

Perception often occurs when people gather a stereotype of what they perceive a person to be like, Mullins (2010) suggests that we all have our own ‘world’, our own way of looking at and understanding our environment and the people within it . This could be due to the many things which differentiate people such as age, gender, race, attitudes, values, beliefs, past experiences, stereotypes and background. Things seen or heard in the media is often the underlying cause of these perceptions and interpretations. Robbins et al, 2010 suggested that perception, is the process by which individuals organise and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give a meaning to their environment.
Perceptions are often made with being in the presence of someone in thirty seconds, very quickly. These first impressions are often what influence the way a person is perceived. Within a business environment this often occurs in an selection, interview situation, however the interviewer needs to be fair and treat candidates equally. For instance, if the candidate is a graduate, on one hand they have good qualifications and are intelligent where as on the other hand was previously a student, who are notoriously lazy. This kind of stereotypes are difficult to hide however they may exist because they’re true, therefore need to be taken into consideration however they are often a representation of the minority.
Personally, perceptions are made daily. Sometimes more than others for example whilst walking around a shopping centre or walking into a lecture theatre. A perception I made which was incorrect was the first day at university, the room filled with what were to potentially be close friends throughout my studies, I judged people on how they spoke, how much they contributed to a discussion, what they were wearing, who they were sitting with, where they were from also psychological factors such as personality and motivation. However after a few weeks of getting to know the other students, many of my perceptions altered. My perception changed due to working with them, observing them, socialising with them also seeing their results made me judge people differently. I have something in common with all the people studying the same course however fascinating how different each person, mainly due to where they live or have grown up.
Charles Handy suggested that there are four cultures including Power, Task, Person and Role Culture. Person culture relates mostly to perception and communication, it involves people being able to fully express and make decisions for themselves.

It is essential that especially within a work/ institution environment that there is good communication otherwise conflict can be caused.  The definition is that communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient also dictionary.com suggests the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.
By looking at CIPD’s, how to improve staff communication article I have identified three ways in which the university can improve communication with the students. Firstly it is important to understand that students studying the same course all  have something in common a ‘collective goal’ therefore giving students a sense of shared purpose. Secondly individual meetings/feedback regularly, face-to-face communication is highly valued. Skills & confidence gained from a meaningful two way conversation as part of assessment and development, also a very positive way of keeping the personal touch. Rather than e.g. Virtually- results & feedback online e.g. email, blog comments. Thirdly survey to use as a method of understanding and measuring effectiveness of internal communication is a great way to measure results.
References
Jane Godson lecture notes (Week 9)
Books
Mullins, L,J. (2009) Management & Organisational Behaviour. 9th Ed. Essex: Pearson Education Limited
Online
CIPD Survey results. How to improve staff Communication [Online]. Available from: Peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2010/07/how-to-improve-staff-communication.htm [Accessed 10th April 2011]
Dictionary. Definition of communication [Online]. Available from:  Dictionary.reference.com  [Accessed 10th April 2011]
Lancs. Perception Images-chapter four [Online] Available from: Lancs.ac.uk [Accessed 10th April 2011]

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