What barriers to communication are evident in this fable?
The barriers to communication that are evident in this fable are Interpersonal barrier and selective listening. Interpersonal barrier happens when an individual do not listen to the speaker objectively due to reasons like lack of trust, bad reputation and prejudices. This is evident when smaller walruses are afraid of speaking to the Old Man. Besides having a bad temper, it only shows that the Old Man does not put faith and trust into his followers. To the Old man, the smaller walruses had already earned themselves a bad reputation due to their previous failed attempt at catching of herring and furthermore, the Old Man did shows prejudices that only his second in command can be trusted. Selective listening is when an individual only hear the things which is pleasant to his or her own ears. When the Basil told the Old Man that they several walruses had already left the herd and a herd is only as good as the walruses in it. Selective listening is evident in this scenario as the Old Man only chooses to focus on the positive portion of Basils reporting.
What communications lessons does this fable offer to those who are serious about careers in the new workplace? The communication lessons that this fable able to offer to those who are serious about careers in the new workplace is to be effective communicator, not to be bias and factual reporting. If an individual is an effective communicator, he or she will be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, bosses and subordinates and thus eliminate and misunderstanding and cause unhappiness. An individual also must not be bias when communicating in the workplace. Even when discussing work matter with a colleague that he or she dislike, one must be professional and relate all information as one must be professional to separate work from personal opinion. Lastly, individual must have the integrity and courage to report any problems, incidents or happening to the boss without leaving out any details that he boss might not like to hear. By doing so, the problem that the company is facing will be permanently solved as the management can apply any counter measures appropriately.
Discuss the communication barriers, active listening challenges, and cross-cultural challenges in your organization. In my current organization, the communication barriers that can occur will be with the old Malay and Indian direct labours from Malaysia. Majority of these older crews are low educated and hence their proficiency in the English language is poor. As I am not able to speak Tamil or Malay, sometimes it can be difficult to pass down my instructions effectively and have them follow it. To work around this issue, I will have to enlist the help of my Malay colleagues or subordinate to do translation. Some older driver I encountered does also have the issue of active listening. When an instruction is to pass to assist in taking photos of a certain premise along their daily route, the end results is always beg to differ. AS a result, there are many instances that I have to rely on myself to get things done.
What action has your boss taken to minimize these communication challenges? For new employees, be it driver or crew, we will have them undergo an Enhanced Service Quality lecture. It will be conducted by a same language speaking executive teaching them the right ways to carry out their daily duty and the expectation of them. As such, for any mistake spotted, I will just have to point and say it in simple English to transmit the intention.
Are the actions effective?
The action is just only beginning to roll out. So far, we do see there a small level of improvement, be it attire or quality of service rendered. We do have to accept this programme will need a long period of time to reap its results. Nevertheless we must not use communication barriers or language differences as a excuse to put the lives of our drivers and crews at risk.