Hello Becky

1. You need to talk to Becky—what would you say?

Hello Becky. How are you? How's things with you? It's lovely to see you in my home this evening. Becky, a word in your shell-like. That's the reason I called you to my home and thank you for coming. Becky you are a very senior supervisor with 21 years of service with this company. I don't know whether I can say you this or not. I have been observing you at the work place for a long time. I'm sorry to say you this Becky, your performance is sliding and the work done by you is often found to be lacking and now -a-days you are not taking any extra work. We can help you in your work if you have any problem. I think as a senior supervisor you should be an inspiration to us but your attitude towards customers is worrying. I think kindness towards the customers helps the company as our company survives in this competitive world through its reputation for customer service. Your attitude shouldn't put someone's back up and it is a real eye-opener for everybody in the company. And even I have a cross word with the manager that Becky is not that kind of lady; I think she might have some personal problems, so that might be the reason for her behavior. As there is only two years of time for your retirement I suggest you to work very hard and improve your performance. Please don't think I'm bossing you around .Cheer up Becky, things will get better. You are a good supervisor in the company for a long time and I don't like people speaking ill of you that is the reason I thought I'll take the plunge and say you this. I'm very sorry if this hurts you but I think we are going to lose a good supervisor within two years of time. Thank you, Becky for kindly listening to me.

2. Explain the factors that would make the communication successful.

Factors that would make the communication successful are:

Attitude: Attitudes are continual thoughts and beliefs that activate you to react or behave in certain ways (Honey, 1997).Attitudes have a lot to answer for. Whenever there is a problem with the behavior of a person, attitudes tend to get blamed as a villain of the piece. There are two ways to bring the change in their attitude. One is persuasion by which we can show them that it is in their interest to change their attitude. So the changed attitude will automatically result in a changed behavior and the other is introduction of inducements for a behavioural change. Here we make some external changes to the situation in which the behavior is occurring. So the changed environment will result in a changed behavior. I think by persuasion there will be a change in Becky's behaviour.

Positive approach: Guirdham (1995) suggests that a positive approach will emphasize the pleasant aspects of a situation rather than the unpleasant aspects and makes the communication successful. This positive approach emphasizes the pleasant aspects especially when dealing with the matters that affect the other person. For example when talking to Becky instead of saying her change your attitude towards the customers, I said her that kindness towards the customers helps the company. Approaching in this way may change Becky's behaviour.

Behaviour: Honey (1997) suggests that attitudes and feelings are unseen where the behaviour is seen and is directly observable. The way we behave is important because the conclusions we reach about other people and the conclusions other people reach about us are based solely on the behaviour. We can modify others behaviour and attitudes only through our own behaviour. I think with the communication with Becky my behaviour affects Becky for the better. There are two styles in our behaviour one is autocratic style and the other is democratic style. My behaviour towards Becky was in a democratic style where I was asking her rather than telling, suggesting her few things and listening to her. Behaviour is of two types: one is verbal behaviour and the other is Non-verbal behaviour.

Verbal behaviour is broken down into categories like suggesting, seeking clarification, explaining, supporting etc. In communication with Becky I was suggesting her to work more and improve her performance and was supporting her.

Non-verbal behaviour is also called as visual behaviour covers a wide range of different aspects like facial expressions, eye contact, hand movements and gestures with our hands and arms.

Listening: “If you are at all typical, listening takes up more of your waking hours than any other activity” (Bolton, 1979). Most of the important facets of our life are greatly influenced by our listening skills. Only few people are good listeners. There are many listening skills like attending skills, following skills and reflecting skills. Attending skills refer to eye contact and non distracting environment, following skills refer to infrequent questions and attentive silence, reflecting skills refers to reflective feelings and reflecting meanings. The other person gets 100% of your attention when you listen to them without interrupting. When communicating with Becky I was maintaining a good eye contact and there was a non distractive environment where there was no disturbance which makes the communication successful.

Openness: “If you are open with people they will tend to reciprocate by being more open themselves” (Honey, 1997). Being open and honest about what we are thinking will be efficient and helpful in communicating successfully. Unless you are open in revealing all your thoughts, feelings and motives people are compelled to take pleasure in speculation. In communication with Becky, I openly expressed my feelings and revealed all my thoughts which help in improving her performance.

3. Identify potential blockages in communication and explain how these are likely to affect your communication with Becky.

Potential blockages or barriers in communication are

Language Barrier:

Language barriers occur when two people from different countries are communicating with each other or if one feels uncomfortable with the language of others (Katz, 1947). As my first language is not English Becky may not feel comfortable with my language. She might not understand the accent which I speak. As Becky is not familiar with my expressions, buzz-words and jargon she might feel uncomfortable during the conversation. So I think this would affect the communication with Becky.

Emotional Barrier:

While communicating with people we may have to deal with them even though they are upset or we are upset. A person who is upset tends to ignore or distort what the other person is saying and is often unable to present feelings and ideas effectively. When a person is mentally blocked for some reasons like they may have fear or some worries or some urgent works to be done, they cannot put their attention towards the communication. There are many other things rotating in their mind. Sometime we get emotional when we are dealing with any subject that is against our interests or feelings. An emotional factor plays an important role in the communication of message (Ong et al, 1995). In communication with Becky she might ignore my words because she is already upset and she might not present all the feelings and ideas before me. So in this way emotional barrier affects the communication with Becky.


Most of the employees in the organization face a major communication barrier called stress. When a person is under huge stress, he or she may find difficult to understand the message which we convey to them, ultimately leads to communication distortion. When a person is under stress, his or her psychological frame of mind depends on their experiences, values, goals and beliefs. Thus they fail to realize the significance of communication and this would affect the communication.

Social Barriers:

If we need to talk to someone to share the information and if they are violent or abusive towards us, then we don't communicate with them and even they will feel the same way. The consequences of social barriers would be that if I'm trying to communicate with her, and if one part of the communication or conversation is violent or abusive it would be impossible to talk to Becky. This might affect the communication.

Perceptual Barriers:

The problem in communication with people is that everybody sees the world differently.Perceptual barriers are nothing but the experiences that cause a contortion of the communication (Hatfield and Huseman, 1982). An example of perceptual barriers would be like the other person with whom we are communicating cannot be trusted because of past experiences. Then she may form a different opinion about the communication without effectively listening. In my conversation with Becky she may not trust me because of her past experiences. So this would affect the communication.


Bolton, R. (1979) People Skills. Newyork: Prentice Hall.

Guirdham, M. (1995) Interpersonal Skills At Work. 2nd edn. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.

Hatfield, J. D. & Huseman, R. C. (1982) ‘Perceptual Congruence about Communication as Related to Satisfaction: Moderating Effects of Individual Characteristics'. The Academy of Management Journal. 25(2) pp. 349-358.

Honey, P. (1997) Improve Your People Skills. 2nd edn. London: CIPD.

Katz, D. (1947) ‘Psychological Barriers to Communication'. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 250 pp. 17-25.

Ong, L. M. L., De haes, J. C. J. M., Hoos, A. M. & Lammes, F. B. (1995) ‘Doctor-patient communication: A review of the literature'. Social Science & Medicine. 40(7) pp. 903-918.

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