Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Communication Presentation

My contribution to our group presentation: 

Communication generally involves two parties, the contributor and the receiver. The contributor or sender encodes the particular idea or piece of information by selecting words symbols or gestures to compose a message (weather that be spoken, email, text, instant message, tweeting or pen and paper

Here is a quick animation explaining the Cheney model using an example:

George Cheney created a model demonstrating the communication process (as shown) which was published in 2011 in his book “organizational communication in an age of globalization” (explain model) the problems arises with the noise, which is anything that distorts the message. The noise can be physical (such as hardware failure), language barriers or even emotions.

The following are examples of “process barriers” from a guide to communication in the Americann schooling system, which lists 100’s of examples of barrier examples.

 It is the combination of these individual elements that form the quality of the communication, meaning that a problem in any one of these elements can reduce the effectiveness. 

However it can be argued that listening, or becoming the “receiver” is the most important part of communication. it is the role of the listener to actively “decode” the message and more importantly provide feedback. It could be argued that the sender is providing the best quality message from a personal point meaning that they can do no more, and it is the receiver’s responsibility to return feedback in the form of a question, commonly referred to as being an active listener.

Communication in different Environments.
The way we communicate is also significantly affected by our environment.

  • Sport – quick precise needs to get a clear message across as quickly as possible
  • Mates – very informal, non linear -  and not always a clear purpose
  • Working office environment  – efficient, focused, Professional – working towards a goal
  • Military – efficient precise – almost another language.
  • Law court 
  • Teaching 

exceptions apply, but in general,

  • You wouldn't talk to your boss like you would to a mate.
  • You wouldn't include general polite greetings such as “how are you today” in a professional email 
The different environments all have unique methods and attitudes towards communication. Many involve similar elements. An example of this would be efficiency, ie. Communicating an idea or piece of information in the least amount of word or smallest message possible seen in the military, emergency situations and sport – all the extra unnecessary words just add to the noise, making it harder for the receiver. This could be idealised as “too much communication”

Here are modes of communication within just one example of an office working environment

This is a list I made of our communication modes we use to collaborate within our group.
For our work on the steering wheel, we adopted a slower more working paced and informative approach making sure each team member is on the same page, and is informed about working roles, upcoming submissions, and project briefs. Using facebook groups and messenger as a forum style page, where we can ask questions and submit interesting or important links can be recorded.

Drawing off what Andrew from cox architects said in last week’s lecture the business company model – or how the business is run can also effect communication. Andrew said that the workflow at his office followed a top down design approach, and that only now because of the introduction of grasshopper that more elements from bottom up design are emerging. 

This is common in a hierarchical approach, however I found a popular networking method is being more commonly used in smaller run businesses. 


The general feedback we received was a good definition of communication and the common methods of communication, however we spent to much time explaining what communication is and how it can be used - but lacked how we used it in our group. - (although refer to the table I created above on modes of communication)


We were reminded about not incorporating the word "collaboration" into our presentation which was highly stressed, as it is the name of the course. 

Possible ways we could  have included this is creating a slide mentioning how communication can be specialized for collaborating and how we have collaborated as a group.

Networking vs Hierarchy

It wasn't until we were asked what method we were using, until we realised we should change our system. Previously we were adopting the networking approach which resulted in the repetition of a few elements in the project. We have since elected a group leader (myself) to insure the tasks required are completed and allocated so work is efficient and directed.

Communication with our clients

A fellow colleague asked a interesting question about how we are going to communicate with the our clients, or the people who are going to be using the steering wheel.

After discussing with our group I have created a list of possibilities:

  • Constant communication with the main client (Russell) - this will ensure our finished product meeting his expectations, and if we encounter any problems, we have time to fix them
  • Alpha/Beta testing, we have set our goals to finish the wheel in week 11 - This allows us to test the machine ourselves and use our colleagues as volunteers, which again using this information to make changes before the submission date
In terms of making the usability as best as possible ie. (communicating intent to the client). we plan to
  • Issue a set of instructions - whether that be in the simulation, or a physical copy
  • Make the simulation as user friendly as possible - making the truck realistic, wheel feel natural ect. 

It was also the client/our intention to document the creation of the wheel, making it possible for others to replicate the system, with our goal of cost reduction, using easy to obtain/recycled materials.
This is to be a set of "blueprints" which communicates a set of assembly instructions or a "recipe".

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