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Ethical Communication for Business

Communication and Ethics: A Review

At the heart of team effectiveness lies communication, and research into organisational team effectiveness repeatedly identifies communication styles and communication skills as the key indicators for successful collaboration. Indeed, you would have experienced team work within your own assessment as a university student. For some, team work is an enjoyable experience, and is perceived to enhance the overall performance outcome in a process known as social facilitation. For others, team work can be a stressful experience, perceived as an obstacle to achieving the best possible outcome. Working effectively as a team is more than just a university exercise. The vast body of research into team work and team effectiveness is an indication of the importance placed on team work in the modern workplace. Browse through any job advertisements and position description, and references to an “ability to work effectively as a part of a team” is a common theme. Why are some people better at working together with others? Why do some teams perform better than others?

In this essay, you will explore the complexities of organisational team work, and examine the skills and attributes it takes for individual team members to become effective team players. The purpose of this exercise is to discover evidence-based strategies for improving the team working capabilities of yourself and others. To do this successfully, you will need to begin by reviewing the literature on team work and team effectiveness in organisations. 

 Suggested structure for your essay 

Introduction: 

In the introduction section, you would provide an overview of the essay topic and present the specific angle and structure of your essay. This is usually done by sign-posting how your essay is structured and what your conclusion is. 

broad definitions and key terms: 

The literature review forms an important section of your main body, and will typically begin with some basic definitions of key terms. Key terms in this essay may be (but not limited to) team work, team effectiveness, team performance, team communication etc. Definitions and explanations provide a helicopter view of what has been written about the broad topic of your essay. Here, you would be expected to provide definitions and references from scholarly sources. 

Reviewing communication and team work:

In this second section of your literature review, you would narrow your focus to specific concepts and studies that relate specifically to the communication component of team work. Here, you will once again review the literature with reference to studies that have examined the relationship between communication and team effectiveness. Communication is a broad field of study, and there may be many aspects of communication that you might choose to focus on. 

Linking team work, communication and ethics:

In this last section of your review, you would need to provide a deeper link between team work, communication and ethics. There is a growing interest in the study of communication of the role of ethics, and the importance of ethical communication in team work. In this section, it will be useful for you to link your previous review of team work and communication to the need for ethics. This can be done by reviewing the literature on communication ethics, and making your own links to your previous discussion of team work. 


Answer

Introduction 

In any business, teamwork has a significant contribution towards the success of that business. A team is formed with a number of individuals who have some specific skills and qualities. These are used in association with the qualities of other individuals to meet the target and objectives of any business. Teamwork can be successful only if the teams members have the ability to synchronise with each other in order arrange the tasks assigned to them. The different members of a team play different roles which are complementary to each other. In order to accomplish any task assigned to a team, the team needs to be effective. The effectiveness of a team depends on their interrelationship which ultimately depends on the communication carried out by them. Communication is the most important factor affecting the team performance. There must be effective communication so that the team is able to develop a strong relationship with them so that they can work together in a convenient manner. Moreover, there are some ethics of communication which need to be followed in a business. 


In this essay, the various aspects related to teamwork and its effectiveness will be studied. The different terminologies like teamwork, team effectiveness and team performance will be explained in details. The focus of the study will be to discuss the importance of communication in teamwork. The different aspects of communication, as well as the types of communications which can be used in a business, will also be covered in details. In addition to this, a clear relationship in between teamwork, communication and ethics will also be discussed and explained. This study will be able to make the fact clear that an effective communication is a backbone to the formation of an efficient team as communication makes the people able to understand the aspects of any matter. 


Body 

Team building is the activity used for bringing about people with different skills and abilities together in order to make them work towards the attainment of a particular team. It basically deals with aligning the goals, creating effective relationships at work, reducing the ambiguity in the role of team members and finding solutions to the problems of the team. 

Teamwork refers to the process where a number of people come together to work in collaboration with each other towards a common goal. According to Carter et al. (2016, p.365) teamwork is a critical element of any business because in any business all the employees need to work with each other in order to achieve the goals of the organizations. In a team, all the team members have their own individual set of skills and they try to cooperate with each other by complementing the skills of each other and working effectively to find the solution to a specific problem. There are different functions which are carried out by a team. These functions can be broadly divided into three sections which are the transition process, action process and interpersonal process. As written by Chuang et al. (2016, p.524) transition processes include the analysis of the mission, specification of the goal and the formulation of the strategy. The action processes include the monitoring of the complete process, monitoring of the systems and the team as well as maintaining proper coordination. The interpersonal process includes managing the conflicts, motivating the team members and managing the effects of the actions of the team. 


Team effectiveness is basically the capability of the team to attain a specific goal while working with each other under the supervision of authorised personnel. All the members of a team are interdependent on each other and consider the complete team as the single unit and take a collective responsibility for the results of their tasks. In the opinion of D’Innocenzo et al. (2016, p.1970) effectiveness of a team can be determined on the basis of these factors. Firstly, the output achieved by the efforts of the team should be able to meet the parameters which have been set for the success of the given task. This should also abide by the standards of the organisation they are working for. Secondly, the team members must be able to work with each other in complete coordination and they should be able to understand the perspective of one another so that they can be able to produce better results in the future. Thirdly, the team must be able to learn things from one another in order to evolve as a perfect team along with being better individuals. 


The collective performance of all team members is known as the team performance. In order to achieve the desired goals, it is essential the team performance is optimum level. The team performance can be measured by comparing the output produced by the team with the outcome which was expected to be achieved by the team. It is important to make efforts for increasing the performance of the team so that there can be enhancements in the quality of their work. In the words of Kim et al. (2016, p.13564) the performance of a team depends on factors like clarity regarding the purpose of the team, roles, expected outcomes and the expectations of the organisation, capability to complete the tasks in an efficient manner, collaboration within the members of a team so that they can make effective use of resources, commitment towards the mission of the team in order to achieve the same, communication practices within the team which includes active listening and providing feedback, continuous improvement within the team so that the work process as well team effectiveness can be improved and creativity in the members to come with innovative ideas. 


It is essential to have a proper communication within the team so that the effort of a team is able to bring out fruitful results. Healthy communication within a team helps to build relationships to enable the sharing of ideas within themselves. Effective communication is very important as it acts a driver to professional development. Kuehn (2016, p.12) mentioned that the teams which are able to properly communicate within themselves are far more effective than the ones who are unable to do so. Effective communication also increases the time efficiency as well as the accuracy of the work they produce. This is because an appropriate communication helps a great deal to achieve clarity in several aspects. This also provides them with a better understanding of their roles in the team. 


Communication can be considered as an essential element of teamwork.According to Valls et al. (2016, p.770) communication is the means which is used for an effective sharing of information within the team.  Communication skills are very important as they have a direct impact on the team and its performance. In order to make a communication effective, it is essential that the members of the team should have an open mind and should be active listeners so that they can be able to develop an understanding of the goals and objectives. In this process, the team members are involved in putting forward their ideas and questions in order to clarify them and no assumptions are made. This adds to the accuracy of the tasks. Moreover, the training provided to employees can be effective only if the employees are able to communicate properly.


Effective communication has several direct and indirect impacts on the teamwork. In the opinion of Walker (2016, p.36) a proper establishment of the communication channels within a team facilitates an easy flow of information. This ultimately increases the ability of the employees to carry out interactions within themselves. The teammates are able to interact more effectively which provides them with a better understanding of their job and its performance. They are also able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the teammates so that they can make use of them for completing the tasks. In addition to this, any conflicts arising within can be solved by communicating with each other. It helps in preventing any misinterpretation of information,   thereby, enhancing the productivity of a team. 


There are different aspects of communication which have a significant role in making a communication effective. As per Ludders and McMillan (2017, p.92) these aspects listening, trusting, focus, Influence and confidence and clarity of a message.  In order to carry out an effective communication, it is important to listen to the one who is speaking for understanding the perspective of the speech and making use of the same in the commencement of the task. The leader of a team must be able to deliver his thoughts to the team in an efficient manner so that the members of the team can develop a trust in him. The existence of a proper trust within the team helps in avoiding any misunderstandings. This also helps in identifying any loopholes within the task and rectification of the same. Delany et al. (2017, p.5) explained that The leader of a team needs to maintain his focus and control in the situation of crisis so that it does not give rise to any stress. Focus helps in dealing with difficult situations which may arise while carrying out any task. Confidence is another important aspect of communication. 


The individual engaged in a communication must be confident to be able to influence the people about the facts he or she is sharing. Also, the team leader needs to influence the entire team with his speech which requires an optimum level of confidence in his tone. According to Baker et al. (2016, p.4) the perception of a message by the receivers greatly depends on the way the message is delivered. Another important aspect of communication is the message clarity. The message delivered to the employees must be clear so that it is understood in the same context as it is delivered. Communication must be persuasive in nature which means that a person who is communicating must be able to persuade the people to carry out the desired action. The amount of communication has a direct impact on team performance. The more is the communication; the better is the relationship among the team members and the performance of the team. 


There are some ethics which are essential for carrying out the communication within an organisation. Apart from carrying out effective communication, it is also important the ethics are maintained while communicating. Any point or a fact must be conveyed to the people without having offended the audience. Ghaferi and Dimick (2016, p.50) mentioned that the words and gestures should be judiciously used so that it does not hurt the sentiments of any individual. Maintaining relationship with the audience is another important ethical approach which needs to be followed without fail. It is important that the people listening to the speaker feel comfortable during the interaction. This can be done by making use of proper gestures by the speaker. Moreover, it needs to be considered that all essential data and information are conveyed to the audience and the crucial information should not be hidden. The information provided to the team members must be true and appropriate and the approach to explain these facts should be a friendly one. A communication can be called as ethical if the facts are conveyed accurately and honestly. The team must be provided with proper reasons of doing the task they are assigned with. This helps them to be clear in their approach and work effectively towards success. In a case of a failure to do this, the message may be misunderstood and misinterpreted which may prove to be a barrier to the achievement of the goals.  As per Logan (2016, p.50) communication not only has importance for an individual but also for the organisation as a whole. As it has been earlier established, communication has a vital role in teamwork; therefore it is essential that all members are aware of the ethics of communication. 


According to Brewer and Holmes (2016, p.296) there are different types of communication which can be used in an organisation. These are interpersonal, oral and written. Interpersonal communication refers to the communication within the group where they can interact with each other and be engaged in discussions with minimum restrictions. Written communication can be carried out with the help of different tools like emails, letters and memos. 


Oral communication is the communication which is done by verbally talking to each other. It is essential to make a proper choice of the communication type on the basis of need and scope of communication. All these types of communications require some specific skills which need to be possessed by people of the team. Also, in a business, a proper sequence needs to be followed for communicating. There are some protocols which need to be followed and different communication types are used for communicating at different levels.  As per Baker et al. (2016, p.4) use of ethical communication process helps in the overall improvement of the system by enabling transparency which helps in making healthy relationships with employees, stakeholders as well as other authorities associated with a business. An adequate level of transparency also facilitates an open discussion where the teammates can discuss various issues and find appropriate solutions to those. This is possible because transparency removes all kinds of fear within a team.   


Conclusion 

In this study, it has been established that teamwork is basically a sense of unity where different individuals come together as a single unit and provide their own contributions to the task assigned to them. Team performance is the summation of the performance of each of the members which make it necessary that all the members perform at an optimum level. The members of a team provide support to each other and help each other in identifying their weakness and overcoming the same. This helps them in increasing their effectiveness. It has also been found that there are several types of communication like interpersonal, oral and written communication and these are used in a business as per the requirements of the situation. There are some ethics which must be followed while communicating within an organisation. A major attention has been paid to the understanding the importance of communication for working in a team. A team which is not able to communicate properly will not be able to achieve its goals because there will not be a proper understanding of themselves.


In order to make a team work effective, training can be provided to them by making effective use of communication techniques. The role of the team members should be clear to them before the commencement of any task so that they can perform as per the expectations.  The communication within a team must be enhanced in order to increase the efficiency of the team as a whole. The importance of communication needs to be understood by the team in order to be effective. Hence it can be concluded that teamwork, communications and ethics are interrelated with each other as an effective team needs to have proper communication and ethics need to be followed for effective communication.  

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