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Review the attached hand-out Choosing Tools to Do the Right Thing.

View the TEDX video link

, Ethics Yes Even When Nobody is Watching

(see link in Weekly Overview section). Using the Five Questions to Guide Ethical Decisions (in the hand-out attached), consider the workplace scenarios listed in the hand-out and BRIEFLY explain how you might handle each situation.

CSCM 2040
Week 2 Instruction Guide
The Key Elements for Successful Communication
How many times a week do you find that someone did not understand what you meant? In its
basic form, communication is the transfer of meaning from a sender to a recipient. If you
communicate using words (written or verbal (to someone else and they do not understand or
they misinterpret what you meant then your communication failed.
The Three Rights of Effective Communication: To transfer meaning, a very basic formula can be
considered: Your goal is to send the Right Message to the Right Audience through the
Right Medium.
During the course we will delve into many aspects of the /Medium and Message. We will start in
the middle – with Medium or Channels of communication available in today’s digital
Media Richness and Communication Channels
The Daft/Lengel Media Richness Theory: Classifies media in organizations according to how
much clarifying information they are able to convey from a sender to a recipient. The more
helpful cues and immediate feedback the medium provides, the richer it is, Ideally, a “conscious
communicator” will choose the richest medium necessary to meaningfully communicate with a
recipient. (See Media Richness Graphic located in the file folder)
Most Effective:
1, Face-to-face Communication. Meetings
2, Video/Remote Communication
3. Audio/Telephone Communication
4, Text IM/Blogs/Chat Message
Least Effective:
5. Written – addressed (emails/memos/letters)
6.. Unaddressed Documents (spam/newsletter/flyer/poster/mobile alert)
Each form of communication has Advantages and Disadvantages:
Oral Face-to-face communication: Is most persuasive, provides immediate feedback, can be
adjusted to the audience and delivered quickly, suppliers nonverbal cues and can be more
powerful. The disadvantage is that there is a lack of formal record, it does not promote easy
recall, can be difficult to implement (due to scheduling) and may be inappropriate for formal or
complex ideas.
Digital (email, memos, IM, social media, reports, etc.): creates a permanent record, is
convenient to distribute, flexible for the audience, economical, allows mobile access. The
disadvantage is that it does not allow for immediate feedback, overwhelmed recipients can
choose not to respond, it leaves a permanent digital output, subject to technological glitches and
lacks nonverbal/verbal cues.
Paper-based Hard Copy (memos, letters proposals, etc) Creates a permanent record, promotes
comprehensive recall allows for precise expression. Disadvantage is that it takes more time and
effort to produce, is not economical and cannot be immediately adjusted to the audience.
Internal and External Communication
Internal communication is the exchange pf ideas and messages with superiors/managers, coworkers/peers and subordinates. The channel you choose may depend on an organization’s
culture. For written communication, email and limited text messaging is still the most often used
External communication involves exchanging information with customers, vendors/suppliers, the
public, government entities, etc. Email communication with Memo/proposal or Reports attached
are common. Hard -copy documents are still used selectively, especially during face-to-face
Factors that Influence an Organization’s Communication:
The nature of the organization; size and complexity; the structure of the company; geographic
locations; the organization’s culture and diversity.
Information Flow and Media Choices
Information within organizations flows through formal and informal channels. Internal
communication is important because organizations need to be able to respond rapidly to
situations involving customers, new technology, emergencies and more. Think of all the internal
communication required for the COVID 19 Pandemic.
Official information within an organization usually flows through formal channels in three
directions: Downward, Upward and Horizontal. For reference, see the Communication Flow
Graphic in the Week 2 File/Folder.
Downward: form management to subordinated
Upward: from subordinates to management
Horizontal: from workers at the same level (Peers).
Even with so many formal channels of official communication coming to workers through emails,
memos reports letters, Informal channels of communication can still be more powerful.
The Grapevine
People communicate informally in their teams, departments, etc. They talk when they are
lunching, working out, carpooling – face-to-face, but also online through social media pages,
texts, etc.
The Grapevine is an informal channel of communication that carries organizationally relevant
The Power of the Grapevine: This can be the most pervasive and persuasive source of
information internally and there are benefits that organizations can use. Managers can use the
grapevine productively by: respecting the employees’ desire to know; increasing the amount of
quality information delivered through formal channels, sharing bad as well as good news,
monitoring the grapevine and acting promptly to correct mis information.
Navigating the Grapevine on the Job: No matter where you work you will find yourself in many
situations where you must be a conscious communicator and use your critical thinking skills to
navigate the rumor/gossip mill. Today, with organizations requiring civility in the workplace and
training that spells out appropriate, professional behavior, realizing that gossip can lead to
problems in your workplace and even loss of employment. The best way to deal with the
inevitable sprouting of gossip:
Bow out Gracefully: When colleagues start gossiping about a coworker manager or
supervisor, leave the situation or redirect the conversation.
Be Positive: One way to ensure that you will not be approached again with rumors about
a person is to say something positive about the individual being discussed
Make it known that you will not participate in gossip: It is best to try to steer clear of
discussing others all together but if it is presented to you, you could act with
professionalism and integrity by clearly communicating that you will not discuss another
Address any rumors about yourself quickly and professionally: If you find that something
is being said about you verbally or online address it with your manager in a professional
Professional Ethics and Professionalism
Professionalism: The quality of performing at a high level and conducting oneself with purpose and
Ethics: Conventional standards of right and wrong that prescribes what people should do, the word
ethics is derived from the word ethos which means character and credibility.
Professional Ethics: are those values and principles that are introduced to an individual in a professional
organization. Common features of professional ethics include: Transparency, privacy, impartiality,
loyalty, cooperative and objective/goal-oriented.
As a “conscious” communicator in a professional environment, you will need understand basic ethical
principles so you can make logical decisions when faced with dilemmas on-the-job.
Ethical Communication Standards:
Abide by the Law: Know the laws in your field and follow them
Tell the Truth: Do not intentionally make statements that are untrue or deceptive
Label Opinions: Understand the difference between Facts and Opinions. Facts are known to be true and
verifiable by a third-party, credible source. Opinions are beliefs held with confidence but are
Be Objective: Recognize your own biases and strive to keep them from distorting your message.
Communicate Clearly: It is your obligation to communicate so that recipients understand the meaning of
your messages. Write and speak clearly so receivers understand quickly and easily.
Use Inclusive Language: Use language that includes rather than excludes. Avoid words or expressions
that discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of sex, race, disability sexual orientation or
Give Credit: Give proper credit for ideas – cite your sources verbally and in text.
Tools to Do the Right Thing Five Questions to Guide Ethical Decisions:
1 Is the action Legal?
2. Would you do it if you were on the opposite side>
3. Can you rule out a better alternative?
4. Would a trusted Adviser agree?
5. Would family, friends or coworkers approve?
Assessing your skills
Employers are looking for a multitude of skills in the workplace. Scan any job posting description
and you will see sets of requirements, expectations as well as preferred attributes.
Understanding the Hard and Soft skills needed in your field will help prepare you to
communicate your qualifications.
Hard Skills are skills needed to qualify for the job – a degree/certificate/license.
Soft Skills are skills that will help you succeed in the position; these may not fall under specific
qualifications but may be necessary to perform the work described. Examples: “Ability to work in
a team environment,” “Good written Communication skills,” Flexible and adaptable in fluid
You acquire hard skills through education and knowledge. You gain soft skills through
experience (which is why internships are so important before you start applying for your first
job). It is important to begin understanding the soft skills necessary to increase your chances of
success in a competitive job environment. You can start now to build a portfolio of experience
that meets skill requirements. Think about what non-profit organizations, campus organizations,
part-time jobs, class assignments, etc. that can help you gain valuable experience.

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