Directness in Operational Communication
Operational communication is essential in organizations as it enables undertakings that facilitate productivity. Effective operational communication is therefore required in institutions to allow for respect, politeness, and focus on what is needed. This allows for emphasis on the subject of communication and does not make the recipient feel offended. For instance, your boss in the office will most likely use direct operational communication, as they are specific and to the point.
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This would not be considered as impolite but rather firm and precise. Most formal communications require directness as this saves time and does not give leeway for mistakes or misunderstandings. Directness is quite typical in formal communications as well as communications that involve parties with close social alignment. Indirect communication is usually considered as a code of communication when addressing strangers or colleagues with whom one does not share social circles. In operational communication, directness is greatly encouraged to emphasize focus and professionalism.
Desirability of directness
Directness involves a situation wherein the speaker or performer uses speech act in their statements during communication. This may include examples such as ‘where is the driver?’, ‘get me the files,’ ‘what is your name,’ ‘I cannot tell you,’ and ‘you are foolish!’ among others. In operational communications, directness does not go round a task. It aims at direct response or immediate action. This is utilized in enhancing service delivery and efficiency in productivity. Directness is mainly desirable in the following situations: communicating with people of the same social circle, for instance, with a friend or a colleague at work.
You can say to a colleague, “bring me that sweater!” without increasing the social distance between the two of you. However, this cannot be done to people of higher social status like your boss. It would look disrespectful. Also, it may not be wise to use directness when communicating with people of lower quality. This is because they may feel belittled unless you are giving orders regarding a business, in which case professionalism is required. This is not to say that professionalism disallows indirectness since courtesy is required in communications with customers.
When directness can be overdone
Directness, as has been stated above, fits formal communications in organizations and businesses. It is also used when communicating with people of the same social circles and can also be used in contact with juniors. It should be noted that using directness when speaking to children should be carefully thought, as it may be overdone. Employers also require direct answers, but words should be carefully chosen to emphasize courtesy and mitigate overdoing directness.
Indirectness and when appropriate
Indirectness involves the use of interrogative speech to deliver non-question speech acts such as statements. They include commands such as “please, go get me some drink” or even statements as “are you going to school?” This kind of communication is usually desirable when communicating with socially distant parties. For instance, when speaking to a stranger, you cannot just start by, “where do you come from?” it may look rude, although you may ask your friend the same question.
In this case, you would instead use “I come from the house. What about you?” Therefore, indirectness is appropriate in situations where those communicating are not in the same social circle. Other conditions for using indirectness are when speaking to a senior, a customer, and in some formal communications.
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