Cross Cultural Communications
Case Analysis-Business Letter, Cross Cultural Communications
Activities and Discussion
Madeline O’Connor’s email to Peter Brento has particular barriers to effective communication. The first barrier that I noticed is emotional interference, which states that your emotions can interfere with a person’s ability to fully communicate a message (Meyer, 2014). As I was reading the email I did perceive a sense of anger or hostility from Madeline towards Peter. She should have not let her emotions affect the message when composing a professional email to her subordinate.
The entire email was very confusing and showed many mixed messages especially in the second paragraph. She seemed to be agreeing with Peter about the cause of the unethical behavior but then expressing he was in the wrong, which kept on alternating and did not flow. Ultimately, this could cause a conflicting message as the information was contradicting each other. Also, in the end of the second paragraph Madeline says that she will be forced to take further action if she detects further use of incentives but than goes on to convey that she agrees to meet and discuss the situation with Human Resources. This is causing a very mixed message that she will not escalate the matter but than asserting they should meet with Human Resources. Another barrier to effective communication is semantic interference that is also displayed in the email. Certain parts and words could be misinterpreted such as “buried” in the last sentence of paragraph two. Peter is located in the Eastern European country who may misrepresent the meaning of “buried”. Madeline is from Canada so that word may have different meanings for each person and can change in certain contexts.
In regards to Madeline’s email, she should have avoided the reoccurrence of the kickback practice to an extent. Firstly, I believe that this matter is very serious situation and an email should have not been sent to directly consult this matter. An email is the not the proper channel to this particular situation and audience. It should have been composed to set up a time, place and purpose for Madeline and Peter to meet to discuss the situation. This is also a very time-sensitive matter meaning to respond as soon as you have the information and to make sure to choose the right time to send the message. In this situation the responder and sender need to cool down before composing and reading the message as it is very emotionally charged.
The flow of information had many members involved. The first flow was from a Board Member named Paula Young to the CEO, Walter Smith that is classified as the upward communication flow. This type is defined as movement of contents from subordinates to superiors (Meyer, 2014). Walter Smith then emailed Don Smith, the VP of worldwide sales, which is known as the downward communication flow meaning the information is between the superiors to subordinates. From there, Don Smith sent an email to Madeline O’Conner who is the VP of Sales in Europe. This type of flow is called horizontal communication flow because it is the communication between individuals at the same level (Meyer, 2014). Madeline in turn forwarded Don Smith’s email that he sent to her to her sales managers which is known as downward communication flow. This particular email caused panic, hurt feelings and insulted the sales managers who were not involved in the unethical behaviour. It also caused a chain reaction to the sales managers who requested many meetings with Madeline that ultimately caused her work to suffer. After Madeline’s forwarded email, Peter Brento who is a Sales Team Member composed an email to Madeline, which is classified as upward communication flow. Madeline then responded to Peter causing the downward communication flow. This flow of communication followed the chain of communication to get the message to