Development Cooperation Handbook/Cooperation and Communication/The communication climate in Organizations and Teams

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Climate is the atmosphere of a organization. More specifically, climate is the atmosphere of supportiveness or defensiveness that people feel within an organization. It is an integral part of organizational culture. Do they feel safe? Protected? Appreciated? Are they confidant that their opinions count? Do they know that when they have something to say, they have a way to say it so that it will be heard, and that people will listen and take their ideas or comments seriously? The overall organizational climate also includes the organization’s communication climate—how free people feel to communicate at work, especially about bad news or negative information. When people feel they cannot communicate bad news for fear of reprisal, the organization loses valuable information about how it operates.

Information will flow much more freely in an organization where there is a positive communication climate, but may not flow at all, especially when it is most needed, if there is a negative communication climate. A supportive communication climate allows for a better exchange of information and a more positive work environment.  An organization’s climate can be equated to the weather—it is the atmosphere that people feel within the organization itself. It is an integral part of organizational culture. More specifically, organizational climate is the atmosphere of supportiveness or defensiveness people feel within the organization and the feelings they have about sending and receiving messages.

To build a supportive communication climate you need to send messages that acknowledge effort, creativity, and teamwork, engage people in the decision making process, establish trust, which is maintained through consistency, congruity, reliability, and integrity. It is not enough to be a nice manager and create a nice environment in which to communicate and work. You must also communicate a sense of challenge to your employees by placing importance on high quality and establishing high performance goals.

Development cooperation is done at its best when the partners have a common interest at stake, when they all are going to benefit from the development process and when they are together analyzing the problems, setting the objectives and are working together to produce the expected changes. This requires a healthy communication climate where the interests of all partners are integrated so as to achieve a positive-sum relation. see more in ⇒ The participatory approach


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A basic assumption of this manual is that the best managerial style for a development aid organization is of designing and managing itself and its culture in such a way as to make itself :

The combination of these three factors the nurturing of a communication climate such as to work strategically, collaboratively and cost-effectively, being innovative and accountable.

See also[edit]

Swiss sknife.png How to establish a healthy communication climate
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg The learning organization
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg The employee empowering organization

Testimonials[edit]

Le prevalenti logiche mediatiche non contribuiscono a creare un sano clima di comprensione tra i popoli e non facilitano la comprensione della realta' - Gualtieri Flag of Italy.svg