Concepts in management and business communication
One of the initial and most important factors of management is the ability to effectively use the conceptual apparatus. The problem of operating concepts is the problem of understanding the essence of the processes that take place, the role of the human factor in solving various problems.
The leader should be able to correctly speak, write, read, grasping the main thing; listen to others, not interrupting, not breaking off, not skipping past the ears; to make decisions, comprehensively assessing the situation; take responsibility, acting in conditions of conflict and risk.
But a subordinate may not understand the leader, at least in three cases. First, when a subordinate feels that the manager himself does not know what he wants. Secondly, when the head can not clearly formulate and put the task. Third, the manager can not organize the task.
First of all, what is not defined or defined is unclear, blurry, impossible to apply in assessing the situation, making decisions, organizing business communication.
The concept is uncertain when it has an unclear content and an unsharp volume. If the concept is characterized by unclear content, it means that it is impossible to pinpoint the most important distinctive features of the object it expresses. Accordingly, the vague scope of the concept indicates that it is impossible to draw a clear line between those objects that are included in the scope of this concept and those that do not enter into it ("young man", "normal weather", "critical situation").
For example, the concept of good worker is undefined. It has an unclear content, since it is impossible to specify the essential features of a good worker with accuracy. Whether it's someone who comes to work in time and leaves with time on time; whether it is someone who quietly and not pretentiously fulfills its functional duties; whether it is someone who has the ability to innovate thinking; whether it is the one who is marked by the appropriate state awards; whether it's someone who thinks himself that way.
Uncertain concepts occupy a significant place in our intellectual-speech practice, in fiction. Let's recall the description of Chichikov from the novel by N. V. Gogol "Dead Souls". The gentleman was not sitting in the carriage, he was not handsome, but not of a bad appearance; not too thick, not too thin; can not be said to be old, however and not so much too young. " As you can see, the description of the appearance of the hero entirely consists of vague concepts. But if for the sake of accuracy, the description of the hero to change, it would look, for example, like this: "In the britzke sat a 45-year-old gentleman, height 175 cm, in shoes 41 sizes, chest size 80 cm ... However, in this case, we would not have a work of art, but something like a police protocol. In an effort to make thinking and language more precise, trying to expel uncertain concepts from them, we risk making our thinking and language boring, impersonal, impassive, meaningful and emotionally scarce.
However, indefinite concepts, inaccurate statements are inadmissible in business documents, orders, orders, instructions, questionnaires, contracts, decisions and other oral and written statements that relate to the formal and business sphere. Indeterminate concepts can become a source of communicative interference, disagreements and even conflicts.
In the process of communication and leadership of the team used concepts should remain identical in their content, i.e. keep the same value. The leader and his subordinates need to ensure that the concepts used in the process of discussing the issue being solved, and all the more so in the heat of polemics, do not lose their original content. This situation is possible when the concepts used are similar in meaning.
If, say, in the process of reasoning the concepts "market", "money", "merchandise" are used, then you can not replace them with "bazaar", "capital", "product". Market - a concept broader than the "bazaar"; money - only not a complete description of the "capital"; product may not be a commodity (if something is done for its own use and is not put up for sale) and the "item" is not always a product (you can sell land, airspace, water area, spring water, etc.).
The manager, when setting the task to be solved, should use such definitions, which are clear to the performer, ie. one should choose the concepts of a less cognitive difficulty and not enclose instructions, orders, orders in a form that is difficult to perceive. Sometimes a young manager who graduated from a university tries to raise his corporate status through the use of science-like but obscure utterances. Sometimes beginners take abstruse and meaningless expressions from the Internet: logging & quot ;, discursivization & quot ;, deconstruction and the like.
This is undesirable for a number of reasons. First, such a "smart" speech is a mockery of natural language. Secondly, how can the performer understand what is required of him? Even if the performer starts to understand the problem, there is a doubt in the ability of the leader himself to explain the meaning of such terms. Here, instead of the ambitious principle "more scientific - less understandable" it is advisable to follow the opposite principle of "less scientific - more understandable."
An alternative in such cases can be the use of ostensivnye (from Latin ostendo - show) definitions, ie. by direct indication of the subject in question. For example, when you first get acquainted with the technique with which you have to perform a task, demonstrate instruments, tools, mechanisms and machines. Ostensivnye definitions are also used to characterize the individual properties of the object: color, smell, taste, magnitude, etc.
In business communication, when different points of view collide, it is important not to allow escalation of the dialogue into a logomachy (from Greek logos - word; mache - dispute), i.e. dispute about words. Controversy ceases to understand, they do not agree with each other solely because they apply different meanings to words or expressions they use or use inaccurate words to express their thoughts. The non-objectivity of such a verbal war is well illustrated by a humorous sketch: "I do not ask where you were, I ask, where do you go from?"
Imagine the situation that arose between the two parties related to the marine business, about the tender. The word tender - polysemantic, i.e. can have many meanings. Even only with reference to the marine business, it is possible, at least, to distinguish three values: first, a small single-masted sailing sports boat; secondly, a flat-bottom motor vessel of the cut-off type for in-port transportation; in the third, the right to intermediary activity won by the competition. If you do not initially find out the meaning of the term in a particular dispute, this will give rise to disagreements and make it difficult to find solutions to the problem.
Here it is appropriate to recall the advice of our wise compatriots. For example, the famous literary critic VG Belinsky (1811 - 1848) said that the word expresses the thought: the thought is unclear - the word is also incomprehensible. In a similar spirit, the great United States writer Leo Tolstoy (1828-1848) spoke. The only means of mental communication among people, he said, is words. And in order for communication to be possible, it is necessary that the word evokes a corresponding notion every time it is used.
Observance of the measure in the definition of concepts. Such a need arises when the leader needs to clarify the meaning of the task being solved and the ways to accomplish it. In order to gain an understanding of what needs to be done, the leader sometimes has to resort to techniques for over-explaining the meaning of the problem. But it should be borne in mind that definitions by their nature can be either rigid, unambiguous, stable; or fluid, mobile, ambiguously understood.
In the first case, you can limit yourself to a banal phrase: "About words do not argue." Such a situation develops also when we deal with objects that are clear and do not require definitions and further refinement. English writer and critic GK Chesterton said that "indefinably undeniable": the sky, the air, our hands, our feet; our neighbor is undefined, because he is too real. In the same context, the French mathematician, physicist and philosopher B. Pascal (1623-1662) expressed his idea: "The attempt to define what is clear and obvious will only darken it."
But in the second case it is necessary to clarify, clarify, maybe even argue with respect to the meaning of the concept, for without clarifying certainty in the understanding of words it is impossible to communicate productively, move forward in solving any issue.
The dispute often turns out to be in such a phase, when the required definitions are not at hand. From this situation, there are two ways out. Firstly, you can define the concept by yourself. This is often impossible. Secondly, to take advantage of already ready foreign definitions. The second method is usually preferable. It is good to define the concept, especially in a dispute, the case is usually difficult, requiring great knowledge, skills, work, time. It is better to use the definitions that have passed the fire of criticism, from some serious and authoritative scientific sources. But in any case it is important to observe a measure with respect to the interpretation and understanding of the definitions. Sometimes, because of the excessive variety of definitions, paradoxically, their content may be blurred: the more concepts are defined, the less clear they become. Here, not only in the figurative, but also in the literal sense, the words of the great United States thinker PL Florensky (1882-1937) that the fullness of life does not fit into the "narrow coffin for logical determination" are heard.
In management activities, especially when issuing orders and other administrative documents, a thought expressed by a set of concepts must have a complete look. Failure to comply with this requirement can disorient the performers and even create a paradoxical situation similar to the episode described.
The Mayor of the city in the north of Normandy, on a dark evening, collided on the street with a city dweller. After that, he issued an order that no one would go out into the street without a lantern in the evening. But soon the mayor again collided with that citizen.
- You did not read my order? Asked the mayor angrily.
- Read, - replied the Norman. - Here is my lantern.
- But in the lantern you have nothing!
- Nothing is mentioned in the order about this.
The next morning an order appeared, obliging the townspeople to go out at night to the street only with a candle in a lamp.
In the evening, the mayor again came across this citizen.
- Where is the lantern ?! Cried the mayor.
- Here it is, and in it - a candle.
- But it's not lit.
- The order does not say that the candle should be lit.
And the mayor had to issue another order.
Of course, the managerial decision does not always require a detailed presentation of the step-by-step achievement of the goal, which opens up scope for the creators to display creative initiative. But when carrying out responsible tasks related, for example, to risk and danger, the manager must clearly and clearly state what, how, where, when, during what time it is necessary to do. Thus, in the liquidation of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, groups of liquidators were formed, and each member of the group was given precise instructions: in which zone of increased radiation, for how many minutes he had to perform his work.
As we see, the ability to use the conceptual apparatus is one of the most important indicators of the professionalism of the leader, and subordinates. Of all the possible ways of business communication (eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, posture) speech is the most universal means, as it allows you to most accurately convey the meaning of relationships. Speech at the meeting, conclusion of the contract, mediation, maintenance of the atmosphere of trust, cooperation in the team require the ability to clearly and convincingly express their thoughts. It is difficult for a tongue-tied person to make a career, especially to avoid tension in communication. One of the prominent American experts in the business world F. Snell noted: "Do not allow your interlocutors to draw a false picture of your abilities through your speech flaws." Make your speech work for you .
Concepts are not given to us in the finished and once-for-all formed form. Changing conditions of life make us rethink the old and introduce new concepts, take into account the dynamics of their formation and transformation. This is what makes it possible to maximally approximate our idea to reality, adequately reflect the objective reality. Ability to operate concepts is one of the most important indicators of the logical culture of thinking.
Knowledge of the essence of logical operations of constructing and transforming concepts underlies the normative rules of thinking. The most common, significant and responsible are actions to identify and share concepts. Knowledge of the normative rules of operating with the conceptual apparatus, as well as errors and ways to eliminate them, gives our thinking clarity, clarity, harmony, confidence in the difficult, twisting, responsible way of cognitive and practical activity.
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