MGT 415: Group Behavior in Organizations
Destructive communication takes many forms in and out of the workplace. At one of my previous jobs I have experienced first hand how destructive communication can bring negative results to a team. While some friendly competition can be positive bottling negative emotions, lashing out unexpectedly, engaging in personal insult rather than addressing the problem, can seriously affect the teams progress towards the goal. Our textbook says, “communications is a process by which we convey meaning and manage interrelations it is a major factor in shaping, mitigating, and resolving conflict.” (Coget & Losh, 2018 Ch. 3.4) This essay will discuss topics on destructive communication experienced by myself at a previous employer.
Destructive communication occurs when, “… Uncooperative and aggressive attitudes in which members engage in communications and behavior that are counterproductive to cooperation, teamwork, and conflict resolution.” (Coget & Losh, 2018 Ch 3.4) Bottling negative emotions and lashing out unexpectedly is when a person does not communicate their feelings effectively and instead internalizes all of the anger and frustration until I breaking point is reached at which point any people express their anger and inappropriate and harmful ways including anger explosions and anger repression. Anger explosions occur when, “… people have very little control over their anger and tend to explode and rages. Raging anger may lead to physical abuse or violence.” (Betterhealth.vic.gov.au) Anger repression occurs when someone may consider that anger is an “…inappropriate or bad emotion and chooses to suppress it however, bottled anger often turns into depression and anxiety.” (Betterhealth.vic.gov.au) A person, especially a leader would need to be able to effectively manage anger in order to lead a group to success.
Another part of the incident I witnessed was engaging in personal insult rather than addressing the problem. Although communication is a vital tool for managing a group and resolving conflict, “…destructive communication can rapidly escalate negative interactions.” (Coget & Losh, 2018 Ch 3.4) When a person uses communication in a toxic way it can most certainly destroy the trust between team members. Each person should be respectful and accepting of each other on the team to create an inclusive environment even in diverse teams.
The incident I experienced was when I worked to the store who hired a new manager to an existing team. and the manager was experiencing hesitation from the team because she was different. Somehow someone on the team found out that she was transgendered and used to be a male I’m not bothered someone on the team. The manager began to feel alienated from the team and rather than communicating her frustrations she bottled her emotions until one day someone approached her about the issue since it was seemingly getting worse. When one of the team members approached her she started screaming and crying and call the employee a derogatory name based on their ethnicity. although the manager was embarrassed she continued to work with the team even though we could all tell she was depressed and anxious all the time. I didn’t realize what exactly was happening until I talk to the manager and got her side of the story. Once I sympathized with the manager I suggested to her about finding another job something that was more accepting and inclusive and more comfortable.
In the moment I experienced the female manager lashing out the other team member reacted in anger and frustration. My immediate reaction was confusion in trying to understand what was happening. I believe the miscommunication occurred when the representative was talking to other people about the managers transgender status rather than talking to the manager. Given what we have learned in this week’s chapters I would have given advice to both parties in the interaction. To the manager I would have advised that she’d taken deep breaths and stepped away from the situation to cool down before using derogatory name calling as a defense tactic. I would also suggest that the manager clearly articulate her feelings in order to make sense of them and effectively communicate them to the other team member. To the other team member, I would advise only talking about other people’s information to that person unless it specifically involves the collaboration of the whole team success. I would advise the other team member to try and not participate and destructive occasion such as provoking other employees through gossip.
Coget, J., and Losh, S. (2018). Group behavior in organizations (2nd ed.). [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Department of Health & Human Services. (2014, January 31). Anger – how it affects people. Retrieved from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/anger-how-it-affects-people
Frey, N., Fisher, D., & Everlove, S. (2009). Productive Group Work How to Engage Students, Build Teamwork, and Promote Understanding. Alexandria: ASCD.