Communication Problem Related to Small Essay
Excerpt from Essay :
This is exacerbated by the problem that Carmen is close friends with the owner Kenneth. Kenneth has a similar conflict management style to Carmen. He can be extremely nice when dealing with people casually, but whenever a problem arises like Carmen he makes excuses, avoids the problem, tries to pass it on to someone else, or resorts to texting or faxing messages rather than confronting complaints. Their favorite 'nonverbal' communication strategy is simply not being there.
A failure to listen is one of the most common workplace communication problems. "When people or groups are in conflict, communication between them tends to get worse and worse. As a conflict escalates, people limit their direct contact with people on the other side, because such conflict is uncomfortable or threatening….Eventually all direct communication between parties may be cut off. Sometimes, communication is cut off in protest" (Lack of communication channels/avoided communication, 2005, OTPIC). The sense that there is no one to appeal to, given Kenneth's alliance with Carmen, has caused many employees to despair of ever improving things at the restaurant.
On several occasions, people have tried to force problems out into the open by talking to Kenneth privately, specifically framing the problem in a manner which they hope is persuasive to him (stressing that for the profitability of the restaurant and the greater good of everyone, he must ensure that there is more effective scheduling and a better way to deal with customer complaints). Kenneth's main response is to say "I'll take care of it," but 'it' never gets taken care of, of course. Kenneth needs to set up a formal schedule for all employees, with strict rules about giving the restaurant notice about calling out sick. He also needs to sit down regularly with his staff and listen to what people say about how to improve service.
There is little secret that tensions run high in restaurant kitchens. Even at the
cafeteria at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Colorado Springs, according to the publication the Restaurant Door, there was recently a knife fight in the kitchen. "The OTC was an on-going operation whose dining program was in need of major surgery. In fact, the foodservice had consistently been the leading source of complaints from the athletes about their training experience" (Marvin 2012). If the staff is not getting along well, this dissatisfaction inevitably gets communicated, however unintentionally to the customers. Staff nonverbal behavior such as weariness and anger is difficult to shake off when dealing with the public.
Good restaurants listen to input from staff that are on the front lines of dealing with customers. The very best restaurants keep tabs on their customers, to ensure that they know what is in high demand and to be better able to order food and staff the kitchen according to what 'regulars' want. Restaurants are even using computer software to keep track of customers. "Increasingly, restaurants are recording whether you are a regular, a first-timer, someone who lives close by or a friend of the owner or manager. They archive where you like to sit, when you will celebrate a special occasion and whether you prefer your butter soft or hard, Pepsi over Coca-Cola or sparkling over still water" (Craig 2012). It will take a great deal of intensive communication to heal the problems at my current place of employment. Unless the owner and manager are willing to take responsibility for the problems they have caused and to listen to the staff, it will continue and the restaurant will lose business. The current scenario is a lose-lose situation for all of us.
Craig, Suzanne. (2012). What restaurants know (about you). The New York Times. Retrieved:
Lack of communication channels/avoided communication. (2005). Online Training Program
on Intractable Conflict (OTPIC). Retrieved:
Marvin, Bill. (2012). it's always a people problem. The Restaurant Door. Retrieved:
Sources Used in Documents:
Cite This Essay: