What could I have done better?
I could have communicated decisions better even though I was not physically present in the team meeting.
From the previous week I was not physically present in the weekly meeting. As a result, I found it difficult to communicate decisions the way I intended to communicate them. I would suggest possible decisions that could be made however the way they were interpreted are not how they were intended. The breakdown in communication has occurred on the occasion where a member of the team is not physically present and this is a common occurrence when this situation arises.
Understanding the mechanisms behind a breakdown in communication: As put by Verma (2013), communication breakdown's occur where the message is not transmitted exactly the same as it is in the mind of the communicator and the message sent by the encoder is not received by the decoder as intended primarily by the encoder. Where this occurs, there is misunderstanding and misinformation, which leads to a form of 'negative communication" where the relationship between the parties is strained (Verma, 2013).
What is causing this problem? This is likely occurring as it was never explicitly discussed the procedure and how as a collective we would communicate with those who were unable to make it to the team meeting. The breakdown in communication is occurring as team members who are physically present do not engage as much with those who are present on a virtual capacity. The communication is not timely, decisions are not communicated and communication that is sent is not interpreted the way it was intended to. Simply, two way communication is not occurring.
Other issues that arise due to the breakdown in communication: The lack of communication where team members are unable to be physically present leads to other problems in terms of decision making. Many individuals have flaws in their decision making, in the form of heuristics which are the mechanism in which quick decisions are made and in the form of biases. These cognitive decision making processes are part of our unconscious processes and implicate rational decision making (Hammond & Raiffa, 1998). Each member of the team has a different background, ethnic makeup and has had different experiences in their lifetime. All of these are contributing factors to their individual heuristics and biases. They will be different for each individual and because of that one person may act as a check and balance for another. Where decisions are made without the opinion's and rationale of others in the team, then there is not a check in balance in place that would be otherwise present. Further, risk is in inescapable part of every decision, and to ensure that the risk is assessed and different perspectives and insights are weighed in relation to the decision that is to be made, then the level of risk can be viewed holistically and with reference from different view points (Buchanan & O'Connell, 2006)
How to ensure that communication breakdowns do not occur: To ensure that there is not a breakdown in communication in the future, there needs to be a clear set procedure on how to communicate with members of the team when they are not able to physically be in the team meeting. Once this is outline and there is a process to follow, then this form of communication may be better utilised than what it currently occurring.
Buchanan, Leigh, & O’Connell, A. (2006). A brief history of decision making. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 32–41. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=19256537&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Hammond, J. S., Keeney, R. L., & Raiffa, H. (n.d.). The hidden traps in decision making. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T002&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&currentPosition=1&docId=GALE%7CA21114518&docType=Article&sort=RELEVANCE&contentSegment=&prodId=AONE&contentSet=GALE%7CA21114518&searchId=R1&userGroupName=learn&inPS=true
Verma, H. M. (2013). Communication Breakdown: A Pragmatics Problem. The Criterion: An International Journal in English. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a11d/237d7af41f494a8b028e0c0846b5df7f22eb.pdf