communication 79

Scenario: The following memo was written by the head of the bond sales office in London of a large financial services company with offices in London, New York, Dallas, and Hamburg. There was once an office in Paris, but the smaller Paris office has just been merged into the London office. The London office once had 15 sales workers, and 6 clerical workers; now that the Paris staff has come to London, there are 24 sales people and 10 clerical employees.

Your task: Identify ONE or TWO potential communication inhibitors in sentences 4 – 6 and explain why they might cause problems in communication. (There are more than one or two potential inhibitors) Anchor your explanation in one or more of the assigned readings. The sentences are numbered so you can refer to them in your explanation.


TO: All employees

FROM: Harold Stone, Director, Bond Sales Division, London

DATE: March 6, 2017

SUBJECT: A Matter of Concern

(1) I am Harold Stone, and have been with this organization since 2003, when I was transferred from the Dallas office. (2) When we folded the Paris office into the London headquarters last year we anticipated some significant challenges during and after what was supposed to be an auspicious consolidation but has since caused some disapprobation and, if I may, disapproval. (3) I feel I can say that closing a facility and combining two teams into one is never easy, but as I explained at the time, burgeoning economic pressures – primarily the need to improve our all-important average profit per client metric – compelled us to make a difficult decision even though it might not suit everyone’s taste.

(4) I wish I could say that we hit this one out of the park. (5) However if one were to judge from the three most important indicators, we have not yet acomplished our goals in which we were supposed to excel, and that predicts trouble ahead, we need to drastically improve our sales. (6) Our performance has actually declined in two of the three. (7) The latest customer satisfaction survey show a fifteen-percent increase in the number of customers who say they will consider other service providers at the expiration of their current contract when it expires; we can only guess at the reasons but we need to shape up all around. (8) Employee satisfaction scores have also dropped as the offices were merged. (9) Only seventy-two percent of employees rate their job satisfaction has “high” or “very high,” compared to eighty-seven percent before the merge. (10) With respect to the fact that the only major feature of the three that has stayed steady is our average profit per client. (11) While this might sound like good news in comparison to the other two, any idiot can tell you that improving this variable was the primary reason for combining the offices in the first place.

(12) I’ll be blunt. (13) This ain’t going to cut it, folks.

—Heavily modified from Courtland Bovee and John Thill, Business Communication Essentials, 6th ed. New York: Pearson, 2014.

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