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the process of transmitting information from one person or place to another


the process by which individuals attend to, organize, interpret, and retain information from their environment

Perceptual Filters

the personality, psychology, or experience-based differences that influence people to ignore or pay attention to particular stimuli

Selective Perception

the tendency to notice and accept objects and information consistent with our values, beliefs, and expectations while ignoring or screening out or not accepting inconsistent information


the tendency to fill in gaps of missing information by assuming that we don't know what is consistent with what we already know

Attribution Theory

a theory that states that we all have a basic need to understand and explain the causes of other people's behavior

Defensive Bias

the tendency for people to perceive themselves as personally and situationally similar to someone who is having difficulty or trouble

Fundamental Attribution Error

the tendency to ignore external causes of behavior and to attribute other people's actions to internal causes

Self-Serving Bias

the tendency to overestimate our value by attributing successes to ourselves (internal causes) and attributing failure to other or the environment (external causes)


putting a message into a written, verbal, or symbolic form that can be recognize and understood by the receiver


the process by which the receiver translates the written, verbal, or symbolic form of a message into an understood message

Feedback to sender

in the communication process, a return message to the sender that indicates the receiver's understanding of the message


anything that interferes with the transmission of the intended message


vocabulary particular to a profession or group

Formal Communication Channel

the system of official channels that carry organizationally approved messages and information

Downward Communication

communication that flows from higher to lower levels in an organization

Upward Communication

communication that flows from lower to higher levels in an organization

Horizontal Communication

communication that flows among managers and workers who are at the same organizational level

Informal Communication Channel (grapevine)

the transmission of messages from employee to employee outside of formal communication channels


communicating with someone for the direct purpose of improving the person's on-the-job performance or behavior


communicating with someone about non-job related issues that may be affecting or interfering with the person's performance

Nonverbal Communication

any communication that doesn't involve words


movements of the body and face


the pitch, rate, tone, volume, and speaking patterns (i.e. use of silences, pauses, or hesitations) of one's voice

Communication Medium

the method used to deliver an oral or written message


the act or process of perceiving sounds


making a conscious effort to hear

Active Listening

assuming half the responsibility for successful communication by actively giving the speaker nonjudgmental feedback that shows you've accurately heard what he or she said

Empathetic Listening

understanding the speaker's perspective and personal frame of reference and giving feedback that conveys that understanding to the speaker

Destructive Feedback

feedback that disapproves without any intention of being helpful and almost always causes a negative or defensive reaction in the recipient

Online Discussion Forums

the in-house equivalent of Internet newsgroups. By using Web-or software-based discussion tools that are available across the company, employees can easily ask questions and share knowledge with each other

Televised/Videotaped Speeches and Meetings

speeches and meetings originally made to a smaller audience that are either simultaneously broadcast to other locations in the company or videotaped for subsequent distribution and viewing

Organizational Silence

when employees withhold information about organizational problems or issues

Company Hotlines

phone numbers that anyone in the company can call anonymously to leave information for upper management

Survey Feedback

information that is collected by surveys from organizational members and then complied, disseminated, and used to develop action plans for improvement


a personal Web site that provides personal opinions or recommendations, news summaries, and reader comments

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