A new edition of a
book provides opportunities to update material and fine-tune
critical ideas. I seized these opportunities but I also wanted to do
something more. My goals focused on making this edition more
problem-focused, user-friendly, and enriching.
Problem-focused: This edition incorporates a new
subtitle that underscores the unique orientation of
Communicating for Managerial Effectiveness (CME4). Many authors
have addressed important communicative skills such as speaking,
writing, and conducting group discussions. I’ve assumed that the
readers want to go beyond the basic communication skills and
learn how to make an impact on their organizations by resolving
some of the most vexing communication problems. While I cannot
promise readers all the “right answers” to these problems, I can
assure readers they will learn useful ways to think about the
User-friendly: I focused on making this edition even
more user-friendly in three specific ways. 1) Since the third
edition of this book, I have consulted with numerous
organizations about the communication issues discussed in the
previous editions. I learned first-hand the difficulty many
organizations experience translating seemingly simple and
straightforward principles into action. For instance, after
leading dozens of change efforts in the past few years, I have
grown to appreciate the need for actionable tools based on sound
theory and designed to assist with the change planning process.
This edition includes examples of those tools. 2) I moved some
of the background research to the book’s website to better
organize supplemental material. For example, the citations for
“By the Numbers” are on the book’s website (www.imetacomm.com/CME4).
The CME4 website also includes a glossary of key terms, case
studies, and self-tests. 3) I’ve added a number of tools to help
students understand the principles and ideas at a deeper more
personal level. For instance, each chapter concludes with a list
of key terms for review. Readers will also find three “Drill
Down Exercises.” I’ve used this title to emphasize that learning
the principles goes beyond the mere memorization of a concept;
it requires a deeper “drill down” beyond a cursory reading of
the text. Students who desire to maximize their understanding
will find these questions challenging and thought-provoking.
Books have a capacity to enrich our lives in special ways. Some
provide a needed perspective on a vexing problem. Others offer a
catchy phrase that resonates as well as illuminates. Still
others move us emotionally in some deeply personal way. My hope
is that CME4 will enrich your life in one of these ways. I’ve
made every effort to do so in this edition by tightening up the
writing and relating incidents I’ve found deeply illuminating.
And I’ve tried to do something else unique – highlighting
critical thinking skills. In particular, I’ve had some success
over the years focusing on seven questions used by critical
• Have I made reasonable assumptions?
• Have I properly identified the implications of the facts,
ideas or situation? (i.e., So what?)
• Have I properly identified the pattern(s)?
• Have I relied on reasonable evidence to reach my conclusions?
• Have I properly defined effectiveness?
• Have I considered all the logical alternatives and selected
the proper course of action?
• Have I considered the ethical impact of my decisions?
In fact, my students have dubbed these “Phil’s 7 questions” (see
www.Phils7questions.com). Throughout the manuscript, I have
underscored these questions in one form or the other. Sometimes,
readers will see the question addressed directly and at other
times more obliquely. Either way, a singular desire motivated
me. I sought to use the communication problems discussed in the
book as a vehicle to help others think more critically about any
challenge they face. Why? Because the demand for critical
thinkers always exceeds the supply.
In short, every chapter has been revised in some major way. I
have also been mindful of how the Internet continues to change
the way organizations communicate. The “dot” is the most
significant aspect of the dot.com evolution because dots can be
easily connected. The ease of connecting employees, managers,
and executives has not made organizational communication easier;
it has made it more challenging. I hope the book and website
provide the wisdom, insight, and counsel necessary to enhance
your communication effectiveness.