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COMMUNICATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE During spring and summer of 98 I underwent a six month internship in the information services department of a major company in my country Botswana The company Botswana power corporation is the sole producer and distributor of electricity in Botswana As a company with branches all over the country it is easy to understand why communication would be crucial to the day to day operations of this company as a whole For the sake of clarity however Im going to limit the focus of this paper to the Information servives departmentin which I worked My internship position was at the companies head office in Gaborone As intern it did not take me long to realize that almost all the departments needed the services of the IS department in one way or the otherThe IS department was essentially responsible for user supportthemaintainance repair and upgrade of computer systems and training of company personnel By far the greatest responsibility of the department was user supportEmployees from departments all over the complex would call in any problems they had with their computers These problems would be written down on a work order form and the handled in due courseBecause of this members of the department staff had to have effective listening skills I realized that when dealing with a user it was important for me to solicit as much feedback as possible from them I would ask questions and paraphrase what they were saying so as to better understand the nature of the problemThis was important because many a time the problem would be Just a simple matter of rebooting the computer and could easily be resolved over the phoneWhen trying to get to the root of the problem it was important that I display as much patience as possible with the users often vague responses to my questions I made a conscious effort not to interrupt
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