Communication in Cooperatives

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One important component of an organizational leadership is communication. Without effective communication a cooperative cannot attain its purpose of existence. Organizations with effective and efficient flow of feedback mechanism have higher chances of attaining established plans and programs.

February and March are the busiest months for the conduct of General Assembly Meetings for all types of cooperatives. During such gathering, the officers and management render their reports to the membership. It is also the best time for members to participate in decision making like approval of the reports; annual plan and budget and elect officers in accordance with the provisions of the by-laws and approved policies.

In order that assembly meetings will be conducted smoothly, a provision in the by-laws of each cooperative had been provided to serve as basis specifically under the Order of Business. It must be reiterated that during the conduct of General Assembly Meetings, officers and management staff need to present the real status of the organization. Observations indicate that some cooperatives fail to follow the prescribed flow of activities and instead allocate more time in accommodating lengthy messages of people that are not included in the program of activities. Such situations when not properly handled can lead to miscommunication.

I cannot question this practice as it might have been institutionalized that form part of the cooperatives’ culture. Importantly, cooperatives need to harness communication to explore the full talents, knowledge and skills of every member of the institution. Involvement of all shareholders and stakeholders is a must to realize the attainment of desired results.

It can be said that the strength of an organization depends on the cohesion of the group members that have something in common. Also, it concerns the application of effective communication. Sometimes management and Board of Directors or Officers differ in approaches but have the same goal. Identifying weaknesses and managing these by turning them into opportunities can help solve problems in the organization. Definitely, it cannot be done by all people in an organization. It requires strategic thinking; understanding the values, assumptions, beliefs and expectations (vabes) of people in the cooperative. Closely associated with communication are the ethical values of leaders and management staff. Successful cooperatives continually grow because they have a good communication plan. The significance of communication as a critical factor in the life of the cooperative cannot be taken for granted. It must be a part of the cooperative policy. Absence of good communication may hamper delivery of services.

Finally, maintaining an open communication in every cooperative ensures good rapport.

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