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BUSINESS COMMUNICATION AND EXECUTIVE SKILLS
Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after. Communication is a process by which information is transmitted and understood between two or more people. It should include both transference and the understanding of meaning.
Communication is the life blood of social as well as corporate world. We exist because we communicate. Even our silence communicates a lot. We all have a layman’s idea of what communication is , but let us try to understand the concept fully so that we can use it effectively.
Communication is the process by which we exchange meanings , facts , ideas ,opinions or emotions with other people. It is an essential condition of our existence and the most important activity of ours. The word communication has been derived from Latin word “ communicare/communis’ that means to ‘share’ or ‘participate’ . Everybody knows that most of the time , through speech or writing or any other means like exchange of a common set of symbols , we are sharing information with other human beings. It is , therefore , first and foremost a social activity. Man as a social animal has to communicate.
Communication is an exchange of facts , ideas , opinions or emotions by two or more persons.
General communication is different from business communication / Administrative communication.
According to William Scott in his book organizational theory “ Administrative communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting actions which will accomplish organizational goals”
Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages. However it is said to be effective only when the message is understood and when it stimulates action or encourages the receiver to think in new ways.
OBJECTIVES OF COMMUNICATION
1. STRONGER DECISION MAKING
Your ability to communicate effectively increases productivity , both yours and your organization.
2. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
With good communication skills , you can anticipate problems , make decisions , co-ordinate work flow , supervise others , develop relationships and promote products and services.
3. STEADIER WORK FLOW
Communication acts as tool for the effective work related flow of information.
4. STRONG BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS & ENHANCED PROFESSIONAL IMAGE
You can shape the impressions you and your company make on colleagues , employees ,supervisors , investors ,and customers in addition to perceiving and responding to the needs of these stakeholders(the various group you interact with ) without effective communication , people misunderstand each other and misinterpret information. Ideas misfire or fail to gain attention and people and companies flounder.
5. CLEARER PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
Your organizations need for effective reach of company name and public promotions are based on effective promotional material such as advertisements , bill boards , online add , posters etc are all communicated for effective message delivery and meaning.
6. PROVIDE ADVICE
Giving advice is based on individual-oriented and work-oriented ,advice should not given to the person for pinpointing his mistakes rather it should be helpful for his improvement. Effective advice promotes understanding and it can be a two way process if the subordinate staff given freedom.
7. PROVIDE ORDER
Order is an authoritative communication pattern and it is directive to somebody always a subordinate to do something. Orders will be written and oral orders , general and specific orders ,procedural and operational orders , mandatory and discretionary order. Order should be clear and complete ,execution should be possible and given in a friendly way.
Suggestion is supposed to be very mild and subtle form of communication. Suggestions are welcomed for it is not obligatory to accept them , it can be voluntary and anonymous and submitted through suggestion boxes.
Persuasion may be defined as an effort ‘ to influence the attitudes , feelings ,or beliefs of others , or to influence actions based on those attitudes , feelings , or beliefs. Persuasion can be done to others if you are convinced , you do not impose , you are not rigid are prepared to meet half-way and you can look at the situation from the other person’s angle also.
Education is a very conscious process of communication ,it involves both teaching and learning by which organizations provide to their employees in the form of training. Education is given for management , employees and outside public.
If the employees do not abide by the norms of the organization warning is a power communication tool and it can be general and specific. Specific warning should be administered in private and after thorough investigation. The aim of the warning should be the organization betterment.
13. RAISING MORALE AND MOTIVATION
Morale stands for mental health and it is a sum of several qualities like courage , resolution , confidence .High morale and effective performance go hand to hand. Motivation is a process that account for an individual intensity, direction , and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal.
14. TO GIVE AND RECEIVE INFORMATION
. Communication’s main idea is to give and receive information because managers need complete , accurate and precise information to plan and organize employee need it to translate planning in to reality. Information will cover all aspects of the business.
15. TO PROVIDE COUNSELLING
Counseling is given to solve employees mental stress and improve the employees productivity.
16. TO IMPROVE DISCIPLINE
. Finally discipline is the foremost part of any business communication. The various disciplinary codes are effectively communicated to employees through disciplinary codes.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MESSAGES
Effective business messages have a common basic characteristics
1. Provide practical information : Business messages usually describe how to do something , explain why a procedure was changed , highlight the cause of a problem or a possible solution , discuss the status of a project , or explain why a new piece of equipment should be purchased.
2. Give facts rather than impression : Business messages use concrete language and specific details. Information must be clear , convincing , accurate and ethical. You must present hard evidence ( not just opinion ) and present all sides of an argument before you commit to a conclusion.
3. Clarify and condense information : Business messages frequently use tables , charts , photos , or diagrams to clarify or condense information , to explain a process , or to emphasize important information.
4. State precise responsibilities : Business messages are directed to a specific audience. Therefore , you must clearly state what is expected of , or what you can do for, that particular audience.
5. Persuade others and offer recommendations : Business messages frequently persuade employers , customers , or clients to purchase a product or service or adopt a plan of action. To be effective , persuasive messages must show readers just how a product , service or idea will benefit them specifically.
COMMUNICATION PROCESS MODEL
A person has an idea or thought which he wants to communicate to the other person. Now the sender sends the message with a carefully selected medium and channel. The sender encodes the idea (i.e) Written or spoken word , facial expression , gesture. The message length,tone, and style all depends on your audience and your personal style or mood. The sender transmits the message to the receiver in a form of channel (i.e) Telephone , letter , memo , email , report , face to face exchange.
The message will now enter in to the sensory world of the receiver. Sensory world we mean all the noise that surrounds a person that the senses sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch can detect.
From this sensory world the receiver picks up the messages through his senses. But receiver senses cannot detect all that exists in the world around him. Just how much they can detect depends on a number of factors. One is the ability of his senses. As you know not all eyes see equally well and not all ears hear equally well. And so it is with the other senses. Another factor is receiver mental alertness. There are times when he is keenly alert to all that his senses can detect, and there are times when he is dull – in a stupor, a daydream, or the like. Then there are the distractions “NOISES” that occur around receiver at the moment. They can weaken, perhaps even eliminate, the stimuli sent. Furthermore, receiver cultural background has sensitized him more to some stimuli than to others. Yet another limiting factor is the receiver will. In varying degrees, the mind is able to tune in or tune out events in the sensory world. In a noisy room full of people for example, the conversation of a single person can be selected and the other voices ignored.
When receiver senses pick up sender message, they relay it to his brain-that is, as much or as little of the message as they detect. But the sender message may not be all that receiver senses pick up. In addition to sender message, his sensory world may contain outside sounds, movements of objects, facial expression, and the like. In fact, this senses are continually picking up messages from the world around him. Sender message is just the primary one at the moment. The others are there, and they might interfere with sender’s message.
When sender message gets to receiver brain, it goes through a sort of filtering or decoding process. Through that process the receiver brain gives meaning to sender message. In other words, the message is filtered through the contents of receiver mind. Those contents are made up of all receiver knows. It includes all the cultural influences of his family , his organization memberships, his social group, and such. In fact, it includes all receiver has learned, experienced and thought throughout his life. Obviously , no two people have precisely identical filters, for no two people have minds with precisely the same contents. Because people’ filters differ, the meanings they give to comparable message may differ. Thus, the meaning receiver gives sender message may not be precisely the same as the one that someone else would give it. And it may not be meaning sender intended.
After his mind has given meaning to sender message, receiver may react to the message. If the meaning he received is sufficiently strong, he may react by communicating some form of response called feedback. This response may be through words, gestures, physical actions or some other means.
When receiver elects to communicate a response, through his mind he determines the general meaning encoding that the response will take. This process involves the most complex workings of the mind, and we know little about it. There is evidence, however, that ability, here and throughout this stage, is related to one’s intelligence and the extent that one permits the mind to react. Receiver ability to evaluate filtered information and formulate meaning also is related to his stage, is related to one’s intelligence and the extent that one permits the mind to react. Receiver ability to evaluate filtered information and formulate meaning also is related to his ability with language. Ability with language equips one with a variety of symbols, words and other ways of expressing meaning. And the greater the number of symbols one possesses, the better one can be at selecting and using them. Receiver ends this stage of the communication process by forming a message. That is, he converts meaning in to symbols decodes mainly in to words, and then he sends these symbols to sender. He may send them in a number of ways: as spoken words, written words, gestures, movements, facial expression, diagrams on paper etc.
When receiver sends his message to sender, one cycle of the communication process ends. Now a second cycle begins. Now the sender becomes the receiver and receiver becomes the sender. The message enters receiver sensory world. Her senses pick it up and send it through her nervous system to her brain. There her unique mental filter influences the meaning he gives to sender message. This filtered meaning also may bring about a response. If it does, receiver, through her mind, selects the symbols for his response. Then he sends them to sender, and another cycle of communication begins. The process may continue, cycle after cycle, as long as both sender and receiver want to communicate.
Although our description of the communication process illustrates face to face, oral communication, it also fits written communication. But there are some differences. Perhaps the most significant difference is that written communication is more likely to involve creative effort. It is more likely to be thought out, and it may even begin in the mind rather than as a reaction to a message received. A second differences is the time between cycles. In face to face communication, cycles occur fast, often in rapid succession. In written communication, some delay occurs. How long the delay will be varies. While instant and text messaging may be read within a few seconds of sending, fax or email messages may be read within few minutes after they are transmitted, letters in a few days, reports perhaps in days, weeks, or months. Because they provide a record, written messages may communicate over extremely long time periods. A third difference is that written communication usually involves a limited number of cycles and oral communication usually involves many. In fact, some written communication is one cycle communication. That is a message is sent and received, but none is returned.
FUNCTIONS OF COMMUNICATION
Communication serves four major functions within a group or organization: Control, motivation, emotional expression, and information. Communication acts to control member behavior in several ways. Organizations have authority hierarchies and formal guidelines that employees are required to follow. When employees, for instance, are required to first communicate any job related grievance to their immediate boss, to follow their job description, or to comply with company policies, communication is performing a control function. But informal communication also controls behavior. When work groups tease or harass a member who produces too much and makes the rest of the group look bad, they are informally communicating with, and controlling, the member’s behavior. Communication fosters motivation by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and what can be done to improve performance if it’s subpar. We saw this operating in our review of goal setting and reinforcement theories. The formation of specific goals, feedback on progress toward the goals, and reinforcement of desired behavior all stimulate motivation and require communication. For many employees, their work group is a primary source for social interaction. The communication that takes place within the group is a fundamental mechanism by which members show their frustrations and feelings of satisfaction. Communication, therefore, provides a release for the emotional expression of feelings and for fulfillment of social needs. The final function that communication performs relates to its role in facilitating decision making. It provides the information that individuals and groups need to make decisions by transmitting the data to identify and evaluate alternative choices.
Common myths about communication:
Words contain meaning . Untrue . In fact people attach meaning to words.
Information equals communication. Untrue. What matters is the degree of similarity between the message sent and the message received.
Communication is a product you can control. Untrue everything said or done conveys a message. Ex. Facial expression or cloths.
Good speakers are good communicators. Untrue . Effective communicators listen to the audience and express their thoughts clearly in an understandable way.
Taking steps to establish effective communication :
Increasing the awareness of communication
Using and understanding verbal message
Using and understanding non linguistic cues
Listening and responding to other in a thought fuel way.
Attentive listening is crucial to effective listening :
Remember , Do not jump to conclusions before hearing what the other person has to say.
Do not interrupt
Deep understanding of human interaction is essential.
Since interpersonal communication occurs whenever we interact with other people. We learn interpersonal skills since birth.
We could enhance them with :
The 10 human relations commands :-
- Speak to people
- Smile at people
- Call people by name
- Be friendly and helpful
- Be cordial
- Be genuinely interested in people
- Be generous with praise
- Be considerate
- Be alert
10. Have a good sense of humor.
Six rules of effective communication:
1) Organize your thoughts
2) Don’t think about it, think through it
3) Recognize that actions speak louder than words
4) Be concise
5) Always translate your message in to benefits for the other party
6) Listen carefully to the other party.
Effective communication strategies:
ì The result of the communication is the responsibility of the communicator
ì If you are not getting the result you want in communication try something different. Communicate the message in others view point
ì Always focus weather your communication is successful in reaching the receiver. No matter whether the message is right or wrong.
ì Communication can change reality and it is a effective tool for creating trust.