BUS 248 - Highlights for Chapter One


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This presentation centers on five points of interest from the chapter: Why Business Communications is important, Trends affecting Communication in the Workplace, the Communication Process, Communicating in Business, and Ethical Communication.

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  • Welcome to the first video discussion of BUS 248!In these video discussions, I’ll cover some of the highlights from the reading. Please note that these videos are meant to supplement your reading – they do not replace it. You are still responsible for reading and learning the material within the textbook. That content will appear on future quizzes and exams.
  • Chapter One explores these topics. The theme focuses on why communication is important, it’s basic processes, how it is influenced.
  • In this video, I will be concentrating on these five topics from the Chapter.
  • So why does this class matter? Here are a few reasons:Important for Professional Success – you have to be able to communicate with others. You will need to ask others for help, to gain information from them, and to use that information to complete your own work.Learned – not Inherent – When did you speak your first words? Did you just make those words up, and people understood you? Or, did you hear them, and learn to repeat them? Communication is a skill, similar to playing a sport, performing with a musical instrument. It is a learned behavior. And how to communicate in the world of business is something that every learns.Desired by employers - Industry has moved away from the “soloist” employee; who worked alone. Employers and industry leaders are looking for people who can and will collaborate with existing employees to complete projects, and help their companies grow.Skillset is Critical – not optional – Look at the world we live and work in today. It is filled with a wide variety of communication tools, many of which you’ll be exposed to within this class. In order to be a part of the business world, this is a skillset you will need.
  • Our workplace is changing from an industry dealing, heavily in manufacturing, to a field working with intangible products and services. That’s not to say manufacturing is disappearing. We will always need homes, vehicles, and other goods. But as a whole, our industry is dealing more in data - and how we use that data – than ever before. As such, we are moving away from being a “product” driven industry, where we produce something tangible, to an industry that is “service” driven, which produces an intangible good.
  • Aside from your workplace changing, there are other, major trends affecting your workplace. We’ll talk about a small sampling of those trends now.Heightened Global Competition – companies don’t just compete with the store across the street, every business – and I do mean every business, has the potential to compete globally. That potential exist as communication technology continues to evolve. Flattened Management Hierarchies – Companies and organizations have learned that elaborate hierarchies create too much complication in communication. Instead, they are working to eliminate the “middle man” by “flattening” their formal structures.If you think of the game “telephone”- where someone says something, and the message gets passed on from person to person. Depending on the number of people between the original a message, and it’s arrival point: that message can evolve into something completely different. Companies and organizations are realizing this, and are reducing the number in the “communication chain” to ensure, communication between front-line employees and upper levels of management is clear and effective.Expanded Team-Based Management – as noted before, many business are moving from the solo employee to working in teams. This helps build morale within the company, increase productivity, and help employees feel valued.New Work Environments – Environments such as the ability to work from home or from “Open Offices” are the newest work environment to enter the business world. Open offices are generic office spaces rented out and shared by a number of different companies. This gives their employees a workspace to complete their work that may be easier to commute to, and is away from any potential distractions at home.Increasingly Diverse Workforce – As communication technologies improve, geographical barriers are more readily approached, and overcome. The pool for talent become much greater than just the local area. For example, a local graphic design company in the Alpena area hired a talented individual from Haiwaii. They were able to retain him as an employee, and he was able to continue living in his home state while completing the work.Renewed Emphasis on Ethics – Companies and organizations are all working to be more ethical, and to promote that attitude to their customers. Being ethical resonates with communities, and helps build needed relationships that keep businesses running.Innovative Communication Technology – Last, but by no means least, there is the innovation occurring within communication technology. As these technologies continue to become refined, more possibilities begin to take shape.
  • Speaking of technology, let’s take a quick look at some of the technologies currently in use within industry and businessInternet Calling (also known as Voice over IP, or VoIP) The best example of this is Skype, which uses the internet to place calls. Other technologies, such as Google Call also exist.Office productivity softwareSoftware used within the office to complete specific jobsOpen Office spacesWe discussed this earlier; many open offices not only provide space, but computer equipment as wellInstant messaging and presenceLong thought as a toy used by children, instant messaging (or IM) has proven to be a valuable communication tool in business; allowing co-workers not located nearby to communicate and provide assistanceVideo conferencingVideo conferencing utilizes satellite and interactive television equipment to host meetings.Handheld & mobile devicesSuch as smartphones and tablets have gained significant ground in business as wellWeb conferencingUtilizes the internet to host meetings. Tools like Microsoft Lync, Citrix GoToMeeting, and Adobe Connect are among the most common used, and allow sharing of audio, video, files, and computer screens.Audio conferencingUtilizes phones to hold calls with multiple people on the same lineElectronic presentationsA veteran tool among presentersIntranet websitesInternal websites used by companies for storing and retrieving informationAnd we haven’t even scratched the surface of Social media, blogs, podcasts, wikis, and the infamous tweets!
  • Let’s talk about the Communication Process.The process starts when the person with whom the message originates (a.k.a. the sender) has an idea. An idea is shaped by assumptions based on the sender’s experiences.Next, the sender encodes their message: This means converting the idea into words or gestures that will convey meaning. The Sender next select the medium over which the message is physically transmitted, known as the channel. Examples: an e-mail message, phone call, letter, memo, report, et al.The individual for whom the message is intended is the receiver; and begins the act of translating the message from its symbol form into meaning involves decoding.Feedback travels back to the sender – The verbal and nonverbal responses of the receiver creates feedback. Feedback helps the sender know that the message was received and understood. Senders can encourage feedback by asking questions such as “Is there anything you don’t understand?” or “What are your thoughts?”And the process begins again!
  • A quick side note: The communication process can be impacted by influences. Influences can include some of the elements shown here.This concludes Part 1 of this Chapter Discussion Video. To continue, please return to our Blackboard course site, and watch Part 2.
  • Welcome back! In part 2, we’ll resume our discussion by exploring communication barriers. First up, is bypassing:One of the largest barriers to communication involves words. Words can be incredible subjective. For example, the expression “that’s a good car”, the word “good” can have many meanings:
  • In this example, how do we define good? Is it the brand that makes a car good?Is it research conducted by companies, like consumer reports, that identifies a good car?Is it your own experience owning a car that dictates if it’s a good car?As you can see, there’s many different ways “good” could be interpreted in this example.
  • The point of bypassing is that we all attach meaning to different words, and these meaning are not always similar from person-to-person. Bypassing happens when people miss each other with their meanings. Take great care when communicating; be conscious of the words you choose to use and their possible meanings.Different Frames of Reference: Everything you see and feel in the world is translated through your individual frame of reference. Neitzche wrote: “The value of human life cannot be estimated” The reason why is each of us perceives the world in a different way, based upon our own experiences. Your unique frame of reference comes from the meshing of your experiences, education, culture, expectations, personality, and other elements. The way to avoid this barrier is to be alert to your own frame of reference and research those of other culture. We’ll talk more about this in Chapter 3.Lack of Language Skill: No matter how great the idea – it can’t be understood by others or fully appreciated unless the communicators have good language skills. Each of us needs a good vocabulary, a command of basic punctuation and grammar, and possess skill in written and verbal communication.Distractions: Elements such as emotional interference, physical distractions, and digital interruptions all fall under this category of distraction. These are things that draw our attention away from what is being communicated. It is important to mitigate these distractions (such as, turning off cell phones during a meeting) so that you can concentrate on what’s being said.
  • Business Communication generally serves one or more of these three purposes:To informTo persuadeTo promote goodwill
  • Business communication usually is focused on one of two types of audiences: internal and external audiences.Internal audiences can be described as those that are part of the company or organization (supervisors, coworkers, and subordinates).External audiences are those that exist outside of the company, and with whom you will also communicate with.
  • Moving from audiences in the business world, we can now discuss forms of communication. In business, there are two primary forms of communication: these are known Verbal and Non-verbal communication.Verbal communication, as the name implies, deals with engaging in dialog with others in your company. This can done in a variety of different ways. From having a conversation over the phone, an interview, meeting, or even at your desk – all of these are examples of verbal communication.
  • Verbal communication has several advantages and disadvantages in the business world. For example, you are able to receive immediate feedback, it can be quicker than written communication, and you can also see important non-verbal cues.There can also be disadvantages to this way. Lack of a permanent record (sometimes in resulting in the argument “I said, but then they said this”. It also discourages easy recall, meaning, you’re not able to dive into your e-mail and reread a previous message to help refresh your memory.
  • From verbal communication, we move to written communication. Written communication deals with the printed word. Things such as newsletters, e-mail, policies, manuals, and letters all fall within this category.
  • Again, written communication also has it’s share of advantages and disadvantages. Chiefly among written communications’ advantages is the ability to retain a permanent record of communication; allows for precise crafting of a message, and gives the audience flexibility in when they read and respond to the message.On the disadvantages side, this method leaves a paper trail, so if you write something unprofessional in an e-mail, and send it – that e-mail doesn’t go away. Good quality written communication takes skill, effort, and time. And, non-verbal cues are absent, which can make interpretation difficult at times.
  • Within the business world, communication flows a variety of ways within a business or organization. How communication flows is identified as formal communication channels, and they generally follow an organizations chain of command.That means, a message originates with executives and flows down through managers to supervisors and finally to lower-level employees.Official information within an organization typically flows through formal channels in three directions: Upward, Downward, and Horizontally.Communication flowing upward provides feedback from non-management employees to management.Communication flowing downward moves from decision makers through the chains of command to subordinates, and includes information such as policies, procedures, and directives.Communication that flows among workers on the same level enables individuals to coordinate tasks, share information, solve problems, and resolve conflicts.
  • Ethics: refers to the conventional standards of right and wrong that prescribe what people should do. Why Be Ethical from a Business Sense: Businesses have been criticized following the financial meltdown and many are striving to develop an ethical culture. Even before the financial crises occurred, several businesses were trying to improve the poor public images and avoid government sanctions.Being ethical makes good business sense – ethical companies endure less litigation, less resentment, and less government regulation. That, and it helps improve their public image.
  • Within the business world, your duty to contribute to an ethical culture is to do the following:
  • BUS 248 - Highlights for Chapter One

    1. 1. Chapter One Effective & Ethical Communication at Work Business Communications
    2. 2. Chapter Topics Communication Skills & Career Success Communication Process Barriers to Interpersonal Communication Flow of Information in Organizations Barriers to Organizational Communication Ethics in the Workplace
    3. 3. Discussion Topics Why This Class Matters Trends Affecting Communication The Communication Process Communicating in Business Ethical Communication
    4. 4. Why This Class Matters • • • • Important for professional success Learned – not inherent Desired by employers Skillset is Critical – not optional
    5. 5. The Workplace is Changing Manufacturing Information Worker Product Service
    6. 6. Trends Affecting Your Workplace • • • • • • • Heightened Global Competition Flattened Management Hierarchies Expanded Team-Based Management New Work Environments Increasingly Diverse Workforce Renewed Emphasis on Ethics Innovative Communication Technology
    7. 7. Technology
    8. 8. The Communication Process Sender has Idea Additional Feedback to Receiver Sender Encodes Feedback Travels to Sender Message Travels to Receiver Receiver Decodes
    9. 9. Influences Communication Climate Context & Settings Knowledge & Mood Background & Experiences Values, Beliefs, Culture
    10. 10. Communication Barriers • Bypassing
    11. 11. Communication Barriers • • • • Bypassing Different Frames of Reference Lack of Language Skill Distractions Want more? Look at page 19!
    12. 12. Purpose of Business Communications To Inform To Persuade To Promote Goodwill
    13. 13. Audiences Internal External • Superiors • Coworkers • Subordinates • Customers • Suppliers • Government • Public
    14. 14. Forms of Verbal Communication
    15. 15. Verbal Communication Advantages Disadvantages • Immediate Feedback • Adjustable to Audience • Delivered Quickly • Nonverbal Cues • Warm/Welcoming • Forceful • Lacks Permanent Record • Careless / Imprecise Expression • Inappropriate for Formal / Complex Ideas • Discourages Easy Recall
    16. 16. Forms of Written Communication
    17. 17. Written Communication Advantages Disadvantages • Permanent Record • Convenient to Distribute • Economical • Promotes Comprehension / Recall • Precise / Uniform Expression • Gives Audience • • • • Leaves Paper Trail Requires Skill & Effort Lacks Verbal Cues Cannot Respond to Feedback • May seem Impersonal
    18. 18. Communication Channels Horizontal Flow
    19. 19. Ethical Communication • What are Ethics? • Why does being ethical make good business sense?
    20. 20. Your Duty Abide by the Law Tell the Truth Label Opinions Be Objective Communicate Clearly Use Inclusive Language Give Credit where Credit is Due