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    18635830 lesson-1-introduction-to-business-communication 18635830 lesson-1-introduction-to-business-communication Document Transcript

    • UNIT 1 LESSON 1: CHAPTER 1: NATURE OF INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION What do we mean by communicating effectively? The object of On completion of this lesson you will understand BUSINESS COMMUNICATION communication is to convey thoughts/ intentions/emotions/ • What is communication? facts/ideas of one person or group to the others. When the • How important it is in context of business organizations? message sent is received and understood by the receiver in the • How communication process works? same sense , as the sender wants to convey ,effective communi- cation takes place. When the receiver misunderstands a message“Communication” is a process — an activity that serves to we consider it a distortion in communication. Throughout ourconnect senders and receivers of messages through space study, we would try to improve our communication skills soand time. Although human beings tend to be interested that we can make ourselves better understood in our communi-primarily in the study of human communication, the process is cations.present in all living things and, it can be argued, in all things. The fact is that we spend so much of our time communicating;From this we may conclude that communication is a funda- we tend to assume that we are experts. Surveys indicate thatmental, universal process. when business professionals are asked to rate their communica-How often have you heard statements such as these? tion skills, virtually everyone overestimates his or her abilities as• If you want to be promoted, you’ll have to improve your a communicator. There is a natural tendency to blame the other communication skills. person for the problems in understanding or making ourselves• One of the strengths of our relationship over the years has understood. The better option is to improve one’s own been that we communicate so well - in fact, usually I know communication. One has to be always on a look to identify his what she’s thinking before she tells me! weak points as a communicator and strive to overcome them. This needs a thorough understanding of meaning and process• The lightening storm knocked out our communication of communication. systems, and since then we haven’t handled a single customer call. Meaning of Communication• He’s really smart, and he knows his stuff, but as a teacher he Communication is derived from the Latin word communis, just doesn’t communicate it very well. which means, “ to share” that is, sharing of ideas, concepts, feelings and emotions. The science of communication is almost• They say they built the product to meet our specifications, as old as man himself. Form time immemorial; the need to but it’s not what we asked for - I think we have a share or to communicate had been felt. Different vehicles / communication problem here. channels were identified and subsequently improvised for theThe word “communicate” derives from the word “common” - purpose of transmission of ideas and concepts. A study ofto share, exchange, send along, transmit, talk, gesture, write, put these channels enables us to gain an insight into the process ofin use, relate. So an investigation of this subject might begin communication.with the question: What do all studies of communication havein common? What are the shared concepts that make the study Before a definition of communication is arrived at, a fewof “communication” different from the study of subjects such queries, which arise in the minds of the readers, have to beas “thought” or “literature” or “life?” When someone says, answered. What is the importance of communication? Why“this is a communication problem,” what does that mean? should it be studied? Why should the channel be analyzed and examined?When a baby sees his mother’s face for the first time, communi-cation happens. When someone steps out onto a beach in Goa The importance of communication can be gauged from the factand water touches his feet communication happens. When the that we are communicating in some from or the other almostIndian parliament passes a new bill to curb monopolies in the every moment of our lives. Whether we are walking,, talkingmarket and the President signs, communication happens. ,playing, sitting, or even sleeping, a message is being formulatedWhen a computer in Delhi calls up a computer in Tokyo and and transmitted. Man, who is a social animal, is constantlytransmits a message, communication happens. interacting with other individuals. For him it is necessary to understand the art of communication and apply or modify it inCommunication is a general phenomenon. It occurs in nature, a suitable manner. Man possesses the ability to communicate,wherever life exists. Whether we recognize it or not, we have no which is much more than a composition of certain symbolizechoice but to communicate. If we try to avoid communicating or to understand concepts in terms of images or symbols. It isby not replying to messages, we are nevertheless sending a this ability that helps him to communicate. Communicationmessage, but it may not be the one we want or intend. When then, it may be stated, is much more than an understanding ofwe don’t say yes, we may be saying no by default – and vice the spoken or written language. It is a composite of symbols,versa. The only choice we can make about communication iswhether we are going to attempt to communicate effectively. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 1
    • gestures, and illustrations that accompany either the spoken or A Study-tour of CommunicationBUSINESS COMMUNICATION the written word. This tour presents a fundamental overview of the study of communication with emphasis on the study of human Basic Purpose of Communication communication. The sections may be used in any order, though People in organizations typically spend over 75% of their time in a comprehensive study would normally begin with section an interpersonal situation; thus it is no surprise to find that at the number one and consider each in the order listed below. root of a large number of organizational problems is poor communications. Effective communication is an essential compo- 1. The Communication Process nent of organizational success whether it is at the interpersonal, Communication is a process that serves to connect senders and intergroup, intragroup, organizational, or external levels. receivers of messages in space and time. Although human beings tend to be interested primarily in the study of human “What is the purpose of (formal) communication?” A communication, the process is present in all living things and, it response to a query of this nature would be more beneficial if can be argued, in all things. From this we may conclude that attempts were made to understand the business situation communication is a fundamental, universal process. where success or failure of issues is always measured in terms of man- hours spent in the completion of a task. Let us take an example. Suppose the boss issues instructions to his subordi- nate to complete a certain project in a particular manner within a stipulated timeframe. The subordinate does it to the best of his ability. However, the end result is a miserable failure because the manner of completion does not match with the expectations of the boss. A lot of time has been wasted as a result of miscommunication on the part of the two members of the 2. Self Andsociety same organization. In fact, more first instance. If the amount Messages are formed in the mind of one individual and of time used in completion of this particular task is calculated, interpreted in the mind of another. Yet the formation and it would be seen that double the time necessary has been taken. interpretation of messages are affected by the groups to which The example cited above is one of the most common and the individuals belong. Thus, a complete understanding of prevailing examples of miscommunication resulting from a lack human communication must take into account both human of feedback in organizations. This, however, is not the only psychology and human social interaction. criterion that qualifies for an in-depth study of communication. Let us take a look at the communicative competence required at three different levels in an organization. In the business situation of a manager, as he goes higher up in the hierarchy is to coordinate, issue instructions, collate information, and then present it. All these activities require effective communication skills the sooner these skills are honed, the easier it is for the manager to accomplish tasks. Similar is the case of the junior manager vying for a quick promotion. As 3. Information work in the organization is always done in conjunction with To receive messages human beings must make use of their other people, effective communication skills become a necessity. senses. However, the senses continually process large volumes Let us compare the progression of two junior managers up the of data, not all of which are the result of communication. It is ladder of success possessing almost the same academic the human ability to discern, recognize, and remember patterns qualifications and almost similar personality traits. Only one of in this constant flow of data that makes meaningful communi- them would be able to make it to the managing Director’s chair. cation possible. Without doubt it would be the candidate with excellent communication skills. Prior to entry in any organization, certain communicative abilities are also looked for in candidates. Ability to speak, conduct oneself properly in an interview, get along with others, listen carefully and accurately, make effective presentations, prepare good yet brief report, make proposals, sell ideas, convince and persuade others are some of the attributes looked for in a candidate. If an individual possesses these attributes looked for in a candidate. If an individual possesses these attributes or can train himself to 4. Signs And Language excel in them, he himself would realize how much easier it is for Some patterns of data bring to mind memories of previous him only to secure a comfortable position in an organization but patterns. These “signs,” as they are called, can be assembled into also to achieve success. large, powerful patterns called “languages.” Much (though certainly not all) of human communication is carried on through the use of language. © Copy Right: Rai University 2 11.234
    • Systems BUSINESS COMMUNICATION A “system” is typically described as a collection of parts which are interconnected, or related to, one another and which also relate to the environment which surrounds the system. In the picture below, the circles and rectangles represent the parts, the solid lines represent the relationships among the parts, and the arrows show the system’s interaction with its environment.5. Interaction And RelationshipsIn face-to-face situations human beings cannot avoid commu-nicating with one another. This “interpersonal”communication, which involves processes such as “speech” and“body language,” plays an important role in the formation,development, and dissolution of human relationships. To say that the elements of a system are interconnected implies that if something happens to change one part, then at least one other part must change, too. Naturally, as soon as that second part changes, some other part must then change ... and so on. This is somewhat like the effect of touching a bowl of gelatin -6. Mass Communication a single touch results in a long period of jiggling motion.Approximately five hundred years ago a new form of commu- Because systems interact with their environments, they arenication arose. This “mass” communication process, which constantly being “touched” from the outside. This means thatmakes use of permanent text that can be made available to most systems are constantly changing, and, because thesemillions of people at the same time, has quickly become an changes take time, a system cannot be described as having oneimportant factor in the lives of many human beings. particular shape. It is this property that makes systems useful for studying the kinds of situations that scholars usually refer to as events, or processes. The idea of a system is well illustrated by the device called a “mobile.” The parts of this system, or objects, as they are often called, are represented in the illustration below as “fishes.” The relationships are established by the bars, which maintain a horizontal spacing among the fish, and the pieces of string, which keep the fish at certain vertical depths.7. The Communication EnvironmentHuman communication takes place within, and cannot beseparated from, the complex social environments within whichall communicators must live. Systems of belief, technologicalmedia, and the presence of cultural artifacts all affect thecommunication process and contribute to the development ofthe human social reality. Notice that the strings and bars • Connect every fish with every other fish, • Allow the fish to move around quite a bit, yet confine themCommunication: a system for sending and receiving messages. to a certain area and keep them from falling apart.An investigation of this statement will lead first to the idea of a This is a fine example of how a system works. If any one fishsystem, and then to the idea of messages. moves, at least one other fish will react by moving, too. Thus, the smallest breeze will keep the mobile in constant motion. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 3
    • The following quotation by Stephen Littlejohn provides a more Communication ConnectsBUSINESS COMMUNICATION formal definition of the term “system” . But communication is not merely passive connection. Rather, From the simplest perspective, a system can be said to consist communication is the process of connecting. It is a collection of of four things. renewable actions that work throughout space and over time to form relationships among objects. • The first is objects. The objects are the parts, elements, or variables of the system. These objects may be physical or Communication is not an object itself; it is not a thing, and this abstract or both, depending on the nature of the system. leads to a second insight into the nature of communication. • Second, a system consists of attributes, or the qualities or Communication Happens properties of the system and its objects. This is an important observation. It implies that communica- • Third, a system must possess internal relationships among tion can never fully be understand by looking only at “things.” its objects. This characteristic is a crucial defining quality of To understand communication, we must also look at the systems. A relationship among objects implies a mutual relationships among the “things” and at the environments in effect (interdependence) and constraint. which the “things” reside. • Fourth, systems also possess an environment. They do not For example, consider some common communication exist in a vacuum but are affected by their surroundings. “things”: Clearly, the “fish” mobile meets these requirements. • A paperback copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, • A video tape of the CNN 6:00 news broadcast on May 5th, 1990, • A written invitation to attend my sister’s wedding. In each case the thing - the actual book, the actual video tape, the actual invitation - is not the communication. • The communication is the process that connects the readers of the book to the story told by the author. • The communication is the process that connects the watchers It is important to do the following exercise. Thinking about of the broadcast to the events of the day. systems in this way is the most effective way to understand • The communication is the process that connects my sister them. and I via the announcement of her wedding. Consider each of the three systems named here and try to: True, the book, the tape and the invitation are a part of the • Name some of the objects that make up the system, communication process, but they are only a part. • Name some of the relationships among the objects, There are additional observations to be drawn from these • Describe the environment of the system, and examples. • Describe ways in which the system is constantly changing. • Communication always happens between or among - it takes at least two to communicate. Three Systems Your body’s nervous system, • Communication involves an exchange - of electrical signals, of sounds, words, pages of print, or whatever. The legal system of the United States, For ease, these exchanges among communicators will be given The U. S. Interstate Highway system. the general name: messages. The Role of Communication Notice, for example, that each of the previous set of examples Notice that these example systems have communication in contained sender and a receiver and a message. The book was common. written by its author to be read by its audience. The video tape • The nervous system carries messages from the nerve endings was produced by one group of people to be watched by in our extremities to our brains and back. another. And the invitation is a message sent from my sister to • The legal system includes thousands of individuals talking me. to one another, laws being read and interpreted, forms being The idea of “messages” is considered at length in these filled out, and so on. tutorials. At this point, however, it is appropriate to reiterate the • The highway system requires constant communication two basic rules that have just been uncovered: among drivers - turn signals, brake lights, and so on - and 1. Communication is a process that happens among and acts to between drivers and their vehicles - as, for example, when connect communicators through space and over time. you “tell” your car to turn left by pulling on the steering 2. Communication involves the creation, transmission, and wheel. reception of messages. In fact, it might be said that communication is the “glue” that holds a system together. This gives insight into the nature of communication itself, to wit: © Copy Right: Rai University 4 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 5
    • That’s Just What I Mean! barriers are filters that we use to decide what is useful for us. NoBUSINESS COMMUNICATION Most problems arise because people cannot sustain one can completely avoid these filters. If you start taking every effective communication. Cultivating the art of listening information and message you get seriously, you would be helps to build bridges and enhance relationships, says overloaded with information. But if you are not consciously Santosh BabuAll happy families resemble one another, each aware of this filtering process, you may lose a lot of valuable unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Thus begins Leo information. A way to overcome these filters when you want is Tolstoy’s epic Anna Karenina. What he meant, perhaps, is that through active listening and feedback. communication is complete when the mind is happy and Active Listening uninhibited, and distortion creeps in when the mood is sullen All of us can hear, but all of us cannot listen. Hearing and and sad. Most problems in an organization, family or group are listening are not the same thing. Hearing is involuntary and the result of people failing to communicate. Haven’t you often listening involves the reception and interpretation of what is said “You don’t understand what I say” or words to that effect? heard. It decodes the sound heard into meaning. Does a knock Communication is the exchange or flow of information and on the door sound the same all the time? What if you are alone ideas between one person and another. Technically, it involves a and you hear a knock at late night? What happens when you sender passing on an idea to a receiver. Effective communication hear a knock while you are expecting someone whom you like? occurs when the receiver comprehends the information or idea People generally speak at 100 to 175 words per minute but we that the sender intends to convey. What does a communication can listen intelligently at 600 to 800 words per minute. This process involve? You have an idea that you need to communi- means most of the time only a part of our mind is paying cate, and a message is sent to the receiver, either verbally or attention, it is easy for the attention to drift. This happens to all non-verbally. The receiver then translates the words or nonver- of us. The cure: active listening. This involves listening with a bal gestures into a concept or information. Let’s take, for purpose. It may be to gain information, obtain directions, example, this message: “You are very intelligent.” Would this understand others, solve problems, share interests, see how the message carry the same meaning to the receiver every time you other person feels, even show support. This type of listening voice these words? The success of the transmission depends on takes the same amount of or more energy than speaking. This two factors—content and context. Content is the actual words requires the listener to hear various messages, understand the or symbols that constitutes a part of the message, known as meaning and then verify the meaning by offering feedback. Here language. It could be either spoken or written. We all interpret are some of the traits of an active listener: words in our own ways, so much so that even simple messages could be understood differently. • Does not finish the sentence of others. • Does not answer questions with questions. Context is the way the message is delivered-the tone, expression in the sender’s eyes, body language, hand gestures, and state of • Is aware of biases. We all have them... we need to control emotion (anger, fear, uncertainty, confidence and so on). As we them. believe what we see more than what we hear, we trust the • Never daydreams or becomes preoccupied with one’s own accuracy of nonverbal behavior more than verbal behavior. So thoughts when others talk. when we communicate, the other person notices two things: • Lets others talk. What we say and how we say it. Normally we think communica- • Does not dominate the conversation. tion is complete once we have conveyed the message: “I don’t know why it was not done. I had asked him to do it.” Chances • Plans responses after the other persons have finished are that the message was not perceived properly. A message speaking, not while they are speaking. hasn’t been communicated successfully unless the receiver • Provides feedback, but does not interrupt incessantly. understands it completely. How do you know it has been • Analyses by looking at all the relevant factors and asking properly received? By two-way communication or feedback. open-ended questions. Communication Barriers Ourselves • Keeps the conversation on what the speaker says...not on Focusing on ourselves, rather than the other person can lead to what interests them. confusion and conflict. Often, we are thinking about our • Takes brief notes. This forces one to concentrate on what is response, rather than focusing on what the other person is being said. saying. Some other factors that cause this are defensiveness (we feel someone is attacking us), superiority (we feel we know Feedback more than the other), and ego (we feel we are the center of the This is done by restating the other person’s message in your activity). Perception: If we feel the person is talking too fast, own words. It helps to make sure that you understood the not fluently or does not articulate clearly, we may dismiss the message correctly. How much better daily communication person. Our preconceived attitudes affect our ability to listen. would be if listeners tried to understand before they tried to We listen uncritically to persons of high status and dismiss evaluate what someone is saying! Let’s do a test of your those of low status. Mental state: People don’t see things the listening ability. Get a paper and pen. You have two minutes to same way when under stress. What we see and believe at a given do this. If you take more time, you need to improve your moment is influenced by our psychological frames of refer- listening skills. Read all the instructions below before doing ences-beliefs, values, knowledge, experiences and goals. These anything. © Copy Right: Rai University 6 11.234
    • • Write your name in the top right corner of the paper BUSINESS COMMUNICATION• Draw five small squares in the top left corner• Put a circle around each square• Put an X on the lower left-hand corner• Draw a triangle around the X you just made• Sign your name at the bottom of the page• On the back of your page multiply 70 x 30• Write the answer to the above problem adjacent to your signature• Check whether you have done all the above correctly Now that you have finished reading carefully, do only the first instruction. The author is a Delhi-based personal growth trainer. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 7
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 2: STAGES IN COMMUNICATION CYCLE In this case the boss heard far more than a simple message that Content Terry won’t be at work today. The boss “heard” hostility from • Key stages of communication cycle Terry, indifference, lack of consideration, among other emo- • Methods of Communication – Verbal and nonverbal tions. Terry may not have meant this, but this is what the boss heard. The Communication Process Communications is so difficult because at each step in the Although all of us have been communicating with others since process there major potential for error. By the time a message our infancy, the process of transmitting information from an gets from a sender to a receiver there are four basic places where individual (or group) to another is a very complex process with transmission errors can take place and at each place, there are a many sources of potential error. multitude of potential sources of error. Thus it is no surprise Consider the Simple Example that social psychologists estimate that there is usually a 40-60% loss of meaning in the transmission of messages from sender • Terry: “I won’t make it to work again tomorrow; this to receiver. pregnancy keeps me nausious and my doctor says I should probably be reduced to part time. It is critical to understand this process, understand and be aware of the potential sources of errors and constantly counteract • Boss: Terry, this is the third day you’ve missed and your these tendencies by making a conscientious effort to make sure appointments keep backing up; we have to cover for you and there is a minimal loss of meaning in your conversation. this is messing all of us up. It is also very important to understand that major of our In any communication at least some of the “meaning” lost in communication is non-verbal. This means that when we simple transmission of a message from the sender to the attribute meaning to what someone else is saying, the verbal receiver. In many situations a lot of the true message is lost and part of the message actually means less than the non-verbal the message that is heard is often far different than the one part. The non-verbal part includes such things as body language intended. This is most obvious in cross-cultural situations and tone. where language is an issue. But it is also common among people of the same cuture. Key Stages in Communication Cycle Look at the example. Terry has what appears to be a simple Communication is a two- way process in which there is an message to convey-she won’t make it to work today because of exchange and progression of ideas towards a mutually accepted nausia. But she had to translate the thoughts into words and direction or goal. For this process to materialize, it is essential this is the first potential source of error. Was she just trying to that the basic elements of communication be identified. These convey that she would be late; was she trying to convey anything elements are. else. It turns out she was. She was upset because she perceived Sender/ Encoder/ Speaker that her co-workers weren’t as sympathetic to her situation as The person who initiates the communication process is they should be. Her co-workers, however, were really being normally referred to as the sender. From his personal data bank pressured by Terry’s continued absences, and her late calls. They he selects ideas, encodes and finally transits them to the receiver. wished she would just take a leave of absence, but Terry refuses The entire burden of communication then rests upon the because she would have to take it without pay. sender or encoder. His choice of images and words the Thus what appears to be a simple communication is, in reality, combination of the two is what goads the receiver to listen quite complex. Terry is communicating far more than that she carefully. In this process a number of factors come into play, would miss work; she is conveying a number of complex primary among them being an understanding of the recipient emotions, complicated by her own complex feelings about and his needs. If the message can be formulated in accordance pregnancy, work, and her future. with the expectations of the receiver, the level of acceptance is going to be higher. For example, a consultant wishes to She sent a message but the message is more than the words; it communicate with the HRD manager of a company. The includes the tone, the timing of the call, and the way she objective is to secure consultancy projects on training of expressed herself. personnel. If the consultant wishes the HRD manager to Similarly, the boss goes through a complex communication communicate with him, he has to ensure that their goals process in “hearing” the message. The message that Terry sent converge. He has a tough task ahead of him. The manager had had to be decoded and given meaning. There are many ways to been interacting with many consultants. Why should he pay decode the simple message that Terry gave and the way the heed to the proposal of this consultant? In a situation such as message is heard will influence the response to Terry. this, a good strategy to be adopted is to expand the purview of the proposal and make it company specific. The result could be © Copy Right: Rai University 8 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONhighlighted and spelt out in terms of increase in sales. Ifsufficient preparation has been done, the message too would SENDINGincrease in sales. If sufficient preparation has been done, themessage too would be formulated in a manner conducive to the Encoding Transmission Decodinginterests of the HRD manager.Receiver/ Decoder/ ListenerThe listener receives an encoded message, which he attempts to Source Noise Receiverdecode. This process is carried on in relation to the workenvironment and the value perceived in terms of the worksituation. If the goal of the sender is envisioned as similar tohis own, the listener Feedback Loopbecomes more receptive. The decoding of the message is donein almost entirely the same terms as were intended by the Encoding Transmission Decodingsender. In the example cited above, as soon as the HRDmanager realizes that the proposal of the consultant is going toresult in tangible benefits, he becomes more receptive and his Activityinterest in communication is reinforced. Try not to narrate a story of a film you recently saw to your friend. Ask your friend to tell the story, which you have just toldMessage him. Try to understand the entire communication processMessage is the encoded idea transmitted by the sender. The through the above diagram.formulation of the message is very important, for a message,which is incorrectly structured, can turn the receiver hostile or Barriers to Effective Communicationmake him lose interest. At this stage the sender has to be There are a wide number of sources of noise or interferenceextremely cautious. What is the order in which he would like to that can enter into the communication process. This can occurpresent his ideas? Suppose he has four points to make would when people now each other very well and should understandhe (a) move in the stereotyped manner of presenting them in a the sources of error. In a work setting, it is even more commonsequence or (b) would he like to be innovative and proceed in a since interactions involve people who not only don’t have yearscreative way? Probability is high that in case (a) he might become of experience with each other, but communication is compli-monotonous and in case (b) he might touch a wrong spot. cated by the complex and often conflictual relationships thatHow then should the message be formulated and transmitted? exist at work. In a work setting, the following suggests aThe ordering, as stated earlier, should be based on the require- number of sources of noise:ments of the listener so that its significance is immediately • Language: The choice of words or language in which agrasped. The minute the receiver finds his goals codified in the sender encodes a message will influence the quality ofmessage, he sits up, listens and responds. The message thus has communication. Because language is a symbolicmade an impact. representation of a phenomenon, room for interpreationMedium and distortion of the meaning exists. In the above example,Another important element of communication is the medium the Boss uses language (this is the third day you’ve missed)or channel. It could be oral, written or non- verbal. Prior to the that is likely to convey far more than objective information.composition of the message, the medium / channel should be To Terry it conveys indifference to her medical problems.decided. Each medium follows its own set of rules and Note that the same words will be interpreted different byregulations. For example, in oral communication one can afford each different person. Meaning has to be given to words andto be a little informal, but when using the written mode, all many factors affect how an individual will attribute meaningrules of communication need to be observed. It must be to particular words. It is important to note that no tworemembered that anything in writing is a document that would people will attribute the exact same meaning to the samebe filed for records or circulated to all concerned. words.Feedback • Defensiveness, distorted perceptions, guilt, project,This is the most important component of communication. transference, distortions from the pastEffective communication takes place only when there is • Misreading of body language, tone and other non-verbalfeedback. The errors and flaws that abound in business forms of communication (see section below)situations are a result of lack of feedback. Le us take a look at • Noisy transmission (unreliable messages, inconsistency)the typical responses of people involved in miscommunication: • Receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring non-verbal“ this is not what I meant” or “ This is not what I said”, or cues“this was not my intention”. If feedback is solicited on alloccasions, this error can be minimized or even completely done • Power strugglesaway with. Fallacious statements or erroneous conclusions are • Self-fulfilling assupmtionsmade because of lack of confirmation through feedback and • Language-different levels of meaningdiscrepancy between the message transmitted and understood. • Managers hesitation to be candid © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 9
    • • Assumptions-eg. assuming others see situation same as you, stage. The crux of the message in both the statements is theBUSINESS COMMUNICATION has same feelings as you same: You want an individual within an organization to • Distrusted source, erroneous translation, value judgment, undertake a project. The manner in which it is stated brings state of mind of two people about a difference in approach. Further, expressions that might hurt or cause mental pain to the receiver should, as far as • Perceptual Biases: People attend to stimuli in the possible, be ignored. For this it becomes essential that the “I” – environment in very different ways. We each have shortcuts attitude be discarded in favor of the “you”-attitude. Develop- that we use to organize data. Invariably, these shortcuts ment of interest in the “you” will perforce make the other introduce some biases into communication. Some of these individual also see the point of view of the other. At the time shortcuts include stereotyping, projection, and self-fulfilling of emphasizing the “you-attitude”, only the positive and prophecies. Stereotyping is one of the most common. This pleasant “you-issues” should be considered. If it is being used is when we assume that the other person has certain as a corrective measure, then the results are not going to be very characteristics based on the group to which they belong positive or encouraging. without validating that they in fact have these characteristics. 2. Clarity. Absolute clarity of ideas adds much to the meaning • Interpersonal Relationships: How we perceive of the message. The first stage is clarity in the mind of the communication is affected by the past experience with the sender. The next stage is the Makes comprehension easier individual. Percpetion is also affected by the organizational transmission of the message in a manner which makes it relationship two people have. For example, communication simple for the receiver to comprehend. As far as possible, from a superior may be perceived differently than that from a simple language and easy sentence constructions, which are subordinate or peer not difficult for the receiver to grasp, should be used. Cultural Differences: Effective communication requires deci- 4. Correctness. At the time of encoding, the sender should phering the basic values, motives, aspirations, and assumptions ensure that his knowledge of the receiver is comprehensive. that operate across geographical lines. Given some dramatic The level of knowledge, educational background and status differences across cultures in approaches to such areas as time, of the decoder help the encoder in formulating his message. space, and privacy, the opportunities for mis-communication In case there is any discrepancy between the usage and while we are in cross-cultural situations are plentiful. comprehension of terms, miscommunication can arise. If 7 C’S’ and 4 S’s the sender decides to back up his communication with facts 7 C’s and figures, there should be accuracy in stating the same. A situation in which the listener is forced to check the presented In any business environment, adherence to the 7 C’s and the 4 facts and figures should not arise. Finally, the usage of terms S’s helps the sender in transmitting his message with ease and should be nondiscriminatory, e.g. the general concept is that accuracy. Lets us first take a look at the 7 C’s: women should be addressed for their physical appearance 1. Credibility. If the sender can establish his credibility, the whereas men for their mental abilities. This, however, is a receiver has no problems in accepting his statement. stereotype and at the time of addressing or praising Establishing credibility is not the outcome of a one-shot members of both the sexes, the attributes assigned should statement. It is a long-drawn out process in which the be the same. Similarly for occupational references. In the receiver through constant interaction with the sender business world almost all professions are treated with understands his credible nature and is willing to accept his respect. Addressing one individual for competence in his statements as being truthful and honest. profession but neglecting the other on this score because of • Courtesy. Once the credibility of the sender has been a so-called ‘inferior’ profession alienates the listener from the established, attempts should be make at being courteous in sender. expression. In the business world, almost everything starts 5. Consistency – The approach to communication should, as with and ends in courtesy. Much can be accomplished if tact, far as possible, be consistent. There should not be too many diplomacy and appreciation of people are woven in the ups and downs that might lead to confusion in the mind of message. the receiver. If a certain stand has been taken, it should be Example: observed without there being situations in which the sender is left groping for the actual content or meaning. If the • Jane:” You can never do things right. Try working on this sender desires to bring about a change in his understanding project. If you are lucky you may not have to redo it.” of the situation, he should ensure that the shift is gradual • Jane: “This is an interesting project. Do you think you and not hard for the receiver to comprehended. would be able to do it. I know last time something went 6. Concreteness. Concrete and specific expressions are to be wrong with the project, but everyone makes mistakes. preferred in favour of vague and abstract expressions. In Suppose we sat down and discussed it threadbare I’m sure continuation of the point on correctness, the facts and your would be able to do wonders.” figures presented should be specific. Abstractions or abstract The two statements convey totally different impressions. While statements can cloud the mind of the sender. Instead of the first statement is more accusative, the second is more tactful stating: “There has been a tremendous escalation in the sales and appreciative of the efforts put in by the receiver at an earlier figure”, suppose the sender made the following statement: © Copy Right: Rai University 10 11.234
    • “There has been an escalation in the sales figures by almost element of deceit involved in the interaction or on the part BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 50% as compared to last year.” The receiver is more apt to of the sender. If the receiver is keen an observant, he would listen and comprehend the factual details. be able to sense the make-believe situation and, business7. Conciseness. The message to be communicated should be transactions, even if going full swing, would not materialize. as brief and concise as possible. Weighty language definitely 4 S’s sounds impressive but people would be suitably impressed into doing precisely nothing. As far as possible, only simple S’s Relevance and brief statements should be made. Excessive information Shortness Economises can also sway the receiver into either a wrong direction or into inaction. Quantum of information should be just right, Simplicity Impresses neither too much nor too little , e.g. Strength ConvincesUsually the policy date… Sincerity AppealsIn the first example, the statement is rather long and convo-luted. However, the second example gives it the appearance of Keys to More Effective Communicationbeing crisp, concise and to the point. Over 70% of our time is spent communicating with others,7 C’s and that’s the one interaction every person must do. Everyone must communicate their needs and ideas. Every organization must communicate its products and services. Unfortunately, C’s Relevance Credibility Builds trust many people have trouble in this area. Some just don’t have the professional impact they need to get ahead in today’s corporate Courtesy Improves relationships world. Communication is just as important as what we say Clarity Makes comprehension easier because people judge us, our companies, our products, our Correctness Builds confidence services, and our professionalism by the way we write, act, dress, Consistency Introduces stability talk, and manage our responsibilities. In short, how well we Concreteness Reinforces confidence communicate with others. Conciseness Saves time Successful people know how to communicate for results. They know how to say what they mean and get what they want without hurting the people they deal with. You deal daily with4 S,s peers, outside groups, customers, employees, and managers,An understanding of the 4 S’s is equally important. and you must have a good communication style.1. Shortness. “Brevity is the soul of wit,” it is said. The same When we ask people how well they communicate, their answers can be said about communication. If the message can be usually fall into one of three categories. First, and most prevalent, made brief, and verbosity done away with, then transmission is the person who responds, “I communicate perfectly. I spell and comprehension of messages is going to be faster and everything out so there’s nothing left to doubt.” more effective. Flooding messages with high sounding Another will react with surprise and ask me, “What do you mean words does not create an impact. Many people harbour a ‘how well?’ I don’t think about communicating, I just do it.” misconception that they can actually impress the receiver, if they carry on their expeditious travails. Little do they realize The third type will reflect on the question thoughtfully before how much they have lost as the receiver has spent a major saying something like, “How can one ever know how well they chunk of his time in trying to decipher the actual meaning of get their ideas across to another person? All I can tell you is I the message. work more hours trying to communicate than I can count, and it still doesn’t work some of the time.” Each answer, in its own2. Simplicity. Simplicity both in the usage of words and ideas way, is correct. reveals a clarity in the thinking process. It is normally a tendency that when an individual is himself confused that he Communicating today is both a discipline and a liberation. Our tries to use equally confusing strategies to lead the receiver in language is flexible; one size fits all. It’s a language in which ravel a maze. Reveal clarity in the thinking process by using simple and unravel mean the same thing; flammable and inflammable terminology and equally simple concepts. mean the same thing; fat chance, slim chance, no chance at all mean the same thing. Communication is both a science and a3. Strength. The strength of a message emanates from the feeling; it’s often a cinch, and often an impossibility. credibility of the sender. If the sender himself believes in a message that he is about to transmit, there is bound to be The smell of a woman’s perfume, the taste of semisweet strength and conviction in whatever he tries to state. Half- chocolate, the sight of a blind person’s cane, the feel of the hearted statements or utterances that the sender himself feverish brow of a sick child, the sound of the background does not believe in adds a touch of falsehood to the entire music of a horror movie—all these move us to action or reaction. These are all examples of effective communication, and4. Sincerity. A sincere approach to an issue is clearly evident to none of them involve words. the receiver. If the sender is genuine, it will be reflected in the manner in which he communicates. Suppose there is a small © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 11
    • Communication is full of risks; despite whatever precautions The telephone is appropriate when communicating simple factsBUSINESS COMMUNICATION and plans we make, we can never really be sure of our success. to a few people. The phone also has more impact and sense of No communication ever travels from sender to receiver in the urgency than written communication, but not as much as a same shape intended by the sender. And, no matter how hard meeting. To insure that messages are understood on the phone, you try, the message will never be what you say—the message is you may want to ask for feedback and check to make sure the always what they hear. But if you have a system to go by, you communication link is complete. can at least reduce the risk and improve your chance of being Face-to-face communication has more urgency than meetings. It effective. also has the advantage of speed, allows considerable two-way For communication to occur, there must be a two-way inter- communication to take place, and usually elicits a quick re- change of feelings, ideas, values; clarification of signals; and a sponse. It’s usually best to use face-to-face dialogue when the fine-tuning of skills. interaction is personal—when giving praise, counseling, or taking disciplinary action. Adjust the Climate Whenever people get together to communicate with one Meetings are appropriate when there is a need for verbal another, two factors are always present. First, there is some sort interaction among members of a group. Studies have revealed of content to be covered—instructions, news, gossip, ideas, that supervisors spend more than half of their potential reports, evaluations, etc. productive time in meetings, discussions, and conferences. For this reason, it’s important to decide in advance whether a All of us are familiar with the content of communication, meeting will actually achieve the desired result. because it’s the most obvious factor, and because we deal with it every day. The second factor that is always present when people Eliminate Static get together to communicate is the atmosphere or feeling that Another helpful skill is elimination of communication “static” accompanies what you say. This is known as the communica- or barriers. If there’s too much static, or noise, there’s a garbled tion climate. message. The problem is that each of us has different barriers, Physical climate affects us in many ways. When it’s cold, we wear and we don’t usually know what kind of noise the other warm clothes. When it’s raining, we wear protective clothes. person is hearing. Sometimes we guess, and sometimes we And it’s not uncommon for weather conditions to affect our guess wrong. The major barrier to communication is our mood. Communication climates also affect us. They can be natural tendency to judge, evaluate, approve, or disapprove the either positive or negative. When the communication climate is other person’s statements. positive, it’s easier for us to communicate, solve problems, reach Suppose the person next to you at lunch today says, “I really decisions, express thoughts and feelings. In short, it makes like what Kay duPont has to say.” What will you say? Your reply working and dealing with other people more pleasant and will probably be either approval or disapproval of the attitude productive. We’ve all been in restaurants, stores, offices, and expressed. You’ll either say, “I do too!” or you’ll say, “I think homes where we felt comfortable and at ease. We usually want she’s terrible.” In other words, your first reaction will be to to go back to those places. We’ve also been in homes, offices, evaluate it from your point of view, and approve or disapprove and shops where the climate has been negative. In those what the other person said. Although the tendency to make instances, we were uncomfortable, uneasy, and less open. We evaluations is common in almost all conversation, it is very usually don’t enjoy attempting to communicate or do business much heightened in those situations where feelings and in a negative climate. Are you making the climate negative for emotions are involved. those you work with? Tune in Choose Your Channel One of the best ways to “tune in” to the other person is to find Like a radio, human transmitters and receivers have channels. A out how they process and store the information they receive. communication channel is the medium through which Studies of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) have proved information passes from sender to receiver: lecture, written that there are three sensory process types: Visual, Auditory, and messages, telephone conversations, face-to-face dialogue, and Kinesthetic. group meetings. Some people are visually oriented. They remember and imagine The choice of a channel may affect the quality of the communi- things by what they look like. They store pictures. Some people cation and, in turn, the degree to which the receiver will respond are auditory—they store sounds. Some people are kinesthetic— to it. Therefore, you must decide which channel will be most they store touch sensations. effective in accomplishing your purpose. How can you figure out a person’s processing system? By Written communication should be used when communicating listening. People tend to broadcast how they process informa- complex facts and figures or information, such as engineering, tion, how they file their data. Visually oriented people say things legal or financial data, since communication breakdowns often like: “Here’s what it looks like to me. Do you see what I mean? result when complex material is presented orally. Written Do you get the picture? I need a clearer vision of that. That’s communication is also the best channel when communicating not coming in clear to me.” All visually oriented terms. with large numbers of people, when transmitting large amounts Auditory people remember and imagine things by what they of data, or when you need a record of the communication. sound like. They say: “Here’s what it sounds like to me. That © Copy Right: Rai University 12 11.234
    • rings a bell. Do you hear what I mean? We need to have more BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONharmony in this office. We’re not in tune on this.”Kinesthetic people remember and imagine things by the feel ofthem. They say: “Here’s what it feels like to me. Do you graspwhat I’m saying? That was a rough problem. That was a heavyburden. That was a weighty issue.”People don’t always use the same sensory words, of course, butwe do tend to use one sensory process about 70% of the time.If you want me to understand how you feel or see what youmean or get in tune with your ideas, you need to talk to me inwords I’ll relate to—either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Ifyou talk to me in flowers, and I hear in pastry, we can’t commu-nicate. This is a very sophisticated form of communicating, andcan be very effective.Know Your NonverbalsBody movement, eye contact, posture, and clothing are also veryimportant elements. In fact, studies prove that 93% of yourmessage is nonverbal and symbolic. Employees learn to cue onthe boss’ moods, spouses learn to react to each other’s move-ments, children instinctively watch for signs from their parents.Studies have also taught us that sometimes our tongues sayone thing, our bodies say another thing, and our symbols—likeclothing and hairstyles—say still a third thing. When this occurs,the normal person will believe what they see, not what theyhear. So you need to be constantly aware of the image youportray. Is it one of assertive confidence. . .someone who iswilling to listen and solve problems? Or is it of someone whois unfriendly and uncaring? Do your clothes and posture reflecta person of high quality or one of sloppy habits?Over 2 centuries ago, Ben Franklin said, “Power is with theperson who can communicate well.” It’s truer today than it hasever been. And the power exists within you. . .all it takes isawareness and practice.Exercise1. Pick up any two students in your class. At random give feedback to both of them – positive to one and negative to the other. Note down their verbal responses and body language. Is there any difference between the responses of the two students? If yes, what is it? What strategies can be used to even out the differences?2. Divide the section into two groups with two observers. Both the groups are numbered and further subdivided into senders and receivers. It is decided beforehand that the message transmitted in the first group is meaningful and in the second, a mere exchange of social pleasantries. Observers list down the criteria that help them to determine the significance of the message – whether it is meaningful or being used to while away the time. Observe the non-verbal cues in a piece of communication. How do these cues affect the meaning of words? What is their impact on the receiver? © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 13
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 3: TYPES OF COMMUNICATION Contents Communication Network An organization is a composite of many individuals working • Methods of Communication – Verbal and nonverbal together, towards its growth. They are constantly interacting • Channels of communication – formal and informal with each other and with people outside the company. The • Dimensions of communication – upward, downward, horizontal and communication network in an organization is of two types: diagonal 1. Internal 2. External We have by now gathered some knowledge on what communi- Internal Communication cation is, how is it important in business and key stages of communication as well. Today we shall learn the different Formal Communication methods of communication, channels and dimensions of Interaction between members of the same organizations called communication. internal communication. It could be both formal and informal. Large organizations with hundreds of people working find it Introduction very difficult to have direct interaction with each and everyone. When Anil entered in his office on a Monday morning, he They adopt a number of strategies, e.g., newsletters, annual found that somebody had tempered with his personal com- reports to communicate the essential message. In such large puter and that it was plugged on. He called up his personal setups, it is neither possible nor necessary to transmit all secretary and enquired as to who could have done that. After a information to every member. while she reported that two marketing executive came on Some of the merits of formal communication network are Saturday evening to seek some information and since he was discussed below: not there, they used his computer for that. Sandeep was very angry and wanted to stop this practice. He called those execu- 1. Satisfy the information needs of the -organization - Formal tives and and warned them. He issued a memo to this effect channels of communication are designed to cater to the and distributed it in the office. informational needs of the organization, i.e., when and where, what kind of information is required and who is to Here Anil used speech (words spoken), writing (memo) , body provide it. Thus the formal communication channels are language (his expression when he talked to the marketing needed for the very reason of activating information flow in executives and paralanguage (stern tone of voice) to make his the organiza-tion. people aware of his sentiments. 2. Integrates the organization - Formal communication Both formal (i.e. memo) and informal channels (discussion channels work as linking wires in a big sized organization, among employees) contributed to spread the news. and thus integrate its functioning. Note the dimensions of communication even in the small 3. Coordination and control- By providing required office environment. Anil Enquires from his secretary , warns the information at right time to right places, the formal executives and issues a memo - all are downward communica- communication networks greatly facilitates coordination and tion. Secretary reports, executives reply to Sandeep –all are control in the organization. upward communication. Secretary enquires about who came in the boss’s room – horizontal communication. 4. Sorts the information for high-level executives - Formal communication channels facilitate the flow of selective Now we will see the various forms of communication and information to the top executives. Otherwise they will be different channels and directions through which communica- finding themselves in the midst of all relevant and irrelevant tion may pass. information. Methods of Communication 5. Restricts unwanted flow of information - When a person is One of the ways of communicating is by words whether by supposed to formally communicate some information to way of speech or by way of writing. Another is by using the some authority, that itself has a restrictive implication that he expressions other than words , like gestures , body language, need not disseminate this information anywhere else. etc. A third mode of communication is circumstantial commu- 6. Reliability and accuracy of information - When information nication, that is the people communicating make no deliberate moves through formal channel, it has to have some basis to effort, the message is conveyed by the way the things are . For substantiate it. It is any time more reliable and accurate than example : the elaborate décor of one’s office room conveys that the informally obtained information. he is holding a high position in the organization. We will divide our discussion into two categories. However, the formal communication network entails some limitations also: © Copy Right: Rai University 14 11.234
    • 1. Time consuming and expensive - Since formal Patterns of Grapevine Communication BUSINESS COMMUNICATION communication channels involve lot many levels, The grapevine is active in almost every organization. Let’s take a information takes time to travel across. More-over, paper look at how communication travels along the informal work, involvement of executive’s time, and other facilities network-the well-known grape-vine. There appear to be four required for the communication network make it an patterns to this form of communication. expensive proposi-tion. • The single strand is the way in which most people view the2. It increases the workload of the line supervisor - Since most grapevine. In this, person A tells something to person B, he of the reporting goes from down to up, generally line tells that to person C, he tells that to another person down supervisor is the person who has to devote a good deal of the line to Y and so on. This chain is least accurate in passing time because in forwarding information, under formal the information. channels. This leaves him with little time to perform other • In the gossip chain, one person seeks out and tells everyone organizational functions properly. the information that he has obtained. This chain is often3. Information may get distorted - There are dangers of used when information of an interesting but non-job messages being lost, filtered or distorted as they pass related nature is being conveyed. through many points. • In the probability chain, individuals are indifferent about4. Creates gaps between top executives and lower subordinates whom they offer information to; they tell people at random, - Formal communication channels reduce the need of contact and those people in turn tell others at random. This chain is between the top executive and the subordinates at the lowest often used when the information is mildly interesting but level. Many a times they do not even recognize each other. insignificant. This adversely affects superior subordi-nate relationship. • In the cluster chain, person A conveys the information to aWhatever these limitations are, the need for a formal network few selected individuals; some of those individuals thenof communica-tion cannot be done away with. An organization inform a few selected others. Research evidence shows thathas to have a formal commu-nication structure. Of course one the cluster is the most popular pattern that grapevinecan strive to make it more economic and efficient by not being communications take. That is, a few people are activetoo rigid and too elaborate. communica-tors on the grapevine. As a rule, only about 10 per cent of the people in an organization act as liaisons whoInformal Communication pass on information to more than one other person. WhichInformal communication network is not a deliberately formed individuals are active on the grapevine often depends on thenetwork. It arises to meet needs that aren’t satisfied by formal message. A message that sparks the interest of an employeecommunication. Employees form friendships, and cliques may stimulate him to tell someone else. However, anotherdevelop, they talk in gatherings, the persons working at same message that’s perceived to be of lesser interest may never beplace may talk just like that, and likewise. These in turn allow transmitted further.employees to fill. in communication gaps within the formalchannels. Following are some of the’ sources of informal Grapevine show admirable disregard for rank or authority andcommunication: may link organization members in any combination of directions- horizontal, vertical, and diagonal. As Kieth Devis1. Grapevine _. channel mostly associated with gossip and puts it, the grapevine flows around water coolers, down rumors hallways, through lunchrooms, and wherever people get2. Social gatherings - organizational gatherings give a chance to together in groups. people of various ranks to meet and talk Merits of informal Communication3. Management by walking around - where a manager The informal communication has the following advantages: informally walks through the work area and casually talk to employees 1. Satisfies social needs of members - Man being a social creature needs to have social interaction. Informal4. Secretaries/administrative assistants - It is very common that communication satisfies this need very well. Also, it provides the secre-taries or administrative assistants of the top bosses the workers an outlet to freely express their fears, views and pass and receive much information informally. thoughts.Since grapevine is the most widespread and commonly used 2. Better human relations - Informal communication is a veryinformal commu-nication network, we would discuss it in detail. good way to promote good human relations in theThe grapevine exists outside the formal channels and is used by organization.people to transmit casual, personal, and social interchanges atwork. It is an expression of their natural motivation to com- 3. Speed - The informal communication (specially grapevine) ismuni-cate. It consists of rumors, gossip, and truthful a very speedy network to spread the information. Managersinformation. Its speed is very fast as compared formal communi- may use the grapevine to distribute information throughcation. For instance, a study conducted by Keith Davis revealed planned leaks or judiciously placed just between you andthat wife of a plant supervisor has a baby at 11.00 p.m. and a me” remarks.plant survey the next day at 2.00 p.m. showed that 46% of the 4. It works as a linking chain - It links even those people whomanagement personnel knew of it through the grapevine. do not fall in the official chain of command. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 15
    • 5. It serves to fill the possible gaps in the formal While communicating at the internal level, an individual can, onBUSINESS COMMUNICATION communication. a few occasions, be slightly relaxed. The same would not hold true if he is communicating at the external level. Much is at Limitations of Informal Communication stake at the time of external communication as individuals are The limitations of informal communication are as follows: representatives of the companies, they need to protect the 1. Not authentic - Informal communication is not authentic. image of the organization and create a positive impression that Different per-sons may distort the message because of has long-lasting impact. different interpretations. 2. Responsibility cannot be fixed - Informal communication is Dimensions of Communication Within an organization, communication may flow downward, oral in nature and it is very difficult to fix the responsibility upward, horizontally, or diagonally. Following discussion of the communicator for the message transmitted. It may pertains to these dimensions of communication networks: lead to generation of rumors in the organiza-tion. 3. Not dependable - Informal channels may not always be Downward Communication active therefore is not dependable. Downward communication occurs when-ever messages flow from top of the organization through various levels to the 4. It may lead to the leakage of confidential information. bottom of the organization. There may be several types of 5. Incomplete information - Grapevine information is generally downward commu-nications, namely-: incomplete. 1. Job procedures/instructions- directions about what to do or Note that despite all these limitations, the informal communi- how to do the things. For example, when you restock the cation system permits employees to satisfy their need for social shelves, put the new merchan-dise behind the old stock” is interaction, and works parallel to the formal network. It can be an instruction. used positively to improve an organization’s performance by 2. Job rationale- Explanation of purpose of doing a task in a creating alternative, and frequently faster and more efficient certain way. For example, we rotate the stock like that so that channels of communication. The mangers can do this if they the customers won’t wind up with stale merchandise” is a pay due attention to informal communication networks. statement explaining the purpose of the instruction given in External Communication the above example. Communication is an ongoing process. It does not only take 3. Policies and practices - Information about rules, regulations, place with people within the organization but with people policies, and practices to be followed. For example, II don’t outside the organization as well. If a company has to survive in try to argue with the unhappy customers. If you can’t handle the competitive environment, it has to adopt the latter form of them, call the manager” is an instruction about the practice communication also. The image of the company is contingent followed in the organization. upon the relationship that it maintains with people outside. 4. Feedback/motivation - Telling the subordinates about their External communication can take on a number of forms. performance and. motivating them, like- life you keep up the 1. Advertising good work, you will be assistant manager by the end of the 2. Media interaction year”. 3. Public relations Thus when we say downward communication, we mean that 4. Presentations communication is flowing from upper rung of the ladder of the organization to the lower one, no matter what form it takes. 5. Negotiations This communication helps the subordinates to know what is 6. Mails expected of them and brings in greater job satisfaction and 7. Telegrams improves morale of the employees. 8. Letters The main problem with the downward communication is that External communication could again be oral or written. The when the information passes through various hierarchical first three forms of communication mentioned above, viz. channels, there are chances that it gets distorted by the time it advertising, media interaction, and public relations, fall mainly reaches to the targeted person. Since the person giving the within the domain of corporate communications. Establishing message has different level of understanding than that of the good relations, negotiating or conducting a deal, interacting receiver, it may also happen that the way receiver interprets the with clients, issuing tenders, soliciting proposals, sending letters message is not what the sender wants to convey. Very often, in are all part of external communication. this is a different task as practice, the recipient not having the ability to understand the interaction takes place and varies between a host of people communication may hinder communication. The message may belonging to different disciplines, with different personalities also be insufficient or unclear. An example would be a commu- and different expectations. As communication proceeds with nication quoting the location of a meeting without any external customers, almost all skills needed for adept communi- instruction on how to find that location. The message could be cation have to be brought to the fore to avoid any too big to be fully understood in the time available. An embarrassment or lapse in performance. example would be a manager attempting to explain too much of a complex task at a time. The result may be confusion, or, at worst, exasperation. © Copy Right: Rai University 16 11.234
    • When the message passes through many channels, it may get The main problem is the difference in approach and vision of BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONdelayed. At times the message may get lost in between. different functionaries, who look the things from their ownHowever, these problems do not undermine the importance of angles.downward communication. If the efforts are made to makedirect and clear communica-tions, these may be overcome.Upward Communication - Messages flowing from subordi-nates to superiors are termed as upward communication. Someof the examples are given below: Department Department“We will have the job done by tomorrow” - is a reply to an A Bequity from the boss. “The problem with the machine iscontinuing. It stops working after every hour and has to berestarted.” -subordinate informing unsolved work problem to Diagonal or crosswise Communication - Diagonal commu-the superior. nication cuts across functions and levels in an organization. When a supervisor in the credit department communicatesUpward communication is important because It helps the top directly with a regional marketing manager, who’s not only in amanagement in knowing about the attitudes, behaviour, different department but also at a higher level in the organiza-opinions, activities and feelings of the’ workers on the job. On tion,- they’re engaged in diagonal communication.the basis of such knowledge and information, the managementmay improve its behaviour, introduce motivational plans and Given the potential for problems, why would individuals resortimprove its controlling function. Subordinates get an outlet for to diagonal communication? The answer again is efficiency andtheir grievances, suggestions, and opinions, etc. They may feel speed. In some situations, bypassing vertical and horizontalthat they are contributing towards the goals of the organiza- channels expedites action and prevents others from being usedtion. Despite the importance of upward communication, merely as conduits between senders and receivers. Also, theemployees find it difficult to participate in it. Being frank with increased use of electronic mail systems in organizations hassuperiors can be risky, especially when the news is not what the made diagonal communication much easier. A major problemboss wants to hear. Busy superiors may also be too occupied to with this form of communication is that it departs from thepay attention to employees. Most of the responsibility for normal chain of command. To minimize communication gaps,improving upward communication rests with managers. They most diagonal communications also encompass a verticalcan begin the process by announcing their willingness to hear communication to superiors or subordinates who may havefrom, subordinates. The management may use an open door been bypassed.policy, grievance procedures, periodic inter-views, group Communication is required at every level from every directionmeetings and the suggestions book, etc. depending upon the situational need. Formal network channels facilitate the flow of information in every direction-downward, upward, horizontal, and diagonal. Although communication along every dimension entails its own merits and problems, we Upward Downward cannot do without any of them. Communication Communication The Strengths and weaknesses of each communication method are not just a factor of the media elements they can employ, but also the broad categories that they fall into. There are four independent dimensions that help considerably in categorizing the methods:Horizontal and Lateral Communication - This is a commu- • Recorded v livenication between persons of same hierarchical level. The main • Passive v interactiveobject of this type of communication is to coordinate the • Local v remoteefforts of different but related activities. The most obvious typeof horizontal communication goes on between members of • Push v pullthe same division of an organization; office workers in thesame department, co-workers on a construction project, Forexample – accounts department calls mainte-nance to get amachine repaired, hospital admission call intensive care toreserve a bed and so on.Horizontal communication helps in coordinating the activitiesof different departments at the same level. The departmentalheads may sit together and thrash out problems/wastage oftime, money, labor and-materials. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 17
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Recorded Live Recorded communication is prepared in advance of its Live communication is delivered as it happens, in real-time. delivery. Examples are audio tapes and CDs; videotapes; CD- Examples are live radio and TV broadcasts; one-to-ones; ROMs; letters, memos and reports; manuals; printed meetings; phone calls and video conferencing calls. materials; faxes; e-mails; intranet pages and some radio and The advantage of live communication is that it is immediate. TV broadcasts. The advantages of recorded communication are that it delivers a consistent message each time; the message can be a considered one and the recipient can access the communication at a time that suits them. Passive Interactive Passive communication is one-way. The receiver is not able to Interactive communication is two-way. Each party in the respond directly to the communication. Examples are audio process is able to send and receive communication. Ex- tapes and CDs; videotapes; manuals; printed materials; faxes; amples are CD-ROMs (assuming they do not contain purely radio and TV broadcasts. linear material); letters, memos and e-mails (to the extent that they are exchanged); the intranet (to the extent that The advantages of passive communication are that it requires interactive facilities are provided); one-to-ones; meetings; less effort from the recipient and that, because there are no phone calls and videoconferencing calls.The advantages of opportunities for interaction, it is quicker. interactive communication are the opportunities it provides for feedback; the greater degree of confidence it provides that the message has been understood; the recipient can to some extent control the pace of the communication and the message can be tailored to better meet the recipient’s needs. Local Remote Local communication is stand-alone and off-line. It occurs Remote communication is delivered at a distance. It is where you are, even though it might have been originated at a networked, on-line, transmitted. Examples are e-mails; the distance. Examples are audio tape and CDs; videotapes; CD- intranet; radio and TV broadcasts; phone calls and ROMs; letters, memos and reports; manuals; printed videoconferencing calls. The process by which faxes are materials; one-to-ones and meetings. Faxes are local even transmitted is also remote. though the process by which they are transmitted is not.The advantages of local communication are that no sacrifice has to The advantages of remote communication are that there is be made to quality because of bandwidth limitations and that no delay in getting the message to the recipient, wherever there are fewer restrictions on where the media can be used or they are and that communication can take place over large the communication can take place. distances. An advantage of remote, recorded media, such as intranet pages, is that they can be easily updated centrally. Push Push communications are sent to specific recipients. Pull Pull communications are made available to be accessed Examples are letters, memos and reports; faxes and e-mails; at the recipient’s discretion. Examples are audio tapes and one-to-ones; meetings; phone calls and videoconferencing CDs; videotapes; CD-ROMs; manuals; printed materials; the calls.The advantage of push communication is the greater intranet; radio and TV broadcasts.The advantages of pull certainty that it provides that a message will reach its target communication are that it is less stressful for the recipient within an appropriate timeframe. and that very large quantities of information can be made available at any one time. Communication methods compared IT IS NOW POSSIBLE to look at the applicability of each method by identifying where it sits against each of the four dimensions and the media elements it is capable of employing. © Copy Right: Rai University 18 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Characteristics by dimension Characteristics by dimension Characteristics by dimensionAudio Recorded, so consistent, considered, Through the spoken word can be When the message can be conveyedtape/CD accessible when suits user specific, convey tone of voice using sound alone; when interaction Passive, so requires less effort from Through non-verbal sounds can create is not required; when recipients have recipient, quicker emotional response, realism access to players; when no other medium is suitable, e.g. when Local, so potential for high quality, travelling portable Typical applications: education and Pull, so less stressful, good for large training on the move quantities of infoVideo- Recorded, so consistent, considered, Through the spoken word can be When the message requires hightape accessible when suits user specific, convey tone of voice quality moving images; when you Passive, so requires less effort from Through moving images can be direct need to create a memorable impres- recipient, quicker and memorable, attract attention, sion; when interaction is not show motion, including body required; when the size of the Local, so potential for high quality, language audience makes it cost-effective; when portable recipients have access to players Pull, so less stressful, good for large Through non-verbal sounds can create emotional response, realism Typical applications: corporate quantities of info communications CD-Rrom Recorded, so consistent, considered, Through the written word can be When the message requires a wide accessible when suits user specific, self-paced Through the range of media types; when interac- Interactive, so opportunities for spoken word can be specific, convey tion is required; when the message feedback, can check message has been tone of voice Through still images can needs to be tailored to the recipient; understood, recipient can control be direct and memorable, self- when the size of the audience makes pace, message can be tailored pacedThrough moving images can be it cost-effective; when recipients have direct and memorable, attract access to players Local, so potential for high quality, attention, show motion, including Typical applications: training and portable body languageThrough non-verbal point-of-sale programmes Pull, so less stressful, good for large sounds can create emotional response, quantities of info realism Letters / Recorded, so consistent, considered, Through the written word can be When the message can be conveyed memos / accessible when suits user specific, self-paced using text and still images; when it is reports Interactive, so opportunities for Through still images can be direct and important that you know the feedback, can check message has been memorable, self-paced recipient will see the message; when understood, recipient can control the message needs to be tailored to pace, message can be tailored the recipient; when e-mail is not available, when portability is needed Local, so potential for high quality, or when hard copy is essential portable Typical applications: everyday Push, so message will reach target on business communications where no time on-line alternativeManuals Recorded, so consistent, considered, Through the written word can be When the message can be conveyed accessible when suits user specific, self-paced using text and still images; when an Passive, so requires less effort from Through still images can be direct and intranet is not available, portability is recipient, quicker memorable, self-paced needed or hard copy is essential Local, so potential for high quality, Typical applications: reference, where portable no on-line alternative Pull, so less stressful, good for large quantities of info © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 19
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Characteristics by dimension Characteristics by dimension Characteristics by dimension Printed Recorded, so consistent, considered, Through the written word can be When the message can be conveyed materials accessible when suits user specific, self-paced using text and still images; when Passive, so requires less effort from Through still images can be direct and quality is important; when the size recipient, quicker memorable, self-paced of the audience makes it cost- effective; when an intranet is not Local, so potential for high quality, available, portability is needed or portable hard copy is essential Pull, so less stressful, good for large Typical applications: corporate quantities of info communications, marketing materials Fax Recorded, so consistent, considered, Through the written word can be When the message can be conveyed accessible when suits user specific, self-paced Through still using text and still images; when it is Passive, so requires less effort from images can be direct and memorable, important that you know the recipient, quicker self-paced recipient will see the message; when the recipient is at a distance; when e- Push, so message will reach target on mail is not available; when the time recipient has a fax machine; Typical applications: business messages if no on-line alternative E-mail Through the written word can be Recorded, so consistent, considered, specific, self-paced When the message can be conveyed accessible when suits user using text alone; when it is impor- Interactive, so opportunities for tant that you know the recipient will feedback, can check message has been see the message; when the recipient is understood, recipient can control at a distance; when the message pace, message can be tailored needs to be tailored to the recipient; when both parties have e-mail access Remote, so no delays, regardless of distance Typical applications: everyday business communications Push, so message will reach target on time Intranet Recorded, so consistent, considered, Through the written word can be When the message can be conveyed accessible when suits user specific, self-paced using sound alone; when the Interactive, so opportunities for Through still images can be direct and recipient is at a distance; (if live) feedback, can check message has been memorable, self-paced when communication needs to be understood, recipient can control immediate; when the recipient has a pace, message can be tailored radio receiver Remote, so no delays, regardless of Typical applications: none distance Pull, so less stressful, good for large quantities of info Radio Passive, so requires less effort from Through the spoken word can be When the message can be conveyed recipient, quicker specific, convey tone of voice using text and still images; when an Remote, so no delays, regardless of Through non-verbal sounds can create intranet is not available, portability is distance emotional response, realism needed or hard copy is essential Pull, so less stressful, good for large Typical applications: reference, where quantities of info no on-line alternative © Copy Right: Rai University 20 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Characteristics by dimension Characteristics by dimension Characteristics by dimensionTV Passive, so requires less effort from Through the spoken word can be When the message requires high recipient, quicker Remote, so no delays, specific, convey tone of voice quality moving images; when the regardless of distancePull, so less Through moving images can be direct recipient is at a distance; (if live) stressful, good for large quantities of and memorable, attract attention, when communication needs to be info show motion, including body immediate; when the recipient has a languageThrough non-verbal sounds TV receiver Typical applications: can create emotional response, corporate communications using realism satelliteOne to Live, so immediate Through the spoken word can be When the message requires theOnes Interactive, so opportunities for specific, convey tone of voice parties to see each other; when feedback, can check message has been Through moving images (in this case interaction is required; when commu- understood, recipient can control normal sight) can be direct and nication needs to be immediate; pace, message can be tailored memorable, attract attention, show when the message needs to be motion, including body language tailored to the recipient Local, so can take place anywhere Typical applications: interviews, Push, so message will reach target on everyday business communications timeMeetings Live, so immediate Through the spoken word can be When the message requires the Interactive, so opportunities for specific, convey tone of voice parties to see each other; when feedback, can check message has been Through moving images (in this case interaction is required; when commu- understood, recipient can control normal sight) can be direct and nication needs to be immediate; pace, message can be tailored memorable, attract attention, show when the message needs to be motion, including body language tailored to the recipient Local, so can take place anywhere Typical applications: presentations, Push, so message will reach target on seminars, reviews, briefing sessions, time group decision-makingPhone Live, so immediate Through the spoken word can be When the message can be conveyed Interactive, so opportunities for specific, convey tone of voice using sound alone; when interaction feedback, can check message has been is required; when communication understood, recipient can control needs to be immediate; when the pace, message can be tailored recipient is at a distance; when the message needs to be tailored to the Remote, so no delays, regardless of recipient; when both parties have distance access to a phone Push, so message will reach target on Typical applications: everyday time business communicationsVideo Live, so immediate Through the spoken word can be When the message requires theconfer- Interactive, so opportunities for specific, convey tone of voice parties to see each other; whenencing feedback, can check message has been Through moving images can be direct interaction is required; when commu- understood, recipient can control and memorable, attract attention, nication needs to be immediate; pace, message can be tailored show motion, including body when the recipient is at a distance; language when the message needs to be Remote, so no delays, regardless of tailored to the recipient; when both distance parties have access to video Push, so message will reach target on conferencing facilities time Typical applications: important meetings held at a distance © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 21
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Importance of Illustrating Structures 1 Communication • Communication is important The Pyramid because it is about how Traditional view of information is sent and received Decisions pass organisations within firms down formal channels from • The way information is managers to Information flows up formal channels from communicated is often governed staff staff to management by how firms are structured Forms of Business Structure Illustrating Structures 2 • Entrepreneurial - decisions made Entrepreneurial centrally Key • Pyramid - staff have a role; shared worker Quick to act but Key pressure on decision making; specialisation is worker decision makers possible One or two • Matrix - staff with specific skills join Most small businesses Decision people make project teams; individuals have have this structure maker decisions responsibility Great reliance on • Independent - seen in professions Key key workers Key where organisation provides support worker supporting decision worker systems and little else makers © Copy Right: Rai University 22 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Illustrating Structures 3 Channels of Communication Matrix • Communication in organisations follows paths or channels Marketing Production Finance • Communication between managers Project and subordinates is known as A Project teams Staff with vertical communication created specialist skills • This is because the information Project B flows up or down the hierarchy More on Business Structure Channels of Communication Centralisation Decentralisation • Communication in organisations • Managers keep • Empowering and follows paths or channels control motivating • Decisions are made • Freeing up senior • Communication between managers in the interests of and subordinates is known as managers’ time the whole business • Costs can be cut by • Better knowledge of vertical communication standardising those closer to purchasing and so customers • This is because the information on • Good staff flows up or down the hierarchy • Strong leadership development © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 23
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Channels of Communication • Channels between departments or functions involve lateral communication • As well as formal channels of communication, information also passes through an organisation informally • Communication is not complete until feedback has been received © Copy Right: Rai University 24 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 4: PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY believe it either. When your audience doesn’t believe you, By The End of This Lesson You Should Be Able To your credibility—and their motivation to keep listening — • Understand the principles of Effective communication evaporates. Speaking with authority is dependent upon • Discuss the impact information technology speaking truth. Often, speakers get into trouble when they • Explain Email etiquettes extrapolate a principle into a situation they don’t understand. If you’re speaking about how a certain principle would workStudents, in this lesson we will understand the importance of in a business setting, but know nothing about business, iteffective communication. Everyday we communicate with each will show.other but lets think for a while, are we communicating effec- 4. Speak with your own voice : Listeners will disengage fromtively? Communication, whether oral or written, is all about a speaker who uses big words to impress his audience orunderstanding. Our aim should be to communicate a message who appears to choose words for the sake of soundingsuccessfully so that it is received as we intended, without any good. If your listener is conscious of your voice, it is amisunderstanding. distraction. Choose your words the same way you chooseEffective communication can be achieved by having a through your clothes; appropriate for the context, but not distracting.knowledge of the communication cycle, being aware of the Your voice should contain fire, conviction, and accuratelybarriers, which exist, and by considering carefully the following reflect what’s happening in your mind.vital factors: 5. Use gestures well : The effective use of gestures reinforces• What is the objective of communication? Is it intended to what a pastor says. As with the voice, gestures should give information, to persuade, to request, to inform? represent what is happening in the mind. Gesturing also includes looking at people as you talk. Your eyes are almost• Who will receive the communication? What is the as important as your voice. Make sure your eyes sweep across relationship between the sender and the recipient? What is and make contact with people in every part of the audience, the recipient’s background knowledge and experience? not just those in front of you.• Under what circumstances is the communication taking 6. Remember that your knowledge is limited : You may be place? Why is the communication happening? Is it urgent, tempted to appear to know more than you do. Always keep serious, dangerous, emotive or informative? in mind that someone in your audience may know more• How will the recipient react to the communication ? How than you do about your topic. Honestly communicate what will the message affect the recipient? Is it important? Will the you know. recipient be offended or angered? Will it achieve the desired Effective communication is the key to mobilizing your aims? employees behind a new vision. Poor communication, onAccomplishing any task with excellence is always a function of the other hand, is the best way to demotivate yourmastering the basics. The six communication basics all of us employees and stall any progress. Not taking the time tohave to follow are explain the vision, not explaining the vision in clear,1. Establish a warm atmosphere : The atmosphere you create understandable language, or not “walking the talk” are some with your words and gestures determines the effectiveness common ways that organizations fail to achieve their goals. of your sermon. Avoid beginning with a negative tone, self- The seven principles below will help you to avoid mistakes. centered anecdotes, or anything, which betrays insecurity on Keep it simple your part. These focus the audience’s attention on your Unfocused, run-on sentences filled with jargon and buzz words needs, not theirs. Your nonverbal signals are also important create confusion. Language is often an imprecise tool. The more because they communicate your general demeanor. Smiling at often we repeat jargon the less clear the meaning becomes. people demonstrates openness and invites them to listen. Consider this example:2. Actively engage people’s interest : Many of us use • Version #1: Our goal is to improve our victim assistance techniques to engage congregations that they believe are service delivery options so that they are perceptually better effective, but actually disconnect them from listeners. Over- than any other service provider within the confines of the dramatization, excessive emotion, and yelling focus listeners country. In a similar vein, we have targeted existing service upon your performance instead of content. A conversational lines and delivery models for transition to more efficient and approach works better. effective service delivery options.3. Be Believable : Evaluate everything you say from the pulpit • Version #2: We are going to be the best victim services with this question: Is it believable? If you can’t believe program of any police force in Canada. We will do this by yourself when you say something, your audience won’t © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 25
    • having a look at what services we provide and how we open mind to their suggestions. If there isn’t a legitimateBUSINESS COMMUNICATION provide them, to see if we can do it better. reason for inconsistent behaviour, change the behaviour — Which version do you think people will better understand — quickly. Some may believe that management shouldn’t have to and respond to? explain itself to its employees. Those managers shouldn’t be surprised if their employees lose faith and interest. Use Metaphors and Analogy Metaphors, analogy, examples, or just plain colorful language Listen and Be Listened to helps communicate complex ideas simply and effectively. Here’s A final rule: communication should be two-way. Explain the a colorful vision statement from a large corporation that was vision, then listen to the feedback. Don’t forget, a great many facing fierce competition from a host of new, smaller compa- people at all levels of the organization have to actually imple- nies: “We need to be less like an elephant and more like a ment the vision to make it real, but they have to believe in it customer-friendly Tyrannosaurus rex.” first. The language is imaginative, but also accurate. The transforma- Communicating the vision effectively sets the stage for the next tion from elephant to T-rex described exactly the direction the phase: getting people to act. firm wished to take: still big, but more effective. Impact of Information Technology Use Many Different Forums to Spread In recent years there has been an information technology The Word revolution. While paper-based manual systems for processing Spread the word in big meetings, informal one-on-one or information and communicating are still very much evident, group talks and formal presentations. Encourage your employ- more and more office functions and procedures are now being ees to read national broadcasts, divisional newsletters Quarterly undertaken by computer-based technology. The implications of Business Magazines. When the same message comes at people such information technology on communication methods from six different directions, it’s going to be heard. cannot be ignored. However the technology will always require people, and in communication it is the input of the operator Repeat Key Messages that will ensure effective communication (or otherwise). For the message to be repeated as often as possible, plan In the area of text creation, computer experts are trying to make ongoing communication opportunities including developing the task of creating documents much easier. Programs are your key messages. Key messages are the ideas that you want available that will produce standard layouts for most business your audiences (in your case, your employees) to take home documents when inputs or variables are keyed in. In other with them. Key messages should become a natural part of words, the originator does not decide on the layout, the meetings, discussions, etc. When responding to a question, computer program does. Sadly, computer experts who may not answer the question honestly, but also use it as a chance to be so expert in the modern display of business documents repeat a key message if appropriate. One example of a key write many computer programs. Some of these standard message is: “The employees of the Royal Canadian Mounted layouts leave much to be desired. Police are committed to our communities.” This would probably never be said as a single statement without example The fundamental skills of structure, tone and composition will of how we demonstrate this commitment, but it is the essence always be of vital importance in ensuring effective communica- of what we want our listeners to take away and to repeat, or tion. As an originator of printed communications, you have think about later on. control over these factors. However, while technological developments are making your role more interesting and Lead by Example challenging, the basic presentational conventions should not be If you do the opposite of what you say, no one will listen to allowed to suffer. No matter how technology develops in the you. You have to “walk the talk”. future, high standards must be set and maintained in order to • We are promoting a new, client-focused vision, so ensure that all your communications are not only appropriately management should guarantee to listen to employees worded and logically structured, but are also consistently and concerns and respond to their own employees within a attractively presented. specified period. Information Technology has revolutionized business commu- • If we are encouraging empowerment and trust on paper, we nication with Emails. Tell me how many of you still write must put it into action, and give employees the support to letters to your friends, relatives? I guess very few of you and run with ideas, assuming those ideas are well thought out. that is because you would love to chat with your friends or • If we espouse community policing, leaders must send an email rather than taking the pain in writing letters demonstrate this to deliver service to all their “communities” getting it posted and worrying whether your friend will receive which could include employees, bosses, government officials, your letter? By when? So on and so forth. Similarly in business and so on. emails are used more as an internal communication tool which saves time, money and effort. Therefore lets now discuss about Explicitly Address Inconsistencies Emails.EMAIL If there’s a legitimate reason for inconsistent behaviour, explain yourself. For example, in times of belt-tightening, if spending The rapid growth of email has been the most exciting business some money up-front can save more in the long-run, explain communication devel-opment in recent years. In just a short that openly and honestly to your employees, and listen with an © Copy Right: Rai University 26 11.234
    • time, email has emerged as a mainstream form of business full name also is acceptable. The salutations commonly used in BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONcommunication. letters ( Dear Sir, Gentlemen, Dear Mr., Dear Ms. ) are rarely used in email. When writing to someone or a group you do notEvaluating Email’s Pros and Cons know, it is appropriate to identify yourself early in the message.The reasons for this rapid growth are the advantages email has This identification may include your propose and your com-over other communication forms, especially over its principal pany. Your title and position also may be helpful.competitor, the telephone. Among the reasons, the followingare most significant: Organizing the ContentsConversely, .email saves the time of these busy people. They are Even though email messages often are written under timespared the interruptions of telephone calls. pressure, you would do well to organize them carefully. For most short, informative messages, a “top-down” order is• Email can. speed up the process of making business appropriate. This plan, used in newspaper writing, involves decisions, because it permits rapid exchanges from an presenting the most important material first. The remaining involved in the decisions. information follows in descending order of importance. Such• Email is cheap. It permits unlimited use at no more than the an arrangement permits a busy reader to get the essential facts cost of an Internet connection. first, and the reader accessing email on a Web phone or otherEmail also has its disadvantages. The following stand out: small screen to get the essential facts more easily. Many writers• Email is not confidential. “It’s just about as private as a routinely follow this practice. postcard you drop in the mail box.” The longer, more complex, and formal email messages• Email doesn’t communicate the sender’s emotions well. frequently follow more involved and strategic organization Voice intonations, facial expressions, body movements, and patterns. As you will see, these patterns vary depending on how such are not a part of the message. They are in telephone and the reader will likely perceive the writer’s objective. In general, face-to-face communication. those messages that are likely to be received positively or neutrally are written in a direct pattern. That is, they get to the• Email may be ignored or delayed. The. volume of email goal right away and then present their contents systematically often makes it difficult for some respondents to read .and act and quickly. Those messages that are likely to be received on all of their messages. negatively are appropriately written in an indirect pattern. TheirIncluding the Prefatory Elements negative content is preceded by conditioning and explanationMuch of what you. do in constructing email messages is words that prepare the reader for it.standardized, especially the mechanical parts pertaining to Some long email messages may resemble business reports.structure. But the second part of your effort, writing the With these messages, you well may follow the organization andmessage, is far from standardized. Although the following writing instructions for business reports. You should use yourreview covers both, the writ-ing receives the greater emphasis. It knowledge of report presentation in writing them. In fact,is here that you are likely to need the most help. Although the business reports can be communicated by email just as businessvarious email systems differ somewhat, the elements are letters can. As you will see in the later lesson on internalstandardized. They include the following parts:. communication, some memorandums are communicated by• To Here is placed the email address of the recipients. email. The variety of email messages covers the entire spectrum• Cc If someone other than the prime recipient is to receive a of written business communication. courtesy copy, his or her address goes here. Writing the Message : Formality• Bcc This line stands for blind courtesy copy. The recipient’s Considerations message will not show this information; that is, the or she A review of email writing is uncomplicated by the fact that will not know who else is receiving a copy of the message. - email messages are extremely diverse. , they run the range “from• Subject This line describes the message as precisely as the highly informal to formal. The informal messages often situation permits. The reader should get from it a clear idea resemble face-to-face oral communication; some’ even sound of what the message is about. like chit that occurs between acquaintances’ and friends. Email massages are often written in a fast- paced environment with• Attachments In this area you can enter a file that you desire little time for deliberation. to send along with the message. You should make certain that what you attach is really needed. Because of this diversity, discussing the formality of email writing is difficult. One approach is to view the language used• The message The information you are sending goes here. from three general” classifications; casual, in- formal, and How to write it is the subject of much of the following formal. discussion. Casual By casual language we mean the language we use inBeginning The Message talking with close friends in everyday situations. It includesTypically, email messages begin the recipient’s name. If writer slang and colloquialisms. It uses contractions and personaland reader are acquainted, first name only is the rule. If not, the pronouns freely. Its sentences are short-sometimes incomplete.specific situation may determine the first words. A “friendly It uses mechanical emphasis devices and initializes (to begeneric greeting such as Greeting’s” is appropriate for a group discussed later).. Although in actual practice it may be subject toof people with whom you communicate. Use of the recipient’s © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 27
    • grammatical incorrectness, as we stress elsewhere this practice is For the purpose of email writing, we may group the moreBUSINESS COMMUNICATION not helpful’ to the communication and should be avoided. important of these instructions under three heads: conciseness, Casual lan-guage is best limited to your communications with clarity, and eti-quette. A fourth, correctness is equally vital. Each close friends. Following is an ex-ample of casual language: of these im-portant qualities for email writing is briefly Hi Cupcake. reviewed in the following paragraphs. High-five me! Just back from confab with pinheads. They’re Conciseness high on our marketing plan. But as you crystal balled it, they As we have mentioned, email often is written by busy people want a special for the jumbos. ASAP, they said. Let’s meet, my for busy people. In the best interests of all concerned, email cell, 10 A.M., Wed.? messages should be as short as com-plete coverage of the TTFN subject matter will permit. This means cutting the information available and using only that which is essential. It means also Bugger that the information remaining should be worded concisely. In Most of your personal email (messages to friends) are likely to the words of one email authority, “Short messages are better, be casually written. This is the way friends talk and their email even – especially – the important ones” should be no different. Probably some of the email you will Frequently in email communication, a need exists to refer to write in business also will fall. in this category. Much of it will previous email messages. The easiest way, of course, is to tell be with your fellow employees and friends in business. But here your mailer to include the entire message. Unless the entire some words of caution should be expressed. You would be message is needed, however, this practice adds length. It is wise to use casual language only when you know your readers better either to paraphrase the essentials from the original or to well-when you know they expect and prefer casual communica- quote the selected parts that cover the essentials. All quoted tion. Never should you use words, initializes, emphasis devices, material should be distinguished from your own words by the or such that are not cer-tain to communicate clearly and quickly. sign > at the beginning and the sign < at the end of the quoted Informal: informal language retains some of the qualities. of part. Another technique is to place three of these signs (>>>) casual writing. It makes some use of personal pronouns and at the beginning of all parts you write and three of these signs contractions. Its sentences are relatively short. It . occasionally (<<<) at the beginning of all parts you are quoting from may use colloquialisms, but more selectively than in casual previous messages. writing. It has the effect of conversation, but it is proper Clarity conversation-not chitchat. Its sentences are short, but they are Especially important in email writing is clarity of wording. You well structured and organized. They have varied patterns that should select words that quickly create clear meanings. Typically, produce an interesting literary style. In general, it is the writing these are the short, familiar ones. You should strive for that you will find in most of the illustrations in Chapters 6-9. It concreteness, vigor, and precision. Your sentences should be is the language that appears in the text of this book. You short, and so should your paragraphs. should use its most of your business email messages, especially when writing to people you know only on a business basis. An Eqiquette example of an email message in informal language is the It goes without saying that good business etiquette should be following: practiced in all business relations. We all want to receive courteous and fair treatment. In fact, this is the way we human Smita beings prefer to act. Even so, the current literature has much to The management team has heartily approved our marketing say about anger among email participants. “Flaming,” as the plan. They were most complimentary. But as you pre-dieted, practice of sending abusive or offensive language is called, has they want a special plan for the large accounts. As they want it as no place in business. Good business etiquette should prevail. soon as possible, let’s get together to work on it . Can we meet The skillful use of positive language and your viewpoint also Wednesday, 10 am my office Brandon’ can be effective in email. So can the use of conversational Formal language. Nondiscriminatory language also helps, as can A formal style of writing maintains a-greater distance between emphasis on sincerity. In act, virtually all the instructions given writer and reader than informal style. It avoids personal on goodwill building apply here. Also in the interest of good references and contractions. Its sentences are’ well structured and business etiquette, you will want to let your reader know when organized. Although there is a tendency to create-longer sen- no response is required to your email message. tences in formal writing, this tendency should be resisted Correctness Formal style is well illustrated in the examples of formal reports One would think that the need for correctness in email writing in lesson 22/23 and it is appropriate to use email messages would be universally accepted. Unfortunately, such is not the resembling formal reports, in messages to people of higher case. Because of the fast pace of email communication, some status, and to people not known to the writer. practitioners argue that “getting the message out there is the Writing the Message : General important goal – that style need not be a matter of concern. In Considerations the view of one in this group, “You should not add stylistics Instructions for writing email messages are much the same as and grammatical refinements to your email messages because those given in Chapters 2, 3, and 4 for other types of messages. they’ll slow you down.” © Copy Right: Rai University 28 11.234
    • We cannot accept this view. How one communicates is very formal business relationships. In messages to other busi- BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONmuch a part of the message. As expressed by one authority, nesses, it is important that you include your company and“People still judge you on how well you communicate… position.Commercial email represents your company and your brand. Today most email software has a signature feature that willThere’s no room for excuses.” Bad spelling, illogical punctua- automatically attach a signature file to a message. Most pro-tion, awkward wording, and such stand out like sore thumbs. grams even allow the writer to set up an alterna-tive signature;Such errors reflect on the writer. And they can reflect on the giving” users the flexibility to’ choose between a stm1dard, onecredibility of the message. If one knows correctness, it is easy alternate, and none attached at all: Writers sometimes set up aenough to get it right the first time. What is the logic of doing .formal full signature in one file and an informal-signature insomething wrong when you know better? Clearly, an error-field another. The important point to remember is to close with amessage strongly suggests the writer’s ignorance. signature that gives the reader the information he or she needsTo avoid any such suggestion of ignorance, you should follow to know.the grammatical and punctuation instructions presented in Using Emphasis Deviceslesson 5 and 6. And you should follow the basic instructions When you write email messages, you may find that certainfor using words, constructing sentences, and designing elements of style are miss-ing either on your system or on yourparagraphs. Before pressing the Send button, proofread your readers’ systems. While most of the current ver-sions ofmes-sage careful1y. Windows and Macintosh email programs support mechanicalUsing Good Email Etiquette Helps Writers Convey devices such as underscoring, font variations, italics, bold, color,Intended Message and even graphics, some older or mainframe-based systems do not. Email writers have attempted to overcome the lim-itations Using proper email • Have you complied with of these older systems by developing alternative means of etiquette is as easy as copyright laws and showing emphasis. To show underscoring, they use the sign - applying a bit of empathy at the beginning of the words needing underscoring. They use attributed sources to your messages: send asterisks (*) before and after words to show boldface. Solid only what you would want accurately? capital letters are another means of emphasis, although some to receive. The following • Have you avoided critics believe this practice is greatly overused. In the words of additional etiquette guides humor and sarcasm your one critic “Don’t use solid capital letters. People will think you’re will help you consider a reader may not shouting.” A sign they use to emphasize items in a list is the variety of issues when understand as intended? bullet. Since there is no standardized bullet character that will using email: display on all computers, many writers of email use substitute • Is your message really characters. One is the asterisk (*) followed by a tab space. • Have you proofread your needed by the Another is the dash (—) followed by a tab space. Probably these message carefully? recipient(s)? devices are used best in the email messages written in casual • Is this a message you • Is your message for languages. would not mind having routine rather than • distributed widely? Using Initialisms Cautiously sensitive messages ? • Does your signature Probably as a result of the early informal development of email, • Are you sure your avoid offensive Quotes a somewhat standardized system of initialisms has developed. message is not spam Their purpose has been to cut message length and to save the (an annoying message or • illustrations, especially writer’s time. In spite of these apparent advantages, you would sent repeatedly) or a be wise to use them cautiously. They have meaning only if chain letter? those that are religious, readers know them. Even so, you should be acquainted with • Have you carefully • political, or sexual? the more widely used ones, such as those below. You are likely checked that your • Are attached files a size to find others created by your email correspondents. message is going where that your recipients system can handle? ASAP as soon as possible you want it to go? • Has your wording • Are the files you are BTW by the way avoided defamatory or attaching virus free? FAQ frequently asked question libelous language? FWIW for what it’s worthClosing The Message As noted previously, initializm are appropriate primarily inMost email messages end with just the writer’s name – the first casual messages. It is important to keep in mind that thesename alone if the recipient knows the writer well. But in some practices and some of the other pointers given in this reviewmessages, especially the more formal ones, a closing statement apply only to current usage. Computers and their use are chang-may be appropriate. “Thanks” and “Regards” are popular. In ing almost daily. The techniques of email writing also are likelycasual messages, acronyms such as THX (thanks) and TTFN to change over time.( ta-ta for now) are often used. The conventional complimen-tary closes used in traditional letters (sincerely, cordially) are notwidely used, but they are appropriate in message that involves © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 29
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Why is email etiquette important? General Format: The Basics l We all interact with the printed word as though l Write a salutation for l Use caps when each new subject email. appropriate. it has a personality and that personality makes l Try to keep the email l Format your email for positive and negative impressions upon us. brief (one screen length). plain text rather than l Without immediate feedback your document l Return emails within the HTML. can easily be misinterpreted by your reader, so same time you would a phone call. l Use a font that has a it is crucial that you follow the basic rules of professional or neutral l Check for punctuation, etiquette to construct an appropriate tone. spelling, and look. grammatical errors General Format: Character The elements of email etiquette Spacing l General format l Flaming l Try to keep your line length at 80 characters or l Writing long messages l Delivering information less. l Attachments l Delivering bad news l If your message is likely to be forwarded, keep l The curse of surprises l Electronic Mailing Lists it to 60 characters or less. l Set your email preferences to automatically wrap outgoing plain text messages. © Copy Right: Rai University 30 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION General Format: Lists and Bullets General Format: Addresses When you are writing For example, l Avoid sending emails to directions or want to 1) Place the paper in more than four emphasize important drawer A. addresses at once. points, number your 2) Click the green “start” l Instead, create a mailing directions or bullet your button. list so that readers do main points. Another example, not have to scroll too • Improve customer much before getting to satisfaction. the actual message. • Empower employees. To: maillist4@cs.com General Format: Tone Attachments • Write in a positive tone • Use smiles J, winks ;), l When you are sending “When you complete the and other graphical an attachment tell your symbols only when respondent what the report.” instead of “If you appropriate. name of the file is, what complete the report.” program it is saved in, • Avoid negative words • Use contractions to add and the version of the that begin with “un, non, a friendly tone. program. ex” or that end with (don’t, won’t, can’t). l “This file is in MSWord “less” (useless, non- 2000 under the name existent, ex-employee, “LabFile.” undecided). © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 31
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION General Tips for Electronic Mailing Elevator Summary and Table of Lists Contents l Avoid discussing private concerns and issues. l An elevator summary l Table of contents should have all the main “This email contains l It is okay to address someone directly on the components of the list. Ex, “Hi Leslie, regarding your question” email. A. Budget projections for “Our profit margin for the the last quarter l Change the subject heading to match the last quarter went down B. Actual performance for content of your message. 5%. As a result I am the last quarter l When conflict arises on the list speak in person proposing budget C. Adjustment proposal adjustment for the with the one with whom you are in conflict. following areas…” D. Projected profitability” Delivering Information About When your message is long Meetings, Orientations, Processes l Create an “elevator” summary. l Include an elevator summary and table of l Provide a table of contents on the first screen contents with headings. of your email. l Provide as much l If you require a response from the reader then information as possible. l Offer the reader an be sure to request that response in the first opportunity to receive paragraph of your email. the information via mail if l Create headings for each major section. the email is too confusing. © Copy Right: Rai University 32 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Delivering Bad News Writing a complaint Deliver the news up front: Avoid using “weasel words” Ask for help and offer a resolution: “We are unable to order or hedging: “Please let me know what other options I may have new computers this “Our pricing structure is overlooked. I am willing to meet with the department quarter due to budget outdated.” head and the executive board to seek out a solution cuts.” More examples of hedging that is fair to the members and is good for the business are: of the organization. ” Avoid blaming: Intents and purposes “I think it will be hard to Possibly, most likely recover from this, but Perhaps, maybe what can I do to help?” Do not take your reader by surprise Writing a complaint or press them to the wall • You should briefly state • Show why it is critical for • Do not wait until the end the history of the the problem to be of the day to introduce a problem to provide resolved by your reader. problem or concern via context for your reader. • Offer suggestions on memo or email. • Explain the attempts you ways you think it can be • Avoid writing a litany of made previously to resolved or how you are concerns that you have resolve the problem. willing to help in the been harboring for a matter. long period of time. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 33
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION When you need to flame Flaming in emails • Flaming is a virtual term • Flame fights are the l There are times when for venting or sending equivalent of food fights you may need to blow off Here’s a way to flame: inflammatory messages and tend to affect some steam. Flame On in email. observers in a very l Remember your negative way. Your message • Avoid flaming because audience and your it tends to create a • What you say cannot be situation before sending Flame Off great deal of conflict taken back; it is in black the email. that spirals out of and white. control. Keep flaming under control Responding to a flame • Before you send an l Read your message l Empathize with the l Avoid getting bogged email message, ask twice before you send it sender’s frustration and down by details and yourself, “would I say and assume that you tell them they are right if minor arguments this to this person’s may be misinterpreted that is true l If you are aware that the face?” l If you feel you are right, situation is in the when proofreading. • Calm down before thank them for bringing process of being responding to a the matter to your resolved let the reader message that offends attention know at the top of the you. Once you send the l Explain what led to the response message it is gone. problem in question l Apologize if necessary © Copy Right: Rai University 34 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION When Email Won’t Work l There are times when you need to take your discussion out of the virtual world and make a phone call. l If things become very heated, a lot of misunderstanding occurs, or when you are delivering very delicate news then the best way is still face- to face. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 35
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 5: PRACTICE CLASS Upon completion of this lesson, you will understand the role of One worker is Himanshu, a college - age man who is communication in business. To achieve this goal you should be able to holding a full time job while going to school - part time. The other is Akash, an old-timer – a self made man and • Study, analyze and solve the cases given below. master craftsman. • Learn more on importance of communication in business Himanshu: I like the candidate. He appears young, energetic and • Explain the communication model. bright. Students in this lesson we will solve some cases for which lets Akash: He’s young all right. Too young! Too bright ! That fancy form groups and analyze the case. You may have to give a Harvard degree won’t help him here. Why I’ll bet he hasn’t presentation once you are through with your answers/ solutions. spent one day in a working man’s shoes. Himanshu: Now that’s not fair. He was trained to be an Critical Thinking Exercises administrator , and he has had experience as an administrator – 1. Nikita is one of the 12 workers in Department X . She has high level experience . You don’t need experience as a soldier to strong leadership qualities and all her co-workers look up to be a general. her. She dominates conversations with them and expresses Akash: Don’t tell me what this company needs. I’ve spent 40 strong viewpoints on most matters. Although she is a good years here. I know. I was here when old J.P (the company worker , her dominating personality has caused problems for founder) was president. He started as a machinist and worked you , the new manager of department X. Today you directed to the top. Best presidident any company could have. We loved your subordinates to change a certain work procedure. The the man . He knew the business and he knew the business and change is one that has proven superior wherever it has been he knew the work we do. tried. Soon after giving the directive, you noticed the workers talking in a group, with Nikita the obvious leader. In a few Himanshu: But that doesn’t happen today. Administrators minutes she appeared in your office . “We’ve thought it have to be trained for admiistration. They have to know over” she said. “ Your production change won’t work.” administration, finance, marketing – the whole business field . • Explain what is happening. You don’t get that in the shop. • How will you handle the situation? Akash: All you kids think that knowledge only comes from books. You can’t substitute book knowledge for experience 2. After noticing that some workers were starting work late and and common sense . I’ve been here 40 years, son I know. finishing early , a department head wrote this message to subordinates: It is apparent that many of you are not giving The dialogue continued to accelerate and soon led to harsh the company a full day’s work. Thus the following words. Neither Himanshu nor Akash changed positions. procedures are implemented immediately: Analyse the dialogue using the model of communication as the • After you clock in , you will proceed to your work stations base. and will be ready to begin work promptly at the start of the Further Reading work period. Myths of Effective Communication • You will not take a coffee break or consume coffee on the job by Brian H. Spitzberg, Ph.D. at eh beginning of the work period. You will wait until your Dr. Spitzberg is professor in the School of Communication at designated break times. San Diego State University. He is co-author of Interpersonal • You will not participate in social gatherings at any time Communication Competence (Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, during the workday except during designated break periods. 1984), Handbook of Interpersonal Competence Research • You will terminate work activities no earlier than 10 minutes (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1989), and co-editor of The Dark prior to the end of the work period. You will uses he 10 Side of Close Relationships (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, minutes to put up equipment, and check the work area. Mahwah, NJ, due June, 1998). • You will not queue up at the exit prior to the end of the Could Harry S. Truman be elected in the today’s political work period. context? Probably not. A candidate who really tells it like it is would likely alienate too many factions of the voting public. The message was not well received by the workers. In fact it led Instead, contemporary candidates employ vague symbols such to considerable anger , misunderstanding and confusion. as peace, prosperity, democracy, freedom, and resounding Using the model of communication as a base , analyse the phrases such as a “thousand points of light” and “bridge into message and explain g the probable causes of the difficulties. the 21st century.” So, as a society, we greatly value clarity, specific- 3. After being introduced to a candidate for the presidency of ity, and honesty. Yet, we only elect leaders who are equivocal and their company, two workers had the following discussion . distinctly reluctant to discuss specifics. Such a mismatch between © Copy Right: Rai University 36 11.234
    • public ideology and actual leadership practice is a good example The Myth of Adaptability BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONof the “dark side” of human behavior. Adaptability, the ability to change one’s actions as the situationWhat is the dark side of human interaction? It is many things. requires, is essential to interpersonal skills. Or is it? In the worldFirst, the dark side refers to things we cannot see, things lurking of athletics, proficiency is often based more on performancein the shadows of ignorance, either not observed or not consistency than flexibility. In many realms we define excellenceunderstood. Second, it concerns actions we presume to be by how “single-minded” and focused a person is, and how shepositive and valuable, which actually can function in negative pursues the goal to its end with dogged determination.and destructive ways. For example, honesty is highly valued, but Change brings unpredictability, uncertainty, and often, ayou may be exploited if you are completely honest in the early diminished performance because a person has left his or herstages of negotiation. Third, the dark side draws attention to domain of expertise. Adaptable people can come across like aencounters that strike us intuitively as unethical, unpleasant, or chameleon as they change their “face” for each person withdysfunctional, but that are in fact productive, in often surprising whom they interact. This is itself somewhat unnerving. But ifways. A manager lays off well-liked employees and creates a everyone is adapting to everyone else’s adaptations, peopleclimate of uncertainty and dissatisfaction. But in the long run, become chameleons in a paisley room, disabled by the shiftingthe efficiencies gained may produce a working climate that is pattern of their social context. Persistence and consistency maymore productive and desirable. This dark side exposes a be hobgoblins of little minds, but they can accomplish greatnumber of common myths that a leader needs to appreciate. things when applied in a focused manner.The Myth of Clarity The Myth of CreativityThe ideology of clarity, accuracy, and understanding runs deep in The gurus of creativity tout advantages in innovation, unfore-the ethos (and mythos) of our businesses, governments, and seen solutions to problems, and new perspectives toward therelationships. Yet, if we carefully consider these concepts, we world at large. But creativity as an end in itself can result in arapidly reveal them to be problematic. Several examples should host of potential problems. Brainstorming groups, forillustrate. example, can produce so many ideas that the best tree of an ideaPoliteness is considered a universal goal. Without basic can get lost in the forest of alternatives. Creativity thrives onpoliteness, society begins to fall apart. Yet, much of what passes horizontal thinking, but occasionally a vertical solution is bestfor politeness is deceptive. “Hi Jennifer, how are ya?” “Fine.” for vertical problems. Here’s a fruitful example. With a son andJennifer may be feeling ill, concerned about not getting the daughter fighting over the only orange in the house, the motherrecent promotion, and apprehensive about her husband’s asks them what they want it for. The boy wants it for a snacksuspected affair. But she says “fine” as a pleasantry, and perhaps and the girl wants it for a recipe that calls for orange peel. Theto avoid appearing less than competent in a competitive mother could get creative and try to think of alternative,environment. If we are this duplicitous in casual conversation, divergent, or numerous solutions, but in this case, there’s aconsider the possibilities when we communicate about issues singularly obvious solution. For many routine tasks, the bestwith larger strategic interests. solutions are known well in advance.Getting the message across, avoiding communication break- Conformity, by contrast, has the stigma of the old, thedowns, and being “clear” are “good terms” in most people’s traditional, and the boring. But it’s conformity that permitsminds. Even a best selling self-help book admonishes us that society, organizations, and culture, to exist at all. Conformity iswe “just don’t understand,” as if this is one of the worst sins highly efficient because people don’t have to expend mental andof human relations. Yet, as humans, we thrive on ambiguity and behavioral energy figuring out what you’re going to do. You dostrategic misunderstanding. We often use ambiguity to cope what everyone else does in this situation, and things work.with predicaments, difficult situations, and conflict situations. A Certainly, conformity is probably dysfunctional in the extreme,team member who just gave a fairly bad but somewhat as no source of growth and evolution will exist, but it hardlyinconsequential presentation, may ask “How did I do?” How seems as dark as it’s often depicted.do you respond? You may say something like: “Probably better The Myth of Assertivenessthan I would have done,” or “I’ve never seen a presentation like For the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, many therapists andit.” Such messages may not satisfy the other person, but they experiential group facilitators got wealthy hyping the key toassist you in managing a difficult situation and preserving the interpersonal effectiveness: assertiveness training. We were allpeace of work relations. wimps, and assertiveness skills were going to make us power-Leaders often must rely on equivocal and ambiguous messages ful, successful, and charismatic. A funny thing happened on theif they are to bring diverse groups together. People find it way to this self-actualization. Research found that when youdifficult to agree on much of anything specific, but almost observed someone else being assertive, that person appeared toeveryone can agree on the values of freedom, prosperity, and so be competent. However, recipients of assertive behavior tend toforth. People agree to these things in their leaders, without see it as effective, but also rather inappropriate and unlikable. Sohaving any real idea of what these ideas mean in terms of thousands of us were being trained “how to lose friends andpolicy. Through the use of such equivocal symbols, people influence people.”come together and make progress toward goals, even if they Appropriate, even passive, behavior, has its place in social anddon’t all have the same image of those goals. task interaction, as it serves to balance power disparities and © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 37
    • smooth tensions among people who, after all, perceive that theyBUSINESS COMMUNICATION have the right to be right as well. Finally, it’s sometimes preferable to lose a battle so as to win the war. The Myth of Competence Can a person be competent by behaving incompetently? At first blush, this may seem an absurd proposition. But consider the concept of passive aggressiveness. A person dislikes a particular task relative to other jobs that he is not currently assigned. By fouling up on his own task, eventually he may get reassigned to a task he likes more. A student who wants to shine, can shine more in a normal class than an advanced class, and may choose this alternative by performing less than optimally on selection tests. There’s a logical reverse of this concept called “skilled incompe- tence.” A person or group may do everything in a skilled way; that is, in a normal way that has always worked in the past and seems to fit all the requirements of effective behavior. Yet, when all the dust clears, the outcomes are deeply flawed. A study of the fatal spacecraft Challenger disaster is a case in point. Everyone was an expert, everyone was competent, everyone was doing what they were supposed to, and everyone was making the best decision they could at the time. And most of the people made the wrong decision. How Dark is the Dark Side? So the dark side isn’t so dark after all. And the bright side doesn’t look so bright anymore. Does this mean you should be more ambiguous, rigid, traditional, unassertive, and incompe- tent? Of course not. The myths above are not myths because their opposites are always true. They are myths because you already engage in equivocal, consistent, persistent, normative, passive, and less than optimal communication, and yet, you are probably not banished from meetings, slapped in the face on a regular basis, or treated like a social pariah. The point of this analysis of interpersonal communication myth-making isn’t to recommend incompetent forms of communication, but to draw attention to two conclusions. First, the ideologies we profess about interpersonal communi- cation are false when taken to the extreme. Business textbooks tend to treat clarity as an inherent “good,” rather than exploring the functional uses of non-clarity. Second, to understand such falseness requires that people stop getting their interpersonal wisdom from talk shows, motivational speakers, and people ill- equipped to either conduct original research or interpret other scholars’ scientific work. After all, we all know that clarity, adaptability, creativity, assertiveness, and competence are intrinsically good. Right? © Copy Right: Rai University 38 11.234
    • UNIT 1 CHAPTER 2: USE OF ENGLISH LESSON 6: AID TO CORRECT WRITING After Completing This Lesson You Will Nouns that end in a consonant followed by a y are made plural BUSINESS COMMUNICATION • Brush up your basic grammar by dropping the y and adding ies. • Study more about nouns, pronouns, gerunds and infinitives, verbs and Example: one country, two countries adverbs Nouns that end in a vowel followed by a y are made plural by • Learn to make subjects and verbs agree. adding s. • Brush up your understanding in phrases and clauses. Example: one toy, two toysStudents, this lesson will make you go back to your primary Nouns that end in f or fe drop the f or fe and add ves.classes where you were taught about basic grammar. It is Example: one leaf, two leavesimportant to ensure that your language in all business commu-nication is grammatically correct. Therefore let’s start by the Certain irregular nouns have special plural forms.basics: Examples: one foot, two feetNouns a mouse, many miceWhat is a noun?A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. Every sentence must To find the plural form of a noun that you are unsure of, checkhave a noun as its subject the Gage Canadian Dictionary. Examples: The bear sleeps. Possessive Forms The possessive form of a noun indicates ownership or Toronto is a city. modifies another noun. The possessive form is usually formedTypes of Nouns by adding ‘s to the end of a noun.• Proper Nouns Examples: the players equipment• Common Nouns the womans jobForms of Nouns Canadas government• Plural Nouns• Possessive Forms Using Pronouns Clearly Because a pronoun REFERS BACK to a noun or TAKESProper Nouns THE PLACE OF that noun, you have to use the correctA proper noun is the name of a person, place or thing. Proper pronoun so that your reader clearly understands which nounnouns should always be capitalized. your pronoun is referring to. Examples: Toronto Therefore, pronouns should Mr. Brown 1. Agree In Number Sally If the pronoun takes the place of a singular noun, you haveCommon Nouns to use a singular pronoun.A common noun is any noun that is not a proper noun. If a student parks a car on campus, he or she has to buy aCommon nouns are not capitalized. parking sticker. Examples: the city (NOT: If a student parks a car on campus, they have to buy a leader a parking sticker.) this woman Remember The words EVERYBODY, ANYBODY, ANYONE, EACH, NEITHER, NOBODY, SOMEONE, APlural Forms PERSON, etc. are singular and take singular pronouns.The plural form of a noun indicates more than one. The plural Everybody ought to do his or her best. (NOT: their best)form is usually formed by adding an s or es. Neither of the girls brought her umbrella. (NOT: their umbrellas) Examples: One week, two weeks NOTE: Many people find the construction “his or her” wordy, so if it is possible to use a plural noun as your a house, many houses antecedent so that you can use “they” as your pronoun, it One box, two boxes may be wise to do © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 39
    • so. If you do use a singular noun and the context makes the NOT: He gave the flowers to Jane and I.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION gender clear, then it is permissible to use just “his” or “her” (Would you say, “he gave the flowers to I”?) rather than “his or her.” See our handout on Non-sexist NOT: Us men like the coach. Language for more information. (Would you say, “us like the coach”?) 2. Agree in Person 2. In comparisons. Comparisons usually follow than or as: If you are writing in the “first person” ( I), don’t confuse He is taller than I (am tall). your reader by switching to the “second person” ( you) or This helps you as much as (it helps) me. “third person” (he, she, they, it, etc.). Similarly, if you are using the “second person,” don’t switch to “first” or She is as noisy as I (am). “third.” Comparisons are really shorthand sentences which usually omit When a person comes to class, he or she should have his or words, such as those in the parentheses in the sentences above. her homework ready. If you complete the comparison in your head, you can choose the correct case for the pronoun. (NOT: When a person comes to class, you should have your homework ready.) NOT: He is taller than me. (Would you say, “than me am tall”?) 3. Refer Clearly To A Specific Noun. 3. In formal and semiformal writing: Don’t be vague or ambiguous. Use the subjective form after a form of the verb to be. NOT: Although the motorcycle hit the tree, it was not FORMAL: It is I. damaged. (Is “it” the motorcycle or the tree?) INFORMAL: It is me. NOT: I don’t think they should show violence on TV. (Who Use whom in the objective case. are “they”?) FORMAL: To whom am I talking? NOT: Vacation is coming soon, which is nice. (What is nice, INFORMAL: Who am I talking to? the vacation or the fact that it is coming soon?) Verbals: Gerunds, Participles, and NOT: George worked in a national forest last summer. This Infinitives may be his life’s work. (What word does “this” refer to?) There are three types of verbals : gerunds, participles, and NOT: If you put this sheet in your notebook, you can refer infinitives. to it. (What does “it” refer to, the sheet or your notebook?) Gerunds and participles are also compared and contrasted in a Pronoun Case separate section of this handout because they can both end in - Pronoun Case is really a very simple matter. There are three ing but have different functions in a sentence. Finally, since they cases. can both function as nouns in a sentence despite their different forms, gerunds and infinitives are compared and contrasted in 1. Subjective case: pronouns used as subject. the last section below. 2. Objective case: pronouns used as objects of verbs or prepositions. Gerunds A gerund is a verbal that ends in -ing and functions as a noun. 3. Possessive case: pronouns which express ownership. The term verbal indicates that a gerund, like the other two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a Pronouns that state of being. However, since a gerund functions as a noun, it Pronouns as Pronouns as show occupies some positions in a sentence that a noun ordinarily SUBJECTS OBJECTS POSSESSION would, for example: subject, direct object, subject complement, I me my (mine) and object of preposition. You you your (yours) Gerund as subject: he, she, it him, her, it his, her (hers), it (its) • Traveling might satisfy your desire for new experiences. We us our (ours) • The study abroad program might satisfy your desire for new They them their (theirs) experiences. Who whom whose Gerund as direct object: • They do not appreciate my singing. The pronouns THIS, THAT, THESE, THOSE, and WHICH • They do not appreciate my assistance. do not change form. Gerund as subject complement: Some problems of case: • My cat’s favorite activity is sleeping. 1. In compound structures, where there are two pronouns or a • My cat’s favorite food is salmon. noun and a pronoun, drop the other noun for a moment. Then you can see which case you want. Gerund as object of preposition: NOT: Bob and me travel a good deal. • The police arrested him for speeding. (Would you say, “me travel”?) © Copy Right: Rai University 40 11.234
    • • The police arrested him for criminal activity. 4. The college recommends sending applications early. BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONA Gerund Phrase is a group of words consisting of a gerund 5. He won the game by scoring during the overtime period.and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) Participlesthat function as the direct object(s), indirect object(s), or A participle is a verbal that is used as an adjective and mostcomplement(s) of the action or state expressed in the gerund, often ends in -ing or -ed. The term verbal indicates that asuch as : participle, like the other two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb The gerund phrase functions as the and therefore expresses action or a state of being. However, subject of the sentence. since they function as adjectives, participles modify nouns or Finding a needle in Finding (gerund) pronouns. There are two types of participles: present participles a haystack would be a needle (direct object of action and past participles. Present participles end in -ing. Past easier than what expressed in gerund) participles end in -ed, -en, -d, -t, or -n, as in the words asked, were trying to do. in a haystack (prepositional phrase eaten, saved, dealt, and seen. as adverb) • The crying baby had a wet diaper. The gerund phrase functions as the • Shaken, he walked away from the wrecked car. direct object of the verb appreciate. my (possessive pronoun adjective • The burning log fell off the fire. I hope that you form, modifying the gerund) • Smiling, she hugged the panting dog. appreciate my offering (gerund) offering you this A participial phrase is a group of words consisting of a you (indirect object of action opportunity. participle and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun expressed in gerund) this opportunity (direct object of phrase(s) that function as the direct object(s), indirect object(s), action expressed in gerund) or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the participle, such as: The gerund phrase functions as the Newts favorite subject complement. tactic has been lying lying to (gerund) The gerund phrase functions as the to his constituents. his constituents (direct object of subject of the sentence. Finding a needle in action expressed in gerund) Finding (gerund) a haystack would be a needle (direct object of action The gerund phrase functions as the easier than what expressed in gerund) object of the preposition for. were trying to do. You might get in in a haystack (prepositional phrase faking (gerund) as adverb) trouble for faking an illness (direct object of action an illness to avoid The gerund phrase functions as the expressed in gerund) work. direct object of the verb appreciate. to avoid work (infinitive phrase as adverb) my (possessive pronoun adjective I hope that you form, modifying the gerund) The gerund phrase functions as the appreciate my offering (gerund) subject of the sentence. offering you this Being the boss you (indirect object of action Being (gerund) opportunity. made Jeff feel expressed in gerund) the boss (subject complement for this opportunity (direct object of uneasy. Jeff, via state of being expressed in action expressed in gerund) gerund) The gerund phrase functions as thePunctuation Newts favorite subject complement.A gerund virtually never requires any punctuation with it. tactic has been lying lying to (gerund) to his constituents. his constituents (direct object ofPoints to Remember action expressed in gerund)1. A gerund is a verbal ending in -ing that is used as a noun. The gerund phrase functions as the2. A gerund phrase consists of a gerund plus modifier(s), object of the preposition for. object(s), and/or complement(s). You might get in faking (gerund) trouble for faking3. Gerunds and gerund phrases virtually never require an illness (direct object of action an illness to avoid punctuation. expressed in gerund) work. to avoid work (infinitive phrase asExercise on Gerunds adverb)Underline the gerunds or gerund phrases in the followingsentences and label how they function in the sentence (subject, The gerund phrase functions as thedirect object, subject complement, object of preposition). subject of the sentence. Being the boss Being (gerund)1. Swimming keeps me in shape. made Jeff feel the boss (subject complement for uneasy.2. Swimming in your pool is always fun. Jeff, via state of being expressed in3. Telling your father was a mistake. gerund) © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 41
    • Placement : In order to prevent confusion, a participial phrase Exercise on ParticiplesBUSINESS COMMUNICATION must be placed as close to the noun it modifies as possible, and Underline the participial phrase(s) in each of the following the noun must be clearly stated. sentences, and draw a line to the noun or pronoun modified. • Carrying a heavy pile of books, his foot caught on a step. * 1. Getting up at five, we got an early start. • Carrying a heavy pile of books, he caught his foot on a step. 2. Facing college standards, the students realized that they In the first sentence there is no clear indication of who or what hadn’t worked hard enough in high school. is performing the action expressed in the participle carrying. 3. Statistics reported by the National Education Association Certainly foot can’t be logically understood to function in this revealed that seventy percent of American colleges offer way. This situation is an example of a dangling modifier error remedial English classes emphasizing composition. since the modifier (the participial phrase) is not modifying any 4. The overloaded car gathered speed slowly. specific noun in the sentence and is thus left “dangling.” Since a person must be doing the carrying for the sentence to make 5. Gathering my courage, I asked for a temporary loan. sense, a noun or pronoun that refers to a person must be in the Infinitives place immediately after the participial phrase, as in the second An infinitive is a verbal consisting of the word to plus a verb sentence. (in its simplest “stem” form) and functioning as a noun, Punctuation: When a participial phrase begins a sentence, a adjective, or adverb. The term verbal indicates that an infinitive, comma should be placed after the phrase. like the other two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb and • Arriving at the store, I found that it was closed. therefore expresses action or a state of being. However, the infinitive may function as a subject, direct object, subject • Washing and polishing the car, Frank developed sore complement, adjective, or adverb in a sentence. Although an muscles. infinitive is easy to locate because of the to + verb form, If the participle or participial phrase comes in the middle of a deciding what function it has in a sentence can sometimes be sentence, it should be set off with commas only if the informa- confusing. tion is not essential to the meaning of the sentence. • To wait seemed foolish when decisive action was required. • Sid, watching an old movie, drifted in and out of sleep. (subject) • The church, destroyed by a fire, was never rebuilt. • Everyone wanted to go. (direct object) Note that if the participial phrase is essential to the meaning of • His ambition is to fly. (subject complement) the sentence, no commas should be used: • He lacked the strength to resist. (adjective) • The student earning the highest grade point average will • We must study to learn. (adverb) receive a special award. Be sure not to confuse an infinitive—a verbal consisting of to • The guy wearing the chicken costume is my cousin. plus a verb—with a prepositional phrase beginning with to, If a participial phrase comes at the end of a sentence, a comma which consists of to plus a noun or pronoun and any modifiers. usually precedes the phrase if it modifies an earlier word in the Infinitives: to fly, to draw, to become, to enter, to stand, to sentence but not if the phrase directly follows the word it catch, to belong modifies. Prepositional Phrases: to him, to the committee, to my house, • The local residents often saw Ken wandering through the to the mountains, to us, to this address streets. (The phrase modifies Ken, not residents.) An Infinitive Phrase is a group of words consisting of an infinitive and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun • ·Tom nervously watched the woman, alarmed by her silence. phrase(s) that function as the actor(s), direct object(s), indirect (The phrase modifies Tom, not woman.) object(s), or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in Points to Remember the infinitive, such as: 1. A participle is a verbal ending in -ing (present) or -ed, -en, -d, -t, or -n (past) that functions as an adjective, modifying a noun or pronoun. 2. A participial phrase consists of a participle plus modifier(s), object(s), and/or complement(s). 3. Participles and participial phrases must be placed as close to the nouns or pronouns they modify as possible, and those nouns or pronouns must be clearly stated. 4. A participial phrase is set off with commas when it: a) comes at the beginning of a sentence, b) interrupts a sentence as a nonessential element, or c) comes at the end of a sentence and is separated from the word it modifies. © Copy Right: Rai University 42 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION advise allow Convince remind encourage force Hire teach instruct invite Permit tell implore incite Appoint order Examples He reminded me to buy milk. Their fathers advise them to study. She forced the defendant to admit the truth. In all of these examples an actor is required after the italicized main (finite) verb and before the infinitive direct-object phrase.Actors: In these last two examples the actor of the infinitive Verbs that use either patternphrase could be roughly characterized as the “subject” of theaction or state expressed in the infinitive. It is somewhat ask expect (would) like wantmisleading to use the word subject, however, since an infinitivephrase is not a full clause with a subject and a finite verb. Also Examplesnotice that when it is a pronoun, the actor appears in the I asked to see the records.objective case (me, not I, in the fourth example). Certain verbs, I asked him to show me the records.when they take an infinitive direct object, require an actor for the Trent expected his group to win.infinitive phrase; others can’t have an actor. Still other verbs can In all of these examples the italicized main verb can take ango either way, as the charts below illustrate. infinitive object with or without an actor. Exercise on Infinitives Underline the infinitive phrase and label the way it is used in theVerbs That Take Infinitive Objects sentence, adding any punctuation as needed.Without Actors 1. I want to go. 2. I want you to go home. agree begin Continue decide 3. We want to see the play. fail hesitate Hope intend 4. To see a shooting star is good luck. 5. To fight against those odds would be ridiculous. learn neglect Offer plan Forget and Remember prefer pretend Promise refuse These two verbs change meaning depending on whether a gerund or infinitive is used as the object. remember start Try Examples Jack forgets to take out the cat. (He regularly forgets.)Examples Jack forgets taking out the cat. (He did it, but he doesn’t remember now.)Most students plan to study. Jack forgot to take out the cat. (He never did it.)We began to learn. Jack forgot taking out the cat. (He did it, but he didn’t remem-They offered to pay. ber sometime later.)They neglected to pay. Making Subjects and Verbs AgreeShe promised to return. 1. When the subject of a sentence is composed of two or more nouns or pronouns connected by and, use a plural verb.In all of these examples no actor can come between theitalicized main (finite) verb and the infinitive direct-objectphrase. 2. When two or more singular nouns or pronouns are connected by or or nor, use a singular verb. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 43
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 7: PREPOSITIONS, CONJUNCTION AND PUNCTUATION By the end of this lesson you will learn more about : Introduction • Prepositions 1. The basic preposition of a direction is “to.” • Conjunction TO : signifies orientation toward a goal • Punctuation When the goal is physical, such as a destination, “to” implies movement in the direction of the goal. Students this lesson is a continuation of lesson 6 and will help you recall and brush up your understanding about preposi- tions, conjunctions and punctuation. (1) Said returned to his Prepositions apartment. What are prepositions? Prepositions are used before nouns to give additional informa- When the goal is not a physical place, for instance, an action, tion in a sentence. Usually, prepositions are used to show where “to” marks a verb; it is attached as an infinitive and expresses something is located or when something happened. purpose. The preposition may occur alone or in the phrase in Prepositions Showing order. 2. Sudeep washed her dog (in order) to rid it of fleas. Location Time Action and Movement The two uses can also occur together in a single sentence: above at at below on by over by from 2. The other two prepositions of direction are compounds under before into formed by adding “to” to the corresponding prepositions of location. among from on The preposition of location determines the meaning of the between since onto preposition of direction. beside for off in front of during out of ON + TO = onto: behind to signifies movement toward a surface next to until with after IN + TO = into: in the middle of signifies movement toward the interior of a volume on in at (“To” is part of the directional preposition toward, and the two mean about the same thing.) 3. With many verbs of motion, “on” and “in” have a Prepositions of Direction: To, On (to), In directional meaning and can be used along with “onto” and (to) “into”. Prepositions that express movement toward something: to, (See the sections below for some exceptions to this rule.) This is onto, and into. First, the prepositions will be introduced as a why “to” is inside parentheses in the title of the handout, group. Then, the special uses of each one will be discussed. showing that it is somewhat optional with the compound To, into, and onto correspond respectively to the prepositions of location at, in, and on. © Copy Right: Rai University 50 11.234
    • prepositions. Thus, the following sentences are roughly 2. In other cases “to” is used as an ordinary preposition. BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONsynonymous: • Verbs of communication: listen, speak (but not tell), relate, appeal (in the sense of ‘plead,’ not ‘be attractive’) • Werbs of movement: move, go, transfer, walk/run/swim/ ride/drive/ fly, travel (4) Anil jumped in/into Except for transfer, all the verbs in (2b) can take toward as well the pool. as to. However, “to” suggests movement toward a specific destination, while “toward” suggests movement in a general direction, without necessarily arriving at a destination: (5) Reena fell on/onto (13) Drive toward the city limits and the floor. turn n orth. (Drive in the direction of the city limits; turnoff may be before arriving there.) (14) The plane was headed toward a (6) The crab washed up mountain. (It was headed in the direction of a mountain; it on/onto the shore. may not have reached or hit the mountain.) (15) Take me to the airport, please. (I actually want to arrive at the airport.)To the extent that these pairs do differ, the compound preposi-tion conveys the completion of an action, while the simplepreposition points to the position of the subject as a result of Uses of “onto”that action. This distinction helps us understand how direc- 1. “Onto” can generally be replaced by “on” with verbs oftional and locational prepositions are related: they stand in the motion.relationship of cause and effect.Completion of Position of an Action Subject (7) Jean fell Jean is onon(to) the floor. the floor. (16) John jumped on(to) the mat. Neeta(8) Neeta dived is in thein(to) the water. water. (17) Manish fell on(to) the floor.Uses of “to”To occurs with several classes of verbs.1. verb + to + infinitive (18) Athena climbed on(to) the back of the truck.Verbs in this group express willingness, desire, intention, orobligation.• Willingness: be willing, consent, refuse• Desire: desire, want, wish, like, ask, request, prefer 2. Some verbs of motion express the idea that the subject• Intention: intend, plan, prepare causes itself or some physical object to be situated in a certain• Obligation: be obligated, have, need place (compare #15-17 above).Examples: Of these verbs, some take only “on”. Others take both on and(9) I refuse to allow you to intimidate me with your threats. onto, with the latter being preferred by some speakers.(10) I’d like to ask her how long she’s been skiing. (19) The plane landed on the runway. (not onto the runway)(11) I plan to graduate this summer. (20) Sam hung the decoration on the Christmas tree. (not onto(12) Henry had to pay his tuition at the Bursar’s office. the tree) (21) He placed the package on the table. (not onto the table) © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 51
    • (22) Joanna spilled her Coke on the rug. (not onto the rug) In (27), on is really part of the verb, while in (28) onto is aBUSINESS COMMUNICATION (23) Samir moved the chair on(to) the deck. simple preposition. This contrast points to a fairly important and general rule: (24) The crane lowered the roof on(to) the house. Simple prepositions can combine with verbs, but compound (25) The baby threw the pot on(to) the floor. prepositions cannot. Verbs taking only “on” are rare: set may be another one, and so Note also that in (27), the word “on” has its ordinary meaning perhaps is put. Other verbs taking both prepositions are raise, of a position on a surface, but in this case the surface is vertical scatter (when it takes a direct object), pour, and add. rather than horizontal— the side of a building. The use of (26) The farmer scattered seed on(to) the fertile ground. “onto” in (28) is like its use in (24) and (25) above. (27) We’re adding on a wing at the back of the building. 3. There are a number of verb-preposition combinations which (28) We’re adding a porch onto the house. are formally like “add on” but have the meaning “of In (27), on is really part of the verb, while in (28) onto is a continuing or resuming an action” when used in the simple preposition. This contrast points to a fairly important imperative mood. and general rule: (Not all of them have the force of a command.) Except for Simple prepositions can combine with verbs, but compound hang, which takes both on and onto, they all occur only with prepositions cannot. on. The meanings of these combinations, some of which are idiomatic, are given in parentheses. Note also that in (27), the word “on” has its ordinary meaning of a position on a surface, but in this case the surface is vertical • Hang on(to the rope)! (‘continue to grasp tightly’) rather than horizontal— the side of a building. The use of • Carry on (‘resume what you were doing’) “onto” in (28) is like its use in (24) and (25) above. • Sail on (‘resume or continue sailing’) 3. There are a number of verb-preposition combinations which • Dream on (‘continue dreaming’; a humorous way of saying are formally like “add on” but have the meaning “of ‘that is an unattainable goal’) continuing or resuming an action” when used in the • Lead on (‘resume or continue leading us’) imperative mood. • Rock on (‘continue playing rock music’) (Not all of them have the force of a command.) Except for hang, which takes both on and onto, they all occur only with Uses of “into” on. The meanings of these combinations, some of which are 1. With verbs of motion, “into” and “in” are interchangeable idiomatic, are given in parentheses. except when the preposition is the last word or occurs • Hang on(to the rope)! (‘continue to grasp tightly’) directly before an adverbial of time, manner, or frequency. • carry on (‘resume what you were doing’) In this case only in (or inside) can be used. • sail on (‘resume or continue sailing’) (29) The patient went into the doctor’s office. • dream on (‘continue dreaming’; a humorous way of saying (30) The patient went in. (not into) ‘that is an unattainable goal’) (31) Our new neighbors moved into the house next door 2. Some verbs of motion express the idea that the subject yesterday. (‘to take up residence in a new home’) causes itself or some physical object to be situated in a certain (32) Our new neighbors moved in yesterday. place (compare #15-17 above). In (32), the last word is the time adverbial yesterday, so the Of these verbs, some take only “on”. Others take both on and object of the preposition in (32) can be omitted. Of course, in onto, with the latter being preferred by some speakers. an information question, “into” also can be last word except for (19) The plane landed on the runway. (not onto the runway) an adverbial when its object is questioned by a wh- word: (20) Sam hung the decoration on the Christmas tree. (not onto (34) Now what kind of trouble has she gotten herself into? the tree) (35) Now what sort of trouble is she in? (21) He placed the package on the table. (not onto the table) 2. Verbs expressing stationary position take only “on” or “in” (22) Joanna spilled her Coke on the rug. (not onto the rug) with the ordinary meanings of those prepositions. (23) Samir moved the chair on(to) the deck. If a verb allows the object of the preposition to be omitted, (24) The crane lowered the roof on(to) the house. the construction may have an idiomatic meaning. (25) The baby threw the pot on(to) the floor. Verbs taking only “on” are rare: set may be another one, and so perhaps is put. Other verbs taking both prepositions are raise, scatter (when it takes a direct object), pour, and add. (26) The farmer scattered seed on(to) the fertile ground. (27) We’re adding on a wing at the back of the building. (28) We’re adding a porch onto the house. © Copy Right: Rai University 52 11.234
    • Prepositions of Location: at, in, on BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Prepositions expressing spatial relations are of two kinds: prepositions of location and prepositions of direction. Both kinds may be either positive or negative. Prepositions of location appear with verbs describing states or conditions, especially be; prepositions of direction appear with verbs of motion. It deals with positive prepositions of location that (36) The cat sat on the mat. sometimes cause difficulty: at, on, and in. Dimensions and Prepositions Prepositions differ according to the number of dimensions they refer to. We can group them into three classes using concepts from geometry: point, surface, and area or volume. • Point (37) The doctor is in his Prepositions in this group indicate that the noun that follows office. them is treated as a point in relation to which another object is positioned. • Surface Prepositions in this group indicate that the position of an object is defined with respect to a surface on which it rests. • Area/Volume Prepositions in this group indicate that an object lies within the (38) The doctor is in. boundaries of an area or within the confines of a volume. (available for consultation) Notice that although in geometry surface and area go together because both are two-dimensional, in grammar area and volume go together because the same prepositions are used for both. In light of these descriptions, at, on, and in can be classified as follows:In(to) has two special uses with move.3. When “move in” is followed by a purpose clause, it has the sense of “approach”. at ....... point(39) The lion moved in for the kill.(40) The police moved in to rescue the hostages inside thebuilding.In (39) and (40) “in” is part of the verb, so “into” cannot beused; We cannot say: “The lion moved into for the kill.”4. When “into” is used with move, it functions as an ordinary on ....... surface preposition to convey the idea of moving something from one place to another. (41) Well move your in ....... area/volume brothers old bed into your room. The meanings of the three prepositions canThis use of “into” is like the use of onto illustrated in (24)-(27) be illustrated with some sample sentences:and (29). © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 53
    • “in” and “on”BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 1. Nouns denoting enclosed spaces, such as a field or a window, 1) My car is at the take both on and in. The prepositions have their normal house. meanings with these nouns: on is used when the space is considered as a surface, in when the space is presented as an area: 2) There is a new roof on the house. 3) The house is i n Tippecanoe county. Three players are practicin g on the field. (surface) 4) There are five rooms in the house, which has a lovely fireplace in the living Three cows are grazing in room. the field. (area) All of these sentences answer a question of the form, “Where is _______?” but each gives different information. Before going The frost made patterns on on, explain to yourself the spatial relations shown in each the window. (surface) sentence. 1) locates a car in relation to a house, understood as a fixed point. 2) treats the house as a surface upon which another object, the roof, is placed. 3) locates the house within a geo- A face appeared in the graphical area. 4) treats the house as a three-dimensional window. (area) structure that can be divided into smaller volumes, namely, rooms, inside one of which is an object, the fireplace. Using “at” At calls for further comment. Because it is the least specific of Notice that in implies that the field is enclosed, whereas on the prepositions in its spatial orientation, it has a great variety implies only that the following noun denotes a surface and not of uses. necessarily an enclosed area: Here are some of them The sheep are grazing in Location the pasture. (enclosed by a fence) 5a) Tom is waiting for his sister at the bank. The cattle are grazing on the open range. (not 5b) Sue spent the whole enclosed by a fence ) afternoon at the fair. Destination Three players are on the basketball court. (not enclosed) 6a) We arrived at the house. Three players are on the 6b) The waiter was at our soccer field. (not table immediately. enclosed) Direction 7a) The policeman leaped at Two boxers are in the the assailant. ring. (enclosed by ropes) 7b) The dog jumped at my face and really scared me. 2. When the area has metaphorical instead of actual boundaries, such as when field means “academic discipline,” in is used: © Copy Right: Rai University 54 11.234
    • She is a leading researcher in the bioengineering field. The movie starts at 6 p.m. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION3. Several common uses of in and on occur with street. The first In is used with other parts of the day, with months, with years, two follow the general pattern of in and on usage. The third with seasons: is an idiom that must be learned as a unit. He likes to read in the afternoon. The days are long in August. The book was published in 1999. a) The children are The flowers will bloom in spring. playing in the street. Extended Time To express extended time, English uses the following preposi- tions: since, for, by, from—to, from-until, during,(with)in • She has been gone since yesterday. (She left yesterday and has b) Our house is on not returned.) Third Street. • I’m going to Paris for two weeks. (I will spend two weeks there.) c) He declared • The movie showed from August to October. (Beginning in bankruptcy last (This is an idiom August and ending in October.) week, and now hes meaning that hes poor.) • The decorations were up from spring until fall. (Beginning in out on the street. spring and ending in fall.) • I watch TV during the evening. (For some period of time in the evening.)In a) the street is understood as an area enclosed by thesidewalks on either side. Compare b) with the discussion of • We must finish the project within a year. (No longer than asentence 3) in the first section. Here on locates the house on year.)either side of Third Street: it doesn’t mean that the street is a Placesurface on which the house sits. Because the street is under- To express notions of place, English uses the followingstood as a line next to which the house is situated, on functions prepositions: to talk about the point itself: in, to expressmuch like at in its normal use: it locates the house in relation to something contained: inside, to talk about the surface: on, tothe street but does not specify the exact address. For that talk about a general vicinity, at. For more detail, see ourpurpose, at is used because the address is like a particular point handouts on Prepositions of Location and Prepositions ofon the line. Compare: “Our house is at 323 Third Street.” In c) Direction.out on the street is an idiom meaning “poor” or “destitute.” • There is a wasp in the room.4. In and on are also used with means of transportation: in is • Put the present inside the box. used with a car, on with public or commercial means of transportation: • I left your keys on the table. • She was waiting at the corner. in the car on the bus Higher than a Point on the plane To express notions of an object being higher than a point, on the train English uses the following prepositions: over, above on the ship • He threw the ball over the roof.Some speakers of English make a further distinction for public • Hang that picture above the couch.modes of transportation, using in when the carrier is stationary Lower than a Pointand on when it is in motion. To express notions of an object being lower than a point,My wife stayed in/on the bus while I got out at the rest stop. English uses the following prepositions: under, underneath,The passengers sat in/on the plane awaiting takeoff. beneath, below.Prepositions of Time, of Place, and to • The rabbit burrowed under the ground.Introduce Objects • The child hid underneath the blanket.One point in time • We relaxed in the shade beneath the branches.On is used with days: • The valley is below sea-level.I will see you on Monday.7 Close to a PointThe week begins on Sunday. To express notions of an object being close to a point, EnglishAt is used with noon, night, midnight, and with the time of uses the following prepositions: near, by, next to, between,day: among, opposite.My plane leaves at noon. • She lives near the school. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 55
    • There is an ice cream shop by the store. Colon :BUSINESS COMMUNICATION • • An oak tree grows next to my house Use a colon • The house is between Elm Street and Maple Street. in the following situations: for example: • I found my pen lying among the books. after a complete statement in The daily newspaper contains • The bathroom is opposite that room. order to introduce one or more four sections: news, sports, To Introduce Objects of Verbs directly related ideas, such as a entertainment, and classified English uses the following prepositions to introduce objects of series of directions, a list, or a ads. quotation or other comment The strategies of corporatist the following verbs. illustrating or explaining the industrial unionism have At: glance, laugh, look, rejoice, smile, stare statement. proven ineffective: compromises and concessions • She took a quick glance at her reflection. have left labor in a weakened (exception with mirror: She took a quick glance in the mirror.) position in the new "flexible" • You didn’t laugh at his joke. economy. • I’m looking at the computer monitor. in a business letter greeting. Dear Ms. Winstead: • We rejoiced at his safe rescue. between the hour and minutes in 5:30 p.m. • That pretty girl smiled at you. time notation. • Stop staring at me. between chapter and verse in Genesis 1:18 biblical references. Of : Approve, Consist, Smell • I don’t approve of his speech. Parentheses () • My contribution to the article consists of many pages. Parentheses are occasionally and sparingly used for extra, • He came home smelling of alcohol. nonessential material included in a sentence. For example, dates, Of (or about) : Dream, Think sources, or ideas that are subordinate or tangential to the rest of the sentence are set apart in parentheses. Parentheses always • I dream of finishing college in four years. appear in pairs. • Can you think of a number between one and ten? Before arriving at the station, the old train (someone said it was • I am thinking about this problem. a relic of frontier days) caught fire. For : Call, Hope, Look, Wait, Watch, Wish Dash • Did someone call for a taxi? Use a dash (represented on a typewriter, a computer with no • He hopes for a raise in salary next year. dashes in the type font, or in a handwritten document by a pair of hyphens with no spaces) . . . • I’m looking for my keys. • We’ll wait for her here. • You go buy the tickets and I’ll watch for the train. in the following for example: • If you wish for an “A” in this class, you must work hard. situations: Brief Overview of Punctuation: to emphasize a point or To some of you, my to set off an explanatory proposals may seem radical- Semicolon, Colon, Parenthesis, Dash, comment; but dont -even revolutionary. Quotation Marks and Italics overuse dashes, or they In terms of public Punctuation marks are signals to your readers. In speaking, we will lose their impact. legitimation--that is, in can pause, stop, or change our tone of voice. In writing, we use terms of garnering support the following marks of punctuation to emphasize and clarify from state legislators, what we mean. Punctuation marks discussed in other OWL parents, donors, and documents include commas, apostrophes, quotation marks, university administrators-- and hyphens. English departments are primarily places where Semicolon advanced literacy is taught. In addition to using a semicolon to join related independent clauses in compound sentences, you can use a semicolon to for an appositive phrase The boys--Jim, John, and separate items in a series if the elements of the series already that already includes Jeff--left the party early. commas. include commas. Members of the band include Harold Rostein, clarinetist; Tony Aluppo, tuba player; and Lee Jefferson, trumpeter. As you can see, dashes function in some ways like parentheses (used in pairs to set off a comment within a larger sentence) and in some ways like colons (used to introduce material © Copy Right: Rai University 56 11.234
    • illustrating or emphasizing the immediately preceding state- 1. To form possessives of nouns BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONment). But comments set off with a pair of dashes appear less 2. To show the omission of letterssubordinate to the main sentence than do comments in 3. To indicate certain plurals of lowercase letters.parentheses. And material introduced after a single dash may bemore emphatic and may serve a greater variety of rhetorical Apostrophes are NOT used for possessive pronouns or forpurposes than material introduced with a colon. noun plurals, including acronyms.Quotation Marks “ “ Forming possessives of nounsUse quotation marks . . . To see if you need to make a possessive, turn the phrase around and make it an “of the...” phrase. For example: • The boy’s hat = the hat of the boy in the following situations: for example: to enclose direct quotations. He asked, "Will you be • Three days’ journey = journey of three days Note that commas and there?" "Yes," I answered, If the noun after “of” is a building, an object, or a piece of periods go inside the closing "Ill look for you in the quotation mark in foyer." furniture, then no apostrophe is needed! conventional American usage; • Room of the hotel = hotel room colons and semicolons go outside; and placement of • Door of the car = car door question and exclamation marks depends on the • Leg of the table = table leg situation (see our quotation marks document). Once you’ve determined whether you need to make a posses- to indicate words used History is stained with blood sive, follow these rules to create one. ironically, with reservations, spilled in the name of • add ‘s to the singular form of the word (even if it ends in -s): or in some unusual way; but "civilization." dont overuse quotation the owner’s car marks in this sense, or they will lose their impact. James’s hat • Add ‘s to the plural forms that do not end in -s: the children’s gameUnderlining and ItalicsUnderlining and italics are not really punctuation, but they are the geese’s honkingsignificant textual effects used conventionally in a variety of • Add ‘ to the end of plural nouns that end in -s:situations. Before computerized word-processing was widely houses’ roofsavailable, writers would underline certain terms in handwritten three friends’ lettersor manually typed pages, and the underlining would be replacedby italics in the published version. Since word processing today • Add ‘s to the end of compound words:allows many options for font faces and textual effects, it is my brother-in-law’s moneygenerally recommended that you choose either underlining or • Add ‘s to the last noun to show joint possession of anitalics and use it consistently throughout a given document as objectneeded. Because academic papers are manuscripts and not final • Todd and Anne’s apartmentpublications and because italics are not always easily recognizedwith some fonts, many instructors prefer underlining over Showing Omission of Lettersitalics for course papers. Whichever you choose, italics or Apostrophes are used in contractions. A contraction is a wordunderlining should be used . . (or set of numbers) in which one or more letters (or numbers) have been omitted. The apostrophe shows this omission. Contractions are common in speaking and in informal writing. in the following situations: for example: to indicate titles of complete Faulkners last novel was The To use an apostrophe to create a contraction, place an apostro- or major works such as Reivers . phe where the omitted letter(s) would go. magazines, books, The Simpsons offers hilarious newspapers, academic parodies of American culture Here are Some Examples journals, films, television and family life. programs, long poems, plays don’t = do not of three or more acts I’m = I am foreign words that are not Wearing blue jeans is de he’ll = he will commonly used in English rigueur for most college students. who’s = who is . words used as words The English word nuance shouldn’t = should not themselves comes from a Middle French word meaning "shades of didn’t = did not color." could’ve= could have (NOT “could of”!) words or phrases that you The very founding principles ’60 = 1960 wish to emphasize of our nation are at stake! Forming Plurals of Lowercase Letters Apostrophes are used to form plurals of letters that appear inThe Apostrophe lowercase; here the rule appears to be more typographical thanThe apostrophe has three uses grammatical, e.g. “three ps” versus “three p’s.” To form the © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 57
    • plural of a lowercase letter, place ‘s after the letter. There is noBUSINESS COMMUNICATION need for apostrophes indicating a plural on capitalized letters, numbers, and symbols (though keep in mind that some editors, teachers, and professors still prefer them). Don’t use Apostrophes for Possessive Pronouns or for Noun Plurals Apostrophes should not be used with possessive pronouns because possessive pronouns already show possession — they don’t need an apostrophe. His, her, its, my, yours, ours are all possessive pronouns. Here are some examples: wrong: his’ book correct: his book wrong: The group made it’s decision. correct: The group made its decision. (Note: Its and it’s are not the same thing. It’s is a contraction for “it is” and its is a possessive pronoun meaning “belonging to it.” It’s raining out= it is raining out. A simple way to remem- ber this rule is the fact that you don’t use an apostrophe for the possessives his or hers, so don’t do it with its!) wrong: a friend of yours’ correct: a friend of yours wrong: She waited for three hours’ to get her ticket. correct: She waited for three hours to get her ticket. © Copy Right: Rai University 58 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 8 : PRACTICE CLASS Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to use the accepted standard of English grammar ad punctuation in written business communication. To reach this you should be able to: • Punctuate message correctly. ·• Write complete grammatically correct sentence .Practice Class Prepositions of Direction: To, On (to), In (to): ExerciseAdverb or adjective? Complete the following sentences with the correct preposition:• I feel (bad)_______ about what happened yesterday. I to, toward, on, onto, in, or into. Some sentences may have didn’t know you were going to take everything so more than one possible correct answer. Remember that a few (serious)________. verbs of motion take only “on” rather than “onto.”• This beer tastes too(bitter)_________ for my liking. 1. Anna has returned ______ her home town.• She looked at me (tender)________ and said (soft)______ 2. The dog jumped ______ the lake. that I looked (good) _______in my chequered shirt. 3. Are the boys still swimming ______ the pool?• I could (easy) _______ convince him not to become too 4. Thomas fell ______ the floor. excited with all the media attention. 5. The plane landed ______ the runway.• He turned the car(cautious)__________ as not to drive into the (nice) ___________ laid-out border of the neighbours. 6. We drove _____ the river for an hour, but turned north before we reached it.• Have you ever been (wrong)_______________ accused of something? 7. The kids climbed ______ the monkey bars.• “My brother is an (incredible)___________ successful 8. Joanna got ______ Fred’s car. businessman”, he said (cynical)____________ “he’s just 9. The baby spilled his cereal ______ the floor. gone bankrupt for the fifth time!” 10. We cried to the man on the ladder, “Hang ______!”• (Unfortunately)__________all the milk has gone 11. I just called ______ say I love you. (sour)_________ overnight. 12. Matthew and Michelle moved the table ______ the dining• She (haste)_________ ran down the room. stairs,(picked)_________ picked up her coat and umbrella 13. Allan left your keys ______ the table. and disappeared in the (unusual)____________ mysterious night. 14. Dr. Karper apologized for interrupting us, and told us to carry ______ with our discussion.• The number of visitors to the exhibition dropped (considerable)_________ in the second week. 15. I’d like ______ ask you a question. 16. Pat drove Mike ______ the airport. 17. Glenn almost fell ______ the river. 18. The waitress noticed that there was no more Diet Pepsi ______ Marty’s glass. 19. Lee and Sarah took the bus that was heading ______ the university. 20. Mary Sue jumped ______ the stage and danced. Exercise 2 Complete the following sentences with the correct preposition: at, in, or on. 1. Will you wait for me _____ the bus stop? 2. Jane is _____ her bedroom. 3. Daria’s books are lying _____ the floor. 4. The girls didn’t want to spend a long time _____ the carnival. 5. I let the cat sit _____ my lap, but then suddenly it jumped _____ my face! © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 59
    • 6. Do you live _____ the city or _____ the country? 16. The moons rays shone feebly on the path, and I heard theBUSINESS COMMUNICATION 7. Trent arrived _____ the school building just in time. insects chirpings and whistlings. 8. The rancher built a fence to keep his cows _____ the 17. Theyre not afraid to go ahead with the plans, though the pasture. choice is not theirs. 9. Kevin and Mack are out practicing _____ the football field. 18. The man whose face was tan said that he had spent his two weeks vacation in the mountains. 10. From afar, Heathcliff could see a light _____ the window. 19. I found myself constantly putting two cs in the word 11. The old house had so much grime _____ the windows process. that Bradley could hardly see inside. 20. Johns 69 Ford is his proudest possession. 12. The shepherd boy grazed his flock _____ the grassy hillside. Sentence Fragment Exercises—#1 13. The audience threw tomatoes _____ the terrible comedian. The sentences below appeared in papers written by students. Act as their editor, marking a C if the sentences in the group are 14. Wrestling isn’t real; those guys _____ the ring are just all complete and an F if any of the sentences in the group is a pretending. fragment. Could you tell these writers why the fragments are 15. David works _____ the field of network administration, incomplete sentences? while Marty works _____ web design. ____ 1. Then I attended Morris Junior High. A junior high 16. The car stalled and got stuck _____ the street. that was a bad experience. 17. Audrey lives _____ Third Street. ____ 2. The scene was filled with beauty. Such as the sun 18. If William doesn’t make any money on his book, he’ll be sending its brilliant rays to the earth and the leaves of various out _____ the street. shades of red, yellow, and brown moving slowly in the wind. 19. I’ll use my cellular phone when I’m _____ the bus, but ____ 3. He talked for fifty minutes without taking his eyes off never while I’m _____ the car. his notes. Like other teachers in that department, he did not 20. Passengers are not allowed to use electronic devices _____ encourage students’ questions. airplanes during takeoff and landing. ____ 4. Within each group, a wide range of features to choose from. It was difficult to distinguish between them. Apostrophes: Exercise Punctuate the following sentences with apostrophes according ____ 5. A few of the less serious fellows would go into a bar to the rules for using the apostrophe. for a steak dinner and a few glasses of beer. After this meal, they were ready for anything. 1. Whos the partys candidate for vice president this year? ____ 6. It can be really embarrassing to be so emotional. 2. The fox had its right foreleg caught securely in the traps Especially when you are on your first date, you feel that you jaws. should be in control. 3. Our neighbors car is an old Chrysler, and its just about to fall apart. ____ 7. The magazine has a reputation for a sophisticated, prestigious, and elite group of readers. Although that is a value 4. In three weeks time well have to begin school again. judgment and in circumstances not a true premise. 5. Didnt you hear that theyre leaving tomorrow? ____ 8. In the seventh grade every young boy goes out for 6. Whenever I think of the stories I read as a child, I football. To prove to himself and his parents that he is a man. remember Cinderellas glass slipper and Snow Whites wicked ____ 9. She opened the door and let us into her home. Not stepmother. realizing at the time that we would never enter that door in her 7. We claimed the picnic table was ours, but the Smiths home again. children looked so disappointed that we found another ____10. As Christmas grows near, I find myself looking back spot. into my childhood days at fun-filled times of snowball fights. 8. Its important that the kitten learns to find its way home. To think about this makes me happy. 9. She did not hear her childrens cries. ____11. Making up his mind quickly. Jim ordered two dozen 10. My address has three 7s, and Tims phone number has four red roses for his wife. Hoping she would accept his apology. 2s. ____12. They were all having a good time. Until one of Joe’s 11. Didnt he say when he would arrive at Arnies house? oldest and best friends had a little too much to drink. 12. Its such a beautiful day that Ive decided to take a sun bath. ____13. Although it only attained a speed of about twelve 13. She said the watch Jack found was hers, but she couldnt miles an hour. My old rowboat with its three-horsepower identify the manufacturers name on it. motor seemed like a high-speed job to me. 14. Little girls clothing is on the first floor, and the mens ____14. With my brother standing by my side, I reached for department is on the second. the pot handle. Tilting the pot way too much caused the boiling water to spill. 15. The dogs bark was far worse than its bite. © Copy Right: Rai University 60 11.234
    • ____15. The small, one-story houses are all the same size and BUSINESS COMMUNICATION style. With no difference except the color.____16. Being a friend of mine like he was when we first joined the soccer team. Together we learned a lot.PossessiveTick on the correct possessive form in the sentences below.• According the Department of Energy, if we were to set up an area of solar cells equal to 0.25 the area currently covered by our roads, these cells could supply our entire (nations / nation’s / nations’) electrical needs.• With a rear-facing child seat, the top of the seat and the (infants / infant’s / infants’) head will be in the deployment zone of the air bag.• When you receive my (boss / bosses / boss’s / boss’ / bosses’) memo requesting your participation, please respond to her that your job description, as written, will not allow you to perform that type of work.This section explains the function of each technique anddescribes (its / it’s / its’) advantages and disadvantages. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 61
    • UNIT I CHAPTER 3 : ORAL COMMUNICATION LESSON 9: ORAL COMMUNICATION By the end of this lesson you should be able to of these harmful conditions are crippling your family life andBUSINESS COMMUNICATION your social and career progress? Do you wonder how you can • Explain the importance of oral communication increase the good elements and decrease the bad? • Outline the steps needed to structure effective oral communication Well, as stated above, most of life’s successes and problems are • Barriers to communication founded in the quality of your communication skills. Human • Understand what Noise is beings are social animals. Our vast civilizations exist and • Tips for Presentations function only because each of us has learned to control our behavior in very intricate ways. Still, some of us have a better Conversation is so basic to human existence that any study of it grasp than others of the complex systems in which we live. inevitably leads to some of life’s most important rules—rules Those who have the deepest awareness and understanding of that lead to trouble if ignored. Consider the following list of the core rules are the ones who succeed and prosper. This is a consequences of poor conversation skills. book of rules, rules many people live and die without ever fully Ask yourself if any of these basic emotions and conditions is a comprehending. persistent part of your social and business life: Society’s rules aren’t always obvious. The rules that allow us to get by and survive are fairly simple (don’t run red lights, don’t Disrespect Embarrassment make bank robbery a career). But other rules, the ones that rejection exhaustion confer real success, not mere survival, can sometimes be as frustration failure difficult to detect as black holes in deep space. anger fear When your career progress bogs down, when your relationships being misunderstood humiliation are weak or troubled, when you have a hard time making being misinterpreted loneliness friends, when you have difficulty making yourself heard, and depression powerlessness when people take advantage of you, it is because you have an giving offense weakness imperfect comprehension of those shadowy rules that allow being insulted being overlooked you to focus social power to your advantage. disappointment impatience No one in our world succeeds strictly on his or her own. True Good conversation skills, on the other hand, lead to success, accomplishment requires that you efficiently influence those and success leads to more success. Good verbal abilities usually around you in positive ways. The primary tool of influence is promote good relations with others, influence, respect, and a communication, and like society itself, communication has rules reputation for leadership and effectiveness. People with these that few fully understand. advantages go through life feeling the emotions and talents Introduction listed below. Communication is a composite of speaking and listening. Honing skills in both these areas is absolutely essential if the stimulated empowered communicator wishes to impress the receiver. The initial impact energized vital is made by speaking abilities of the sender. Equally important is passionate centered the ability to listen carefully. If the overall effectiveness of these motivated respected two components is considered. It would e seen that he ability excited well-liked to listen rather than to speak fluently impress more. challenged included The two activities viz, speaking and listening, cannot be determined focused segregated. Both are closely intertwined an overall impact is flexible fortunate created if both these skills are used effectively. Let us use the contributing rewarded effective in control word ‘ IMPRESS’ as an acronym to understand the basic comfortable satisfied features of communication or concept, which, if once under- confident lucky stood, would define helps us to impress the other person. resourceful I – Idea The first step in the process of communication is to decide on the idea which needs to be communicated. There may be a host We all feel the above emotions and conditions, good and bad, of ideas passing through the mind of the sender. Depending from time to time. But do you have the feeling that the negative upon the situation and the receiver, the speaker selects the idea factors occur too persistently in your life? Do you feel that some suited to the occasion. © Copy Right: Rai University 62 11.234
    • M – Message word, namely, “sympathy”, which is different in connotation. BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONOnce the idea has been selected, it needs to be clothed in a Sympathy is placing the sender on a higher pedestal and viewinglanguage that is comprehensible to the receiver. The encoding the other in a sympathetic light.of the message has to be done keeping a number of factorsinmind. What is it that needs to be stated? What is the languagethat is going to be understood y the receiver? Does the ideanecessarily pertain to the interest of the receiver? What is it thatthe receiver actually needs to know? Framing of the message , ifdone(keeping answers to these question in mind), woulddefinitely make an impact on the receiver.P - Pause/ ParagraphsThe significance of pauses cannot be underestimated. Pausesshould be juxtaposed at just the right minute so that thereceiver can assimilate the impact of the message. The use ofpauses would be best understood in the context of a presenta-tion. The presenter should, at the time of making apresentation, use this device suitably. Excessive usage of thisdevice can lead the presentation into being one that is pretty Empathyboring and monotonous. The right use of pauses actuallystimulates the audience. The impact is often so great andforceful that the receiver actually leans forward in their chairswhen the presenter pauses, as if urging him to resume thepresentation. This device, in the course of the interaction, lasts S - Senderfor barely a few seconds. However, the impact is long and The communication process hinges on the sender. He initiatesmeaningful. In written communication pauses get translated the interaction and comes up with ideas and concepts that heinto paragraphs. If the decision to use a certain number of wishes to share with the receiver. His role is the most crucial.paragraphs is right and the division of points in these para- The success or failure of interaction depends on him and on thegraphs is also correct, then written communication becomes strategies he adopts to get his message across by securing themeaningful and creates a positive impression. attention of the receiver. A cautious sender would understand that there is a difference between the mental frames of theR - Receiver. participants. Such a difference could be a result of discrepancy inThe receiver is the most important person in the process of interpretation of words, perception of reality, and attitudes,communication who could, if he so desires, also prove to be opinions and emotions. Message, if formulated, with aware-the most difficult. He is the one who is generally led into the ness along these areas, is sure to bring success to the sender.interaction. In order to draw his attention, it is imperative thatthere be an extra plus that would retain his interest and make S - Security Checkhim attentive to the ensuing communication. To satisfy this Effective communication necessitates that the receiver listenscriterion the sender should address himself to the needs and carefully to the utterances of the sender so that the end resultsexpectations of the receiver. Formulating the statements are positive. The primary rule is: never be in -a rush to commenceaccording to a mutually accepted goal is a good way of proceed- communication. Sufficient time and effort should be put ining and drawing his attention. formulating the message. Suppose the sender wishes to communicate five points. The sequencing and necessaryE - Empathy substantiation of points with facts and figures should be doneIn communication empathy should be used to help us prior to the actual beginning of the communication process.understand the other individual, the strategies that. he adopts This would build confidence in the message and eliminateand the responses that he gives at a particular moment. It possibility of errors in the statements.would be worthwhile to note that all communication issituation bound. The same individual in two different situa- To sum up, the sender, in order to impress the receiver should,tions might use the same words but his intention might be at the start, have an idea encoded in the form of a message. Attotally different. Gauging the exact meaning of an utterance can the time of encoding, the sender does a thorough security checkonly”be done when we literally put ourselves in the shoes of to ascertain that all points have been dealt with in a desiredthe other person and try to understand the situation from the order. The message is then transmitted to the receiver with theperspective of the sender. required voice articulations and pauses so as to heighten theEach individual, as a sender has, what we refer to as, a ‘logic impact. Finally, the response of the receiver should be viewedbubble’ that enables him to formulate his message in a empathetic ally. Once all these factors have been understood, itparticular fashion. The same holds true for the receiver or the proves easy to prevail upon the receiver.listener. The greater the empathy between them, the higher the There could, however, be moments when, in spite of effortslevel of understanding and more the receptivity to messages being made to make the interaction informative and meaning- ful, all communication links fall apart and the process ends in a © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 63
    • meaningless rumble of words and sounds. This disturbing orBUSINESS COMMUNICATION distracting factor is what we refer to as Noise. This may be on Types Causative Remedies the part of the sender or the receiver; it can be voluntary or Factors involuntary. Physical Disturbances and Ensuring that all Noise distractions in the channels are clear Noise can be defined as a physical sound or a mental distur- environment and free of noise bance that disrupts the flow of communication as the sender or the receiver perforce gets distracted by it. According to this Psychological Mental turbulence, Entering into preoccupation, ego Question/ Answer definition, noise can be classified into two categories: hang-ups, anxiety, sessions, Securing 1. Physical tiredness, advice 2. Psychological. preconceived ideas and notions Physical noise is that sound which emanates from the sur- roundings and hampers’ the listening process, e.g. while speaking on the telephone, disturbances might hinder the smooth transmission of message or just at the time when the sender wishes to transmit Barriers To Communication an important point, there might be a queer squeaking sound. An activity as complex as communication is bound to suffer Physical noise is not all that difficult to manage. It can be done from setbacks if conditions contrary to the smooth functioning away with at the time of communication by ensuring that all of the process emerge. They are referred to as barriers because channels are in proper functioning order. For example, often, they create impediments in the progress of the interaction. companies have a soundproof room for discussions. Identification of these barriers is extremely important. Accord- While care may be taken to eliminate possibilities of physical ing to the role observed by the two participants, let us noise, problems arise at the time when psychological noise categorize the barriers as: plagues either the sender or the receiver. Whenever there is • Sender-oriented psychological noise, it results in (un)welcome ideas or thoughts crowding the • Receiver-oriented. mind, which are of more relevance than the’ ensuing communi- Sender-oriented Barriers cation to either of the participants. Listening, as a result, is Sender-oriented barriers could be voluntary or involuntary. At hampered and responses are not well formulated. Some of the any cost, efforts should be made on the part of the sender to common forms of noise are mental turbulence, preoccupation, identify and remove them. As the sender is the originator of ego hang-ups, anxiety, tiredness, pre-conceived ideas and communication, he should be extremely careful not to erect notions. These are mostly involuntary and no cause can be barriers. If his interaction gives rise to or indicates that there are assigned to them. barriers, the communication comes to a grinding halt. Some of What is important is awareness about these factors. The sender the barriers that are sender-oriented are as follows: at a particular moment might be disturbed by psychological 1. Badly Expressed Message. noise. If he is aware of the mental turmoil and knows that it would disturb his listening process he should, at the time of Not being well versed in the topic under discussion can create communicating, carry a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to jot problems of this nature. The sender may not be able to down points or comments of the receiver. On the other hand, structure his ideas accurately and efficiently. What he wishes the receiver might also be distracted by psychological noise. to say and what he finally imparts may not be the same. The Outward manifestations of this disturbance would be in the discrepancy emerges as soon as the words are uttered. In fact, form of restless tapping on the table, looking in other direc- one of the important criteria at the time of initializing a piece tions, shifting restlessly, changing positions, etc. These are just of communication is that ideas should be concrete and the some of the means through which the sender can gauge the message should be well structured. The receiver should not presence of psychological noise in the mind of the receiver. To feel that the interaction is a waste of time. The moment this make more meaningful and successful communication, the feeling crops up, the listener totally switches off and thus sender should try through certain strategies to draw the ceases the process of effective communication. attention of the receiver. He can do this by entering into a 2. Loss In Transmission. question answer session or asking for advice. Both these devices This is a very minor issue but one that gains in magnitude would, to a great extent, remove the element of psychological when it leads to inability in transmitting the actual message. noise. Once again, if the choice of the channel or medium is not right, the impact of the message is lost. This is mostly a physical noise. However, the responsibility lies with the sender, as he should ensure that all channels are free of noise before commencing communication. © Copy Right: Rai University 64 11.234
    • 3. Semantic Problem Exhibit 11.3 Sender-oriented Barriers BUSINESS COMMUNICATION High and big sounding words definitely look and sound impressive. But if the receiver is not able to comprehend the impact of these words, or if they sound ‘Greek’ or ‘Latin’ to Participant Barrier Causative Remedies factors him, the entire exercise proves futile. This problem could Sender/Encoder/ 1. Loss in Badly expressed Think prior to arise in the interpretation of the words or overall meaning Speaker Impact message speaking of the message It is also related to the understanding of the 2. Ineffective Loss in Remove grasp of physical intention behind a particular statement. For the receiver, e.g., message transmiSSion noise the sanctity associated with the word “white” might be 3. Semantic Use simple violated when the receiver uses it in a careless fashion. Misunderstood problem language statements The idiosyncrasies of the receiver should be well understood Make the by the sender if he does not wish these barriers to crop up at 4. Groping for Over/Under quantum the right of the time of communication. The look on the face of the message communication communication listener should be sufficient to warn the sender that he has just right overstepped his limits or he has been misunderstood. 5. Lack of Minimise usage collaborative "I-attitude"4. Over/ Under Communication of "I" effort The quantum of communication should be just right. Formulate 6. Biased messages Neither should there be excess information nor should it be Prejudices communication with an open too scanty. Excess information may confuse the receiver as he mind has to figure out the exact import of the message, and scanty information would make him grope for the actual intent of the message .The sender should ,as far as possible try to get Rules for Overcoming Sender - Oriented the profile of the receiver so that at the time of Barriers. communication he knows how much material is needed and These barriers are not insurmountable. Care and constant how much can be done away with. Suppose he starts with practice on the part of the sender can remove these barriers. some information that the receiver already possesses, the Some of the rules for overcoming sender-oriented barriers are latter might lose interestas it is merely repetition of what he as follows: already knows . So b the time he arrives at the core of he 1. Plan and clarify ideas. matter , he had already lost the attention of the receiver. Ideas should be carefully formulated/thought out before5. ‘I’ -Attitude. beginning any kind of communication. This can be done by Imagine a piece of communication that begins and ends following few steps. Primary among them is to test thinking with the pronoun “I”. How tedious it is going to be for the by communicating with peers and colleagues. It is said that listener to sit through the entire piece of interaction. If the two minds are always better than one. Ideas, when discussed sender starts every sentence with “I”, it gradually leads to aloud with another person, necessarily take on a shape and what is referred to as the I-syndrome. He would not be form. Errors of logic, if any, get sorted out. In this process receptive to changes, if suggested by the receiver; as such, the concepts of others can also be collated and incorporated changes would go against his personal formulation of to make the communication richer and more fruitful. As certain views. these steps require preplanning and extra time, the sender should be highly motivated. Unless he is sufficiently6. Prejudices. motivated, he will not spend extra hours in planning the Starting any piece of communication with a bias or know-it- message and clarifying it by facilitating discussions with other all attitude can prove to be quite detrimental to the growth members in the organization. of communication process. Though it is easier said than 2. Create a climate of trust and confidence. done, still, when communication commences, all sorts of prejudices should be done away with, and the mind should In order to win the trust and confidence of the receiver, the be free of bias. This would enable the sender to formulate sender has to put in extra effort through which he is able to his message, Mind, free of keeping only the receiver and his win the trust and confidence of the recipient. This is what we needs in mind. Thoughts like “Last time he said this...” or normally refer to as establishing sender credibility. If the “Last time he did this...” or “He belongs to this group...” receiver is convinced that the sender has his best interests at can totally warp the formulation of the message. This barrier heart, he would be willing to pay attention to all that is being can also be extended to the receiver. If the respondent starts said and try to grasp the import of the message in the with prejudices in mind, he too would be unable to listen to manner in which it is intended. the intent of the message. His understanding of the 3. Time your message carefully. message is going to be warped. The messages are going to be Different occasions and different hours necessitate a change understood in relation to the prejudices that a receiver in the encoding of the message. The sender has to be careful harbors against the sender. of the time and the place he makes his statements. As all communication is situation bound, a statement made at an © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 65
    • incorrect moment, or a wrong place can stimulate an sequel to the listening process. It cannot be doneBUSINESS COMMUNICATION undesired response. The most prudent step is to measure simultaneously with listening. The minute sender opens his the import of the message in relation to the situation and mouth, if the listener starts mentally pronouncing then impart it. judgments concerning his style or content, he has actually 4. Reinforce words with action. missed out on a major part of what has been said. His responses naturally are then going to be incorrect or expose Whatever statements are made should be reinforced by his misunderstanding. action on the part of the sender. The receiver should not feel that there are two codes at play, one for transmittal and the 4. Interests and attitudes. other for action. If there is harmony between the two, the “I am not interested in what you are saying” or “My interest decoder is mentally at peace, for his grasp is more accurate lies in other areas”. Starting any piece of communication and thorough. with this kind of indifference can thwart any attempts at 5. Communicate efficiently. communication. Fixed notions of this kind should be dispensed with. It is not possible to be interested in all that The sender can only ascertain whether communication has is being said. But to start any communication with this been effective when he confirms with feedback. The receiver notion is hazardous. on his part is also wary as he knows that he would be requested for feedback. Soliciting and receiving feedback is the 5. Conflicting information. simplest and the surest way of removing any barriers that Dichotomy in the information that the receiver possesses might crop up in the course of communication as a result of and that which is being transmitted can create confusion and either over communication or a semantic problem. result in miscommunication. Conflict between the existing Once all barriers to communication have been overcome, information and fresh one results in elimination of the latter communication, it is said has been meaningful and unless and until the receiver is cautious and verifies with the purposeful. sender the reliability and validity of the message. The sender should convince the receiver that whatever is now being said Receiver-Oriented Barriers is correct and relevant to further proceedings. Receiver can also have some barriers in the course of the 6. Differing status and position. interaction. Although his role in the initial phase is passive, he becomes active when he starts assimilating and absorbing the Position in the organizational hierarchy is no criterion to information. He is equally to blame if the situation goes awry determine the strength of ideas and issues. Rejecting the and communication comes to a stop, or there is miscommuni- proposal of a subordinate or harboring a misconception that cation. Some of the barriers emanating from the side of the a junior cannot come up receiver are as follows: with a “eureka” concept is not right. In fact, many companies 1. Poor retention. have started encouraging youngsters to come up with ideas/ solutions to a particular problem. These ideas are then Retention is extremely important during interaction. If the discussed among the senior managers and their validity is receiver has poor retention capability, he would probably get ascertained keeping the workings and the constraints of the lost in the course of the proceedings. There would be company in mind. The basic purpose of this upward no connection between what was said initially and what is traversing of ideas is that fresh and innovative minds can being said now. He might counter statements instead of come up with unique solutions. If an individual has been seeking clarifications that might lead to clamping on the part working in a particular company for some years, it is natural of the sender. If the decoder feels that his retention that his mind gets conditioned in a particular manner. capacities are not good, a judicious strategy for him would be Challenging newcomers to innovate,as a part of company to jot down points. It does not portray him in a poor light. policy takes care of ego problems that may arise if this is not On the contrary, it shows how conscientious he is to get the a accepted norm. message right. 7. Resistance to change. 2. Inattentive listening. The mind has its own way of functioning. It is very difficult Fixed ideas, coupled with an unwillingness to change or to exercise control over ones mind. Listening is more of an discuss, hampers listening and results in miscommunication. exercise in controlling the mind and exercising it to assimilate Novae concepts that require discussion before they can really messages. The errors in listening arise primarily because the materialize, if rebuked, fall flat. The onus lies directly on the receiver is either not interested in what is being said, or has receiver who is unreceptive and unwilling to change. People other things to concentrate on. The art of listening is an with dogmatic opinions and views prove to be very poor exercise in concentration. communicators and erect maximum number of barriers. 3. Tendency to evaluate. 8. Refutations and arguments. Being judgmental and evaluative are both the starting points Refutations and arguments are negative in nature. Trying to for miscommunication. Remember, one mind cannot communicate with the sender on the premise that perform two activities at the same time. If it is evaluating, refutations and arguments can yield fruitful results would listening cannot take place. Evaluation should always be a prove to be futile.Communication is a process in which the © Copy Right: Rai University 66 11.234
    • sender and the healthyreceiver are at the same level. The Technology now allows anyone with E-mail to move informa- BUSINESS COMMUNICATION minute refutations or discussions arguments begin, there is a tion throughout the organization, posing questions or shift in balance between the two participants, after which the suggesting new product ideas to any individual, regardless of receiver moves to a conceived higher position and the sender their location or status. remains at the same level. In case there are some Increased competition has forced us to look for ways to do contradictions that need to be resolved, discussion is the everything exponentially better, faster and at less cost. It’s caused right way to approach. Listening to the views of the other, us to challenge all the rules, processes, policies, programs and trying to understand or at least showing that there has been structures. Self-direction, virtual offices, spiderweb organiza- understanding, appreciating and, finally, positing own views tional structures and telecommuting has forced many should be the sequence to be followed. The strategy adopted organizations to adopt more efficient and effective ways of should not make the sender feel small or slighted. moving information among people who need that it. A newExhibit 11.4 Receiver-oriented Barriers partnership has evolved from a recognition that assets such as capital, raw materials and technology are inert until people do something with them. Those firms that can get the right people doing the right things at the right time with precious finite Participant Barrier Causative Remedies assets will be tomorrow’s winners. Communication in its factors broadest form is a critical enabler that can engage people and Receiver! 1. Dichotomy Poor retention Jot down unlock the discretionary effort that’s needed to win. Organiza- Decoder! in reception points tions that understand these factors and manage and comprehension communications well have adopted or are adopting the Listener 2. Partial grasp Inattentive Keep the following two best practices. of topic listening mind open 1. Using a concept commonly called open book 3. Distancing Tendency to Delay leadership, they’re creating businesses of business from the evaluate evaluation people where everyone thinks and acts like a business speaker 4. Lack of Differences in Find an owner. interest nterests and area of In these organizations, often considered the model of attitudes interest communication management, everyone knows how the enterprise makes money and how to track business 5. Mental Conflicting Check performance. Everyone knows that a large part of the job is turbulence information reliability to move the numbers in the right direction. The income and statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet are the validity primary communication media. Everyone works to manage 6. Superior Differing Listen to these three statements prospectively. (For instance, if a attitude status/Position ideas variance in material usage is projected on next month’s Self-experience income statement, employees who can influence material 7. Mental block Resistance to Be open to change changes usage work to avoid the variance. This effort may involve 8. Lack of Refutations Enter into frontline employees; it may involve others. Focusing provision of and arguments healthy communication primarily on frontline people at the correct discussions exclusion of others could too often circumvent people who feedback have valuable contributions to improving the organization’s financial health. 2. They’re seeking faster, more focused ways to getArticle relevant information into the hands of those who can most influence business performance.A Strategic Focus on Face-to-face Communication These businesses understand that some organizationBy Jim Shaffer capabilities or processes drive the business more than others.Superior communication management should help improve In a world of finite resources, it’s often strategically efficientorganizational performance. Its job is to focus people on what’s to focus on these needed-to-win capabilities or successrequired to win and build an environment that gives them the drivers. For instance, if an electric power company wereinformation needed to improve performance. It should do its deficient in a needed-to-win capability such as creatingjob as effectively and efficiently as possible. Three factors have strategic partnerships, it should direct its attention atreinvented the way we must manage communication: technol- eliminating this deficiency. This may or may not involveogy, increased global competition and the emerging partnership frontline employees but would address a major competitivebetween an organization and its members.Technology has issue.replaced layers of management that frequently blocked commu-nication back in the days when the communication process was If a retail store were deficient in a core driver such as increasingthought to be a hierarchic, cascading, up and down process. in-store traffic, it would want to fucus on this activities that would increase in-store traffic. This might include merchandis- © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 67
    • ing, advertising, perceived product quality, atmosphere, retailBUSINESS COMMUNICATION skills, leadership skills and a host of other activities that could increase in-store traffic. This probably would involve frontline Generally, people retain people, but not to the exclusion of others. Essentially, best practice companies focus communication management where it has maximum strategic impact. This • 10% of what they READ requires involving people who bring a mix of competencies • 20% of what they HEAR from various places within the organization. In these organiza- • 30% of what they SEE tions, ‘frontline’ isn’t part of the lexicon. ‘Frontline’ is a hierarchic remnant. • 50% of what they SEE and HEAR In the new model, everyone is critical to the value chain. • 70% of what they SAY Everyone is part of the business. Everyone is engaged in a • 90% of what they SAY and DO partnership. This emerging model represents a fundamental shift in the way we think about our organizations and how we share informa- tion. Part of this shift renders the historical frontline employee/ supervisor discussion obsolete. In this new model, the way we move information should be situational. Sure, face-to-face may be ideal. It can capture the essence of human interaction better than E-mail, fax, courier services, video or teleconference. But, try telling someone at Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, California that she should communicate cash flow reports face-to-face to someone in the Asia-Pacific office and she’d be justified in giving us a quick lesson in business economics and the need for speed in today’s competitive environment. Lionize face-to-face as an ideal, but be prepared to seek better ways to move information among telecommuters who have child care obligations. Face-to-face may have significant advantages, but perhaps not at the expense of dragging a world-wide sales force to London for a monthly sales meeting. Organizations are changing dramatically. Work gets done Business Communication Goals differently. Structures are fluid. Businesses will continue to metamorphose as customers’ needs and members’ needs • Receiver Understanding change. • Receiver Response Communication practitioners should be hard at work looking • Favorable Relationship for new ways to help adapt to a new business environment. They should be looking for better ways to engage everyone in • Organizational Goodwill achieving increasingly higher levels of performance through improving information sharing. Doing this effectively will require a mind set change and a fresh view of the needs of the Sender is responsible for these goals. emerging organization. It will mean letting go of the past when it doesn’t serve today’s business needs - however painful letting go might be. Biography Jim Shaffer, is one of the world’s leading thought leaders and consultants in generating employee commitment to achieving improved organizational performance. His new book The Leadership Solution has been hailed by CEOs as a “practical common sense look at how leaders use communication to solve business problems.” Jim pioneered performance-based communication management, the process for improving critical performance indicators such as quality, service, speed, costs, innovation or productivity by improving the way businesses manage communication. He leads the JimShaffer © Copy Right: Rai University 68 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Parts of a presentation Guidelines for Effective Closings • Introduction • Always prepare a closing • Body • Always restate the main point, and, perhaps, • Conclusion the key supporting points • Questions • Say clearly what happens next • If appropriate, make a call to action Say what you are going to say, say it, • Thank the audience then say what you have just said. Guidelines for Effective Introductions Communication Barriers/Noise • Always prepare your opening • Word choice • Tell people what the presentation is about – too difficult, too technical, etc. – overused words such as, “good”, “excellent • Keep the opening short and simple value”, etc. • Only use anecdotes that are relevant • Connotations VS Denotations • Use caution with personal experiences – Examples sender denotes rec. connotes • Stay away from inappropriate humor – “Cheap” inexpensive poorly made – “Flexible” offers choice no standard – “Compromise” adjust give in © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 69
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Communication Barriers/Noise 10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) • Inferences • Pace of the delivery • #1 Accepting an inappropriate invitation – Speaking too fast or too slow – personally decline, retain opportunity for • Poor grammar, spelling, etc. company • Appearance and performance of the presenter • #2 Neglecting to research the audience • Use of gender bias terms or stereotypical – take the time to find out who you are talking to terms • Positive VS Negative terms – We have a full year warranty. VS Warranty is only for the first year. What you should know about Handouts your audience • When to use and distribute handouts • How large is the audience? – @ beginning if audience needs them during • What are the audience members’ relevant presentation characteristics? – during presentation, have someone else hand • Why are people attending? them out • What are the audience’s specific needs, – at end if possible interests, and concerns? • Running handouts two, three or six to a • How much do people already know? page • How are people likely to respond to your message? © Copy Right: Rai University 70 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION 10 common presentation mistakes 10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #7 Backing up to the wrong media • #3 Procrastinating, then punting. – Check your back-up media before leaving for your – Do not try to organize your talk and create your presentation. slides simultaneously. • #8 Telling tasteless or offensive jokes • #4 Getting a late start. – A greater awareness of your audience can determine if – Always plan to arrive early for your they will find your sense of humor funny or offensive. presentation. 10 common presentation mistakes 10 common presentation mistakes (and suggestions for avoiding them) (and suggestions for avoiding them) • #5 Assuming all projectors are the same. • #9 Relying on the World Wide Web live – Be sure you know the equipment or bring your Web connection own. – Create a copy on your hard drive. • #6 Failing to heed Murphy’s Law • #10 Having too little to say – Always assume the equipment will NOT work. – Be prepared! © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 71
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tips on PowerPoint Presentations Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Always use a title slide. Put it up about five • Keep the presentation look simple. You minutes before your presentation begins. don’t want to distract from the content of • The presentation should set the tone of the the slide/presentation. message. • Keep a consistent look from slide to slide. – If you are sharing good news, your presentation • Create high contrast between the can use a lot of fun art, audio and video. If you background and the text. have bad news, stick to the points. • Consider creating a company specific background for sales presentations. Sample Slide Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Sales are down! • Clip art should match your audience. • Art should match a key word or phase in the slide. • When using art, keep the images balanced on the page. Use the rule of thirds. • We are going to have to down size. • Use art judiciously. • All of the rules apply to sound (even more so!). © Copy Right: Rai University 72 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tips on PowerPoint Presentations Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • One of the significant advantages of using • Limit your bullet points to three or four presentation software packages is that you have items. access to color. Use it wisely and judiciously. • Try to have no more than 24 words on any – Keep it simple and consistent. one slide. – Use no more than five colors for charts or graphs. • Be careful when using abbreviations, – Choose no more than two colors for text. acronyms, and special phases on your – Be careful with the use of red because the eye will slides. Explain them quickly or you lose naturally go there first. your audience. Tips on PowerPoint Presentations Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • One of the significant advantages of using • Fonts are like colors, just because you have presentation software packages is that you have a lot of them to choose from you don’t have access to color. Use it wisely and to use them all! No more than two or three judiciously.(cont) per slide. – Use complimentary colors together. • Be consistent from slide to slide. – Never use red and green together unless you want • Don’t overdo the use of italics, bolding and your audience to think of Christmas! shadows and like e-mail, do NOT use all caps. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 73
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • It is important to explain how to read your chart or graph as soon as you put it on the screen. • Do not say anything important within ten seconds of putting up a chart. People won’t be listening, they’re too busy figuring out the chart. Tips on PowerPoint Presentations • Have a final slide that lets the audience know that the presentation is over. © Copy Right: Rai University 74 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 10: LISTENING SKILLS After reading this chapter, you should be able to understand: Note that in both the cases, the listener has not listened to the actual message. In the first case, listener has taken the message 1. How important listening is in oral communication without giving proper attention to understand it, and in the 2. Common faults we make while listening second case, the listener has a blocked mind to listen anything 3. How we can improve our listening skill other than his own notions. Situations like this are disturbingly 4. Different approaches to listening common in business. They show that listening failures can prove to be very costly. Because of listening mistakes, lettersStudents, today, lets learn about the importance and listening . have to be retyped, appointments rescheduled, shipments re-Do you think you are a good listener? I do hear a loud Yes routed, productivity is affected and profits suffer. Thus poorfrom you all!!! At the end of the lesson we have some exercise listening habits can keep an organization from functioningto evaluate your listening skills. properly. Industrial firms have recognized the importance of the listeningIntroduction skill to manag-ers for some time. Dr. Earl Planty, in his role as“It’s a pity that Raman didn’t receive the promotion he wanted, executive counselor at Johnson and Johnson, has said: “By farbut he has one big fault: he doesn’t know how to listen.” This the most effective method by which executives can tap ideas ofremark was made by a department head in a manufacturing subordinates is sympathetic listening in the many day-to-dayfirm. Listening is a skill, an art necessary for success in life and informal contacts within and outside the work place. There iswork. no system that will do the job in an easier manner. Nothing canDo you know that we devote about 40 to 45 per cent of our equal an executive’s willingness to listen.”working hours to listening? And do you know that, if you have The benefits of applied listening skills are impressive. Goodnot taken steps to improve this skill, you listen at only 25 per listeners make a company a more effective organization. Theycent efficiency? have better rapport with others, they get more out of meetingsFor a long time most persons assumed that listening was a and are more effective in conferences, and they are better atnatural trait, but practically, not all people are good listeners. understanding the needs of others.Evidence indicates that many persons do not know how tolisten - that listening is a skill that must be developed. In Common Faults of Listening Research studies shows that our listening efficiency is no betterShakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Marc Antony realizes that persons than 25 to 30 per cent. That means the considerable informa-don’t listen readily, for he begins his famous oration by saying, tion is lost in the listening process. Why? Some reasons follow-“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.” 1. Prejudice against the speaker – At times we have conflictAs you will learn in the following pages, listening effectively is in our mind as to the speaker. Whatever he speaks seems tohard work. It involves far more than sitting passively and be colored and we practically don’t listen what he says.absorbing others’ words. It occurs far more frequently thanspeaking, reading, or writing and is just as demanding and 2. Rehearsing – Your whole attention is on designing andimportant. preparing your next comment. You look interested, but your mind is going a mile a minute because you areWhat Listening is thinking about what to say next. Some people rehearse Johnson defines listening as “the ability to understand and whole chains of responses: I’ll say, then he’ll say, and so on.respond effec-tively to”Oral communication.” 3. Judging negatively – Labeling people can be extremelyThus, we can state at the outset that hearing is not listening. limiting. If you prejudge somebody as incompetent orListening requires more than hearing; it requires understanding uninformed, you don’t pay much attention to what thatof the communication received. Davis states it this way: person says. A basic rule of listening is that judgments“Hearing is with the ears, but listening is with the mind.” should only be made after you have heard and evaluated theConsider the Following Examples content of the message.“I told him we were meeting this Tuesday, not next Tuesday. 4. Identifying – When using this block, you take everythingNow we have to reschedule the meeting. It will cost us a week’s people tell you and refer it back to your own experience.time and we will not be able to meet the deadline.” They want to tell you about a toothache, but that remindsHe said he was listening, but he’d obviously made up his mind you of your oral surgery for receding gums. You launchbefore I started. He didn’t give me a minute to talk before he into your story before they can finish theirs.started interrupting.” © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 75
    • 5. Advising – You are the great problem solver. You don’t relaxed and mentally alert to receive and understand theBUSINESS COMMUNICATION have to hear more than a few sentences before you begin message. Effective listening requires sustained concentration searching for the right advice. However, while you are (regardless of the length of the message), attention to the main coming up with suggestions and convincing someone to ideas presented, note-taking (if the conditions are appropriate), just try it, you may miss what is most important. and no emotional blocks to the message by the listener. You 6. Sparring – This block has you arguing and debating with cannot listen passively and expect to retain the message. If you people who never feel heard because you are so quick to want to be an effective listener, you must give the communica- disagree. In fact, your main focus is on finding things to tor of the message sufficient attention and make an effort to disagree with. understand his viewpoint. Here are some practical suggestions for effective listening, which, if followed, can appreciably 7. Being Right – Being right means you will go to great increase the effectiveness of this communicative skill. lengths (twist the facts, start shouting, make excuses or accusations, call up past sins) to -avoid being wrong. You 1. Realize that listening is hard work – You must appreciate can’t listen to criticism, you can’t be corrected, and you can’t the art of listening, and make conscious effort to listen take suggestions to change. others. 8. Derailing – This listening block involves suddenly 2. Prepare to listen – To receive the message clearly, the changing the subject. You derail the train of conversation receiver must have the correct mental attitude. In your daily when you get uncomfortable or bored with a topic. Another communications, establish a permissive environment for way of derailing is by joking. each communicator. . 9. Placating – Right. . . Absolutely. . . I know. . . Of course 3. Have positive attitude – If you have to do it, do it with a you are. . .Incredible ... Really? You want to be nice, positive attitude. pleasant, supportive. You want people to like you. So you 4. Resist distractions – Tune out internal and external agree with everything. distractions by facing and maintaining contact with the 10. Dreaming – When we dream, we pretend to listen but speaker. If you experience some negative environment really tune the other person out while we drift about in our factors, you can sometimes move to another loca-tion in the interior fantasies. Instead of disciplining ourselves to truly room. Good listeners adjust quickly to any kind of concentrate on the input, we turn the channel to a more abnormal. entertaining subject. 5. Listen to understand, not refute -Respect the viewpoint 11. Thinking speed – Most of us speak between 60 to 180 of those you disagree with. Try to understand the points words per minute, and people have capacity to think at the they emphasize and why they have such feelings (training, rate of 500 to 800 words per Minute. The difference leaves background, etc.). Don’t allow your personal biases and us with the great deal of mental spare time. While it is attitudes to influence your listening to the message. possible to use this time to explore the speaker’s ideas, we 6. Keep an open mind – A good listener doesn’t feel most often let our mind wander to other matters - from the threatened or insulted, or need to resist messages that unfinished business just mentioned to romantic fantasies. contradict his beliefs, attitudes, ideas, or personal values. Try 12. Premature evaluation – It often happens that we to identify and rationalize the words or phrases most interrupt the speakers before they complete their thought, upsetting to your means. or finish their sentence, or state their conclusions. Directly as 7. Find an area of interest – Good listeners are interested a result of our rapid thinking speed, we race ahead of what and attentive. They find ways to make the message relevant we feel is the conclusion. We anticipate. We arrive at the to themselves and/ or their jobs. Make your listening concluding thought quickly although often that is quite efficient by asking yourself ‘what is he saying that I can use? different from what the speaker intended. Does he have any worthwhile ideas? Is he conveying any 13. Semantic stereotypes – As certain kind of people bother workable approaches or solutions? G. K Chesterton once us, so too do certain words. When these words are repeated said, There is no such-thing as an uninteresting subject; time and again, they cause annoyance in the mind and there are only uninteresting people. effective listening is impaired. 8. Concentrate on the context – Search out main ideas. 14. Delivery – A monotonous delivery by the speaker can put Construct a mental outline of where speaker is going. Listen listeners to sleep or cause them to loose interest. for transition and progression of ideas. If need be, you may reinforce the mental outline by physically taking down 15. External distractions – The entire physical environment the notes. effects the listen-ing. Among the negative factors are noisy fans, poor or glaring lights, distracting background music, 9. Capitalize on thought – speed – Most of us think at overheated or cold rooms, a conversation going on nearby, about four times faster than the communicator speaks. It is and so on. almost impossible to slow down our thinking speed. What do you do with the excess thinking time while someone is How to Improve Listening Skill speaking? The good listener uses thought-speed to The ability to listen more effectively may be acquired through advantage by applying spare thinking time to what is being discipline and practice. As a listener you must be physically said. Your greatest handicap may be not capitalizing on © Copy Right: Rai University 76 11.234
    • thought-speed. Through listening training, it can be Points to ponder BUSINESS COMMUNICATION converted into your greatest asset. Here are some hints and tips to make you a better listener:10. Combine verbal delivery with nonverbal cues – F. S. 1. Listen carefully to what the speaker says. Pick out the key Pearls, author of Gestalt Theory Vibration, said “Don’t words in any information. It’s easier to remember one or listen to the words_ just listen to what the voice tells you, two important words than a whole sentence. what the movements tell you, what the posture tells you If you’re taking a message for someone it’s easier to write what the image tells you”. down key words to help you remember the message than it11. Show some empathy – Empathy means placing yourself in is to try to write everything out. You can add to your the shoes of speaker and try understand his viewpoint from message after you’ve finished listening to the information. there. If we show some empathy, we create a climate that 2. Give each new stage in a set of instructions a number, it encourages others to communicate honestly and openly. will help you remember them later. Therefore, try to see the communicator’s point of view.12. Hold your fire – Be patient. Don’t interrupt. Don’t become over-stimulated, too excited, or excited too soon, by what the speaker says. Be sure you understand what the speaker means; that is, withhold your evaluation until your comprehension is complete. Mentally arguing with a communi-cator is one of the principal reasons so little listening takes place in some discussions. Don’t argue. If you win, you lose.13. Listen critically and delay judgment – Good listeners delay making a judgment about the communicator’s personality, the principal points of the message, and the response. Ask questions and listen critically to the answers. Then, at the appropriate time, judgment can be passed in an enlightened manner.Approaches to Listening 3. Repeat the instructions or the information you’ve beenJust as a carpenter or a chef uses different tools to tackle a job, given back to the person who gave them to you. If you’velisteners can take advantage of several skills for listening and got anything wrong the person will correct you and theresponding to messages at work. Different approaches to repetition will help you to remember.listening are discussed below-: 4. Ask questions about anything that you are unsure of, orPassive listening - Sometimes the best approach to listening is replay the recorded message.to stay out of the way and encourage the speaker to keep going:“Uh-huh”, “really”, “Tell me more”, and so on. Non-verbalcues like eye contact, attentive posture, and appropriate facialexpressions are an important part of the passive listening.Generally this approach is used when there is one to oneconversation or the speaker is giving a formal presentation.Questioning - Sincere questions are genuine request forinformation: “when did you find that fuel was leaking from thebarrel?”, “When did you inform your manager?”, and the like. 5. Go through the complete sequence in your mind so that itThese questions may be used to gather facts and details, clarify is clear. If you’re taking a message for someone elsemeanings, and encourage a speaker to elaborate. you might want to rewrite it using complete sentencesParaphrasing - Paraphrasing occurs when a listener restate the so that it will make sense to the reader.speaker’s ideas in his own words in order to ensure that he hasunderstood them correctly. This is often preceded by phrases 6. If you are with someone you need to do some extra thingssuch as, “Let me make sure I understand what you are say- while you are listening, because you are part of a two-waying...”, “or “in other words you are saying...” and the like. We process and you want to encourage the other person.often think that we understand other person but we may be Look interested in what they are sayingwrong at times. Paraphrasing is a practical technique that can Maintain eye contacthighlight misunderstandings. If the person is giving you directions, pay attention to the“It is the recipient who communicates. The so called direction they are pointing. Gesture can be very importantcommunica-tor, the person who emits the communication, and can often make the speaker’s meaning much clearer.does not communi-cate. He utters. Unless there is someonewho hears, there is no. communication. There is only noise”.Peter Drucker © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 77
    • “I know how you feel.” You have to prove it by beingBUSINESS COMMUNICATION willing to communicate with others at their level of understanding and attitude. We do this naturally by adjusting our tone of vice, rate of speech and choice of words to show that we are trying to imagine being where they are at the moment. Listening to and acknowledging other people may seem deceptively simple, but doing it well, particularly when disagree- ments arise, takes true talent. As with any skill, listening well takes plenty of practice. ”I think one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.” - Diane Sawyer Only about 25 percent of listeners grasp the central ideas in The Secrets to Listening Well communications. To improve listening skills, consider the following: “Listening is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.” - John Marshall Poor Listener Effective Listener There must be a lot of frustrated people out there, a lot of people who feel like they aren’t listened to, a lot of people thinks and mentally summarizes, weighs the throwing up their arms and saying, “You just don’t get it, do tends to "wool-gather" with slow speakers evidence, listens between the you?” lines to tones of voice and There seems to be a growing realization of the importance of evidence listening and communication skills in business. After all, lack of subject is dry so tunes out finds whats in it for me attention and respectful listening can be costly - leading to speaker mistakes, poor service, misaligned goals, wasted time and lack fights distractions, sees past bad of teamwork. distracted easily communication habits, knows how to concentrate You can’t sell unless you understand your customer’s problem; takes intensive notes, but you can’t manage unless you understand your employee’s has 2-3 ways to take notes and the more notes taken, the motivation; and you can’t gain team consensus unless you less value; has only one way organize important information understand each team member’s feelings about the issue at to take notes hand. In all of these cases, you must listen to others. is overstimulated, tends to However, listening is less important than how you listen. By doesnt judge until seek and enter into comprehension is complete listening in a way that demonstrates understanding and respect, arguments you cause rapport to develop, and that is the true foundation inexperienced in listening from which you can sell, manage or influence others. to difficult material; has uses "heavier" materials to ”I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening usually sought light, regularly exercise the mind recreational materials carefully. Most people never listen.” - Ernest Hemingway lets deaf spots or blind Following are some keys to listening well: interpret color words, and words catch his or her doesnt get hung up on them • Give 100% Attention: Prove you care by suspending all other attention activities. holds eye contact and helps • Respond: Responses can be both verbal and nonverbal shows no energy output speaker along by showing an active body state (nods, expressing interest) but must prove you received the judges content, skips over message, and more importantly, prove it had an impact on judges delivery -- tunes out delivery errors you. Speak at approximately the same energy level as the listens for facts listens for central ideas other person...then they’ll know they really got through and don’t have to keep repeating. • Prove understanding: To say “I understand” is not enough. People need some sort of evidence or proof of Exercise 1 understanding. Prove your understanding by occasionally Choose one of the following topics and discuss it in groups of restating the gist of their idea or by asking a question, which 4. Prepare a statement in which you list the arguments for and proves you, know the main idea. The important point is not against. To begin the discussion, each person in the group must to repeat what they’ve said to prove you were listening, but take a particular stance: to prove you understand. The difference in these two • Comment on the positive elements of the proposal intentions transmits remarkably different messages when • Suggest problems with implementing the proposal you are communicating. • Suggest the people who will need to be involved • Prove respect: Prove you take other views seriously. It seldom helps to tell people, “I appreciate your position” or © Copy Right: Rai University 78 11.234
    • • Suggest practical/organizational issues which will need to be 3. Picks up cues, which ask for a particular response. For BUSINESS COMMUNICATION dealt with. example:The group should also come to a consensus on how to proceed What do you think?’with the proposal you are discussing. Note that consensus 4. Ask questions about something that has been said (to clarifymeans that you come to a group view. It is different from a vote or expand)in which the majority rules. I don’t understand the point about…Nominate someone to lead the group, someone to take notes Did you consider trying to…and someone to act as a ‘critical friend’. Keep a personal record Does that mean it won’t work?of the roles you play, so that you have an opportunity to take or in informal conversationdifferent roles throughout the semester. What did he say to that? What did you wear?The Leader of the Group Should What are you going to say to them?1. Encourage all people to contribute — make sure that 5. Use eye contact to show concentration on the person everyone has a turn at speaking 6. Using facial expressions (smiles or frowns, nods or shakes2. Ensure that the discussion sticks to the topic of the head) to show interest or concentrationThe Note Taker Should 7. Use confirming words and phrases1. Record the names of group members Yes.2. Keep notes of the main points raised Really? Go On!3. Record the group’s point of view (arrived at by consensus) You don’t say!4. Report back to the class Oh no!The Critical Friend Should 8. Uses the person’s name when speaking to them1. Observe the way the group functions (including body 9. Allow the speaker to make a point or tell a story without language). interruption2. Report on how each member participated, including whether 10.Encourage others to take a turn, and to respond when they contributed and whether they allowed or encouraged someone presents a different view during discussion others to contribute. A Poor Listener MayScenario 1 1. Not focus on the speaker (e.g. look around the room)You are concerned about water usage in your school. You 2. Interrupt when another speaker is taking their turn, or beforewould like to put in a tank to use rainwater for drinking the person has finishedpurposes. 3. Talk about themselves onlyScenario 2 4. Maintain a blank faceYou would like to organize an overseas tour of students to a 5. Show no interest in the topic or not understand the pointscountry which speaks the language you are studying (e.g. Italy, being made (e.g. lack background in the topic)France, China, Indonesia, Japan, Germany) 6. Not ask questions about what has been saidScenario 3 7. Aggressively disagree with the points being made (althoughYou are concerned about the amount of litter in your school or this may be because the listener is appalled by the ideas beinglocal area. You would like to improve student attitudes towards presented!)recycling. The Speaker’s BackgroundListening to Others The background or relationships of the speakers/listeners canReflect on the group discussion that you have been involved in also have an impact. For example, suppose that you arewhile completing the above exercises. Did everyone speak for listening to someone put a point a view about race relations inabout the same length of time? How easily was consensus Australia. Discuss how your response might differ if the personachieved? How often did the group stray from the topic (e.g. by putting the point of view is:talking about personal matters). Did anyone ask questions of • A friendother group members? • A member of your group in a discussionConsider the characteristics of listeners. Who are people whom • Your employeryou consider to be good or bad listeners? What is it about themthat leads you to make this judgment? • Your teacherA Good Listener May • A politician invited as a guest speaker to your class1. Work co-operatively and concentrate. • An aboriginal guest speaker invited to your class2. Be sympathetic to the speaker (e.g. concerned about their welfare) © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 79
    • ContextBUSINESS COMMUNICATION The place where the conversation is taking place is also signifi- cant. In particular, the level of formality can affect a listener’s response. Body Language Active Listening Our body language can send messages to others in a conversa- tion or discussion. In groups, consider the impact of the Skills following body language. Then draw a table like the one below. Use this table to record whether the actions are likely to help or The Heart of Empathic hinder a discussion. Understanding It may be useful to ask group members to act out these examples so that you can more easily assess their impact. Help Hinder Comment Folding arms Suggests a ‘closed’ approach to the discussion. Puts a barrier between speaker and listener. Nodding Suggests agreement with the speaker and encourages them to continue. • Folding arms • Putting arms behind head • Frowning • Smiling • Nodding/shaking the head • Sneering Reflecting • Fidgeting with hands or an object (e.g. a pen) n Purpose • Scribbling ¨ To show that you understand how the person • Rocking on the chair feels. • Leaning forward n Action • Leaning back ¨ Reflects the speaker’s basic feelings. • Looking around the room n Example: • Staring at the speaker “You seem very upset.” • Maintaining occasional eye contact with the speaker . © Copy Right: Rai University 80 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Encouraging Clarifying n Purpose n Purpose ¨ To help you clarify what is said. ¨ To convey interest. ¨ To get more information. ¨ To help the speaker see other points of view. ¨ To encourage the other person to keep talking. n Action n Action ¨ Ask questions. ¨ Don’t agree or disagree. ¨ Restate wrong interpretation to force the speaker to explain further. ¨ Use neutral words. n Example ¨ Use varying voice intonations. ¨ “When did this happen?” ¨ “Do I have this right? You think he told you to give him the n Example pencil because he doesn’t like you?” ¨ “Can you tell me more…?” Summarizing Restating n Purpose n Purpose ¨ To show you are listening and understanding what is ¨ To review progress. being said. ¨ To pull together important ideas and facts. ¨ To help the speaker see other points of view. ¨ To establish a basis for further discussion. n Action n Action ¨ Restate basic ideas and facts. ¨ Restate major ideas expressed, including feelings. n Example ¨ “So you would like your friends to include you at n Example recess, is that right?” ¨ “These seem to be the key ideas you’ve expressed…” © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 81
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Validating n Purpose ¨ To acknowledge the worthiness of the other person. n Action ¨ Acknowledge the value of their issues and feelings. ¨ Show appreciation for their efforts and actions. n Example ¨ “I truly appreciate your willingness to resolve this matter.” The Keys to Effective Listening Keys to Effective The Bad Listener Listener The Good Listener Listening Listening 1. Capitalize on thought Tends to daydream Stays with the speaker, speed mentally summarizes the speaker, weighs evidence, and listens between the lines 2. Listen for ideas Listens for facts Listens for central or overall ideas 3. Find an area of interest Tunes out dry speakers or Listens for any useful subjects information 4. Judge content, not Tunes out dry monotone Assesses content by listening delivery speakers to entire message before making judgments 5. Hold your fire Gets too emotional or worked Withholds judgment until up by something said by the comprehension is complete speaker and enters into an argument Sources: Derived from N Skinner, “Communication Skills,” Selling Power, July/August 1999, pp 32-34; and G Manning, K Curtis, and S McMillen , Building the Human Side of Work Community (Cincinnati, OH: Thomson Executive Press, 1996), pp 127-54. © Copy Right: Rai University 82 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The Keys to Effective Listening (continued) Keys to Effective The Bad Listener The Good Listener Listener Listening 6. Work at listening Does not expend energy on Gives the speaker full listening attention 7. Resist Distractions Is easily distracted Fights distractions and concentrates on the speaker 8. Hear what is said Shuts our or denies Listens to both favorable and unfavorable information unfavorable information 9. Challenge yourself Resists listening to Treats complex presentations of difficult presentations as exercises subject manner for the mind 10. Use handouts, overheads, Does not take notes or pay Takes notes as required and or other visual aids attention to visual aids uses visual aids to enhance understanding of the presentation © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 83
    • UNIT 1 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION: AN INTRODUCTIONLesson 11 – Non Verbal Communication After completion of this lesson you will be able to: • Understand the meaning and importance of non-verbal communication. • Categories of Non verbal communication • Ways in interpreting the non verbal cues • Steps to improve non verbal communicationStudents, this is the last lesson of Unit one and here we shall learn about nonverbalcommunications. The blank faces I see today is also a nonverbal communication whereinthe class tells me how prepared they are for the lesson. Ok, lets proceed.Why do we study nonverbal communication?Nonverbal messages communicate emotionsAs we know, it forms the bulk of our communication. Most of that communication isabout emotional information, which in turn is a powerful motivator in human behavior.We base our feelings and emotional responses not so much upon what another personsays, but upon what another person does.Because of nonverbal communication, you cannot not communicateThe very attempt to mask ones communication communicates something in and of itself.If you are playing poker with someone who has been talking normally, but who suddenlystops talking and goes "stone-faced," that person has communicated something. It may bea very good hand, or a very bad hand, but at the least the poker player has communicateda desire to hide what is there. Long periods of silence at the supper table communicate as
    • clearly as any words that something may be wrong.Nonverbal communication is strongly related to verbal communicationNonverbal cues substitute for, contradict, emphasize, or regulate verbal messages. For instance, if someone asks us which way the restroom is, we may simply point downthe hall. We may compliment someones new haircut while our faces give away the realfeeling of dismay we have. We may describe a fish we caught with a motion of our handsto emphasize the monster-like proportions. And most certainly we regulate the flow ofconversation nonverbally by raising an index finger, nodding and leaning forward, raisingeyebrows, and/or changing eye contact.Problems of studying nonverbal communicationStudying nonverbal communication presents a whole range of challenges that are uniqueto its nature. They include:Nonverbal cues can be ambiguousNo dictionary can accurately classify them. Their meaning varies not only by culture andcontext, but by degree of intention, i.e., you may not be intending to communicate (in theabsence of nerve disorders, people seldom talk out loud when they dont intend to). Arandom gesture may be assumed to have meaning when none at all was intended. Plus,some people who may feel emotion strongly nevertheless find that their bodies simply donot respond appropriately, i.e., someone who is feeling happy may not necessarily smile.Nonverbal cues are continuousThis is practically related to the last point. It is possible to stop talking, but it is generallynot possible to stop nonverbal cues. Also, spoken language has a structure that makes iteasier to tell when a subject has changed, for instance, or to analyze its grammar.Nonverbal does not lend itself to this kind of analysis.Nonverbal cues are multichannelWhile watching someones eyes, you may miss something significant in a hand gesture.Everything is happening at once, and therefore it may be confusing to try to keep up witheverything. Most of us simply do not do so, at least not consciously. This has bothadvantages and disadvantages. Because we interpret nonverbal cues subconsciously andin a "right-brained", holistic fashion, it can happen quickly and fairly accurately.However, because it is not conscious and more "right-brained" it is difficult to put onesfinger on exactly why one got a certain impression from someone, or even to put it into"left-brained" wording.
    • Nonverbal cues are culture-boundEvidence suggests that humans of all cultures smile when happy and frown whenunhappy. A few other gestures seem to be universal. However, most nonverbal symbolsseem to be even further disconnected from any "essential meaning" than verbal symbols.Gestures seen as positive in one culture (like the thumbs-up gesture in the USA) may beseen as obscene in another culture.Categories of nonverbal communicationsThe major categories of nonverbal communications include the following: personal space eye contact position posture paralanguage expression gesture touch locomotion pacing adornment context physiologic responsesPersonal Space: This category refers to the distance which people feel comfortableapproaching others or having others approach them. People from certain countries, suchas parts of Latin America or the Middle East often feel comfortable standing closer toeach other, while persons of Northern European descent tend to prefer a relatively greaterdistance. Different distances are also intuitively assigned for situations involving intimaterelations, ordinary personal relationships (e.g., friends), social relations (e.g., co-workersor salespeople), or in public places (e.g., in parks, restaurants, or on the street.)Eye Contact: This rich dimension speaks volumes. The Spanish woman in the NineteenthCentury combined eye language with the aid of a fan to say what was not permissible toexpress explicitly. Eye contact modifies the meaning of other nonverbal behaviors. Forexample, people on elevators or crowds can adjust their sense of personal space if theyagree to limit eye contact. What happens if this convention isnt followed? This issue ofeye contact is another important aspect of nonverbal communication.Modern American business culture values a fair degree of eye contact in interpersonalrelations, and looking away is sensed as avoidance or even deviousness. However, somecultures raise children to minimize eye contact, especially with authority figures, lest onebe perceived as arrogant or "uppity." When cultures interact, this inhibition of gaze maybe misinterpreted as "passive aggressive" or worse.Position: The position one takes vis-a-vis the other(s), along with the previous twocategories of distance between people and angle of eye contact all are subsumed under amore general category of "proxemics" in the writings on nonverbal communications .
    • Posture: A persons bodily stance communicates a rich variety of messages. Consider thefollowing postures and the emotional effect they seem to suggest: slouching stiff slumped twisted (wary) cringing towering crouching angled torso legs spread pelvis tilt shoulders forward general tightness kneeling angle of head jaw thrustParalanguage: "Non-lexical" vocal communications may be considered a type ofnonverbal communication, in its broadest sense, as it can suggest many emotionalnuances. This category includes a number of sub-categories:Inflection (rising, falling, flat...)Pacing (rapid, slow, measured, changing...)Intensity (loud, soft, breathy,... )Tone (nasal, operatic, growling, wheedling, whining...)Pitch (high, medium, low, changes...)Pauses (meaningful, disorganized, shy, hesitant...)]Facial Expression: The face is more highly developed as an organ of expression inhumans than any other animal. Some of these become quite habitual, almost fixed intothe chronic muscular structure of the face. For instance, in some parts of the South, theregional pattern of holding the jaw tight creates a slight bulge in the temples due to anovergrowth or "hypertrophy" of those jaw muscles that arise in that area. This creates acharacteristic appearance. The squint of people who live a lot in the sun is anotherexample. More transient expressions often reveal feelings that a person is not intending tocommunicate or even aware of. Here are just a few to warm you up: pensive amused sad barely tolerant warning pouting anxious sexually attracted startled confused sleepy intoxicatedGesture: There are many kinds of gestures: clenching fist shaking a finger pointing biting fingernails tugging at hair squirming rubbing chin smoothing hair folding arms raising eyebrows pursing lips narrowing eyes scratching head looking away hands on hips hands behind head rubbing nose rocking sticking out tongue tugging earlobe waving
    • These, too, have many different meanings in different cultures, and what may be friendlyin one country or region can be an insult in another .Touch: How one person touches another communicates a great deal of information: Is agrip gentle or firm, and does one hold the other person on the back of the upper arm, onthe shoulder, or in the middle of the back. Is the gesture a push or a tug? Is the touchcloser to a pat, a rub, or a grabbing? People have different areas of personal intimacy, andthis refers not only to the sexual dimension, but also the dimension of self-control. Manyadolescents are particularly sensitive to any touching that could be interpreted aspatronizing or undue familiarity. Even the angle of ones holding anothers hand mightsuggest a hurrying or coercive implicit attitude, or on the other hand, a respectful, gentle,permission-giving approach .Locomotion: The style of physical movement in space also communicates a great deal, aswell as affecting the feelings of the person doing the moving slither crawl totter walk stroll shuffle hurry run jog spring tiptoe march jump hop skip climb swing acrobatics swim slinkPacing: This is the way an action is done. jerky pressured nervous gradual graceful fatigued tense easy shaky deliberate furtive clumsy A related variable is the time it takes to react to a stimulus, called "latency ofresponse." Some people seem to react to questions, interact in conversations, or areslower or faster "on the uptake" than others.Adornment: Our communications are also affected by a variety of other variables, suchas clothes, makeup, and accessories. These offer signals relating to context (e.g. formalvs. informal), status, and individuality. The ways people carry cigarettes, pipes, canes, orrelate to their belts, suspenders, or glasses also suggests different semiotic meanings.(Semiotics is the science of the emotional or psychological impact of signs, appearances–not words–thats "semantics"-- but of how things look.)Context: While this category is not actually a mode of nonverbal communication, thesetting up of a room or how one places oneself in that room is a powerfully suggestiveaction. Where one sits in the group is often useful in diagnosing that persons attitudetoward the situation. Group leaders need to be especially alert to the way the group roomis organized. Consider the following variables and imagine how they might affect theinteraction:
    • - amount and source of light- color of the lighting- obvious props, a podium, blackboard- the size of the room- colors of the walls, floor, furniture- seating arrangements- number of people present- environmental sounds, smells, and temperature- the numbers and ratios of high-status and low status people- the positioning of the various people in the space, who sits next to whom, who sits apart, who sits close, etc.Physiological Responses: This, too, is an exceptional category, because it cannot bepracticed voluntarily. Still, its useful for therapists and group members to become moreaware of these subtle signs of emotion. It often helps to comment on these observations,as it implicitly gives permission to the person experiencing the emotion to more fullyopen to that feeling; or, sometimes, to more actively suppress it. Either way, the existenceof that signal is made explicit in the group process. Some of the clues to physiologicalprocesses include: shaking flaring of nostrils trembling chin sweating blanching cold clammy skin blushing moisture in eyes flushing blinking swallowing breathing heavilyWhile a few of these behaviors can be mimicked, for the most part these reactions happeninvoluntarily. The only exercise is to watch for these reactions in oneself or others, atleast mentally note their occurrence, and consider what the meaning of that emotionalreaction might be.Interpreting nonverbal cuesImmediacyImmediacy cues communicate liking and pleasure. We move toward persons and thingswe like and avoid or move away from those we dislike. Generally, we instinctivelydecide whether we like someone or not and then later find "reasons" to back up ourfeelings. We can summarize the nonverbal behaviors then by saying that cues that moveor lean or otherwise open up or go toward the other person communicate liking. Cues that fall in this dimension include eye contact, mutual eye contact, touching,leaning forward, and touching.
    • ArousalArousal in this usage is similar to animation. That is, when we are interested incommunicating with someone else, we tend to be more animated. A flat tone of voice andvery little movement indicate a lack of interest. Cues that fall in this dimension include eye contact, varied vocal cues, animated facialexpressions, leaning forward, movement in general.DominanceThese cues indicate something about the balance of power in a relationship. Theycommunicate information about relative or perceived status, position, and importance. For instance, a person of high status tends to have a relaxed body posture wheninteracting with a person of lower status. High-status people tend to have more spacearound them, such as bigger offices, and more "barriers" such as more hallways, doors,and gatekeepers such as secretaries.Furniture, clothing, and location also tend to communicate in this dimension.Improving nonverbal communicationCheck contextDont try to interpret cues isolated from other such cues, from the verbal communication,or from the physical or emotional context. As weve said in class, someones arms beingcrossed may indicate nothing more than physical discomfort from a cold room.Look for clustersThis is the nonverbal context itself. See if the arms being crossed are accompanied by aresistance to eye contact and a flat tone of voice.Consider past experienceWe can more accurately interpret the behavior of people we know. For one thing, wenotice changes in behavior more than the behavior itself. Unless we know someone, we
    • cant know that something has changed. For another thing, we interpret patterns ofbehavior. Your mother may always cry when you come home from school with an A, andso you learn that this represent happiness in that particular situation.Practice perception checkingThis is basically the art of asking questions. For instance, you come home and announceto your significant other that you have received a great promotion that requires you tomove to another state. Your announcement is met with silence. Rather than assume thats/he is upset, ask, "Does your silence mean that youre opposed to the move?" You mayfind out that s/he is simply stunned at the opportunity. Recognize that you are interpretingobserved behavior, not reading a mind, and check out your observation.SIX WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION It is not only what you say in the classroom that is important, but its how you say it that can make the difference to students. Nonverbal messages are an essential component of communication. Some major areas of nonverbal behaviors to explore are: • Eye contact • Facial expressions • Gestures • Posture and body orientation • Proximity • Para linguistics • Humor Eye contact: Eye contact, an important channel of interpersonal communication, helps regulate the flow of communication. And it signals interest in others. Furthermore, eye contact with audiences increases the speakers credibility. Teachers who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest, concern, warmth and credibility. Facial expressions: Smiling is a powerful cue that transmits: • Happiness
    • • Friendliness • Warmth • Liking • AffiliationThus, if you smile frequently you will be perceived as more likable, friendly, warmand approachable. Smiling is often contagious and students will react favorably andlearn more.Gestures:If you fail to gesture while speaking, you may be perceived as boring, stiff andunanimated. A lively and animated teaching style captures students attention, makesthe material more interesting, facilitates learning and provides a bit of entertainment.Head nods, a form of gestures, communicate positive reinforcement to students andindicate that you are listening.Posture and body orientation:You communicate numerous messages by the way you walk, talk, stand and sit.Standing erect, but not rigid, and leaning slightly forward communicates to studentsthat you are approachable, receptive and friendly. Furthermore, interpersonalcloseness results when you and your students face each other. Speaking with yourback turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided; it communicatesdisinterest to your class.Proximity:Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with students. Youshould look for signals of discomfort caused by invading students space. Some ofthese are: • Rocking • Leg swinging • Tapping • Gaze aversionTypically, in large college classes space invasion is not a problem. In fact, there isusually too much distance. To counteract this, move around the classroom toincrease interaction with your students. Increasing proximity enables you to makebetter eye contact and increases the opportunities for students to speak.Paralinguistics:This facet of nonverbal communication includes such vocal elements as:
    • • Tone • Pitch • Rhythm • Timbre • Loudness • Inflection For maximum teaching effectiveness, learn to vary these six elements of your voice. One of the major criticisms is of instructors who speak in a monotone. Listeners perceive these instructors as boring and dull. Students report that they learn less and lose interest more quickly when listening to teachers who have not learned to modulate their voices. Humor: Humor is often overlooked as a teaching tool, and it is too often not encouraged in college classrooms. Laughter releases stress and tension for both instructor and student. You should develop the ability to laugh at yourself and encourage students to do the same. It fosters a friendly environment that facilitates learning. Obviously, adequate knowledge of the subject matter is crucial to your success; however, its not the only crucial element. Creating a climate that facilitates learning and retention demands good nonverbal and verbal skills. To improve your nonverbal skills, record your speaking on video tape. Then ask a colleague in communications to suggest refinements.PERCEPTIONS, ATTITUDES, BELIEFS, VALUES, NORMS AND EXPERIENCESAND THEIR IMPACT ON COMMUNICATIONHuman beings constitute the integral part of any communication. It is people who giveout messages. It is people who receive messages. It is people who understand messagesand act on them. Herein lies the significance of human behavior and its impact oncommunication. Human beings are extremely divergent and no two individuals areidentical in all respects. Man is not just a physical being or a rational being. He is a socialand an emotional being. These factors bring in a new dimension to the entire process ofcommunication. Effective communication becomes more challenging. It is rightlyobserved, "meaning is in people, not in words". Human beings interpret the words. Theytranslate the messages they receive. In translating the messages, in interpreting the words,each individual brings into the process his or her total personality. The literal andmechanical dimension apart, the behavioral dimension assumes significance.Human behavior in any given context is the product of his or her perceptions, attitudes,beliefs, values, norms and experiences. They distinctly influence a persons role andresponse in communication as the sender and the receiver. In order to ensure theeffectiveness of communication, it is, therefore, very essential that we understand themeaning and impact of each one of them. Each one of them may bring in a bias or an
    • expectation that will affect communication. Let us, therefore, take a brief look at each ofthem.PerceptionThe word perception has many shades of meaning as per the dictionary. It can mean "actor power of perceiving or discernment or appreciation of any modification ofconsciousness. It could also be used to indicate the combining of sensations into a . recognitionof an object or reception of a stimulus or action by which the mind refers its sensation3to external object as cause and so on.Perception implies discernment, reception of a stimulus and an act by which the mindrefers its sensations to an external object as cause. In other words, perception is a processof making sense out of events. It is we who perceive the meaning of any event. In theorganisational context, the commonly used word is "role perception". As against adefined role, there is a perceived role. The definition mayor may not be adequate. It is theattitude of the individuals that will influence their perception of the role-whether tocontinue in the defined role or go beyond it. Great leaders and achievers bring their ownperceptions to the legally or organizationally defmed roles. It is such positive perceptionsthat help people become more creative and make human endeavour much moremeaningful.Good or BadBeautiful or UglySincere or ManipulativeFair or UnfairPrecise or ExaggeratedThese are not absolutes. They have an element of judgment. Perception is the action bywhich the mind refers its sensations to these external stimuli and the individual draws hisown interpretations. A good communicator has to have a good understanding of theperceptions of the persons with whom he is communicating. He has to recognize the factthat others may not necessarily perceive his intentions as he himself does.MAKING SENSE OUT OF EVENTSPerception is the process of making sense out of events. A classic example is that of twosalesmen of a shoe making company who visit a remote village and make the followingobservations:Salesman A: "There is absolutely no scope. No one wears shoes here".Salesman B: "No one wears shoes here. There is tremendous scope". .Although the event or information base is the same, the inferences are quite different.AttitudeThe dictionary provides several meanings to the word attitude. Attitude means a >postureor position or affected posture; settled behaviour, as indicating any condition of things orpersons viewed as expressing some thought, feeling etc.
    • Attitudes exercise a strong influence on human relationships .in any sphere" be it family,society, group, organisation or nation. Attitudes can be both positive and negative.Positive attitudes contribute to the _,effectiveness of any process. Negative attitudeshinder-or vitiate the process. Attitudes, however, are not necessarily permanent in nature.It is possible, with conscious efforts, to change the’ attitude of a person or group ofpersons. Organisations and businesses are all the time making efforts to change attitudesto make them more positive. Negative attitudes bring negative: feelings that undermineachievement of personal and organisational objectives.Deficiencies in service by the staff at the counters and the front line staff, in serviceorganizations like banks can be attributed to attitudinal factors as well. They cancommunicate better, they can interact more meaningfully by developing the right attitude.In the training programmes organised by various organisations, the attitudinal andbehavioural aspects are recognised to be as important as imparting of knowledge anddevelopment of skills.BeliefsThe word belief again has different shades of meaning: faith-, intuition, judgement, trustor confidence, acceptance as true or existing of any fact or statement, persuasionof the truth of anything etc.Like perceptions and attitudes, people have their beliefs as well. They are not easilychanged. Beliefs can cover different areas. Belief in God, fate, superstition, religion andbelief in future. So strong are such beliefs, that quite often people spend much time,energy and efforts in pursuing those beliefs.While it is appropriate to recognise the existence of beliefs, it is not always desirable tomake a judgement on various beliefs. The fact that one individual, or a group ofpersons, believes-in a particular father judgement does not mean that all others have tonecessarily subscribe to it. Organisations generally exhibit a degree of tolerance toaccommodate such beliefs as long as they do not affect their functioning. Every country,every race, every group has its share of beliefs developed over the years, which must berecognised.ValuesValues constitute yet another dimension of human behaviour. Values exist at variouslevels. There are individual values, social values, organisational values, national valuesand one can even refer to global values. They are so integral that often one can see theexistence of a value system within a group or community.Values refer to a certain intrinsic quality or worth. Values are seen as standards or criteriathat people develop for guiding their actions. Values are Cleve loped or adopted in termsof various influences, upbringing, group identification, needs, expectations andc<5mparative standards. Values and ethics often go together. Ethics relates to thetreatment of morality or duty. Ethics deals with that branch of philosophy which isconcerned with human character and conduct. When we refer to values we are alsoreferring to the ethical dimensions, i.e., the human character, conduct and moral values.
    • It is widely accepted that any business or organisation can achieve sustainable successonly when its activities are governed by a sound value system. Every- profession has tohave its set of values. There are values in teaching, in banking, in trading, in corporategovernance etc. These values cover various groups of people with whom interaction takesplace. These are values in relation to employees, values in relation to customers, values inrelation to competitors, values in relation to community and so on.The process of communication is influenced _Y.. values and value systems. It would benecessary to take note of the degree of congruence or divergence in values. When there isa high degree of congruence, communication is easy. If the values are highly divergent,communication becomes more complex.Norms and experiencesNorms and experiences are also among the factors which influence the process ofcommunication. A norm relates to a rule, a pattern or an authoritative standard. It is alsounderstood as the ordinary or most frequent value or state.While discussing the norms, it is also appropriate to refer to the normal standards. Everybusiness or profession normally adopts and articulates such norms or standards. Theymay be in the nature of expectations, compliances or prescriptions. Norms may alsorelate to a set of dos and donts. We often talk about prudential norms, priority sectornorms (in banking), entry norms, and the like. Similarly human beings face a variety of experiences in their lives and work situations.People naturally tend to relate events and messages to their previous experience indealing with them. People associated with the process of communication shouldnecessarily take cognizance of this. Based on their past experience, people maycategories communicators and communications like boring speaker, impatient listener,not very articulate, prone to exaggeration, evasive, contradicts himself, persuasive, wellinformed, insightful, etc. A good communicator makes it a point to be in the know ofsuch perceptions and impressions. He tries to overcome negative impressions throughconscious efforts.Various aspects of human behavior generally come into play in any human interactionand thereby make the communication process more complicated. There are both positiveand negative aspects. Some of them exercise a strong influence, others dont. Some of thenegative factors may exist and will have to be removed so as to make communicationeffective. A good communicator is one who develops a clear insight into human behaviorand uses that knowledge to his advantage.
    • Honing Your Nonverbal CommunicationSkillsTHE BOTTOM LINE: To improve your communication skills use bodylanguage such as eye contact, facial expressions and gestures to make yourconversation more interesting.The words you use have only a 7% impact on your communication; your tone of voice,another 38%. But your nonverbal body language has a 55% impact on the message youretrying to communicate.Body language refers to the way you sit, stand, move and look when talking to others.Without it, your conversations would be boring and less effective. These five nonverbalcommunication skills will help you add vitality to your conversations.EYE CONTACTWhere you look is one of the most obvious aspects of behavior when talking to anotherperson. Looking directly at the person as you speak helps to communicate your sincerityand increases the directness of your message. It shows you respect the person, whichhelps create a more positive relationship.
    • Even more importantly, avoiding eye contact can make you seem sneaky, guilty, bashfulor frightened. The common expression “He couldnt look me in the eye” is often used todescribe a persons guilt.While using eye contact, be careful not to stare, squint or blink your eyes rapidly. Itsmore natural to look away from time to time in a relaxed, comfortable manner.BODY POSITIONObserve how people stand or sit while talking to others. Youll be surprised how manypeople talk with their bodies turned away from those theyre speaking to.Standing side by side may disconnect you from your partner, and standing face to facemay seem confrontational. Instead, stand or sit at an angle from the other person. And,whenever possible, sit or stand at the same eye level as the other party, which signalsyoure equals and decreases any feelings of intimidation.Posture also matters. Good posture reflects your confidence and helps ensure others willpay more attention to your message.DISTANCEPay attention to how close you are to another person. Some people feel comfortable withphysical closeness; others may be offended. Many cultures also place limitations on suchcloseness. If you sense someone feels uncom fortable, put a little more space betweenyou.GESTURESGesturing with your hands adds life and meaning to your message. Practice in front of amirror using your hands to emphasize important points. When not gesturing, dont crossyour arms; that signals anger or a lack or openness. And dont play with your clothing,jewelry, pencils, etc., which is distracting. Instead, relax your arms at your side.FACIAL EXPRESSIONHave you ever seen someone trying to express anger while smiling? It just doesnt comeacross. Effective assertions require an expression that agrees with the message. If youresending mixed messages, others will believe your facial expression, not your words. Forexample: A forced smile makes you appear insincere. Tension can be seen in your facewith a wrinkling forehead or a pursed or tight-lipped moutb. Rolling your eyes and otherdisapproving looks can have powerful negative effects on communication.If you have to say something negative, sit down and have a meaningful discussion withthe other person; your body language will naturally coincide with your verbal message.
    • PRACTICE MAKES PERFECTTry to use these five skills each day to improve your nonverbal communication. Otherswill find you more enjoyable to talk to, and youll communicate more persuasively,interestingly and effectively.By Harriet Meyerson, president of the Confidence Center in Dallas.
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 12: PRACTICE CLASS Upon completion of the lesson , you will be able to listen well and minutes of exchanging remarks twice more so that each person understand non verbal communication. To reach these goals , you have to takes each role once. The entire practice session should take about 25 minutes. • Participate in the following exercises and know your listening skills. When you are finished, form the large group. Your facilitator • Explain the listening problem and how to solve it. will help you share your practice experiences. How are these skills relevant to your work? Where else would they be useful? Practice Class Go around the group so that participants have a chance to share Listening Skills at least one thing they have learned about themselves in this The group should be divided into subgroups of three. There practice session. will be three roles in each subgroup: speaker, listener, and Listening Skills observer. Everyone will take each role once in this practice, so Questions, Reflections, Summarization divide into your subgroup and decide who is going to take which role first. Form subgroups of three and practice using question asking as a listening skills. Each member of your subgroup should take Directions turns being the speaker, the listener (who practices the skill of Objective—The point of the practice session is to give each questioning), and the observer. person the opportunity to learn how to use verbal and non- verbal minimal encouragers and become a better listener. To the speaker: In the speaker role, we ask you to share something that is a real concern to you. Obviously, we are not To the speaker—Your task is to talk about something that is asking that you share anything that is very private or that might important to you: your job, your family, a decision, or a be embarrassing. Sharing a real part of your life, however, will question. The practice will be more helpful if you talk about make this practice both interesting and useful. (And you might something you find it helpful to have someone carefully listen to your concern). really care about, although role-playing is possible. You may Or, you can tell of situations that occur in work—we all have a find yourself in the midst of discussing something important storehouse of work problems that give us difficulty. when the allotted time runs out. If this happens, you could make an agreement with the person listening to carry on later, The qualifier on being “real” in the practice sessions, however, is after work or during a break. that we are here to give the listener a chance to practice interactive skills. If you, as the speaker, take all of the practice time in a To the listener—Your task is to practice the skills of the monologue about yourself, the listener will not have a chance to session: eye contact, body language, silences, and verbal minimal practice listening skills. So, be sure to pause often to encourage encouragers. Don’t panic! Just concentrate on following the the listener to respond, even though this may seem a bit speaker’s train of thought. Try to limit your responses to the unnatural. Try to share information that allows the speaker to skills discussed in this session. practice the skill of the session—the art of To the observer—Your task is to observe the listener’s verbal questioning. If you give the complete details of your concern, and non-verbal skills. Observe and count only as many for example, it may be difficult for the listener to find anything behaviors (eye contact, body posture, verbal minimal encourag- to ask questions about. Or, if your story is completely factual ers, topic and does not include your personal feelings or opinions, the jumps) as you can manage and still be relatively accurate. listener may have difficulty asking questions with a speaker focus. As the speaker in the practice session, part of your job is Procedure to help your listener practice listening skills. The first speaker will talk with the listener for three or four minutes. The listener will then discuss the listening experience To the listener: In this session try to concentrate on asking with the two other members of the subgroup. (To the listener: questions, reflecting, and, at the end, summarizing even though What was comfortable? Difficult? Did you stay with the this may seem difficult. You may use minimal encouragers speaker?) Then the speaker will share his or her feelings about occasionally, as long as your primary responses are questions. the listener’s listening. (To the speaker: Did you feel listened to? Vary your responses between open and closed questions and Was it helpful? Did the listener have any habits you found vary the focus of your questions (i.e., on speaker, topic, or distracting?) The observer will then share observations. This others). By using both open and closed questions you will also sharing process should take about three or four minutes. see how your question and its focus can determine the course Now everyone change places. Have the listener become the of the conversation. speaker, the speaker the observer, and the observer the listener. Go through the five minutes of talking and listening and five © Copy Right: Rai University 92 11.234
    • To the observer: Keep track of the listener’s responses. BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONInclude the number of open and closed questions used by thelistener and the focus of each question; note the use of feelingand factual reflection, and the effectiveness of the listener’ssummary.ProcedureThe speaker and listener will have a conversation of three orfour minutes duration. The observer can also time the conversa-tion, gently announcing “stop” when the time is up.After the conversation, take a few minutes: First, the listener willshare thoughts about how they used questions; second; thespeaker will comment on his/her experience during the conversa-tion and the listener’s use of the skill; finally, the observer willshare observations and comment on the conversation.Now change roles and repeat the practice.Each listener practice should take eight to ten minutes:• Three or four minutes for the initial conversation and three or• Four minutes to review it—to share the listener’s and the• Speaker’s impressions and the observer’s reactions (l/2 hour).When exchanging observations about a conversation, pleasegive the listener accurate feedback about how he or she used theskills. If the listener is having difficulty asking open questions,reflecting, or summarizing, say so and help him/her learn howto do so better. Remember that the purpose of practice is forthe listener to learn the listening skill. Feedback and sugges-tions from both speaker and observer are essential to thelearning process. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 93
    • UNIT 2 CHAPTER 4: BUSINESS LETTER LESSON 13: INTRODUCING THE BUSINESS LETTER After completion of this lesson you will be able to determine your purpose. The typical audience is other profes-BUSINESS COMMUNICATION sionals. However, you might also write business letters to your • Understand the meaning and importance business letters co-workers. These audiences generally require you provide a • Carry out an audience analysis detailed background about your purpose. • Know about the general format of a business letter As a student, you may have to write business letters to your instructor or classmates. When composing academic business Students, we have talked much about the verbal skills, now in letters, consider what this audience already knows about the this lecture let us learn about writing skills particularly letter subject. writing. You need to be equally good in writing as you are in your speaking skills. Tell me how many of you have writing For example, if you are writing a business letter to accompany a letters, I am not talking about personal letters. Is there anyone paper, does your audience already know what the paper is in the class who have written a letter to any company to enquire about? What further information do they require? What do you about its products and services? Did you get a reply to it ? with require from them as a result? all the queries answered. I guess not for a simple reason that Because a business letter is a communication from one person while writing letters we tend to forget that we are actually to another, a letter must convey a courteous, positive tone. writing a letter and not an essay or writing notes. Meaning to Look at the situation from your reader’s point of view and say we tend to write too long a letter or too short a letter which adjust the content and tone to meet the audience’s needs. will wither confuse the receiver as to what do you want to know. Audience Definition Therefore students, lets us today hone our letter writing skills. An audience is a group of readers who reads a particular piece Definition of a Business Letter of writing. As a writer, you should anticipate the needs or The business letter is the basic means of communication expectations of your audience in order to convey information or between two companies. It is estimated that close to 100 argue for a particular claim. Your audience might be your million Business Letters are written each workday. It is a docu- instructor, classmates, the president of an organization, the ment typically sent externally to those outside a company but is staff of a management company, or any other number of also sent internally to those within a company. possibilities. You need to know your audience before you start Most business letters have a formal tone. You should write a writing. business letter whenever you need a permanent record that you Determining your Audience Type sent the information enclosed. Because you generally send Writers determine their audience types by considering: business letters to other professionals, always include a formal • Who they are (age, sex, education, economic status, political/ salutation and closing. social/religious beliefs); Purpose of a Business Letter • What Level of Information they have about the subject You will write business letters to inform readers of specific (novice, general reader, specialist or expert); information. However, you might also write a business letter to • The Context in which they will be reading a piece of writing persuade others to take action or to propose your ideas. (in a newspaper, textbook, popular magazine, specialized business letters even function as advertisements at times. journal, on the Internet, and so forth). Consider the letters long-distance phone companies send to those not signed up for their services or the cover letter to your You’ll need to analyze your audience in order to write effectively. resume. Both of these serve to promote or advertise. Three Categories of Audience Business letters can be challenging to write, because you have to Three categories of audience are the “lay” audience, the “mana- consider how to keep your readers’ attention. This is particularly gerial” audience, and the “experts.” the case if your readers receive large amounts of mail and have The “lay” audience has no special or expert knowledge. They little time to read. connect with the human-interest aspect of articles. They usually need background information; they expect more definition and Writing business letters is like any other document: First you description; and they may want attractive graphics or visuals. must analyze your audience and determine your purpose. Then The “managerial audience may or may have more knowledge you gather information, create an outline, write a draft, and than the lay audience about the subject, but they need knowl- revise it. The key to writing business letters is to get to the point edge so they can make a decision about the issue. Any as quickly as possible and to present your information clearly. background information, facts, statistics needed to make a Audience Analysis decision should be highlighted. Writing a business letter is like any other type of technical communication. First you have to analyze your audience and © Copy Right: Rai University 94 11.234
    • The “experts” may be the most demanding audience in terms Teacher as Audience BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONof knowledge, presentation, and graphics or visuals. Experts are For most academic papers, the teacher is the explicit audience.often “theorists” or “practitioners.” For the “expert” audience, But even within the same discipline, professors might expectdocument formats are often elaborate and technical, style and quite different formats for papers. For example, in sociology,vocabulary may be specialized or technical, source citations are one professor might ask you to write mainly about your ownreliable and up-to-date, and documentation is accurate. experiences and your reactions to your experience. Another professor might want you to do library or field research about aAcademic Audiences social problem and never refer to your own experiences orAssuming you are writing a paper for a class, ask yourself who attitudes toward that problem.is the reader? The most important reader is probably the Teachers will often try to give students more experience withinstructor, even if a grader will look at the paper first. Ask writing to different audiences by targeting particular readers for ayourself what you know about your teacher and his or her given paper. Then students address the target audience (classapproach to the discipline. members, members of a business community, congressionalDo you know, for example, if this teacher always expects papers representatives, and so on), including the teacher as a secondaryto be carefully argued? Has this teacher emphasized the audience.importance of summarizing cases accurately before referring to When asked who their audience is, many students say, “It’s mythem? Will this professor be looking for an “argument teacher.”synthesis,” showing how the cases all support one point or will I think it’s useful for students to widen their sense of audiencethis professor be more interested in seeing how the cases in order to realize that their specific teacher is, in fact, a represen-complicate one another? In other words, take the time to tative reader from a particular academic field or discoursebrainstorm about what you’ve learned about the teacher to help community. Their teacher may be a composition teacher, anyou meet his or her expectations for this paper. You probably English literature teacher, a historian, a chemist, a psychologist,know more about the teacher than you think, and asking or a biologist—and they want and expect writing that isquestions about how the teacher treats this material in class will appropriate for their field.help you remember those details to help you shape your paper. In terms of their expectations about effective writing, each ofNonacademic Audiences these teachers “wants’ something slightly different, and thoseNonacademic audiences read your writing for reasons other differences reflect the expectations of different academic areas. Athan to grade you. (Some teachers assign papers specifically composition teacher may want an introduction that graduallyasking students to write for nonacademic audiences). They will leads into the topic; a journalist may want an article that beginsgain information from your writing. Think about writing a immediately with the most startling fact or event; a chemist maynewsletter or a resume: an audience read these for information, want to begin with a review of the research. Psychologists,only how they use the information varies. A nonacademic literature professors, and historians may or may not want youaudience involves more than writing. Consider the following: to use your own personal experience, depending on the level• You’ll have to determine who the audience is. (informal to formal) of the writing. Not all-academic writing• You’ll have to think about what is an appropriate format to has the same requirements, and those requirements are not so use. much personal whims (Professor Jones hates it when I use first-person or “I”!) as they are the expectations of that• You’ll have to consider what is and is not an appropriate particular academic discourse. topic for your audience. (If you don’t have one already.) So when you are writing an essay, imagine writing not just for• You’ll have to determine how your topic will fit the format. your teacher, but for your teacher as a representative of a largerAudience Invoked Versus Audience group of readers who belong to that particular academic area.Addressed That awareness may help you see that the requirements of thatAn audience addressed versus an audience invoked is basically assignment are not just strange or quirky, but make some senseyour real audience versus the reader you create through your text in the larger context of that particular academic discourse.and introduction. In a way, you tell the reader who you want General Formatthem to be. In a conference paper I’m writing, I start off by When you write a business letter, you will follow a generalassuming that we’re (the reader and myself) sharing some format. However, your instructor or your company may havepresumptions. By saying that, I’m almost telling the reader who specific requirements that you must use. For instance, aI want them to be. I’m creating an audience position that “Yes, company might have a particular way of presenting a salutationthere exists some reality.” But I’m also trying to create it for or may even use a specific type of letterhead.people who are going to approach this and say, “Okay there are Because a business letter is an effective way to communicate athings I think we all hold in common. I don’t say that in my message, its format should allow readers to quickly grasptext, but my text invokes it. The other audience, the real information. Information should stand out to readers as theyaudience, is those who will be at the conference. Who’s at the scan the document. Remember, a business letter reflects yourconference and who reads the journal are not always the same. professionalism. • Heading or Return Address • Inside Address © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 95
    • • Attention Line Department of Journalism,BUSINESS COMMUNICATION • Subject Line New Horizon University ABC Lane,Banglaore • Salutation Attention: Dr. Anil Mehta, Department Chair • Body • Complimentary Close and Signature Subject Line Use a brief phrase or keywords to describe the content of the • Reference and Enclosure Lines business letter: • Copy Line Department of Journalism, Letterhead or Return Address New Horizon University Readers should always be able to quickly locate your contact ABC Lane,Banglaore information. This information is located at the top of the Attention: Dr. Anil Mehta, Department Chair business letter in the return address or by using the company’s Subject: Admission Requirements letterhead. This includes: • Name Salutation A business letter should always include a salutation. This is to • Address whom the letter is addressed. Salutations add a personal touch • Phone number to your letter. If unsure to whom you should address a letter, • Company logo or letterhead always call an organization to find a contact. You should also The letterhead and the date the letter will be sent (usually use a colon rather than a comma because a comma is less printed two lines below the letterhead) make up the heading. professional. When printing on blank paper, use your address (without your Dear Dr. Mehta: name) and date as the heading. Dear Sir or Madam: Print only the first page of any letter on letterhead stationary, If you have no attention or subject line,put the salutation two with subsequent pages on blank paper, with the heading lines below the inside address. The traditional salutation is Dear looking like this: followed by the reader’s courtesy title and last name. Ms.Lata Maheshwarit When addressing a group of people, use one of the following Page 2 salutations: May 23, 1999 Ladies and Gentlemen: Do not number the first page. Gentlemen: (if all the readers are male) Ladies: (if all the readers are female) Inside Address The inside address is your reader’s full address. This includes Body the reader’s: The body of a business letter is typically single-spaced and has • Name three paragraphs: • Position • Introductory paragraph • Organization (as the company calls itself) • One or more body paragraphs • Complete mailing address • Concluding paragraph If your reader has a courtesy title, such as Professor, then use it. Like essays written for college courses, a business letter intro- Otherwise use Mr. or Ms., unless you know the reader prefers duces one main idea and then supports this idea. At the end of Miss or Mrs. These should also appear identically on the the letter, always include a way for your readers to contact you. envelope. For example: Finally, consider how your letter looks. If you have nothing but Dr. Ram Malhotra, Professor paragraph after paragraph of text, you might use lists to draw ICU Technical College attention to specific information. Lists are effective ways to New Delhi, 110004 present information because they break down large amounts of text and are visually pleasing. Lists are especially useful when you Attention Line have to convey steps, phases, years, procedures, or decisions, When you cannot address a business letter to a particular and can be bulleted or numbered. person, use an attention line: When creating a list, consider writing phrases, fragments or even Attention: Human Resource Manager questions and answers. By avoiding full sentences in a list, your Use the attention line if you want an organization to respond information is concise and more likely to engage your readers. even if the person you write to is unavailable. In this instance, For example, to receive a degree in engineering, you must put the name of the organization or division on the first line complete the following: of the inside address, and the attention line immediately • Core Courses afterwards: • Elective Courses © Copy Right: Rai University 96 11.234
    • • Senior Design Empathy BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Empathy means to care about someone’s feelings or ideas. AComplimentary Close and Signature well-written business letter will convey the feeling that the writerBusiness letters should end with a closing, such as: does care about the reader and is genuinely interested in• Sincerely, working together to solve a problem or discuss a concept.• Cordially, To write a good letter, put yourself in the reader’s shoes and try• Best regards, to anticipate the reader’s reaction to your comments. By doing• Yours very truly, this, you are more likely to choose more appropriate words andCapitalize only the first word in the complimentary close, and use the correct tone.follow all phrases with a comma. PersuasionYou should also remember to sign and type your name under Every business letter is in some degree a sales letter, because youthe closing. are always requesting a response or course of action. Therefore, the following principles of persuasion will help you composeEnd Notations and efficient and effective Business Letter:If someone else types your letters, the reference line identifies • Plan according to the reader’s reactionthis person, usually by initials. It appears a few spaces below the • Write with the “you” attitude- the state of mind where yousignature line, along the left margin. The writer’s initials come always emphasize the benefits to the reader and subordinatefirst, and they are capitalized. your interests. This can be accomplished by using empathyFor example, if Nina sharma wrote a letter that Ajay Singh and the words “you” and “your” oftentyped, it would appear like this: • Adjust the language to the reader and use terms andNS/AS. concepts that the reader is familiar withIf the envelope contains any documents other than the letter • Write positively and with confidenceitself, identify the number of enclosures:Enclosure or ToneEnclosure (1), which means two documents Tone is the use of accent and inflection to express a mood or emotion in speaking or writing. Many times it is not what youIn determining the number of enclosures, count only the say in a business letter, but how you say it. It is a good idea toseparate items, not the number of pages. always consider your tone so that you do not risk upsetting theCopy Line reader, thereby lessening the chances your requests and com-The copy line is used to let the reader know that other people ments will be respected.are receiving a copy of the document. Use the following You can avoid making mistakes with tone by using thesymbols: following techniques:• c: for copy • Avoid the “I” attitude by having more emphasis on the• pc: for photocopy reader and not yourself• bc: blind copy • Avoid extreme cases of humility, flattery, and modestyFollow the symbol with the names of the other recipients, • Avoid condescensionlisted either alphabetically or according to organizational rank. • Avoid preaching your ideasIf you do not want your reader to know about the other copies,type bc on the copies only, not the original.Effective Writing Facts about the businessEven though no one formula exists for a perfect business letter,some basic guidelines will help you, regardless of the form, letterpurpose, and audience of the document. n One of the cheapest forms of comm.Many executives still prefer a written document over other n Permanent recordforms of communication, because the document can serve as a n Conveys a professional & business -likecontract, the facts will be on record in writing, and executives do impressionnot have to rely on memory. n Allows you time before replyingThis is why it is important to write a good business Letter, and n Can reach where no telephones or faxthe principles below will help you do so. machines are available• Empathy• Persuasion• Tone• Service Perspective © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 97
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Applications of the business letter Five ways to make a business ways to make a business letter more readable n n To persuade: e.g. sales letter persuade: e.g. sales letter n A clear subject line clear subject line n n To express an opinion: e.g. letter to the press n Short sentences n To get somehing done: e.g. letter of n n Short paragraphs complaint n Simple vocabulary n To supply somebody else with information: n somebody else with information: n Enough spacing e.g. letter of invitation / application n To obtain information: enquiry n information: enquiry 12 Rules for Writing GREAT Letters Five secrets of effective effective business letters n Write simply, briefly and clearly n Write as you speak n Check twice You write letters to request information, request action, provide n Create a favourable impression information or describe an event, decline a request, and express n Be courteous and polite courteous and polite appreciation. When you write letters to the school, you want to express concerns and educate your reader about your child’s problems. You want your letters to create a good first impression. This © Copy Right: Rai University 98 11.234
    • article, 12 Rules for Writing Great Letters, will help you accom- Kathryn would have learned to communicate through sign BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONplish your objectives. 12 Rules is the companion article to The language and lip reading.Art of Writing Letters. All of Kathryn’s friends communicate by oral speech, not1. Before you write a letter, answer these questions. sign language. Kathryn would not be able to speak, listen, giggle with her friends. Why? Why am I writing? What am I trying to accomplish? Do you see how Kathryn’s mother begins her letter “I’d like What? What do I want? What are my goals? to share a story with you . . .” Get three blank sheets of paper. Gradually, the letter shifts as the mother makes her case. She On the first sheet write “WHY? Why am I writing this leads the reader into agreeing that placing Kathryn in a class letter?” where children don’t speak or listen is not appropriate. On the second sheet write “WHAT? What are my goals in 3. Allow for “cooling off” and revision time. writing this letter?” After you write the first draft, put your letter away for a few On the third sheet write “Other Thoughts.” days. DO NOT SEND IT! Brainstorm. Write down your thoughts. Make lists. Firing off a letter is one of the most common mistakes Don’t worry about writing in sentence or prioritizing. Your parents make. You must give “cooling off” and revision goal is to dump your thoughts from your brain onto these time. Later, parents say “But they said I had to respond sheets of paper. Write down any additional ideas and right away . . .” thoughts on the third sheet of paper. You will write down Ninety-nine percent of letters from the school system DO your important thoughts in less than ten minutes. Do not NOT allow yourself to obsess about details. You are interested in require you to respond immediately. the Big Picture. A “cooling-off period” allows you to look at your letter2. First Letters are Always Drafts more objectively. If you send a letter without allowing for You write letters to: “cooling off” and revision time, you’ll probably damage 1. Make a request your credibility and your position. Sometimes, this damage is impossible to repair. 2. Clarify an event 4. You are always negotiating for services. 3. Decline a request As you are learning, you negotiate with the school for 4. Express appreciation special education services. If you are negotiating with the 5. Create a paper trail school for special services or with a car dealer for a car, the Some letters have more than one purpose. Because letters you principles are the same. You never begin negotiations by write to schools are so important, you need to do it right. telling the other side what your “bottom line” is. If you anticipate resistance, you may begin by telling a story In negotiations with schools, parents often make the to get the reader’s interest. Let’s see how Kathryn’s mother mistake of being too open. Parents think they have to share used the story telling method to begin an important letter everything with the school - immediately. They hope that to the school: by sharing everything, they’ll be rewarded with the help their I’d like to share a story about Kathryn with you. This year, child needs. This doesn’t happen. when Kathryn turned four, we had a birthday party for her. You need to share the results of all evaluations and any She looked very grown-up in her pink dress. More than a other new information with the school, as soon as you dozen friends from pre-school and dance class came to her receive it. However, you do not need to share your wish list party. You can imagine what this was like. or your bottom line. The children were laughing, singing, shouting, and creating 5. Never threaten. Never telegraph your punches! a huge ruckus. We had a big chocolate birthday cake. The You’ll remember that in the first chapter of this Tactics children were covered with icing. section, the parents wrote two letters. In their first letter, As we watched our daughter with her friends, we felt so they made several threats. In their second letter, they made proud of her. She was laughing, shouting, giggling with no threats, and told their story in a compelling way. If you her friends. Only we knew how hard she worked for this make threats (i.e., “we’re going to call our lawyer”), you may day. experience temporary relief but you’ll pay a high price later. Kathryn is hard of hearing. With hearing aids, she can hear As a negotiator, one of the most powerful forces you have at almost the same level as normal children. But if Kathryn on your side is the “Fear of the Unknown.” When you had gone into the public school program with hearing threaten, you are telling the other side what you plan to do. impaired children, she wouldn’t be able to have a birthday If you tell them what you plan to do, you have told them party with friends who laugh, and sing, and shout. how to protect themselves. At that moment, you lose your In the public school program, the children don’t learn how advantage - which is the wonderful, powerful Fear of the to sing or shout or speak. Their classroom is very quiet. If Unknown. Never telegraph your punches – you will destroy we had allowed her to attend the public school program, their power and effectiveness. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 99
    • EXAMPLE of Fear of the Unknown By presenting your problem as unique, you’re trying toBUSINESS COMMUNICATION You went to the doctor to get the results of your annual avoid “We ALWAYS handle ABC situations this way. We physical, including your lab work. As your doctor, I come in ALWAYS have handled ABC situations this way. We and tell you that: ALWAYS will handle ABC situations this way. We can’t make exceptions for you.” The results of your blood work are very concerning. However, I’m behind schedule right now. We need to admit If you present your situation as unique, it won’t be listed in you to the hospital as soon as bed space is available - the Bureaucrat’s Big Book of Rules and Procedures. probably tomorrow or the next day. I don’t have time to Remember: bureaucracies are inflexible and rule-bound. By discuss the results with you right now. I’m behind schedule presenting your situation as unique, you can sometimes get and have other patients waiting. I’ll be in to talk with you people in the system to see things differently. If they see after you are admitted. things differently, they may be able to handle things differently. Fear. Panic. What happens now? You’ll imagine the worst case scenario. 8. You ARE writing letters to a Stranger. You are NOT writing letters to the school. Now, let’s change the facts. You are at the doctor’s office to get the results of your physical. As your doctor, I come in When you write a letter to the school, you are really writing a and tell you that: “Letter to the Stranger.” Why? You have to assume that someone outside your school system will decide this issue. Some of your blood work is not clear. It’s probably only This person will have no personal interest in you or your ABC and if it is ABC, we have nothing to worry about. The child. This person won’t care what “program” your child is worst case scenario is that you have XYZ. XZY is enrolled in. inconvenient but it’s certainly not life threatening. Nine times out of ten, people have ABC. However, it’s still When you write letters, keep this Stranger in your mind’s important for us to rule out XYZ. eye. Who is this Stranger? What does he look like? How does he think? Unfortunately, we can’t run the additional tests here. We just aren’t equipped to do it. So, we need to send you to the The Stranger is an older person who has worked hard all his hospital where they have more sophisticated equipment. We life. He’s conservative, fair, and open minded. He knows can schedule your admission tomorrow or the next day. that life is often difficult and unfair. He doesn’t have much This is not so important that we have to do it today. patience with complainers. He’s more sympathetic to people who have a plan to solve problems. He dresses casually. Can you feel the difference? When he sits down to read your letter, he sips a cup of tea When you know what you’re facing, is your fear as intense? and lights his pipe. No. The Stranger doesn’t know you, your child, or your If you don’t fill in answers – if you don’t telegraph your situation. Your letter gives you the chance to sell the punches - then the fear of the unknown will force the other Stranger on the justice of your cause. You can describe the side to attribute more power to you. Because they’ll be in problem and tell the Stranger what should be done to make the “fear of the unknown,” they’ll wonder what you’re things right. going to do – and they’ll imagine a worst case scenario. Judges are Strangers. Most judges aren’t knowledgeable 6. Assume that you won’t be able to resolve your dispute. A about special education or children with disabilities. When special education due process hearing will be held - and you you write letters, you are also trying to educate and inform will not be able to testify or tell your side of the story. this person. These are important assumptions. These assumptions are 9. You write business letters to the school. When you write one of the keys to successful letter writing. Assume things business letters, you use tactics and strategy (your brain). will get worse. Assume that success in securing services for You do not demand, threaten, ventilate anger or frustration your child depends on how well you describe the events (your emotions). that cause you to write to the school. If you are writing an important letter to the school, you A letter you write today may sit in your child’s file for want it to be smooth, polished, and professional. Begin months or years. If things blow up later, these letters can be your letter chronologically and develop it chronologically. To the most compelling evidence in your favor. Bob’s letter at see how this is done, go back and read the original “Letter the beginning of this chapter shows how letters can work to the Stranger” at the beginning of this section. The letter against you. began like this: 7. Make your problem unique. Dear Mr. So and So: If you are writing a letter about a specific problem (i.e., a We received a letter from you dated February 1, and were teacher’s refusal to follow an IEP), present your situation as very perplexed by the content. unique. You want the person who reads your letter to see To put my letter into the proper context, let me go back to your problem as different. You want them to think “Wow! the beginning . . . We’ve never had this problem before!” © Copy Right: Rai University 100 11.234
    • Do not attack or express anger. Resist the urge to take ALWAYS read your letters aloud. This is a valuable tip BUSINESS COMMUNICATION cheap shots. from professional editors. ALWAYS have at least one10. Never make judgments. outside person read your letters. Your “reader” should be someone who will tell you the truth, especially when you “What a jerk you were! You didn’t have enough guts to be don’t make things clear or you need to tone the letter down. straight-up with us!” Ask your “reader” to pretend that he or she is a Stranger. NO! You want your reader to tell you if answered the three Never be judgmental. You want the Stranger to be questions we listed at the beginning of this chapter: interested, not anxious. Provide information logically, then • What am I trying to accomplish? let the Stranger draw conclusions. You want your Stranger to conclude “What a jerk!” • What do I want?11. You are telling a story. Write your letter chronologically. • What are my goals? Don’t broach the main issue in the first paragraph of your The answers to these questions must be clear. After your letter. “Stranger” has read the draft of your letter, ask the person to Tell your story chronologically, weaving in your facts. Your answer these questions. If the reader cannot answer these objective is to write a letter than is interesting, and easy to questions clearly means you haven’t expressed yourself follow. clearly. Remember: your letter is to the Stranger, not the special ed supervisor or the building principal. If you find Remember, when you write a letter to the school, this is yourself explaining your real point to the reader, stop, and your chance to “present your case” and tell your story. The write down the explanation. Incorporate this into your letter. Stranger won’t understand the background or history unless you provide this information. You can provide background Letter Writing Tips information very naturally and easily by going back to the Make It Clear beginning and writing a chronological story. It’s incredibly easy to get side-tracked when writing letters. This For example: “On DATE, our son entered your program is especially true if you’re feeling upset or emotional. Remem- because . . . ber: You’re writing to make a point, clarify an event, make a You can move the clock earlier if this helps you tell the request, and create a paper trail. Refer back to the sheets of paper story. “We realized that our daughter’s problems were you used during the brainstorming stage. Have you answered serious when she was unable to communicate with others these three questions? by her third birthday.” • Why are you writing? Where should you begin? Begin wherever you want. In your • What is the point you want to make? mind, you know when things “began.” Then, continue to • What do you want? tell your story: “Then this happened . . . When she started Talk out loud. Avoid vague words, jargon, and long rambling school . . .” sentences. Use short words when possible. If you naturally use You are telling a story and you are using your facts. Select long words to express yourself, try substituting short words your facts carefully and keep your opinions to a bare that mean the same thing. Long rambling letters put people off minimum. As you tell the story, you’re planting seeds in the because they are hard to read. You don’t want this to happen. memories of Strangers who read your letter later. Let these You want the reader, your Stranger, to enjoy reading your Strangers water the seeds using their own imaginations! letter. There is another reason to write chronologically. If you Make It Short jump from issue to issue, the reader will get confused, then Say what you have to say. Be succinct. Most people don’t have frustrated. Readers have negative reactions to people who the time to read long letters. If you repeat yourself, you’re write letters that are hard to follow. The Stranger may get wasting the reader’s time and your letter will generate a negative angry at you if he can’t figure out your point. If the response. Keep your message short and to the point. Stranger gets frustrated, he will quit reading – and he’ll blame you for this frustration. You don’t want this to There is one exception to this rule. If you are writing a letter to happen to you. request a due process hearing, then the letter needs to be a comprehensive “Letter to the Stranger.” This letter should tell12. Write letters that are clear and easy to understand. story, from the beginning, using visual imagery. Letters provide you with an opportunity to make your case while you create a positive impression. An Make It Alive important part of the impression you make will depend on Speak directly to the reader. Use the same words and figures of how you express yourself. speech you use in your day-to-day speech. Think about the Stranger as a real person. Visualize the Stranger and imagine We don’t like to think that our writing skills need yourself talking with him about your problems. This is the improving. Unless you are a professional writer or editor, person you are writing to. You’re not firing a letter off to the you will need to spend time improving your writing skills person who chaired the IEP meeting and didn’t have the in four areas: clarity, brevity, interest, accuracy. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 101
    • courage to tell you that the school had just suspended yourBUSINESS COMMUNICATION child, as you see in the example below. Use words like “you,” “we,” “us,” “our” to make your letter more personal. Everyone who reads the letter will feel that the message is directed at them. Make it RIGHT Letters filled with errors are distracting. Readers get so distracted by misspelled words and poor grammar that they miss the point. If you send a letter that’s filled with mistakes, your real message is that you are sloppy and careless. If you prepare your letter on a computer, it will be easier to read. The Stranger will thank you for little touches like this. Your goal is to eliminate all spelling, grammatical, and format- ting errors from your letters. The problem? We don’t notice our own errors! The solution? Always have at least one other person proof-read your letters. Try to locate more than one proof-reader. Buy a book about “How to Write Business Letters.” Letter writing is an art. A well written letter is a pleasure to read. It’s also very hard work. About the Authors PamWright is a psychotherapist who has worked with children, adults, and families for more than 30 years. Her training and experience in clinical psychology and clinical social work give her a unique perspective on parent-child-school dynamics, problems, and solutions. She has written many articles about raising, educating, and advocating for children with disabilities. Pam designed the Wrightslaw web site at http://www.wrightslaw.com/ and publishes The Special Ed Advocate newsletter. Pete Wright represented Shannon Carter before the U. S. Supreme Court in Florence County School District Four v. Shannon Carter where he received a unanimous decision in Shannon’s favor. © Copy Right: Rai University 102 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 14: TYPES ON BUSINESS LETTERS By the end of the lesson you will Identify Your Reader • Know the various types of business letters The identity of the reader to whom you are sending an acknowledgement will be found in the complimentary close of • Know the general format of a acknowledgement letter a previous response letter. That person’s name should be placed • Know the general format of a Inquiry letter in the salutation and the inside heading of your reply. It should also be included on the top line of your envelope.Students, in business we need to write various types of business Remember that people do business with people first, busi-letters . In this lesson we will focus on acknowledgment letter nesses second. When you address your reader by name, you areand inquiry letter. Can anyone tell me when do write an recognizing their individual importance, their value as a humanacknowledgement letter and when do we write a inquiry letter? being. In the inside heading of the sample acknowledgementThe very word “acknowledgment” and “inquiry” says it all. letter the reader is identified by both his name and the positionTypes of Business Letters he holds.The following are the most common types of business letters. Establish Your ObjectiveKeep in mind that the purpose and audience of your business The objective of an acknowledgement letter is to let the readerletter effects, which form you, choose. know you are in receipt of whatever it is was that you requested.• The Acknowledgement Letter You should be brief.• The Inquiry letter In the body of the sample acknowledgement letter, the writer• Response to an inquiry letter mentions a specific point, clarifying for the reader that it is an important part of her overall objective, letting him know that• Complaint letter further discussion will be expected in their upcoming meeting.• Order letter Briefly mention what you have received, when you received itAcknowledgement Letters and that you appreciate the senders effort. Sentence fragmentsA letter of acknowledgement is good public relations maneu- are fine for this exercise. Save and edit this list as you work. Onver. Though not always required, they can go along way. completion your objective will be clearly stated.Remember, it’s the thought that counts. The objective is to let Determine Uour Scopethe reader know you are in receipt of whatever it is was they The scope of an acknowledgement letter encompasses verysent; usually something requested in an inquiry letter. It can be little. It provides the reader with a short line or two, theviewed as a response to a response. The actual scope of an objective of which is to notify that a request has been satisfied.acknowledgement letter need only include a small detail, such as Should it be useful, the scope may be broadened to include newwhat day something arrived, and an expression of appreciation. information, particularly if a continuing dialogue is desired.It’s most important function is to say thank you, a mark of In the body of the sample acknowledgement letter the writerprofessional courtesy. In the sample acknowledgement letter the provides the name of her assistant, a second contact personwriter confirms receipt of information and appreciates the with whom he can speak should she be unavailable to take hissender’s promptness. She also references a specific point to call. This establishes a line of communication that indicates herwhich she is sure to return in an as yet, unscheduled appoint- serious interest in exploring a further business relationship.ment. Here are the steps to follow when writing an Make a simple list of what you want to tell your reader.acknowledgement letter. Each link provides tips and a blank Sentence fragments are fine for this exercise. Feel free to delete orediting box in which you can practice your writing skills. You add items. You can save and edit this list as you work. Onwill be able to save and edit the contents of these boxes while completion you will have determined your scope.working on your writing project. Organize Your Letter• Identify your reader. Organizing an acknowledgement letter is a simple procedure• Establish your objective. designed to help you draft your request. You have established• Determine your scope. your objective and determined the scope. Refer back to them. Together they make up the main components in the body of• Organize your letter. your letter.• Draft your letter A simple outline will get you organized. A list will probably do• Close Your Letter the job. Consider each item on the list as having a logical place,• Review and Revise Your Letter either at the beginning, the middle or the end of your letter. Put each item where it belongs. With list in hand you can begin a rough draft. Most of your © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 103
    • thinking is done and you can concentrate on the writing task. confusion. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood atBUSINESS COMMUNICATION You won’t be worried about forgetting something important. all and affectations, clichés and trite language serve no real It’s already on your list. You won’t be worried about in what purpose and will obscure your objective. You want to help your order things should appear. Your list is already organized. reader understand exactly what it is that you want, so remove all When you begin the rough draft your outline will become a that is not helpful. checklist And finally, if you have not written an opening or a conclusion now is the time. The introduction needs to lead into the body Draft Your Letter of your letter with a firm statement about the subject of your Working from an outline is the simplest way to draft a adjust- inquiry and enough supporting information to keep the reader ment letter. Refer back to your list and turn each fragmentary reading. Your closing remarks need to reiterate your objective sentence into a full and complete sentence expressing a single with a question that calls for an action. thought or idea. Concentrate on communicating your objective to your reader. Sample Acknowledgement Letter Be certain that you describe the scope of your solution with an __________Better Widget Makers, Inc.__________ appropriate amount of information. 5555 Widget Avenue Keep in mind that you are writing a rough draft. For an overall sense of cohesion, be as quick as you can. Spelling, grammar, Silver City, CO 80456 sentence and paragraph structure need not be perfect. Those October 1, 2003 details will be tuned up in the final step when you review and Mr. Russ Hamilton revise your work. Vice President, Sales and Marketing Start with the point that you feel the strongest or most confident about and then do the others. Remember to do this Golden Bread Company quickly. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be 123 Loaf Street saved and edited. Silver City, CO 80451 Do one at a time, starting with the point that you are most Dear Mr. Hamilton: confident about turning into a complete sentence. Then do the others. Remember, it is best to do this quickly. On completion I received your price information packet today and appreciate its you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. prompt delivery. It Close Your Letter seems to have everything I need. An acknowledgement letter should close with a professional You mentioned deeper discounts in consideration of an annual tone and style. Once your last paragraph is written, sign off contract. I am looking for between a complimentary close such as “Sincerely” or “Thank just such an arrangement. you,” and your printed name. Should I be unavailable when you call on Friday, please speak If your acknowledgement letter is written in conjunction with with my assistant, Annie an official duty, place your title below the printed name as in the sample acknowledgement letter. Additional information such as Getz. She keeps my calendar and will assist you in making an dictation remarks, notification of attachments and copies sent appointment. to other individuals should be placed beneath your title line. Thanks again, In situations where you are unsure of the proper close, consult Ida Mae Knott the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. Purchasing Agent Review and Revise Your Letter CC: Annie Getz Reviewing and revising your acknowledgement letter is the final At the beginning of the sample acknowledgement letter the step in the writing process. You will check your draft in this writer mentions that she had received what she had requested step, making sure that your objective is clear and your scope is and lets the reader know that she appreciated his promptness. concise. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the At the end of the sample acknowledgement letter the writer rough draft. Ask yourself, as the recipient, whether you are able names a second contact person, someone with whom to speak to comprehend the request quickly and if enough information in her absence, effectively widening the lines of communication. has been included to enable a timely response. Look for the obvious errors first. Check for spelling, sentence Complaint Letters structure and grammar mistakes. Remember that a passive voice A complaint letter, also known as a claim, advises a business is not as commanding as an active one. You want your inquiry that an error has been made or that a defect has been discovered. to be strong, so write with an active voice. The objective is to provide detailed information regarding the The important thing to keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness error or defect. It also serves as a legal document notifying the of the whole unit. Look for accuracy, clarity and a sense of recipient that a correction or adjustment is being requested. completeness. Ask yourself if the transitions between para- Keep in mind that your reader is most likely a trained customer graphs are working and if your point of view, tone and style are service professional and not the person responsible for the error consistent throughout the text. or defect. Rather than being angry, use a firm but courteous Examine your word choices carefully. Ambiguous words lead to tone when stating your complaint. Remember, it is results you © Copy Right: Rai University 104 11.234
    • are after. Make a simple list of your complaints. Be specific. Attention to BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONThe scope of a complaint letter should include only the relevant detail is very important. Feel free to delete or add items. You canfacts validating your claim and a request that appropriate save and edit this list as you work. On completion you will havecorrective steps be taken. The scope may also detail the options determined your scope.that you are willing to accept in satisfaction of the claim. Organize Your LetterIn the sample complaint letter the writer explains that an Organizing a complaint letter is a simple procedure designed toincorrect shipment was received and that a promised correction help you draft your request. You have already started this task.has not materialized. He then proposes two equally satisfactory You have established your objective and determined the scope.solutions. Refer back to them. Together they make up the main compo-• Identify your reader. nents in the body of your letter.• Establish your objective. A simple outline will get you organized. A list will probably do• Determine your scope. the job. Consider each item on the list as having a logical place, either at the beginning, the middle or the end of your letter. Put• Organize your letter. each item where it belongs.• Draft your letter With list in hand you can begin a rough draft. Most of your• Close Your Letter thinking is done and you can concentrate on the writing task.• Review and Revise Your Letter You won’t be worried about forgetting something important. It’s already on your list. You won’t be worried about in whatIdentify Your Reader order things should appear. Your list is already organized.Although a clearly identified reader is not absolutely necessary, a When you begin the rough draft your outline will become acomplaint letter should be addressed to the person who is checklistmost able to resolve an unsatisfactory situation. In a very smallbusiness the owner is generally the contact person. In a mid-size Draft Your Lettercompany a vice president or upper level management person Working from an outline is the simplest way to draft a adjust-solves problems. Large companies often have a Customer ment letter. Refer back to your list and turn each fragmentaryService department to whose attention a complaint can be sentence into a full and complete sentence expressing a singleaddressed. In these cases, the inside heading should contain just thought or idea.the name and address of the company. The salutation will then Concentrate on communicating your objective to your reader.be replaced by a simple attention getting device such as that Be certain that you describe the scope of your solution with anshown in the sample complaint letter. appropriate amount of information. Keep in mind that you are writing a rough draft. For an overallEstablish Your Objective sense of cohesion, be as quick as you can. Spelling, grammar,The objective of a complaint letter is to prompt an action that sentence and paragraph structure need not be perfect. Thoseresolves a conflict. You should avoid threats and accusations details will be tuned up in the final step when you review andwhen providing the details of your complaint. Stick to the facts revise your work.and your reader will comprehend what went wrong and what Start with the point that you feel the strongest or mostaction you expect to have implemented. confident about and then do the others. Remember to do thisAny company or business organization with a legitimate quickly. On completion you will have a rough draft that can becomplaint lodged against them will act quickly to resolve the saved and edited.problem. Doing so fulfills a primary business goal: keeping the Do one at a time, starting with the point that you are mostcustomer satisfied. confident about turning into a complete sentence. Then do theIn the first sentence of the sample complaint letter, the writer others. Remember, it is best to do this quickly. On completionclearly states that he has received an incorrectly filled order, you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited.establishing legitimate grounds for both his complaint andrequest for corrective action. Close Your LetterBriefly list your complaints. Sentence fragments are fine for this A complaint letter should close with a professional tone andexercise. On completion your objective will be clearly stated. You style. Once your last paragraph is written, sign off between acan save and edit this list as you work. complimentary close such as “Sincerely” or “Thank you,” and your printed name.Determine Your Scope If your credit letter is written in conjunction with an officialThe scope of a complaint letter should encompass the relevant duty, place your title below your printed name as shown ininformation necessary to resolve a problem, correct an error or sample complaint letter. Additional information such asrepair a defect. It should provide the reader with exact descrip- dictation remarks, notification of enclosures and copies sent totions, including dates, times and places. It should reference other individuals should be placed beneath your title line.purchase orders, invoice numbers, payment records and even In situations where you are unsure of the proper close, consultdollar amounts when appropriate. the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options.In the body of the sample complaint letter the writer politelyexpresses dissatisfaction that a problem’s promised resolutionis long overdue. He supports his claim with facts. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 105
    • Review and Revise Your Letter As of this date we have not yet received our shipment ofBUSINESS COMMUNICATION Reviewing and revising your complaint letter is the final step in Deluxe Widgets. This was a the writing process. You will check your draft in this step, COD order, paid for with check #250564 in the amount of making sure that your objective is clear and your scope is $1,913.50, which has already concise. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the cleared through our bank. If these Widgets cannot be shipped rough draft. Ask yourself, as the recipient, whether you are able February 20th, please to comprehend the request quickly and if enough information has been included to enable a timely response. cancel the order and send a refund check in the amount of Look for the obvious errors first. Check for spelling, sentence $1,368.00 for the unfulfilled structure and grammar mistakes. Remember that a passive voice portion of the order. is not as commanding as an active one. You want your inquiry I have enclosed a copy of the original order. to be strong, so write with an active voice. Thank you, Keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness of the whole unit. Look for accuracy, clarity and a sense of completeness. Ask Jim Dandy, Jr. yourself if the transitions between paragraphs are working and General Manager if your point of view, tone and style are consistent throughout Enclosure: Order Letter dated February 3, 2004 the text. Examine your word choices carefully. Ambiguous words lead to Inquiry Letters A letter of inquiry is a letter of request. The objective is to get confusion. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at the reader to respond with an action that satisfies the request. all and affectations, clichés and trite language serve no real The action taken can benefit either the writer or the reader, and purpose and will obscure your objective. You want to help your sometimes both. That being the case, the scope of an inquiry reader understand exactly what it is that you want, so remove all letter must include enough information to help the reader that is not helpful. determine how best to respond. And finally, if you have not written an opening or a conclusion In the sample inquiry letter there is a benefit to both the writer now is the time. The introduction needs to lead into the body and the reader. In it the writer asks for some information and of your letter with a firm statement about the subject of your some help. She also makes an offer to the reader that provides inquiry and enough supporting information to keep the reader an incentive to act. reading. Your closing remarks need to reiterate your objective Here are the steps to follow when writing an inquiry letter: with a question that calls for an action. As shown in the sample complaint letter, the writer’ opening • Identify your reader. paragraph states the problem and the closing paragraph requests • Establish your objective. a specific solution. • Determine your scope. Sample Complaint Letter • Organize your letter. __________Dandy Manufacturing, Inc.__________ • Draft your letter 2525 E. 34th Street • Close Your Letter Greeley, CO 80631 • Review and Revise Your Letter February 18, 2004 Identify Your Reader An inquiry letter should be addressed to a specific person Better Widget Makers, Inc. whenever possible. Doing so improves your odds on receiving 5555 Widget Avenue a reply. Naming a person in your letter’s salutation, and on the inside heading and envelope informs the reader that you have Silver City, CO 80456 done your homework. It announces that you have identified Attention: Customer Service Department them as being the likely contact person to whom you can direct On February 9th I received an incorrect shipment of Widgets your request, and to whom you can turn for help. fulfilling the order I placed Identifying your reader is not always possible, but often a quick on February 3rd. Rather than the 300 Deluxe Yellow Widgets phone call will do the job. Most businesses and organizations (Ref. # XT111) that I will supply names and contact procedures over the phone. It is especially important to check on procedures, as it is not unusual ordered, the shipment contained 300 Regular Yellow Widgets for large companies to have specific protocols for contacting (Ref. # XT101). their employees and associates. You will be expected to follow As per the instructions we received on the telephone, the them. unwanted Regular Widgets were Remember that people do business with people first, busi- shipped back the same day. It was promised that the correct nesses second. Valuable time can be lost when an inquiry letter items would be shipped out is sent to the wrong person or address. In the inside heading of the very next day, February 10th, and be delivered freight free the the sample inquiry letter the reader is identified by both his following week. name and the title he holds. In situations where you do not © Copy Right: Rai University 106 11.234
    • have the name of a contact person to address, consult the before making a decision. Sentence fragments are fine for this BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONFormatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. exercise. Feel free to delete or add items. On completion you will have determined your scope. You can save and edit this list asEstablish Your Objective you work.The objective in an inquiry letter is communicated by one ormore questions to which the writer desires a response. The Organize Your Letterquestion(s) will either ask the reader to provide something Organizing an inquiry letter is a simple procedure designed tobeneficial to the writer, or ask the reader to take advantage of a help you draft your request. You have already started this task.benefit that the writer has to offer. You have established your objective and determined the scopePhrase your question(s) in a tone and style that is both courte- of your inquiry. Refer back to them. Together they make up theous and straightforward. Be specific and brief. If you are asking main components in the body of your letter.for multiple pieces of information you might consider placing A simple outline will get you organized. A list will probably dothem into a bulleted list. This tactic acts like a snapshot the job. Consider each item on the list as having a logical place,highlighting the components of your objective. either at the beginning, the middle or the end of your letter. PutIn the body of the sample inquiry letter, the writer states her each item where it belongs.objective by asking the reader for help in compiling informa- With list in hand you can begin a rough draft. Most of yourtion. She then outlines the scope of her needs in a bulleted list thinking is done and you can concentrate on the writing task.immediately following her request. You won’t be worried about forgetting something important.Answer the questions raised by the sample statements or build It’s already on your list. You won’t be worried about in whatyour own. You will end up with a list of things you want the order things should appear. Your list is already organized.reader to do or provide. Sentence fragments are fine for this When you begin the rough draft your outline will become aexercise. On completion you will have shaped your objective. checklist.You can save and edit this list as you work. Consult the points you have established in your objective andDetermine Your Scope scope and decide where they belong. Are they part of theThe scope of an inquiry letter is contained in the information beginning, the middle or the end? Organize the informationyou provide for the specific purpose of helping the reader grasp point by point in an order that makes sense. If it does not flowyour objective. You may safely assume that your reader is a busy naturally, you may have something out of order. Feel free toperson, so getting to the point is important. Your goal is to move things around. On completion you will have a simplehave the reader make a decision quickly and respond in a timely outline that can be saved and edited.manner. Information that is not related to your objective Draft Your Lettershould be left out. Drafting an inquiry letter is a process by which your outlineConsider your targeted reader. Make it your business to now notes become sentences and paragraphs. Keep in mind; it’ssomething about that person. What is their title or position? O.K. to be sloppy, you are writing a rough draft. Your spellingAre they the president of the company or the shipping clerk? can be imperfect, your sentences can be grammatically incorrectDo they have what you want? Can they do what you ask? and your paragraph structure can be less than impeccable. TheseGive them the relevant background informationneeded in order things will be accounted for in the final step when you reviewto make an informed decision. Let the reader know who you are and revise your work.and something about your motive. If you are to receive some Write without fear. Your only concern is getting the point ofbenefit, it may help to explain for what purpose the benefit will your objective across to the reader and providing the relevantbe used. If the reader is to receive some benefit, it may help to scope of information that supports your request. A draft willoffer an incentive to respond. get it all down on paper. Best advice; be quick about it. EnlargePut yourself in the reader’s shoes and ask yourself what and each sentence fragment in your outline until it expresses ahow much background information is needed in order to take complete thought. Gather your thoughts into paragraphs andthe action you are requesting. Would you already know every- then give yourself a rest. That’s right-take a break.thing you need to know, or would you need a little more? Do one at a time, starting with the point that you are mostWhile you are in their shoes you might also ask yourself how confident about turning into a complete sentence. Then do themuch persuasion you would you need in order to be moved to others. Remember, it is best to do this quickly. On completionact. you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited.This will help you determine whether you have supplied too Close Your Lettermuch information, or not enough. It will also help you An inquiry letter should close with a professional tone and style.determine what information needs to be qualified or amplified Once your last paragraph is written, sign off between a compli-for the reader’s benefit. mentary close such as “Sincerely” or “Thank you,” and yourIn the body of the sample inquiry letter the writer supplies printed name.relevant logistical information that the reader will need in order If your inquiry letter is written in conjunction with an officialto respond quickly and effectively. duty, place your title below the printed name as in the sampleMake a list of relevant information that explains the reason for inquiry letter. Additional information such as dictation remarks,your inquiry. Think about what your reader will need to know notification of attachments and copies sent to other individuals © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 107
    • should be placed beneath your title line. Example Inquiry LetterBUSINESS COMMUNICATION In situations where you are unsure of the proper close, consult Dept. of English the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. Colorado State University Review and Revise Your Letter Fort Collins, CO 80523 Reviewing and revising your inquiry letter is the final step in the May 23, 1999 writing process. You will check your draft in this step, making Ms. Dawn Snyder, sure that your objective is clear and your scope is concise. Put Professor yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the rough draft. ICU Technical College Ask yourself, as the recipient, whether you are able to compre- Portland, ME 04101 hend the request quickly and if enough information has been Dear Ms. Snyder: included to enable a timely response. Look for the obvious errors first. Check for spelling, sentence I am a professor in English at Colorado State University structure and grammar mistakes. Remember that a passive voice organizing a seminar on concept mapping for a colloquium is not as commanding as an active one. You want your inquiry coming up in December. Based on your experience in this area, I to be strong, so write with an active voice. was wondering if you would be interested in attending. The important thing to keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness The deadline for admission is August 13. It would be a great of the whole unit. Look for accuracy, clarity and a sense of honor to have you in attendance. Enclosed is an admissions completeness. Ask yourself if the transitions between para- form and more information on the colloquium. graphs are working and if your point of view, tone and style are Thank you for your time, consistent throughout the text. (signature here) Examine your word choices carefully. Ambiguous words lead to confusion. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at I.B. Writing, all and affectations, clichés and trite language serve no real Professor, CSU purpose and will obscure your objective. You want to help your IW/gt reader understand exactly what it is that you want, so remove all Enclosure(4) that is not helpful. And finally, if you have not written an opening or a conclusion now is the time. The introduction needs to lead into the body of your letter with a firm statement about the subject of your inquiry and enough supporting information to keep the reader reading. Your closing remarks need to reiterate your objective with a question that calls for an action. At the beginning of the sample inquiry letter the writer introduces a situation and announces a compelling opportunity from which the reader stands to gain. At the end of the sample inquiry letter the writer reiterates her request for help, establishes a timeline in which she would like the help to be offered, asks for a meeting and strongly reinforces the benefit to the reader. As the title indicates, the purpose of this form is to obtain information from the reader. If the reader is expecting the letter, your task is easy. For example: Could you please send me the admission requirements for your program so I can apply for next fall semester? A secretary or school official in the college department receives many of these requests each month and would have no problem comprehending the meaning or necessary actions. If the reader is not expecting your letter, then it is more difficult. In this case, following these four guidelines will be helpful: • State your purpose • List your questions or requested action • Offer something in return to encourage action • Follow up with a thank you note, e-mail, or phone call to the person who helped you with your request © Copy Right: Rai University 108 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 15: TYPES ON BUSINESS LETTERS By the end of the lesson you will The scope of an order letter should include only the informa- tion needed to fulfill the order. Keep in mind that in most cases • Learn about how to write a response to an inquiry letter the seller does not need to know why you are placing the order, • Learn about the format of a complaint letter and order letter. what it is going to be used for or for whom it is intended. Such • Learn about the format of a complaint letter and order letter. information is unnecessary when placing an order. • Get tips as to how do you draft a good business letter. In the sample order letter the writer purchases three specific widgets from an out of date vendor catalogue. The reader canStudents now that we have learnt about acknowledgement infer that either an infrequent customer or a new customer isletter and inquiry letter we will today learn about responding to placing the order.an inquiry letter, complaint letter and sales letter. • Identify your reader.Response to an Inquiry Letter • Establish your objective.When you receive an inquiry letter, answer the questions as • Determine your scope.clearly and as concisely as possible. If you cannot answer the • Organize your letter.questions, explain the reasons and offer to assist with alternatemethods. • Draft your letterExample Response to an Inquiry Letter • Close Your LetterDawn Snyder, Professor • Review and Revise Your LetterICU Technical College Identify Your ReaderPortland, ME 04101 An order letter does not necessarily need a clearly identifiedMay 27, 1999 reader. In fact, most first-time and one-time-only orders are justProfessor I.B. Writing, addressed to the attention of the Sales department within aColorado State University company.Fort Collins, CO 80523 In these cases, the inside heading of the letter will contain justDear Mr. Writing: the name and address of the company to whom the order is being sent, and the salutation will be replaced by a simpleI would be honored to attend your colloquium on concept attention getting device such as that shown in the sample ordermapping in December. I think you know how strongly I feel letter.about that paradigm and the role the great state of Maine has Establishing an account with a company will announce thatplayed in its development. your intention is to have an ongoing business relationship. AtI am enclosing the admissions sheet sent to me, as well as the that time a specific contact person, to whom all future ordersarticles you requested that I have recently published on the can be directed, will be assigned to handle your account.subject. Good luck on organizing the event- I cannot wait to be In situations where you do not have the name of a contactthere! person to address, consult the Formatting Business LettersSincerely, page for acceptable options.(signature here) Establish Your ObjectiveI.B. Writing, The objective of an order letter is to clearly indicate to theProfessor, CSU recipient that you are making a purchase. You should be brief.DS/ls In the body of the sample order letter, the writer begins byEnclosure(114) saying that he is placing an order. He concludes his order withc: Scott McRae, Dean of Department of Journalism some specific instructions.Order Letters Determine Your ScopeAn order letter, also known as a PO (purchase order) begins the The scope of an order letter should provide only that informa-paper trail of a specific purchase. The objective is to provide tion relevant to accomplishing the objective of making adetailed instructions to a vendor fulfilling an order. It is also purchase: what the item is, the terms of the purchase and anyserves as a legal document recording the transaction. It should specific shipping instructions. It provides the reader with anbe written with careful attention to detail. exact description of what is expected.Your intentions need to be clear and concise. The reader will fill In the body of the sample order letter the writer has formattedyour order only according to your instructions and your his list of purchases in a table and provided a brief instructionsatisfaction will depend largely upon their accuracy. linking his payment instructions to his shipping instructions. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 109
    • He has also included a phone number at which he can be yourself in the reader’s shoes as you examine the rough draft.BUSINESS COMMUNICATION reached should there be any difficulties fulfilling the order. Ask yourself, as the recipient, whether you are able to compre- Make a simple list of what you want to purchase. Be specific. hend the request quickly and if enough information has been Attention to detail is very important. Feel free to delete or add included to enable a timely response. items. You can save and edit this list as you work. On comple- Look for the obvious errors first. Check for spelling, sentence tion you will have determined your scope. structure and grammar mistakes. Remember that a passive voice is not as commanding as an active one. You want your order to Organize Your Letter be strong, so write with an active voice. Organizing a order letter is just a practical way to begin drafting The important thing to keep in mind is the overall cohesiveness a written notification of pending purchase. You have already of the whole unit. Look for accuracy, clarity and a sense of started this task by establishing your objective and determining completeness. Ask yourself if the transitions between para- the scope. Refer back to them. Together they make up the main graphs are working and if your point of view, tone and style are components in the body of your letter. consistent throughout the text. A simple outline will get you organized. Make a list of the Examine your word choices carefully. Ambiguous words lead to things that your credit letter will include and put them in a confusion. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at sequential order that will best help your reader comprehend all and affectations, clichés and trite language serve no real your response. purpose and will obscure your objective. You want to help your If the information does not flow naturally, you may have reader understand exactly what it is that you want, so remove all something out of order. Feel free to move things around. On that is not helpful. completion you will have a simple outline And finally, if you have not written an opening or a conclusion Draft Your Letter now is the time. The introduction should lead into the letter Working from an outline is the simplest way to draft a adjust- with a firm statement about the details of your order. The ment letter. Refer back to your list and turn each fragmentary conclusion should reiterate your objective and, when appropri- sentence into a full and complete sentence expressing a single ate, contain any explicit instructions. thought or idea. This is the most common form of business communication, Concentrate on communicating your objective to your reader. and it is written for a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer. Be certain that you describe the scope of your solution with an When writing an order letter, include all the information the appropriate amount of information. reader will need to identify the merchandise, such as Keep in mind that you are writing a rough draft. For an overall • Quantity sense of cohesion, be as quick as you can. Spelling, grammar, • Model number sentence and paragraph structure need not be perfect. Those details will be tuned up in the final step when you review and • Dimensions revise your work. • Capacity Start with the point that you feel the strongest or most • Material confident about and then do the others. Remember to do this • Price quickly. On completion you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. As shown in the sample order letter, the actual details are Do one at a time, starting with the point that you are most formatted into a table bracketed by very short opening and confident about turning into a complete sentence. Then do the closing paragraphs. others. Remember, it is best to do this quickly. On completion Example Order Letter you will have a rough draft that can be saved and edited. Dept. of English Close Your Letter Colorado State University An order letter should close with a professional tone and style. Fort Collins, CO 80523 Once your last paragraph is written, sign off between a compli- May 23, 1999 mentary close such as “Sincerely” or “Thank you,” and your Ms. Dawn Snyder, printed name. Professor If your order letter is written in conjunction with an official ICU Technical College duty, place your title below the printed name as in the sample Portland, ME 04101 order letter. Additional information such as dictation remarks, Dear Ms. Snyder: notification of attachments and copies sent to other individuals should be placed beneath your title line. Would you please send me the following articles via COD? In situations where you are unsure of the proper close, consult According to your Web site, all articles are in your possession the Formatting Business Letters page for acceptable options. and all is needed is the article name, date, and number of pages. Review and Revise Your Letter Reviewing and revising your order letter is the final step in the writing process. You will check your draft in this step, making sure that your objective is clear and your scope is concise. Put © Copy Right: Rai University 110 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Article Date Pages "Role of Maine in the fishing strike of 1867" 1987 47 "Effect of Maine geography on the War of 1812" 1969 121 "World War II: From Androscoggin to York" 1997 4 Types of business lettersThank you very much, n Letter of enquiry(signature here) n Letter of complaintI.B. Writing, n Letter of invitationProfessor, CSU n Letter to the pressIW/gt n Letter of acknowledgementSales LetterWhen writing a sales letter, it is important to have a good n Letters of goodwill or public relationsattitude in order to sell your product or service, because thereader will want to know why they should spend their valuabletime reading the letter. Therefore, you need to provide clear,specific information that will explain to the reader why theyshould be interested in buying your product or service.Sales letters usually have a four-part strategy• Catch the reader’s eye: it is very crucial in a sales letter to attract the reader’s attention or else you will probably fail to sell your product or service• Describe the product or service you are trying to sell• Convince your reader that your claims are accurate: back up your comments with research and facts• Give the reader opportunities to learn more about your product or service: provide the reader with a phone number, a Web site address, or some way for them to seek out information on their ownExample Sales LetterCloset Care1248 SE Lancaster Blvd Letter of enquiryTigard, OR 97225July 7, 1999 n Introductory paragraphProfessor I.B. Writing, – Create goodwill with a friendly openingColorado State University n Other paragraphsFort Collins, CO 80523 – Explain what information is requiredDear Mr. Writing: – List questions / information requiredAre you having trouble organizing your clothes into yourexisting closets? If you are like most Americans, you have n Closing paragraphtrouble finding your favorite shirt when you really need it. This – Promote goodwillis why it is important to have an organized closet system.At CLOSET CARE, we have the skills and experience to comein and help you with your closet needs. May we stop by andoffer you a FREE estimate at how much it would cost you torebuild your closet? If so, give us a call at 555-1212 and set upan appointment with one of your friendly operators.Sincerely,(signature here)Kent LenoirPresidentKL/jt © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 111
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Reply to a letter of Reply to a complaint enquiry n Introductory paragraph n Introductory paragraph – Acknowledge receipt and express – Acknowledge receipt and thank the appreciation customer n Other paragraphs n Other paragraphs – Answer all questions in detail – Explain the cause of the problem – Recommend someone to help if you are if you are – Apologize if needed Apologize if needed not able to help – Explain how you plan to solve the n Closing paragraph problem – Promote goodwill, offer further assistance n Closing paragraph of goodwill Letter of complaint Letter of invitation n Introductory paragraph n Introductory paragraph – Create goodwill, positive note Create goodwill, positive note – Create goodwill, explain why invited explain why invited n Other paragraphs n Other paragraphs – Explain problem, provide all necessary problem, provide all necessary information – Provide info about function (type, date, – Describe inconvenience or loss time, place) – Suggest a solution to the problem – Info about audience (gender, age, n Closing paragraph background, interests, expected number – Promote goodwill, willingness to help Promote goodwill, willingness to help of people) people) The Seven CS of Business Letter Writing Effective letter writing boils down to knowing why you are writing a letter, understanding your reader’s needs and then clearly writing what you need to say. Every letter should be clear, human, helpful and as friendly as the topic allows. The best letters have a conversational tone and read as if you were talking to your reader. In brief then, discover the Seven-Cs of letter writing. You should be • Clear © Copy Right: Rai University 112 11.234
    • • Concise • You need to know how to turn passive verbs to active verbs. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION• Correct Keep Your Sentence Average Length Low• Courteous Sentence length is crucial to good writing. Almost everything• Conversational written by good writers has an average sentence length of between 15 and 20 words. This doesn’t mean writing every• Convincing sentence the same length. Good writers naturally vary the length• Complete and rhythm of their sentences—longer sentences balanced withWhen you write a letter, you are trying to convince someone to shorter ones—but they keep their average sentence length wellact or react in a positive way. Your reader will respond quickly below 20 words.only if your meaning is crystal clear. Compare These ExamplesPut yourself in the reader’s shoes and write in a friendly andhelpful tone. Don’t represent your company as one that cannotmake a mistake and must always be in the right. Try not to replyin the normal bland and defensive way of organizations—write Long Sentence Shorter Sentencesa sincere and helpful letter.Show you are interested in the reader’s circumstances. If he or I refer to my letter of 13th I have not yet receivedshe has mentioned something personal in the letter, refer to it June and am writing to advise your reply to my letter ofin your reply. This builds a bridge between you and the reader. you that if we do not receive 13th June. If we do notRead the original letter carefully and see if there is something your completed application receive your completed form within the next fourteen application form withinyou can put in your letter to show your interest. days, I shall have no fourteen days, I shall haveWriting Your Business Plan in Plain alternative but to arrange to arrange propertyEnglish property insurance on the insurance on the banks banks block policy. (One block policy.Good writing is effortless reading that makes you want to read Sentence—45 words)more. It is clear and concise, uses short sentences and simple (Two sentences—13 wordswords. It keeps to the facts and is easy to read and to under- and 24 words)stand.Plain English is clear English. It is simple and direct but notsimplistic or patronising. Using plain English doesn’t mean Use Simple Words Rather than Complexeveryone’s writing must sound the same. There is no one ‘right’ Onesway to express an idea. There’s plenty of room for your own Many writers have difficulty keeping their message simple andstyle—but it will only blossom once you have got rid of the clear. Instead of using everyday words they use complex orpoor writing habits that are typical of most business writing unfamiliar words. Simple, everday words will help you get yourHere are some of the key techniques to help you write in plain message across. Too often we use words such as additional,English: indicate, initiate and proliferate for extra, show, start and spread.Use Active Verbs Rather Than PassiveVerbsUsing active verbs rather than passive verbs is the key to good Complex words Simple wordswriting. Why? Because passive verbs are longwinded, ambigu-ous, impersonal and dull. Active verbs make your writing As we noted in the As we noted in the previoussimpler, less formal, clearer and more precise. Here’s an example: preceding section, if you section, if you bought extraPassive: It was agreed by the committee... purchased additional printer printer equipment, such as options, such as a second a second printer tray, youActive: The committee agreed... printer tray, it is a must check you install itPassive: At the last meeting a report was made by the Secre- requirement you verify its correctly.tary... correct installation.Active: At the last meeting the Secretary reported...Passive: This form should be signed and should be returnedto me. Edit Wordy PhrasesActive: You should sign the form and return it to me. Padding is the enemy of good writing. Unnecessary words andIn switching your style from passive verbs to active verbs phrases clutter up sentences and obscure meaning. By compari-throughout your writing, you face several problems. son, economy of words is the mark of good writing. You have to learn to make every word count in technical documents. You• You must accurately spot them. Often writers miss passive must edit ruthlessly, cutting any word. Set yourself a target of verbs or try to change verbs that are already active. cutting 10 to 20 percent of the words in your document.• You need to measure your use of passive verbs. One or two passive verbs a page will not ruin your style, nine or ten will. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 113
    • Look for wordy phrases such as these in your writing and Avoid Abstract Words and PhrasesBUSINESS COMMUNICATION replace them with a single word or cut them out completely: One habit you should avoid, common to many writers, is overusing abstract words. Here’s a list of the most common ones to avoid in your writing. Wordy Concise at a later date later at the present time now Abstract words to avoid in technical writing for the purpose of for Activities Devices Inputs Sectors have no alternative but must Amenities Elements Operations Structures in addition to besides, as well as, also Amenity Facilities Outputs Systems In order to to in relation to about, in, with, towards, to Aspects Factors Processes Variables on a regular basis regularly Concepts Functions Resources Avoid Jargon and Technical Terms For example, what is a device, output or facility. Such words It’s up to you to judge how much you need to explain your are so abstract they become meaningless to the reader. String industry jargon and specialist terms by putting yourself in your them together, such as output device and you have instant readers’ shoes. Don’t overestimate your readers’ understanding jargon for the word printer. Add them to acronyms and you of terms because they may have a hazy idea of the true defini- can produce CAS Facility which in turn means Civic Amenity tion. Site Facility, pure jargon for Council Recycling Site. It doesn’t insult the intelligence of your readers to explain terms clearly. Imagine a customer was sitting with you when you mentioned a technical term and asked ‘What’s that?’ You would explain in everyday language. Do the same when you write. Avoid Abbreviations The most common and irritating form of jargon is overuse of abbreviations. Here are some abbreviations. How many do you know? Acronym Meaning CRA Camera-ready Artwork DPI Dots Per Inch DTP Desktop Publishing PMS Pantone Matching System SC Spot Color UGD User Guide Documentation How many did you get right? Two out of six? Probably DPI for dots per inch and DTP for desktop publishing as these are industry terms. Many people would not recognize these two. As for CRA, camera-ready artwork would be better. SC for spot color is an unnecessary shortened form and UGD for User Guide Documentation is jargon for a manual. © Copy Right: Rai University 114 11.234
    • UNIT 2 CHAPTER 4: BUSINESS LETTER LESSON 16: PRACTICE EXERCISES ON BUSINESS LETTER Procedure : Students will work from a format and prepare a By the end of the lesson you should BUSINESS COMMUNICATION sample business letter. Parts of that business letter will be • Be perfect in writing letter particularly business letters. discussed. Different formats of typed business letters will be discussed.Students, just learning the tips and format of letters will not Here is the form that will be used:help you in the long run. As you all know ‘practice makes a manperfect’ this lesson will help you remember what you studied in 4 blank lines from top of pagelesson 14 and 15 and try to put your learning into practice. ( Heading )I am sure at the end of the lesson you’ll have more confident skip linein writing business letters. (Inside Address/address to recipient)So lets start the exercise _____________________________ _____________________________Practice Exercise on Personal Letter 1 blank lineWriting Skills Dear Sir or Madam: (Salutation or Greeting)Overview : Students need to practice writing a friendly 1 blank line(Body)letter. Please send me any information that is available on the eventsActivity Time: 50 minutes in (City name) during the month of June. My mother, father, brother, and I plan to visit the area and will also need a list ofObjectives: accommodations and restaurants. Sometimes we camp if there1. As a result of this activity, the students will is a nearby campground. Please supply this information, also.2. Better understand parts of a greeting letter and envelope. Directions to places and maps of the area would be helpful.3. Be able to address an envelope. 1 blank line Do you have a web site where I might learn more about your4. Be able to write a letter to a friend. city?Materials 1 blank linePoster of a letter and envelope I will appreciate any pamphlets or information sheets that youLabels to identify the parts of the letter and envelope could send me along with the activities, accommodations, andPiece of paper and a envelope for each student in the class their directions to help us plan a fun and meaningful vacation. 1 blank lineActivities and Procedures Very truly yours, (Closing)1. Call on different students to point out different parts of a 3 blank lines for your handwritten (Signature) letter and envelope. (Your Name)2. The class will discuss writing a letter together (e.g., the class could discuss writing to a person in the class or the principal Now students will discuss possible business letters that of the school). they may want or need to write in the future. Envelopes will be prepared during this class, also.3. Have students write a friendly letter and address an envelope to anyone they would like to write.Evalution : This letter will be put into the student letterportfolio. On the fifth day spent on friendly letters, studentswill choose one of theirs to read aloud to the class. If this letteris chosen, students will type the letter and spell check it on thecomputer. The chosen letter will be graded according to theteacher’s rubric for letter writing evaluation.Practice Exercise on Business LetterWriting SkillsObjective1. Students will become familiar with business letters and the difference between a business letter and friendly letter.2. Students will know how to address an envelope for sending business mail. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 115
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Evaluation Plan for Letters Rubric for the Friendly Letter Score 1 2 3 4 Letter is unattractive Letter appears busy The letter is eye- or inappropriate. or boring. Text may catching and The letter is Text is difficult to be difficult to read. attractive. Text is creatively designed read. It does not May have some easy to read. with easily read text. Layout/ Design have proper grammar and or Grammar, style, and Grammar, style, and grammar or punctuation that punctuation is purpose all excellent punctuation for a indicates it is a indicative of a for a friendly letter. friendly letter. friendly letter. friendly letter. Information is Information is Some information is accurate and Information is well Information, style, poorly written, provided, but is complete, is written and audience, tone inaccurate, or limited or creatively written, interesting to read. incomplete. inaccurate. and is cleverly presented. Most friendly letter Some friendly letter Letter is complete Accurate Parts of the Improper form is elements out of elements may be with all required Friendly Letter used. place or missing. missing. elements. Letter Grammar, Information Style, purpose, Grammar, Excellent job on punctuation, and mislabled or missing. audience, grammar, Punctuation, and presentation, style, choice of words Inaccurate and punctuation all choice of words for grammar, and poor for a friendly punctuation or fair and indicative of the friendly letter punctuation. letter. grammar. a friendly letter. Students are always Students are often on task, stay in their Following Students Students stay in out of their area own area, and work Classroom occasionally leave their area and talk without permission quietly. Students Guidelines and area without quietly to their own and are disruptive to followed project Directions permission. partner only. the class. directions and classroom directions. Suggested Point Scale Heading 15 points Inside Address 15 points Greeting 10 points Body 40 points Closing 10 points Signature 10 points © Copy Right: Rai University 116 11.234
    • Rubric for the Business Letter BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Score 1 2 3 4 Letter appears busy The letter is eye- Letter is unattractive or boring. Text may catching and The letter is creatively or inappropriate. be difficult to read. attractive. Text is designed with easily Text is difficult to May have some easy to read. read text. Grammar, Layout/ Design read. It does not have grammar and or Grammar, style, and style, and purpose all proper grammar or punctuation that punctuation is excellent for a punctuation for a indicates it is a indicative of a business letter. business letter. business letter. business letter. Information is Information is poorly Some information is Information is well accurate and Information, style, written, inaccurate, or provided, but is written and complete, is creatively audience, tone incomplete. limited or inaccurate. interesting to read. written, and is cleverly presented. Most business letter Some business letter Letter is complete Accurate Parts of the Improper form is elements out of place elements may be with all required Friendly Letter used. or missing. missing. elements. Information Style, purpose, Grammar, Grammar, Excellent job on mislabled or missing. audience, grammar, Punctuation, and punctuation, and presentation, style, Inaccurate and punctuation all choice of words for choice of words poor grammar, and punctuation or fair and indicative of the friendly letter for a business letter. punctuation. grammar. a business letter. Students are always Students are often on task, stay in their Students stay in their Following Classroom out of their area Students occasionally own area, and work area and talk quietly Guidelines and without permission leave area without quietly. Students to their own partner Directions and are disruptive to permission. followed project only. the class. directions and classroom directions. Letter appears busy The letter is eye- Letter is unattractive or boring. Text may catching and The letter is creatively or inappropriate. be difficult to read. attractive. Text is designed with easily Text is difficult to May have some easy to read. read text. Grammar, Layout/ Design read. It does not have grammar and or Grammar, style, and style, and purpose all proper grammar or punctuation that punctuation is excellent for a punctuation for a indicates it is a indicative of a business letter. business letter. business letter. business letter. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 117
    • UNIT 2 CHAPTER 5: RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOY- LESSON 17: MENT CORRESPONDENCE RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT CORRESPONDENCE the job advertisement again. In one paragraph (two at the On completion of this lesson you willBUSINESS COMMUNICATION most) you need to summarize your experience and skills, at the • Know the importance of recruitment correspondence same time, you need to respond to the position requirements particularly job application letter. as per the advertisement. • Understand the tips on drafting an effective cover letter. Analyze your career and summarize it in a few sentences, highlight what you specialize in, or how many years in the industry you might have, or even the level that you have reached. Students, all of you after completion of your course will either This paragraph should direct the reader to your CV and should go for higher studies or go for jobs. This lesson will make you sell you on some unique points that you might have. familiar with the components of recruitment correspondence which includes job application letter , preparation of CV and A good way to start this paragraph is with a statement like this: interviews. We will focus on the job application letter, which is “You will see from my enclosed CV....” then go ahead and tell also known as the cover letter. them something about your career which will immediately get their interest. Writing Job Application Letters The next part of the body of the letter should be a brief The job application letter’s sole purpose is to get the recipient to description of your personal skills. Again read the advertise- read your CV. It should be clear, concise and straight to the ment and respond to their needs. If they are asking for point. Here you are simply telling the employer that you are someone with good co-ordination skills, then ensure you worth having a look at. mention something to that effect. If it is communication or The application letter should be brief, no more than one page in perhaps leadership skills they value, then tell them that you have length. It should be easy to read and flow through. It should these. Use adjectives like “demonstrated ability”, “well devel- include only the absolute necessary information. Like most oped”, “and strong”. other things, there is a formula that works extremely well for preparing job application letters. Following we discuss each Job Application Letters Closing paragraph and give you some guidelines. Paragraph The closing paragraph should ask for some action from the Addressing Job Application Letters recipient. This is where you ask for an interview. It should also The style you choose is not important, there are many different state where and how they can reach you, and it should thank the styles of job applications and professional letters, this comes recipient for giving you the opportunity to apply. You can down to personal preference. However somewhere on the top, include things like “should you require further information...” . whether it is on the right or left hand sides, there should be your address and the date. Following this, on the left hand side Finish the letter by adding a closing remark, either “yours you should address it. Ensure you include the name of the sincerely”, “yours faithfully’ or whatever you feel comfortable person, their title, company name, address and any position with and obeying general letter writing etiquette. Leave a few reference number. This is probably obvious, but ensure that spaces for your signature and then place your full name. you spell their name correctly, nothing worse than receiving a Before you mail the application letter, read it over again, making letter incorrectly addressed or misspelled. It gives a poor first sure that it is perfect. Special attention should be placed to impression. ensure the letter The Introductory Paragraph • It is not too long. The first paragraph should simply state why you are writing to • There are no grammar or spelling errors. them. If it is an advertised position, mention the position title • That you have answered the job requirements. and where it was advertised. If you are “cold calling” a com- • The application letter flows and is easy to read. pany then you should specify that you are applying for any current or future employment opportunities. You might have to type and edit the letter many times before you are happy with it, but just remember that the job applica- An easy way to start this paragraph is with the following tion letter is just as important as the CV itself. The letter statement: “ Please find enclosed my CV, which I am forward- should invite the recipient to read the resume, in turn the ing to you as an application for the position of.......” resume should raise enough interest for them to want to The Main Body of Job Application Letters interview you. The Interview is where you will demonstrate The main body of the letter should be two to three paragraphs your skills and abilities. at the most. Here is where you tell them what you have to offer and why they should read your CV. This is a good time to read © Copy Right: Rai University 118 11.234
    • Cover Letters : How to Sell Yourself Highlighting Your Qualifications BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONYour application letter is one of your most important job- Organize the middle paragraphs in terms of the qualificationssearch documents. An effective letter can get you a phone call for that best suit you for the job and the organization. That is, ifan interview, but a poorly written application letter usually spells your on-the-job experience is your strongest qualification,continued unemployment. The difference can be a matter of discuss it in detail and show how you can apply it to the needshow you handle a few key points. The following are some tips of the company. Or if you were president of the Marketingto help you develop effective application letters. Club and you are applying for a position in marketing or sales, elaborate on the valuable experience you gained and how youIndividualizing Your Letter can put it to work for them. If special projects you’ve doneGive your readers some insight into you as an individual. In the apply directly to the job you are seeking, explain them in detail.example below the writer chose to describe particular experiences Be specific. Use numbers, names of equipment you’ve used, orand skills that could not be generalized to most other recent features of the project that may apply to the job you want.graduates. Draft your letter to show how your individualqualities can contribute to the organization. This is your letter, One strong qualification, described so that the reader can pictureso avoid simply copying the form and style of other letters you actively involved on the job, can be enough. You can thenyou’ve seen. Instead, strive to make your letter represent your refer your reader to your resume for a summary of your otherindividuality and your capabilities. qualifications. If you have two or three areas that you think are strong, you can develop additional paragraphs. Make your letterAddressing a Specific Person strong enough to convince readers that your distinctivePreferably, the person you write to should be the individual background qualifies you for the job but not so long thatdoing the hiring for the position you’re seeking. Look for this length will turn readers off. Some employers recommend aperson’s name in company publications found, if the name is maximum of four paragraphs.unavailable in these places, phone the organization and ask forthe person’s name or at least the name of the personnel Other Tipsmanager. • Refer to your resume. Be sure to refer to your enclosedCatching Your Reader’s Attention resume at the most appropriate point in your letter, forYour introduction should get your reader’s attention, stimulate example, in the discussion of your qualifications or in theinterest, and be appropriate to the job you are seeking. For closing paragraph.example, you may want to begin with a reference to an adver- • Conclude with a clear, courteous request to set up antisement that prompted your application. Such a reference interview, and suggest a procedure for doing so. The datemakes your reason for contacting the company clear and and place for the interview should be convenient for theindicates to them that their advertising has been effective. Or interviewer. However, you’re welcome to suggest a range ofyou may want to open by referring to the company’s product, dates and places convenient to you, especially if you travel atwhich you want to promote. Such a reference shows your your own expense or have a restricted schedule. Be specificknowledge of the company. Whatever opening strategy you use, about how your reader should contact you. If you ask for atry to begin where your reader is and lead quickly to your phone call, give your phone number and the days and timespurpose in writing. of the week when you can be reached.First Paragraph Tips • Be professional. Make sure your letter is professional inMake your goal clear. format, organization, style, grammar, and mechanics. Maintain a courteous tone throughout the letter and• If you’re answering an advertisement, name the position eliminate all errors. Remember that readers often “deselect” stated in the ad and identify the source, for example: “your applicants because of the appearance of the letter. advertisement for a graphic artist, which appeared in the Times of India, May 15, 1998,...” • Seek advice. It’s always good idea to prepare at least one draft to show to a critical reader for comments and• If you’re prospecting for a job, try to identify the job title suggestions before revising and sending the letter. used by the organization.• If a specific position title isn’t available or if you wish to Sample Letter apply for a line of work that may come under several titles, 311 Nestor Street you may decide to adapt the professional objective stated in West Lafayette, IN 47902 your resume. June 6, 1998Additionally, in your first paragraph you should provide a Ms. Christine Rennickpreview of the rest of your letter. This tells your reader what to Engineerlook for and lets him or her know immediately how your Aerosol Monitoring and Analysis, Inc.qualifications fit the requirements of the job. In the example P.O. Box 233letter, the last sentence of the first paragraph refers to specific Gulltown, MD 21038work experience that is detailed in the following paragraph. Dear Ms. Rennick: Dr. Saul Wilder, a consultant to your firm and my Organizational Management professor, has informed me that Aerosol Monitoring and © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 119
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Analysis is looking for someone with excellent communications skills, organizational experience, and leadership background to train for a management position. I believe that my enclosed resume will demonstrate that I have the characteristics and experience you seek. In addition, I’d What Is a Cover Letter? like to mention how my work experience last summer makes me a particularly strong candidate for the position. A cover letter As a promoter for Kentech Training at the 1997 Paris Air Show, I expresses your discussed Kentech’s products with marketers and sales personnel from interest in and around the world. I also researched and wrote reports on new product qualifications for a development and compiled information on aircraft industry trends. The position to a knowledge of the aircraft industry I gained from this position would help prospective employer. me analyze how Aerosol products can meet the needs of regular and prospective clients, and the valuable experience I gained in promotion, sales, and marketing would help me use that information effectively. Purdue University Writing Lab I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these and other qualifications with you. If you are interested, please contact me at (317) 555-0118 any morning before 11:00 a.m., or feel free to leave a message. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss the ways my skills may best serve Aerosol Monitoring and Analysis. Sincerely yours, First Lastname Enclosure: resume What Should My Cover Letter Accomplish? Cover Letters l Your cover letter should introduce the main A presentation points of your resume. brought to you by the l It should also help you to Purdue University “sell” your qualifications Writing Lab to the prospective employer. Purdue University Writing Lab Purdue University Writing Lab © Copy Right: Rai University 120 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Header Introductory Paragraph Emma Markley l Address your letter to a Your first paragraph should: Human Resources Director specific person, ideally to the person who will l Get the reader’s attention, stimulate interest, St. Lukes Medical Center interview you. and be appropriate for the job you are seeking. 729 S. Paulina l Look for the person’s l Make your goal clear to readers. Chicago, IL 60612 name in company publications, or phone l Preview the rest of your letter. Highlight the the organization and qualifications you will discuss throughout the ask for the person’s Dear Ms. Markley: name or for the letter. personnel manager. Purdue University Writing Lab Purdue University Writing Lab Preliminary Research Solicited Application Letters l Find out l Check with l Solicited application I believe that my knowledge * General job * Placement office files letters are letters written of public relations and my information * WWW in response to an proven communication and * Trade journals, advertised job opening. leadership skills make me a * Desired qualifications magazines, and l It is appropriate to strong candidate for the and skills mention where you newsletters position of Media Relations * Key values and words learned of the opening in * Directories Coordinator that was posted the first paragraph. * Professors by the Delta Airlines Job * Company literature Opportunities Program. Purdue University Writing Lab Purdue University Writing Lab © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 121
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Unsolicited Application Letters Goals of the Body Paragraphs l Unsolicited application As a member of one of the l Highlight your strongest letters are written to fastest growing publishing qualifications for the companies that have not houses in the world, do you position for which you posted a job opening. have an opening in your are applying. l It is important to gain the acquisitions department for l Demonstrate how these reader’s attention and a recent college graduate qualifications will benefit persuade them that you with a major in English and the employer. can contribute to the l Refer employers to your publishing and editing company’s goals. enclosed resume. experience? Purdue University Writing Lab Purdue University Writing Lab Using Active Language— Don’ts Detailing Your Experience l Don’t be vague in your l Show (don’t tell) As a banking descriptions. Vague: I worked as a ramp employers your representative at Bank l Don’t use weak verbs agent at Comair . qualifications One, I provided quality such as endeavored, customer service while tried, hoped, and l Include specific, credible attempted. Weak: I attempted to examples of your promoting the sale of attract customers. products to customers. l Don’t use sexist qualifications for the language such as position. I also handled upwards chairman and of $20,000 a day and manpower. l Use numbers, names of equipment youve used, was responsible for or features of a project balancing the bank’s that may apply to the job ATM machine. you want. Purdue University Writing Lab © Copy Right: Rai University 122 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Using Active Language— Do’s Concluding Your Letter l Use concrete words to V a g u e : I worked as a ramp agent I would welcome the for COMAIR. l Conclude by asking for a describe your experience. Specific : As a ramp agent, I opportunity to discuss personal interview. l Use present tense to assisted in loading baggage, discuss current activities these and other l Be flexible regarding a oversaw fueling the aircraft, and and past tense for stocked commissary items on qualifications with you. If date and time for the previous job duties or the aircraft. interview. you are interested, please accomplishments. W e a k : I attempted to attract customers. contact me at (317) 555 - l Be specific about how l Be as specific as possible the interviewer should Strong: I initiated a program to 0118 any morning before in descriptions; list dollar attract customers to Pizza Hut, amounts and figures when 11:00 a.m., or feel free to contact you. which resulted in a 5% increase you can. in sales for the month of June. leave a message. l Include a thank you. Purdue University Writing Lab Mailing Your Letter With Your Organizing Your Letter Resume l In general, cover letters should be no longer than l Coordinate the design of one typed page. your letter with the design of your resume. l Organize your body paragraphs to emphasize your l Be sure to send both to strongest and most relevant qualifications. Only prospective employers; include the two or three strongest qualifications they both reveal different from your resume. kinds of information l Make it easy for readers to scan your letter by about you. beginning each paragraph with a topic sentence. © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 123
    • ized cover letter shows that you are serious about working forBUSINESS COMMUNICATION the company. The letter should mention something specific about the company and should be address to a specific indi- Key Points to Remember vidual whenever possible. The cover letter is an excellent vehicle to brag about your special l Appeal to company values, attitudes, goals, projects, etc. skills and accomplishments. Cover Letters can also be used l Elaborate on the information effectively to make you stand out from the crowd and to show in your resume. how you would be a valuable addition to the company. But the l Provide evidence of your qualifications. cover letter is no place for negative information – personality l Proofread carefully for conflicts with previous managers, pending litigation, or grammatical and knocking your previous employer do not belong in either the typographical errors. The letter should be error-free. resume or cover letter. If the advertisement asks for salary history or willingness to Purdue University Writing Lab relocate you can say something like “My salary requirements are in the range of $—— to$———, depending upon the duties and requirements of the position plus the overall benefit package offered” and “I am willing to relocate to the geographic areas of ———— and ——————.” If the advertisement is silent on salary requirement or relocation, never include such information. One of the most effective tools of a cover letter is that it allows you to be proactive. You can state that you are available to fill immediate or anticipated needs; you can provide a variety of ways to communicate with you (home number, cell phone number, email address or even a friend if you are traveling). You can also note that you will follow up by telephone to provide additional information if necessary. You can even say How to Write a Winning Cover Letter “Please keep this resume and cover letter on your desk and I will by Dr. Jerry Bills, IJCTC, CPRW, MBA, Ph.D., call you Friday morning” (or other specific date or time). If so, www.1GreatResume.com don’t forget to call. A cover letter introduces your resume and spells out your Jerry Bills, IJCTC, CPRW, MBA, Ph.D., is President of the Resume reason for sending the resume. It also presents your qualifica- Center, Inc., a leading resume writing service providing resumes, cover tions and availability to prospective employers. If written in a letters, Internet posting, career transition counseling, and other succinct, appealing format, it is your first opportunity to make professional services. www.1GreatResume.com an impression with the hiring authority or HR department. By sending a cover letter with your resume you tell the reader you are serious about your job search. It should entice the reader to review your resume over the many others received for each open position. Professional resume writers are regularly asked, “Do I really need a cover letter?” We always answer – yes – because sending a resume through the mail is like showing up at your physician’s office without an appointment – you will probably get no- where. Your resume should arrive on the decision-maker’s desk with a cover letter that introduces you and presents your qualifications in such a manner as to entice him/her to actually read your resume. Cover Letters should be clear and to the point so that they can be quickly scanned by the reader. They should include the specific job title you are applying for. They should provided a list of reasons why your experience makes you a good fit with the position. They should provide a brief summary of your career highlights. Some resume writing firms and some Internet job search firms offer “Broadcast Cover Letters” where the cover letter is “canned.” Successful cover letters are personalized. A personal- © Copy Right: Rai University 124 11.234
    • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION LESSON 18: CURRICULUM VITAE 3. You might want to use it if you are dramatically changing By the end of this lesson you will: careers. This will allow you to emphasize your transferable skills • Know what Curriculum vitae is. rather than your growth in a certain kind of industry or job • Learn different types of CV’s 4. You should use this type of resume if your skills have been • Learn how to prepare a CV learned through schooling rather than work experience. 5. You should use this type of resume if you are switchingStudents, now that you have learnt how to write a covering career tracks or returning to the workforce after a hiatus.letter, you also need to know about curriculum vitae. CV as it is Combination Resume (Transitionmost commonly known, as is the first hurdle in getting a job. Resume)3 Types of Resume Combines the best features of both of the former (though thatThere are three types of resume most commonly described. does not necessarily make it better) by allowing applicants toThey are: highlight their skills and accomplishments in one section and their Work History in another (minus descriptive details). MyChronological Resume personal dislike for this form stems from the fact that it isThe Chronological Resume is the most traditional method of harder to picture exactly how the person’s skills fit with theirsummarizing your employment information and it is the one experience. It requires the employer to be a detective to somethat this guide advocates. Its key feature is the fact that it extent, and with a mass of resumes on their desk, chances arearranges your work experience chronologically and usually they’ll give up before they have a positive picture of yourelaborates on skills and accomplishments within the body copy abilities.of the Work Experience section. Its weakness is the fact that itcan’t help you hide a recent position you’d rather forget you ever Points to remember about using a Combination Resume are:accepted. 1. It can help you overcome some of the same difficulties aPoints to remember with a Chronological Resume are: Functional resume can, while maintaining the comfortable structure of a Chronological Resume. However, it tends to1. You should ideally relate your Work History to your current abstract skills from experience which can call your expertise targeted position into question2. You should have a stable Work History with few gaps and nothing to be ashamed about Self-Preparation Before (Re) Writing a Resume3. Your Work History should demonstrate a logical progression Before you start thinking about the actual content of your toward your current objective resume, you really need to ask yourself a number of keyFunctional Resume questions.The Functional Resume differs from the Chronological Resume What is Your Ideal Position?in the way it presents information. Unlike a Chronological Think about the perfect job. Everybody’s is different. What is itResume, which leaves you vulnerable to gaps in your work about the job you like? Working with people or not workinghistory, the Functional Resume can help you hide a past with anybody?. Having plenty of projects or do you preferposition that you’d rather forget. The Functional Résumé’s key repetitive tasks which free you mind?feature is the fact that it highlights your skills and achievementswithout referring those skills to any particular past position. For What Kinds of Things Do You Like Doing?this reason, the Functional Resume is a favorite with people Think about your hobbies. Think about what you do at homewho have something to hide. This is a very good reason for not in your sparetime that makes life worth living. Can you do itusing the format if your past Work Experience is nothing to be and get paid for it somewhere or in some form? It might notashamed of as recruiters/interviewers will be aware of the be quite the same, but if your job evens contains an atom ofbenefits of a Functional Resume as well. what you enjoy, you’ll find you like the job.Points to remember about a Functional Resume are: Think About Your Favorite Job in the1. You should use it if your Work History is repetitive and Past; What Was It You Liked About It So your past positions lack variety Much? Was there a part-time job that you really enjoyed? Maybe the job2. You should use it if your Work History is composed of only lasted a few months, but you really liked it. What was it differing kinds of position types that do not form a cohesive about that job that made you enjoy it so much? Could you find whole those things in another job? © Copy Right: Rai University11.234 125
    • Are There Gaps In Your Employment? A good resume should not only demonstrate your skills andBUSINESS COMMUNICATION If there are, it’s not the end of the world. Are those gaps legiti- experience, but should also give the reader a good indication of mate? What were you doing during that time? Can you turn your the type of person you are. It needs to have personality. absence from the workplace into a positive virtue? For example, if Following are some helpful hints on getting started, Definition you were travelling during a gap of three months or so, what did it of a Resume and Types of CV’s. teach you. Try to sell it as a gain, rather than as a loss. Getting Started Reasons For Leaving Each Position? Let’s start at the beginning, what exactly is a CV and what is it’s Figure out the best way to explain why you left each position. purpose. The idea is to present your move in the best light possible. The sole purpose of a CV is to show the reader what you are Above all, be honest. Getting caught in a lie is far worse than capable of. having to admit that you didn’t like a particular job. Remember, at some point your potential employer will contact your past The CV is your selling document. It needs to be able to show employer to get their side of the story. your prospective employer that you are the person that they are looking for. This goes beyond experience, training and skills. It Resume Do’s & Don’ts needs to demonstrate your personal strengths, capabilities and Do the type of person you are. • Keep to one or two pages depending on experience It also needs to be a concise document. Most employers will • Describe your main functions, not what you did incidentally skim through all the CVs and put aside only 5-10 that might be worth reading. On average an employer will only spend around • Emphasize those duties that are most relevant to your 1-3 minutes on each CV. In other words your CV has to stand present application out from the others. • Include any special recognition, accomplishments or projects This does not mean that the CV should be full of graphics, you were involved with colours or printed on coloured paper. Employers feel that if • Describe your former/current employer, including size of you have to use gimmicks to impress them, then you probably company, type of industry, etc. don’t have anything to offer. The CV needs to have a clean, • Write about yourself in a positive light professional look about it. It needs to be easy to read and • Strive to be concise and target your information to the should look balanced. employer The format or style you choose depends on the type of CV that you require, but no matter which one, the resume should Don’t always be easy to follow and read. • Try to fit too much on the page. (Leave some space on the page) Types of CV’s The type of CV you decide on will depend entirely on the type • List personal information such as marital status, race, age, etc. of position you are applying for. The key is to analyze what the • Leave suspicious gaps in your Work History employer will be looking for and ensuring your CV will sell you • Include salary requirements (leave that until an interview or in the best possible way. later) For example if you are applying for a Project Manager position, • Put a photograph on your resume (even if you do have a then the projects that you have handled in the past will be scanner) important. Your CV needs to list the type of projects, your • Use negative expressions or comments about previous responsibilities and any achievements. It is important to show employers the relevance of what you have done in the past as it relates to the position you are applying for. • Include any health information On the other hand, if the position you are applying for is more • Include references (separate sheet please) a “hands-on” type of job, and then your CV needs to demon- • Include reasons for leaving a previous job (save your reasons strate your “hands-on” experience in these areas. Again for the interview) highlighting the relevance to the position. Preparing the CV The Chronological CV is the easiest to write. It should always Resume writing seems to be the part that gives people the most be written with your current or most recent position first. trouble. It isn’t that hard if you follow some guidelines. Showing your responsibilities and achievements that would be At some stage or another during your life, you will need to relevant to this position. prepare a CV. If you are like most people, you will have many If the job is more of a technical nature, then you need to prepare attempts at preparing your resume before you actually get a “technical style” resume. There are other types of resumes, anything decent together. The problem is generally due to a lack Graduates need to use a different approach. A different approach in planning. would be used for someone seeking a career change. The key to resume writing excellence is in presenting it the right The style that you choose will depend on which one will serve way. Most people make the error of just listing their experience you best. and qualifications, this ends up being a rather boring document. © Copy Right: Rai University 126 11.234
    • The Graduates CV elements like interviewing methods, what to expect, how to BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONTo successfully sell yourself to a prospective employer, as a handle those tricky questions, preparation, what to take withgraduate, you need to show him your strengths and minimize you, what to discuss and what not to discuss.your weaker points. The way to do this successfully is to The job interview is a time for them to get to know you better.emphasize on your studies and the relevant experience you have. They have already decided that you have the experience andAt this stage of your career, it is probable that your recent knowledge that they require, that is why they want to meet yougraduate studies are your biggest selling point and therefore in person. What they really want to see at the interview is whothey need to