Discuss the principles ofbusiness writingBusiness writing is different Writing for a businessaudience is usually quitedifferentt h an w ri ti ng i n t h e hu ma ni tie s , so ci als c ie nc es , o r o th er a ca dem i c di sc ip lin e s. Businesswriting strives to be crisp and succinct rather thanevocative or creative; itstresses specificity andaccuracy. This distinction does not make businesswritings u pe rio r o r in fe rio r t o ot he r s t yl es . Ra th e r, i t re fle c ts t he u niq u e pu rp os e a n d considerations involved when writing in a business context.Whenyou write a business document, you must assume thatyour audience haslimited time in which to read it andis likely to skim. Your readers have an interestinw h at y ou sa y i ns of ar as it a ff ec ts t he irw o rk in g wo rld . T he y wa nt t o kn ow t he "bottomline": the point you are making about a situation orproblem and how theyshould respond.Business writingvaries from the conversational style often found inemail messagesto the more formal, legalistic stylefound in contracts. A style between thesetwoextremes is appropriate for the majority of memos,emails, and letters. Writing thatis too formal canalienate readers, and an attempt to be overlycasual may comeacross as insincere or unprofessional.In business writing, as in all writing, you mustknowyour audience.In most cases, the business letterwill be the first impression that you makeonsomeone. Though business writing has become lessformal over time, you shouldstill take great care thatyour letters content is clear and that you haveproofread itcarefully.Simple vs. Complex WordsAs far as possible the sender should select wordsthat are within the receiver’svocabulary. If thewords used are outside the vocabulary of the receiver,the lattermay either not get the message at all,get the wrong message by guessing
them e a n i n g i n c o r r e c t l y o r w o n d e r w h e t h e r t h e s e n d e r i n t e n t i o n a l l y s e l e c t e d a complicatedword for making an impression. Therefore, it is betterto rely on plain,simple words. Jargon, Slang and Metaphors Jargon refers to technical terms that belong toa particular subject area or discipline.For example,medical jargon would include terms that onlymedical practitionersand not lay person mightunderstand.Slang refers to casual words that are notaccepted and recognized in a StandardEnglishdictionary.A metaphor is a figure of speech andrefers to colorful comparisons which evokevisualimages.Pronouns and active versus passive voicePersonal pronouns (likeI,we, and you) are important in letters and memos. Insuchdocuments, it is perfectly appropriate to referto yourself asIa n d to t he reader as you. Be c ar ef ul, ho we ve r, wh e n yo u us e t h e pr on ou nwein abusiness letter that is written on companystationery, since it commits yourcompany to what youhave written. When stating your opinion, useI; whenpresenting company policy, usewe. The best writers strive to achieve a style that is soclear that their messages cannotbe misunderstood. Oneway to achieve a clear style is to minimize your
useof the passive voice. Althoughthe passive voice is sometimes necessary,often itnot only makes your writing dull but also can beambiguous or overlyimpersonal.Focus and specificityB u si ne ss w rit i ng s ho ul d b e c le ar a nd c on ci se . Ta k e ca re , how e ve r, t ha t y o ur document does not turnout as an endless series of short, choppysentences.Keep in mind also that "concise" does nothave to mean "blunt"—you stillneed to think aboutyour tone and the audience for whom you arewriting.Consider the following examples: After carefully reviewing this proposal, we havedecided to prioritize other projectsthis quarter.Nobody liked your project idea, so we are not going togive youany funding.Business letters: where to beginR e re ad t he de s cr ip ti on o f yo ur t as k ( f or e xa mp le , t he a dv ert i se me nt o f a jo b opening, instructionsfor a proposal submission, or assignment prompt for acourse). Think about your purpose and what requirementsare mentioned or implied in thedescription of the task.List these requirements. This list can serve as anoutline togovern your writing and help you stayfocused, so try to make it thorough.Next,i d e n t i f y q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , a t t r i b u t e s ,o b j e c t i v e s , o r a n s w e r s t h a t m a t c h t h e requirements you have just listed. Strive to be e x a c t a n d s p e c i f i c , a v o i d i n g va gue n es s, a mb igu i ty , an d pla t it ud es . I f t he re a re in d us tr y - o r fi el d - spe c if ic concepts or terminology that isrelevant to the task at hand, use them in a mannerthatwill convey your competence and experience. Avoidany language that youraudience may not understand.Your finished piece of writing should indicatehowyou meet the requirements youve listed andanswer any questions raised in thedescription orprompt.
. Describe a situation that you experienced wherecommunication went wrong because the non-verbal behavioursent conflicting signals. Which aspect of non-verbalcommunication was responsible for the communicationfailure? How would you rectify this?As a Manager, I was a sender for a communication andintended to be received by myexecutives.I have sent thefollowing communication to my executives through anotice and displayed onthe notice board:―Coming Second Saturday to complete our targets for the month areview meeting is arrangedand all should attend. If anyexecutive is not able to attend should find out thecontents of themeeting from their peers without fail‖. But my communication went wrong and out of 10executives, only three executives haveattended at 4.00PM who checked-in with me the time of the meeting.Following were the barriers of communication whichstood in the way of mycommunication:The ―Channel‖ I have chosen did not ensure thereceipt of the communication by―Receivers‖The communication lacked the ―Chronological context‖The second Saturday being a nonworking day.The communication has created a ―Psychological noise‖by not mentioning correct timeof the meeting and confusion has been created.
The ―social context‖ also is one of the cause for thefailure of the communication as Ihave not taken all my executives into confident bygiving any advance information or aintention of themeeting earlier.Lessons learnt in order to overcome these barriers ofcommunication:My communication was unclear by not giving exact timeof meeting.The media I have used is the placing the notice on thenotice board, instead had Icirculated to all thereceivers and obtained their signatures by asking theiravailability orfeedback my communication would not havefailed.I have chosen a wrong day a holiday though the taskwas a routine one.I could have maintained good relations with myexecutives for success of mycommunication.Q2. Explain why Public Relations is an important partof external business communicationPublic relations(PR) is the practice of managing the flowof informationbetween anindividual or anorganizationandthepublic. Public relations provides an organization
orindividualexposureto their audiences using topics ofpublic interest and news items thatdo not require direct payment. The aim of public relations by a company often istopersuade the public, investors, partners, employees,and other stakeholders to maintain acertain point ofview about it, its leadership, products, or ofpolitical decisions.Q3. Select a company of your choice in a sector thatyou would like to work in. Imagine thatyou have to makea brief presentation on this company to business schoolstudents. Develop – a) A general and specific statement of purpose b) Thekey idea c) Your style of delivery.Q4. Discuss theprinciples of business writingQ5. Write a short note onthe SQ3R technique of reading.Q6. (a) List theimportance of effective communication in theworkplace(b) Explain the advantages oforal communication with the help of suitable example.Q1. Explain the purpose of keeping minutes of ameeting. What goes into the contents of minutes of ameeting?At some point your boss may ask you to take
minutes at a meeting. This task isnt reservedforsecretaries only. Any person who attends a meeting maybe asked to do this. Since theminutes will serve as anofficial record of what took place during the meeting,you must bevery accurate. Here are some pointers tohelp you master this skill.Before the MeetingChoose your tool: Decide how you will take notes, i.e.pen and paper, laptop computer, ortape recorder.Make sure your tool of choice is in working order andhave a backup just in case.Use the meeting agenda to formulate an outline.During the MeetingPass around an attendance sheet.Get a list of committee members and make sure you knowwho is who.Note the time the meeting begins.Dont try to write down every single comment -- justthe main ideas.Write down motions, who made them, and the results ofvotes, if any; no need to writedown who seconded amotion.
Make note of any motions to be voted on at futuremeetings.Note the ending time of the meeting.After the MeetingType up the minutes as soon as possible after themeeting, while everything is still fresh inyour mind.Include the name of organization, name of committee,type of meeting (daily, weekly,monthly, annual, orspecial), and purpose of meeting.Include the time the meeting began and ended.Proofread the minutes before submitting them.Q2. Prepare a brief notice to be put up onofficial notice boards, informing employees ofyourorganization about a newly introduced, official busservice.Notice boards are an ideal platform to allow you to putup information if you want it to beseen by everyonearound you. Notice boards are often used in a varietyof setting includingschools, offices, governmentbuildings, and in private homes.Notice boards serve thepurpose of informing, warning and directing peopleto the right placefor the right purpose. Notice boardsare made up of several materials.Cheap noticeboards do not last as long as higher quality more expensiveboards, but then can howeverprovide the ideal solutionfor those on a budget or those looking for just lightor short tomedium term use.
Six Steps to Effective UseStep 1 –AUDITIdentifying the locations of notice boards can be thefirst, difficult step. There are manydifferent boards,often hidden away.Here are some criteria to identifythe boards to concentrate on:Position –e.g. in a populated office area where staff work, or awaiting room.Footfall –i.e. how many people pass the notice board and will seeit. Bear in mindthat many facilities have developedorganically. Most staff may use differententrances tothe original entrance hallways, but notice boards mightnot havemigrated along with the footfall.Size –larger boards can become „wallpaper‟ and not reallyarrest the eye. Anythingposted above average eye height in a corridor willprobably not be seen.Visibility –is a board obscured by equipment?Current usage –do people look at it / act on information they seealready? Uselocal staff contacts to identify the bestboards for staff traffic. (This may beproblematic insome places e.g. in one Welsh health board there areno majorfootfall sites.)The challenge is large. Thereare thousands of notice boards and it is not feasibleto dealwith every single one. Auditing current boardswill help identify the key boards and focuson them.At this point, it‟s worth identifying boards that are„standing empty‟ –if they are not beingused then it should be easy toclaim them and corporatize them with key messages.Step 2 –
RESITEPosition is very important –a great board can be in totally the wrong place. Itmight benecessary to reposition boards and the criteriaidentified in the previous step all apply.Conversationswith staff are valuable at this point to identify areaswhere people are, andwhere they linger. Notice boardsin staff break rooms are more likely to have animpactthan in busy corridors where peoplerush past.Unusual sites can catch the eye. Posters intoilet facilities (in easily-cleaned plasticposterholders) are used in many commercial settings foradvertising and raisingawareness.Step 3 –RECRUITPromote local ownership / management of general boards,e.g. by asking people workingin the area to be „board guardians‟. It‟s important forpeople to know which boards theyare responsible for, and what exactly they are required to do. Think of what a „jobdescription‟would look like –maybe a commitment to put items up when required,spenda few minutes at the end of each month reviewingnotices and removing out-of-date ones,and so on.Informal training in „good practice‟ will help. Forexample, taking photos of good boardsto show what „bestpractice‟ looks like.In some places, e.g. on wards, there may be certainboards designated for specificpurposes likecommunicating progress on patient safety initiatives.These will probablyalready have „owners‟ who may be willing to takeresponsibility for other boards as wellStep 4 –ADD CONTENT
Before adding content, it may be useful to purge boardsof out-of-date or tatty material.The first stepto adding content is to decide what key messages shouldbe standard acrossall „official‟ notice boards. This may include a valuesstatement, the latest edition of anewsletter, patient safety and other improvementmessages, contact details for patientfeedback, and so on.It‟s possible to sub-divide boards, for example with colouredtape, into „corporate‟ messages and „local‟ messages(seeright). Alternatively, use separate boards thatare clearlylabelled, e.g. „Health Board Staff News‟ or „1000 LivesPlus‟. Corralling information in this way will help thoseusing theboard to find the information theyneed.Consider the design of corporate messages –well designedposters with prominent headlines willalways attract the eye and be read more than ablack andwhite printed policy with small dense text.If staffneed to be redirected to further information providepre-printed tear-off sheetswith web addresses orcontact details on. This can be a useful audit toollater – interactivity with the board can be measured by howmany tear-off pieces have beentaken.Content-wise, it is good to separate out notices „for staff‟and „for the public‟ –they aredifferent audiences. Are all internal messagessuitable? Some are –it‟s good forpatients to think „they know what they‟re doing‟. Thisbuilds confidence in staff.
Prioritise the messages and information that most needto be on the boards. Emailmessages out to „board guardians‟ for them to put up.It is good for there to be a regularschedule for updating the boards –perhaps monthly or quarterly. Again, reviewwhichmessages to cascade via boards. Long memos may notbe suitable for printing anddisplaying.Not all messagesare best promoted via boards. Some information which isaimed at staff would be better covered in team meetingsso conversations can develop or feedback canbereceived.Controlling content could be challenging.Putting the name of the person responsible forthe board onto it may help in controlling the contentthat gets placed on there. „ContactJames Jones if youwant to put something on this board‟ will help preventboard overloadand material being put in the wrong place.Encourage the use of „expiry dates‟ on notices so thatthey can be binned when no longer relevant. This willhelp „board guardians‟ remove irrelevant information.Taking a photo every three months and comparing them will helpidentify stale messages –be ruthless andtake them down. One out of date posterundermines the relevancy of all the information. Write a short note on the SQ3Rtechnique of reading.This method was designed to help people become moreactive in their reading and retain information moreeasily. If you can discipline yourself to use thesetools, you will feel better prepared for class, have abetter grasp of the material, and perform better onexams as well.S = Survey Q = Question R = Read R = Recite R = Review
SURVEY:Objective: get a solid overview of what you are goingto be reading.1) Read the introduction. This will give you a goodoutline of what’s to come in the reading.2) Skim through the main headings of the chapter.3) Read the summary--this will help you pick out keypoints.4) Read over any chapter question. Keep these in mindas you read.QUESTION:Objective: Asking questions of yourself while readingkeeps your mind and the process active.1) Make a question out of the main heading2) Write questions as you survey the chapter3) Use the author’s list of questions at the beginningand end of chapters4) Be aware of and use study guides.5) If available, use workbooks for review aftercompleting each chapter.READ:Objective: Keep yourself aware of your reading habits.1) Read actively. Seek answers to the questions youhave already established.2) Look for main ideas and important details.3) Notice italicized or bold words. Make sure you knowwhat they mean and how to spell them.4) Read everything! Tables, graphs, and pictures helpyou remember the information visually.5) Keep challenging yourself to make sure you’reunderstanding what you are reading!RECITE:Objective: Find out what you really remember byreciting it to yourself out loud.1) Stop periodically and try to recall what you’ve readso far.2) Try to recall main headings and the principle ideasunder each.
3) This practice becomes even more important if youneed to memorize details.4) Recitation should come immediately after learning tosolidify the information before forgetting.5) The more disconnected the information is, the moretime you should spend on recitation.REVIEW:Objective: Survey what you have done and find out whereyour strengths/weaknesses are.1) Look at each main heading in the chapter and try tofill in the information you know.2) Review the summaries and see if you can recite them.3) Go over notes you’ve taken from both the book andany classroom work on the same subject.4) Do several review sessions. Once a week set asidetime to review what you’ve done so far. List the importance of effective communication inthe workplace Explain the advantages of oral communication with the help of suitable sutable example.Communication is the nerve center of business today. Asyou go up the corporate ladder, you will find thatcommunication skills are required, more than technicalskills. Communication research has revealed that amongthe factors most important for managerial success,communication skills rank above technical skills.Several surveys conducted among people who have beensuccessful in their professions have indicated thatcommunication skills are more vital to job success thansubjects taken in college.Communication has assumed even greater importancetoday, since the new model of business is based on
teamwork, rather than on individual action. Teamworkrequires greater coordination and communication.Communication is also required all the more in this ageof information and technology. Without communicationand human skills, technology will overwhelm anorganization. Communication helps to make sense oftechnology and to manage all this information. Forexample, communication is required to explain a newcomputer program or software. While computers canperform routine tasks, jobs like responding tocustomers’ needs require a high degree of communicationskills.Effective communication serves the following specificpurposes in an organization : Greater Awareness of Organizational Goals and Teamwork – When there is open communication between superiors, co-workers and subordinates, there is smooth flow of information regarding the goals of the organization. Coordination between the different departments in particular, leads to greater motivation to work together towards achieving a common organizational goal, rather than working in isolation. Better Employer-employee Relationships – By listening to employees, showing empathy and giving them the freedom to express their opinions without fear of being repressed, a manager can create a climate of openness that leads to better work relationships. Employees will then feel more comfortable in approaching their superiors and discussing any matter with them. Problem-solving – Effective communication can help resolve conflicts between co-workers, work related and performance related problems. Face–to-face communication is especially suited for achieving this task, since it is one to one and highly personalized in nature. Improved Performance – Effective communication by managers at the time of appraising the performance of their employees can point out areas for
improvement. A constructive review of performance, through which a manager gives positive feedback and counsels the employee, instead of criticizing him for poor performance, can motivate the employee to perform better. Stronger Link between Managers and the External Environment – Apart from internal communication within the organization, effective communication by managers with external audiences such as customers, government, bankers, media and suppliers leads to a better rapport with them.A manager will be able to understand the needs of his customers, be aware of the presence of quality suppliers of material, of government regulations and of the expectations of the community at large, only through proper communicatio(b) Advantages of Oral Communication:Oral communication may be defined as a process wherebya speaker interacts verbally with one or morelisteners, in order to influence the latter’s behaviorin some way or the other.Example: In a business context, a manager is doing aperformance appraisal with an employee, or a salesmanager making a sales plan presentation to his salesteam. In the first example, the manager may point outareas for improvement and in the second case, the salesmanager may be explaining how to achieve new salestargets.Oral communication in a business context can take theform of meetings, presentations, one-to-one meetings,performance reviews and so on.Oral communication has some advantages compared towritten communication. These include its personalquality, high interactivity, possibility of makingimmediate contact, instantaneous feedback and controlover the receiver’s attention.
Oral communication was also classified into oral face-to-face communication (meetings and presentations) andoral non face-to-face communication (teleconferencing,telephone and voice mail). While face-to-face meetingsare more effective than non face-to-face communicationin most ways, they are expensive and impracticalsometimes, due to the distance factor. Thanks toadvances in technology, meetings today can still takeplace without being face-to-face, throughteleconferencing. Teleconferencing allows participantsat distant locations to speak and sometimes to see eachother. Apart from the high cost and the difficulty insetting it up, teleconferencing has the same advantagesas oral face-to-face communication.Example: Several retailers like Walmart, the world’slargest retailer, make use of teleconferencing to keeptheir US headquarters in touch with their storemanagers worldwide. Some headhunters also make use ofthe facility to conduct preliminary interviews andshortlist candidates based in other countries, beforeinviting them for a face-to-face interview.Many multi-national corporations and large Indianorganizations also use this facility extensively.In spite of its advantages, teleconferencing will notreplace face-to-face meetings completely, since it isunsuitable for certain types of communication thatinvolve brainstorming, negotiations, persuasion andproblem solving.Telephone communication, another form of non face-to-face communication, has the biggest advantage of beingable to contact a receiver who would be impossible toreach in person. Today, mobile phones have made it eveneasier to contact people who are on the move. Telephonecommunication also has a personal quality and permitsthe use of some non-verbal cues such as tone of voice,to enhance the communication.Voice mail is a type of telephone communication and issimilar to an answering machine. Although it is
generally inferior to speaking in person to the otherparty, it has some advantages. When you leave arecorded message, you can make your point felt and savetime that might be wasted in exchanging pleasantries.Invitations can also be declined without having to givean explanation or reason, or having the other persontalk back. Thus, there is greater control over how themessage is composed and delivered. Besides, voice mailalso makes it possible to keep a permanent record ofthe communication, unlike other types of oralcommunication. In spite of these advantages however,voice mail has not caught on in India. Select a company of your choice in a sector that youwould like to work in. Imagine that you have to make abrief presentation on this company to business schoolstudents. Develop – a) A general and specific statement ofpurpose b) The key idea c) Your style of delivery. .coa) A general statement of purpose could be expressed interms of one of the followingTo Inform – A presentation that seeks to inform wouldmerely create awareness about developments and progresson specific fronts, or try to spread knowledge aboutsomething new. In the table above, the first eighttypes of presentations are aimed at informing differentaudiences about something or the other – newprocedures, new terminology, new software, findings ofa study, sales progress, company achievements,viewpoints and background.To Persuade – A presentation that aims to persuadewould try to change the attitude or behavior of theaudience. It usually involves selling either a product,or an idea. In the above table, the productpresentation, project proposal and policy proposal, areall persuasive presentations. The product presentationseeks to persuade consumers to try a new product, the
project proposal tries to persuade bankers to providefunds for a new project and the policy proposal triesto persuade top management to adopt a new policy ofreimbursing mobile expenses.To Entertain – A presentation with this purpose ismeant to make the audience relax and have a good time.In the table above, presentations marking specialoccasions such as the company anniversary, may merelyfocus on making people feel good about them.b) Although it is useful to define the general purposeof a presentation, it is more important to frame aspecific statement of purpose, which clearly spells outthe answers to the following questions1. Whom do I want to influence?2. What do I want them to do at the end of thepresentation?3. How do I want them to do it?4. When?5. Where?Example – ―I want 50% of my prospective customers to beconvinced enough to walk in to the store and try outthe new product on a trial basis, within the next oneweek.‖ The above statement of purpose describes thereaction that you are seeking from your audience andalso describes the goal in measurable terms. The numberof customers who walk into the store and sample theproduct during the one week period would indicatewhether the goal has been achieved or not. As far aspossible, the goal should be quantified, so that it ismeasurable.Presentation goals should also be realistic, keeping inmind the limitations of time, the topic of thepresentation and the nature of the audience. Forexample, a presentation that aims to train employees onthe use of complicated software should not expect themto become experts at the end of the session.
c) The key idea of a presentation is a statement thatexpresses the main message to be conveyed to youraudience. It is different from a statement of purpose,in that the purpose is generally meant for you as thepresenter, while the key idea is mentioned to theaudience at the beginning of the presentation. Example– If the purpose is to persuade a prospective customerto try out your company’s brand of vacuum cleaner, thekey idea or message may be to explain how your brand issuperior to other brands, feature for feature. Once thekey idea is clearly stated, it becomes easy to developthe rest of the presentation.d) Audience AnalysisMaking a good presentation alone is not enough. It alsohas to be tailored to your listeners, in such a waythat they understand and appreciate it. The followinginformation should be gathered about your audience,even before you begin preparing for the presentation – Job Designations and Areas of Expertise – You needto find out whether the audience comprises ofspecialists in a particular area such as informationtechnology, or generalists. If they are specialists,your presentation could include technical aspects andjargon, which they would be able to understand. If not,you may have to make the presentation simpler, orexplain some of the terms elaborately. Preferred Style of Presentation – It would also berelevant to know the personal preferences of youraudience, with regard to the style of presentation thatthey are most comfortable with. Some people may prefer amore informal or conversational style with some humorthrown in, to a more formal style. Others may like thepresentation to be made at a slower pace. It should beremembered however, that humor should be used with care,so that it is relevant and does not offend the audience.Analyzing all this in advance would help in determininghow the presentation should be delivered.
Demographic Characteristics of the Audience – Thegender, age, cultural background and economic status ofthe audience also needs to be studied in advance, sothat the presentation may be tailored to appeal to thatparticular audience. Size of the Audience – The size of the audiencewould determine your presentation style, the time setaside for questions and answers, the size of visuals andso on. With a smaller group, the presentation could bemade less formal, the time for questions and answersless and the visuals smaller, than for a larger group. The Level of Knowledge on the Subject – You need toknow how familiar your audience is with the subject ofthe presentation. If the audience comprises of expertsin that particular area, basic explanations may not beneeded. On the other hand, if the level of familiarityis not so high, a lot of background information andexplanation will be required. The Attitude of the Audience – The attitude of yourlisteners, both towards you as a speaker and towards thetopic of the presentation, needs to be studied inadvance. If the audience is prejudiced towards you forsome reason, you may have to alter your style ofpresentation considerably. If the presentation happensto be on a sensitive topic, you may have to proceed verytactfully. This is especially true of presentations thataim to persuade.e) Apart from analyzing audience, we also need to do aself-analysis to determine our own purpose of makingthe presentation, our level of knowledge on the subjectand our feelings about the subject. A clear statementof the specific purpose of the presentation should bedeveloped. If you have a choice of subject, it isalways better to speak on a subject on which you are anauthority. If the choice is not given to you and youare less knowledgeable, then it is important toresearch the subject thoroughly, so that you are in aposition to anticipate and answer any questions.Finally, you need to assess your feelings about the
subject and make sure that you are convinced enough tobe able to persuade others as well. This is similar toa salesperson being convinced about a product to besold.This includes taking into consideration any limitationsof infrastructure, time and context that might affectyour presentation in any way. For example, if you willbe speaking in a small room where the lighting and theacoustics are insufficient, you may have to overcomethese limitations by altering the seating arrangement,using brighter visuals and speaking loudly. If thepresentation is to be made after lunch, it may have tobe made more attention getting, so that the audience iskept alert. If you are making a presentation as part ofa team, your style of presentation has to be consistentwith that of your team members.Write short notes on (a) Upward communication (b)Downward communication (c) Horizontal communicationUpward Communication – This may be defined asinformation that flows from subordinates to superiors.Some of the reasons for upward communication includediscussing work related problems, giving uggestions forimprovement and sharing feelings about the job and co-workers.[ad#l]This type of communication has both benefits anddisadvantages. One of the biggest benefits is problem-solving. Once a subordinate has brought a problem tohis superior’s notice, chances are that the problemwill not recur, since the subordinate learns from hissuperior how to tackle it the next time. Thus, hisability to solve new problems and therefore his
managerial ability, improves. Another benefit thatcould arise from upward communication is that valuableideas and suggestions may sometimes come from lowerlevel employees. Therefore organizations shouldencourage this kind of communication.A third benefit is that employees learn to accept thedecisions of management and thereby work as a team.The biggest problem associated with this type ofcommunication is that it may lead to ―handing down‖ ofdecisions by superiors. When subordinates frequentlyseek the superior’s guidance, the latter may adopt anauthoritarian approach and merely give instructions,disregarding the subordinate’s opinion completely.Downward Communication – This may be defined asinformation that flows from superiors to subordinates.The most common reasons for downward communication arefor giving job instructions, explaining company rules,policies and procedures and giving feedback regardingjob performance. A number of studies have indicatedthat regular downward communication in the form offeedback given to employees is the most importantfactor affecting job satisfaction. Thereforeorganizations today are trying to encourage more ofthis type of communication.There are both benefits and disadvantages associatedwith this type of communication. Downward communicationthat provides regular feedback will be beneficial ifthe feedback or review of performance is constructive.A constructive review is one where a manager ―counsels‖an employee, or advises him on how to improve hisperformance. On the other hand, a destructive reviewcan destroy employee morale and confidence. Regulardownward communication also creates a climate oftransparency or openness, where information is passed
on through official channels, rather than throughrumors.Thirdly, downward communication boosts employee morale,since it indicates that management is involved in theirprogress.The problems with this type of communication are thedanger of doing destructive reviews, as mentioned, andthat of ―message overload.‖ This means that superiorsmany sometimes burden their subordinates with too manyinstructions, leading to confusion.Horizontal Communication – This type of communicationis also known as ―lateral‖ communication. It may bedefined as communication that takes place between co-workers in the same department, or in differentdepartments, with different areas of responsibility.For example, Sales Managers and Advertising Managers inthe Marketing department, or Marketing Managers andFinance Managers.The reasons for this type of communication are forcoordination of tasks, sharing of information regardinggoals of the organization, resolving interpersonal orwork related problems and building rapport.The biggest potential benefit of horizontalcommunication is the sense of teamwork that is created.Regular communication of this type ensures that all co-workers work together towards achieving a common goalin the overall interest of the organization. Thebiggest potential problem is that conflicts such as egoclashes are bound to arise, when co-workers at the samelevel communicate on a regular basis.
Discuss the different types of business reportsThis particular article I located discusses thedifferent types of reports used for communication inthe business world. Choosing the right type of reportalso requires a smart analysis. The writer must decidewhat type to use based on the information that he orshe is trying to communicate. Also the writer must takeinto consideration their intended audience. Is theaudience expecting the report to be in a specificformat? Are they used to receiving information in oneway? and which format will convey the message in themost appropriate way? Finally, how formal or informalshould the report be.Reports, according to this article, can be classifiedas according to function or according to formality.Reports according to function can also be subdividedinto the following: Informational reports. Analytical reports Research reportsWhere as reports according to formality can besubdivided into the following: Statutory reports Non statutory or voluntary reports The article goes further into outlining other types or reports such as information, analytical, research, statutory, non-statutory, special, and routine reports. Information reports are solely to provide facts with out suggestion or personal opinions. What ever ones findings are that is whats reported. These facts are given with out personal explanation or, again, any suggestions.
Analytical reports are one step further as they contain facts along side analytical explanation of these facts. They contain a sort of a narration of facts and collected data. They also contain a conclusion or a set of interpretations reached by the writer.List the different steps involved in report preparation Ans.Steps in Report Preparation Since reports are a key to the success of anybusiness, they should be carefully planned,organized,written and presented. A lot of groundwork shouldprecede the actualwriting of the report. We shallbriefly discuss the five main steps in reportpreparation – 1.Planning the report –The first question to be asked before gatheringinformation andwriting the report, is regarding thetype of report that is required. We classifiedreportsinto four main types, based on the purpose, theaudience to whom they are addressedand the frequency ofthe report.Secondly, it must be remembered that mostreports are required by management tosolve aproblem,or to make a decision. Therefore, the basis, orstarting point for areport is a problem. Reports arewritten after a problem is analyzed and a solutiontothe problem is found. The problem may be of a day-to-day nature, such as determiningwhich brand of overheadprojector to recommend for purchase. Or, the problem
maybe a negative one, such as sales of the companyshowing a decline. In any case, theproblem isthe single fundamental issue to be addressed in thereportand should be clearlydetermined, right at the outset.Once the problem has been defined, it must be broken upinto sub issues or subproblems, by asking the questions “what”, “ why”,“when”, “where” and“who?”.Example –Suppose the purpose of a study is to survey clericalsalaries in public sectorbanks in Bangalore city, inorder to determine whether salaries in your bankarecompetitive and consistent. The problem may bebroken up as follows – What? –A study of clerical salariesWhy? –To determine whether salaries in our firm arecompetitive and consistentWhen? –CurrentWhere? –Bangalore cityWho? –Clerical employees in public sector banksAsking theabove questions determines the exact scope of the studyand reduces theproblem to a workable size.The next step in planning the report is to do an “audience analysis”. We have seen thatreports may be addressed to internal or externalaudiences of an organization. Some of the
questions to be asked about the audience, or the readerof the reportare – · Is the audience internal or external to theorganization?· Who is the specific audience or reader?- for example, top management, customers orthegovernment? Reports written for the government and fortop management shouldbe more formal than for otheraudiences.· Is the audience known to you?· What is thelevel of knowledge of the audience? Is the topicfamiliar to the reader? If the report is of a technicalnature and the reader is a layperson, the technicalterms mayneed detailed explanation.· What is the levelof interest of the reader? If the report has beensolicited orauthorized, the reader’s level of interest will be high. Onthe other hand, if the report isvoluntary or unsolicited, it may have to sustain readerinterest.The tone, length, complexity and degree offormality of the report will depend largelyon the reader’s characteristics. For example, reportsaddressed to peers would adopta more conversational tone, while reports on companypolicies and proceduresaddressed to subordinates wouldadopt an emphatic tone.2. Selecting a Method to Solve the Problem –After defining the problem and doing anaudienceanalysis, a method has to be selected to collect thenecessary information tosolve the problem. Broadly,information may be gathered usingsecondary researchmethods,such as books, magazines, newspapers, internet andother
available sources,orthroughprimary researchmethods,such as surveys that providefirst hand information.3. Gathering and Organizing Data –Once the method of gathering information hasbeenselected, the actual process of gathering theinformation begins. Since this is timeconsuming andexpensive, only information that is relevant to thereport and the studymust be gathered. The raw datashould be evaluated for its usefulness and organizedina form that is meaningful to understand. Tables,charts, graphs and summaries shouldbe used to do this.4. Arriving at a Conclusion –Once the information has been checked for its validityandreliability, it must be interpreted and conclusionsdrawn. Correct interpretation of thedata is needed forthe success of the report. Sound conclusions cannot bemade if theinterpretation of the data is faulty. Acommon mistake made in the interpretation of data isthe tendency of the researcher to use subjectivejudgments, instead of objectivereasoning based onfacts.5. Writing the Report –The actual process of writing the report should beginonly after asatisfactory solution to the problem hasbeen found. As pointed out earlier, a wellwrittenreport that contains a bad answer is worse than a badlywritten report thatcontains a good answer.
Go through business magazines and daily newspapers andselect a situation when a company was facing a crisis(e.g., Coke and Pepsi pesticide controversy). How didthe company communicate with its shareholders and otherstakeholders to overcome the crisis? Was thecommunication effective?Examples –A few years ago, Reliance was prosecuted by the governmentforirregularities in the stock market. Shareholders lostconfidence in thecompany. Reliance then mounted a countercampaign against thegovernment, where they told the truth,gave the facts and figures and deniedthe allegations madeagainst them. This helped them to regain lostconfidence andsalvage their image.Similarly, when Coke and Pepsi wereaccused of pesticides in their softdrinks, they had toundertake a massive public relations exercise to setrighttheir image in the eyes of the public.