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Effective Business Communication


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Published in: Business, Technology

Effective Business Communication

  1. 1. Principles of Effective Communication
  2. 2.  Communication is a two way process of exchanging ideas and information.  1. b. What is the significance of communication in the present day business environment?  Answer - Good communication matters because business organizations are made up of people. As Robert Kent, former dean of Harvard Business School has said, “In business, communication is everything.”
  3. 3.  Research spanning several decades has consistently ranked communication skills as crucial for managers. Typically, managers spend 75 to 80 percent of their time engaged in some form of written or oral communication. Although often termed a “soft” skill, communication in a business organization provides the critical link between core functions.
  4. 4.  Flatter organizations, a more diverse employee base and greater use of teams have all made communication essential to organizational success. Flatter organizations mean managers must communicate with many people over whom they may have no formal control. Even with their own employees, the days when a manager can just order people around are finished. The autocratic management model of past generations is increasingly being replaced by participatory management in which communication is the key to build trust, promote understanding and empower and motivate others.
  5. 5.  Because today’s workforce is growing more diverse, an organization can no longer assume its employee constituencies are homogeneous. Employees reflect differences in age, ethnic heritage, race, physical abilities and gender orientation. Diversity is not just a matter of social responsibility; it is also an economic issue. Companies are realizing the advantage of making full use of the creativity, talents, experiences and perspectives of a diverse employee base.
  6. 6.  Teams are the modus operandi in the 21st century workplace. In a recent survey of Fortune 1000 companies, 83 percent reported that their firms use teams; teams are all about communication. The collaboration that allows organizations to capitalize on the creative potential of a diverse workforce depends on communication.
  7. 7. List benefits of effective business communication The benefits include:  Stronger decision making and faster problem solving  Earlier warning of potential problems  Increased productivity and steadier workflow  Stronger business relationships  Clearer and more persuasive marketing messages  Enhanced professional images for both employers and companies  Lower employee turnover and higher employee satisfaction  Better financial results and higher return for investors
  8. 8. Characteristics of effective business communication  Provide Practical Information: Give recipient useful information to help them perform a desired action or understand a new policy of the company.  Provide facts: Use concrete language, specific detail, clear and ethical information.  Provide concise information: Highlight the important information instead of overloading the recipient with information. Clarify and summarize effectively.  Clarify expectations and responsibilities: State clearly what you want from your audiences.  Offer persuasive messages: Show how readers can benefit from your message the way they want to.
  9. 9. Communication Skills for Job Seekers  Organizing ideas and information logically and completely  Expressing ideas and information coherently and persuasively  Listening to others effectively  Communicating effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences  Using communication technologies effectively and efficiently  Following accepted standards of grammar, spelling and other aspects of high-quality writing and speaking  Communicating in a civilized manner that reflects contemporary expectations of business etiquette  Communicating ethically
  10. 10. Throughout the internal formal network, information flows in three directions: downward, upward and horizontal. It helps increase job satisfaction, safety, productivity, and profits and decreases absenteeism, grievances, and turnover.  Downward Communication – instructions are given to subordinates through this channel.  Upward Communication – this helps management obtain feedback from employees on results achieved and problems encountered.  Horizontal Communication – it is communication between people or groups at the same level. It helps in task co- ordination, problem solving, information sharing and conflict resolution.
  11. 11. Informal Communication Informal channels of communication include grapevine, rumour and gossip. These are referred to as informal and are likely to flourish when down ward communication is not proper or when there are communication gaps. Uncertain situation, animosity and new information give rise to this channel of communication. Smart managers know that a particularly active grapevine is a sign that formal communication network is not providing the information employees believe they need.
  12. 12. External Communication External communication flows into and out of the organization by both formal and informal means. Effective communication to people outside the organization can help create a good reputation and have a positive impact on its ultimate success.
  13. 13. Components of communication Process of communication Communication cycle (Murphy P 11 to 14)  Context: A broad field that includes country, culture, organization, internal/external stimuli  Sender-encoder: The sender of information who seeks the desired response from the receiver  Message: Core idea you wish to communicate  Medium: Printed word, electronic mail or sound  Receiver-decoder: A person who receives information  Feedback: Refers to response or reaction of the receiver to a particular communication
  14. 14. Problems of Communication M-15-21 (Distortion, Noise, Redundancy) PBP 12-13 Distortion: When meaning of communication is lost while handling it or when the language is not properly understood by the receiver, it is called distortion Conventions of Meaning: Miscommunicated instructions (bi-monthly), denotation, connotation Perception of reality: Abstracting, Slanted statements (not factual, reveal bias) Values, attitudes and opinions -favorable info, incomplete info, closed minds, sender’s credibility
  15. 15. Noise: Distraction in environment in which communication takes place Physical Noise: noisy fan, cooler, loud music Technical Noise: weak signal, phone line Social Noise: interference due to difference in personality, culture, education Psychological Noise: emotions, prejudice Redundancy: Using more than one channel of communication. Phone, meeting, verbal instructions
  16. 16. Perception  As each human mind is a unique filter, therefore each one of us has his own ‘world’, his own way of looking at and understanding the environment and people within it.
  17. 17.  Internal factors:  Sensory limits – Human sensory systems have limits – we cannot see for miles or hear distant sounds. As unique filters we also differ in terms of the amount of sensory information we need to reach our own comfortable equilibrium. At a party some may term music as loud whereas others may treat it as a part of the total enjoyment.  Psychological factors – such as personality, learning and motives will also affect what is perceived.
  18. 18.  Language – we can label and distinguish our environment with our language which also determines our thinking pattern. A person intending to have a house built may not be familiar with the terminology used by architects and builders for example, trusses, dowels, parapet etc.  Cultural differences – the way things are done in one place may altogether differ from the way things are done elsewhere.
  19. 19.  Intensity – the more intense the external stimulus, the more likely it is to be perceived. Loud noise, strong odor and bright light will get noticed.  Size – the larger the object, the more likely it will be perceived. A huge bill board will get attention more than an A-4 size page posted on the wall.  Contrast – the external stimuli that stand out against the background will be noticed. Black lettering on a yellow plate will get noticed.
  20. 20.  Repetition – the repeated external stimulus is more attention getting than a single one. Over and over again instructions given to workforce is an example.  Motion – moving objects are more noticeable than stationary ones. LCD screens used by advertisers are more attention catching than ordinary boards.  Novelty or familiarity – new objects or familiar ones are attention gainers. A new car model is quickly noticed by commuters. Similarly a person may quickly recognize the model of a car he owns.
  21. 21. Feedback  It is the reaction of the receiver which indicates successful (or unsuccessful) receipt, understanding and interpretation of message by the intended recipient.
  22. 22. Importance  Feedback is of vital importance in communication. It helps the sender make sure that:  The message has been received by the intended recipient and not lost or ignored.  The message has been correctly understood and interpreted by the recipient i.e. in the same form and context in which it is sent  The message has achieved it’s purpose
  23. 23. Characteristics of effective feedback  It is timely, a feedback given too late may no longer be useful for the sender  It is appropriate and user targeted i.e. it suits the specific needs of the sender of the message e.g. providing only requested information.  It is clear and not prone to misinterpretation e.g. does not signify dual meaning
  24. 24.  It does not represent bias on the part of the person initiating it  It appears to be from the intended recipient of the original message  It provides some new information, receipt of information already known may lead to frustration
  25. 25. Types of feedback Motivational Feedback:  It is used to reward and support positive behavior e.g. your employee performs good and to motivate him you appreciate his work, this is motivational feedback. Developmental Feedback:  It is given when a particular area of performance needs to be improved e.g highlighting the areas of your subordinates performance which needs improvement.
  26. 26. Types of feedback Constructive feedback:  It is given so that to encourage the development of the individual towards which it is directed. Intrinsic feedback:  It is feedback from one’s own self e.g. a person engaged in thinking and pondering over ideas, evaluating options and assessing their outcomes. Extrinsic feedback:  It is feedback which a person receives from others e.g. customer’s response to a payment request.
  27. 27.  Some other common types of feedback include:  Negative feedback  Positive feedback  Immediate feedback  Delayed feedback
  28. 28. Effective Listening (M 399-403) PBP 25, 33-35)  Generally a neglected skill. No formal training at school or college level like speaking and writing  Considered an important skill in the business context in particular
  29. 29. Faults in listening  Poor listening habits  Studies agree – listening efficiency no better than 25 to 30 %  Prejudice against the speaker  External distractions (physical)  Thinking speed (speaking 80-160, thinking 400-800)  Pre-mature evaluation  Semantic stereotyping (we know what the speaker is going to say)  Monotone of the speaker
  30. 30. Basic principles of effective listening  Aim – look for key words, signals or ideas  Activity – take interest, think about questions  Alertness – focus on what is being said instead of what the speaker has said earlier or is going to say next  Accuracy – No premature evaluation
  31. 31. Types of listening  Listening for contents  Critical listening  Empathetic listening
  32. 32. How receptivity of a message can be enhanced? (P-5)  Under ordinary circumstances no surety of communication received or otherwise  Receptivity of audience to be taken into account. Can be enhanced:  Share common vision  Message related to needs  Message confirm our ideas, beliefs  Accessible and understandable  Source of the information  Message is challenging, information interesting