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Business Communication
From Sarabjeet Singh
1
Unit I
Communication is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of ideas, feelings,
intentions, attitudes, expectations, perceptions or commands, as by speech, gestures, writings, behavior
and possibly by other means such as electromagnetic, chemical or physical phenomena.
It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or more participants (machines, organisms or
their parts).
Communication requires a sender, a message, a medium and a recipient, although the receiver does not
have to be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus
communication can occur across vast distances in time and space.
Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality.
The communication process is complete once the receiver understands the sender's message and sends
feedback to the sender.
Communicating with others involves three primary steps:
 Thought: First, information exists in the mind of the sender. This can be a concept, idea, information,
or feeling.
 Encoding: Next, a message is sent to a receiver in words or other symbols.
 Decoding: Lastly, the receiver translates the words or symbols into a concept or information that a
person can understand.
There are a variety of verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. These include body language, eye
contact, sign language, haptic communication, and chronemics. Other examples are media content such
as pictures, graphics, sound, and writing. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also
defines the communication to include the display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print,
accessible multimedia, as well as written and plain language, human-reader, augmentative and
alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and
communication technology.
Feedback is a critical component of effective communication.
Process of Communication: The goal of communication is to convey information—and the
understanding of that information—from one person or group to another person or group. This
communication process is divided into three basic components: A sender transmits a message through
a channel to the receiver. (Figure shows a more elaborate model.) The sender first develops an idea,
which is composed into a message and then transmitted to the other party, who interprets the message
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and receives meaning. Information theorists have added somewhat more complicated language.
Developing a message is known as encoding. Interpreting the message is referred to as decoding.
The other important feature is the feedback cycle. When two people interact, communication is rarely
one‐way only. When a person receives a message, she responds to it by giving a reply. The feedback
cycle is the same as the sender‐receiver feedback noted in Figure . Otherwise, the sender can't know
whether the other parties properly interpreted the message or how they reacted to it. Feedback is
especially significant in management because a supervisor has to know how subordinates respond to
directives and plans. The manager also needs to know how work is progressing and how employees feel
about the general work situation.
The critical factor in measuring the effectiveness of communication is common understanding.
Understanding exists when all parties involved have a mutual agreement as to not only the information,
but also the meaning of the information. Effective communication, therefore, occurs when the intended
message of the sender and the interpreted message of the receiver are one and the same. Although this
should be the goal in any communication, it is not always achieved.
Objectives of communication:
1. STRONGER DECISION MAKING
Your ability to communicate effectively increases productivity , both yours and your organization.
2. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
With good communication skills , you can anticipate problems , make decisions , co-ordinate work flow ,
supervise others , develop relationships and promote products and services.
3. STEADIER WORK FLOW
Communication acts as tool for the effective work related flow of information.
4. STRONG BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS & ENHANCED PROFESSIONAL IMAGE
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You can shape the impressions you and your company make on colleagues , employees ,supervisors ,
investors ,and customers in addition to perceiving and responding to the needs of these stakeholders(the
various group you interact with ) without effective communication , people misunderstand each other and
misinterpret information. Ideas misfire or fail to gain attention and people and companies flounder.
5. CLEARER PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
Your organizations need for effective reach of company name and public promotions are based on
effective promotional material such as advertisements , bill boards , online add , posters etc are all
communicated for effective message delivery and meaning.
6. PROVIDE ADVICE
Giving advice is based on individual-oriented and work-oriented ,advice should not given to the person for
pinpointing his mistakes rather it should be helpful for his improvement. Effective advice promotes
understanding and it can be a two way process if the subordinate staff given freedom.
7. PROVIDE ORDER
Order is an authoritative communication pattern and it is directive to somebody always a subordinate to
do something. Orders will be written and oral orders , general and specific orders ,procedural and
operational orders , mandatory and discretionary order. Order should be clear and complete ,execution
should be possible and given in a friendly way.
8.SUGGESTION
Suggestion is supposed to be very mild and subtle form of communication. Suggestions are welcomed
for it is not obligatory to accept them , it can be voluntary and anonymous and submitted through
suggestion boxes.
9. PERSUASION
Persuasion may be defined as an effort ‘ to influence the attitudes , feelings ,or beliefs of others , or to
influence actions based on those attitudes , feelings , or beliefs. Persuasion can be done to others if you
are convinced , you do not impose , you are not rigid are prepared to meet half-way and you can look at
the situation from the other person’s angle also.
10. EDUCATION
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Education is a very conscious process of communication ,it involves both teaching and learning by which
organizations provide to their employees in the form of training. Education is given for management ,
employees and outside public.
12. WARNING
If the employees do not abide by the norms of the organization warning is a power communication tool
and it can be general and specific. Specific warning should be administered in private and after thorough
investigation. The aim of the warning should be the organization betterment.
13. RAISING MORALE AND MOTIVATION
Morale stands for mental health and it is a sum of several qualities like courage , resolution , confidence
.High morale and effective performance go hand to hand. Motivation is a process that account for an
individual intensity, direction , and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal.
14. TO GIVE AND RECEIVE INFORMATION
. Communication’s main idea is to give and receive information because managers need complete ,
accurate and precise information to plan and organize employee need it to translate planning in to reality.
Information will cover all aspects of the business.
15. TO PROVIDE COUNSELLING
Counseling is given to solve employees mental stress and improve the employees productivity.
16. TO IMPROVE DISCIPLINE
. Finally discipline is the foremost part of any business communication. The various disciplinary codes are
effectively communicated to employees through disciplinary codes.
Principles of Communication:
1. Clear: Message should be clear and loud not cluttered and messy
2. Concise: Message should be communicated using least possible words. One should always avoid trivia
and should speak directly to the point
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3. Concrete: Message should be true and backed by some facts, message should not be vague
4. Correct: Message should be free from errors should not be manipulated. Message should be passed
only after confirming its validity
5. Coherent: Message should always stick to the main point, and should be logical. The flow of the
message should always be maintained in an effective way
6. Complete: Message should be complete because incomplete messages lead to miscommunication
7. Courteous: Message should be courteous and polite. It should not sound arrogant or careless
Importance of Business Communication:
Internal:
1. Setting goals and Objectives:-
Mostly, the organizations have a variety of formal and informal objectives to accomplish. These
objectives may be financial results, product quality, market dominance, employee’s satisfaction, or service
to customers. So the communication enables all the persons in an organization to work towards a
common purpose.
2. Making and Implementing decision:-
In order to achieve the objective, people in a business organization collect facts and evaluate
alternatives, and they do so by reading, asking questions, talking or by plain thinking. These thoughts are
put into a written form. Once a decision has been made, it has to be implemented which requires
communication.
3. Appraisal:-
Having implemented the decision, management needs to determine whether the desired outcome is
being achieved. Statistics on such factors as cost, sales, market share, productivity and inventory levels
are compiled. This is done through computers, manual papers, memos or reports.
4. Manufacturing the products:-
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Getting an idea for a new product out of someone’s head, pushing it through the production process and
finally getting the product also require communication. Designing the plan regarding product, introducing
the workers, purchasing raw material, marketing and distributing the product all require effective
communication.
5. Interaction between employer & employee:-
Employees are informed about policies and decisions of employers through circulars, reports, notices
etc. Employers also get in touch with employees through application, complaint etc. So, communication
plays a vital role in the interaction of employer and employee.
EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION:
1. Hiring the employees:-
If a company wants to hire some one, it advertises the vacancy, receives applications, calls the
candidates, takes the interview and then offers job to the successful candidates. The whole process
requires communication.
2. Dealing with customers:-
Sales letters and brochures, advertisements, personal sales calls, and formal proposals are all used to
stimulate the customer’s interest. Communication also plays a part in such customer related functions as
credit checking, billing, and handling complaints and questions.
3. Negotiating with suppliers and financiers:-
To obtain necessary supplies and services, companies develop written specification that outlines their
requirement. Similarly, to arrange finance, they negotiate with lenders and fill out loan applications.
4. Informing the investors:-
Balance sheet, income statement, and ratio analysis are used to inform the investors regarding
performance of business.
5. Interacting with Govt.:-
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Government agencies make certain rules to regulate the economy. These rules are communicated to
organizations through various papers. These organizations try to fulfill, these requirement like filling
taxation form and other documents.
Importance of Feedback in communication:
The communication has a vicious cycle which continues even after sending message to the respondents.
The audience or the respondents may or get the same intended message as the speaker intends to send.
This cycle ends only when they share their understandings and comments to the speaker about what they
have understood. This process is called feedback.
Feedback is essential in communication so as to know whether the recipient has understood the
message in the same terms as intended by the sender and whether he agrees to that message or not.
Receivers are not just passive absorbers of messages. They receive the message and respond to about
the subject matter about what they have understood. This response of a receiver to sender’s message is
called Feedback. Sometimes a feedback could be a non-verbal, smiles, sighs and other times, it is oral. It
can also be written like replying to an e-mail, etc.
Feedback also enables us to evaluate the effectiveness of our message. It makes communication
meaningful. It is the end-result of an idea and makes communication a continuous process. If our
audience doesn’t understand what we mean, we can tell by the response and then refine the message
accordingly. Giving our audience a chance to provide feedback is crucial for maintaining an open
communication climate. The speaker must create an environment that encourages feedback. For
example after explaining the job to the subordinated he must ask them whether they have understood it
or not. He should ask questions like “Do you understand?”, “Do you have any doubts?” etc. At the same
time he must allow his subordinated to express their views also.
Feedback has a great role in the organizational point of view also. There are lots of ways in which
company takes feedback from their employees, such as: Employee surveys, memos, emails, open-door
policies, company news letter etc. Employees are not always willing to provide feedback. The
organization has to work a lot to get the accurate feedback. The managers should encourage feedback
by asking specific questions, allowing their employees to express general views, etc. The organization
should be receptive to their employee’s feedback.
Some of the important points about feedback are:
1. It completes the whole process of communication and makes it continuous.
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2. It sustains communication process
3. It makes one know if one is really communication or making sense
4. It is a basis for measuring the effectiveness of communication
5. It is a good basis for planning on what next to be done especially statistical report
6. Communication will be useless without feedback
7. Feedback paves way for new idea generation
Unit II
Formal Communication Channels
 A formal communication channel transmits information such as the goals, policies and procedures of an
organization. Messages in this type of communication channel follow a chain of command. This means
information flows from a manager to his subordinates and they in turn pass on the information to the next
level of staff.
 An example of a formal communication channel is a company's newsletter, which gives employees as
well as the clients a clear idea of a company's goals and vision. It also includes the transfer of information
with regard to memoranda, reports, directions, and scheduled meetings in the chain of command.
 A business plan, customer satisfaction survey, annual reports, employer's manual, review meetings are
all formal communication channels.
Informal Communication Channels
 Within a formal working environment, there always exists an informal communication network. The strict
hierarchical web of communication cannot function efficiently on its own and hence there exists a
communication channel outside of this web. While this type of communication channel may disrupt the
chain of command, a good manager needs to find the fine balance between the formal and informal
communication channel.
 An example of an informal communication channel is lunchtime at the organization's cafeteria/canteen.
Here, in a relaxed atmosphere, discussions among employees are encouraged. Also managers walking
around, adopting a hands-on approach to handling employee queries is an example of an informal
communication channel.
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 Quality circles, team work, different training programs are outside of the chain of command and so, fall
under the category of informal communication channels.
Unofficial Communication Channels
 Good managers will recognize the fact that sometimes communication that takes place within an
organization is interpersonal. While minutes of a meeting may be a topic of discussion among employees,
sports, politics and TV shows also share the floor.
 The unofficial communication channel in an organization is the organization's 'grapevine.' It is through the
grapevine that rumors circulate. Also those engaging in 'grapevine' discussions often form groups, which
translate into friendships outside of the organization. While the grapevine may have positive implications,
more often than not information circulating in the grapevine is exaggerated and may cause unnecessary
alarm to employees. A good manager should be privy to information circulating in this unofficial
communication channel and should take positive measures to prevent the flow of false information.
Types of communication:
1. Verbal Communication
2. Nonverbal Communication
1. Verbal Communication
Verbal communication refers to the form of communication in which message is transmitted verbally;
communication is done by word of mouth and a piece of writing. Objective of every communication is to
have people understand what we are trying to convey. In verbal communication remember the
acronym K-I-S-S (keep it short and simple).
When we talk to others, we assume that others understand what we are saying because we know what
we are saying. But this is not the case. usually people bring their own attitude, perception, emotions and
thoughts about the topic and hence creates barrier in delivering the right meaning.
So in order to deliver the right message, you must put yourself on the other side of the table and think
from your receiver’s point of view. Would he understand the message? how it would sound on the other
side of the table?
Verbal Communication is further divided into:
 Oral Communication
 Written Communication
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Oral Communication
In oral communication, Spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech,
telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet. In oral communication,
communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking.
Advantages of Oral communication are:
It brings quick feedback.
In a face-to-face conversation, by reading facial expression and body language one can guess whether
he/she should trust what’s being said or not.
Disadvantage of oral communication
In face-to-face discussion, user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering, so this can be
counted as a
Written Communication
In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate. A written message may be
printed or hand written. In written communication message can be transmitted via email, letter, report,
memo etc. Message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary & grammar used, writing
style, precision and clarity of the language used.
Written Communication is most common form of communication being used in business. So, it is
considered core among business skills.
Memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail are the types of
written communication used for internal communication. For communicating with external environment in
writing, electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts,
advertisements, brochures, and news releases are used.
Advantages of written communication includes:
Messages can be edited and revised many time before it is actually sent.
Written communication provides record for every message sent and can be saved for later study.
A written message enables receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback.
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Disadvantages of written communication includes:
Unlike oral communication, Written communication doesn’t bring instant feedback.
It takes more time in composing a written message as compared to word-of-mouth and number of people
struggles for writing ability.
2. Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can say that
communication other than oral and written, such as gesture, body language, posture, tone of
voice or facial expressions, is called nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is all
about the body language of speaker.
Nonverbal communication helps receiver in interpreting the message received. Often, nonverbal signals
reflect the situation more accurately than verbal messages. Sometimes nonverbal response
contradicts verbal communication and hence affect the effectiveness of message.
Nonverbal communication has the following three elements:
Appearance
Speaker: clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics
Surrounding: room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings
Body Language
facial expressions, gestures, postures
Sounds
Voice Tone, Volume, Speech rate
Types of Communication Based on Purpose and Style
Based on style and purpose, there are two main categories of communication and they both bears their
own characteristics. Communication types based on style and purpose are:
1. Formal Communication
2. Informal Communication
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1. Formal Communication
In formal communication, certain rules, conventions and principles are followed while communicating
message. Formal communication occurs in formal and official style. Usually professional settings,
corporate meetings, conferences undergoes in formal pattern.
In formal communication, use of slang and foul language is avoided and correct pronunciation is
required. Authority lines are needed to be followed in formal communication.
2. Informal Communication
Informal communication is done using channels that are in contrast with formal communication channels.
It’s just a casual talk. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to-
face discussions. It happens among friends and family. In informal communication use of slang
words, foul language is not restricted. Informal communication is done orally and using gestures.
Informal communication, unlike formal communication, doesn’t follow authority lines. In an
organization, it helps in finding out staff grievances as people express more when talking
informally. Informal communication helps in building relationships.
Dimensions of Communication:
1st Dimension of Communication:- Internal dialog:
This is when we talk to ourselves - not out loud, but in our heads. It is our internal belief system that only
we ourselves know about how we really feel about everything.
If we say: "I know I can get this job," or "I can ace my P.E. exam," or "I bowl about a 240," - we will! That's
because we can say with reasonable assurity that we can do those things within our abilities.
Of course, the negative version of this works quite well, also. We sometimes keep ourselves from growing
because we tell ourselves what we can and cannot do. "I can't figure this thing out," or "I'm not really a
creative person - that's something you're either born with, or not," Saying these things can have a
devastating effect!
It is also the images we play in our heads like thinking what it'd be like if we move to a new city, or run
into an ex- at our own wedding, or what we would do if the apartment caught on fire.
In the 1st dimension, communication takes place instantaneously.
2nd Dimension of Communication:- One-to one:
Face to face interactions, such as talking with someone next to you. This form is limited to our senses -
mainly the strength of our voices and ears. And, both parties need to be present for the message to be
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transferred. Once out of earshot, communication can no longer take place. Sign language, light, flag and
smoke signals all fit in this category because one needs to be within visual range to get the message.
With technology, messages can be transmitted and received over distances beyond the reach of our
senses. Messages have to be written or recorded on some media (such as a letter or newspaper) to be
physically taken to the other person either by foot, horseback, boat or carrier pigeon. At this point, time
becomes an issue and messages are not always timely. With technologies such as the telegraph and
telephone, the messages do not need a physical form, although the devices and wires do. Now, the
proximity factor is no longer relevant - messages travel great distances at nearly light-speed.
3rd Dimension of Communication: - One-to-many:
From public speaking to rock concerts, these messages can be received by several listeners/viewers in
one locale, such as a movie theater or stage, but only come from one entity that has control over the
content. The receiver can choose only from what is available, and the communication is mostly one-way,
except for audience reaction.
With technology, one-to-many messages are broadcast by, radio, cable or satellite. In this dimension, one
sender can transmit a message to many, many receivers simultaneously around the world. But without a
live audience, the feedback is more removed, and therefore the communication is even more one-way.
In the 3rd dimension, time and distance again are not a significant factor, but timing is everything. The
receiver has to be at the concert or near a radio or in front of a TV to get the message. Even if you tape a
show with your VCR and watch it later, you still have to coordinate the machine with the airing schedule
determined by the sender.
4th Dimension of Communication. - Many-to-many:
These messages (you are reading on now) are now possible with the Internet. Now, we can send a
message that anyone else can receive from just about anywhere and at anytime - 24 hours a day. No
longer do we have to wait for a show to come on, or a book to be returned from the library. E-mail travels
as fast as a telephone, and you don't have to be at your mailbox to receive (or send) it. Timing is
controlled primarily by the receiver, not the sender. And the sender can post an essay on the Web at 4:00
in the morning (like this one).
The Internet and WWW represent the massest of all mass media. Perhaps the most important difference
from other mass media is that the Internet is unmediated media. More specifically, it is self-mediated
media. We can send or receive the information we want, when we want it - and every book is always on
the shelf of the world's largest library. And, we all have a voice - a microphone or billboard to share our
thoughts to the world.
BARRIERS OF COMMUNICATION
Communication plays a major role in developing a relationship. It can also affect the relationship among
family members or management in any institute. More specifically, communication influences the
effectiveness of instruction, performance evaluation, and the handling of discipline problems.
Communication should be straightforward. What can make it complex, difficult, and frustrating are the
barriers. Some barriers of communication are the following.
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1. Physiological Barrier
Physiological barriers to communication are related with the limitations of the human body and the human
mind (memory, attention, and perception). Physiological barriers may result from individuals’ personal
discomfort, caused by ill-health, poor eye sight, or hearing difficulties.
a. Poor Listening Skills
Listening to others is considered a difficult task. A typical speaker says about 125 words per minute. The
typical listener can receive 400–600 words per minute. Thus, about three-fourth of listening time is free
time. The free time often sidetracks the listener. The solution is to be an active rather than passive
listener. A listener's premature frown, shaking of the head, or bored look can easily convince the other
person/speaker that there is no reason to elaborate or try again to communicate his/her excellent idea.
b. Information Overload
Nurses are surrounded with a pool of information. It is essential to control the flow of the information, else
the information is likely to be misinterpreted or forgotten or overlooked. As a result, communication may
get distorted.
c. Inattention
At times, we just do not listen but only hear. For example, your boss is immersed in his/her very important
paper work surrounded by so many files on the table and you are explaining him/her about an urgent
office problem. In this situation, due to the inattention, the boss will not listen to you (he/she will only hear
you); hence, he/she may not get what you are saying and it may lead to disappointment.
d. Emotions
The emotional state of a person at a particular point of time affects his/her communication with others as
it has an impact on the body language (nonverbal communication). If the receiver feels that the sender is
angry (emotional state), he/she can easily infer that the information being obtained will be very terrible.
Emotional state causes some physiological changes in our body that may affect the pronunciation,
pressure of the speech, and tone of the voice of the sender as well as the perception, thinking process,
and information interpretation of the receiver during verbal communication.
e. Poor Retention
Human memory cannot function beyond a limit. One cannot always retain all the facts/information about
what is being told to him/her especially if he/she is not interested or not attentive. This leads to
communication breakdown.
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2. Physical and Environmental Distractions
Physical distractions are the physical things that get in the way of communication. Examples of such
things include the telephone, an uncomfortable meeting place, and noise. These physical distractions are
common in the hospital setting. If the telephone rings, the usual human tendency will be to answer it even
if the caller is interrupting a very important or even delicate conversation. Distractions such as
background noise, poor lighting, uncomfortable sitting, unhygienic room, or an environment that is too hot
or cold can affect people's morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication.
3. Psychological Barrier
Psychological factors such as misperception, filtering, distrust, unhappy emotions, and people's state of
mind can jeopardize the process of communication. We all tend to feel happier and more receptive to
information when the sun shines. Similarly, if someone has personal problems such as worries and stress
about a chronic illness, it may impinge his/her communication with others.
4. Social Barriers
Social barriers to communication include the social psychological phenomenon of conformity, a process
in which the norms, values, and behaviors of an individual begin to follow those of the wider group. Social
factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, and marital status may act as a barrier to
communication in certain situations.
5. Cultural Barriers
Culture shapes the way we think and behave. It can be seen as both shaping and being shaped by our
established patterns of communication. Cultural barrier to communication often arises when individuals in
one social group have developed different norms, values, or behaviors to individuals associated with
another group. Cultural difference leads to difference in interest, knowledge, value, and tradition.
Therefore, people of different cultures will experience these culture factors as a barrier to communicate
with each other.
6. Semantic Barrier
Language, jargon, slang, etc., are some of the semantic barriers. Different languages across different
regions represent a national barrier to communication, which is particularly important for migrating nurses.
Use of jargon and slang also act as barrier to communication. For example, while delivering health
education to a cardiac patient, if a cardiac nurse uses jargons such as “coronary artery disease,”
“anticoagulants,” and “homocysteine and C-reactive proteins,” the patient will listen attentively as he/she
cannot understand these medical jargons. Therefore, she is required to use simple words “heart ki nadi ki
bimari,” “khoon patla karne ki dawai,” and “certain chemicals in our body” so that the patient can
understand what the nurse is supposed to communicate with him/her.
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7. Linguistic Barriers
Individual linguistic ability may sometimes become a barrier to communication. The use of difficult or
inappropriate words in communication can prevent the people from understanding the message. Poorly
explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. The linguistic differences between the
people can also lead to communication breakdown. The same word may mean differently to different
individuals. For example, consider a word “face.”
 He is facing a problem
 What is the face value of this share bond?
 Your face is oval shape
“Face” means differently in different sentences. Communication breakdown occurs if there is wrong
perception of the meaning of the message by the receiver.
8. Past Experience
If someone has awful experiences in the past related to some particular situation, then he/she will try to
avoid communication in that situation. For example, a staff nurse who, while providing detailed
information regarding the patient care at the time of routine clinical round to her boss, is always facing
negative body language and discouraging words from her boss will ultimately limit her communication to
the boss at that time.
9. Organizational Barriers
Unclear planning, structure, information overload, timing, technology, and status difference are the
organizational factors that may act as barriers to communication.
a. Technological Failure
Message not delivered due to technical failure (e.g., receiver was not in mobile network area and the
sender has not activated delivery report in message setting).
b. Time Pressures
Often, in organization the targets have to be achieved within a specified time period, the failure of which
may have adverse consequences for the employee. In a haste to meet deadlines, usually an employee
tries to shorten the formal channels of communication that can lead to confusion and misunderstanding
among the various levels of supervisors, hence leading distorted communication. Therefore, sufficient
time should be given for effective communication.
c. Complexity in Organizational Structure
Greater the hierarchy in an organization (i.e., the more the number of managerial levels), more are the
chances of communication getting destroyed. Only the people at the top level can see the overall picture
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while the people at low level just have a knowledge about their own area and a little knowledge about
other areas of the organization.
10. Barriers Related with the Message
a. Unclear Messages
Effective communication starts with a clear message. Unclear messages in terms of meaning,
grammar, and words may act as a barrier to communication because the receiver may not be able to
intercept the actual meaning of the message.
b. Stereotypes
Stereotypes are beliefs or generalizations about characteristics or qualities that are felt to be typical of a
particular group (Funk & Wagnalls, 1966). Stereotyping is a barrier to communication because people
with stereotype thoughts either will not read the message completely or will not read it at all because of
their thinking that they already know everything (Figure 1.9).
c. Inappropriate Channel
Variation of channels helps the receiver understand the nature and importance of a message. While
making a choice for a channel of communication, the sender needs to be sensitive to such things as the
complexity of the message; consequences of a misunderstanding; knowledge, skills, and abilities of the
receiver; and immediacy of action to be taken from the message.
d. Lack of Feedback
Feedback is the mirror of communication. Feedback mirrors what the sender has sent. Without feedback,
communication cannot be considered complete. Both the sender and the receiver can play an active role
in using feedback to make communication truly two-way.
11. Some Other Blocks to Communication
 Failure to listen: Communicator may or may not feel able to speak freely to the listener, if the listener is
not listening carefully or not responding.
 Conflicting verbal and nonverbal messages.
 Failure to interpret with knowledge.
 Changing the subject: A quick way to stop conversation is to change the subject.
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 Inappropriate comments and questions: Certain types of comments and questions should be avoided
in most situations because they tend to impede effective communication, e.g., close-ended questions
and using comments that give advice.
Unit III
Business communication: The various forms of writing, and responding carried out both in and beyond
the workplace, whether in person or electronically.
Memorandums, reports, proposals, and other forms of writing used in organizations to communicate with
internal or external audiences.
Business Letter:
Business letters are an essential means of communication between organisations and their customers.
Because of their importance, business letters that are poorly written may waste considerable time and
money. Furthermore, carelessly written letters, which project a poor image of the writer, can result in loss
of another kind. A reader’s negative reaction to an unclear or messy letter can cost a company an
important contract or an employee his or her job.
Characteristics / Advantages of Business Letter:
• Letters provide a permanent, written record of a business transaction.
• Letters represent a commitment on the part of the writer, as the expression “put it in writing” indicates.
• Letters provide travelling sales people and busy executives with a convenient way to receive information
and to respond. They can usually set aside time to answer their mail.
• Letters that are carefully planned can create goodwill. Sometimes it can stimulate business even in
situations where customers or clients are dissatisfied with a product or service.
• When a message is complicated, and the writer wishes to reduce the possibility of confusion, a letter
can provide clear documentation of his or her position. Similarly, a letter is ideal when the recipient of a
message needs time to study it.
Process of Business Writing:
(a) First, establish your purpose, your reader’s needs, and your scope.
(b) Second, prepare an outline. For a letter, an outline may involve a little more than jotting down on a
note pad, the points you wish to make and the order in which you wish to make them.
(c) Third, write a rough draft from the outline.
(d) Fourth, set the draft aside for a “cooling” period. The cooling period is especially important in the case
of a letter written in response to a problem. Business letters are not the place to vent emotions. A cooling
period, even if it is only a lunch hour, gives the writer a chance to remove any hasty and inappropriate
statements made in the heat of the situation. Always allow the rough draft of a crucial letter to “cool”
overnight before revising and mailing it — regardless of the pressure to send it out right away. A slight
delay, but an appropriate response is preferable to an immediate reply that may cause misunderstanding
later.
(e) In the fifth step, revising the rough draft, go over your work carefully, checking for sense as well as
grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Since format (the arrangement of the parts of a letter on the page) is
a basic element in letter writing, it is a good idea to type out a preliminary copy of the letter on paper that
is the same size as the stationery you will be using.
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Format of Business Letter:
Date: Use month, day, year format, e.g., March 3, 2012 or 3 March 2012
Sender's Address: It is a good idea to include sender's email and url, if available. Don't include this
information if it's already incorporated into the letterhead design. This will allow customers to find your
small business more quickly.
Inside Address: Use full name. Mr./Ms. is optional
Salutation: Be sure to use a colon at the end of the name, not a comma as in personal letters
Body Text: State why you are writing. Establish any connection/mutual relationship up front. Outline the
solution, providing proof in the way of examples and expert opinions. Group related information into
paragraphs
Closing "Call to Action": State what the reader needs to do and what you will do to follow up
Signature Block: Sign your letter in blue or black ink
Enclosures: Use if you have an enclosure
Carbon Copy: Use if you are sending a copy to additional person(s)
Tips:
Use a professional tone.
Save casual, chatty language for email - your printed business letter should be friendly but more
professional. The business writer should strive for an overall tone that is confident, courteous, and
sincere; that uses emphasis and subordination appropriately; that contains nondiscriminatory language;
that stresses the "you" attitude; and that is written at an appropriate level of difficulty." That said, be sure
to sound like yourself - you don't want your letter to read as if a machine wrote it.
Write clearly.
State your point early in your letter. To avoid any miscommunications, use straightforward, concise
language. Skip the industry jargon and instead choose lively, active words to hold your reader's attention.
Organize your information logically: Group related information into separate paragraphs. In a long,
information-packed letter, consider organizing information into sections with subheads. You may want to
highlight key words to make them "pop" -
Use Color To Emphasize Words In Text
It's easy to put a few words in color to draw attention to them. Just select the type and click the arrow to
the right of the Font Color button, choose the color you want, then click the button. Or, try highlighting a
few words in the text. Select the type you want to emphasize, then click the Highlight button. Note: When
highlighting parts of a document you intend to print, use a light color such as yellow, light green, or light
blue. If you wish to remove the highlighting, select the text and click the Highlight button again.
AutoText automates applying color (or any type style), which would ordinarily take numerous clicks or
commands. Say you're creating a report that compares your organization's performance against that of
your competitor. Word can automatically color your company's name every time it appears, making those
entries easy to locate.
Be persuasive.
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Establish a positive relationship with your reader right away. If you have a connection to the reader -
you've met before or have a mutual colleague, for example - mention it in your introductory paragraph.
Whether you think your reader will agree with the point of your letter or not, it is important to find common
ground and build your case from there.
Understand your reader well enough to anticipate how he or she will react when reading your letter.
Address his or her needs or wishes, or a specific problem, and then outline your solution. Provide proof in
the way of examples and/or expert opinions to back up your point. Make sure to maintain a friendly tone.
Conclude your letter with a "call to action." State clearly what your reader needs to do or believe to
achieve the desired solution and then state what you, the writer, intend to do next to follow up.
Proofread your letter!
All your careful crafting and printing can't cover up spelling or punctuation errors, which leave a lasting
negative impression.
Unit VI
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BARRIERS OF COMMUNICATION
Communication plays a major role in developing a relationship. It can also affect the relationship among
family members or management in any institute. More specifically, communication influences the
effectiveness of instruction, performance evaluation, and the handling of discipline problems.
Communication should be straightforward. What can make it complex, difficult, and frustrating are the
barriers. Some barriers of communication are the following.
1. Physiological Barrier
Physiological barriers to communication are related with the limitations of the human body and the human
mind (memory, attention, and perception). Physiological barriers may result from individuals’ personal
discomfort, caused by ill-health, poor eye sight, or hearing difficulties.
a. Poor Listening Skills
Listening to others is considered a difficult task. A typical speaker says about 125 words per minute. The
typical listener can receive 400–600 words per minute. Thus, about three-fourth of listening time is free
time. The free time often sidetracks the listener. The solution is to be an active rather than passive
listener. A listener's premature frown, shaking of the head, or bored look can easily convince the other
person/speaker that there is no reason to elaborate or try again to communicate his/her excellent idea.
b. Information Overload
Nurses are surrounded with a pool of information. It is essential to control the flow of the information, else
the information is likely to be misinterpreted or forgotten or overlooked. As a result, communication may
get distorted.
c. Inattention
At times, we just do not listen but only hear. For example, your boss is immersed in his/her very important
paper work surrounded by so many files on the table and you are explaining him/her about an urgent
office problem. In this situation, due to the inattention, the boss will not listen to you (he/she will only hear
you); hence, he/she may not get what you are saying and it may lead to disappointment.
d. Emotions
The emotional state of a person at a particular point of time affects his/her communication with others as
it has an impact on the body language (nonverbal communication). If the receiver feels that the sender is
angry (emotional state), he/she can easily infer that the information being obtained will be very terrible.
Emotional state causes some physiological changes in our body that may affect the pronunciation,
pressure of the speech, and tone of the voice of the sender as well as the perception, thinking process,
and information interpretation of the receiver during verbal communication.
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e. Poor Retention
Human memory cannot function beyond a limit. One cannot always retain all the facts/information about
what is being told to him/her especially if he/she is not interested or not attentive. This leads to
communication breakdown.
2. Physical and Environmental Distractions
Physical distractions are the physical things that get in the way of communication. Examples of such
things include the telephone, an uncomfortable meeting place, and noise. These physical distractions are
common in the hospital setting. If the telephone rings, the usual human tendency will be to answer it even
if the caller is interrupting a very important or even delicate conversation. Distractions such as
background noise, poor lighting, uncomfortable sitting, unhygienic room, or an environment that is too hot
or cold can affect people's morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication.
3. Psychological Barrier
Psychological factors such as misperception, filtering, distrust, unhappy emotions, and people's state of
mind can jeopardize the process of communication. We all tend to feel happier and more receptive to
information when the sun shines. Similarly, if someone has personal problems such as worries and stress
about a chronic illness, it may impinge his/her communication with others.
4. Social Barriers
Social barriers to communication include the social psychological phenomenon of conformity, a process
in which the norms, values, and behaviors of an individual begin to follow those of the wider group. Social
factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, and marital status may act as a barrier to
communication in certain situations.
5. Cultural Barriers
Culture shapes the way we think and behave. It can be seen as both shaping and being shaped by our
established patterns of communication. Cultural barrier to communication often arises when individuals in
one social group have developed different norms, values, or behaviors to individuals associated with
another group. Cultural difference leads to difference in interest, knowledge, value, and tradition.
Therefore, people of different cultures will experience these culture factors as a barrier to communicate
with each other.
6. Semantic Barrier
Language, jargon, slang, etc., are some of the semantic barriers. Different languages across different
regions represent a national barrier to communication, which is particularly important for migrating nurses.
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Use of jargon and slang also act as barrier to communication. For example, while delivering health
education to a cardiac patient, if a cardiac nurse uses jargons such as “coronary artery disease,”
“anticoagulants,” and “homocysteine and C-reactive proteins,” the patient will listen attentively as he/she
cannot understand these medical jargons. Therefore, she is required to use simple words “heart ki nadi ki
bimari,” “khoon patla karne ki dawai,” and “certain chemicals in our body” so that the patient can
understand what the nurse is supposed to communicate with him/her.
7. Linguistic Barriers
Individual linguistic ability may sometimes become a barrier to communication. The use of difficult or
inappropriate words in communication can prevent the people from understanding the message. Poorly
explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. The linguistic differences between the
people can also lead to communication breakdown. The same word may mean differently to different
individuals. For example, consider a word “face.”
 He is facing a problem
 What is the face value of this share bond?
 Your face is oval shape
“Face” means differently in different sentences. Communication breakdown occurs if there is wrong
perception of the meaning of the message by the receiver.
8. Past Experience
If someone has awful experiences in the past related to some particular situation, then he/she will try to
avoid communication in that situation. For example, a staff nurse who, while providing detailed
information regarding the patient care at the time of routine clinical round to her boss, is always facing
negative body language and discouraging words from her boss will ultimately limit her communication to
the boss at that time.
9. Organizational Barriers
Unclear planning, structure, information overload, timing, technology, and status difference are the
organizational factors that may act as barriers to communication.
a. Technological Failure
Message not delivered due to technical failure (e.g., receiver was not in mobile network area and the
sender has not activated delivery report in message setting).
b. Time Pressures
Often, in organization the targets have to be achieved within a specified time period, the failure of which
may have adverse consequences for the employee. In a haste to meet deadlines, usually an employee
tries to shorten the formal channels of communication that can lead to confusion and misunderstanding
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among the various levels of supervisors, hence leading distorted communication. Therefore, sufficient
time should be given for effective communication.
c. Complexity in Organizational Structure
Greater the hierarchy in an organization (i.e., the more the number of managerial levels), more are the
chances of communication getting destroyed. Only the people at the top level can see the overall picture
while the people at low level just have a knowledge about their own area and a little knowledge about
other areas of the organization.
10. Barriers Related with the Message
a. Unclear Messages
Effective communication starts with a clear message. Unclear messages in terms of meaning,
grammar, and words may act as a barrier to communication because the receiver may not be able to
intercept the actual meaning of the message.
b. Stereotypes
Stereotypes are beliefs or generalizations about characteristics or qualities that are felt to be typical of a
particular group (Funk & Wagnalls, 1966). Stereotyping is a barrier to communication because people
with stereotype thoughts either will not read the message completely or will not read it at all because of
their thinking that they already know everything (Figure 1.9).
c. Inappropriate Channel
Variation of channels helps the receiver understand the nature and importance of a message. While
making a choice for a channel of communication, the sender needs to be sensitive to such things as the
complexity of the message; consequences of a misunderstanding; knowledge, skills, and abilities of the
receiver; and immediacy of action to be taken from the message.
d. Lack of Feedback
Feedback is the mirror of communication. Feedback mirrors what the sender has sent. Without feedback,
communication cannot be considered complete. Both the sender and the receiver can play an active role
in using feedback to make communication truly two-way.
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11. Some Other Blocks to Communication
 Failure to listen: Communicator may or may not feel able to speak freely to the listener, if the listener is
not listening carefully or not responding.
 Conflicting verbal and nonverbal messages.
 Failure to interpret with knowledge.
 Changing the subject: A quick way to stop conversation is to change the subject.
 Inappropriate comments and questions: Certain types of comments and questions should be avoided
in most situations because they tend to impede effective communication, e.g., close-ended questions
and using comments that give advice.
Overcome the barriers of communication:
1. Eliminating differences in perception: The organization should ensure that it is recruiting right
individuals on the job. It’s the responsibility of the interviewer to ensure that the interviewee has
command over the written and spoken language. There should be proper Induction program so
that the policies of the company are clear to all the employees. There should be proper trainings
conducted for required employees (for eg: Voice and Accent training).
2. Use of Simple Language: Use of simple and clear words should be emphasized. Use of
ambiguous words and jargons should be avoided.
3. Reduction and elimination of noise levels: Noise is the main communication barrier which
must be overcome on priority basis. It is essential to identify the source of noise and then
eliminate that source.
4. Active Listening: Listen attentively and carefully. There is a difference between “listening” and
“hearing”. Active listening means hearing with proper understanding of the message that is heard.
By asking questions the speaker can ensure whether his/her message is understood or not by the
receiver in the same terms as intended by the speaker.
5. Emotional State: During communication one should make effective use of body language.
He/she should not show their emotions while communication as the receiver might misinterpret
the message being delivered. For example, if the conveyer of the message is in a bad mood then
the receiver might think that the information being delivered is not good.
6. Simple Organizational Structure: The organizational structure should not be complex. The
number of hierarchical levels should be optimum. There should be a ideal span of control within
the organization. Simpler the organizational structure, more effective will be the communication.
7. Avoid Information Overload: The managers should know how to prioritize their work. They
should not overload themselves with the work. They should spend quality time with their
subordinates and should listen to their problems and feedbacks actively.
8. Give Constructive Feedback: Avoid giving negative feedback. The contents of the feedback
might be negative, but it should be delivered constructively. Constructive feedback will lead to
effective communication between the superior and subordinate.
9. Proper Media Selection: The managers should properly select the medium of communication.
Simple messages should be conveyed orally, like: face to face interaction or meetings. Use of
written means of communication should be encouraged for delivering complex messages. For
significant messages reminders can be given by using written means of communication such as :
Memos, Notices etc.
10. Flexibility in meeting the targets: For effective communication in an organization the managers
should ensure that the individuals are meeting their targets timely without skipping the formal
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channels of communication. There should not be much pressure on employees to meet their
targets.
Listening:
Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process.
Listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily
misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become
frustrated or irritated.
Listening is so important that many top employers provide listening skills training for their
employees. This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to: better
customer satisfaction, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, increased sharing of information
that in turn can lead to more creative and innovative work.
Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening
skills. Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind the success
of Virgin. Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships, spend some
time thinking about and developing your listening skills – they are the building blocks of success.
Difference between hearing and listening:
Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that: it requires focus.
Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice,
and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and
non-verbal messages. Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you perceive and
understand these messages.
Types of listening:
Discriminative Listening
Discriminative listening is first developed at a very early age – perhaps even before birth, in the womb.
This is the most basic form of listening and does not involve the understanding of the meaning of words
or phrases but merely the different sounds that are produced. In early childhood, for example, a
distinction is made between the sounds of the voices of the parents – the voice of the father sounds
different to that of the mother.
Discriminative listening develops through childhood and into adulthood. As we grow older and develop
and gain more life experience, our ability to distinguish between different sounds is improved. Not only
can we recognise different voices, but we also develop the ability to recognise subtle differences in the
way that sounds are made – this is fundamental to ultimately understanding what these sounds mean.
Differences include many subtleties, recognising foreign languages, distinguishing between regional
accents and clues to the emotions and feelings of the speaker.
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Comprehensive Listening
Comprehensive listening involves understanding the message or messages that are being
communicated. Like discriminative listening, comprehensive listening is fundamental to all
listening sub-types.
In order to be able use comprehensive listening and therefore gain understanding the listener first needs
appropriate vocabulary and language skills. Using overly complicated language or technical jargon,
therefore, can be a barrier to comprehensive listening. Comprehensive listening is further complicated by
the fact that two different people listening to the same thing may understand the message in two different
ways. This problem can be multiplied in a group setting, like a classroom or business meeting where
numerous different meanings can be derived from what has been said.
Comprehensive listening is complimented by sub-messages from non-verbal communication, such as the
tone of voice, gestures and other body language. These non-verbal signals can greatly aid
communication and comprehension but can also confuse and potentially lead to misunderstanding. In
many listening situations it is vital to seek clarification and use skills such as reflection aid
comprehension.
Informational Listening
Whenever you listen to learn something, you are engaged in informational listening. This is true in many
day-to-day situations, in education and at work, when you listen to the news, watch a documentary, when
a friend tells you a recipe or when you are talked-through a technical problem with a computer – there are
many other examples of informational listening too.
Although all types of listening are ‘active’ – they require concentration and a conscious effort to
understand. Informational listening is less active than many of the other types of listening. When we’re
listening to learn or be instructed we are taking in new information and facts, we are not criticising or
analysing. Informational listening, especially in formal settings like in work meetings or while in
education, is often accompanied by note taking – a way of recording key information so that it can be
reviewed later.
Critical Listening
We can be said to be engaged in critical listening when the goal is to evaluate or scrutinise what is
being said. Critical listening is a much more active behaviour than informational listening and usually
involves some sort of problem solving or decision making. Critical listening is akin to critical reading; both
involve analysis of the information being received and alignment with what we already know or believe.
Whereas informational listening may be mostly concerned with receiving facts and/or new information -
critical listening is about analysing opinion and making a judgement.
When the word ‘critical’ is used to describe listening, reading or thinking it does not necessarily mean that
you are claiming that the information you are listening to is somehow faulty or flawed. Rather, critical
listening means engaging in what you are listening to by asking yourself questions such as, ‘what is the
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speaker trying to say?’ or ‘what is the main argument being presented?’, ‘how does what I’m hearing
differ from my beliefs, knowledge or opinion?’. Critical listening is, therefore, fundamental to true learning.
Many day-to-day decisions that we make are based on some form of ‘critical’ analysis, whether it be
critical listening, reading or thought. Our opinions, values and beliefs are based on our ability to process
information and formulate our own feelings about the world around us as well as weigh up the pros and
cons to make an informed decision.
It is often important, when listening critically, to have an open-mind and not be biased by stereotypes or
preconceived ideas. By doing this you will become a better listener and broaden your knowledge and
perception of other people and your relationships.
Therapeutic or Empathic Listening
Empathic listening involves attempting to understand the feelings and emotions of the speaker –
to put yourself into the speaker’s shoes and share their thoughts.
Empathy is a way of deeply connecting with another person and therapeutic or empathic listening can be
particularly challenging. Empathy is not the same as sympathy, it involves more than being
compassionate or feeling sorry for somebody else – it involves a deeper connection – a realisation and
understanding of another person’s point of view.
Counsellors, therapists and some other professionals use therapeutic or empathic listening to understand
and ultimately help their clients. This type of listening does not involve making judgements or offering
advice but gently encouraging the speaker to explain and elaborate on their feelings and emotions. Skills
such as clarification and reflection are often used to help avoid misunderstandings
We are all capable of empathic listening and may practise it with friends, family and colleagues. Showing
empathy is a desirable trait in many interpersonal relationships – you may well feel more comfortable
talking about your own feelings and emotions with a particular person. They are likely to be better at
listening empathetically to you than others, this is often based on similar perspectives, experiences,
beliefs and values – a good friend, your spouse, a parent or sibling for example.
Other Listening Types
Although usually less important or useful in interpersonal relationships there are other types of listening
that we engage in.
Appreciative Listening
Appreciative listening is listening for enjoyment. A good example is listening to music, especially as a
way to relax.
Rapport Listening
When trying to build rapport with others we can engage in a type of listening that encourages the other
person to trust and like us. A salesman, for example, may make an effort to listen carefully to what you
are saying as a way to promote trust and potentially make a sale. This type of listening is common in
situations of negotiation.
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Selective Listening
This is a more negative type of listening, it implies that the listener is somehow biased to what they are
hearing. Bias can be based on preconceived ideas or emotionally difficult communications. Selective
listening is a sign of failing communication – you cannot hope to understand if you have filtered out some
of the message and may reinforce or strengthen your bias for future communications.
Active listening Vs. Passive Listening
Passive listening is mechanical and effortless. If you are awake and your ears work properly, you can
listen passively. It does not require any special effort. You hear what your teacher says and you might be
able to tell the difference between major and minor points of the lecture, but that is about it. Lack of
enthusiasm and a "care- less" attitude during class characterize a student who is a passive listener.
Active listeners, on the other hand, really concentrate on the content of the lecture and not on the lecturer
or any random distractions in the room or their mind. They do more than focus on facts, figures, and ideas
and actively associate the material presented with their own experiences. The content heard at every
lecture is converted to something useful and meaningful for the student. You must pay special attention in
class because, unlike when reading a textbook, you only get one chance to hear and understand the
information presented to you.
Active listening will turn the classroom experience from something boring and dry into something personal
and enjoyable.
Barriers to listening:
There are many things that get in the way of listening and you should be aware of these barriers, many of
which are bad habits, in order to become a more effective listener. Barriers and bad habits to effective
listening can include:
1. Trying to listen to more than one conversation at a time, this includes having the
television or radio on while attempting to listen to somebody talk; being on the phone to
one person and talking to another person in the same room and also being distracted by
some dominant noise in the immediate environment.
2. You find the communicator attractive/unattractive and you pay more attention to how you
feel about the communicator and their physical appearance than to what they are saying.
Perhaps you simply don't like the speaker - you may mentally argue with the speaker and
be fast to criticise, either verbally or in your head.
3. You are not interested in the topic/issue being discussed and become bored.
4. Not focusing and being easily distracted, fiddling with your hair, fingers, a pen etc. or
gazing out of the window or focusing on objects other than the speaker.
5. Feeling unwell or tired, hungry, thirsty or needing to use the toilet.
6. Identifying rather than empathising - understanding what you are hearing but not putting
yourself in the shoes of the speaker. As most of us have a lot of internal self-dialogue we
spend a lot of time listening to our own thoughts and feelings - it can be difficult to switch
the focus from 'I' or 'me' to 'them' or 'you'. Effective listening involves opening your mind
to the views of others and attempting to feel empathetic. (See our page: What is
Empathy? for more information)
7. Sympathising rather than empathising - sympathy is not the same as empathy, you
sympathise when you feel sorry for the experiences of another, to empathise is to put
yourself in the position of the other person.
8. You are prejudiced or biased by race, gender, age, religion, accent, and/or past
experiences.
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9. You have preconceived ideas or bias - effective listening includes being open-minded to
the ideas and opinions of others, this does not mean you have to agree but should listen
and attempt to understand.
10. You make judgements, thinking, for example that a person is not very bright or is under-
qualified so there is no point listening to what they have to say.
11. Previous experiences – we are all influenced by previous experiences in life. We
respond to people based on personal appearances, how initial introductions or welcomes
were received and/or previous interpersonal encounters. If we stereotype a person we
become less objective and therefore less likely to listen effectively.
12. Preoccupation - when we have a lot on our minds we can fail to listen to what is being
said as we're too busy concentrating on what we're thinking about. This is particularly
true when we feel stressed or worried about issues.
13. Having a Closed Mind - we all have ideals and values that we believe to be correct and it
can be difficult to listen to the views of others that contradict our own opinions. The key to
effective listening and interpersonal skills more generally is the ability to have a truly open
mind - to understand why others think about things differently to you and use this
information to gain a better understanding of the speaker.
How to overcome the barriers of listening:
messenger.
The speaker may not be your favorite person or the message being delivered may not agree with your
values, but do not let these be reasons to stop you from listening actively. Practice straightforward
listening to overcome this barrier: Shut down your emotional attachment to your personal beliefs for a
while. Realize that your opinion is just one of the many views, and so is the speaker's. Be curious about
what the person has to say. And if your problem is the messenger, go beyond your dislike and just listen
to what he has to say and you may even find it useful.
email indicator. It may not be possible to shut down out-of-control elements such as noises from nearby
construction site or the interior décor of the meeting room, but, if possible, choose a room that you are
comfortable with and that is away from noises.
d wording your next argument
or response, then you are hardly listening. Stop talking to yourself and give rapt attention to the speaker.
Listening to someone criticizing the speaker while he is talking is also a distraction. Avoid paying attention
to such criticisms and give your attention to the message being delivered.
saying. Shut down your prejudices and distractions. Pay attention to her words and body language as
well to get the real message. See the situation from her point of view and imagine how you would feel.
Ask questions; you not only get clarifications but also convey to the speaker that you are really listening to
what she is saying.

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Business Comm Skills

  • 1. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 1 Unit I Communication is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of ideas, feelings, intentions, attitudes, expectations, perceptions or commands, as by speech, gestures, writings, behavior and possibly by other means such as electromagnetic, chemical or physical phenomena. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or more participants (machines, organisms or their parts). Communication requires a sender, a message, a medium and a recipient, although the receiver does not have to be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver understands the sender's message and sends feedback to the sender. Communicating with others involves three primary steps:  Thought: First, information exists in the mind of the sender. This can be a concept, idea, information, or feeling.  Encoding: Next, a message is sent to a receiver in words or other symbols.  Decoding: Lastly, the receiver translates the words or symbols into a concept or information that a person can understand. There are a variety of verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. These include body language, eye contact, sign language, haptic communication, and chronemics. Other examples are media content such as pictures, graphics, sound, and writing. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also defines the communication to include the display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia, as well as written and plain language, human-reader, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communication technology. Feedback is a critical component of effective communication. Process of Communication: The goal of communication is to convey information—and the understanding of that information—from one person or group to another person or group. This communication process is divided into three basic components: A sender transmits a message through a channel to the receiver. (Figure shows a more elaborate model.) The sender first develops an idea, which is composed into a message and then transmitted to the other party, who interprets the message
  • 2. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 2 and receives meaning. Information theorists have added somewhat more complicated language. Developing a message is known as encoding. Interpreting the message is referred to as decoding. The other important feature is the feedback cycle. When two people interact, communication is rarely one‐way only. When a person receives a message, she responds to it by giving a reply. The feedback cycle is the same as the sender‐receiver feedback noted in Figure . Otherwise, the sender can't know whether the other parties properly interpreted the message or how they reacted to it. Feedback is especially significant in management because a supervisor has to know how subordinates respond to directives and plans. The manager also needs to know how work is progressing and how employees feel about the general work situation. The critical factor in measuring the effectiveness of communication is common understanding. Understanding exists when all parties involved have a mutual agreement as to not only the information, but also the meaning of the information. Effective communication, therefore, occurs when the intended message of the sender and the interpreted message of the receiver are one and the same. Although this should be the goal in any communication, it is not always achieved. Objectives of communication: 1. STRONGER DECISION MAKING Your ability to communicate effectively increases productivity , both yours and your organization. 2. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY With good communication skills , you can anticipate problems , make decisions , co-ordinate work flow , supervise others , develop relationships and promote products and services. 3. STEADIER WORK FLOW Communication acts as tool for the effective work related flow of information. 4. STRONG BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS & ENHANCED PROFESSIONAL IMAGE
  • 3. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 3 You can shape the impressions you and your company make on colleagues , employees ,supervisors , investors ,and customers in addition to perceiving and responding to the needs of these stakeholders(the various group you interact with ) without effective communication , people misunderstand each other and misinterpret information. Ideas misfire or fail to gain attention and people and companies flounder. 5. CLEARER PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS Your organizations need for effective reach of company name and public promotions are based on effective promotional material such as advertisements , bill boards , online add , posters etc are all communicated for effective message delivery and meaning. 6. PROVIDE ADVICE Giving advice is based on individual-oriented and work-oriented ,advice should not given to the person for pinpointing his mistakes rather it should be helpful for his improvement. Effective advice promotes understanding and it can be a two way process if the subordinate staff given freedom. 7. PROVIDE ORDER Order is an authoritative communication pattern and it is directive to somebody always a subordinate to do something. Orders will be written and oral orders , general and specific orders ,procedural and operational orders , mandatory and discretionary order. Order should be clear and complete ,execution should be possible and given in a friendly way. 8.SUGGESTION Suggestion is supposed to be very mild and subtle form of communication. Suggestions are welcomed for it is not obligatory to accept them , it can be voluntary and anonymous and submitted through suggestion boxes. 9. PERSUASION Persuasion may be defined as an effort ‘ to influence the attitudes , feelings ,or beliefs of others , or to influence actions based on those attitudes , feelings , or beliefs. Persuasion can be done to others if you are convinced , you do not impose , you are not rigid are prepared to meet half-way and you can look at the situation from the other person’s angle also. 10. EDUCATION
  • 4. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 4 Education is a very conscious process of communication ,it involves both teaching and learning by which organizations provide to their employees in the form of training. Education is given for management , employees and outside public. 12. WARNING If the employees do not abide by the norms of the organization warning is a power communication tool and it can be general and specific. Specific warning should be administered in private and after thorough investigation. The aim of the warning should be the organization betterment. 13. RAISING MORALE AND MOTIVATION Morale stands for mental health and it is a sum of several qualities like courage , resolution , confidence .High morale and effective performance go hand to hand. Motivation is a process that account for an individual intensity, direction , and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal. 14. TO GIVE AND RECEIVE INFORMATION . Communication’s main idea is to give and receive information because managers need complete , accurate and precise information to plan and organize employee need it to translate planning in to reality. Information will cover all aspects of the business. 15. TO PROVIDE COUNSELLING Counseling is given to solve employees mental stress and improve the employees productivity. 16. TO IMPROVE DISCIPLINE . Finally discipline is the foremost part of any business communication. The various disciplinary codes are effectively communicated to employees through disciplinary codes. Principles of Communication: 1. Clear: Message should be clear and loud not cluttered and messy 2. Concise: Message should be communicated using least possible words. One should always avoid trivia and should speak directly to the point
  • 5. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 5 3. Concrete: Message should be true and backed by some facts, message should not be vague 4. Correct: Message should be free from errors should not be manipulated. Message should be passed only after confirming its validity 5. Coherent: Message should always stick to the main point, and should be logical. The flow of the message should always be maintained in an effective way 6. Complete: Message should be complete because incomplete messages lead to miscommunication 7. Courteous: Message should be courteous and polite. It should not sound arrogant or careless Importance of Business Communication: Internal: 1. Setting goals and Objectives:- Mostly, the organizations have a variety of formal and informal objectives to accomplish. These objectives may be financial results, product quality, market dominance, employee’s satisfaction, or service to customers. So the communication enables all the persons in an organization to work towards a common purpose. 2. Making and Implementing decision:- In order to achieve the objective, people in a business organization collect facts and evaluate alternatives, and they do so by reading, asking questions, talking or by plain thinking. These thoughts are put into a written form. Once a decision has been made, it has to be implemented which requires communication. 3. Appraisal:- Having implemented the decision, management needs to determine whether the desired outcome is being achieved. Statistics on such factors as cost, sales, market share, productivity and inventory levels are compiled. This is done through computers, manual papers, memos or reports. 4. Manufacturing the products:-
  • 6. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 6 Getting an idea for a new product out of someone’s head, pushing it through the production process and finally getting the product also require communication. Designing the plan regarding product, introducing the workers, purchasing raw material, marketing and distributing the product all require effective communication. 5. Interaction between employer & employee:- Employees are informed about policies and decisions of employers through circulars, reports, notices etc. Employers also get in touch with employees through application, complaint etc. So, communication plays a vital role in the interaction of employer and employee. EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION: 1. Hiring the employees:- If a company wants to hire some one, it advertises the vacancy, receives applications, calls the candidates, takes the interview and then offers job to the successful candidates. The whole process requires communication. 2. Dealing with customers:- Sales letters and brochures, advertisements, personal sales calls, and formal proposals are all used to stimulate the customer’s interest. Communication also plays a part in such customer related functions as credit checking, billing, and handling complaints and questions. 3. Negotiating with suppliers and financiers:- To obtain necessary supplies and services, companies develop written specification that outlines their requirement. Similarly, to arrange finance, they negotiate with lenders and fill out loan applications. 4. Informing the investors:- Balance sheet, income statement, and ratio analysis are used to inform the investors regarding performance of business. 5. Interacting with Govt.:-
  • 7. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 7 Government agencies make certain rules to regulate the economy. These rules are communicated to organizations through various papers. These organizations try to fulfill, these requirement like filling taxation form and other documents. Importance of Feedback in communication: The communication has a vicious cycle which continues even after sending message to the respondents. The audience or the respondents may or get the same intended message as the speaker intends to send. This cycle ends only when they share their understandings and comments to the speaker about what they have understood. This process is called feedback. Feedback is essential in communication so as to know whether the recipient has understood the message in the same terms as intended by the sender and whether he agrees to that message or not. Receivers are not just passive absorbers of messages. They receive the message and respond to about the subject matter about what they have understood. This response of a receiver to sender’s message is called Feedback. Sometimes a feedback could be a non-verbal, smiles, sighs and other times, it is oral. It can also be written like replying to an e-mail, etc. Feedback also enables us to evaluate the effectiveness of our message. It makes communication meaningful. It is the end-result of an idea and makes communication a continuous process. If our audience doesn’t understand what we mean, we can tell by the response and then refine the message accordingly. Giving our audience a chance to provide feedback is crucial for maintaining an open communication climate. The speaker must create an environment that encourages feedback. For example after explaining the job to the subordinated he must ask them whether they have understood it or not. He should ask questions like “Do you understand?”, “Do you have any doubts?” etc. At the same time he must allow his subordinated to express their views also. Feedback has a great role in the organizational point of view also. There are lots of ways in which company takes feedback from their employees, such as: Employee surveys, memos, emails, open-door policies, company news letter etc. Employees are not always willing to provide feedback. The organization has to work a lot to get the accurate feedback. The managers should encourage feedback by asking specific questions, allowing their employees to express general views, etc. The organization should be receptive to their employee’s feedback. Some of the important points about feedback are: 1. It completes the whole process of communication and makes it continuous.
  • 8. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 8 2. It sustains communication process 3. It makes one know if one is really communication or making sense 4. It is a basis for measuring the effectiveness of communication 5. It is a good basis for planning on what next to be done especially statistical report 6. Communication will be useless without feedback 7. Feedback paves way for new idea generation Unit II Formal Communication Channels  A formal communication channel transmits information such as the goals, policies and procedures of an organization. Messages in this type of communication channel follow a chain of command. This means information flows from a manager to his subordinates and they in turn pass on the information to the next level of staff.  An example of a formal communication channel is a company's newsletter, which gives employees as well as the clients a clear idea of a company's goals and vision. It also includes the transfer of information with regard to memoranda, reports, directions, and scheduled meetings in the chain of command.  A business plan, customer satisfaction survey, annual reports, employer's manual, review meetings are all formal communication channels. Informal Communication Channels  Within a formal working environment, there always exists an informal communication network. The strict hierarchical web of communication cannot function efficiently on its own and hence there exists a communication channel outside of this web. While this type of communication channel may disrupt the chain of command, a good manager needs to find the fine balance between the formal and informal communication channel.  An example of an informal communication channel is lunchtime at the organization's cafeteria/canteen. Here, in a relaxed atmosphere, discussions among employees are encouraged. Also managers walking around, adopting a hands-on approach to handling employee queries is an example of an informal communication channel.
  • 9. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 9  Quality circles, team work, different training programs are outside of the chain of command and so, fall under the category of informal communication channels. Unofficial Communication Channels  Good managers will recognize the fact that sometimes communication that takes place within an organization is interpersonal. While minutes of a meeting may be a topic of discussion among employees, sports, politics and TV shows also share the floor.  The unofficial communication channel in an organization is the organization's 'grapevine.' It is through the grapevine that rumors circulate. Also those engaging in 'grapevine' discussions often form groups, which translate into friendships outside of the organization. While the grapevine may have positive implications, more often than not information circulating in the grapevine is exaggerated and may cause unnecessary alarm to employees. A good manager should be privy to information circulating in this unofficial communication channel and should take positive measures to prevent the flow of false information. Types of communication: 1. Verbal Communication 2. Nonverbal Communication 1. Verbal Communication Verbal communication refers to the form of communication in which message is transmitted verbally; communication is done by word of mouth and a piece of writing. Objective of every communication is to have people understand what we are trying to convey. In verbal communication remember the acronym K-I-S-S (keep it short and simple). When we talk to others, we assume that others understand what we are saying because we know what we are saying. But this is not the case. usually people bring their own attitude, perception, emotions and thoughts about the topic and hence creates barrier in delivering the right meaning. So in order to deliver the right message, you must put yourself on the other side of the table and think from your receiver’s point of view. Would he understand the message? how it would sound on the other side of the table? Verbal Communication is further divided into:  Oral Communication  Written Communication
  • 10. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 10 Oral Communication In oral communication, Spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet. In oral communication, communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking. Advantages of Oral communication are: It brings quick feedback. In a face-to-face conversation, by reading facial expression and body language one can guess whether he/she should trust what’s being said or not. Disadvantage of oral communication In face-to-face discussion, user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering, so this can be counted as a Written Communication In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate. A written message may be printed or hand written. In written communication message can be transmitted via email, letter, report, memo etc. Message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary & grammar used, writing style, precision and clarity of the language used. Written Communication is most common form of communication being used in business. So, it is considered core among business skills. Memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail are the types of written communication used for internal communication. For communicating with external environment in writing, electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases are used. Advantages of written communication includes: Messages can be edited and revised many time before it is actually sent. Written communication provides record for every message sent and can be saved for later study. A written message enables receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback.
  • 11. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 11 Disadvantages of written communication includes: Unlike oral communication, Written communication doesn’t bring instant feedback. It takes more time in composing a written message as compared to word-of-mouth and number of people struggles for writing ability. 2. Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal communication is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can say that communication other than oral and written, such as gesture, body language, posture, tone of voice or facial expressions, is called nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is all about the body language of speaker. Nonverbal communication helps receiver in interpreting the message received. Often, nonverbal signals reflect the situation more accurately than verbal messages. Sometimes nonverbal response contradicts verbal communication and hence affect the effectiveness of message. Nonverbal communication has the following three elements: Appearance Speaker: clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics Surrounding: room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings Body Language facial expressions, gestures, postures Sounds Voice Tone, Volume, Speech rate Types of Communication Based on Purpose and Style Based on style and purpose, there are two main categories of communication and they both bears their own characteristics. Communication types based on style and purpose are: 1. Formal Communication 2. Informal Communication
  • 12. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 12 1. Formal Communication In formal communication, certain rules, conventions and principles are followed while communicating message. Formal communication occurs in formal and official style. Usually professional settings, corporate meetings, conferences undergoes in formal pattern. In formal communication, use of slang and foul language is avoided and correct pronunciation is required. Authority lines are needed to be followed in formal communication. 2. Informal Communication Informal communication is done using channels that are in contrast with formal communication channels. It’s just a casual talk. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to- face discussions. It happens among friends and family. In informal communication use of slang words, foul language is not restricted. Informal communication is done orally and using gestures. Informal communication, unlike formal communication, doesn’t follow authority lines. In an organization, it helps in finding out staff grievances as people express more when talking informally. Informal communication helps in building relationships. Dimensions of Communication: 1st Dimension of Communication:- Internal dialog: This is when we talk to ourselves - not out loud, but in our heads. It is our internal belief system that only we ourselves know about how we really feel about everything. If we say: "I know I can get this job," or "I can ace my P.E. exam," or "I bowl about a 240," - we will! That's because we can say with reasonable assurity that we can do those things within our abilities. Of course, the negative version of this works quite well, also. We sometimes keep ourselves from growing because we tell ourselves what we can and cannot do. "I can't figure this thing out," or "I'm not really a creative person - that's something you're either born with, or not," Saying these things can have a devastating effect! It is also the images we play in our heads like thinking what it'd be like if we move to a new city, or run into an ex- at our own wedding, or what we would do if the apartment caught on fire. In the 1st dimension, communication takes place instantaneously. 2nd Dimension of Communication:- One-to one: Face to face interactions, such as talking with someone next to you. This form is limited to our senses - mainly the strength of our voices and ears. And, both parties need to be present for the message to be
  • 13. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 13 transferred. Once out of earshot, communication can no longer take place. Sign language, light, flag and smoke signals all fit in this category because one needs to be within visual range to get the message. With technology, messages can be transmitted and received over distances beyond the reach of our senses. Messages have to be written or recorded on some media (such as a letter or newspaper) to be physically taken to the other person either by foot, horseback, boat or carrier pigeon. At this point, time becomes an issue and messages are not always timely. With technologies such as the telegraph and telephone, the messages do not need a physical form, although the devices and wires do. Now, the proximity factor is no longer relevant - messages travel great distances at nearly light-speed. 3rd Dimension of Communication: - One-to-many: From public speaking to rock concerts, these messages can be received by several listeners/viewers in one locale, such as a movie theater or stage, but only come from one entity that has control over the content. The receiver can choose only from what is available, and the communication is mostly one-way, except for audience reaction. With technology, one-to-many messages are broadcast by, radio, cable or satellite. In this dimension, one sender can transmit a message to many, many receivers simultaneously around the world. But without a live audience, the feedback is more removed, and therefore the communication is even more one-way. In the 3rd dimension, time and distance again are not a significant factor, but timing is everything. The receiver has to be at the concert or near a radio or in front of a TV to get the message. Even if you tape a show with your VCR and watch it later, you still have to coordinate the machine with the airing schedule determined by the sender. 4th Dimension of Communication. - Many-to-many: These messages (you are reading on now) are now possible with the Internet. Now, we can send a message that anyone else can receive from just about anywhere and at anytime - 24 hours a day. No longer do we have to wait for a show to come on, or a book to be returned from the library. E-mail travels as fast as a telephone, and you don't have to be at your mailbox to receive (or send) it. Timing is controlled primarily by the receiver, not the sender. And the sender can post an essay on the Web at 4:00 in the morning (like this one). The Internet and WWW represent the massest of all mass media. Perhaps the most important difference from other mass media is that the Internet is unmediated media. More specifically, it is self-mediated media. We can send or receive the information we want, when we want it - and every book is always on the shelf of the world's largest library. And, we all have a voice - a microphone or billboard to share our thoughts to the world. BARRIERS OF COMMUNICATION Communication plays a major role in developing a relationship. It can also affect the relationship among family members or management in any institute. More specifically, communication influences the effectiveness of instruction, performance evaluation, and the handling of discipline problems. Communication should be straightforward. What can make it complex, difficult, and frustrating are the barriers. Some barriers of communication are the following.
  • 14. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 14 1. Physiological Barrier Physiological barriers to communication are related with the limitations of the human body and the human mind (memory, attention, and perception). Physiological barriers may result from individuals’ personal discomfort, caused by ill-health, poor eye sight, or hearing difficulties. a. Poor Listening Skills Listening to others is considered a difficult task. A typical speaker says about 125 words per minute. The typical listener can receive 400–600 words per minute. Thus, about three-fourth of listening time is free time. The free time often sidetracks the listener. The solution is to be an active rather than passive listener. A listener's premature frown, shaking of the head, or bored look can easily convince the other person/speaker that there is no reason to elaborate or try again to communicate his/her excellent idea. b. Information Overload Nurses are surrounded with a pool of information. It is essential to control the flow of the information, else the information is likely to be misinterpreted or forgotten or overlooked. As a result, communication may get distorted. c. Inattention At times, we just do not listen but only hear. For example, your boss is immersed in his/her very important paper work surrounded by so many files on the table and you are explaining him/her about an urgent office problem. In this situation, due to the inattention, the boss will not listen to you (he/she will only hear you); hence, he/she may not get what you are saying and it may lead to disappointment. d. Emotions The emotional state of a person at a particular point of time affects his/her communication with others as it has an impact on the body language (nonverbal communication). If the receiver feels that the sender is angry (emotional state), he/she can easily infer that the information being obtained will be very terrible. Emotional state causes some physiological changes in our body that may affect the pronunciation, pressure of the speech, and tone of the voice of the sender as well as the perception, thinking process, and information interpretation of the receiver during verbal communication. e. Poor Retention Human memory cannot function beyond a limit. One cannot always retain all the facts/information about what is being told to him/her especially if he/she is not interested or not attentive. This leads to communication breakdown.
  • 15. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 15 2. Physical and Environmental Distractions Physical distractions are the physical things that get in the way of communication. Examples of such things include the telephone, an uncomfortable meeting place, and noise. These physical distractions are common in the hospital setting. If the telephone rings, the usual human tendency will be to answer it even if the caller is interrupting a very important or even delicate conversation. Distractions such as background noise, poor lighting, uncomfortable sitting, unhygienic room, or an environment that is too hot or cold can affect people's morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication. 3. Psychological Barrier Psychological factors such as misperception, filtering, distrust, unhappy emotions, and people's state of mind can jeopardize the process of communication. We all tend to feel happier and more receptive to information when the sun shines. Similarly, if someone has personal problems such as worries and stress about a chronic illness, it may impinge his/her communication with others. 4. Social Barriers Social barriers to communication include the social psychological phenomenon of conformity, a process in which the norms, values, and behaviors of an individual begin to follow those of the wider group. Social factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, and marital status may act as a barrier to communication in certain situations. 5. Cultural Barriers Culture shapes the way we think and behave. It can be seen as both shaping and being shaped by our established patterns of communication. Cultural barrier to communication often arises when individuals in one social group have developed different norms, values, or behaviors to individuals associated with another group. Cultural difference leads to difference in interest, knowledge, value, and tradition. Therefore, people of different cultures will experience these culture factors as a barrier to communicate with each other. 6. Semantic Barrier Language, jargon, slang, etc., are some of the semantic barriers. Different languages across different regions represent a national barrier to communication, which is particularly important for migrating nurses. Use of jargon and slang also act as barrier to communication. For example, while delivering health education to a cardiac patient, if a cardiac nurse uses jargons such as “coronary artery disease,” “anticoagulants,” and “homocysteine and C-reactive proteins,” the patient will listen attentively as he/she cannot understand these medical jargons. Therefore, she is required to use simple words “heart ki nadi ki bimari,” “khoon patla karne ki dawai,” and “certain chemicals in our body” so that the patient can understand what the nurse is supposed to communicate with him/her.
  • 16. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 16 7. Linguistic Barriers Individual linguistic ability may sometimes become a barrier to communication. The use of difficult or inappropriate words in communication can prevent the people from understanding the message. Poorly explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. The linguistic differences between the people can also lead to communication breakdown. The same word may mean differently to different individuals. For example, consider a word “face.”  He is facing a problem  What is the face value of this share bond?  Your face is oval shape “Face” means differently in different sentences. Communication breakdown occurs if there is wrong perception of the meaning of the message by the receiver. 8. Past Experience If someone has awful experiences in the past related to some particular situation, then he/she will try to avoid communication in that situation. For example, a staff nurse who, while providing detailed information regarding the patient care at the time of routine clinical round to her boss, is always facing negative body language and discouraging words from her boss will ultimately limit her communication to the boss at that time. 9. Organizational Barriers Unclear planning, structure, information overload, timing, technology, and status difference are the organizational factors that may act as barriers to communication. a. Technological Failure Message not delivered due to technical failure (e.g., receiver was not in mobile network area and the sender has not activated delivery report in message setting). b. Time Pressures Often, in organization the targets have to be achieved within a specified time period, the failure of which may have adverse consequences for the employee. In a haste to meet deadlines, usually an employee tries to shorten the formal channels of communication that can lead to confusion and misunderstanding among the various levels of supervisors, hence leading distorted communication. Therefore, sufficient time should be given for effective communication. c. Complexity in Organizational Structure Greater the hierarchy in an organization (i.e., the more the number of managerial levels), more are the chances of communication getting destroyed. Only the people at the top level can see the overall picture
  • 17. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 17 while the people at low level just have a knowledge about their own area and a little knowledge about other areas of the organization. 10. Barriers Related with the Message a. Unclear Messages Effective communication starts with a clear message. Unclear messages in terms of meaning, grammar, and words may act as a barrier to communication because the receiver may not be able to intercept the actual meaning of the message. b. Stereotypes Stereotypes are beliefs or generalizations about characteristics or qualities that are felt to be typical of a particular group (Funk & Wagnalls, 1966). Stereotyping is a barrier to communication because people with stereotype thoughts either will not read the message completely or will not read it at all because of their thinking that they already know everything (Figure 1.9). c. Inappropriate Channel Variation of channels helps the receiver understand the nature and importance of a message. While making a choice for a channel of communication, the sender needs to be sensitive to such things as the complexity of the message; consequences of a misunderstanding; knowledge, skills, and abilities of the receiver; and immediacy of action to be taken from the message. d. Lack of Feedback Feedback is the mirror of communication. Feedback mirrors what the sender has sent. Without feedback, communication cannot be considered complete. Both the sender and the receiver can play an active role in using feedback to make communication truly two-way. 11. Some Other Blocks to Communication  Failure to listen: Communicator may or may not feel able to speak freely to the listener, if the listener is not listening carefully or not responding.  Conflicting verbal and nonverbal messages.  Failure to interpret with knowledge.  Changing the subject: A quick way to stop conversation is to change the subject.
  • 18. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 18  Inappropriate comments and questions: Certain types of comments and questions should be avoided in most situations because they tend to impede effective communication, e.g., close-ended questions and using comments that give advice. Unit III Business communication: The various forms of writing, and responding carried out both in and beyond the workplace, whether in person or electronically. Memorandums, reports, proposals, and other forms of writing used in organizations to communicate with internal or external audiences. Business Letter: Business letters are an essential means of communication between organisations and their customers. Because of their importance, business letters that are poorly written may waste considerable time and money. Furthermore, carelessly written letters, which project a poor image of the writer, can result in loss of another kind. A reader’s negative reaction to an unclear or messy letter can cost a company an important contract or an employee his or her job. Characteristics / Advantages of Business Letter: • Letters provide a permanent, written record of a business transaction. • Letters represent a commitment on the part of the writer, as the expression “put it in writing” indicates. • Letters provide travelling sales people and busy executives with a convenient way to receive information and to respond. They can usually set aside time to answer their mail. • Letters that are carefully planned can create goodwill. Sometimes it can stimulate business even in situations where customers or clients are dissatisfied with a product or service. • When a message is complicated, and the writer wishes to reduce the possibility of confusion, a letter can provide clear documentation of his or her position. Similarly, a letter is ideal when the recipient of a message needs time to study it. Process of Business Writing: (a) First, establish your purpose, your reader’s needs, and your scope. (b) Second, prepare an outline. For a letter, an outline may involve a little more than jotting down on a note pad, the points you wish to make and the order in which you wish to make them. (c) Third, write a rough draft from the outline. (d) Fourth, set the draft aside for a “cooling” period. The cooling period is especially important in the case of a letter written in response to a problem. Business letters are not the place to vent emotions. A cooling period, even if it is only a lunch hour, gives the writer a chance to remove any hasty and inappropriate statements made in the heat of the situation. Always allow the rough draft of a crucial letter to “cool” overnight before revising and mailing it — regardless of the pressure to send it out right away. A slight delay, but an appropriate response is preferable to an immediate reply that may cause misunderstanding later. (e) In the fifth step, revising the rough draft, go over your work carefully, checking for sense as well as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Since format (the arrangement of the parts of a letter on the page) is a basic element in letter writing, it is a good idea to type out a preliminary copy of the letter on paper that is the same size as the stationery you will be using.
  • 19. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 19 Format of Business Letter: Date: Use month, day, year format, e.g., March 3, 2012 or 3 March 2012 Sender's Address: It is a good idea to include sender's email and url, if available. Don't include this information if it's already incorporated into the letterhead design. This will allow customers to find your small business more quickly. Inside Address: Use full name. Mr./Ms. is optional Salutation: Be sure to use a colon at the end of the name, not a comma as in personal letters Body Text: State why you are writing. Establish any connection/mutual relationship up front. Outline the solution, providing proof in the way of examples and expert opinions. Group related information into paragraphs Closing "Call to Action": State what the reader needs to do and what you will do to follow up Signature Block: Sign your letter in blue or black ink Enclosures: Use if you have an enclosure Carbon Copy: Use if you are sending a copy to additional person(s) Tips: Use a professional tone. Save casual, chatty language for email - your printed business letter should be friendly but more professional. The business writer should strive for an overall tone that is confident, courteous, and sincere; that uses emphasis and subordination appropriately; that contains nondiscriminatory language; that stresses the "you" attitude; and that is written at an appropriate level of difficulty." That said, be sure to sound like yourself - you don't want your letter to read as if a machine wrote it. Write clearly. State your point early in your letter. To avoid any miscommunications, use straightforward, concise language. Skip the industry jargon and instead choose lively, active words to hold your reader's attention. Organize your information logically: Group related information into separate paragraphs. In a long, information-packed letter, consider organizing information into sections with subheads. You may want to highlight key words to make them "pop" - Use Color To Emphasize Words In Text It's easy to put a few words in color to draw attention to them. Just select the type and click the arrow to the right of the Font Color button, choose the color you want, then click the button. Or, try highlighting a few words in the text. Select the type you want to emphasize, then click the Highlight button. Note: When highlighting parts of a document you intend to print, use a light color such as yellow, light green, or light blue. If you wish to remove the highlighting, select the text and click the Highlight button again. AutoText automates applying color (or any type style), which would ordinarily take numerous clicks or commands. Say you're creating a report that compares your organization's performance against that of your competitor. Word can automatically color your company's name every time it appears, making those entries easy to locate. Be persuasive.
  • 20. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 20 Establish a positive relationship with your reader right away. If you have a connection to the reader - you've met before or have a mutual colleague, for example - mention it in your introductory paragraph. Whether you think your reader will agree with the point of your letter or not, it is important to find common ground and build your case from there. Understand your reader well enough to anticipate how he or she will react when reading your letter. Address his or her needs or wishes, or a specific problem, and then outline your solution. Provide proof in the way of examples and/or expert opinions to back up your point. Make sure to maintain a friendly tone. Conclude your letter with a "call to action." State clearly what your reader needs to do or believe to achieve the desired solution and then state what you, the writer, intend to do next to follow up. Proofread your letter! All your careful crafting and printing can't cover up spelling or punctuation errors, which leave a lasting negative impression. Unit VI
  • 21. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 21 BARRIERS OF COMMUNICATION Communication plays a major role in developing a relationship. It can also affect the relationship among family members or management in any institute. More specifically, communication influences the effectiveness of instruction, performance evaluation, and the handling of discipline problems. Communication should be straightforward. What can make it complex, difficult, and frustrating are the barriers. Some barriers of communication are the following. 1. Physiological Barrier Physiological barriers to communication are related with the limitations of the human body and the human mind (memory, attention, and perception). Physiological barriers may result from individuals’ personal discomfort, caused by ill-health, poor eye sight, or hearing difficulties. a. Poor Listening Skills Listening to others is considered a difficult task. A typical speaker says about 125 words per minute. The typical listener can receive 400–600 words per minute. Thus, about three-fourth of listening time is free time. The free time often sidetracks the listener. The solution is to be an active rather than passive listener. A listener's premature frown, shaking of the head, or bored look can easily convince the other person/speaker that there is no reason to elaborate or try again to communicate his/her excellent idea. b. Information Overload Nurses are surrounded with a pool of information. It is essential to control the flow of the information, else the information is likely to be misinterpreted or forgotten or overlooked. As a result, communication may get distorted. c. Inattention At times, we just do not listen but only hear. For example, your boss is immersed in his/her very important paper work surrounded by so many files on the table and you are explaining him/her about an urgent office problem. In this situation, due to the inattention, the boss will not listen to you (he/she will only hear you); hence, he/she may not get what you are saying and it may lead to disappointment. d. Emotions The emotional state of a person at a particular point of time affects his/her communication with others as it has an impact on the body language (nonverbal communication). If the receiver feels that the sender is angry (emotional state), he/she can easily infer that the information being obtained will be very terrible. Emotional state causes some physiological changes in our body that may affect the pronunciation, pressure of the speech, and tone of the voice of the sender as well as the perception, thinking process, and information interpretation of the receiver during verbal communication.
  • 22. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 22 e. Poor Retention Human memory cannot function beyond a limit. One cannot always retain all the facts/information about what is being told to him/her especially if he/she is not interested or not attentive. This leads to communication breakdown. 2. Physical and Environmental Distractions Physical distractions are the physical things that get in the way of communication. Examples of such things include the telephone, an uncomfortable meeting place, and noise. These physical distractions are common in the hospital setting. If the telephone rings, the usual human tendency will be to answer it even if the caller is interrupting a very important or even delicate conversation. Distractions such as background noise, poor lighting, uncomfortable sitting, unhygienic room, or an environment that is too hot or cold can affect people's morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication. 3. Psychological Barrier Psychological factors such as misperception, filtering, distrust, unhappy emotions, and people's state of mind can jeopardize the process of communication. We all tend to feel happier and more receptive to information when the sun shines. Similarly, if someone has personal problems such as worries and stress about a chronic illness, it may impinge his/her communication with others. 4. Social Barriers Social barriers to communication include the social psychological phenomenon of conformity, a process in which the norms, values, and behaviors of an individual begin to follow those of the wider group. Social factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, and marital status may act as a barrier to communication in certain situations. 5. Cultural Barriers Culture shapes the way we think and behave. It can be seen as both shaping and being shaped by our established patterns of communication. Cultural barrier to communication often arises when individuals in one social group have developed different norms, values, or behaviors to individuals associated with another group. Cultural difference leads to difference in interest, knowledge, value, and tradition. Therefore, people of different cultures will experience these culture factors as a barrier to communicate with each other. 6. Semantic Barrier Language, jargon, slang, etc., are some of the semantic barriers. Different languages across different regions represent a national barrier to communication, which is particularly important for migrating nurses.
  • 23. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 23 Use of jargon and slang also act as barrier to communication. For example, while delivering health education to a cardiac patient, if a cardiac nurse uses jargons such as “coronary artery disease,” “anticoagulants,” and “homocysteine and C-reactive proteins,” the patient will listen attentively as he/she cannot understand these medical jargons. Therefore, she is required to use simple words “heart ki nadi ki bimari,” “khoon patla karne ki dawai,” and “certain chemicals in our body” so that the patient can understand what the nurse is supposed to communicate with him/her. 7. Linguistic Barriers Individual linguistic ability may sometimes become a barrier to communication. The use of difficult or inappropriate words in communication can prevent the people from understanding the message. Poorly explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. The linguistic differences between the people can also lead to communication breakdown. The same word may mean differently to different individuals. For example, consider a word “face.”  He is facing a problem  What is the face value of this share bond?  Your face is oval shape “Face” means differently in different sentences. Communication breakdown occurs if there is wrong perception of the meaning of the message by the receiver. 8. Past Experience If someone has awful experiences in the past related to some particular situation, then he/she will try to avoid communication in that situation. For example, a staff nurse who, while providing detailed information regarding the patient care at the time of routine clinical round to her boss, is always facing negative body language and discouraging words from her boss will ultimately limit her communication to the boss at that time. 9. Organizational Barriers Unclear planning, structure, information overload, timing, technology, and status difference are the organizational factors that may act as barriers to communication. a. Technological Failure Message not delivered due to technical failure (e.g., receiver was not in mobile network area and the sender has not activated delivery report in message setting). b. Time Pressures Often, in organization the targets have to be achieved within a specified time period, the failure of which may have adverse consequences for the employee. In a haste to meet deadlines, usually an employee tries to shorten the formal channels of communication that can lead to confusion and misunderstanding
  • 24. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 24 among the various levels of supervisors, hence leading distorted communication. Therefore, sufficient time should be given for effective communication. c. Complexity in Organizational Structure Greater the hierarchy in an organization (i.e., the more the number of managerial levels), more are the chances of communication getting destroyed. Only the people at the top level can see the overall picture while the people at low level just have a knowledge about their own area and a little knowledge about other areas of the organization. 10. Barriers Related with the Message a. Unclear Messages Effective communication starts with a clear message. Unclear messages in terms of meaning, grammar, and words may act as a barrier to communication because the receiver may not be able to intercept the actual meaning of the message. b. Stereotypes Stereotypes are beliefs or generalizations about characteristics or qualities that are felt to be typical of a particular group (Funk & Wagnalls, 1966). Stereotyping is a barrier to communication because people with stereotype thoughts either will not read the message completely or will not read it at all because of their thinking that they already know everything (Figure 1.9). c. Inappropriate Channel Variation of channels helps the receiver understand the nature and importance of a message. While making a choice for a channel of communication, the sender needs to be sensitive to such things as the complexity of the message; consequences of a misunderstanding; knowledge, skills, and abilities of the receiver; and immediacy of action to be taken from the message. d. Lack of Feedback Feedback is the mirror of communication. Feedback mirrors what the sender has sent. Without feedback, communication cannot be considered complete. Both the sender and the receiver can play an active role in using feedback to make communication truly two-way.
  • 25. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 25 11. Some Other Blocks to Communication  Failure to listen: Communicator may or may not feel able to speak freely to the listener, if the listener is not listening carefully or not responding.  Conflicting verbal and nonverbal messages.  Failure to interpret with knowledge.  Changing the subject: A quick way to stop conversation is to change the subject.  Inappropriate comments and questions: Certain types of comments and questions should be avoided in most situations because they tend to impede effective communication, e.g., close-ended questions and using comments that give advice. Overcome the barriers of communication: 1. Eliminating differences in perception: The organization should ensure that it is recruiting right individuals on the job. It’s the responsibility of the interviewer to ensure that the interviewee has command over the written and spoken language. There should be proper Induction program so that the policies of the company are clear to all the employees. There should be proper trainings conducted for required employees (for eg: Voice and Accent training). 2. Use of Simple Language: Use of simple and clear words should be emphasized. Use of ambiguous words and jargons should be avoided. 3. Reduction and elimination of noise levels: Noise is the main communication barrier which must be overcome on priority basis. It is essential to identify the source of noise and then eliminate that source. 4. Active Listening: Listen attentively and carefully. There is a difference between “listening” and “hearing”. Active listening means hearing with proper understanding of the message that is heard. By asking questions the speaker can ensure whether his/her message is understood or not by the receiver in the same terms as intended by the speaker. 5. Emotional State: During communication one should make effective use of body language. He/she should not show their emotions while communication as the receiver might misinterpret the message being delivered. For example, if the conveyer of the message is in a bad mood then the receiver might think that the information being delivered is not good. 6. Simple Organizational Structure: The organizational structure should not be complex. The number of hierarchical levels should be optimum. There should be a ideal span of control within the organization. Simpler the organizational structure, more effective will be the communication. 7. Avoid Information Overload: The managers should know how to prioritize their work. They should not overload themselves with the work. They should spend quality time with their subordinates and should listen to their problems and feedbacks actively. 8. Give Constructive Feedback: Avoid giving negative feedback. The contents of the feedback might be negative, but it should be delivered constructively. Constructive feedback will lead to effective communication between the superior and subordinate. 9. Proper Media Selection: The managers should properly select the medium of communication. Simple messages should be conveyed orally, like: face to face interaction or meetings. Use of written means of communication should be encouraged for delivering complex messages. For significant messages reminders can be given by using written means of communication such as : Memos, Notices etc. 10. Flexibility in meeting the targets: For effective communication in an organization the managers should ensure that the individuals are meeting their targets timely without skipping the formal
  • 26. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 26 channels of communication. There should not be much pressure on employees to meet their targets. Listening: Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated. Listening is so important that many top employers provide listening skills training for their employees. This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to: better customer satisfaction, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, increased sharing of information that in turn can lead to more creative and innovative work. Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening skills. Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind the success of Virgin. Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships, spend some time thinking about and developing your listening skills – they are the building blocks of success. Difference between hearing and listening: Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that: it requires focus. Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you perceive and understand these messages. Types of listening: Discriminative Listening Discriminative listening is first developed at a very early age – perhaps even before birth, in the womb. This is the most basic form of listening and does not involve the understanding of the meaning of words or phrases but merely the different sounds that are produced. In early childhood, for example, a distinction is made between the sounds of the voices of the parents – the voice of the father sounds different to that of the mother. Discriminative listening develops through childhood and into adulthood. As we grow older and develop and gain more life experience, our ability to distinguish between different sounds is improved. Not only can we recognise different voices, but we also develop the ability to recognise subtle differences in the way that sounds are made – this is fundamental to ultimately understanding what these sounds mean. Differences include many subtleties, recognising foreign languages, distinguishing between regional accents and clues to the emotions and feelings of the speaker.
  • 27. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 27 Comprehensive Listening Comprehensive listening involves understanding the message or messages that are being communicated. Like discriminative listening, comprehensive listening is fundamental to all listening sub-types. In order to be able use comprehensive listening and therefore gain understanding the listener first needs appropriate vocabulary and language skills. Using overly complicated language or technical jargon, therefore, can be a barrier to comprehensive listening. Comprehensive listening is further complicated by the fact that two different people listening to the same thing may understand the message in two different ways. This problem can be multiplied in a group setting, like a classroom or business meeting where numerous different meanings can be derived from what has been said. Comprehensive listening is complimented by sub-messages from non-verbal communication, such as the tone of voice, gestures and other body language. These non-verbal signals can greatly aid communication and comprehension but can also confuse and potentially lead to misunderstanding. In many listening situations it is vital to seek clarification and use skills such as reflection aid comprehension. Informational Listening Whenever you listen to learn something, you are engaged in informational listening. This is true in many day-to-day situations, in education and at work, when you listen to the news, watch a documentary, when a friend tells you a recipe or when you are talked-through a technical problem with a computer – there are many other examples of informational listening too. Although all types of listening are ‘active’ – they require concentration and a conscious effort to understand. Informational listening is less active than many of the other types of listening. When we’re listening to learn or be instructed we are taking in new information and facts, we are not criticising or analysing. Informational listening, especially in formal settings like in work meetings or while in education, is often accompanied by note taking – a way of recording key information so that it can be reviewed later. Critical Listening We can be said to be engaged in critical listening when the goal is to evaluate or scrutinise what is being said. Critical listening is a much more active behaviour than informational listening and usually involves some sort of problem solving or decision making. Critical listening is akin to critical reading; both involve analysis of the information being received and alignment with what we already know or believe. Whereas informational listening may be mostly concerned with receiving facts and/or new information - critical listening is about analysing opinion and making a judgement. When the word ‘critical’ is used to describe listening, reading or thinking it does not necessarily mean that you are claiming that the information you are listening to is somehow faulty or flawed. Rather, critical listening means engaging in what you are listening to by asking yourself questions such as, ‘what is the
  • 28. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 28 speaker trying to say?’ or ‘what is the main argument being presented?’, ‘how does what I’m hearing differ from my beliefs, knowledge or opinion?’. Critical listening is, therefore, fundamental to true learning. Many day-to-day decisions that we make are based on some form of ‘critical’ analysis, whether it be critical listening, reading or thought. Our opinions, values and beliefs are based on our ability to process information and formulate our own feelings about the world around us as well as weigh up the pros and cons to make an informed decision. It is often important, when listening critically, to have an open-mind and not be biased by stereotypes or preconceived ideas. By doing this you will become a better listener and broaden your knowledge and perception of other people and your relationships. Therapeutic or Empathic Listening Empathic listening involves attempting to understand the feelings and emotions of the speaker – to put yourself into the speaker’s shoes and share their thoughts. Empathy is a way of deeply connecting with another person and therapeutic or empathic listening can be particularly challenging. Empathy is not the same as sympathy, it involves more than being compassionate or feeling sorry for somebody else – it involves a deeper connection – a realisation and understanding of another person’s point of view. Counsellors, therapists and some other professionals use therapeutic or empathic listening to understand and ultimately help their clients. This type of listening does not involve making judgements or offering advice but gently encouraging the speaker to explain and elaborate on their feelings and emotions. Skills such as clarification and reflection are often used to help avoid misunderstandings We are all capable of empathic listening and may practise it with friends, family and colleagues. Showing empathy is a desirable trait in many interpersonal relationships – you may well feel more comfortable talking about your own feelings and emotions with a particular person. They are likely to be better at listening empathetically to you than others, this is often based on similar perspectives, experiences, beliefs and values – a good friend, your spouse, a parent or sibling for example. Other Listening Types Although usually less important or useful in interpersonal relationships there are other types of listening that we engage in. Appreciative Listening Appreciative listening is listening for enjoyment. A good example is listening to music, especially as a way to relax. Rapport Listening When trying to build rapport with others we can engage in a type of listening that encourages the other person to trust and like us. A salesman, for example, may make an effort to listen carefully to what you are saying as a way to promote trust and potentially make a sale. This type of listening is common in situations of negotiation.
  • 29. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 29 Selective Listening This is a more negative type of listening, it implies that the listener is somehow biased to what they are hearing. Bias can be based on preconceived ideas or emotionally difficult communications. Selective listening is a sign of failing communication – you cannot hope to understand if you have filtered out some of the message and may reinforce or strengthen your bias for future communications. Active listening Vs. Passive Listening Passive listening is mechanical and effortless. If you are awake and your ears work properly, you can listen passively. It does not require any special effort. You hear what your teacher says and you might be able to tell the difference between major and minor points of the lecture, but that is about it. Lack of enthusiasm and a "care- less" attitude during class characterize a student who is a passive listener. Active listeners, on the other hand, really concentrate on the content of the lecture and not on the lecturer or any random distractions in the room or their mind. They do more than focus on facts, figures, and ideas and actively associate the material presented with their own experiences. The content heard at every lecture is converted to something useful and meaningful for the student. You must pay special attention in class because, unlike when reading a textbook, you only get one chance to hear and understand the information presented to you. Active listening will turn the classroom experience from something boring and dry into something personal and enjoyable. Barriers to listening: There are many things that get in the way of listening and you should be aware of these barriers, many of which are bad habits, in order to become a more effective listener. Barriers and bad habits to effective listening can include: 1. Trying to listen to more than one conversation at a time, this includes having the television or radio on while attempting to listen to somebody talk; being on the phone to one person and talking to another person in the same room and also being distracted by some dominant noise in the immediate environment. 2. You find the communicator attractive/unattractive and you pay more attention to how you feel about the communicator and their physical appearance than to what they are saying. Perhaps you simply don't like the speaker - you may mentally argue with the speaker and be fast to criticise, either verbally or in your head. 3. You are not interested in the topic/issue being discussed and become bored. 4. Not focusing and being easily distracted, fiddling with your hair, fingers, a pen etc. or gazing out of the window or focusing on objects other than the speaker. 5. Feeling unwell or tired, hungry, thirsty or needing to use the toilet. 6. Identifying rather than empathising - understanding what you are hearing but not putting yourself in the shoes of the speaker. As most of us have a lot of internal self-dialogue we spend a lot of time listening to our own thoughts and feelings - it can be difficult to switch the focus from 'I' or 'me' to 'them' or 'you'. Effective listening involves opening your mind to the views of others and attempting to feel empathetic. (See our page: What is Empathy? for more information) 7. Sympathising rather than empathising - sympathy is not the same as empathy, you sympathise when you feel sorry for the experiences of another, to empathise is to put yourself in the position of the other person. 8. You are prejudiced or biased by race, gender, age, religion, accent, and/or past experiences.
  • 30. Business Communication From Sarabjeet Singh 30 9. You have preconceived ideas or bias - effective listening includes being open-minded to the ideas and opinions of others, this does not mean you have to agree but should listen and attempt to understand. 10. You make judgements, thinking, for example that a person is not very bright or is under- qualified so there is no point listening to what they have to say. 11. Previous experiences – we are all influenced by previous experiences in life. We respond to people based on personal appearances, how initial introductions or welcomes were received and/or previous interpersonal encounters. If we stereotype a person we become less objective and therefore less likely to listen effectively. 12. Preoccupation - when we have a lot on our minds we can fail to listen to what is being said as we're too busy concentrating on what we're thinking about. This is particularly true when we feel stressed or worried about issues. 13. Having a Closed Mind - we all have ideals and values that we believe to be correct and it can be difficult to listen to the views of others that contradict our own opinions. The key to effective listening and interpersonal skills more generally is the ability to have a truly open mind - to understand why others think about things differently to you and use this information to gain a better understanding of the speaker. How to overcome the barriers of listening: messenger. The speaker may not be your favorite person or the message being delivered may not agree with your values, but do not let these be reasons to stop you from listening actively. Practice straightforward listening to overcome this barrier: Shut down your emotional attachment to your personal beliefs for a while. Realize that your opinion is just one of the many views, and so is the speaker's. Be curious about what the person has to say. And if your problem is the messenger, go beyond your dislike and just listen to what he has to say and you may even find it useful. email indicator. It may not be possible to shut down out-of-control elements such as noises from nearby construction site or the interior décor of the meeting room, but, if possible, choose a room that you are comfortable with and that is away from noises. d wording your next argument or response, then you are hardly listening. Stop talking to yourself and give rapt attention to the speaker. Listening to someone criticizing the speaker while he is talking is also a distraction. Avoid paying attention to such criticisms and give your attention to the message being delivered. saying. Shut down your prejudices and distractions. Pay attention to her words and body language as well to get the real message. See the situation from her point of view and imagine how you would feel. Ask questions; you not only get clarifications but also convey to the speaker that you are really listening to what she is saying.