Communication in BusinessWhat do we mean by Communication? “The transfer of information and understanding from one person to another person. It is a way ofreaching others with facts, ideas, thoughts and values. It is a bridge of meanings among people sothat they can share what they feel and know. By using this bridge, a person can cross safely the riverof misunderstanding that sometimes separates people”. - Keith DavisAdvantages of Good Communication SkillsTo mention a few- Enables you to interact effectively with others Advances you socially (make useful contacts) Career advancement Builds self confidence Helps you help others Lead others Get work done efficiently Convince others Negotiate to a win-win situationTypical business communication pattern 5% 10% 50% 35% Listening Speaking Reading WritingWhy are organizations paying attention to communication?Communication has become important for firms, due to - Increasing size of organization, Developmentsin IT, Change in concept of Human capital and increased focus on corporate etiquettes. Firms areemploying corporate communication to - create a strong corporate image, build the reputation of keyexecutives, maintain strong investor and shareholder relationship and assist top management in changeNote: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
management within and outside the organization. So overall an organization wants a smooth flow ofinternal as external communication.What are the Purposes/objectives of communication? We communicate in business situation with our specific purpose of accomplishing something.Communication could have many objectives depending on the context and persons involved.Communication within a boardroom, seminar, meeting or organization has different objectives whichdepend on the purpose that has to be achieved. The basic objectives of business communication wouldinclude the following:1. To Inform2. To Persuade3. To EntertainOther objectives of communication are – To educate, to train, to motivate, to integrate and to relate.Scope of Communication1. External Dimension - It includes: Building relations with external agencies and stakeholders Managing advertisements, publicity, public relations functions, public image and goodwill of the organization2. Internal Dimension- It includes: Communication within the organization by formulating the corporate vision, policy objectives and implementations of the set goals Within each department and across departments, functional heads communicate to their subordinates by giving job-related instructions, suggestions, advice and orders. Communication facilitates in proper understanding of policies, top management needs to obtain and understand the feedback of the lower and middle management through various forms for proper implementation of policies and guidelines.Classification of CommunicationCommunication is classified according to the number of persons (receivers) to whom the message isaddressed and on the basis of the medium employed.Note: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
Process of CommunicationElements of the Communication Process:1. Sender/Encoder/Speaker2. Receiver/Decoder/Listener3. Message4. Medium/Channel (Verbal - oral, written and non-verbal)5. FeedbackNote: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
Working of the Process of Communication1. The One Way ProcessThe sender, as per his ideas, behavior patterns and intention, selects a message. He then encodes themessage and sends it to the receiver through a medium which may be - verbal or non-verbal. Afterreceiving the message, the receiver decodes it and gives an internal response to the perceived message.This completes the phase of the communication process. The manner in which the sender and receiverperceive the message would give rise to encoding and decoding.2. Shannons Model of the Communication ProcessShannons (1948) model of the communication provided, for the first time, a general model of thecommunication process that could be treated as the common ground of such diverse disciplines asjournalism, rhetoric, linguistics, and speech and hearing sciences. Part of its success is due to itsstructuralist reduction of communication to a set of basic constituents that not only explain howcommunication happens, but why communication sometimes fails.Note: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
Shannons (1948) Model of the communication process.As shown in the figure above, Shannons model, breaks the process of communication down into eightdiscrete components: 1. An information source. Presumably a person who creates a message. 2. The message, which is both sent by the information source and received by the destination. 3. A transmitter. For Shannons immediate purpose a telephone instrument that captures an audio signal, converts it into an electronic signal, and amplifies it for transmission through the telephone network. The simplest transmission system, associated with face-to-face communication, has at least two layers of transmission. The first, the mouth (sound) and body (gesture) create and modulate a signal. The second layer, which might also be described as a channel, is built of the air (sound) and light (gesture) that enable the transmission of those signals from one person to another. 4. The signal, which flows through a channel. There may be multiple parallel signals, as is the case in face-to-face interaction where sound and gesture involve different signal systems that depend on different channels and modes of transmission. 5. A carrier or channel, which is represented by the small unlabeled box in the middle of the model. 6. Noise, in the form of secondary signals that obscure or confuse the signal carried. Given Shannons focus on telephone transmission, carriers, and reception, it should not be surprising that noise is restricted to noise that obscures or obliterates some portion of the signal within the channel. This is a fairly restrictive notion of noise, by current standards, and a somewhat misleading one. 7. A receiver. In Shannons conception, the receiving telephone instrument. In face to face communication a set of ears (sound) and eyes (gesture). In television, several layers of receiver, including an antenna and a television set. 8. A destination. Presumably a person who consumes and processes the message.Like all models, this is a minimalist abstraction of the reality it attempts to reproduce. The reality ofmost communication systems is more complex. Most information sources (and destinations) act as bothsources and destinations. Transmitters, receivers, channels, signals, and even messages are oftenNote: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
layered both serially and in parallel such that there are multiple signals transmitted and received, evenwhen they are converged into a common signal stream and a common channel.3. Two Way processThis approach recognizes the role of the receiver as a communicator through feedback. Thecommunication process is only complete after the sender receives the feedback from the receiver. Inthe second phase the receiver formulates his message, encodes it and transmits it to the original sender-now-turned-receiver. Message Channel Encoding Decoding Receiver Idea Sender Decoding of Encoding of feedback response Perceived Feedback meaning and internal responseConditions for successful communicationCommunication is successful only when, the message is properly understood, the purpose of the senderis fulfilled and the sender and receiver of the message remain linked through feedback.Universal elements in communication The communication environment, symbols and mental filter are the three universal elements ofcommunication.7C’s of CommunicationAccording to Francis J Bergin, seven Cs are important in verbal and written communication. They are:Note: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
Functions of Communication Control Affiliation Task OrientationForms of Communication Encoding / Transcribe Decoding / Interpreting (Aural) Hearing & Oral Speaking Listening Verbal Writing & Drawing Written Reading, Browsing (Scripture, codes) Touching, Smiling, Feeling, Seeing, Tasting, Non Verbal Gesturing, etc. Smelling, etcNote: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
Communication structure in an OrganizationCommunication follows the organizational structure1. Upward Communication - Memos, notices, newsletters, manuals2. Downward Communication - Memos, reports, meetings, informal discussion3. Horizontal Communication - Committee meetings, seminars, conferences4. Diagonal Communication - Depends on cooperation, goodwill and respectLateral or Horizontal CommunicationDiagonal or Crosswise communicationNote: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
Note: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
Internal CommunicationMerits of Informal communication:1. Speedy transmission2. Feedback value3. Support to other channels4. Psychological satisfaction5. Uniting force6. Creation of ideas7. Good personal relationsDemerits of informal communicationo Changing interpretationso Lack of accountabilityo Incomplete informationMiscommunication 1. Organization Structure Every organization has a communication policy that describes the protocol to be followed. It is the structure and complexity of this protocol that gives rise to communication barriers 2. Difference in status Generally employees at lower levels of the hierarchy are overly cautious while sending messages to managers and talk about subjects they think the managers are interested in. Similarly, people ofNote: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
higher status may distort messages by refusing to discuss anything that would undermine the authority in the organization. 3. Lack of trust Subordinates may not know whether their manager will respond in a supportive or responsible way, and hence it is necessary for the manager to ensure that they have faith in him. Lack of trust, an open communication is effectively blocked, thereby threatening the organization’s stability. It is important that people trust you to freely discuss things with you. Barriers to trust can be overcome by being visible and accessible. Creating an open communication environment in the firm, helping employees in times of distress, and assuring them of your suggestion or co-operation may help you to build trust in their minds. 4. Closed Communication climate Management style of an organization influences an organization’s communication climate. Authoritarian style blocks free and open exchange of information that characterizes good communication. To overcome barriers related to organizational environment, one should spend more time listening than issuing orders. A manager should encourage employees and colleagues to offer suggestions, help set goals, participate in solving problems and help make decisions. 5. Incorrect choice of medium Face-to-face communication is the richest medium because is personalized; it provides instant feedback, transmits information using verbal as well as non-verbal cues and also conveys the emotion behind the message. Nature of message Type of Media Cues Nature of Media Quality feedback Personal (Oral) Face-to-face Verbal and non Immediate Richest verbal Personal (Oral) Telephone, Verbal and Close to Rich computers, etc. vocal immediate Personal and Letters, Memos, Verbal and Delayed/No Leaner impersonal reports, etc. visual (Written)/Addressed documents Impersonal Circulars etc. Verbal and Almost Nil Leanest Unaddressed visual documents 6. Information overload At times, people load their messages with too much information. Too much information is as bad as too little because it reduces the audience’s ability to concentrate on the most important part ofNote: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.
the message. Due to overload, recipients tend to ignore some of the messages or delay the response, or react superficially to all messages. To avoid information overload, as a sender, include only that information which is pertinent to the context. As a receiver, set priorities for dealing with the information flow and do not get trapped in the sea of information. 7. Physical distractions Communication barriers are often physical – bad connections, poor acoustics, illegible copy, etc. An uncomfortable chair, poor lightning or some other irritating condition may also distract your receiver. In some cases, the barrier may be related to the receiver’s health. These annoyances do not generally block communication entirely, but they do reduce the receiver’s concentration by distracting their attention. 8. Message Complexity Any message is generally regarded as complex if the message is dry and difficult or if it is difficult to understand. When formulating business messages, you communicate both as an individual and as a representative of an organization. Thus you must adjust your own ideas and style as per your employer. Irrespective of your personal feelings, you must communicate your firm’s message. Do ask for feedback, which is essential for clarifying and improving message. 9. Unethical communication Resorting to unethical means in communication may not drive you to success but to trouble. All the factual information should be included. Ensure that the information is adequate and relevant to the situation.Effectiveness in Managerial communicationFactors responsible for making managerial communication effective are:1. Appropriate communication style2. Clarity in message3. Audience-centric approach4. Understanding of intercultural communication5. Commitment to ethical communication6. Proficiency in communication technology7. Control over the flow of communication8. Co-ordination between superior and subordinates9. Avoid jargons10. Right feedbackNote: Refer to books as well as discussions held in the class.