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Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
The Characteristics of
Effective Workplace
Communication
ELC3203
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Contents
• Introduction
• Language Register
• Appropriacy
• Question...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Introduction
Although Hong Kong is very much a Chinese city, it has
...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Unit Organisation
This unit is divided into three sections:
• The ch...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Language Register
In business English it is especially important for...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Language Register
Read the descriptions, and decide which one is con...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Appropriacy
To be able to achieve the aims of using language
for pro...
Spoken vs. Written
Spoken and written language tend to differ from one
another in various ways. Here are some features of ...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Questions on Characteristics
What are the characteristics of workpla...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Getting to the Point
Workplace communication: getting to the point q...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Style
A clear and concise style is achieved by choosing
appropriate ...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Clarity
The need for clarity and conciseness does not, of course,
me...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Accuracy
A final and very important characteristic of effective busi...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Answers
What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Rea...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Answer 1
Workplace communication: getting to the point quickly – and...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Answers
What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Rea...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Answer 1
Workplace communication: getting to the point quickly – and...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Answers
What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Rea...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Answers (3)
A clear and concise style is achieved by choosing
approp...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Answers
What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Rea...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Answers (4)
A final and very important characteristic of effective b...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Text Types 1
Below are various extracts from texts. Read them and
co...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Text Types 2
2. Although some of these authors made stronger claims ...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Text Types 3
3. When using your telephone equipment, basic safety pr...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Text Types 4
4. Hong Kong's dynamism is unforgettable. From the vant...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Text Types 5
5. Welcome to the world of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Ho...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Text Types 6
6. What about meeting outside
DeliFrance in Central MTR...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Text Types 7
7. Could I please take leave between June 17 and
23 inc...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Text Types 8
8. You are cordially invited to attend the
opening of o...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Language Features
• What language features did you base your decisio...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Spoken and Written Language
Formality (1)
While it is true that spok...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
Spoken and Written Language
Formality (2)
1. Emails to friends 2. Co...
Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009
List of Slides:
Final Slide
The End
• Introduction
• Language Regist...
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Communication Characteristics Of Effective Workplace Communication Elc3203 1

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Communication Characteristics Of Effective Workplace Communication Elc3203 1

  1. 1. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 The Characteristics of Effective Workplace Communication ELC3203
  2. 2. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Contents • Introduction • Language Register • Appropriacy • Questions on Characteristics • Getting to the Point • Style • Clarity • Accuracy • Answers • Text Types 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 • Language Features • Spoken and Written Language Formality
  3. 3. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Introduction Although Hong Kong is very much a Chinese city, it has always played host to business people and professionals from a wide range of countries. The majority of these people speak English, the most important medium of international business communication. This means that in the course of your professional duties you will often need to use English to interact with expatriate colleagues in your own company, and with business associates and clients working for other organisations (both in Hong Kong and overseas). Indeed, research has shown that the higher a person rises in their profession in Hong Kong, the more they will need to use English for various purposes. Clearly, then, the ability to communicate effectively in English in professional settings is an important asset for anyone who aspires to a successful business career in Hong Kong.
  4. 4. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Unit Organisation This unit is divided into three sections: • The characteristics of workplace communication • Employers and their expectations • Developing job-seeking skills
  5. 5. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Language Register In business English it is especially important for you to be able to use the correct register of language. Here are three descriptions of the same machine. Read the descriptions, and decide which one is conversational, which for professional purposes and which academic. A. Well, it’s a machine that sort of looks a bit like a box with a kind of screen on top. And you use it, well, you know, you use it to send things to people, like documents and stuff. Oh yeah, and it's often grey or beige in colour and has buttons for dialling too. B. This is a machine which has been developed in order to facilitate the instant transmission of documents for any purpose, though it is particularly used in commercial settings. It consists of a base unit which normally has a rectangular shape and a sloping top into which a small screen and dialling buttons are incorporated. C. This machine is designed to help you send documents quickly and easily. It is light-weight, portable and user friendly in design with touch buttons for dialling and a simple display screen. Look at the language in these three extracts. How is it different in each?
  6. 6. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Language Register Read the descriptions, and decide which one is conversational, which for professional purposes and which academic. A. Well, it’s a machine that sort of looks a bit like a box with a kind of screen on top. And you use it, well, you know, you use it to send things to people, like documents and stuff. Oh yeah, and it's often grey or beige in colour and has buttons for dialling too. B. This is a machine which has been developed in order to facilitate the instant transmission of documents for any purpose, though it is particularly used in commercial settings. It consists of a base unit which normally has a rectangular shape and a sloping top into which a small screen and dialling buttons are incorporated. C. This machine is designed to help you send documents quickly and easily. It is light-weight, portable and user friendly in design with touch buttons for dialling and a simple display screen. Conversational and informal Academic – long, uses passive voice, formal Professional – ‘You-centered’, highlights benefits to the user
  7. 7. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Appropriacy To be able to achieve the aims of using language for professional purposes, and operate efficiently in professional settings you will need to master two features of language in particular: • The appropriate use of language • The differences between spoken and written language You will learn about these features in this and the following units.
  8. 8. Spoken vs. Written Spoken and written language tend to differ from one another in various ways. Here are some features of spoken and written language. Organise them into the correct boxes below. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Contains contractions Uses more complex grammar Greater use of subordinating conjunctions More slang or colloquial language Greater use of passive voice More incomplete sentences More formal Uses simple vocabulary More personal style More change of topics Less formal More phrasal verbs More repetition Less structured Longer sentences
  9. 9. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Questions on Characteristics What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Read the text and then answer the questions. According to the text: 1. What three adjectives are used to describe effective workplace communication? a. b. c. 2. Why does workplace communication need to have these characteristics? 3. How can a clear and concise style be achieved? 4. What are the three features essential to effective workplace communication? a. b. c. Would any of the above be difficult for you to achieve? Why? (See Answers)
  10. 10. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Getting to the Point Workplace communication: getting to the point quickly – and courteously As with any form of communication, it is the purpose and the audience which determine the nature of workplace communication. Academic communication, for example, has as one of its main purposes the communication of information and arguments between students and staff in academic settings. Journalistic communication exists to inform and sometimes to persuade large sections of the general public about events in the world. Workplace communication takes place, essentially, to get things done between staff in workplace situations. The practical nature of workplace communication means that it is characterised by certain features, whether in spoken or written mode. First, workplace communication needs always to be as long as necessary and as short as possible. This rule applies to letters, memos, reports, emails, résumés, meetings and telephone conversations. Busy people do not appreciate wordiness and reserve their praise for communication which is clear, concise and correct.
  11. 11. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Style A clear and concise style is achieved by choosing appropriate language for the purpose. For example, in academic communication the following sentence is perfectly acceptable: There are a number of reasons to account for the recent decline in Hong Kong's economy. But the effective workplace communicator would phrase this differently: Hong Kong's economy has declined recently due to ... In letters, the effective workplace communicator will avoid wordy and clumsy phrases such as: The above mentioned/captioned post/product/service … and will instead write This post/product/service …
  12. 12. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Clarity The need for clarity and conciseness does not, of course, mean that workplace communication should be abrupt. Indeed, politeness is essential to create and sustain good working relationships. Politeness is achieved by making sure that letters, memos, phone calls, etc. all have the right tone. Boastful claims must be avoided, as should overly humble statements. For example: I have great pleasure in introducing you to our company's newest and most wonderful product … I should be most obliged if you would give some of your precious time to consider our company's newest product … are unacceptable. A neutral expression would be more appropriate: I would like to introduce our company's newest product …
  13. 13. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Accuracy A final and very important characteristic of effective business communication is its language accuracy. In most companies, a letter is considered to be "unmailable" if it contains even a single error in formatting, spelling, punctuation or grammar. So, careful and detailed editing and proofreading of a written document is essential. Employers and colleagues will tend to judge a person's abilities and attitudes negatively if they use inaccurate language in workplace communication. Effective workplace communication, then, needs to demonstrate: • a style which achieves clarity and conciseness • a tone which achieves politeness but not humility • a presentation which is flawless in terms of format and language If any of these features are absent, the result will be ineffective communication, which is bad for business.
  14. 14. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Answers What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Read the text and then answer the questions. According to the text: 1. What three adjectives are used to describe effective workplace communication? a. b. c. 2. Why does workplace communication need to have these characteristics? 3. How can a clear and concise style be achieved? 4. What are the three features essential to effective workplace communication? a. b. c. Would any of the above be difficult for you to achieve? Why? clear concise correct
  15. 15. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Answer 1 Workplace communication: getting to the point quickly – and courteously As with any form of communication, it is the purpose and the audience which determine the nature of workplace communication. Academic communication, for example, has as one of its main purposes the communication of information and arguments between students and staff in academic settings. Journalistic communication exists to inform and sometimes to persuade large sections of the general public about events in the world. Workplace communication takes place, essentially, to get things done between staff in workplace situations. The practical nature of workplace communication means that it is characterised by certain features, whether in spoken or written mode. First, workplace communication needs always to be as long as necessary and as short as possible. This rule applies to letters, memos, reports, emails, résumés, meetings and telephone conversations. Busy people do not appreciate wordiness and reserve their praise for communication which is clear, concise and correct.
  16. 16. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Answers What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Read the text and then answer the questions. According to the text: 1. What three adjectives are used to describe effective workplace communication? a. b. c. 2. Why does workplace communication need to have these characteristics? 3. How can a clear and concise style be achieved? 4. What are the three features essential to effective workplace communication? a. b. c. Would any of the above be difficult for you to achieve? Why? clear concise correct 2. because employers and colleagues are busy and appreciate speedy and effective communication
  17. 17. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Answer 1 Workplace communication: getting to the point quickly – and courteously As with any form of communication, it is the purpose and the audience which determine the nature of workplace communication. Academic communication, for example, has as one of its main purposes the communication of information and arguments between students and staff in academic settings. Journalistic communication exists to inform and sometimes to persuade large sections of the general public about events in the world. Workplace communication takes place, essentially, to get things done between staff in workplace situations. The practical nature of workplace communication means that it is characterised by certain features, whether in spoken or written mode. First, workplace communication needs always to be as long as necessary and as short as possible. This rule applies to letters, memos, reports, emails, résumés, meetings and telephone conversations. Busy people do not appreciate wordiness and reserve their praise for communication which is clear, concise and correct.
  18. 18. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Answers What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Read the text and then answer the questions. According to the text: 1. What three adjectives are used to describe effective workplace communication? a. b. c. 2. Why does workplace communication need to have these characteristics? 3. How can a clear and concise style be achieved? 4. What are the three features essential to effective workplace communication? a. b. c. Would any of the above be difficult for you to achieve? Why? clear concise correct 2. because employers and colleagues are busy and appreciate speedy and effective communication 3. by choosing and using the right language for particular purposes
  19. 19. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Answers (3) A clear and concise style is achieved by choosing appropriate language for the purpose. For example, in academic communication the following sentence is perfectly acceptable: There are a number of reasons to account for the recent decline in Hong Kong's economy. But the effective workplace communicator would phrase this differently: Hong Kong's economy has declined recently due to ... In letters, the effective workplace communicator will avoid wordy and clumsy phrases such as: The above mentioned/captioned post/product/service … and will instead write This post/product/service …
  20. 20. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Answers What are the characteristics of workplace communication? Read the text and then answer the questions. According to the text: 1. What three adjectives are used to describe effective workplace communication? a. b. c. 2. Why does workplace communication need to have these characteristics? 3. How can a clear and concise style be achieved? 4. What are the three features essential to effective workplace communication? a. b. c. Would any of the above be difficult for you to achieve? Why? clear concise correct 2. because employers and colleagues are busy and appreciate speedy and effective communication 3. by choosing and using the right language for particular purposes appropriate style polite tone accurate presentation
  21. 21. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Answers (4) A final and very important characteristic of effective business communication is its language accuracy. In most companies, a letter is considered to be "unmailable" if it contains even a single error in formatting, spelling, punctuation or grammar. So, careful and detailed editing and proofreading of a written document is essential. Employers and colleagues will tend to judge a person's abilities and attitudes negatively if they use inaccurate language in workplace communication. Effective workplace communication, then, needs to demonstrate: • a style which achieves clarity and conciseness • a tone which achieves politeness but not humility • a presentation which is flawless in terms of format and language If any of these features are absent, the result will be ineffective communication, which is bad for business.
  22. 22. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Text Types 1 Below are various extracts from texts. Read them and complete this grid for each. 1. I/We the undersigned, having inspected the site, examined the drawings, Specifications and Conditions of Contract with amendments and appendix thereto for the carrying out of the above-named contract works, offer to execute, complete and maintain the whole of the said Works in Conditions for the sum of ___________ (HK$) which is based on the quantity and unit rates attached herewith or such sum as may be ascertained in accordance with the tender documents. Text number Intended reader Purpose of text Writer- reader relationship Level of formality 1 Parties to contract, court of law, lawyers To specify contractual conditions Making a written contractual agreement Formal
  23. 23. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Text Types 2 2. Although some of these authors made stronger claims for their results than others, studies of this type have typically been subject to many objections which call into question the validity of the conclusions that were drawn. The number of interrelated variables makes it extremely difficult to attribute the results to the method variables in question. None of the findings of these studies have been accepted in the field as unambiguous, and with few undebated results, these attempts to compare methods quantitatively eventually died out. Intended reader Purpose of text Writer-reader relationship Level of formality Probably an academic audience; people interested in research To show why quantitative methods were unsuitable Author writing to audience of academic readers about a topic Formal
  24. 24. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Text Types 3 3. When using your telephone equipment, basic safety precautions should always be followed to reduce the risk of injury to persons, including the following: 1. Read and understand all instructions. 2. Follow all warnings and instructions marked on the product. 3. Unplug this product from the wall outlet before cleaning. Do not use liquid cleaners. Use a damp cloth for cleaning. Intended reader Purpose of text Writer-reader relationship Level of formality General public/ new users of equipment To instruct People installing new equipment & referring to instructions Neutral
  25. 25. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Text Types 4 4. Hong Kong's dynamism is unforgettable. From the vantage point of Victoria Peak, overlooking the world's busiest deepwater port, you can see a city geared not only to making money but feeling good about it. At night, it's like looking down into a volcano. Despite its British colonial past, Hong Kong has always stuck to its roots and the culture beneath the glitz is pure Chinese. Visitors often find it takes a few days in Hong Kong to get accustomed to the whirlwind pace. If you need some respite, check out the Outlying Islands for a change of tempo and scene. Intended reader Purpose of text Writer-reader relationship Level of formality Potential tourists to Hong Kong To attract/ excite People reading guidebook / tourist literature when making up their minds about where to travel Neutral
  26. 26. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Text Types 5 5. Welcome to the world of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong. We offer excellent career prospects in a warm and friendly atmosphere, and our continuing expansion and growth offer you countless opportunities. Joining us in Hong Kong means you will come to an organisation that has the reach, scale and critical mass to address the most significant issues for the really big players in Hong Kong, China or even the global economy. Intended reader Purpose of text Writer-reader relationship Level of formality Potential recruits to Price Waterhouse Coopers To attract recruits and promote the firm to them as a good employer Firm wanting to interest people in applying for jobs with them Neutral
  27. 27. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Text Types 6 6. What about meeting outside DeliFrance in Central MTR? At 7:30? Is that OK? Hope it’s not raining. See you then. Cheers. Intended reader Purpose of text Writer-reader relationship Level of formality Friend To fix time and place to meet Friend wanting to meet up with another friend and organizing how to do so Informal
  28. 28. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Text Types 7 7. Could I please take leave between June 17 and 23 incl.? I will have completed all outstanding work by then. These seven days would leave eight days remaining in the leave balance. Intended reader Purpose of text Writer-reader relationship Level of formality Boss To request leave Member of staff applying for leave Formal
  29. 29. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Text Types 8 8. You are cordially invited to attend the opening of our exhibition at 7pm on July 23. Intended reader Purpose of text Writer-reader relationship Level of formality A client or potential client To invite Firm / organisation inviting a client to an exhibition Formal
  30. 30. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Language Features • What language features did you base your decisions on? Topic, type of vocabulary, sentence length, presence or absence of personalising language e.g. personal pronouns, use of conjunctions. • What professional situations might require you to communicate formally? Most written documents especially those intended for readers outside the firm/ organisation; meetings, conference presentations, greeting bosses • What professional situations might require you to communicate informally? Telephone calls to colleagues who are friends, informal meetings • Why do you think appropriate use of language might be important in professional communication? Because it is sensitive to situations and able to facilitate the achievement of the goals of situations and communication.
  31. 31. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Spoken and Written Language Formality (1) While it is true that spoken and written language are different, they are not always strongly differentiated. Where on the lines below would you place the following kinds of spoken and written language? 1.Emails to friends 2. Conference speeches 3. Business reports 4. Minutes 5. Postcards to family 6. Job application letters 7. Workplace telephone calls 8. Text messages to girlfriend/boyfriend 9. Chats with a friend 10. Conversations with colleagues at work 11. Tourist brochures 12. Sales presentations Written formal Spoken formal Written Informal Spoken Informal
  32. 32. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 Spoken and Written Language Formality (2) 1. Emails to friends 2. Conference speeches 3. Business reports 4. Minutes 5. Postcards to family 6. Job application letters 7. Workplace telephone calls 8. Text messages to girlfriend/boyfriend 9. Chats with a friend 10. Conversations with colleagues at work 11. Tourist brochures 12. Sales presentations Written formal Spoken formal Written Informal Spoken Informal Business reports Minutes Job application letters Tourist brochures Emails to friends Conference speeches Postcards to family Workplace telephone calls Text messages to girlfriend/boyfriend Chats with a friend Conversations with colleagues at work Sales presentations
  33. 33. Copyright © The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2009 List of Slides: Final Slide The End • Introduction • Language Register • Appropriacy • Questions on Characteristics • Getting to the Point • Style • Clarity • Accuracy • Answers • Text Types 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 • Language Features • Spoken and Written Language Formality

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