Uploaded by Ayesha Ali

Chapter 1

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CHAPTER NO.1
UNDERSTANDING BUSINESS
COMMUNICATION
The Communication Process

1.
2.
Communication doesn’t occur haphazardly. Nor does it
happen all at once. It is more than a single act.
Communication is a dynamic, transactional (two-way)
process that can be broken into six phases:
The Sender has an Idea: You conceive an idea and want to
share it.
2.
The Sender Encodes the Idea: When you put your
idea into a message that your receiver will understand, you
are encoding it, deciding on the message’s form (word, facial
expression, gesture), length, organization, tone, and style –
all of which depend on your idea, your audience, and your
1.
personal style or mood.
The Communication Process – Cont..
3.
4.
The Sender Transmits the Message: To physically
transmit your message to your receiver, you select a medium
(telephone, letter, memo, e-mail). These choices depend on
your message, your audience’s location, your need for speed,
and the formality required.
The Receiver Gets the Message: For communication to
occur, your receiver must first get the message. If you send a
letter, your receiver has to read it before understanding it. If
you’re giving a speech, your listeners have to be able to hear
you, and they have
to be paying attention.
The Communication Process – Cont..
5. The Receiver Decodes the Message: Your receiver must
decode (absorb and understand) your message. The decoded
message must then be stored in the receiver’s mind. If all goes
well, the receiver interprets your message correctly; that is, the
receiver assigns the same meaning to your words as you
intended and responds in the desired way.
6. The Receiver Sends Feedback: Feedback is your receiver’s
response. After decoding your message, the receiver responds
in some way and signals that response to you. Feedback
enables you to evaluate the effectiveness of your message: if
your audience doesn’t understand what you mean, you can tell
by the re
sponse and refine your message.
Benefits of Effective Communication








Quicker problem solving
Stronger decision making
Improved stakeholder response
Increased productivity
Steadier work flow
Stronger business relationships
Clearer promotional materials
Enhanced professional image
Recognizing Communication Barriers

When you send a message, you intend to
communicate meaning, but the message itself
contains no meaning. The meaning exists in your
mind and in the mind of your receiver. To
understand each other, you and your receiver must
share similar meaning for words, gestures, tone of
voice, and other symbols.
Recognizing Communication Barriers
– cont…

The communication process is effective only when
each step is successful. Ideas cannot be
communicated if any step in this process is blocked.
When interference in the communication process
distorts the sender’s meaning, it is called a
communication barrier, or noise. Recognizing
communication barriers is the first step in
overcoming them. Examples of barriers to effective
communication include perceptual differences,
restrictive environments, distractions, and deceptive
tactics.
Recognizing Communication Barriers
– Cont..

Perceptual Differences: Perception is people’s
individual interpretation of the sensory world around
them. Even when two people experience the same
event, their mental images are not identical. When
sending a message, you choose the details that seem
important to you. However, when receiving a
message, you try to fit new details into your existing
pattern, and if a detail doesn’t quite fit, you’re
inclined to distort the information rather than
rearrange your pattern.
Recognizing Communication Barriers
– Cont..

Perception is strongly influenced by cultural
differences. Communicating with someone from
another country may be the most extreme example
of how different cultures can block communication.
But even in your own culture, you and your receiver
may differ in age, education, social status, economic
position, religion, and life experience.
Recognizing Communication Barriers
– Cont..

Restrictive Environments: A restrictive
environment serves to be a big barrier in
communication. If information is not allowed to
flow freely from top to bottom or from bottom to
top, communication will suffer. In a poll of 638
employees, 90 percent said they had good ideas on
how their companies could run more successfully.
Yet more than 50 percent said they were prevented
from communicating these thoughts because of a
lack of management interest and a lack of effective
means for sharing their ideas.
Recognizing Communication Barriers
– Cont..

Distractions: Communication barriers are often
physical distractions: bad connections, poor voice quality,
etc. Your audience is more likely to receive your message
accurately if nothing physical interrupts or distorts the
message. Another kind of distraction is poor listening .
Listening ability decreases when information is difficult
to understand and when it has little meaning for the
listener. Emotional distractions can be difficult to
overcome. When you are upset, hostile, or fearful, you
have a hard time shaping a message objectively.
Recognizing Communication Barriers
– Cont..

Deceptive Tactics: Language itself is made
up of words that carry values. So merely by
saying things a certain way, you influence how
others perceive your message, and you shape
expectations and behaviors. Deceptive
communicators may exaggerate benefits,
quote inaccurate statistics, or hide negative
information behind an optimistic attitude.
Overcoming Barriers
Guideline 1: Adopt an Audience-Centered Approach

When you adopt an audience-centered
approach to communication, you focus on
and care about your audience, making every
effort to get your message across in a way that
is meaningful to your audience.

For the creation of an effective message, you
need to learn as much as possible about the
biases, education, age, status, and style of your
receiver.
Overcoming Barriers – Cont..

When you address strangers, try to find more
about them; if that’s impossible, try to project
yourself into their position by using your
common sense and imagination.

What ever the tactic, you need to write and
speak from your audience’s point of view to
help your audience understand and accept
your message.
Overcoming
Barriers
– Cont..
Guideline
2: Foster an open
Communication
Climate

An organization’s communication climate is a
reflection of its corporate culture: the mix of
values, traditions, and habits that give a company its
atmosphere or personality. Successful companies
such as Hallmark encourage employee contributions
by making sure that communication flows freely
down, up, and across the organization chart. They
encourage candor and honesty, and their employees
feel free to confess their mistakes, disagree with the
boss, and express their opinions.
Overcoming
Barriers
Cont.. climate:
There
are two ways of fostering
an open –
communication
1.
Modifying the number of organization levels: One way
to foster an open communication climate is to reduce the
number of levels in the organization’s structure. The fewer
the links in the communication chain, the less likely it is that
misunderstandings will occur.
2.
Facilitating Feedback: Giving your audience a chance to
provide feedback is crucial to maintaining an open
communication climate. Feedback can be encouraged by:
1. A
1.
2.
3.
Asking specific questions
Encouraging your audience to express general
reactions
Being receptive to your audience’s responses
Overcoming Barriers – Cont..
Guideline 3: Create Lean, Efficient Messages
1.
You must distinguish between necessary and
unnecessary information. Too much
information is as bad as too little; it reduces the
audience’s ability to concentrate on the most
important data.
2.
2. Minimize the number of messages.
3.
3. Do your best to control your emotions
before they block the communication process.
Overcoming Barriers – Cont..
Guideline 4: Commit to Ethical Communication
1.
Ethics are the principles of conduct that govern a
person or a group. Unethical people are selfish and
unscrupulous, i.e. without principles, saying or
doing whatever it takes to achieve an end.
2.
Ethical people are generally trustworthy, fair, and
impartial, respecting the rights of others and
concerned about the effects of their actions on
society.
Overcoming Barriers – Cont..
3. Ethical communication includes all relevant
information, is true in every sense, and is not
deceptive in any way.
4. Ethical dilemma involves choosing among
alternatives that aren’t clear cut.
5. Ethical lapse is making a clearly unethical or
illegal choice.
Communication in Organizations
To succeed, organizations must share information
with people inside the company and with people
outside the company.
Internal Communication:
 Refers to the exchange of information and ideas
within an organization. Communication among the
members of an organization is essential for effective
functioning.

Communication in Organizations –
Cont..

Formal Communication Network: is typically
shown as an organization chart. Such
chart summarizes the line of authority.
Downward flow
Upward flow
Horizontal flow
Communication in Organizations –
Cont..
Informal Communication Network: The informal communication
network carries information along the organization’s
unofficial lines of activity and power. As people go about
their work, they have casual conversations with their friends
in the office.
External Communication:
 External communication network links the organization with
the outside world of customers, suppliers, competitors, and
investors.


Formal Outside Communication: Carefully constructed letters
convey an important message to outsiders about the quality
of your organization. Companies use external communication
to create a favorable impression.
Communication in Organizations –
Cont..



Informal Outside Communication: Although companies often
communicate with outsiders in a formal manner,
informal contacts with outsiders are important for
learning about customer needs.
Every employee informally accumulates facts and
impressions that contribute to the organization’s
collective understanding of the outside world.
Top managers rely heavily on informal contacts with
outsiders to exchange information that might be useful
to their companies.
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