Business Communication for Success Chapter 1 1.1.1 Where is the safest place to learn effective communication skills and why? 1.2.1 How is communication important in gaining a better understanding of yourself and others? 1.2.2 How do communication skills help you solve problems, learn new things, and build your career? 1.3.1 What is communication and its process? 1.3.2 What are each of the eight essential components of communication? 1.3.3 What are the two models of communication and how do they work? 1.4.1 What are the five types of communication contexts? It’s safest to learn effective communication skills in the classroom because it takes preparation, practice, and persistence. Although learning through experience is valuable, an unskilled learning experience on the job mean getting fired. Developing new ideas and skills about effective communication through a classroom experience will help give “skills, confidence, and preparation to use” in furthering your career. It’s important to realize that there are many ways in which we all communicate—through speaking, writing, clothing, gestures, tone, etc. You need to be cognizant of the messages you are sending by everything you say and do. You can use these same self-awareness skills to read other people by what they say and do to better understand their values and priorities. Communication skills are the number one desired skills in business—no matter what the profession for the most part, followed by strong work ethic, teamwork, initiative, and analytical skills. Communicating the right questions and productive discussions can help solve problems and advance your career: assess the situation, look for possible communication strategies, evaluate the options and decide on the best course of action, carefully construct the appropriate message and figure out how to deliver it in the most effective way. Communication is “the process of understanding and sharing meaning” (8) It is a process in that there are many steps and variables in developing understanding between or among people or even within oneself. Examples of these variables are word meaning, audience, perspective, feedback, and message. 1. Source: the sender of information including words, tone, body language. 2. Message: information being conveyed through words, style, organization, etc. 3. Channel: how the message travels—visually, spoken, or written. 4. Receiver: the person who gets the message, intended or not. 5. Feedback: verbal and/or nonverbal response to a message that gives information to the source. 6. Environment: physical & psychological aspects of the communication context. 7. Context: what’s going on and what’s expected, sometimes created through environment. 8. Interference: “noise”; anything, internal or external, that prevents the intended message from getting through. 1. transactional: process in which source and receiver are communicating simultaneously, playing both roles at the same time—for example, speaking and watching for feedback at the same time or listening and sending feedback. 2. constructivist: process of using negotiated meaning or common ground for determining meaning, for example, cultural differences in word or phrase meaning. 1. intrapersonal: “self-talk”; communication with yourself—thinking, imagining, reflecting, etc. 2. interpersonal: communication between two people, formal or informal, personal or impersonal. 3. group: “a dynamic process where a small number of people engage in a conversation” (14). About 3-8 people. Business Communication for Success Chapter 1 4. public: a speaker for a small or large group of people; may include exchange of information, but different rules apply than within a group. 5. mass: sending a single message to a group of people like a commercial or news story. 1.5.1 What are the two main responsibilities of a business communicator and what are examples of each? 1. Prepared: organized, clear, concise and punctual: appropriate topic for specific audience, researched data, logical sequence, and reviewed and revised. For example, if I am asked to teach a group of new teachers how to use the electronic grade book, I would need to review the steps to getting started, think about the most basic, need-to-know information, and prepare some written step-by-step instructions for them to follow on their own. I should practice my presentation by going through it with someone who doesn’t know how to use the program, like my husband, to make sure my instructions are clear and easy to follow. I would also take this opportunity to make sure that I could teach him everything he needed to know within my allotted amount of time and make any adjustments necessary to meet the needs of my specific audience. 2. Ethical: following culturally accepted principles and conduct. Being egalitarian, respectful, and trustworthy. For example, be careful to construct a message that everyone in the audience can understand, that is accurate, and that tells the whole story. If you don’t know something, say so.