A course in business communication aims to establish effective communication skills of the students to enable them to communicate effectively within the organizational setting.
The basic forms of business communication include downward, upward, and horizontal communication.
Downward communication involves transfer of information and instruction from a higher level to a lower level in the organization.
On the other hand, transfer of information from the lower to the higher levels in the organization is referred to as upward communication.
The transfer of information at the same level, but across different function departments is known as horizontal communication.
The process of business communication involves conceiving the message by the sender followed by encoding it in a manner to be understood by the receiver. This message is then transferred to the receiver through a suitable medium of communication. The receiver then decodes the message and provides his feedback to the sender. During the entire process, the presence of noise may disturb the flow of communication.
Corporate business Communication includes the formal and informal communication network.
While formal communication involves transfer of information through the formally prescribed channels of communication within the organization, informal communication involves communication among the employees outside the formal channels in order to fulfill their social needs. It is referred to as grapevine communication.
The various grapevine channels include:
The grapevine channels are of significant importance as it improves the employee relationships by providing them an opportunity to present their grievances in an informal environment and also fulfill their social communicational needs. It also leads to quick transmission of information in the organization and helps the management to seek the honest reviews of the employees about any new plans and policies.
Miscommunication is caused due to the various barriers to communication. These barriers include wrong choice of medium, Physics barriers, i.e., effects of noise or distortion of message during encoding or decoding, semantic barriers which relate to the use of certain words and their meanings, different comprehension of reality (filtering the message or making assumptions about the message) and socio psychological barriers which include poor retention, closed mind of the receiver, distrust and the emotional state of the persons involved in the communication.
The principles of communication cover the 7c’s concept.
Planning business messages involves four steps:
Business letters are of prime importance in formal communication. These include memo, which is a short note or record of communication and request letters, which aim to request a good or service within business relationships. While good news letters are those, which contain a favorable information for the organization, bad news letters communicate unpleasant or disappointing information.
Persuasive letters are written to request the receiver to take a required action. It is written with the AIDA approach (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action). Sales letters aim to convince the receiver to buy the good or service. Collection letters are sent repeatedly again and again with the tone getting stiffer to obtain the payment.
Business Report writing is another tool of written business communication. It aims to provide the required information regarding facts. Business reports tend to analyze a situation and provide solutions or recommendations. Reports are a good tool for future reference.
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Oral presentations are based on the principle of capturing and maintain audience interest through clarity of ideas being presented and a confident personality. Factors affecting the overall effectiveness of a presentation include audience analysis, the use of visuals, language, body language, answering of questions, etc.
Non – Verbal communication refers to the use of gesture, body language, hand movements, etc., i.e., communication without words.
The types of non-verbal communication are: appearance (way of dressing), body language (postures, facial expressions, eye movements), para-language (tone of voice, loudness, pitch), time, space (which determines the level of intimacy) and silence.
Effective Listening involves making a conscious effort to understand the information provided by the speaker and provide feedback. Factors affecting effective listening include distractions, prejudice against the speaker or the topic, lack of interest and any unwanted noise.
Steps to improve listening skills include being relaxed, keeping an open mind, not interrupting the speaker, not trying to impose your views and providing feedback to the speaker.
Both, the interviewer and interviewee need to be prepared before an interview. The interviewers’ preparation includes setting a proper time for the interview and sticking to that time, preparing specific and relevant questions to be asked, go through the candidates profile and give him/her an opportunity to clarify their questions or fears.
The preparation by the interviewee includes being well dressed in formals (or any other prescribed dress code), arriving in time for the interview and being prepared about the possible questions, if possible as well as creating proper resume, CV and cover letter writing.
International Communication faces the issues of cultural sensitiveness. It means being aware of the other people’s culture and beliefs and taking care not to hurt anyone’s cultural ways. There may be difference on account of languages, etiquettes or the methods of negotiation.
Negotiation process involves five steps- preparation and planning, definition of ground rules, clarification and justification, bargaining and problem solving and closure and implementation.
Strategies for effective negotiation involve understanding your strengths, being clear about what you aim to achieve from the deal, being respectful and be ready to leave the table in case things don’t seem suitable.
Collective bargaining refers to a negotiation between the employers and employees regarding the remuneration and interest of employees.
In the corporate world, having effective communication skills is extremely important. Not only does effective communication skill improve employability, it also develops attributes of team work, writing skills and oral communication skills as well as problem solving strategies.
Employees with international business communication skills are better prepared to manage globalized business environments, international cultural sensitivity and are more aware of bigger political, economic and business environment. Thus business communication skills such as verbal and non-verbal communication as well as oral business presentations and business writing skills, effective business letters, email writing and press release writing makes employees important for their employers. Sometimes these business communication skills can also be directly useful to employees in sales, client servicing, marketing, customer communication as well as public relations and online digital communication and social media marketing.
In many corporate organizations business presentations, business research and report writing, client email writing and business plan preparations are an integral part of job. Thus such corporate employees need to be extra diligent about having excellent business communication management and negotiation skills.
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