Achieving Success through Effective Business Communication
The network mirrors the company’s organizational structure:
- Downward communication – flows from executives to employees, conveying executive decisions and providing information that helps employees do their jobs
- Upward communication – flows from employees to executives, providing insight into problems, trends, opportunities, grievances, and performance. Allows executives to solve problems and make intelligent decisions
- Horizontal communication – flows between departments to help employees share information, coordinate tasks and solve complex problems. Organizations also have an informal communication network Often referred to as the grapevine or the rumor mill
Social media plays an increasingly important role in the informal communication network.
Recognizing Effective Communication
Learning objective 2
Describe the 5 characteristics of effective business communication. To make messages effective, they need to be practical, factual, concise, clear, and persuasive.Provide practical information. Give the recipients useful information, whether it is to help them perform a desired action or understanding a new company policy. If you look at the Six Part’s company blob, you will see that every posting provides information that advances the cause of logging in some way. Give facts rather than vague impressions. Use concrete language, specific detail, and information that is clear, convincing, accurate, and ethical. When an opinion is called for, present compelling evidence to support your conclusion. If you are using an internal company blob to alert people to a potential problem, don’t just complain about the situation.
Present information in a concise, efficient manner Announces appreciate Ana respond more positively to messages. Tanat annulling Ana summarize essential points rather than messages buried under mountains of aggrandizing facts and figures. Clarify expectations and responsibilities Write messages to generate a specific response from a specific audience. Clearly state what you expect from audience members or what you can do for them. Offer compelling, persuasive arguments and recommendations. Show your readers precisely how they will benefit from responding to your message the way you want them to understand what employers expect from you. Employers expect you to possess a wide range of communication skills. These skills will help you advance in your career.
- Expressing ideas and information coherently and persuasively – in oral, written, visual, and electronic media.
- Actively listening to others. Communicating effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
- Using communication technologies effectively and efficiently.
- Following accepted standards of grammar, spelling, and other aspects of high-quality writing and speaking.
- Adapting your messages and communication styles to specific audiences and situations.
- Communicating in a civilized manner that reflects contemporary expectations of business etiquette, even when dealing with indifferent or hostile audiences.
- Communication ethically, even when choices aren’t crystal clear.
- Managing your time wisely and using resources efficiently
Understanding the Unique Challenges of business communication
Business is crossing international borders to market products, partner with other businesses, and employ workers and executives – globalization. As people/products cross borders, businesses are paying more attention to workforce diversity. Workforce diversity – all the differences among the people who work together, including differences in age, gender, sexual orientation, education, cultural background, religion, ability, and life experience. Companies realize that:
- A diverse workforce can yield a significant competitive advantage by bringing new ideas and new communication skills
- The more diverse their workforce, the more attention must be paid to communication
- The increasing value of business information
- Knowledge workers – employees at all levels of an organization who specialize in acquiring, processing, and communicating information
- Examples – Competitive insights: The more a company knows about their competitors and their plans, the better able it will be to adjust its own business plans
Most companies invest significant time and money in the effort to understand the needs of their customers, and this information needs to be analyzed and summarized in order to develop goods and services that better satisfy customer needs
Regulations and guidelines
Today’s businesses must understand and follow a wide range of government regulations and guidelines covering such areas as employment, environment, taxes, and accounting. Information has become one of the most important resources in business today.
The pervasiveness of technology
Business Is naively dependent on a growing array AT cosmologies. You have to have a basic knowledge of skill to benefit from technology.
The evolution of organizational structures
Organizations with tall structures may unintentionally restrict the flow of information; flatter structures can make it easier to communicate effectively:
- Tall structures – has many layers of management between the lowest and highest positions Suffer communication breakdowns and delays as messages are passed up and down through multiple layers
- Flat structures – reduces the number of layers
With fewer formal lines of control and communication in these organizations, individual employees are expected to assume more responsibility for communication. Goes from department to department. Employees report to two managers at the same time, like a project manager, and a department manager. They coordinate the workloads, schedules, and other matters which increases the communication burden on everyone.
Network structure/virtual organization
The company supplements the talents of its employees with services from one or more external partners. Communication efforts are also influenced by the organization’s corporate culture:
Corporate culture – the mixture of values, traditions, ND habits that give a company its atmosphere and personality. Open climates encourage condor and honesty, helping employees feel free to admit to their mistakes, disagree with the boss, and share negative or unwelcome information. The growing reliance on teamwork. Working in a team makes you especially responsible for communicating effectively. A key reason that teams fail to meet their objectives is poor communication
Communicating more effectively on the job
Learning objective 3
Describe 6 strategies for communicating more effectively on the job
The 6 objectives:
- Connecting with your audiences
- Minimizing distractions
- Adopting an audience-centered approach
- Improving your basic communication skills
- Using constructive feedback
- Being sensitive to business etiquette
- Connecting with your audience
Human communication is a complex process with many opportunities for messages to get lost, ignored, or misinterpreted. Viewing communication as a process helps you identify steps you can take to improve your success as a communicator.
The communication process
The sender has an idea A clear idea to portray The sender encodes the idea as a message By putting the idea into a message, you encode it. The sender produces the message in a transmittable medium. It can be oral, written, visual, and electronic. Selecting the best medium is also an important communication skill. The sender transmits the message through a channel. Many different communication skills. The way to deliver a message can be face-to-face, the internet, or through another company (method or system capable of delivering messages). The audience receives the message as long as it goes through the channel, although can be ignored or misinterpreted. The audience decodes the message extracting your idea from the message. The audience responds to the message. The ways that the audience can respond to it. The audience provides feedback to sender. Giving feedback that helps to evaluate the effectiveness of your communication effort.
Barriers in the communication effort:
- Noise and distractions
- Multitasking can defer someone receiving the message
- Internal distractions are thoughts and emotions that prevent us from focusing on incoming messages
- Competing messages – Any message that is more compelling than yours can pull away the audience’s attention
- Filters – Any human or technological interventions between the sender and the receiver
- Spam filters or automatic filing of messages. People/companies you rely on to deliver the message can distort it or filter it to meet their own needs too.
- Channel breakdowns – A computer server crashing. Try to be aware of any barriers that can prevent your message from reaching their intended audiences
Inside the Mind of your audience
Learning objective 4
Explain what must occurs for an audience to successfully receive, decode, and respond to messages.
How audiences receive messages
In order for an audience member to receive a message:
- Receiver has to sense the presence of a message.
- Select it from all the other message clamoring for attention.
- Perceive it as an actual usage – instead of being pointless noise
Five principles to increase your chances of success:
- Consider audience expectations – For most business communication efforts – following the expectations of your audience is the most efficient way to get your message across
- Ensure ease of use – Do not make messages hard to find, access or read
- Emphasize familiarity – Use words, images, and designs that are familiar to your audience
- Practice empathy – Address their wants and needs, not yours
- Design for compatibility – Make sure audience is able to access message, if they need adobe, it may not reach everyone
Decoding a message to assign meaning to it is a complicated and often highly personal process. Decoding is influenced by culture, individual experience, learning and thinking styles, hopes, fears, and even temporary moods. Beliefs and biases influence the meaning that audiences extract from messages – perception. Selective perception – people distort the information, then rearrange your mental map Individual thinking styles also play a factor. Objective analysis and clear logic, versus emotion and intuition
How audiences respond to messages
Audiences will likely respond to a message if they remember it, if they’re able to respond, and if they’re properly motivated to respond. The recipient first has to remember the message to act on it:
- Sensory memory
- Short-term memory
- Long-term memory
Then the message needs to be retrieved. Then they need to be able to respond and be motivated to respond. By explaining how audiences will benefit by responding to your messages, you’ll increase their motivation to respond.
Overcoming distractions by:
- Using common sense and courtesy
- Not sending an unnecessary message
- Not isolating yourself
- Informing receivers of message priority
- Communication in emotionally charged situations requires extra care
- Adopting an audience-centered approach
The audience-centered approach involves understanding and respecting the members of your audience and making every effort to get your message across in a way that is meaningful to them. Known at the “you” attitude – instead of messages about “me”. You should learn about – biases, education, age, status, style, and personal and professional concerns of your receivers Keeping your audience’s needs in mind helps you ensure successful messages
Fine-tuning your business communication skills
Working on your communication skills now, before starting or restarting your business career. Giving – and responding to – constructive feedback. Constructive feedback – focuses on the process and outcomes of communication, not the people involved. Also know as constructive criticism destructive feedback – criticizes with no effort to stimulate improvement. When receiving feedback, remain open to the criticism, it is a valuable opportunity to learn and improve.
How to be constructive
- Think through your suggested changes carefully
- Discuss improvements rather than flaws
- Focus on controllable behavior
- Be specific
- Keep feedback impersonal
- Verify understanding
- Provide your feedback in a timely fashion
Halting any Limitations your Teacake may nave Etiquette – the expected norms of behavior in any particular situation/ By understanding communication etiquette, it can help you avoid needless blunders Respect, courtesy, and common sense will get you through most etiquette challenges on the Job Applying what you’ve learned to the communication process.
Using technology to improve business communication
Explain four strategies for successfully using communication technology
Communicating in today’s business environment requires at least a basic level of technological competence. Keeping technology in perspective. It is a tool, a means by which you can accomplish certain tasks It is an aid to interpersonal communication, not a replacement for it. Do not rely too much on technology or let it overwhelm the communication process. Guarding against information overload and information addiction. Information overload results when people receive more information than they can effectively process. What is causes Makes it difficult to discriminate between useful and useless information, lowers radioactivity, and amplifies employee stress both on the Job and at home In a business – you should separate need to know, from nice to know An important step in reducing information overload is to avoid sending unnecessary messages. Information technology addiction – Creates a craving the stimulation of being connected around the clock If you do not disconnect, it may do more harm than good.
Powerful tools for communicating effectively
- Redefining the office Wireless networks
- Electronic presentations
- Virtual meeting spaces
- Unified communications
- Electronic whiteboards
- Collaborating Web-based meetings
- Videoconferencing and teleconferences
- Shared workspaces
- Voice technologies
- Sharing the latest information IRS newsfeed and aggressors
- Social tagging and bookmaking
- Location and tracking technologies
- Extranets Supply chain management software
- Interacting with customers
- Helplines Online customer support
- Bedposts Blobs In store kiosks
- Using technological tools productively
- Managers need to help ensure that employee can productively use the communication tools at their disposal
- Reconnecting with people. No matter how much technology is involved, communication is about people connecting with people
Making ethical communication choices
Learning objective 6
Discuss the importance of ethics in business communication and differentiate between ethical dilemmas and ethical lapses
- Ethics – the accepted principles of conduct that govern behavior within a society. The difference between right and wrong.
- Ethical communication – includes all relevant information, is true in every sense, and is not deceptive in any way.
- Unethical communication – can distort the truth and manipulate audiences in a variety of ways
- Plagiarism – Presenting someone else’s words or other creative product as your own. It can be illegal if it violates a copyright.
- Omitting essential information. Information is essential if your audience needs it to make an intelligent, objective decision
- Selective misquoting. Distorting or hiding the true intent of someone else’s words is unethical.
- Misrepresenting numbers. Statistics and other data can be unethically manipulated by increasing or decreasing numbers, exaggerating altering statistics, or omitting numeric data.
- Failing to respect privacy or information security needs. Failing to respect the privacy of other or failing to adequately protect information entrust to your care can also be considered unethical (and is sometimes illegal).
Distinguishing ethical dilemmas from ethical lapses
- Ethical dilemma – making a choice when the alternatives aren’t completely wrong or completely right May lead to a grey area
- Ethical lapse – a clearly unethical choice.
Ensuring ethical communication
Responsible employers establish clear ethical guidelines for their employees to follow. Requires three elements:
- Ethical individuals
- Ethical company leadership
- The appropriate policies and structures to support employee’s efforts to make ethical choices
Most companies have a code of ethics to help employees determine what is acceptable. Companies sometimes have ethics audits too, to ensure ongoing compliance with their code of ethics. When there are no clear guidelines, ask yourself these questions: Have you defined the situation fairly and accurately? What is your intention in communicating this message? What impact will this have on the people who receive it, or who might be affected by IV WI ten message conclave ten greatest possible good. Wendell long ten least possible harm? Will the assumptions you’ve made change over time? That is, will a decision that seems ethical now seem unethical in the future?
Ensuring legal communication
Business communication is governed by a wide variety of laws designed to ensure accurate, complete messages. Steps to ensure legal communication. Promotional communication. There are laws that address false and deceptive advertising, misleading or inaccurate labels on product packages, and “bait and switch” tactics. Contracts Contract – a legally binding promise between two parties, in which one party makes a specified offer and the other party accepts Employment communication. Governs communication between employers for both potential and current employees Job descriptions must be written in a way that doesn’t intentionally