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Business Communication

Introduction: To live is to communicate. Every facet of existence needs communication. Business being one of the facets of human existence requires communication. The term communication comes from the Latin word communicare , which means to impart or participate. In the course of day-to-day living, we need to participate with other human beings and also with things around us During the course of participation it becomes necessary to receive as well as to give. This process of participation can take different forms, such as talking, writing, interacting, etc. All of this means communication. In business people from all walks of life come together to perform tasks that requires interaction with one another. Such a work situation makes communication necessary and imperative. The business world today has become global, which makes communication even more complex. Communication across borders and cultures requires communication skills that would enable people from different lands to interact with each other so as to achieve some common objective. Hence, it is necessary to develop good communication skills. However, one of the neglected areas of human development is communication. Peter Drucker has made these observations about communication. Colleges teach the one thing that is perhaps most valuable for the future employee to know. But very few students bother to learn it. This one basic skill is the ability to organize and express ideas in writing and speaking. As soon as you move one step from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the spoken or the written word. And the further away your job is from manual work, the larger the organization of which you are an employee, the more important it will be that you know how to convey your thoughts in writing or speaking. In the very large organization this ability to express oneself is perhaps the most important of all skills a person can possess. Dimensions of communication: To understand the nature of communication it is important to know its various dimensions. Communication has five dimensions. They are as follows 1. Communication can be Intentional or Unintentional. Words are used to express ideas and are intended to have a particular meaning. Sometimes these words communicate other than what is intended they have an unintentional meaning. 2. Communication can be Verbal or Nonverbal. Human communication is often more nonverbal, involving the body and other objects and actions, than verbal, involving words alone. Even when we do not speak, the way we walk, stand, and sit communicates a message to others. It is told about Stalin that he worked on his gestures that were so threatening and commanding that just a movement of his finger was enough to pass death sentence on someone. Other forms of nonverbal communication include letters, memos, arrangements of office furniture, and style and condition of clothing. 3. Communication can be Internal or External. Internal or intrapersonal communication is the way we talk to ourselves, i.e. without putting thoughts into words. This involves

talking that takes place within ourselves without speaking out the words aloud. But the words that are actually written or spoken are external communication. Nonverbal objects that are chosen to express are also considered to be external communication. 4. Communication can involve Humans, Machines or Animals. Communication obviously involves humans. It also involves machines for example, computer. Humans use computers to improve communication between them. We also need to learn how animals communicate, because the nonverbal behavior of humans and animals is quite similar. 5. Communication can take place between two people as well as within a group. A conversation between two people is called interpersonal communication. Communication within groups is classified as either small communication or mass communication. Importance of business communication: Because communication is so important in business, organizations want and need people with good communication skills. Several surveys have indicated that communication is important to business. Typical of such surveys is one conducted by Robert Half International of the 1000 largest employers in the U.S. this study found that 96% of the executives reported that todays employees must have good communication skills to get ahead. Furthermore, in a survey of deans of 90 management programmes, conducted by the Jones Graduate School of Management of Rice University, indicated that one of the greatest teaching priorities of an MBA programme is the subject on Communication. Unfortunately, the need for employers with good communication skills is often not fulfilled in the business world. A recent study also indicates that there is a correlation between communication and income. Another study conducted, concluded that good writing and speaking skills, along with proper etiquettes and listening skills - determines career and thus, monetary gains in terms of income. The use of technology in communication makes the skills to communicate more obvious. For instance, Email often displays ones written communication skills or use of language to different people simultaneously, while audio and video will reveal ones verbal caliber and diplomacy strength as well. Over the years, many authors have recognized the importance of communication in an organization. Chester Barnard, for instance, viewed communication as the means by which people are linked together in an organization to achieve a common purpose. This is still the fundamental function of communication. Group activity is impossible without communication, because coordination and change cannot be effected. Henry Mintzbergs observation of chief executive officers showed them to spend 78% of their time on communication-related activities involving direct contact with others, scheduled and unscheduled meetings, telephone calls, etc. Mintzberg also found that managers considered activities involving direct communication with others, to be more interesting and valuable than more routine activities

The skills that require attention, according to 100 randomly selected Fortune 500 executives are, oral presentations, memo writing, basic grammar, information report writing, and analytical report writing. Developing communication skills amounts to developing visual skills, spoken skills, and reading skills. Objectives of business communication: The basic objective of all human communication is to obtain an understanding response. Every large and small business house is successful or unsuccessful, depending on how well it can communicate internally and externally. Peter Drucker states: Objectives are needed in every area where performance and result directly and vitally affect the survival and prosperity of a business. Hence, we shall consider some of the major objectives of business communication 1. Information: The objective of business is to inform, which means to transfer knowledge to another person or group. Transfer of knowledge is the most fundamental objective of communication. Information can be given in writing, speaking or any other system of signals or signs. Businesses thrive on information relevant to their business activity. They must know what the demand for their goods or services is; how their competitors are doing in business; what are the terms of credit available in the market; how to deal with government rules and regulations; how to affect economies in production, transport and distribution; how to expand their business, etc. Successful businessmen are concerned not with maximum information but rather, pertinent information. In order to expand or secure a place in a highly competitive market the businessman needs information for planning the future. Information for planning can be of five kinds: a) Environmental Information Information pertaining to the geography, climate, political, and socio-economic conditions. b) Internal Information Information about the strength and weakness of the company with respect to capital, production, and sales capacity, degree of training of the workers, their efficiency, etc. c) External Information Information about sources of credits, availability of raw material, power, and the latest rules and regulations made by the government or local authorities. d) Competitive Information Information relating to the strength and weakness of the competitors and their past and present performance in the market e) New Development Information Information concerning the latest research, upgradation of the product, and availability of raw materials or substitutes.

Before accepting any information the successful business house will ensure that the information is reliable, complete, and recent. Obtaining information has become so vital to the world of business that in developed countries industrial espionage has become quite common, and highly paid spies are sent to find out the secrets of their rivals.

Businessmen have no difficulty in obtaining information from old files, magazines, internet, library research, chamber of commerce, trade fairs and exhibitions, etc. However, as the worldwide web gets complex, it is becoming more and more difficult for business houses to surf through the maze of information. So, the problem is not lack of information, but of immense quantity of information. To help the businessmen out of this problem a number of organizations have taken the role of infomediaries. Infomediaries are like intermediaries or middlemen, only they do not deal with goods but with information. They perform variety of functions like delivering select information, bringing together scattered professionals, maintaining statistical data on economy, industry, commerce, commodities, demographics, stocks, mutual funds, finance and investments. Just as business organization receives information; it also has to provide information both to the outside world and, to workers within the organization. The progress and profitability of the company has to be made known, which could be done through advertising, organizing seminars, conferences, and exhibitions. Public should be informed about the quality of products, the facilities provided to workers, the research conducted, social services rendered to the community and country. Business organization also needs to communicate information internally to its workers, such as: i. governing them. ii. Information concerning exact designations of the officers and their decision-making powers. iii. Information, which gives a clear understanding of authority. iv. Information, which will make possible better reception of instruction. . In India, with the coming of liberalization and increased competition, receiving and giving information has become more important today. In earlier days, the amount of information available was directly proportional to the workers power within an organization. In most modern organization power is getting increasingly decentralized and with it there is an increase in the give and take of information at all levels. 2. Motivation: To motivate means, to cause to act. It has been defined as that inner state that energizes, activates, or moves and which directs or channels behavior towards certain goal. In an organization, when workers are motivated they work eagerly, willingly and often without supervision. Another objective of communication is to increase motivation among workers. Organization use communication process to overcome motivation problem. Following aspects of the problem of motivation could be considered. Information relating to job assignments and procedures

a) Emotional Climate. The management should use communication in such a manner that the right emotional climate for motivation is created. This can be done by fostering healthy competition among workers and also by recognizing and giving publicity to achievement. b) Setting goals or objectives. Set definite objectives working towards and they can enjoy a sense of satisfaction when objective has been attained. This will mean informing them of the plan that the management has in mind and the detailed working of the plan. c) Organization Information. With the help of house journals, direct talks or training programmes the management should give much information to the employees as possible about the organization for which they are working. Creating a favorable image of the organization in the minds of the workers will give them a sense of pride in working for the organization. d) Participation in Decision-making. When subordinates are encouraged to report directly to their superiors or give suggestions to improve the working of the organization they will experience a powerful sense of belonging to the organization. One management writer states that the higher the degree of participation the stronger will be the resulting inclination to cooperate with company plans. e) Establishing Human Relations. When supervisory and junior staff can meet in an atmosphere of informality and exchange views, when supervisory staff uses tact in communicating orders, admonitions and warnings to the junior staff, and when the staff is encouraged to think out and take the initiative in minor matters, there is less friction and resentment and the organization functions smoothly. 3. Raising Morale: In war it is not the number of soldiers that matters, but their morale that makes the big difference between losing and winning. Napolean even went so far as to assert that morale makes up three-quarters of the game; the relative balance of manpower accounts for the remaining quarter. In a business organization the morale of the workers can seriously affect the success of the business. One of the objectives of communication is to keep the morale of the workers high so that they work with vigour and confidence as a team. Low morale is often the result of lack of confidence in the management on account of its poor communication skills. The usual characteristics of low morale are lack of discipline, no appreciation or reward for good work well done, bad relations between the supervisors and the workers and sometimes among the workers themselves. When the morale is low, unfound rumors about the state of the company and the caliber of the management usually circulate among the workers. It should be remembered that high or low morale is not a permanent feature of a company. The same organization could have a high morale among its workers one year and find the workers have lost their morale the next year. It is like a disease that requires immediate attention and diagnosis and cure. Management can keep high morale through communication.

4. Order and Instruction: An order is an oral or written communication directing the starting, terminating or modifying of an activity. It is a form of communication by which management directs its subordinates and employees and seeks to achieve its objectives. It is communication that is peculiar to the internal organization of a business house, because superiors can issue orders to their subordinates. Before issuing an order there should be proper planning by the order issuing person. There should be a plan of action prepared in consultation with other managers so that there is no confusion or conflict. Orders may be oral or written. Written orders are given when the nature of the work is very important or when the person being ordered is far away. Care should be taken to keep a copy of the order so that follow-up action can be taken. Oral orders are given when the work is of an urgent nature or when the person being given the oral order is nearby. In both the cases it is necessary to follow up and find out whether the order has been properly executed. This is called the stage of appraisal. Instructions are oral or written on a recommended manner in which the work is to be done. For instance, the office superintendent will instruct a new clerk on the manner in which letters are to be filed and the manner in which the outgoing mail is to be entered in the register. In both the cases the clerk has been shown how the work has to be done. The instruction carries and implied order i.e. the clerk is expected to follow that particular method of doing the assigned work and no other method. From this we may conclude that while all instruction contains an implied order, all orders are not instructions. 5. Education and Training: Communication in business can be used to widen the everwidening circle of knowledge. Process of education that takes place in the business world is a part of its activity. Business communication can achieve the objective of Education at three levels of management, of employees and of general public. a) Education for succession: This means training junior persons in the organization to handle important assignments involving responsibility so that they are trained to succeed their seniors in executive and managerial positions. These trainees may not go through a formal course in staff training but may be opportunities to work in different departments under the guidance of senior executive. They may also be asked to attend conferences and meetings in order to watch the decision making process. The purpose behind this is to develop a quality of excellence among the future managers of the organization. b) Education for Promotion: it has been found that the most senior managers are behind the times. They employ management techniques and control systems that are outdated. Seniority is an important factor in promotion. However, if the seniors are not competent than their promotion is in question. To overcome this problem it is necessary for these seniors to undergo special training, refresher and orientation courses, before they can be considered for promotion. c) Education during Induction: When new personnel join an organization are inducted by educating them in the culture of the company, code of discipline, and methods of manufacturing, etc. This is done through training programme or orientation programme.

It not only acquaints the new recruits with organizational functioning but also gives them an idea of the organization they are going to work in. d) Educating the Public: Educating the outside public usually takes the form of advertising, informative talks, publication in newspaper and journals. This is done to inform the general public as well as the professionals about the product, functioning of the company, and various schemes offered by the company. Besides these objectives there are other objectives communication such as: e)Counseling f) g) h) i) j) k) l) m) Advice Persuasion Altering behaviour Effecting change Promoting the image of the company Increasing productivity Establishing better relations Influencing potential customer

TECHNOLOGY AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Technology is developing so rapidly that what is new today become common place tomorrow and outdated the day after. The cha nges brought about by new technology are leading to an exciting new information age in which more people will have faster and broader access to data than ever before. Most developments in computer technology make us more productive, so we can perform our jobs more effectively with less effort. Following are some of the major technologies that are being used in the world of business: 1. Telephones and Voice Mail: Telephones are not new, but new technology has extended the value of telephones. Voice mail is a computerized message system, a more sophisticated version of an answering machine. It allows people to communicate by phone even when they cannot connect directly. Given this development, it has become necessary to examine the use of telephones more carefully. Many companies have realized that each employees telephone skills contribute to the image of the company, thereby affecting its ability to sell its products and services. The first impression people receives of a company comes from the telephone. Therefore, telephone skills are among the most important technological skills to be developed. 2. Computer Network: Only a few years ago, each desktop computer stood alone, and data were transferred on disks. However, today desktop computers can communicate directly via computer networks, allowing information to be shared effortlessly. There are

two types of networks: the local area network [LAN] that links users in a single office and the wide area network [WAN] that links remote users. Such networks now allow workers to share files easily among offices in nearby buildings and in some instances across the country. The information superhighways which are such a popular topic these days, are huge computer networks. At present, the Internet is the only network big enough to be called an information superhighway. Internet users can exchange messages with other internet users, access electronic databases, and subscribe to electronic newsletters on thousands of topics. The system was originally developed to serve scientists and then it expanded to researchers, professors, and students. It is now expanding quickly into the business and public arena. Many business enterprises are networked through commercial providers of data. Specialization networks are being developed to provide specific information. 3. Electronic Mail: Electronic mail (e-mail), the electronic transmission of messages from one person to another using computers, has become commonplace in business. Email system has a significant influence on business communication. One of the advantages of the e-mail system is that it keeps the expenses of communication low. Many firms program their computers to send external e-mail at night, when the telephones rates are lower and most business telephones are not in use. E-mail seems to have an interesting effect on organization that use it for communication among employees. In such organization employees tend to send more messages to their co-workers and superior than those organizations that do not use e-mail system. The result of encouraging the use of e-mail system is a healthy leveling of organizational hierarchy. In low-tech organizations, people tend to believe that they are permitted to communicate only as per the formal communication chart established by the management. In business organization with electronic-mail facilities and capabilities, employees are more likely to contact those at the top with their ideas and comments and bypass their immediate supervisors. Making those at the top more accessible has given many employees a greater feeling of involvement in their organization. As a result, more ideas and suggestions are coming to the attention of decision makers, resulting in improved operations, services, and products. 4. Electronic Bulletin Board: Electronic bulletin boards are computer systems that allow the posting of information so it may be accessed and read by many other people. They disseminate information within a company to a broader audience. With a modern, someone with a computer can call up the bulletin board and seek information. Others who read the notice and question mat respond directly on the board. One can even post information in the same space on the bulletin by the help of a modem. Companies are using electronic bulletin boards to keep their employees informed about all kinds of things. Employees also use this facility to inform everyone about a vexing technical problem. 5. Teleconferencing and Videoconferencing: Teleconferencing allows groups who are geographically separated to meet via telephone and discuss issues. This is substituting the use of telephone to call a meeting. Since most of the executives spend at least half their

time in meetings and travelling for meetings, teleconferencing enables discussion over the telephone, which is more convenient and less expensive. Videoconferencing is used for more formal meetings, especially in companies that have this facility. This type of conference is done via the video camera. It enables people to have the conference being in different geographical locations and yet seeing each other. After an environmental disaster, one large company was able to get solution to its cleanup problems by videoconferencing with an 84-year-old Swedish expert whose health did not permit him to travel to the site of problem. 6. Telecommuting and Home Offices: As technology makes it easier to communicate with people in other locations, some employees have begun working from their homes. They may visit the home office periodically or send the product of their labor to their employers or clients electronically. Companies that downsize may contract, with individuals who are not employed, to undertake projects that the companys remaining workers do not have time to do. Telecommuters and home workers are often regarded as essential and dependable members of the corporate world. One advantage is that widely dispersed employees can be called on to react quickly during emergencies or to reach distant clients. Concerns about traffic congestion, parking problem, office space, and personal preferences all contribute to the decision to allow telecommuting and home office. Communication is participating in the process of informing and being informal. This process is becoming more complex with business becoming global. However, one of the inadequacies of the business world is lack of development of communication skills. With the globalization of business there is a felt need to emphasize development of communication skills. Communication is seen in its various dimensions such as its nature of being verbal or nonverbal, intentional or unintentional, internal or external; having characteristics of involving humans, machines and animals; and occurring between two people or groups of people. Communication is important to business because of its nature and objectives. It is used in business to achieve the objective of an organization such as motivation, disseminating information, raising morale, educating the employees, and training and development. Communication activity in an organization takes three forms i.e. the internaloperational, external-operational, and personal. These forms of communication have their own functions and usefulness in an organization. In an organization the flow of information takes place through a network. For the purpose of smooth functioning of an organization there is a formal network, which is designed by the management. However, communication cannot be controlled by the formal network, but also flow in an informal manner. This informal network is known as the grapevine, which can be destructive, but efficient management could use it to their benefit. Communication has been influenced by the development of technology, which has made communication in the business organization simple, efficient and faster.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Business Communication - http://dc169.4shared.com/doc/MtIHBXNs/preview.html 1.1 INTRODUCTION To live is to communicate. Every facet of existence needs communication. Business being one of the facets of human existence requires communication. The term "communication" comes from the Latin word communicare, which means 'to impart' or 'participate'. In the course of our day-to-day living, we need to participate with other human beings and also with things around us. During the course of participation it becomes necessary to receive as well as to give. This process of participation can take different forms, such as talking, writing, interacting, etc. All of this means communication. In business people from all walks of life come together to perform tasks that requires interaction with one another. Such a work situation makes communication necessary and imperative.

The business world today has become global, which make communication even more complex. Communicating across borders and cultures requires communication skills that would enable people from different lands to interact with each other so as to achieve some common objective. Hence, it is necessary to develop good communication skills. However, one of the neglected areas of human development is communication. Peter Drucker has made these observations about communication: "Colleges teach the one thing that is perhaps most valuable for the future employees to know. But very few students bother to learn it. This one basic skill is the ability to organize and express ideas in writing and speaking. As soon as you move one step from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the spoken or the written word. And the further away your job is from manual work, the larger the organization of which you are an employee, the more important it will be that you know how to convey your thoughts in writing or speaking. In the very large organization... this ability to express oneself is perhaps the most important of all the skills a person can possess." 1.2 DIMENSIONS OF COMMUNICATION To understand the nature of communication it is important to know its various dimensions. Communication has five dimensions. They are as follows: 1. Communication can be Intentional or Unintentional. Words are used to express ideas and are intended to have a particular meaning. Sometimes these words

Unit 1 Communication in Business

communicate something other than what is intended - they have an unintentional meaning. e) Communication can be Verbal or Nonverbal. Human communication is often more nonverbal, involving the body and other objects and actions, than verbal, involving words alone. Even when we do not speak, the way we walk, stand, and sit communicates a message to others. It is told about Stalin that he worked on his gestures that were so threatening and commanding that just a movement of his finger was enough to pass death sentence on someone. Other forms of nonverbal communication include letters, memos, arrangement of office furniture, and style and condition of clothing. * ~~ f) Communication can be Internal or External. Internal, or intrapersonal communication is the way we talk to ourselves, i.e. without putting thoughts into words. This involves talking that takes place within our selves without speaking out the words aloud. But the words that are actually written andspoken are external communication. Nonverbal objects that are chosen to express something are also considered to be external communication. g) Communication can involve Humans, Machines or Animals. Communication obviously involves humans. It also involves machines - for example, computers. Humans use computers to improve communication between them. We also need to learn how animals communicate, because the nonverbal behaviour of humans and animals is quite similar. h) Communication can take place between Two People as well as within Group. A conversation between two people is called interpersonal communication. Communication within groups is classified as either small communication or mass communication & Activity A: Identify the different forms of communication that you employ in your daily life and conversation.

Business Communication

1.3 IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Because communication is so important in business, organizations want and need people with good communication skills. Several surveys have indicated that communication is important to business. Typical of such surveys is one conducted by Robert Half International of the 1000 largest employers in the US. This study found that 96% of the executives reported that today's employees must have good communication skills to get ahead. Furthermore, in a survey of deans of 90 management programmes, conducted by the Jones Graduate School of Management of Rice University, indicated that one of the greatest teaching priorities of an MBA programme is the subject on Communication. Unfortunately, the need for employees with good communication skills is often not fulfilled in the business world. A recent study also indicates that there is a correlation between communication and income. Another study conducted, concluded that good writing and speaking skills, along with proper etiquettes and listening skills - determines career success. In other words, having good communication skills would result in advancement of career and thus, monetary gains in terms of income. The use of technology in communication makes the skills to communicate more obvious. For instance, Email often displays one's written communication skills or use of language to different people simultaneously, while audio and video will reveal one's verbal calibre and diplomacy strength as well. Over the years, many authors have recognized the importance of communication in an organization. Chester Barnard, for instance, viewed communication as the means by which people are linked together in an organization to achieve a common purpose. This is still the fundamental function of communication. Group activity is impossible without communication, because coordination and change cannot be effected. Henry Mintzberg's observation of chief executive officers showed them to spend 78% of their time on communication-related activities involving direct contact with others, scheduled and unscheduled meetings, telephone calls, etc. Mintzberg also found that managers considered activities involving direct communication with others, to be more interesting and valuable than more routine activities. The skills that require attention, according to 100 randomly selected Fortune 500 executives are, oral presentations, memo writing, basic grammar, informational report writing, and analytical report writing. Developing communication skills amounts to developing visual skills, written skills, spoken skills, and reading skills. Table 1.1 presents chronology of management views of communication from early in the 20th century.

Unit 1 Communication in Business

Table 1.1: Chronology of Management Views of Communication Management's View of Communication

Year
1916

Person Fayol
Managerial work is a set of composite functions that includes communication.

Observation

1930s

including directing and reporting (which include communication). Gulick

1938

Barnard Simon

The first executive function is providing a system of communication.

1957

The administrative process cannot influence the decisions of the individual without communic

1966

Katz & Kahn

The exchange of information and transmission of meaning are the very essence of an organiza

1973

Mintzberg Managerial jobs have ten working roles; communication and interpersonal relations are found
Drucker Peters & Waterm an Kanter Communication is one of five basic management functions.

1974 1982

Open, informal communication is one of eight characteristics of the best-run American compa

1983

The most common roadblock for managers to overcome is poor communication.

1991

Blanchard Communication is a basic skill for the effective one-minute manager. Gates
Communication is the new revolution; the information superhighway is part of it.

1995

Source: John M. Penrose, R. W. Rasberry & R.J. Myers. 'Advanced Business Communication'.

Business Communication

Activity B: Search for and write one sentence (that is not found in this book) on "importance of business communication" from any book on Business Communication:

1.4 OBJECTIVES OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION The basic objective of all human communication is to obtain an understanding response. Here, we shall consider certain definite objectives that the commercial world is concerned with. Every large and small business house is successful or unsuccessful, depending on how well it can communicate internally and externally. Peter Drucker states: "Objectives are needed in every area where performance and result directly and vitally affect the survival and prosperity of abusiness." Hence, we shall consider some of the major objectives of business communication. 1. Information : The objective of business is to inform, which means to transfer knowledge to another person or group. Transfer of knowledge is the most fundamental objective of communication. Information can be given in writing, speaking or any other system of signals or signs. Businessmen thrive on information relevant to their business activities. They must know what the demand for their goods or services is; how their competitors are doing in business; what are the terms of credit available in the market; how to deal with government rules and regulations; how to affect economies in production, transport and distribution; how to expand their business, etc. Successful businessmen are concerned not with maximum information but rather, pertinent information. In order to expand or secure a place in a highly competitive market the businessman needs information for planning the future. Information for planning can be of five kinds: a) Environmental Information - information pertaining to the geography, climate, political, and socio-economic conditions.

Unitl Communication in Business

n) Internal Information - information about the strength and weakness^ofthe


company with respect to capital, production, and sales capacity, degree of training 7>tth^workers, their efficiency, etc.

o) External Information - information about sources of credit, availability of


jgwjnaterial^Dower, andjhe latest rules and regulations made by the government or local authorities.

1. Competitive Information - information relating to the strength and weakness


of the competitors and their past and present performance in the market. '

2. New Development Information - information concerning the fetest research,


upgradation of the product, and availability of raw materials or substitutes.

~ ' ~ ~~ Before accepting any information the successful business house will ensure that the information is reliable, complete, and recent. Obtaining information has become so vital to the world of business that in developed countries industrial espionage has become quite common, and highly paid spies are sent to find out the secrets of their rivals. Businessmen have no difficulty in obtaining information from old files, magazines, internet, library research, chamber of commerce, trade fairs and exhibitions, etc. However, as the worldwide web gets complex, it is becoming more and more difficult for business houses to surf through the maze of information. So the problem is not of lack of information, but of immense quantity of information. To help the businessmen out of this problem a number of organizations have taken the role of infomediaries. Infomediaries are like intermediaries or middlemen, only they do not deal with goods but with information. They perform variety of functions like delivering select information, bringing together scattered professionals, maintaining statistical data on economy, industry, commerce, commodities, demographics, stocks, mutual funds, finance and investments. Just as business organization receives information, it also has to provide information both to the outside world and, to workers within the organization.

The progress and profitability of the company has to be made known, which could be done
through advertising, organizing seminars, conferences, and exhibitions. Public should be informed about the quality of products, the facilities provided to workers, the research conducted, social services rendered to the community and country.

Business Communication

Business organization also needs to communicate information internally to its workers, such as:
i Information relating to job assignments and procedures governing them. ii Information concerning exact designations of the officers and their decision-making powers. iii Information, which gives a clear understanding of authority iv. Information, which will make possible better reception of instruction. In India, with the coming of liberalization and increased competition, receiving and giving information has become more important today. In earlier days, the amount of information available was directly proportionate to the worker's power within an organization. In most modern organizations power is getting increasingly decentralised and with it there is an increase in the give and take of information at all levels. 2. Motivation : To motivate means, "to cause to act". It has been defined as "that inner state that energizes, activates, or moves and which directs or channels behaviour towards certain goals." In an organization, when workers are motivated they work eagerly, willingly and often without supervision. Another objective of communication is to increase motivation among workers. Organizations use communication process to overcome motivation problem. Following aspects of the problem of motivation could be considered:

9. Emotional Climate. The management should use communication in such a


manner that the right emotional climate for motivation is created. This can be done by fostering healthy competition among workers and also by recognizing and giving publicity to achievement.

10. Setting Goals or Objectives. Set definite objectives before the workers so

that they know what they are working towards and they can enjoy a sense of satisfaction when objective has been attained. This will mean informing them of the plan that the management has in mind and the detailed working of the plan.

Unit 1 Communication in Business

3.

7. Organizational Information. With the help of house journals, direct talks or training programmes the management should give much information to the employees as possible about the organization for which they are working. Creating a favourable image of the organization in the minds of the workers will give them a sense of pride in working for the organization. 8. Participation in Decision-making. When subordinates are encouraged to report directly to their superiors or give suggestions to improve the working of the organization they will experience a powerful sense of belonging to the organization. One management writer states that "the higher the degree of participation the stronger will be the resulting inclination to cooperate with company plans". 9. Establishing Human Relations. When supervisory and junior staff can meet in an atmosphere of informality and exchange views, when supervisory staff uses tact in communicating orders, admonitions and warnings to the junior staff, and when the staff is encouraged to think out and take the initiative in minor matters, there is less friction and resentment and the organization functions smoothly.

Raising Morale : In war it is not the number of soldiers that matters, but their morale that makes the big difference between losing and winning. Napoleon even went so far as to assert that morale "makes up three-quarters of the game; the relative balance of manpower accounts for the remaining quarter". In a business organization the morale of the workers can seriously affect the success of the business. One of the objectives of communication [internal] is to keep the morale of the workers high so that they work with vigour and confidence as a team. Low morale is often theresult of lack of confidence in the management on account of its poor communication skills. The usual characteristics of low morale are lack of discipfineTno appreciation or reward for good work well done, bad relations between the supervisors and the workers and sometimes among the workers themselves. When the morale is low, unfound rumours about the state of the company and the calibre of the management usually circulate among the workers. It should be remembered that high or low morale is not a permanent feature of a company. The same organization could have a high morale among its workers one year and find that the workers have lost their morale the next year.

10

Business Communication

It is like a disease that requires immediate attention and diagnosis and cure. Management can keep high morale through communication by: 11. Maintaining a steady stream of communication between workers, their supervisors and top executives. 12. Permitting open discussion of problems affecting the workers and their families. 13. Employing communication devices such as employees' conferences, audio-visual aid, employee-get-togethers, etc. 14. Keeping a watch on the grapevine and not allowing harmful rumours to circulate. 15. Stopping false rumours about favouritism, strikes, retrenchment or lock outs.] 16. Giving fair hearing to employee grievances and accepting their suggestions, thereby giving them a sense of participation in management. 17. Expressing appreciation for good work done and rewarding it. h) Introducing changes gradually so that the workers are not mentally upset by sudden and abrupt changes in staff or working conditions. Since morale is like a barometer, which indicates the well being of an organization, some business houses study morale periodically. This is done by: 11. Informal meetings at which the workers are encouraged to speak freely. 12. Collecting information through the different channels and 13. Circulating specially prepared questionnaires. 4. Order and Instruction: An order is an oral or written communication directing the starting, terminating or modifying of aiT^tiyity. It is a form of cCTmnumcatioiTby which management directs its subordinates and employees and seeks to achieve its objectives. It is communication that is peculiar to the internal organization of a business house, because superiors can issue orders to their subordinates. Before issuing an order there should be proper planning by the order issuing person. There should be a plan of action prepared in consultation with other managers so that there is no confusion or conflict.

Unit 1 Communication in Business

Orders may be oral or written. Written orders are given when the nature of the work is very important or when the person being ordered is far away. Care should be taken to keep a copy of the order so that follow-up action can be taken. Oral orders are given when the work is of an urgent nature or when the person being given the oral order is nearby. In both the cases it is necessary to follow up and find out whether the order has been properly executed. This is called the stage of appraisal. Instructions or written orders on a recommended manner in which the work is to be done. For instance, the office superintendent will instruct a new clerk on the manner in which letters are to be filed and the manner in which the outgoing mail is to be entered in the register. In both the cases the clerk has been shown how the work has to be done. The instruction carries and implied order - i.e. the clerk is expected to follow that particular method of doing the assigned work and no other method. From this we may conclude that while all instructions contain an implied order, all orders are not instructions. (Note: It should be remembered that order also refers to the request to supply goods. Here the term order is with reference to operations / performing work). 5. Education and Training : Communication in business can be used to widen the everwidening circle of knowledge. Process of education that takes place in the business world is apart of its activity. Business communication can achieve the objective of Education at three levels of management, of employees and of general public. 14. Educationfor Succession : This means training junior persons in the organization to handle important assignments involving responsibility so that they are trained to succeed their seniors in executive and managerial positions. These trainees may not go through a formal course in staff training but may be opportunities to work in different departments under the guidance of senior executive. They may also be asked to attend conferences and meetings in order to watch the decision making process. The purpose behind this is to develop a quality of excellence among the future managers of the organization.

15. Educationfor Promotion : It has been found that most senior managers are behind the times. They employ management techniques and control systems that are outdated. Seniority is an important factor in promotion. However, if the seniors are not competent then their promotion is in question. To overcome this 11

12

Business Communication

problem it is necessary for these seniors to undergo special training, refresher and orientation courses, before they can be considered for promotion.

21. Education during Induction: When new personnel join an organization they
are inducted by educating them in the culture of the company, code of discipline, and methods of manufacturing, etc. This is done through training programme or orientation programme. It not only acquaints the new recruits with organizational functioning but also gives them an idea of the organization they are going to work in.

22. Educating the Public: Educating the outside public usually takes the form of
advertising, informative talks, publication in newspaper and journals. This is done to inform the general public as well as the professionals about the product, functioning of the company, and various schemes offered by the company. Besides these objectives there are other objectives of business communication such as:

24. Counselling 25. Advice 26. Persuasion


h) Altering Behaviour i) Effecting Change j) Promoting the Image of the Company k) Increasing Productivity 1) Establishing Better Relations m) Influencing Potential Customer JSf Activity C: a) State the type of objectives of communication for the following instances: i. Insubordination ii Animosity

b) Give an example of an organization which you feel communicates well with the external public:

Unitl Communication in Business

1.5 FORMS AND FUNCTIONS OF COMMUNICATION The importance of communication in business becomes more obvious when we consider the communication activities that go on in an organization. Communication in an organization takes three main forms. They are:

26. Internal-Operational Communication 27. External-Operational Communication 28. Personal Communication


1. Internal-Operational Communication. All the communication that takes place within an organization, during the process of work, is known as internal-operational communication. This is the form of communication among the employees that is done during the implementation of the business-operating plan. The term operating plan means the procedure that an organization has developed to perform a particular task - i.e. manufacturing a specific product, providing a particular service, etc. Internal-operational communication takes many forms. It includes the orders and instructions that supervisors give workers, as well as oral exchange among workers about work matters. It includes report that workers prepare concerning sales, production, inventories, finance, maintenance, and so on. It also includes e-mail messages that workers write in order to carry out their assignments. Much of this internal-operational communication is performed on computer network. Communication is essential for the internal functioning of enterprises, because it integrates the managerial functions. Internal-operational communication is especially needed to:

28. Establish and disseminate goals of an organization 29. Develop plans for their achievement 30. Organize human and other resources in the most effective and efficient way 31. Select, develop, and appraise members of the organization 32. Lead, direct, motivate, and create a climate in which people want to contribute 33. Control performance.

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Business Communication

2. External-Operational Communication. The work-related communicating that a business does with people and groups outside the organization is external-operational communication. This is the communication activity of a business with its public - i.e. suppliers, customers, service companies, stockholders, Government, and the general public. External-operational communication includes all the efforts of business in direct selling, such as descriptive brochures, telephone calls, follow-up service calls, and so on. It also includes the advertising that the business does, which is one of the ways of communication. Radio, television messages, newspaper and magazine advertising, website advertising, and pointof-purchase display material play a role in business's plan to achieve its work objective. Also in this category is all that a business does to improve its public relations, including its planned publicity, the community service of its employees, and the environmental friendliness of its products and facilities. An important aspect of external-operational communication is that it displays a company's image and its etiquette with respect to the external environment and public. Business messages do more than communicate information. They take the place of human contact, and thus, they have the effect of human contact. The clarity, warmth, and understanding they display also send a message. The positiveness of this message is what is called as good business etiquette. And good business etiquette contributes to the image of the company. External-operational communication facilitates managerial functions. It is through information exchange that the managers:

1. Become aware of the needs of customers 2. The availability of suppliers 3. The claims of stockholders 4. The regulations of government 5. The concerns of the community.

Unit 1 Communication in Business

It is through communication that any organization becomes an open system interacting with its environment.

3. Personal Communication.
Not all communication that occurs in a business organization is operational - dealing with operation of the business objectives. In fact, much of the personal communication within an organization has no connection with the operating plan of business. Such communication is called as personal communication. Personal communication is the exchange of information and feelings in which human beings engage whenever they come together. Since human beings are social animals, there is a need to communicate, even when there is nothing to say. We spend much time with friends in communication. Even total strangers are likely to communicate when they are placed together, as on an airplane flight, in a waiting room, or at a party. Such personal communication also occurs in workplace, and it is a part of the communication activity of any business. Although not a part of operational plan of business, personal communication can have a significant effect on the fulfilment and success of any business operation. This effect is a result of the influence that personal communication can have on the attitudes of the employees. The employees' attitudes toward the business, each other, and their assignments directly affect their productivity. The nature of personal communication or conversation in a work place affects the attitude of a worker, which then affects his/her performance. In a work situation there are often heated words and tempers, the employees will not come out with their best efforts. However, a situation where there is constant joking and laughing will also have equally bad effect on productivity. Somewhere between these extreme situations lies the ideal productive attitude. Furthermore, the extent to which personal communication is permitted within an organization can also affect the attitude of the employees. Absolute denial of personal communication could upset the emotions of the employees, because the very need of human beings to communicate is denied. On the other hand, excessive personal communication could cause interference with work. Again, the middle path is probably the best. Personal communication does have its value in an organization. It has an emotive function. In other words, personal communication permits the expression of feelings and satisfaction of social needs. It may also help vent frustrations.

tf;

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Business Communication

1.6 COMMUNICATION NETWORK OF THE ORGANIZATION All the forms of communication [internal, external, and personal] indicate an extremely complex network of information flow. It shows an organization feeding on a continuous supply of information. In today's world of business, information must flow faster than before. Another important element is the amount of information, which has greatly increased over the years, frequently causing an information overload. What is needed is not more information but relevant information. It is necessary to determine what kind of information the manager needs to have for effective decision-making. To be effective, the manager needs information necessary to carry out managerial functions and activities. Obtaining such information frequently requires getting information from superiors and subordinates and also from departments and people elsewhere within shortest period of time. Communication channels, for the flow of information, may be linked in a variety of way to form a communication networks. These networks are used to structure the information flows among the network members. Business organizations have well-established channels of information flow. These are the formal channels - i.e. the main lines of operational communication. There is another type of network of communication that is more personal in nature than operational. This is the informal network of communication. Thus, there are basically two types of communication network in an organization:

31. The Formal Network 32. The Informal Network.


1. The Formal Network: As stated above the formal communication network has to do with operational communication (communication that is required to perform a specific organizational task). In an effective organization, communication flows in the following directions: Downward, Upward and Crosswise Communication. a) Downward Communication: This is the flow of communication form people at higher level to those at the lowerlevel in the organizational hierarchy. This "Rind of communicaflon implies the auuiOTitarian structure of an organization. It is used for such purposes as giving instructions, providing information about policies

Unit 1 Communication in Business

and procedures, giving feedback about performance, and indoctrinating or motivating. The kinds of media used for downward ^^communication include instructions, speeches, meetings, the telephone, and even the grapevine. Downwardwritten communication takes the form of merhos, letters, handbooks,pamphlets, policy statements, manuals, ancTsb on. Unfortunately, information is often lost or distorted as it comes down the chain of command. Although some companies make a point of letting management decision be known, many employees are dissatisfied with both quality and quantity of information. In fact, many directives are not understood or even read. The real problem may lie in the differing communication priorities of top management and lower level workers. Employees are particularly interested in things that pertain to them directly. For instance, they want to know how secure their jobs are, how their salary is determined, and when they will get a raise. Often, this is the type of information that management prefers to keep confidential. Furthermore, downward flow of information through the different levels of organization is time-consuming. Delays may be so frustrating that some top managers insist that information be sent directly to the concerned person or group. Upward Communication: This type of communication travels from subordinates to superiors and continues up the organizational hierarchy. Unfortunately, managers in the communication chain, who filter the information -especially unfavourable messages - to their superiors, often hinder this flow. Companies try to guard against this by creating reporting system that requires employees to furnish vital information on a routine basis. To solve problems and make intelligent decisions, management must learn what is going on in the organization. Because they cannot be everywhere at the same time, executives depend on lower-level employees to furnish them with accurate and timely report. Upward flow of communication is also useful in providing ideas for improvement of activities, and information about feelings on work. Upward communication is primarily nondirective and is usually found in participative and democratic organizational environment. Techniques for upward communication besides the chain of command - are suggestion system, appeal and grievance procedures, complaint system, counselling sessions, joint setting

17

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Business Communication

of objectives, the grapevine, group meetings, the practice of open-door policy, morale questionnaire, exit interviews, and attitude survey. In recent years, many companies have also set up systems that give employees a confidential way to get a message to top management outside the normal chain of command. If an employee has a problem or an idea that might be difficult to discuss with the person's immediate superior, he or she can talk to a neutral third party [sometimes called an ombudsman] who will consider the issue and see that appropriate action is takln without putting the employee in an awkward position. Effective upward communication requires an environment in which subordinates feel free to communicate. Since the organizational climate is greatly influenced by upper management, the responsibility for creating a free flow of upward communication rests, to a large extent, with the superiors. c) Crosswise Communication: This form of communication includes the .^ horizontal flow of information [arnongpeople onjhesame or similar^ ^^ organizational levels] and the diagonal flow of information [among persons at aGHercnTotganizational levels who have no direct reporting relationships]. This type of communication is used to speed information flow, to improve understanding, and to coordinate activities for the achievement of organizational objectives. A great deal of communication does not follow the organizational hierarchy but.cuts across the chain of command. As organizations become more diversified and individual tasks become more specialized, the need for crosswise communication increases. The organizational environment provides many occasions for crosswise oral communication. They range from informal meetings of lunch hours that employees spend together to more formal conferences and committee and board meetings. This kind of communication occurs when individual members of different departments are grouped into task teams or project organization. This also occurs when staffs with functional or advisory authority interacts with line managers in different departments. In addition, crosswise written communication keeps people informed about the organization. These written forms include the company newspaper, magazine, or bulletin boards. Modern enterprises use many kinds of oral and written crosswise communication patterns to supplement the vertical flow of information.

Unit 1 Communication in Business

Because information may not follow the normal chain of command, proper safeguard need to be taken to prevent potential problems. Specifically, crosswise communication should rest on the nnderstandin g that a) crosswise relationships will be encouraged wherever they are appropriate, b) subordinates will refrain from making commitments beyond their authority, and c) subordinates will keep superiors informed of important interdepartmental activities. 2. The Informal Network: Formal organizational chart illustrates how information is supposed to flow. However, in actual practice, chart cannot prevent people from talking with one another. This is the informal communication network that is found within any organization. In the management language it is called as "grapevine". Just as the grapevine has no definite or orderly path of growth, so"also the informal communication has no definite path in its flow as the formal communication. The informal network is not a single network but a complex relationship of smaller networks consisting of groups of people. The relationship is made even more complex by the fact that these people mat belong to more that one group and that group memberships and the links between and among groups are continually changing. As people go about their work, they have casual conversations with their friends in the office. They joke around and talk of many things besides their work. Although many of the conversations deal with personal matters, business matters are also discussed. In fact, 80% of the information that travels along the grapevine pertains to business. Furthermore, many employees rely on the grapevine as their main source of information about the organization. Grapevine usually carries far more information than the formal communication system. In every organization, certain people seem to know everything, regardless of the position they officially hold. As a result, their role in the company's informal communication network is an active one. Despite the fact that the grapevine usually carries information and sometimes rumours that could be harmful, the management to its advantage uses it. Wise managers recognize the presence of grapevine and give the talk-leader the information that will do most good to the organization. In a situation where two individuals from different departments have to work together to accomplish a task, it is often efficient for them to talk directly to each other rather than passing the message through the formal network. In an era when mergers, acquisitions, and reorganization are the norm, the informal communication network often plays a particularly vital role. Keith Davis states: "People cannot resist the grapevine. It offers the latest news, and usually that news is reasonably accurate.

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Business Communication

Much of the news is about people, such as their friendship, conflicts, and experiences. Since formal communication carries very little of this type of information, we must listen to the grapevine in order to be fully informed. In addition, much of the grapevine occurs by person-to-person contact, which helps us become a part of social groups and receive social satisfaction."

Activity D ;
a) Give an example of crosswise communication in your department.

b) Give an example of horizontal communication in your organization.

1.7 TECHNOLOGY AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION


Technology is developing so rapidly that what is new today become commonplace tomorrow and outdated the day after. The changes brought about by new technology are leading to an exciting new information age in which more people will have faster and broader access to data than ever before. Most developments in computer technology make us more productive, so we can perform our jobs more effectively with less effort. Following are some of the major technologies that are being used in the world of business: 1. Telephones and Voice Mail: Telephones are not new, but new technology has extended the value of telephones. Voice mail is a computerized message system, a more sophisticated version of an answering machine. It allows people to communicate by phone even when they cannot connect directly. Given this development, it has become necessary to examine the use of telephones more carefully. Many companies have realized that each employee's telephone skills contribute to the image of the company, thereby affecting its ability to sell its products and services. The first impression people receive of a company comes form the
Communication in Business

telephone. Therefore, telephone skills are among the most important technological skills to be developed.
3.

Computer Network: Only a few years ago, each desktop computer stood alone, and data were transferred on disks. However, today desktop computers can communicate directly via computer networks, allowing information to be shared effortlessly. There are two types of networks: the local area network [LAN] that links users in a single office; and the wide area network [WAN] that links remote users. Such networks now allow workers to share files easily among offices in nearby buildings and in some instances across the country. The "information superhighways" which are such a popular topic these days, are huge computer networks. At present, the Internet is the only network big enough to be called an information superhighway. Internet users can exchange messages with other Internet users, access electronic databases, and subscribe to electronic "newsletters" on thousands of topics. The system was originally developed to serve scientists and then it expanded to researchers, professors, and students. It is now expanding quickly into the business and public arena. Many business enterprises are networked through commercial providers of data. Specialized networks are being developed to provide specific information. Electronic Mail : Electronic mail (e-mail), the electronic transmission of messages from one person to another using computers, has become commonplace in business. E-mail system has a significant influence on business communication. One of the advantages of the e-mail system is that it keeps the expenses of communication low. Many firms program their computers to send external e-mail at night, when the telephones rates are lower and most business telephones are not in use. E-mail seems to have an interesting effect on organizations that use it for communication among employees. In such organizations employees tend to send more messages to their co-workers and superiors than those organization that do not use e-mail system. The result of encouraging the use of e-mail system is a healthy levelling of organizational hierarchy. In low-tech organizations, people tend to believe that they are permitted to communicate only as per the formal communication chart established by the management. In business organizations with electronic-mail facilities and capabilities, employees are more likely to contact those at the top with their ideas and comments and bypass their immediate supervisors. Making those at the top more accessible has given many

21

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Business Communication

employees a greater feeling of involvement in their organization. As a result, more new ideas and suggestions are coming to the attention of decision makers, resulting in improved operations, services, and products. 4. Electronic Bulletin Board: Electronic bulletin boards are computer systems that allow the posting of information so it may be accessed and read by many other people. They disseminate information within a company to a broader audience. With a modem, someone with a computer can call up the bulletin board and seek information. Others who read the notice and question mat respond directly if a telephone number is displayed on the board. One can even post information in the same space on the bulletin by the help of a modem. Companies are using electronic bulletin boards to keep their employees informed about all kinds of things. Employees also use this facility to inform everyone about a vexing technical problem. 5. Teleconferencing and Videoconferencing: Teleconferencing allows groups who are geographically separated to meet via telephone and discuss issues. This is substituting the use of telephone to call a meeting. Since most of the executives spend at least half their time in meetings and travelling for meetings, teleconferencing enables discussion over the telephone, which is more convenient and less expensive. Videoconferencing is used for more formal meetings, especially in companies that have this facility. This type of conferencing is done via the video camera. It enables people to have the conference being in different geographical locations and yet seeing each other. After an environmental disaster, one large company was able to get solution to its cleanup problems by videoconferencing with an 84-year-old Swedish expert whose health did not permit him to travel to the site of problem. 6. Telecommuting and Home Offices: As technology makes it easier to communicate with people in other locations, some employees have begun working from their homes. They may visit the home office periodically or send the product of their labour to their employers or clients electronically. Many companies are providing workers with computers and other equipment that enables them to work more efficiently at home. Companies that downsize may contract, with individuals who are not employed, to undertake projects that the company's remaining workers do not have time to do. Telecommuters and home workers are often regarded as essential and dependable members of the corporate world.

Unit 1 Communication in Business

One advantage is that widely dispersed employees can be called on to react quickly during emergencies or to reach distant clients. Concerns about traffic congestion, parking problem, office space, and personal preferences all contribute to the decision to allow telecommuting and home office.

xgT Activity E:
What kind of technology would you use for the following types of communication situations? a) Reporting to your boss that you are unable to attend work.

b) General information to be given to all employees of your organization.

c) Interviewing a candidate for your department who is living in another city.

1.8 SUMMARY Communication is participating in the process of informing and being informed. This process is becoming more complex with business becoming global. However, one of the inadequacies of the business world is lack of development of communication skills. With the globalization of business there is a felt need to emphasize development of communication skills.

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Business Communication

Communication is seen in its various dimensions- such as its nature of being verbal or_ nonverbal, intentional or unintentional, internal or external; having characteristics of involving humans, machines and animals; and occurring between two people or groups of people. Communication is important to business because of its nature and objectives. It is used in business to achieve the objectives of an organization such as motivation, disseminating information, raising morale, educating the employees, and training and development. x Communication activity in an organization takes three forms - i.e. the internal-operational, external-operational, and personal. These forms of communication have their own functions and usefulness in an organization. In an organization the flow of information takes place through a network. For the purpose of smooth functioning of an organization there is a formal network, which is designed by the management. However, communication cannot be controlled by the formal network, but also flow in an informal manner. This informal network is known as the grapevine, which can be destructive, but efficient management could use it to their benefit. Communication has been influenced by the development of technology, which has made communication in the business organization simple, efficient and faster. 1.9 SELF- ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS Q 1 . Discuss the importance of communication in the context of business organization. Q2. Explain the various forms of communication and how they facilitate managerial functions. Q3. Explain the Communication Network in an organization. Q4. Fill in the blanks: a) When we speak without putting thoughts into words, then the communication is

b) When words communicate something other than what is meant, then the communication is said to be c) Middlemen who. deal^ with information are known as 1 N> "rtvyy vxe-tfU fl 20 1 4
Unit 1 Communication in Business

d) The neutral third party that helps to communication on behalf of the subordinate with the superiors is known as

e) The procedure that an organization has developed to perform a particular task is known as &"%><TocHVj jg>l ^>w, Q5. State whether the following statements are True or False: a) V Human communication is more nonverbal than verbal. b) c)
O (5VvJh

r~ Communication between two individuals is intrapersonal. v . In determining one's communication skills audio and video is better

T . thane-mail. d) p- Information relating to strength and weakness of the competitor is known as external information. e) f) g) h) i) j)

T
. All orders are not instructions, but all instructions are orders. f~ Horizontal communication is among people at different organizational levels who have no direct reporting relationships.
C' ^ *

T Grapevine usually carries more information than the formal

T
communication network.

Grapevine helps people to receive social satisfaction. Encouraging the use of e-mail is not a healthy practice because it distorts the organizational hierarchy.

F
Telecommuters are not considered as essential part of the corporate world. Q6. List down the following: a) Five types of information for planning: l i iii

Business Communication

2.1 INTRODUCTION Communication is an act, which consists of various events, and hence, it really is a process. In the process of communication there is interplay of the communicator, the message and the audience. Effective communicators are aware of the process and spend considerable time and effort in preparing and rehearsing me act or delivering fnelr1 HlQfiB[l0.1 ilSty Will take into consideration the various elements of the communication process during the course of preparation. It takes a conscious effort on the part of an individual to develop the ability to deliver message effectively. In the world of business, which has become very sophisticated, it is imperative that people in the management cadre develop effective style of communication. Specially, while dealing with business counterparts in a cross-cultural milieu one has to weigh the whole process of communication carefully so as to avoid any misunderstandings and loss of time and money. Services industry in particular has brought communication to the fore and it has become the most essential aspect of business in present times. Corporate as well as small enterprises, in India, are spending sufficient time and money in training their personnel in developing effective communication skills. 2.2 THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS: EXISTING VIEWS We can view communication process from different points of emphases. From each point of emphasis communication process takes on a different form. Business Communication, by Helen R. Ewald & Rebecca E. Burnett, describes communication process from different points of emphases. They are as follows: imparting information, sharing information, or assumptions underlying while communicating information. Communication process can be described either from the perspective of imparting, or sharing, or assumptions. Each of these perspectives can be explained by use of models. The communication process can take any of the following forms: s* 37. Transmission Model

38. Reciprocal Model ^ 13. Model Highlighting Assumptions.


Unit 2 Process of Communication

1. Transmission Model: When the emphasis is on imparting information, then the transmission model could understand the process of communication. This model (Fig 2.1) enables us to understand communication process in terms of information being transmitted from a sender to a receiver.
Message Reception Audience Information and ideas coded into words and visuals Channel conveys communicator's ideas Reader/Listener decodes communicator's message

Adapted from Helen R. Ewald & Rebecca E. Burnett, 'Business Communication', 1997, pg 36 Fig 2.1: Transmission Model of Communication Process

Through this model communication process is seen as a linear process - i.e. message moves in one direction along a line or channel, with information travelling from the source to the audience. This model assumes that, in the absence of disturbance [noise], the audience will interpret the message as the sender intends. 2. Reciprocal Model: When the emphasis is on sharing information, then we use the reciprocal model of communication process. In this process of communication the information or the meaning evolves through the participation of each member of the audience. The flow of communication is simultaneous in all direction, and in this flow of communication the composing of message takes place. Reciprocal model shows the interactive nature of communication process. It could be graphically expressed as in Fig 2.2.
Information Communicator Audience

Meaning comes through interaction among the communicator, the information [subject], and the audience within a specific occasion for communication

Adapted from Helen R. Ewald & Rebecca E. Burnett, 'Business Communication', 1997, pg 37 Fig 2.2 : Reciprocal Model of Communication Process

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Business Communication

3. Model Highlighting Assumptions: In this model of communicating information, we focus on the assumptions, which are commonly shared by the communicator and the audience. Assumptions refer to that which is taken for granted by the communicator and the audience, and that which can become the common ground in understanding the message. For example, when you go to a shop to make a purchase, the assumption that you and the shopkeeper share is that once the goods are purchased by you or sold by the shopkeeper the money given shall not be refunded. Say you purchase a non-stick frying pan, and after going home you discover that you already have one. You then decide to return the frying pan and get a refund. However, you realise that the shopkeeper refuses to refund the money, which you cannot contest. He, being a reasonable man, agrees to allow you to choose another item in place of the frying pan. In the above example you accept the common assumption, but refuse to accept it at that moment. Realising that you cannot get the refund you agree to co-operate with the shopkeeper and accept his offer for an exchange. This is known as the Cooperative Princinle "~
.!._ '

^Activity A: Which of the models would you apply to the following? i) Board meeting ii) Weekly Departmental meeting iii) Workers'meeting with their Manager,

2.3 COMMUNICATION PROCESS As mentioned earlier, communication is a process, which consists of events or phases that are linked together. Whether you are writing, speaking, listening, or reading, all these phases are present in the communication process. The process of communication can be divided into five phases. They are:

1. The sender has an idea. 2. The idea becomes a message.

Unit 2 Process of Communication

42.
The message is transmitted.

43. The receiver gets the message. 44. The receiver responds and sends a feedback to the sender.
These five phases of the communication process link the sender to the receiver. Let us examine each of these five phases.

1. The Sender has an Idea: We experience reality and that experience is filtered by
our mind. Our mind abstracts some important aspects of the experience and turns them into an idea. In other words, mind constructs the important aspects of the experience into a meaningful thought, which is idea. However, mind deals with the invisible, because our thoughts are invisible. So the idea, which is invisible, has to be expressed in some form or the other in order to communicate it to others. Since you do not think in the same manner as others, and yet you want to express your ideas to them, your mind filters out the details to highlight only those aspects that are relevant. This process is known as abstraction. Thus, in the process of abstraction you leave out many aspects, which you assume the others know. So in the filtering process you make assumptions and judgements or conclusion. What we are saying here is that our mind simplifies the real world that we observe and experience by breaking it down into parts and then reconstructing these parts into an idea, which we then turn it into a message that we express. What we express, however, is not the whole of reality, but rather only a distorted image that our mind pictures. 2. The Idea Becomes a Message: When we wish to express our ideas to others, then the idea has to take a form and become an expression. Expression is an idea put "in-form" to become information. This is also called '.encoding' thejnessage. Idea can be expressed in different ways, depending upon the following:

44. Subject - what is that you want to speak about?

45. Purpose - what is it that you want to achieve? 46. Audience - who is the recipient of your ideas? 47. Personal Style or Mood - what is your speaking style or what mood are you in
when you making a speech?

48. Cultural Background - the choice of your words depend on your cultural
upbringing.

33

Business Communication

During the process of encoding the idea into words all these factors come into play. The choice of words indicates one's style, mood, culture, audience, and purpose. For instance, when a supervisor speaks to his subordinate concerning a job, not done well, he will use words that will indicate displeasure, and even anger. But, if he has to report the same instance to his boss - his choice of wttMs and appall WOUW be different. One of the major factors that influence encoding ideas into message is (he vocabula available at one's disposal. In other words, at any given time we do not vocabulary at our command to convert our ideas into words. This results in using words that are not apt or desirable, which could lead to misunderstanding. Similarly, language differs from discipline to discipline - language of a lawyer differs from the language of a doctor or an IT professional. This could become a hindrance in recognizing or expressing ideas. For example, when we go to a doctor we only are able to tell him what we suffer from. We cannot express our ailment in medical terms. Therefore, it is imperative that we develop the ability to express our ideas in the code that is fitting for a given profession. 3. The Message is transmitted : In this step of communication process there is a physical transmission of the message from the sender to the receiver. The message transmitted from the sender to the receiver should have a medium, because transmission cannot take place in a vacuum. The essential element for this transmission is a medium/channel. Channel is a medium that enables the message to be transmitted from the sender to the receiver. The choice of medium/channel depends on the message, audience, urgency and situation. 46. Reception of the Message: 'Thefirststep in reception of message is "decoding" -i.e. converting the message into thought [words are converted into meanings]. The second step is "understanding" - i.e. communication is not complete unless it is understood. This involves interpretation of the message by the receiver. Third step in the reception of message is "response" to the message - i.e. action. ~*~* 47. Feedback: Receiver sends his/her response back to the sender. This enables the sender to determine whether the message has been received and produced the intended response.

48. Noise: This term refers to those factors that cause hindrance to the intended message.

36

Business Communication

1. Problems in developing the message:

a) Indecision about the message content


This is due to the fact that the sender has too much information on the subject, which gives rise to the difficulty in choosing what to include and what to exclude. When the message has too much of information then the receiver can get confused

b) Lack of familiarity wit the situation or the receiver


The sender should get all the necessary information and find out to whom the message is to be sent. This would enable the sender to state the message in a language that is appropriate to the situation and clearly understood by the receiver.

c) Emotional conflicts
There are times when the message has to be delivered that would cause emotional disturbance to the receiver. In such case, without being defensive, the sender should state the message in a manner that would avoid emotional conflict.

d) Difficulty in expressing ideas


This is due to the lack of experience in writing or speaking that the sender may have and cause difficulty in expressing his/her ideas. One must possess sufficient knowledge of language to express using appropriate words. 2. Problems in transmitting the message:

49. When speaking, the sender may find/that the acoustics in the place is poor, or
there may be no proper facilities for the audience to hear the speaker.

50. In case of written transmission of message there could be instances when the
message is not legible - unable to read due to poor quality of printing.

51. When more than one message is sent on the same subject there is a good
possibility of contradictions. In such a case the receiver is uncertain and interpretation may be confused.

52. When there are too many links in the communication line there could be distortion
of message. For instance, when the message has to pass through many people there is a possibility of each person interpreting the message in his/her way. By the time the message gets to the actual receiver the message would have undergone change that would be far from the intended meaning.

Unit 2 Process of Communication

3. Problems in receiving the message: 54. Physical distraction: The receiver may have physical impairment (hard of hearing,
poor eye sight) that could cause hindrance in understanding the message.

55. Lack of concentration: The receiver may not have enough capacity to concentrate
and may let his/her mind wander off the message - i.e. sometimes we are thinking of some other issue when a person is telling us something else. This is a big hindrance in communication process.

4. Problems in understanding the message: 57. Different cultural background, such as education, social status, economic position,
etc. could become a hindrance in the process of understanding the message.

58. Different interpretation of words: This happens when the receiver is not familiar
with a particular language. For example, the receiver may not be computer literate and hence, may not understand the computer language that the sender is using.

59. Different emotional reaction: The message consists of both the content meaning
and relationship meaning. The message may be clear, but the manner in which it is expressed or worded may not be acceptable to the receiver. When the message is not acceptable, then it may give rise to negative feelings and the communication can breakdown and not receive proper response.

g> Activity C:
Identify the problems that you encountered while developing the message for your sales personnel regarding the increase in their sales target.

38

Business Communication

2.5 SPECIAL PROBLEMS OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION All communication is prone to misunderstanding, but business in particular is more prone to misunderstanding because of its complex nature. Besides being complex, business communication has limited opportunities for feedbacks and hence, difficult to correct misunderstandings^ 1. Complexity of the message : 66. In the process of business communication, one must communicate both as an individual as well as a representative of the organization. These two roles could conflict with each other. For instance, there could be a situation where as an individual you may not agree with the content of the message, but as a representative of the organization you may have no choice but to send the message. 67. At times you may be called upon to develop and deliver message that may be difficult to express due to the difficult nature of the subject matter. This could become a problem as well as a challenge to develop the message in clear terms. 68. Business situations are not always easy and smooth sailing. There are moments when you may be asked to prepare a message under difficult conditions, or within the constraints of time and money, or even in collaboration with people with little or no knowledge of the subject. All these situations could become problematic in communication process. 69. Another problem of business communication is to develop message, in the capacity of a responsible representative of the organization, in a manner that would please everybody in the chain of command. 2. Difficult conditions for transmission and reception: 63. One of the major problems of business communication is to get across your message to your audience. This is due to the fact that there are many layers of message processors or filters between the sender and the receiver - such as secretaries, assistants, receptionists, and answering machines. Getting through these filters can become a problem in business communication. 64. If filters pose a problem in business communication, distillers also become equally problematic. Distillers are those through whom the message gets translated, interpreted, distorted, and even added upon before it is received.

Unit 2 Process of Communication

lly sd, c) Once the message is received, the receiver may be distracted by much other interference from work or other sources, which may not allow him/her to understand the message in peace. In other words, the message does not get the receiver's undivided attention due to the nature of business situation.

3. Differences between the sender and the receiver: 70. In business the communication process is often between people who are separated by differences in function, status, allegiance, etc. The sender deals with the unknown or less known receiver/audience. This makes communication more difficult. In order to overcome this problem, it is necessary for the sender to establish credibility through the message - i.e. getting the unknown or less known audience to trust the sender of the message. 71. If the business communication involves the sender and the unknown or less known audience, then it is equally important for the sender to anticipate the needs and reactions of the receiver. Each time the receiver of the message is different, the approach of communicating the message must also change.

g> Activity D :
a) As the Manager of a Sales Division, what steps would you take to overcome the various filters that would distort your message to your sales personnel about the increase in their sales target?

b) Give an example of communication where one can see that the differences between the sender and receiver has caused a problem.

39

Business Communication

2.6 APPROACHES TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Many approaches have been developed to make business communication effective. Here are some of the approaches. Correct Clear 1 . Important C 's in Communication: Correct facts, right time of delivering message, and suitable style. Clarity of thought and expression. Communication should be without bias; objective assessment of facts. Complete Concise Full details should be given, without leaving room for doubts. Communication should contain just necessary but sufficient j information. Consiste Communication should be consistent with organizational objectives. J^yfc"^ f Gonerent V- &3* Credible
Chronological

Considerate Communication should be well organized and logically arranged. Communication should be delivered in polite language. Whatever is said or written should be believable. There should be a sequence of time and priority in the message. Consideration should be given to the receiver rather than the j sender. ^Compassing v^fc,^. 2. "PRIDE" Model :

Communication should encompass all organizational needs. i^ George T. Vardaman & Patricia B. Vardaman have developed this model. The word ] PRIDE stands as an acronym for Purpose, Receiver, Impact, Design, and Execution. All these factors are necessary for effective communication.

rpose Receiver It refers to the purpose that the sender is trying to achieve - i.e. j target of communication. This means to identify the exact purpose j of communication. The sender should know the psychology and competence of the ] receiver in order to communicate the message.

Unit 2 Process of Communication

Impact Ty : Communication should be such that it has the necessary affect upon the receiver so as to achieve the purpose of the communication. Design ^ft- : This refers to the planning of the communication. It should be organized and developed so that it can achieve the desired impact upon the receiver. Execution : The final stage of communication is implementation of the planned message. Communication will fail if it is not properly carried out. 3. Ten Commandments of Effective Communication: (Prepared by American Management Association). 70. Seek to clarify your ideas before communicating. 71. Examine the true purpose of each communication. 72. Consider the total physical and human setting whenever you communicate. 73. Consult with others, where appropriate, in planning communication. 74. Be mindful of the overtones as well as of basic content of your message. 75. Take opportunity, when it arises, to convey something of help or value to the receiver. 76. Follow up your communication. h) Communicate for tomorrow as well as for today. i) Be sure your actions support your communication. j) Seek not only to be understood, but also to understand. 2.7 GUIDELINES TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION 1. Create the Message Carefully : Communication is a creative act; an act in which you help your audience to understand and accept your message. As a creative act one must follow the given steps. a) Purpose - to bring the audience closer to your views.

i) Define your goal in communication [Why are you sending the message? What do you want youraudieltee to know or do?]

41

Business Communication

ii) Know the position of your audience [What do they know at the presen! What do they need to know? What is their general background?] iii) Use words in a manner that will bridge the audience from their present position to your point of view. b) Frame of Reference - give your audience a framework for understanding the j message. i) At the outset tell the audience what they can expect to gain [if there is j nothing to gain your audience will have nothing to look forward to]. i) Give a broad outline - general map of your message [this will help the j listeners/readers to follow the path of your thoughts]. iii) Guide the audience along the path of your thought and message. iv) Emphasize on the major landmarks [ideas, concepts] of your message [this j will help the audience to easily link your thoughts in a cohesive manner]. c) Memorable - help your audience to understand and remember the message. i) Since business communication involves subject that is technical, abstract,] and difficult use concrete language - i.e. balance general concepts witl specific illustrations. ii) Give specific details, which will be remembered by your audience.

d) Select information that directly contributes to the present message.


i) Focus on few selected ideas that need to be conveyed [too many ideas orj concepts will result in deviation from the point of the message]. ii) Develop each idea/concept adequately and explain them sufficiently. iii) Arrange the selected ideas/concepts in a logical sequence [this will helf your audience to grasp your message and evaluate it rationally].

e) Connect your message to the receiver's frame of reference.


Mind plays an important role in the process of communication. During the j of communication the mind is actively involved in selecting and judging the id presented with its existing ideas [frame of reference].

Unit 2 Process of Communication

If new ideas are not connected to the existing ideas of the mind there is a possibility of the new ideas being lost - i.e. the receiver cannot understand the new ideas and hence his mind rejects them. Hence, the sender must be able to link the new ideas to the existing ideas of his audience. This means the sender should be in a position to assess the frame of mind of his audience. f) Highlight and summarize the key ideas or points. This is important because just as the sender helps to open the mind of his/her audience so also he/she should be able to close the mind of the audience when the message is ended. A message has a beginning and an end. Just as how to begin the message is important so also how to close the message is important. The best way to close the message is to briefly re-view the ideas presented emphasizing the key ideas, concepts, or thoughts and summarizing the whole message in a brief but cohesive manner. 2. Minimize Noise / Interference: Even the most carefully constructed message will fail to achieve results if it does not reach the receiver. In other words, there are many possibilities for the message to get distorted on its way from the sender to the receiver. Ultimate goal of any communication is that the receiver gets the meaning of the message as close to as intended by the sender. To achieve this goal there factors that have to be remembered. If the message is in print or written form it should be physically appealing as well as easy to comprehend. Here the choice of material used along with the choice of format is important. Attention must also be given to the quality of type used for writing the massage. In the case of oral delivery, attempt should be made to eliminate environmental disturbances, which can cause interference in hearing and understanding the message. Location of the delivery of the message must be conducive with adequate lighting, good acoustics, and few visual distractions. As the sender of the message you should be as inconspicuous as possible - i.e. your dressing should not be very loud, which will catch the attention of the audience. Be modestly and appropriately dressed so as not to become too obvious. Otherwise, you outfit would become a major distraction to the audience.

43

Business Communication

Another way to minimize noise or interference is to deliver your message directly to the intended audience - i.e. without any intermediaries. 3. Facilitate Feedback: This means to provide opportunity to the audience for feedback. However, in business communication there is very little chance for feedback, because of the nature of message delivery that does not provide feedback loop. In case of face-toface conversation, feedback is immediate and clear. The main objective of the feedback is to know whether your message has been clearly understood and accepted. To achieve this the sender should plan his/her message in a way that would encourage feedback. Although feedback is useful, it can become hindrance for the sender who may not have control over the communication situation. To maintain control over the communication the sender should choose an appropriate way of obtaining feedback. For instance, if you want immediate feedback then face-to-face communication is useful, but if the feedback is not required then written document is good enough. Feedback is not always easy to get. When there is a need for feedback then you may have to draw the feedback by asking specific questions pertaining to the message. One important factor to remember in getting feedback is to be a good listener. Concentration is required when feedback is being received. In business situation feedback plays an important role, because it from the feedbacks that openness and improvement comes. It helps build congeniality in the business environment. >eT Activity E: Consider that as a Manager of a Sales Division you are conducting a meeting with your sales personnel regarding the ways to improve the sales of the company. a) How would you encourage feedback from you sales personnel?

Process of Communication

b) What precautions would you take to minimize interferences?


**"^s

"t
2.8 SUMMARY Communication process can be described form different perspective, such as imparting, sharing, or assumption. When the emphasisis on imparting information then the Transmission model is used; when sharing of information is the emphasis then the ReciprpcaTrnodeUs used; and when the emphasis is on the shared assumption then the HighEghtingAssumption model is used.

Process of communication has five chains of events -the sender has anjdea; idea becomes a message; message is jransmitted; receiver gets the message; and receiver responds and sends feedback to the sender. In each of these chains of events there is a possibility of noise^i.e. disturbancesof interferences, which could hinder the message being received as intended. These interferences or barriers in communication could be due to factors such as developing the message, transmitting message, understanding message, or even receiving the message. Business communication has its own special problems due to the complexity of the business environment. To build effectiveness of communication care should be taken in developing the message, using appropriate medium, giving consideration to the receiver, and the environment in which the delivery of the message takes place. There are various approaches to effective communication such as the Important Cs, PRIDE Model, and the ten Commandments of Communication. Guidelines to improve communication have been listed for effective communication.

45

Business Communication

3.1 INTRODUCTION It has often been said that the business of business is to make profits. However, behind making profits, there lies a more fundamental function of business that is vital for the business of business. That fundamental function of business is communication. Imagine if there was no communication in a business organization; would there be any function at all? Therefore, it would not be out of place to state that to accomplish the business of business communication is essential. Communication is the very essence of business. Communication is very closely associated with human behaviour. Understanding of human behaviour enables us to apply its principles to communication psychology. Psychologists study individual behaviour; sociologists study group behaviour; and anthropologists study cultural behaviour. These studies have provided us with theories that are useful in understanding human behaviour. Despite the fact that so much studies have been done in the field of human behaviour - i.e. how and why most people behave the way they do - there are always exceptions. We can never have a complete knowledge of human behaviour, and this lack of understanding gives rise to mishaps in communication. Consequently, much time is lost in rectifying these mishaps in communication. Hence, it is imperative that we understand what communication is made-up of and develop skill for them. Behaviour - what we do and say - tells us much about ourselves. Remember, all behaviour is communicative; and communication is the index of our behaviour. Therefore, developing the communication skills imply transforming our behavioural pattern. This transformation is not an easy task, but a conscious and a deliberate act. 3.2 PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNICATION PSYCHOLOGY By communication psychology we mean the study of human behaviour that affects the communication process, as well as communication that affects human behaviour. According to Abraham Maslow, a famous psychologist, most people will respond positively to messages that will meet their particular needs at particular times. In other words, our needs determine our reaction to the message. To be a successful communicator, you should be able determine the needs of the people to whom you are communicating. Furthermore, you should also be able to discern the affects of your communication, through your body and language, on the audience. The principles of communication psychology are as follows: Needs determine behaviour in the communication process.

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

Body language determines behavioural pattern. Verbal language determine behavioural pattern. 1. Needs Determine Behaviour :

Here m Ml mate use ofMaslow'sHiorarcliyofNoeuS to uiutoand to? infiuence of


needs on the communication process. According to Maslow there are five sets of needs: 72. Physiological needs 73. Security 74. Social/Affiliation 75. Esteem j^b 76. Self-actualisatiott Basic physical needs Need to be sate Need to belong,. Need to be somebody

Need to help others and to be creative


All these needs influence human behaviour in the process of communication. 86. Basic Physical Needs: Consider that you are attending a business seminar, which begins at 8 am. You are thereafter having had a good breakfast, and you are comfortable and attentively listening to the speaker. Come 12 noon and your behaviour begins to change. You are beginning to feel hungry and are restless, and beginning to

loose concentration. Your physical need has impacted your behaviour and the message is meaningless. 87. The Need to be Safe: While attending the seminar you receive a message from one of your relatives that your father, who is living in another city, has suddenly taken ill. Such news shatters your sense of safety and security, and you are disturbed. You can no longer pay attention to what the speaker is saying. There could be many other reasons that could affect your sense of security and alter your behaviour. This altered behaviour could influence reception of communication adversely. 88. The Need to Belong: We communicate freely with family and friends, who provide us with a sense of belongingness. Even at workplace we need to belong to a group to communicate without being inhibited. Opposed to the idea of belonging is alienation. This is one of the most dreadful experiences that anyone could have. To be alienated means to be ex-communicated. During the medieval age Christianity used excommunication as an instrument of punishment. Any person who was excommunicated was cut-off the entire society, to the extent that he would not even be given water when thirsty. To be a member of a society means to be an integral part

Business Communication

The Need to be "Somebody": Another important need of human beings is to be recognized or respected. We can be somebodv orovided others recognize us as somebody. Often it is the attitude of others u ua i. idicale whether they respect us or not. Have you ever had your boss call you into his office that makes you feel that you were called in for what you think would be an important meeting? You think that your boss recognizes you as someone with whom he could discuss serious matters. Yet while you were with the boss he pays little attention to what you are saying by allowing interruptions. Soon you begin to get the feeling that the boss does not recognize you and that makes you feel insignificant, and perhaps even want to leave. When the need to be "somebody" is not fulfilled the communication process is interrupted. e) The Need to help others and to be Creative: At all the above levels we need to help or be helped to overcome anxieties and fears. As communicator we need to develop sensitivity to the needs of our audience. This would make two things to happen: i) Willingness to help people who are still struggling on the lower rung of the ladder, those still striving to meet the physical, safety and security needs, and ii) Become more creative, because creative people make a better quality of life for everyone around. 2. Body-Language Determines Behaviour: This could also be captioned as non-verbal communication, which has been defined by Bartol & Martin as "communication by means elements and behaviours that are not coded into words". This definition suggests that non-verbal mode of communication indicates the behavioural pattern of the communicators. Cultural and environmental differences contribute to conscious or unconscious body movements that communicate our true feelings. Most people believe that the manner in which you say something is more important than what you say with words. Non-verbal communication often accompanies verbal (oral) communication. However, another vital feature of non-verbal communication is that most of the time we are communicating (generally to the people around us) without using words, by the way we walk, sit, dress, etc. In the process of developing communication skills, it is essential that we also make a conscious effort to improve our non-verbal communication pattern. a) Facial Expressions: Aspi Doctor & Rhoda Doctor in their book Principle and Practices of Business Communication suggest that Charles Darwin believed that
Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

facial expressions show emotions, which originated in our evolutionary past. Hence, people from all over the world, even if they speak different languages and belong to

different cultures, use a common pattern of facial expressions to show emotions. Facial expressions, which result from the use of eyes, eyebrows, and lips, are universal in their nature and application. Universal facial expressions are used to show the following emotions: happiness, surprise, fear, sorrow, etc. In Asian countries like India the eyes have a special role to play in conveying message. For instance, eyes convey definite meanings in the dance form of Bharatnatyam and Kathakali. When used with verbal communication, facial expressions can enlarge and sometimes even change the verbal message. They can also either encourage or discourage feedback. Non-verbal communication using eye movements is called

^ "^ ^
b) Gestures; They_are movements of the hands, the head, or the body tojndicate an idea or afeelmg, Gestures are culturally based. In other words, certain gesture may beacceptable in one culture, while it may be deplored in another culture. For example, laying hand on someone's head in India would indicate giving blessings, while in the Buddhist culture one is not suppose to touch another's head, since it considered sacred. Crossing one's ankles over the knees while sitting is considered rude in Indonesia, Thailand, and Syria. Pointing your index finger toward yourself insults the other person in Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Gestures are indicative of the behavioural patterns that are unique to specific culture. Hence, they should be seen or perceived in the proper manner and context. This calls for developing an awareness of how to interpret gestures. c) Body Movements and Posture: While gestures pertain to the movements of parts of the body, posture has to do with the manner in which we carry ourselves. Posture is an important element in body language as it often gives a key to the personality of a person as well as tells us about the person. We are very familiar with the references made by cricket commentators to the body language of the players - confidence or diffidence of the team members is obvious in their body language. Body movements and posture appropriate for one person may not be suitable to another. For instance, how do we perceive a man who has the body movements like that of a lady? Posture and movements also convey definite message about one's age or state of health. "Kinesic" behaviour, which includes all body movements and gestures, mean different things in different cultures. Sometimes behaviours that are meaningless in one culture have distinct meanings in another culture.

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Business Communication

d) Silence: Paradoxical as it may sound, we do communicate with the help of silence. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by emotions that we are speechless - our silence speaks of our strong feelings. There are certainly many occasions when "silence is more eloquent than words". Come to think of it our speech is always punctuated by silence. Good communicators are aware of the value of silence. Silence communicates messages in silence. Along silence could mean one thing, while a short silence may mean another. Silence conveys meanings that indicate the behaviour of a person - such as lack of interest, apathy, indifference, etc. Writer Joseph DeVito mentions the following functions of silence: i) To allow the speaker time to think i) To isolate one's self iii) To hurt someone iv) To prevent further communication v) To communicate emotional responses vi) To say nothing In business communication too, silence is often made use of. e) Space and Proximity: Each one of us a sense of personal space around us that is guarded against intruders. We also try not to intrude on the personal space of others. Space and proximity play an important part in the communication process. The influence that space and proximity have on communication is known as "proxemics". For instance, whenweenter the office of a senior exgcutivewe keepa certain distance. The more senior the executive, the more the distance or proximityweTnamlaiiL

Table 3.1: Proxemic Categories

Space Category Public Space

Typical US Proxemics > 12 feet

Social Space Personal Space Intimate Space

4 to 12 feet 1.5 to 4 feet < 1.5 feet

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

i) Intimate Space or Zone is what we could identify as that space where all our body movements occur. This is the zone that belongs to each one of us and in

which we move throughout the day. Business associates do not enter this space
frequently, but only to shake hands or to pat someone on the back. ii) Personal Space or Zone extends from 18 inches to about 4 feet, in which conversation with close friends takes place. This is the space where normal talking is frequent. Some business interactions take place in this zone, such as business lunches. iii) Social Space or Zone extends from 4 feet to about 12 feet. This is an important zone for business, because rrtost business exchanges 6CCU11 in thi z6ne, Ucn a informal business conferences and staff meetings iv) Public Space or Zone extends from 12 feet and beyond. This is the most formal zone, and the least significant interactions occur here. Because of the great distance, communication in the public zone is often one way - from the speaker to the audience. We can also draw some generalizations about intercultural Proxemics. hi general, most people from Latin America, Middle Eastern, and southern European countries are comfortable with less distance between the individuals than most people from the United States. Similarly, people from many Asian cultures prefer more distance between them than do most people from the United States. This explains why you may take a step away from or toward a person you are working with from another culture. f) Dress & Grooming: The manner and style of dressing alsoplaysjin importantrole^ in nonverbal communication. Every morning when we asourselves "What should I wear today?" we mean, "What do I want the people around me to know about me?" Dress and grooming informs the people about us. We wish to make a good impression upon the people, because people judge you by the way you dress - the colour of your dress, how well it is unwrinkled, the looks of your shoes, etc. Your appearance is also judged by the tidiness of your hair, body odour, etc. In many developing countries, workers, whether in offices or industries, are provided with facilities whereby they will always look fresh and clean. In these countries you may not get

a job if you don't dress well or appear clean, or smell good. Dress code and grooming has become an important element of corporate culture.

Business Communication

g) Colour: Colour plays such an important role in our lives that, as far as English is concerned; colour symbolism has become a part of the language. Thus, in English we use phrases such as "green with envy", "pink of health", feeling "blue", etc. Business world also makes use of the colour-language - "in the red" refers to a company going in a loss, or "in the black" when it does well. Colours are used to convey messages, not only at the individual level, but also at the level of community and nation. For example, Hindu clergy wear saffron, Christian mourners wear black; and each country has its own flag with distinct colours, so do many army regiments, schools, and colleges. Besides all these use of colours, they also have significant psychological effect. Fro instance,

likllt WlOWD bflY9 SWilling SffWt fln psopl^ whits wlm miffi w$ ftvfc wtows depress,
When a classroom in US was painted red it was found that misbehaviour among students had increased. Colours not only inform us about people but also affect the behaviour of human beings. Henry Dreyfuss, after considerable research, offers the following table to show the positive and negative messages of certain colours.

Table 3.2

Colour

Positive Message Warmth Passion

Negative Message Death

War
Life Liberty Patriotism Revolution Devil Danger Doubt Discouragement

Red ^--~-~

Blue

Religious Feeling Devotion Truth Justice

Intuition Yellow Wisdom Divinity


Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

Cowardice Malevolence Impure Love

Nature Hope Freshness Prosperity^ ,

Green Purple 5& Power Royalty Love of Truth Nostalgia

Envy Jealousy Opposition Disgrace Mourning Regret Penitence Resignation

Source: Aspi Doctor & Rhoda Doctor, 'Principles and Practices of Business Communication'. Mumbai: Sheth Publishers Pvt.Ltd., pg 41 3. Language Affects Behaviour: The words we use can make us behave in different ways. To communicate successfully, we must remember that words are only symbols, to which people add meaning. Two people may interpret the same word differently. Here is an anecdote that illustrates the affect of language on our behaviour.
Once when the Master [enlightened person] spoke of the hypnotic power of words, someone from the back of the room shouted: "You are talking nonsense! If I say God, God, God will that make me divine? And if I say Sin, Sin, Sin will it make me evil? "Sit down, you stupid idiot!" shouted the Master. The man became so livid with rage that it took some time to recover his speech. Then he screamed a torrent of abuse at the Master. The Master, looking contrite, said, "Pardon me, sir, I was carried away. I truly apologize for my unpardonable lapse." The man calmed down immediately. "Well, there you have your answer: all it took was a word to give you a fit and another to sedate you," said the Master.
Source: Anthony De Mello, One-Minute Nonsense

Business Communication

Activity A : What proxemics would you allow yourself in the following situations? i) Talking to your boss _ ii) Talking to your colleague. in) Making a speech iv) Speaking to your spouse_ b) Identify the types of needs the following situations depict: i) Your boss is unhappy with your performance ii) Isolated from grapevine group iii) Your boss invites you to share your inputs_ iv) You are called upon to assist your fellow-worker.

3.3 COMMUNICTING ACROSS CULTURES Compared to the last two decades a very large number of young Indian executives and professionals now routinely communicate with people from other cultures, especially American and European. Here we shall take a look at some aspects in which cultural values that shape our lives are fundamentally different from the Western ones. Understanding the differences between our cultural values and those of the West will help us communicate better with the Westerners. 1. What is "Culture"? Culture is our understanding of acceptable actions and beliefs. Each of us grows up in a culture that provides pattern of acceptable beKaviour and belief Tit is the background over against which all our actions and beliefs become meaningful. We are not aware of this background most of the times - like the glasses that we wear through which we see, but are not aware that we are seeing through the glasses. However, not until we come in contact with someone different from our culture that we become aware of our cultural background. Culture can_bej>een asthe way_weJjy^Jlie_clQthgswe wear, and the thoughts we think. It is the collection of values that sustain and direct or lives. The influence of culture on

communication is so strong that anthropologist Edward Hall says," culture is communication

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

and communication is culture". Differences in cultural values and perceptions can be an invisible source of great misunderstanding between people of different regions. Until a few years ago, before the globalisation of the Indian economy, and before information technology exploded on the Indian scene, it was just a small minority of middle and senior managers and senior bureaucrats who needed to communicate across cultures. Their age,

experience) and exposure to the world in general perhaps protested them from serious
communication problems stemming from inter-cultural differences. But today even young executives, fresh from colleges, have to interact with people from different cultures. Not all of them may go abroad, but most of them would have to communicate with foreigners through e-mail or phone. Attempting to communicate across cultures without adequate preparation may lead them into serious problems.

2. The East versus the West:


Anyone who wants to deal with people from a particular country should prepare themselves by studying its culture and history, so that they can avoid at least the more serious problems of communication that result from cultural differences. We shall consider some fundamental Indian values and compare them with the Western ones, primarily because we have to communicate with them whether we like it or not. They control the world trade; they control money matters; they control science and technology. They set the rules for the world and we have to play by their rules. There is another reason why we should take Western culture seriously. Western values and practices are being adopted all over the world. The rest of the world is exposed to them through electronic media that is totally dominated by the West, and through their multinational companies. We should, however, remember that the West is not one whole culture with uniform values. There are many countries, cultures, languages, and peoples that makeup what we call as the West. There are differences, yet there are similarities that bind them into together. For instance, America and Europe are Westerners yet they are different in many ways.

Hence, it is important that we make proper distinction and avoid over generalisations and simplifications.

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a) Heart versus Mind We Indians are driven more by our heart than our mind. Like everyone else, we have rules and regulations, but we tend to succumb to the demands of the present. Take the instance of traffic lights at a crossing. We will break the traffic rules if we have to in order to meet our appointment, or for that matter, we do not need a reason for violating any rules, if we can. We have long-term plans, but those plans could easily change if we encounter any hurdle. The here and now is important for us, for which we are more than willing to change our plans or break the rules. M.M. Monippally, in his book Business Communication Strategies, puts it aptly: "We sacrifice the future at the altar of the present". We are capable of taking decisions without much planning. This might sound ridiculous, but a cursory glance around us will indicate that we take so many decisions without planning. For example, the manner in which our cities are built - no proper plans for housing, roads, utilities, etc. Our actions are without plans; they are based on ad-hoc decisions. Westerners are fundamentally different in their approach to planning. They sacrifice the present for the sake of the future, which they create with thorough planning. The future drives them says Monippally. They are less flexible towards the demands of the present situation. They invest heavily in planning the future and are confident that they will pull through the present situation, if any. b) Particularists versus Universalists Fons Trompenaars, in his book, Riding the Waves of Culture, calls the Westerners as "Universalists". Universalism believes that what is good and right can be defined and can be applied always everywhere. For example, rules and regulations must be obeyed. Westerners like to change rules rather than bend them to accommodate individual cases. We Indians are quite capable of bending rules to accommodate individuals who happen to be influential. The Westerners believe that what is good for all is applicable to everyone; if something is not good for one then change it and make it applicable for all. Indians believe that what is good for one need not be applicable for all. However, Westerners, driven by universalism, go to the extent that what is good for them is also good for the rest of the world. They try to impose their logic, their values

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

and their system on the rest of the world. They write down in detail the standard operating procedure for manufacturing a product or rendering a service. Then they

in

^ tot to pratafi be followod in all mums. 5o whosoever manufacture the


product or renders the service in whatever country or under whatever conditions, the quality is the same. Our approach is more informal. We do not follow the procedures as long as the work is accomplished, T^js h^ gy^g gfljjfl Qn [^ pjjty jjf workmanship. Westerners are also known for their meticulous nature in gathering data and using

statiEtiCB eitensively to tow mmml j^W anJ L, enables Lm to U Ae


rest of the world. They do not depend upon the intuition of the people, but rely on the sciences and the power of statistics to draw their inferences and conclusions. Monippally has put it very aptly: "Their predictions are based on analysis of the well documented past and the well-studied present". These fundamental differences in perspectives can cause serious problems when we communicate with the Westerners. Here are some tips Fons Trompenaars gives particularists on how to deal with the universalists.

i) Be prepared for 'rational', professional arguments. ii) Do not take 'get down to business' attitude as rude. iii) Carefully prepare legal ground with a lawyer if in doubt. iv) Strive for consistency and uniform procedures. v) Institute formal and public ways of changing the way business is conducted. vi) Seek fairness by treating all like cases in the same way. c) Specific versus Diffused Relationship Another noticeable feature of the Western culture is the compartmentalisation of relationships between people. A colleague is a colleague, nothing more and nothing less. Someone does not become the member of one's circle of friends just because they work together. Similarly, a neighbour is only a neighbour, even if two people live side by side for a long time. Such relations are kept separate. Work and personal lives are distinctly separated. Privacy is tightly guarded and highly prized. In contrast, our relationship with people tends to be diffused. For instance, in a work situation a colleague can make demands on us that are not work-related. We may be expected to do things for our boss that is not related to the work in the office. Refusing

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to do such favours could have bad repercussions. We do not separate our relations tightly. Moreover, when requests are turned down we tend to take it seriously, which affects our relations. Making requests for us is not easy, because the person we request might say 'yes' when he really means 'no'. We are not straightforward in our approach to requests. Westerners will not hesitate to say 'no', if they do not want to comply with your request. Here is an anecdote that Monippally narrates from Trainload of Jokes and Anecdotes, edited by K. R. Vaidyanathan.

In a train, a personable young man asked the prosperous middle-aged man sitting opposite him: "Excuse me, sir, can you tell me the time please?" "No! " barked the other man. "Bbut..." "No buts! I've got my reasons. You 're a nice young fellow. If I tell you the time, we 'II start up a conversation. Then we 'II get off at the same station; you 'II offer me a drink. I'll invite you to my place for dinner and you 'II meet my daughter." She's a charming girl," continued the middle-aged man, "and you 'II be pleasant to her. Next thing you know, you 'II be asking my permission to marry her. You don't expect me to consent to my daughter marrying a man who doesn 't even have a watch, do you?" d) Nepotism versus Meritocracy
In the West nepotism is remarkably low compared to India. Here even the private sector, leave alone the government and public sector, is not entirely free from employing the relations of top managers. The merit for employment is kinship, not competence. And kinship can encompass not only blood relations, but also people from the same village. The Western way of separating work from life helps companies hire people who, in their judgement, will perform the tasks best. Without such compartmentalise relationships between and life, meritocracy would not have taken such strong roots in the US.

e) Hire-and-Fire Policy
In the West hire-and-fire policy is widely practiced. This practice is also derived from their ability to compartmentalise relationships. A person is hired on the basis of how much he/she can allow the system to extract the work out of them. Just as an

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

object is selected to perform a function in a machine, so also a person is selected, not only on the basis of ability, but also on the basis of the willingness to be used by the system so that the system can function. When the person cannot be functional within a system, then the person is discarded from the system. In contrast the Indian approach to employment is different. Many employees are kept in their job not because the employer needs them but because they need the job for their livelihood. The best example is the government and public sector, where the objectives are not economic in nature but social. In India everyone perceives as harsh and heartless firing a person when his services are no longer needed or when the person is unable to perform. In fact, the public sector undertaking goes so far as to offer a job to a dependent in case of the demise of the earning member. This is done on the grounds of compassion and not the basis of merit. An Indian employer does not hire just certain technical or professional skills relevant to the firm's requirement, but the whole person. This makes it difficult for the employer to assess the performance of the employee without considering the person as a whole. For instance, if a person is not efficient in his/her work but has a good nature that appeals to his/her boss then the person is retained at work.

f) Individualism
This is another characteristic of the Western society, particularly the American, in which everyone is for one's self. Everyone in the US is expected to take care of himself/herself. Aperson's self-interest is dominant as long as one takes care of one's self. Here is an interesting way in which Jacob Braude answers the question "What is Americanism?" in his book Braude's Treasury of Wit and Humour. "If you want your father to take care of you, that is paternalism. If you want your mother to take care of you, that is maternalism. If you want Uncle Sam to take care of you, that is Socialism. But if you want to take care of yourself, that is Americanism". [Quoted by M. M. Monippally in Business Communication Strategies] An average Westerner is more serf-reliant and capable of taking independent decision then most Indian counterpart. Independence is a very strong value that is inculcated in Westerners from their childhood. Most young men and women leave their homes when they turn eighteen and earn their own livelihood. They make their own decisions for every facet of their life.

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In contrast, we are brought up in a group/family that comprises, not only of father, mother, brothers, and sisters, but also of aunts and uncles, cousins, and elders, in the family or outside the family. We are not encouraged to be independent, but rely most of the times upon the elders to make decisions for us. To compensate this limitation on independence the family, or the extended family offers the individual a wide safety zone. An individual can always return to this zone of safety for support in case of misfortune. This has its bearing on work-situation. The importance given in the West to individualism and assumption of responsibility for one's actions, there is generally less consultation and quicker decision-making. Consensus on a decision is not very important. If there is no consensus then the majority decision is accepted by all. In India, when there is a difference of opinion, then serious and sustained efforts are made to arrive at a consensus. When there is no consensus there is a possibility to defer decision taken. People in authority try to get the support of others concerned for decision-making. At times meetings are convened merely to make it appear that decision-making is collective.

g) Notion of Time
Time is yet another fundamental aspect of life, in which different cultures have different perceptions. Punctuality is a fundamental value for most Westerners. The importance of time in industrial society has its roots in the affects of Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. Alvin Toffler points out in his book The Third Wave, that with the advent of industrialisation many social institutions came into existence. One such institution that came into prominence was educational institution. In it there were two types of curricula - one that was overt and other the covert. The overt curriculum had subject such as history, geography, mathematics, etc. While the covert curriculum, which was geared to preparing people from rural areas for factory jobs, consisted of obedience and punctuality. In the West time is treated as being linear- i.e. it flows only in forward direction. For the Westerners time is money, and hence one must make the most of the time available. They allocate time for each activity and stick to their schedule. Their diaries run their lives. They do not like to alter their plans once they are made.

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

In the US you just cannot decide to go and visit you friend or son or daughter without phoning them and finding if it is convenient to visit them. For us, in India, time is not a linear, but cyclic in nature. Hence, it is not a limited resource. Monippally opines: "Perhaps the idea of the cycle of rebirth, lodged deeply in our collective psyche, takes urgency out of our concept of time". Westerners have just this life to achieve whatever they want to, therefore, they must work hard and fast. The Indians have many lives; hence, they have no need to be in hurry. We do not take schedule or appointments too seriously. People with more important issues are also accommodated in a schedule without appointment. Or we may readily cancel earlier appointments if more important issues or people come up. Perhaps nothing illustrates our casual attitude to time and to planning than committee meetings. Often meetings are called without notice, without giving the attendees the agenda. Even when the attendees get the agenda with the staring time clearly mentioned, meetings rarely start on time. When dealing with Westerners we have to take schedules and appointments seriously. They generally mean what they say. Arriving late causes resentment; arriving early causes embarrassment. It is unwise to assume that the Westerners take time the way we do.

a ju
h) Social Ladder ^\ "^^
Our values differ from those of the West in the way we put people on the social ladder. In India one's status depends, to a large extent, on the caste and the family one has been born into, the position one holds currently or has held, the educational qualification one has acquired, the connection one has, and of course age. Hierarchy is very important in our families and organisations. Money power is recognized, accepted, and feared but not admired. Unless a family has been traditionally wealthy, there is a general belief that the present prosperity might be ill gotten. Society may envy the new rich but show little respect to them.

Business Communication

The West also has hierarchies. There is a special respect to people belonging to illustrious families. It recognizes educational achievements, the position one holds, and of course, the connection one has. It, however, gives greater importance to what an individual has achieved in the recent past, which is this true of the American society. However, the French society values class more than cash. Within organisations the hierarchy is somewhat flat in most of the Western countries. American companies tend to have the flattest hierarchies, while Indian companies the hierarchies are very steep. Employees, in India, at the lower end may not have access to the top management, which is especially true of government and semi-government organisations. The cultural differences between the West and the East are many, and it is very easy for people who interact cross-culturally to fall into traps that would result in misunderstandings. Deliberate effort should be made to acquaint us with cultures of different countries that would enables communicating across cultures effectively.

>eT Activity B;
Locate someone, preferably a businessperson, who has spent some time in another country, and interview him or her about the experience. a) What preparation did the person have before going to the country?

b) In what ways was the preparation adequate or inadequate?

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

c) In retrospect how would he or she have prepared differently?

d) Ask for an anecdote about particular communication problems or mistakes.

3.4 CATEGORISING CULTURES All people acquire meaning from both verbal and nonverbal messages, but some people in some cultures rely more on verbal communication than nonverbal communication. In contrast, people in other cultures rely more on nonverbal communication than on verbal communication. dward Hall believed that cultures vary in the reliance people place on nonverbal signals or on verbal signals. He defined these extremes a "low-context culture" and "highcontext culture". These categories, of course, describe broadculturarcha^teristics, noTnecessarily nl^flual behaviours. Low-context Cu/targ^-refers to the dependency of the people on direct verbal messages to communicate. These people prefer explicitly stated information. Directness is considered desirable.

High-context Culture refers to the dependency of the people on indirect nonverbal ^messages to communicate. Directness is often considered rudeT In low-context cultures, most transmitted information is contained in the message itself.

On the other hand, in high-context cultures, the interpretation is primarily determined by the communicator's nonverbal signals, which implies shared social and cultural knowledge of the context.

Business Communication

This distinction has important implication for communication in organisations. Communication in low-context cultures is more cumbersome, while communication in high-context cultures is rich in meaning.

Table 3.3 Views of Communication in High-Context and Low-Context Cultures

High-Context Culture (Examples: Japan, United Arab Emirates) Preferred communication strategy Reliance on words to communicate Reliance on nonverbal signs to communicate Importance of words Agreement made in writing Agreement made orally Attention to detail Indirectness, politeness, ambiguity

Low-Context Culture (Examples: Germany, Canada, United States) Directness, confrontation, clarity High

Low
High

Low
High Binding Not binding High

Low
Not binding Binding

Low

Source: David A. Victor, ' International Business Communication'.

Table 3.4 indicates the various motivational factors and how they are perceived in different cultures. These motivational factors fall under the nonverbal communication. On the other hand, oral communication requires cultural understanding. As Table 3.5 shows, the purpose of and the information exchanged in business introductions differs across cultures.

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

Table 3.4 Cultural Contrasts in Motivation

United States Emotional Appeal Recognition based on Material Rewards Threats Opportunity

Japan

Arab Countries

Group Religion; Participation; Nationalism; Company success Admiration Group Achievement Individual Status; Status of class/society Gifts for self/family; Salary Demotion; Loss of Reputation Reputation; Family security; Religion

Individual Achievement

Salary, Bonus, Annual Bonus; Profit sharing Social Service, Fringe Benefits Loss of job Loss of Group Membership Group harmony; Belonging

Values

Competition, Risk taking, Freedom

Source: Farid Elashmawi & Philip R. Harris, Multicultural Management 2000: Essential Cultural Insights for Global Business Success.

Table 3.5 Cultural Contrasts in Business Introductions

United States Purpose of Introduction Establish status and job identity; Network Independent

Japan

Arab Countries

Establish position Establish in group, build personal harmony rapport Member of group Part of rich culture

Image of individual

Information

Related to business Informal, friendly; use first name Openness, directness, action

Related to company Little talking

Personal

Use of language

Formal; Expression of admiration Religious harmony, hospitality, emotional support

Values

Harmony; respect, listening

Source: Farid Elashmawi & Philip R. Harris, Insights for Global Business Success. Multicultural Management 2000: Essential Cultural
fid

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Table 3.6 Cultural Contrasts in Written Persuasive Documents

United States
Opening Way to persuade Style Request action or get reader's attention Immediate gain or loss of opportunity Short sentences

Japan
Offer thanks; apologize Waiting Modesty; minimize own standing Desire to maintain harmony

Arab Countries Offer personal greetings Personal connection; future opportunity Elaborate expressions; many signatures Future relationship; personal greetings Status; continuation

Closing

Specific request

Values

Efficiency; directness; Politeness, action indirectness, relationship

Source: Farid Elashmawi & Philip R. Harris, Multicultural Management 2000: Essential Cultural Insights for Global Business Success.
In the process of communicating through writing to international audiences, use titles, not first names as the Americans do. For most cultures, buffer negative messages and make requests more indirect. Table 3.6 suggests that you need to modify style, structure, and strategy when you write to international audiences. Make a special effort to avoid phrases that could be seen as arrogant or uncaring. Cultural mistakes made orally float away on the air; those made in writing are permanently recorded.

J&X Activity C:
Considering Table 3.4 how would you describe Indians with respect to the: i) Emotional appeal ii) Recognition based on

iii) Material rewards iv) Threats v) Values

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

3.5 TIPS FOR COMMUNICATION WITH PEOPLE FROM OTHER CULTURES


You may never completely overcome linguistic and cultural barriers or totally erase ethnocentric tendencies, but you can communicate effectively with people from other cultures if you work at it. Here are some tips for handling intercultural business communication more effectively. These tips have been taken from J. V. Thill & C.L. Bovee, Excellence in Business Communication.

1. Learning about a Culture:


The best way to prepare yourself to do business with people from another culture is to study their culture in advance. If you plan to do business there repeatedly, learn the language. Even if you transact business in English, you show respect by making effort to learn the local language. Concentrate on learning something about their history, religion, politics, and customs, but don't ignore the practical side of life. Seasoned business travellers suggest the following:

81. In Spain, let a handshake last for five or seven strokes; pulling away too soon may be
interpreted as a sign of rejection. In France, however, the handshake is a single stroke.

82. Never give a gift of liquor in Arab countries. 83. In England, never stick pens or other objects in your front suit pocket; doing so is
considered awkward or clumsy.

84. Allow plenty of time to get to know the people you're dealing with in Africa. They are
suspicious of people who are in a hurry. If you concentrate solely on the task at hand, African will distrust you and avoid doing business with you.

85. In Arab countries, never turn down food or drink; it is an insult to refuse hospitality of
any kind. But don't be too quick to accept, either. Aritual refusal ["I don't want to put you to any trouble" or "I don't want to be a bother"] is expected before you finally accept.

86. Stress the longevity [age, span of life] of your company when dealing with the Germans,
Dutch, and Swiss. If your company has been around for a while, the founding date should be printed on your business cards.

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2. Handling Written Communication:


Intercultural business writing falls into the same general categories as other forms of business writing. Unless you are personally fluent in the language of the intended readers, you should write your letters in English or have them translated by a professional translator. If you and your reader speak different languages, be especially concerned with achieving clarity: Some tips for handling written communication:

89. Use short, precise words that say what they mean. 90. Rely on specific terms to explain your points. Avoid abstractions altogether, or illustrate
them with concrete examples.

91. Stay away from slang, jargon, and buzz words. Such words rarely translate well. So
also avoid idioms and figurative expressions, abbreviations and acronyms. These may lead to confusion.

92. Construct sentences that are shorter and simpler that those you use when writing to
someone fluent in English.

93. Use short paragraphs. Each paragraph should stick to one point or topic and no
more than eight to ten lines.

94. Help readers follow your train of thought by using transitional devices. Precede related
points with expressions like in addition and first, second, third.

95. Use numbers, visual aids, and pre-printed forms to clarify your message. These devices
are generally understood in most cultures.

3. Handling Oral Communication:


Oral communication with people from other cultures is more difficult to handle than written communication. Some transactions cannot be handled without face-to-face communication. When engaging in oral communication, be alert to the possibilities for misunderstanding. Be conscious of the non-verbal messages that you may be sending or receiving.

Unit 3 Psychological and Cultural Dimensions of Business Communication

To overcome the language and cultural barriers, follow these suggestions: a) Keep an open mind. Don't stereotype the other person or react with preconceived ideas. Regard the person as an individual first, not as a representative of another culture. b) Be conscious of the other person's customs. Expect him or her to have different values, beliefs, expectations, and mannerisms.
89. Try to be aware of unintentional meanings that may be read into your

message. Clarify your true intent by repetition and examples.


90. Listen carefully and patiently. If you do not understand a comment, ask the

person to repeat it.


91. Be aware that the other person's body language may mislead you. Gestures

and expressions mean different things in different cultures. Rely more on words than on nonverbal communication to interpret the message.
92. Adapt your style to the other person's. If the other person appears to be

direct and straightforward, follow suit. If not, adjust your behaviour to match.
93. At the end of the conversation, be sure that you and the other person both

agree on what has been said and decided. Clarify what will happen next.

Y
h) If appropriate, follow up by writing a letter or memo summarising the conversation and thanking the person for meeting with you.
3.6 SUMMARY

The two dimensions of communication that this unit presented were the psychological and the cultural. <r~~ The principle^ofcommunication psychology are as follows:
Needs deterrninebehaviour in the communication process.
-<w " "

95. Body language determines behavioural pattern. 96. Verbal language determine behavioural pattern.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs that determine human behaviour in the process of communication are. The next principle of communication psychology is the body language,

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which influences the communication process. Body is always used in the process of communication - such as facial expressions, gestures and posture, personal space, dress and grooming, and colours. Equally affecting the human psychology is the use of words. In the cultural aspect of communication we studied the differences in perspectives between the West and the East. The differences between cultures were observed in the manner in which business introductions are performed, ways in which documents are written. Finally tips were given for communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds.

3.7 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS Q1. "Needs determine the behaviour in communication process". Discuss. Q2. Explain the various aspects of nonverbal communication. Q3. Describe at least five areas in which the Westerns differ from the Indians. Q4. Write explanatory notes on the following: 107. 108. 109. High- and Low-Context Cultures Culture Proxemics

Q5. State whether the following statements are True or False. i. We can be somebody provided others recognize us as somebody ii. Non-verbal communication using eye movements is called kinesics.. iii. Creative people make a better quality of life for everyone around. iv. Facial expressions cannot enlarge the verbal message. v. Black colour refers to a company that is going in a loss.

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4.1 INTRODUCTION A Chinese sage said: "Speech is difficult; Silence is impossible". It is only in silence that listening can take place. So the Chinese sage knew the importance of listening in the process of communication. Communication can take place when both the communicators will listen to each other. As one author put it: "Listening is the mother of all speaking". & There is something special about face-to-face oral communication. It is the most fundamental and natural mode of human communication. Yet human beings have not mastered the art of communication enough to become effective communicators. Just the ability to produce words effortlessly does not make one a good oral communicator. There is something else that is involved in communication that human beings find it hard to master-i.e. listening. Listening actively and attentively is vital to oral communication. Several writers on oral communication point out that good listeners are perceived as good conversationalists even when they speak very little. In a conversation both the speaker and the listener have to listen simultaneously to each other for their communication to be effective. The speaker has to listen not only to any verbal responses but also to the nonverbal symbols or signs that the listener displays. Based on them the speaker has to determine from moment to moment what to say and what nonverbal signs to display with the words. Speakers who don't care to listen to their listeners might as well talk to the walls. They cannot be good communicators no matter how well they articulate of how knowledgeable they may be. On the other hand, the listener's job is just as active as the speaker's. The listener has to process the speaker's verbal and nonverbal signs and symbols and respond by his/her own verbal and nonverbal signs and symbols to let the speaker know how his/her message has been reconstructed. The two - speaker and listener - influence each other and alternate their role constantly. In other words, the speaker is also a listener; a listener is also a speaker. Listening and listening intently is a mode of awareness. In The Dance of Change, Peter Singe says that we have to learn to listen between the words in order to get to the deeper level of meaning. He goes on to ask: "Have you ever been in the presence of someone who listens closely to you? It feels discomfiting, like being stared at. People in society are not used to living at the level of awareness..." [Quoted by M.M. Monippally] Listening intently raises the level of communication; both the partners take the communication seriously.

Unit 4 Listening

Despite the fact that listening is essential to communication, human beings are not good listeners. Carl R. Rogers & F.J. Roethlisberger state: "The biggest block to personal communication is man's inability to listen intelligently, understandingly and skilfully to another person. This deficiency in the modern world is widespread and appalling". [Quoted by M.M. Monippally] The world has shrunk; our knowledge has expanded tremendously; but our awareness about listening, which is of utmost importance for communication, has not developed. 4.2 THE ANATOMY OF POOR LISTENING 1. Why is it that our listening is not as good as it ought to be? M.M. Monippally gives the following explanation: "Our brain is capable of processing 500 to 750 words a minute while people only speak 120 to 150 words a minute. The listeners use only a part of their brain to listen; they use their brain's spare capacity to think of other things that interest them. The result is dissipation of attention, which leads eventually to poor listening." We have often experienced that when someone is speaking to us our mind tends to wander away from the speaker's message. We are listening, and yet we are not listening. We are merely hearing, but not listening. 2. How does Listening differ from Hearing? Too often people think that listening and hearing is the same thing, but there is a big difference. Hearing depends upon the ears, while listening uses the mind and eyes as wejL^ The ear permits you to hear sounds; the mind enables you to interpret these sounds, to recognise some of them as words, and to fashion the words into thoughts or ideas. With your mind you are able to determine that an oral message is important, interpret the message, and react to it. Stark reality is that as human beings we are poor listeners. Most of us do not really listen; we just wait to talk! Many a times, we are so preoccupied with our own thoughts, priorities, and agendas that we do not actually listen to what the other is saying. No one can be forced to listen. It is a skill over which every individual has complete control and it is influenced totally by internal motivation. Listening as a skill tends to be untaught and untrained. Schools teach us reading, writing, speaking, and other subjects, yet no curriculum focuses on listening. Nor is listening generally

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a part of the training offered in today's organisations. People are expected to listen effectively, yet they are not being prepared with the necessary skills.

Lee lacocca states :


"I only wish I could find an institution that teaches people how to listen. After all, a good manager needs to listen at least as much as he needs to talk... real communication goes in both directions." Among many reasons for poor listening is the fact that speaking is more valued than listening. There are professional speakers who speak for a living. We do far more listening than talking, yet we rarely put much effort to focus on reception of other's messages. When communication problem occurs, we usually blame everyone else and do not consider that our listening quality may be poor. We rarely see ourselves as the problem. Everyone else has communication and listening problems, but not us!

George Eliot says :


"The people of the world are islands shouting at each other across a sea of misunderstanding." Another problem of poor listening is that it become retaliatory - "we don't listen to them because they don't listen to us". We punish others by not listening to them. One of the rudest things we can do to another human being is to tune him or her out. Listening to other people is a valuable gift that we can extend to them and it conveys respect, esteem, and a strong sense of their dignity. Failure to listen sends a negative message of placing low value on other person. Listening is not only a skill of communication, but it is also a skill of building relationship. The only choice we have as listeners is to listen or not to listen. Often we choose not to listen; we merely pretend to listen. So we fail to notice many verbal and nonverbal signs and symbols displayed by the speaker. We may jump to conclusions. Thus, our reconstruction of meaning remains incomplete or far from the intended message.

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Unit 4 Listening ^Activity A; Observe two of your friends in conversation/discussion and list down some of their poor or inadequate listening qualities:

4.3 CONTRIBUTORS TO POOR LISTENING There are several factors - linguistic, physical, and psychological - that contribute to poor listening. 1. Inadequate Language: Poor listening may result from the listener's weak command over the language and narrow range of vocabulary. Certain words that the speaker uses may not make sense to the listener. These words could either be technical or rare. They could even be words that are common, but used by a particular community or a group of people in particular sense, and may be used by speaker without realising that the particular listener may not be able to make of them. Faced with words that are beyond the range of the listener, he/she may not ask for clarification because of fear or shyness or because there may not be an opportunity for clarification. It may also be that the listener does not ask for clarification because he/she may be expected to know the words and their meanings. Whatever the reason, it ultimately results in poor listening. It is also possible that the words a speaker uses may give the listener a valid meaning that is different from what is intended by the speaker. For instance, an employer may have a gross salary in mind when quoting salary to a job seeker. The job seeker, on the other hand, may take that figure as net salary, and not be

aware about the various cuts. In such instance the communicators have interpreted the word "salary" differently, which may later cause misunderstanding.

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While we normally associate listening with spoken words and phrases, we ought to include nonverbal symbols - listening between words - in the process of listening. Inadequate familiarity with regional conventions and cultural values also may become a hindrance for full and active listening. 2. Difficult Physical Conditions: Poor listening may also be result from the difficult conditions in which one has to listen. Public places and shop floors of manufacturing units can be so noisy that listening could become aproblem. Not wanting to embarrass the speakerT3yTepeateBTy^skingTo~be louder, slower, or clearer, the listener may settle for a meaning that makes sense to him/ her. This is true especially when the speaker is of a higher status. A listener may not have the choice of the context in which he has to listen. If one does have a choice to improve the physical condition and is too lazy to opt for it, then he/she is guilty of being a poor listener. 3. Non-Serious Listening: Some listeners allow themselves to be distracted. They do not take listening seriously enough to devote full attention to it. They may try to combine several activities such as flipping through a file of letters, signing documents, arranging papers on the desk, and so on while listening to someone. The temptation to combine listening with other activities is particularly strong when the people speak on the phone. They feel that the energy they save by not having to look at the speaker could be invested in doing other things. This could cause problem in listening because words on the phone line come with fewer nonverbal symbols that face-to-face conversation. It is also not good to indulge in partial listening while one is face-to-face conversation. It can demoralise the other party, who may feel that he/she is being snubbed. Children are so sensitive to this kind of listening that they force their parents to turn their face toward them and look at them when they speak.

Unit 4 Listening

4. Antipathy towards Speaker : One of the biggest causes of poor listening has little to do with language or physical oondifi<~>" It consists of the psychological barriers of the listener. These barriers are treacherous because the Listener neither see them nor recognizes them as barriers even when seen. For example, if we dislike a speaker or disapprove of him/her, the message that we reconstruct is always distorted. This dislike might be for any reason - such as we may not like the appearance of the speaker, or the speaker's mannerism, or some deep-rooted prejudice that we harbour within us - and the speaker becomes the victim. Consequently, we close our mind and this becomes a hindrance to our listening. Or it is possible that we may misinterpret the speaker's nonverbal signs. 5. Impatience^: Impatience is born out of overconfidence. Before they hear out the speaker some listeners Assume that they know what is coming. Sometimes such listeners find the speaker too sfowTSuch listeners do not wait for the speaker to finish, tend to jump to conclusion, which annoys the speaker. Another form of impatience is to plan one's response while pretending to be listening to what the speaker is saying. This happens when the listener, guesses too soon what the speaker is going to say, and on that assumption, concentrates on formulating his/her response. There is yet another form of impatience that many of us suffer from. Everyone tends to value their own thoughts and issues more highly than those of others. What we have to say is always more important than what others have to say. As a result we are always anxious to talk. We want to demonstrate our knowledge base, correct the errors and misperceptions of other, and at times, be the centre of conversation or discussion. Because you may be in command of knowledge and have passion for your expertise, it is common to want to actively participate in or dominate the discussion. The desire to contribute often occurs at the expense of others; instead of Listening to them, you are planning what you are going to say.

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6. Strong Convictions: Our mind is like a sieve - that utensil that is used to separate husk from the flour. The grid, which forms the net to separate the husk from the flour, corresponds to our presuppositions [convictions] that we have received during the process of our growth. These presuppositions enable us to comprehend whatever we experience or that which our senses receive. Now if the grid is woven very closely, then very little will pass through it. If our mind is like that then we are narrow minded. On the other hand, if the grid is so woven so as to have big openings then more will pass through it. When our mind is like that then we are gullible - accept everything that everyone says. But if there are no openings in the sieve then nothing passes through it. When this is the state of our mind, we say that there is a mental block. The trouble is our minds are often closed. We are so sure of certain things that we don't see the need to reconsider them. Our beliefs and our convictions can act as a shield that stops new ideas and new proofs from reaching our minds. This is the very reason why there are so many disharmonies between religions. People from one religion cannot see the viewpoint of the people of another religion because of their strong convictions; each party is convinced that their point of view is the right one. Strong convictions make you deaf and you cannot listen to the other. Strong convictions will always lead to a monologue during a conversation or discussion. In the words of Stephen Covey we are reading our "autobiography into other people's lives". On the other hand, active listening will result in a dialogue. Careful listening will help us to become aware of the speaker's framework, which will enable us to understand the message better. 7. Information Overload: We are deluged with so much information that it is humanly impossible to process it all. From this volume of information that is available to us it is difficult to determine what is relevant and what is not. When we are faced with such immense amount of information our listening becomes selective and thus, miss out pertinent information. When we are overloaded with information we tend to be distracted and this hampers our listening ability.

Unit 4 Listening

Jg$ Activity B; Identify the main contributor for poor listening that is likely in the following situations: i) Argument between two persons ii) Someone stating an allegation against you I) Giving a 5-minute speech on the use of computers in your organisation iv) Your boss, who does not like you, speaks to you about a new assignment v) You are listening to a report that you already are aware of

4.4 LISTENING STYLES 1. 'Ineffective' Listening Styles


There are at least four ineffective styles of listening. The ineffective styles of listening are counterproductive or can be dysfunctional. The four ineffective listening styles are as follows:

110. 111. 112. 113.

The "missing-in-action" listener The "distracted" listener The "selective" listener The "contentious" listener

a) The Missing-in-Action Listener This is typically a passive or detached listening style. These li steners, altfaoughphysically present, are clearly mentally or intellectually absent. They may be preoccupied with personal issues and at times even appear to be in a trance [they have a blank look]. It is obvious that they are disengaged from what is being said. It is state in which there is total lack of reception of message, and not lack of comprehension. You could become a "missing-in-action" listener if you have little interest in what is being said to you. It is as though the communication does not exist. It is not the question of misunderstanding the communication; you just don't hear it. A person

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might go missing in action if they feel unable to understand a complex message. Putting it differently, if the message is complex it could intimidate the listener and as a way to escape the listener will shut himself from the communication process.

b) The "Distracted" Listen


This is an active dysfunctional style of listening. It is active dysfunctional because the listener is actively engaged in his/her more immediate concerns, which makes the listening ability dysfunctional. You will find them doing two or more things at the same time. ' " ~ ' They try to appear to be listening while reading, writing, or pursuing some other activity. Common behaviour of distracted listener is to repeatedly glance at the watch. This indicates impatience, or boredom, or even sending a nonverbal message to the speaker to stop speaking. Such listeners usually have very little eye contact with the speaker. Some people can camouflage their distraction so well that the speaker gets the impression that he/she is being carefully listened to. They appear to be engaged in the process of listening by constantly nodding in agreement or using appropriate verbal cues. This is dishonest inasmuch as it is intentional distortion. Their only goal is to try to bring the communication to a quick conclusion. You can become a distracted listener when you are under pressures to meet deadlines or wrapped up in your own thoughts or emotions. When you are unwilling or unable to slow down your thought process enough to allow the introduction of additional information, you are the distracted listener!

c) The "Selective" Listener


In this style of listening the listener listens only that which conforms to previously determined opinions and positions. These listeners sift through the message to glean information to support what they already think, hearing only what they want to hear. They are notlistening to the totalmessage, but selecting only that part of the message that would validate their own beliefs. They screen out orignbre infonriatiljnlhatdoes not fit their preconceptions. Selective listener can be either positively or negatively inclined. For example, if you were to pay a series of compliments while offering one small criticism, all that would

Unit 4 Listening

be heard would be the criticism. In organisations this type of listening is very common. Many superiors tend to be selective listeners, who choose to hear only the negative comments. It is also possible that someone whom you have complimented is so wrapped up in your compliment that he/she fails to listen further to your subsequent message. You become a "selective" listener if you do not discipline yourself to listen to someone's total message. It is an arrogant listening style and should be avoided because a selective listener dismisses the message of others and confirms only to his/her own self-righteous position.

d) The "Contentious" Listener


A contentious listener is one who uses a combative or negatively aggressive listening style. It has been described as "listening with a chip on your shoulder". These listeners are always on a warpath, and listen only to find points of disagreement. They listen only to reject, not to actually process the entire message. They are determined to disagree. You may offer five points out of which four points would be of mutual agreement, but one point of disagreement is what the "contentious" listener would focus on - that would be the point of contention. Disregarding any area of agreement, they only wish to focus on areas of disagreement. You can become the contentious listener when listening with your emotions. Emotions such as fear, anger, jealousy, resentment, etc., often result in combative listening patterns. This is subjective, reactionary listening. If you feel threatened in any way by someone's message, contentious listening is a common response.

2. 'Effective' Listening Styles


Various situations call for different listening skills. The four types of listening differ not only in purpose but also in the amount of feedback or interaction they entail.

They are: 114. 115. 116. 117. Content Listening Critical Listening Empathic Listening Active Listening

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All four types of listening can be useful in work-related situations. Regardless of whether the situation calls for content, critical, empathic, or active listening skill, it is essential to develop them to be effective listener. a) Content Listening The goal is to understand and retain information by the speaker. You may ask question, but basically, information flows form the speaker to you. Your job is to identify the key points of the message, so you concentrate and listen for clues to its structure: preview, transitions, summaries, and enumerated points. In your mind, you create an outline of the speaker's remarks; afterward, you silently review what you have learnt. You may take notes, but you do this sparingly so that you can concentrate on the key points. It does not matter whether you agree or disagree, approve or disapprove -only that you understand. b) Critical Listening The goal is to evaluate the message at several levels: the logic of the argument, strength of the evidence, and validity of the conclusion; the implication of the message for you or your organisation; the speaker's intention and motives; and the omission of any important or relevant points. But absorbing information and evaluating it at the same time is difficult, therefore, reserve judgement until the speaker has finished. Critical listening generally involves interaction as you try to uncover the speaker's point of view. c) Empathic Listening The goal is to understand the speaker's feelings, needs, and wants in order to help solve a problem. The function of the message is only to act as the vehicle for gaining insight into the person's psyche. However, your purpose is not really to "solve" the problem. By listening, youhelp the individualventthe emotions that are preventing him/her from dealing dispassionately with the problem. You may be tempted to give
*^ ~ "* ' -. n _^__ _-..._ j

advice, but do notdb itTTfynot to judge the rightness or the wrongness of the individual's feelings. Just let the person talk.

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d) Active Listening
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The goal is to appreciate the other person's point of view, whether or not you agree. This is done in the manner psychiatrist, Carl Rogers, developed the technique to help people resolve their differences.

Unit 4 Listening

Here is how it works: Before you can reply to another person's comment with your point of view, you must restate the ideas and feelings behind the comment to the other person's satisfaction. You go back and forth this way, until each of you understands the other's position. To put it differently, active listening involves listening to what is said as well as that which is not said. That which is not said should be made clear to the other person by spelling it out. This would enable both the communicators to become acquainted with each other's background and thus message would be clearer. This is so because the words that we use in our communication are mere indicators of our ideas and feelings. When these indicators are explained the communication is less prone to misunderstandings.

^ActivitvC;
Picture yourself in five situations - a prayer meeting, an official meeting with a boss on your appraisal, college principal's talk on Independence Day, a friend narrating an accident he had on his way to your house, and an interview with your favourite actor. What would be your listening style per situation?

4.5 DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE LISTENING SKILLS Your listening efforts are completely under your control. If you are willing to be an effective listener you can become one. In becoming effective listener one has to make deliberate and conscious efforts. There has to be a commitment to accomplishing the task of improving listening skills. Learning is a process that cannot be accomplished in privacy, but must be carried out in the presence of people. Since there is no formal education process for developing listening skills, it must be done with the help of people around us and with who we are in constant communication.

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Six Communication Realities a) Effective listening skills can be learned: Good listeners are made, not born. Some people may have inherently better listening skills than others, yet everyone can learn to become a more effective listeners. Because the skills are acquired, the field for developing is open to all. No one has a listening advantage. b) To become an effective listener you must be committed to your personal skill development: * ~ "~~ There has to be willingness to learn. These skills, however, are not easy to learn; if they were, everyone would have them. You will experience success in direct proportion to the effort you are willing to invest in the learning process. Increasing your listening skills must become a personal goal. Do not expect to become a more effective listener in one giant leap. Listening is a journey of constant improvement. c) Active listening skills must be practiced: Increases in your skill level will diminish if they are not constantly practiced. Repetition is the key. Practice will enable effective listening to become a second nature to you. The first time you try you will experience only limited success. The fact is, some of us would easily give up if we do not find success. A limited number will keep at it until increased level of effectiveness is achieved. Just as professionals spend endless hours practicing their skills so also it is essential that we invest time and effort to improve our listening skills. d) Time is an important tool:
s\

If your emotions are high and you are on the verge of giving up, buy sometime and allow your emotions to ebb away. Remind time and again that you have to become an effective listener. Find time and opportunity to develop the skills. Many of your learning opportunities are within your control. Make time work in your favour. e) How well you listen to others depends on your internal communication: Your listening skills evolve around your ability to manage your own internal communication - what you say to your self when the listening process is on. The internal dialogue - i.e. listening to instructions you give yourself- has tremendous influence over your abilities to accurately absorb the messages of others. To be a good listener, you must have the self-discipline to identify and overcome the listening

Unit 4 Listening

impediments. The internal conditions you set for yourself when you encounter a listening opportunity determines whether you will listen objectively or prejudicially. f) Some effective listening techniques are more difficult to implement than others: The unique nature of individual listening strengths and weaknesses places, varying degrees of importance and challenge on active listening skills for different people. You have to assess your listening abilities and find where your greatest problem lies and work on that area for improving your listening skills. 4.6 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE LISTENING SKILLS

>n u. as til rs ve For effective listening skill one has to develop a listening ritual. Rituals are important part of many of our repetitive behaviours. For instance, we travel routine for going to bed (changing into sleep attire, brushing our teeth, etc.) or rituals for eating, and so on. It is important to develop a ritual for listening. Ritualised behaviour is ingrained, habitual behaviour. You can develop a ritual for listening by following these five steps: 114. 118. State your intention to listen. Manage the physical environment.

3 . Make an internal commitment to listen.

118. 119.

Assume a listening posture. Participate actively in the listening process.

Step 1: State your intention to listen Making an audible announcement of your willingness and commitment to listen accomplishes two things. a) It creates an environment of respect and dignity, and helps your communication partner realise their message is welcomed. The risk of approaching you is immediately diminished and the partner is encouraged to be very open in his/her communication. Simple statement on your part would help ease the tension between you and your partner, such as: "Speak for I am all ears !"

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"I am anxious to hear what you have to say." Your statement of intention to listen also prepares you internally to shift from your current thoughts and activities into active listening role. You are giving yourself an internal command, literally instructing your ears, mind, and body to focus on the incoming message. It helps you in transition form whatever you are doing to the process of receiving the message. This is the very first step in becoming a committed listener.

Step 2: Manage the physical environment Managing the physical means cleaning all that is lying on your desk or table that may cause any kind of distractions. We cannot remove our listening distraction, but we can surely eliminate the physical distraction around us. This would help in increasing your awareness, which the physical distraction have the potential to interfere with your listening effectiveness. The main objective of managing the physical environment is to help increase your awareness.

Eliminate as many distractions as possible, such as: 119. 120. Hold telephone calls. Reduce as much background noise as possible.

Put down whatever you are doing and focus on the speaker. Clear your desk or put papers, letters, etc., into closed file folder. Position yourself so that you may not have the view of distracting activity. Turn off the computer or reposition the screen away from your immediate line of vision.

g) Changing your position to one that is more conducive to listening sends a very powerful signal to your communication partner. It tells him/her that you are interested in what he/she has to say and are willing to give a quality listening. It may also be well if you suggest to your communication partner to change the venue and go to the conference room or some place where both of you would be comfortable and away from distractions.

Step 3: Make an internal commitment to listen This is far the most important step in being an effective listener. Unless you make a commitment to yourself you cannot achieve effectiveness in listening. Here are some

Unit 4 Listening

120. Remove Internal Barriers: This technique primarily addresses the problem of preconceived notions, assumptions, and prejudices that may become a hindrance in the listening process. Self suggestion to overcome labelling, judgement of people who may be different from you in background, function, or discipline, etc., will help you to separate the message from the messenger. 121. Avoid the assumptions of negative motives: This is very common in a work situation where you may not have a very good opinion about a person. This could become an assumption and question of the very motive, if the person wishes to communicate with you. This also occurs when you have reasons to believe that the other person may disagree with your thought processes and activities. To avoid assumptions of negative intent, say to yourself: "Even if we disagree, he is doing what he thinks is right"; "Their intentions areas valid as mine, even though we disagree". There are times when communication becomes contentious or it develops into an argument. In such situation there is a possibility of emotions taking the better of you and you are not communicating internally. At such times stop for a while and get back to yourself and have a moment of internal communication. This will help you to gather yourself and proceed more cautiously. No matter how much you and your partner disagree, learn to give enough latitude to your partner. As a good book says: "A good word turns away anger". Only in an environment of trust and goodwill can the communication process be fruitful. 1. Challenge yourself to remember what has been said: Challenging yourself sharpens your wits. Challenge yourself to listen so intently that you could accurately write a detailed summary of the conversation, even at the end of the day. As a ritual, put down in writing your perceptions and recollections while they are still fresh in your mind. This could be of help for the future conversations or taking subsequent actions and decision-making. 2. Prioritise and process the communication from the messenger's viewpoint:

Any communication process has two viewpoints - one of the speaker's and the other of the listener's. Each person's viewpoint is important for him/her. As an effective listener it is essential, not only to understand the other person's viewpoint, but also to understand its priority. The Golden Rule suggested here is: "Listen to others as you would want them to listen to you", hi other words, avoid listening your partner from your viewpoint.

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In the process of communication, try to identify the values that your partner emphasises. Begin to understand your partner from his/her point of view. This would help in prioritising other's viewpoint and your ability to listen to other's message would be enhanced. Such listening is empathetic or partnered listening. e) Manage your emotions: To be an effective listener you should learn to distance yourself from impulsive, negative emotional responses. Do not allow yourself to be provoked by other person's intentional or unintentional messages. If you allow yourself to be provoked and respond with a negative emotional reaction, you allow them to be victorious. When this happen you have lost the control over the communication process. Good and effective communication is when both the partners are equally in control of the communication process. If your partner is using aggressive method by using _yow-based massages (which increases negative reaction and reduces listening efforts) do not allow yourself to be swayed by them, but exercise your internal communication to overcome any negative emotional reactions. However, should your communication bring out some negative reactions and emotions, it is worthwhile to take stock of things after the communication has ended. Often it is the negative that brings out the positive in us. Let the negative responses be a learning experience for you.

Step 4 : Assume a listening posture


In addition to managing the physical environment, you must also manage your physical readiness to listen. The visual demonstration of your physical readiness to listen - or the lack of it - has significant impact on your communication partner. The nonverbal messages that you send via your body could encourage, inhibit, or perhaps intimidate them. Body language is just as important a factor in receiving messages as it is in delivering them. You can alter a person's message and create incomplete, abandoned, or distorted communication by means of your nonverbal reception. Body language that conveys readiness to listen includes the following:

126. 122. 127. 128. 129.

Establish and maintain appropriate eye contact. Avoid staring at fixed obj ects or off into space. Limit your field of vision. Keep your eyes alert and interested. Lean slightly towards your communication partner.

Unit 4 Listening

124. Maintain an open posture. Avoid crossing arms and legs, slumping your shoulders. 125. Do not present the speaker with anything that would cause distractions.

Furthermore, show your communication partner that you are listening to him/her by giving verbal affirmations. For instance, you could give your affirmation by words such as "I see", "Good", "That's interesting", and many others. Your verbal and nonverbal listening responses can either increase or decrease the selfesteem and confidence of your communication partner. Any tangible signs of intimidation, disinterest, or negative judgement on your part would inhibit your communication partner and it would bring an end to the communication without completion. You may never know the importance of what they did not say. I recall an incidence that one of my university professors shared with me. It so happened that one of the students, from some other department, wanted to talk to this professor. He, however, being too busy, said that he would talk some other time. Next that the professor heard was that the same student had committed suicide. Listening is not a science, but it is art of making one's rife meaningful. Step 5: Participate actively in listening The six actions listed below are powerful strategies for participating actively in the listening process. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. Take notes Ask appropriate questions Prevent yourserf from talking Summarise internally Seek and acknowledge areas of agreement Summarise and restate.

a) Taking notes: Be prepared to take down notes of points that you feel are important. However, always ask the permission and tell them why you want to write down the

main points of their message. Prior to note taking process, ask: "This is important and I want to be sure that I am listening effectively. Do you mind if I take some notes?"

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Warning: If the speaker objects to you taking down notes, then honour his/her wishes. Do not assume the role of a stenographer and start writing word for word everything that is said. Avoid the temptation of playing with the pencil or pen that is used for writing. b) Ask appropriate questions: Questioning can be a very effective technique for good listening. It helps you to keep your communication partners focused on their topic, especially if they should begin to stray away. It also helps in clarifying your perceptions of their message. Warning: Exercise extreme caution to make sure that your questions are perceived as positive inquiry and are not misunderstood or challenge to the speaker's competence or authority. Increase your listening and decrease miscommunication by prefacing your questions with a phrase or statement that communicates your desire for clarification, not argument. There are four types of good-listening questions: i) Closed-ended questions - intended to evoke one- or two-word response. Usually it is "Yes" or "No" or a specific point of information. Examples: "Did you say you agree or disagree with the conclusion?" "Were the results seven or twenty-seven parts per million?" ii) Open-ended questions - are asked to elicit a less structured and discursive response. Open-ended questions are very effective in helping people to expand their communication. Examples: "How did you handle the situation?" 'Tell me more about..." "If you could, what would you do differently?"

Unit 4 Listening

C)

iii) Duplicate question - asks for the same information two or more times in different ways. It helps in verifying and bringing out inconsistencies; and is usually asked at the end of delivery of information. Examples: 'Tell me the sequence of events." "Earlier you outlined the actions you took. What steps did you go through to make that choice?" iv) Hypothetical question - asks what would happen in some hypothetical situation. They usually begin with "What if.. .TThey are used to weigh different possibilities. Examples: "What if everything goes exactly as scheduled? What will the positive outcome be?" "Just suppose we cannot get the support from management that we need. What would we do in that circumstance?" Prevent yourself from talking: The temptation to talk is great when others are talking. There are people who do not give others a chance to talk. They love to hear their own voice that they

are oblivious to other voices. This usually happens in a communication process involving the senior and the subordinates. The juniors are not often listened to. I remember having a friend who was far advanced in age and wisdom. He loved to talk, and was very good conversationalist. However, he had one habit; he would put his index finger on his lips when someone was speaking. He would thus stop any temptation to speak when others were talking. It would be worthwhile if you could use simple techniques to hold yourself from talking when others are. You may feel that putting fingers on your lips looks silly. (Remember the times when we were small children and could not control the temptation of talking in the class. The punishment the teacher would give us was to put our finger on our lips). As grown ups, we should practice this in communication process, which would indicate to our partner that we are seriously listening to them.

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d) Summarise internally: This is a quality of a good listener, who is able to construct an overview of the message that he/she is receiving. It is a difficult task, yet not impossible. You should be able to grasp the flow of thought of the speaker and identify the transition from one thought to another. If the speaker is able to present his message in a logical and cohesive manner then it is easy to follow the train of thought. As a listener you should be able to identify the main issues of the delivery and find a logical sequence that will tie them together. Helping yourself to summarise would keep your listening antenna always focused.

131.

Seek and acknowledge areas of agreement: It is important to identify and acknowledge all areas of commonality, consistency, and agreement between you and your communication partner. This does not mean that you overlook the points of disagreement. Take in the total message. Once the delivery is complete, and time for interaction is allotted, then you could give your response. The response should highlight the areas of agreement and then seek clarification on the points of disagreement. This is the mark of a good listener, as well as a mature conversationalist. Summarise and restate: Just as it is vitally important for you to seek a summary

132.

of your message from people with whom you are communicating, it is equally important for you to summarise when you are on the receiving end of someone else's message. When you summarise and restate your perception of the message it does the following:

139. 140. 141.

You offer concrete proof of your listening efforts. You prove your willingness to understand the message. You verify the accuracy of your comprehension of the message.

Unit 4 Listening

Table 4.1 Listening Guideline Don't

Do
Avoid listening if the subject is complex or difficult. Devote time and effort to trying to understand what the speaker is saying. Remain close-minded, denying the relevance or benefit of the speaker's ideas. Maintain an open-minded attitude, willing to entertain the speaker's point of view. Be opinionated when arguing (outwardly or inwardly) with the speaker. Present your differences with the speaker calmly, and look for shared elements in your beliefs. Avoid eye contact while listening (in some cultures; in other cultures, this would be sign of respect). Maintain eye contact with the speaker if appropriate, and assume that the speaker has good intentions. Demonstrate a lack of interest in the speaker's subject or become preoccupied with something else when listening. Take notes and nod in agreement where appropriate. Concentrate on the speaker's mannerisms or deli very or even outside noise rather than on the message. Be prepared to ask relevant questions at the conclusion of the speaker's talk.

Source: H.R. Ewald & R.E. Burnett, 'Business Communication', NJ: Prentice-Hall International, Inc., pg 49 > Activity D;
a) What kind of questions (open ended, closed ended, duplicate, or hypothetical) are most likely to be asked in the following situations: L Someone conducting an opinion poll

ii. A travel agent helping a vacationer plan his/her itinerary

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iii. A teacher preparing an essay type exam. iv. A personal counsellor probing former ; , nat it i si a sensitive area.

b) Imagine you are trying to listen to what an opponent is telling you as he explains why you lost a match. What guidelines will you follow for listening?

c) How can you participate "actively" in listening to your boss giving you a summary of the overall plan for the next six months? Write down 5 or 6 points.

4.7 SUMMARY In this unit the subject of effective listening was explained. Listening is essential and vital in the process of communication, which is never formally taught in any institution or organisation. As a result we have enumerable problems in communications. Most of the misunderstandings arise out of poor listening skills. The reasons for poor listening skills was explained and the challenges that it posed to the listeners. Factors that contribute to poor listening skill was expounded and the ways in which to overcome these impediments. Listening is a skill that has to be developed with conscious and deliberate efforts for which some techniques were mentioned.

Unit 4 Listening

4.8 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS


Q 1 . Explain briefly the various contributors to poor listening.

Q2. Discuss the different Ineffective and Effective listening styles.

Q3. Describe the various steps involved in developing effective listening skills.

Q4. Answer the following:

139. 140. 141. 142.

Four styles of effective listening Four styles of ineffective listening Five realities of listening Five "Don'ts" and "Dos" of effective listening

Q5 . State whether the following statements are True or False: a) Listening intently is a mode of awareness.
T --

1. Our preconceptions can aid or listening skill. 2. Distracted listening is active dysfunctional listening.

i,

141. 142.

Don't listen to other the way you would want them to listen to you. While writing down notes during a communication process assume the role of a stenographer.

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5.1 INTRODUCTION Business communication is of two types:

145. 146.

one that involves the members within an organisation, and another that involves the organisation and the external agencies.

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We could term me former as intra-organisational communication and the latter as interorganisational communication. * The inter-organisational communication is far more complex than the intra-organisational communication. Inter-organisational communication involves interaction between the organisation and its myriad external agencies, upon whom the organisation depends for its business activities, Dealing with external agencies such as suppliers, consumers, shareholders, etc., the organisation has to be extremely careful. The external audience that the organisation does business with comprises of people, who are not in close proximity. Hence, any business message that is directed towards this audience has to be carefully planned. Failing to do so would have adverse affect upon the organisational functions. Fro instance, if the organisation has to create goodwill with its customers, it must make a favourable impression. To do so, the message that the organisation wishes to impart to its customers should be well thought-out and planned. Some of the business communication assignment will be routine; others will require reflection and research. But regardless of the complexity of the task, same basic process, for preparing both written and oral messages, will be employed. The basic process consists of :

147.

Planning: Determining what the purpose of the message is, who the reader will

be, what information you need to give the reader to achieve your purpose, and in what order to present the information.

148. 149. 150. 151.

Composing: Composing the first draft of the message. Revising: Revising for content, style, and correctness. Formatting: Arranging the document in an appropriate format.

Proofreading: Reviewing the document to check for content, typographical, and format errors.

Unit 5 The Writing Process - Planning

In this unit you shall learn about planning the message. 5.2 DEFINING YOUR PURPOSE The first step in planning a business message is to think about your purpose. This has to be carefully thought out, or else the message would loose its relevance. The purpose should be specific enough to serve as a yardstick for judging the success of the message. 1. Why you need a clear purpose : When an assignment is given to communicate to an audience concerning a particular topic, the communicator has to decide what to say about it. Unless the communicator is clear about what he/she has to say, the message will not have the desired affect. The purpose of the message determines content, organisation, style, tone, and format. 1. To decide whether to proceed. Unnecessary message can backfire, even if the material is excellent. You can also loose credibility by writing messages that will have no impact. So when you are tempted to send a message, pause and ask your self, "Is itreally necessary?" "Will it make an impact or difference?" If you suspect that your ideas will have little impact, then hold it. Wait until the time is ripe to send your message, when it will have an effect. 2. To respond to the audience. You need to consider the motive of the audience. Why will they pay attention to your message? What do they hope to gain? Are their expectations compatible with your own? If not, both you and your audience will fail to get what you want. 3. To focus the content. Establishing a clear purpose will also help you focus the message. You should include only the information that is necessary to accomplish your objective. Eliminate all material that is irrelevant and unnecessary, even though it may be interesting. Irrelevant material will divert the attention of the audience form the main objective of the message. 4. To establish the channel and medium. Depending on your purpose, you will choose

a channel [either oral or written] for your message. Corresponding to the channel you will also select the medium. Inviting people for your wedding will require of you to send them a wedding card, but an oral message will be sufficient to invite your friends home for dinner.

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2. Common purposes of business messages.


There are three general purposes common to business communication: information, persuading, and collaboration with the audience. In addition, every presentation must accomplish a specific objective. To formulate this objective, ask yourself, "What should my audience do or think after reviewing this message?" Be as precise as possible in stating your purpose, and identify the individuals in the audience who should respond. Here are some examples:

Table 5.1 : Purpose of Business Messages

General Purpose To inform "y _To persuade

Specific Purpose. To present last month's sales figures to the Vice President of Marketing. To convince the Vice President of Marketing to hire more sales

To collaborate

To help the personnel department develop a training programme for the new members of the sales staff. ^

Source: J.V. Thill & C.L. Bovee, Excellence in ' Business Communication', pg 49
Sometimes you will want to accomplish several related purposes with the same message. In such a case ask yourself whether they are compatible. Can two or more purposes be accommodated in the same message? To determine the specific purpose, think of how the ideas or behaviour of the audience should be affected by the message.

Unit 5 The Writing Process - Planning

A U D I E
N
C

E P A R T I

C I P A T I 0 N

HIGH

MEDIUM

LOW

Collaborate

Persuade

LOW MEDIUM HIGH COMMUNICATOR CONTROL

Fig 5.1 : General Purposes of Business Messages


Source: J.V. Thill & C.L. Bovee, 'Excellence in Business Communication', pg 49 3. How to test your purpose :

Once you have established your purpose, pause for a moment to consider whether it is worth pursuing at this time. Ask the following questions: 158. Is the purpose realistic? If your message proposes a radical shift in action or attitude, then instead of suggesting the whole idea or programme at once consider proposing it in stages. View your message at the beginning and assess whether your purpose is realistic enough to be informed in one stage or in different stages. 149. Is it the right time? Timing is vital in transmitting the message. An idea that is unacceptable when the profits are down may be acceptable when the profits improve. If an organisation is undergoing a change, then is would advisable to defer your message till such a time when things are stabilized and people can concentrate on your ideas. 150. Is the right person delivering the message? Many a times it happens that your boss asks you to gather some information and draft it into a message, but finally it is

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he who would send the message. This is a better option because he being in position of authority, the message from him would be well received. In the final analysis, achieving your objective is more important than who delivers the message. Or it may be that there is someone who is a better communicator, and so he/she will be asked to deliver the message. d) Is the purpose acceptable to the organisation? As the representative of the organisation you are obligated to work toward the goals of the organisation. For instance, you receive a nasty letter from one of your customers. When you read it you are tempted to fire back an angry reply. However, on the second thought you reconsider your feelings. You realise that the letter is not a personal one, but directed towards the organisation. Your duty would be to defend the organisation, and at same time retain the customer's goodwill. Your message should reflect the organisation's priorities.

Js Activity A:
a) List two situations, one official and the other personal, where you had to communicate.

b) How would you define the purpose for each occasion?

5.3 ANALYSINGYOURAUDffiNCE
To maximise the effectiveness of your message, you should perform an audience analysis. This means that you should identify the interests, needs, and personality of your audience.

Unit 5 The Writing Process - Planning

Following are the reasons for carrying out an audience analysis: 154. 155. 156. 157. 158. Writer-reader relationships influence how a message is interpreted. The content of the message needs to be appropriate to the reader being Areader's motivation for reading a document can influence how it is The information in a message must meet the reader's needs. Conventions for writing may be adopted or adapted depending upon the

addressed. received.

audience. When analysing your audience, consider the various factors shown in Table 5.2. Table 5.2 : Factors Basic to Audience Analysis

Characteristics of the audience

Factors that can be discovered by consulting secondary sources or databases (demographic data, geographic data, purchasing behaviour).

Factors that are inferred by directly interviewing or surveying the audiences. The writer-reader relationship The message itself Status of and distance between writer and readerInterpersonal aspects. Information needed (excluded, included). Convention used/not used Type of reader. The reader's stance; resistant or cooperative.

The occasion for communicating

Source: H. R. Ewald & R. E. Burnett, 'Business Communication', pg 102 1. Factors associated with characteristics of the audience:

To know your audience, you need to be able to create a profile of your readers' characteristics. These characteristics fall into two categories: 159. Data-based Factors that can be discovered by consulting databases.

160. Value-based Factors that are inferred or derived from interviewing or surveying the audiences.

Business Communication

Note :

1. Data-based factors include concrete facts about an audience's age, income, and
marital status.

2. Value-based inferred factors involve your perception of the audience's attitude and
beliefs. Much of audience research in business communication has been connected with marketing a company's goods and services or promoting corporate image. For instance, purchasing behaviour often tells marketing experts what kind of products to develop, promote, and advertise in a particular geographic area. Data-based audience research can draw from a range of sources - such as census, credit card records, list of license plate numbers, etc. Value-based research, which uses personal interviews and surveys to determine values and lifestyle preferences, has become increasingly important to business communication. Even if you are not in marketing, knowing data based and value based information of your audience is important. 2. Factors associated with Writer-Reader Relationship: You should know three interrelated factors that define the writer-reader relationship when planning a communication: Lee)-' Relative status

161. 162.

Distance Interpersonal relations

I"he relative status between the writer and the reader depends on job duties, rank, and personal credibility. The status that the writer holds in an organisation will determine the nature of communication, when writing to another person. If a manager is writing to his subordinates the pattern would be different from when he is writing to the managing director. The emotional and physical distance between the writer and the reader will also affect the document planning. You may feel close to the CEO because you have a

Unit 5 The Writing Process - Planning

good working relationship, while you may feel distanced from a colleague with whom you have trouble collaborating. Interpersonal relationship also affects the planning of the document. Your likes and dislikes would be reflected in your communication depending on the relationship that you have with your reader. For example, a decidedly formal tone or exceedingly polite approach between colleagues can be good indication of dislike.

3, Factors associated with the Message :


The message itself affects your planning for audience in terms of:

165.

The nature of the information needed by the reader.

1. The conventions that can be appropriately drawn upon in the message and
understood by the reader. The readers need particular information depending on the expertise or company role. When evaluating your reader's expertise, you need to consider both the reader's knowledge with the subject as well as the situation or the political climate surrounding the proposal. When writing to a colleague for information or feedback on certain proposal, and not being sure of the surrounding political climate, it would be wise to get a second opinion from a reader who is acquainted with the company politics. As you plan your message, you should also consider the appropriateness of the conventions you will be using. Communication convention is an established way of approaching an occasion for speaking or writing. Conventions are strategies that have been to be successful over time. For example, when you want to send a message regarding certain technical or legal matter you have to follow certain specified pattern of writing using certain specified vocabulary. Or when you want to send formal information do not do it in an informal way.

4. Factors associated with the Occasion:


You have many occasion-based factors to consider when planning your documents for a particular audience. This would include the type of readers and the reader's attitude resistant or cooperative. The types of readers would be: a) Initial Audience: Those people to whom the document is first directed and who then pass on to the primary readers.

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i) Primary Audience: Those people directly addressed by the communicator.

163. 164.

Secondary Audience: People, who are not addressed to yet have an interest in the communication and sometimes act on its contents. Other Audience : People who^are outside the immediate occasion but still retain an interest in the communication or in the decisions based on it.

J$ Activity B;
While attending a talk by some renowned person, if you could observe the audience and its reactions, how would you analyse the database factors of the audience? Write down some points.

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5.4 DEVELOPING AN AUDIENCE PROFILE Audience analysis is essential because each person perceives a message differently depending upon his/her unique mental filters. The analysis would require the following questions to be answered:

Who is the primary audience?


Here you need to identify your primary audience - the person whose cooperation is crucial if your message is to achieve its objectives. Your secondary audience are those who would also read and be affected by your message. What is your relationship with the audience? How will the audience react? If the reaction is positive your task is relatively easy. If the reaction is likely to be neutral, you may initially want to get the reader's attention and convince him/her that your message has important information.

Unit 5 The Writing Process - Planning

If you expect the reaction to be negative (either to you personally or to your topic) then you will have to use external evidence and expert opinion to bolster your position.

What does the audience already know?


Understanding the audience's present grasp of the topic is crucial to making decisions about content and writing style.

What is unique about the audience?


Learn about the personal interests or demographic characteristics of your audience that you can build into your message. Make the reader feel important by personalizing the content.

1. Satisfying the Audience's Informational Needs:


The key to effective communication is to determine your audience's needs and then respond to them. Tell your audience what they need to know in a language that is meaningful to them.

Here are some steps: 166. 167. 168. 169. 170.


Find out what the audience wants to know. Anticipate un-stated questions - include any additional information that might be helpful, even through the reader has not specifically asked for. Provide all required information - make sure your document answers all the important questions. Be sure the information is accurate. Emphasize ideas of greatest interest to the audience.

2. Satisfying the Audience's Practical Needs:


Remember that your audience:

167. 168. 169.

May have little time May be distracted May give your message low priority.

Therefore, make your message brief and as convenient as possible to grasp. If your written message has to be long, make it easy for the reader to follow. Put important information in

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point form and list it down. Less important information can be compiled in a separate enclosure as appendixes.

^ Activity C;
Try and remember an occasion where you had to address an audience. How would you, on hindsight, analyse the audience that you addressed?

5.5 DEFINING THE MAIN IDEA


Main idea is different from topic. The topic is the broad subject of the message. Main idea is the gist of the topic. The main idea is that which sums up why a particular audience should do or think as you suggest. Defining the main idea is important especially when you want to persuade someone or have disappointing information to convey. In these situations, you have to look for a main idea that will establish a good relationship between you and your audience. The main idea can take the form of some point of agreement or common interest. In longer documents and presentations, for which vast amount of material needs to be unified, establishing a main idea becomes still more challenging. A good writer of articles would, at the very onset, make a statement of thesis that he/she wants to develop.

Brainstorming Techniques:
Identifying main idea requires creativity and experimentation. More often than not, single mind cannot do this work. You need to have someone who could act as a "sounding box" - one who would help you hear yourself; or you may need someone to help brainstorm with you. Here are some techniques:

1. Storyteller's Tour
Turn on the tape recorder and give an overview of your message, focusing on your reasons for communicating, your majorpoints, your rationale, and the implication of the message for the reader. Afterwards listen to your presentation critically, till such time that you are able to give a summary of two minutes that will convey the gist of your message.

Unit 5 The Writing Process - Planning

2. Random list On a clean sheet of paper, list every essential point that comes to your mind pertaining to your message. When you have exhausted the list, group them according to their relationships. Look for common denominator. As you do this sorting process your thoughts will also begin to narrow down on what is important and what is not. 3. FCR Worksheet This is helpful when your message involves finding solution to a problem. F=findings; C= mndiision^andR = recommendation. For example, you might find that you are TxMngialesloa competitor, who offers lower prices then you do (this is your findings F). From this, you might conclude that your loss of sales is due to your pricing policy (this is your conclusion C). This conclusion would lead to recommending a price cut (R). To carry out this process, divide a sheet of paper into three columns, list the major findings in the first column; then extrapolate conclusions and write them in second column. These conclusions form the basis for the recommendations, which are listed in the third column. 4. Journalistic Approach For informational message, this approach is good. The answers to six questions -who, what, when, where, why, and how - should clarify the main idea. 5. Question-and-answer chain Perhaps the best approach is to look at the subject from the perspective of your audience and ask yourself questions till you have reached the point of identifying the main idea. 5.6 SELECTING THE CHANNEL AND MEDIUM Business messages have to suit the occasion, or the message is ineffective. You can present your message in one of the two basic channels: oral or written. Within these channels, you can vary the length, format, style, and tone in an almost infinite variety of ways to create the ideal vehicle for your purpose. 1. Oral Communication: a) Use: This channel is useful when your message is relatively simple, when you do not need a permanent record, and when you can assemble your audience conveniently and economically. Oral approach is also useful when you are

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Business Communication

presenting controversial information, because you can observe the reaction of the audience and read their body language, and thus, adjust your message accordingly. b) Form: Oral communication takes many forms - such as unplanned conversation, telephone calls, interviews, group meetings, seminars, workshops, training programs formal speeches, and major presentations. Generally, smaller the audience, the more interaction there will be among the members. If your purpose involves reaching a decision or solving a problem, you should select oral channel. Such program should be relatively informal and unstructured. As opposed to this is the formal presentation to large audiences, which are common at events such as sales conventions, shareholders meetings, ceremonial functions, etc. Often these major presentations take place in a big facility where the audience can be well seated.

2. Written Communication:
Just as oral communication, written messages also vary in formality. At one extreme are the scribbled notes that people use to remember; at the other extreme are elaborate, formal reports. However, regardless of the degree of formality, written messages have one big advantage: they give the write an opportunity to plan and control the message. A written format is called for when the information is complex, when a permanent record is needed for future reference, when the audience is large and geographically dispersed, and when immediate interaction with the audience is either unimportant or undesirable. Common media for written communication are letter, memo, reports etc. With a few exceptions, most letters and memos are rather brief documents. Memos, the so-called 'workhorses' of business communication, are used for routine, day-to-day exchange of information within an organization. Letters, which go to people outside the organization, perform an important public relations function, besides conveying a particular message. Letters and memos can be classified into four categories, according to their purpose: a) direct requests

Unit 5 The Writing Process - Planning

169. 170. 171. Note;

good news, goodwill messages, and routine messages bad-news messages persuasive messages

1. Purpose determines the organization of main points 2. Relationship between writer and the reader determines style and tone. 3. Reports and proposals: These factual, objective documents may be distributed either to insiders or to the people concerned, who are outside the organization - depending upon their purpose and objection. For instance, you may write a proposal to a donor, requesting to fund a certain project for your organization; or writing a report, which has to do with a certain mishap that has taken place in your department. Reports and proposals have the following characteristics: a. In length, they may range from a few pages to several hundred pages b. They tend to be more formal than letters and memos c. They also tend to depend upon the purpose of message for organization d. And relationship between writer and reader determines style and tone. f Activity C: Write down two examples each of oral communication and written communication.

5.7 SUMMARY

The process of business communication consists of planning, composing and revising. In this unit we have learned the various aspects of planning; defining the purpose of the

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message; analysing your audience, defining the main idea, and selecting the channel and medium. Defining the purpose determines the content, organi/ation, style, tone and the format. Analysing your audience enables you to understand and anticipate the reactions of the audience, which in turn helps in organizing your message to make it appealing to the audience. Defining the main idea is to help catch the attention of the audience to the objective of your message. Finally, selecting the channel and medium enables you to give appropriateness to your message.

5.8 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS


Q1. Communication can be of two types. What are they? a) b) Q2. What are the external agencies that an organization has to communicate with? List down any five. a) C o "yydvA nrwrYT^ b) c) c m, . d) e) Q3. The basic process of business communication consists of five stages. What are they?

a) a
b) Cs

c) d) e}

YfcW -CvsU
/""^ ^ fl^T '"V'\CX^Jr4 t*"^^

P \ Q" I ~ ry&&A~ic^p^rA\y^Q

118

Unit 5 The Writing Process - Planning

Q4. Fill in the blanks: a) The purpose of the message determines _^T^5i-, and b) You can loose

-y

i4- by writing a message that has no impact. c) Depending on your purpose, you will choose a message. J^ for your d) The key to effective communication is to determine the audience's and respond to them

to
e) You can present your message to two basic channels Q5. List the three general purposes of business messages. a)_ b)_ c)_ or Q6. How can you test the purpose of your message. What four questions can you ask? ?

a) U
b) c) -k d) U

Q7. For analysing the audience, which three factors of the audience would you identify? a) CXnyTXC UvV4 C*s - 1v\(L

b)

c)

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124

\i\xsmess Comnmmcation

6.1 INTRODUCTION Once the planning process is accomplished, and all the necessary elements of the message have been identified, then the communicator is ready to launch into the next plan of the writing process. This phase of the writing process deals with organizing the message. Human mind has a tremendous capacity to store information. However when certain parts of this information has to be retrieved and presented in a well associated manner, then there is a need to make a deliberate effort to organize the information in a cohesive and sequential manner. Whether the message is a written one or an oral presentation, it must be well organized. Disorganized message not only throws the audience into confusion, but also stands as a bad commentary on the communicator (especially in a business situation where communication plays an important role). Disorganized communication can have devastating affect. One cannot imagine the loss and confusion a disorganized message can cause, Hence, it is imperative that a business message be well organized. 6.2 THE NEED FOR BEING WELL ORGANIZED The term "organization", which also refers to an enterprise, implies a sequential arrangement of things and functions so as to achieve some predetermined goals as objects. Human beings in an organization are expected to function in an organized way. From the very onset of our education we are taught to think in a sequential manner. For instances, we are taught the English alphabets in a sequence -A, B, C .. .Z, or numbers 1,2,3 and so on. We develop a sequential way of thinking. Yet there are moments when we are unable to put our thoughts in a sequential and logical manner. This disorganized manner of presenting our thoughts - whether in speaking or in writing -results from factors that take control of us. Here are some reasons why some messages seem disorganized: 1. Why are some messages disorganized? a) Presenting ideas in illogical order. If there are about six points as ideas that a writer or a speaker wishes to convey the communicator may not be able to present them in a logical sequence if he/she has not reflected on them.

Unit 6 Writing Process : Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

174. Including irrelevant material. When the communicator is not certain about what information is relevant and what is not, then working on conjecture would result in including material that is irrelevant to the message. 175. Leaving out necessary information. In the process of including irrelevant information, relevant and necessary information is left out. The focus being on irrelevant information, the communicator is not mindful of necessary information. 176. Difficulty in getting to the point. When the message has to deal with sensitive issues, getting to the point becomes a problem. If the communicator does not know how to introduce the topic, then all the above three (a, b and c) things would happen. Summarizing the above four faults that are characteristic of a disorganized communication, we can state the following reasons: 1. Lack of reflection - results in illogical sequence 2. Guess work - results in including irrelevant information t Not mindful - necessary information is left out Not sure of oneself - does not know how to present the topic/issues 2. Why Good Organization is Important: Is it really important for any message to be well-organized? Isn't it sufficient enough if the point of the message is eventually made? The answer is: Arranging your ideas logically in proper style and tone will help satisfy the various needs of the audience such as informational, motivational and practical needs. A well-organized message presents all the required information in a convincing manner, and with maximum efficiency. A well-organized message is important for the following reasons: a) Helps the audience to understand the message: The main reason for being well-organized is to improve the chances that people will understand exactly what you mean. When the main idea is clearly stated,

and all supporting information is included in a coherent manner it will satisfy the informational need of the audience. The audience can easily understand the message.

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b) Helps the audience to accept the message: A well-organized message can be a motivating factor for the audience to accept the message. It helps you to get your ideas across without upsetting the audience. c) Saves the time of the audience: Most people, in a business organization, are pressed for time. Time is a very rare commodity and people do not like to squander it. A good organized message will satisfy the need for convenience at all level. In other words, your well-organized message becomes convenient for the audience - to read and understand the message without wasting his/her tune. The audience can follow the thought pattern of the message without struggling. d) Simplifies the task of the communicator: Just as others, so also the communicator is pressed for time, therefore, being well organized will help him/her to get the message down on the paper quickly and efficiently. By thinking about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it before you begin to write, you can proceed more confidently. Ji*> Activity A: Pick any disorganized message you have come across recently and try to identify the reason(s) why the communication was faulty.

6.3 GOOD ORGANIZING THROUGH OUTLINING Achieving good organization of the message is a two-step process: 1. Define and group ideas. Deciding what to say is the most basic problems that any business communication has to solve. If the content is weak, no amount of style can overcome the fact. Once you have decided on your main idea, you must develop it by grouping the supporting detail in a most logical and effective way.

Unit 6 Writing Process : Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

By grouping we mean visualization the relationship between the different parts of the message. One effective way of doing this is by constructing an outline. While preparing a long and complex message an outline is indispensable. An outline helps you to remain within a defined framework and will help you to remain organized. Outline will guide you to communicate in a systematic way, covering all the ideas necessary for the message. Step 1 - Start with the main idea. Main idea summarizes two things: 1. What you want the audience to do or think 2. The basic reason to do it or think it Step 2 - State the major points Major points refer to those ideas that clarify the message by expressing the main idea in smaller units/thoughts. You can break the main idea into smaller units by identifying some major points or the main ideas that you would want to develop. These major points act as the props by which the main ideas are upheld. Step 3 - Support major points by specific evidence Each major point should be supported with enough specific evidence to be convincing. These evidences form the body of the message and help the audience to understand the message. Graphically you could show these three steps thus: Main Idea

ri i
1 r

Major Point

i Maj c

Major Point

>r Point

1
nfa t'tftf* Fie 6 \
w-1 1 II Cf I v i *g VJ-

Evidence * Evidence Evidence Evidence Evidence Evidence

Source: J.V. Thill & C.L. Bovee, 'Excellence in Business Communication', pg 73


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The more evidence you provide the more conclusive your case would be. If your subject is complex and unfamiliar, or if your audience is skeptical, you will need a lot of facts and figures, demonstrative points. You need to provide enough support to be convincing, but not so much that your message becomes boring and inefficient. 2. Establish sequence with organizational plans: Once you have defined and grouped your ideas you are ready to decide on the sequence. There are two basic options you have:

1. Direct approach - this approach is deductive and nature in which the main
idea comes first followed by the evidence.

2. Indirect approach, which is inductive in nature - the evidence comes first and
the main idea later. The choice between direct and indirect is largely determined by the likely reaction of your audience. ote: Your audience reaction will fall somewhere on the continuum shown in Fig 6.2. In general the direct approach would be appropriate when the reaction of the audience is receptive: eager, interested, pleased, or even neutral. If the reaction of your audience is likely to be resistant: displeased, uninterested, and unwilling, then use the indirect approach for better results.

Eager Interested Pleased Neutral Displeased Uninterested Unwilling

. t t t t t ft,
DffiECTAPPROACH ENDIRECTAPPROACH

Fig 6.2: Audience Reaction and Organizational Approach

Source: J.V. Thill & C.L. Bovee, 'Excellence in Business Communication', pg 75


Once the probably reaction of the audience has been analysed and appropriate approach selected, then you can choose the most appropriate organizational plan.

Unit 6 Writing Process : Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

a) Direct Approach: i) Direct request This type of business message is used when the audience will interested in responding to the message. For instance, if you want to place an order for a certain product, the recipient of your message will be eager to respond to your request. Thus, direct request use direct approach i.e. you get straight to the point. ii) Routine, Good News and Goodwill messages If your message is providing routine information, that is a part of a regular business function, the audience will usually be neutral in its reaction - i.e. it would neither be pleased nor displeased. However, if you are announcing a rise in bonus, or congratulating a worker for a job well done, the audience will be pleased to hear your message. Thus routine, good news, and good will messages use direct approach. By starting the message with a positive note, you put the audience in a*goo3frame of mind, thus making them receptive. This direct approach places the pleasing aspect of the message right in the beginning that prepares the reader to read the entire message with interest. iii) Bad news messages This is a challenging task for the communicator, because delivering a bad news is a sensitive issue. For example, you have to issue a message that is not going to please the audiencelike turning down a request, or denying credit facility to your client. Such a message needs to be carefully planned and organized. The challenge lies in being honest and yet somehow soothes the displeasure of your audience. The bad news has to be cushioned by other ideas that are either neutral or more positive. The explanation for the bad news has to go along with a positive note. If the audience has been refused or denied something, then the audience has the right to know why he/she has been denied the request. iv) Persuasive messages ,^, These messages become necessary when your audience is not willing to or interested in what you have to say. Your audience may be hostile, skeptical and you may face resistance from them towards your message. For example, your

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clients might want to cancel an air ticket for which he/she may have to bear considerable cost. You know this is going to upset your client and may even create a scene in your office. In such a case, using the indirect approach gives you an opportunity to get across your message without creating much displeasure.

Note;

a)
When your purpose is to inform, the major points are based on the natural order of the subject of the message. When your purpose is to persuade or collaborate, the major points will follow topical path of argument. If you expect your audience to agree with you, use a structure that focuses attention on conclusions and recommendations. If you expect your audience to be skeptical about your conclusions and recommendations ( or hostile towards them), use a structure that focuses attention on the rationale that supports your point of view.

Activity B ;
If you are to work on a business communication activity, like a monthly report, what would be the steps you would follow for making an outline?

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b) You have to deliver bad news to your friends. How would you go about delivering this news?

Unit 6 Writing Process : Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

6.4 FROM OUTLINE TO FIRST DRAFT Having finished planning, you are now ready to begin drafting - i.e. composing a preliminary version of a message. As someone has said, "Writing is an art. Rewriting is a craft". So do not worry about getting everything right at the first instance. Just write and put down everything that comes to your mind without worrying about style, tone, logical sequence, etc. Do not combine drafting with revising. They involve two separate skills and two separate mindsets. So avoid moving from authors to editors too quickly. Your first draft is just a draft and not a completed message. Do not expect perfection and do not strive for it. Concentrate on writing all the points you identified during planning stage. 1. Writer's Block: Many people spend anxious moments worrying about what to write, and how to write. Some people spend long time staring at blank paper or screen, not knowing how to proceed. Such an experience is known as <4writer's block" - the inability to focus on the writing process and to draft a message. The causes ofwriter's block are one or more of the following: ^ 3M, 1. Procrastination: Putting off what we dislike doing 2. Impatience: Growing tired of the naturally slow pace of writing process 3. Perfection: Believing that the draft must be perfect the first time. Strategies to overcome writer's block: a) Choose the right environment Find out where you can be comfortable and concentrate on the task of writing the draft. Very often the most comfortable place is some other than where you normally sit and work.

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b) Schedule a reasonable span of time Allotting yourself a time span is a way of disciplining yourself. Use the time without wasting it. Allow enough time to plan, draft and revise. This will overcome procrastination. c) State your purpose in writing Having identified your specific purpose during the planning phase, write it somewhere and put it in front of you. Keep it visible so that it will be uppermost in your consciousness as you compose. d) Engage in free writing Review your purpose and your audience and set off to write i.e. being free writing. Write without stopping till you feel that you have put all your thoughts in words. Do not stop in between and start correcting. e) Avoid the perfectionism syndrome Remember you are writing the draft as an artist and not as an editor. So do not worry about style, cohesive, spelling, punctuations etc. f) Think out loud Some people can speak better than they can write. If there is a Dictaphone record what you say and later transcribe it. g) Write the easiest part first The most difficult part of writing something is the opening paragraph. So begin with the easiest part. Your draft need not contain the message in the order in which it will appear in the final form.

JS$ Activity C;
Did you, at any point of time in your student life, face a "writer's block" situation? a) Can you recollect how you managed to overcome the problem?

Unit 6 Writing Process : Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

b) Do you feel you took the right steps ?

c) If your answer is "no", then what steps should you have taken?

6.5 COMPOSING PROCESS


Composition is relatively easy if you have already decided what to say and in what order, although you may need to pause now and then to find the right word. Feel free to rearrange, delete, or add ideas, as long as you don't loose sight of the purpose.

1. Style:
In composing the message, vary the style to create a tone that suits the occasion. Style is the way you use words to achieve a certain tone, or overall impression. You can vary your style - i.e. your sentence structure and vocabulary - to sound forceful or passive, personal or impersonal etc. The right choice depends on the nature of your message and your relationship with the reader. Although style can be refined during the revision phase you will save yourself time and a lot of rewriting if you compose in an appropriate manner.

2. Tone:
The first step toward getting the right tone is to consider your relationship with the audience. To achieve a warm but businesslike tone: 182. Don't be familiar

183.

Use humor with great care

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4. Do not flatter the other person 5. Don't preach 6. Don't boast 7. Be yourself 3. Use the "You" attitude:
r; Establish empathy with your audience. See the subject matter of the message through the eyes of the audience. Many business messages have an "I" or "We" attitude, which causes the sender to sound selfish and not interested in the receiver.

If you want to get your message across, you will have to express yourself message in terms of the interest and needs of the audience. In other words, use "You" and "Yours" instead of "I" "Me": "Mine", "We" "us" and "Ours". This is the "you" attitude, which you must adopt. Example: "We" Attitude a. We are please to announce our new flight from Pune to Hong Kong You need to make sure that the staff follows instructions r\

"You" Attitude Now you can take a plane from Pune to Hong Kong. The staff may need guidance in following instructions. In the example (b) note that "you" attitude sentence sound authoritative. Constructing "you" attitude without using the word "you" can soften this. 4. Maintain a Positive Note :

Explain what you can do and what you will do, and not what you can't do or won't do. Positive side of your message will show sensitivity to your audience. Example: Instead of: Use: It is impossible to repair this vacuum cleaner today. We can repair your vacuum cleaner by Tuesday. 134

Unit 6 Writing Process : Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

When you are offering criticism or advice, focus on what a person can do to improve. Example: Instead of: The problem with this department is failure to control costs Use: The performance of this department can be improved by tightening cost controls. 5. Establish credibility: People are more likely to react positively to your message when they have confidence in you. This belief in your competence and integrity is important. The first step in building credibility is to promise only what you can do, and then fulfill your promise. Your credibility is also enhanced by the quality of the information you provide. If you support your points with evidences that can be confirmed, your audience will respect you. 6. Be polite : The best tone for business messages is almost always apohjfeone. Although you may be tempted now and then to be brutally frank, try to express the facts in a kind and thought manner. 6.6 PRACTICING REVISION As mentioned earlier that writing is an art and editing is a craft - i.e. a science that has a definite procedure. Usually in the process of editing the editor has to edit some manuscript that someone else has written. However, when one has to edit a document written by himself then this process becomes a little different and difficult. Editing or revising is a process of modifying a document to increase its effectiveness. Once the draft has been written, it can be refined into an effective document; but the process of revising one's own draft does not begin immediately. There has to be a gap of some time for the frame of mind (in which the draft was written) to fade away. Otherwise, what you actually wrote will still

be fresh and strong in your mind which will keep you from identifying the weakness in your draft. So allow for a period to lapse before you take up the document draft for revising. If you are pressed for time then give the draft to someone other than your audience for revising. fn the process of writing, revising is the third step that involves many steps. The process consists of editing for content and organization, style and readability, format, usage of words etc.

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Whatever the document or the message is intended for, once it is drafted, you owe yourself to refine and your audience to review. Care should be taken not to revise the document for all its elements, but rather revise the message at least three times: once for content and organization, once for style and readability and once for format.

1. Revising the Content and Organization:


Begin by reading the document to evaluate its overall effectiveness. Here you are concerned with the content, organi/ation, and the flow of thought. Ideally, you should let your draft age a day or two before you begin the editing process, so that you can approach the material with a fresh view. The factor you should consider while editing for content and organization are:

184. 188. 189. 190. 191.

have all points been covered in a logical order good balance between general points and specific points space allotted for and positions of prominence or important points providing enough evidence need to add or eliminate information

Apart from these factors that determine the effectiveness of the content there is a need to pay attention to the beginning and ending of the message. Opening section of the message should be relevant, interesting and tuned to probable reaction of the audience. Reading of the message should be reviewed for summary of the main points.

2. Revising for Style and Readability :


Once you are satisfied with the content and organization of the message, then turn your attention to style and readability. You need to create an interest in your audience for the message. This is done by the use of style - i.e. using lively and emphatic words and phrases. At the same time, make sure that your message is not difficult to follow. Your audience should be able to read with ease and comprehend the message without difficulty. Do not use complex phrases and words or idiomatic expression that will cause hindrances in understanding the message. Make use of short and simple sentences.

Unit 6 Writing Process: Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

3. Revising for Mechanics and Format:


Final step in revising has to do with language and format. Language here means use of proper words, correct spellings, and grammar. Very often people, though they can speak correct English make several grammatical mistakes. Remember, your audience is not only interpreting the message, but also judging you from the way you write the message. For instance, if you let mechanical errors slip through, people will wonder if you are reliable with more important things. Also give attention to the format of the message. Follow the accepted conventions and company guidelines for the format of the message.

6.7 SELECTING THE RIGHT WORDS


As a business communicator, you have to pay attention to two things while revising your draft: correctness and effectiveness of words. Correctness of the usage of words is generally easier than the effectiveness of words. Correctness of word-usage comes from hearing a language, while the effectiveness of words has to be cultivated. Sometimes even the correct use of words has to be confirmed.

1. Functional Words and Content Words


184. Functional words express relationships and have one unchanging meaning in any given context. They include conjunctions, prepositions, articles and pronouns. Functional words express relationships among content words. 185. Content words are multidimensional and hence subject to various interpretations or meanings. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs belong to this category. These are words that carry the meaning of the sentence. Both functional words and content words are necessary, but your effectiveness as a communicator depends largely on your ability to choose the right content words.

2, Connotation and Denotation

Content words have both denotative meaning and connotative meaning. Denotative meaning is literal or dictionary meaning. Connotative meaning includes all association and feelings evoked by the word.

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For example, if you say that a person has failed to pass a test, you are allowing the word 'fail' to suggest a whole range of meanings - i.e. the person is incompetent, inferior, not intelligent etc. But, instead of using the word fail you state that the person secured 65 percent, you are suggesting something else. By avoiding the word 'fail', you have avoided negative connotation. In business communication you should generally use words that have low connotative meaning. In other words, make use of words that would not generate negative meanings in the mind of the audience.

3. Abstraction and Concretness


Content words also vary in their level of abstraction. That is to say that content words can also be abstract words. An abstract word expresses a concept, quality or characteristic - for example, honor, progress, integrity etc. Content words are also grounded in the material world - for example; table, chair, rose, kick, red etc. These are concrete words. In business communication, use concrete, specific terms whenever possible; use abstract words only when necessary. Example; Company experienced a 'sizable loss'. Company had a 'loss of 10 crores'.

4. Word Choice
Poets, novelists or play writers use words that implicit in meaning, but journalists, editors, letter and report writers are concerned with being clear, concise and accurate in their use of language. In business communication the use of language has to be strong, familiar and precise. a) Strong Words: Nouns and verbs are the most concrete words in any message, so use them as much as you can. Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly, although they are also important. They are subjective in nature, and business communication should be objective. Verbs are powerful words because they carry the action. The more dynamic the word the better it is.

Unit 6 Writing Process : Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

Weak Forms Strong Forms Wealthy businessperson tycoon Business prosperity boom Fall plummet

b) Familiar Words:
Communication is best through familiar words. Use words that are in common and familiar to most people. However, be careful in using terms that have become so common that they have virtually lost their meaning. For example; interface, strategic decision, frame of reference, track record. These words have been so often used that people hearing or reading them take them for granted and don't pay attention to what they mean.

c) Short or Precise Words:


Compose your message by using short words or sentences. Example, Long: During the preceding year, the company was able to accelerate productive operations. Short: last year, the company was able to speed up operation.

d) Camouflaged Verbs:
Endings of the words: -ion, -tion, -ing, -ment, -ant, -ent, -ence, -ance and -ency should be avoided. Such words complicate the construction of sentences, which could be misleading. Example: The manager undertook implementation of the rules The manager implemented the rules.

6.8 BIAS-FREE WRITING


Avoid biased language that might offend the audience. It is not enough to be bias-free, but it must also appear in our speech and writing.

a) Sexist language: We are used to using language that suggest bias. When citing a general example we often use words like 'mankind' 'man-made', 'man-power' etc.

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These words could be replaced by 'humankind' 'artificial', 'human power'etc. Here are some examples: Businessman Salesman Foreman Insurance man Business person Sales representative Supervisor Insurance agent

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i) Some words denote both men and women. In such case avoid using the masculine and the feminine words. For example avoid making distinctions such as 'authoress' and 'actress' because 'author' and 'actor' include both the genders. ii) Another way to avoid bias is to mention women first. Give priority to ladies -women and men, ladies and gentlemen, she and he etc. b) Racial and Ethnic bias: It is politically correct, in every way to avoid any comments that may have a racial or ethnic bias. One reads in the media of prominent personalities in US or UK often falling into this trap. Even in our own country, India - our politicians or even celebrities get caught up in this complicated issue. Then getting out of it poses to be a gigantic problem.

JS*> Activity D :
a) Comment on any sexist bias that you may have observed while reading newspapers or even listening to the speeches of certain political leaders.

b) There have been remarks made by famous personalities which have a racial bias. Surf the Internet and find out more.

Unit 6 Writing Process : Organizing, Composing and Revising Business Messages

6.9 SUMMARY In a well organized message, all the information is clearly related to the subject and purpose. Organizing a message requires defining and grouping ideas. The main ;idea is defined in terms of what and why the audience must either do or think the way you want them to. Organizing also involves identifying major points that support the main idea. The major points that support the main idea are further supported by evidence. Thus, a hierarchy of main idea, major points and evidences form a broad outline for organizing a message. While organizing it is also good if the importance of establishing a relationship with the audience is kept in mind. In the capacity of being a representative of the organization, your message should reflect its standards. 6.10 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS Ql. Explain the reason for a well organized business message.

Q2. Discuss the causes of "writer's block", and explain the strategies to overcome it.

Q3. Explain the composing process.

Q4. Why are certain messages disorganized? Can you list the faults?

Q5. Some tips to adopt a business-like tone. Write down six such tips.

Q6. A well organized message in important for four reasons. What are they?

Q7. Fill in the blanks: i) Disorganized communication can have cause '^>^> and ""^fr n proper

ii) Arranging your ideas

satisfy the various needs of the audience. I) A well-organized message can be a V>vi<\nVj and tone will help factor for the audience to accept the message.

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7.1 INTRODUCTION Almost all business commumcationYias two basic purposes . 192. 193. to produce a favourable attitude or response in the audience to convey information

Effective communicators recognize that they can assume audience cooperation when composing certain types of messages. That is, their audience will not automatically resist the main idea and content in such messages. Whenever you can assume that your audience will be interested in what you have to say, or at least willing to cooperate with you, your message should follow the 'direct', or 'deductive' plan. You should present the request or the main idea first, follow up with message details, and close with a cordial statement of the action you want. There are various situations in which direct plan is useful. Routine or neutral messages assume audience cooperation and conduct necessary business for an individual or a corporation. These could be in the form of announcements, reminders, inquiries or requests. In each of these, the writer is either transmitting information or seeking information. Positive messages convey good news to the reader. They include positive responses, credit approvals, and order acknowledgements. Positive responses answer inquiries or direct requests. These responses commonly have a context opening, a body with answers or requested information, and either an action or a goodwill close. Credit approvals, which like other positive messages follow a deductive pattern, often contain a review of the underlying conditions for granting credit and an explanation of credit terms. Order acknowledgements, like credit approvals, often repeat or clarify the terms of agreement between writer and the reader. Goodwill messages are those documents designed for the primary purpose of establishing or maintaining good writer-reader relationships. They include public relations messages or greetings, as well as welcome messages, invitations, congratulations, and thank-you notes. Three main categories of information that can be delivered with the direct approach or organization are: 193. Positive information, which pleases the reader

194. Neutral information, which may not elicit either positive or negative reaction but which' may have strong information value

Unit 7 Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

Negative information, which the reader will not want to read


7.2 AUDIENCE COOPERATION

Messages that assume reader cooperation anticipate a non-resistant stance from the audience. This anticipated cooperation enables the writer to assume a business-as-usual stance toward a situation. When assuming audience cooperation, a business-as-usual attitude persists, even if, for some reason, the audience cannot cooperate exactly as expected. For example, the writer may directly request the reader's attendance at a business function. The reader may wish to attend, but be unable to do so due to a schedule conflict. Even though the writer's request does not result in the reader's attendance, the reader is not really resisting the request as finding it impossible to comply. 1. Strategies to Encourage Audience Cooperation You can use explicit cues to encourage audience cooperation: a) A clear and direct statement of the main idea at the outset (deductive organization) aid audience cooperation by avoiding any misunderstanding about what the reader is to know or do. For example, if you write, "Would you please provide us with information about your company?" this could cause confusion because the reader may give general information about the company. Instead, if you write, "Would you please provide us with information regarding the measures your company has employed in response to PF policy of the Government." The statement is clear and direct to the point. b) Indication of confidence in the reader's positive response can be shown by using words such as "please" or "thank you", which would make a statement sound less like a demand and more like a request. This would encourage cooperation of the audience. Communicating in a positive manner creates the impression that courtesy will be sufficient to ensure the wanted action. 1. Providing crucial information is another way of ensuring audience cooperation. All information necessary to explain the action(s) indicated, should be included in the message. Such information might include invoice number, cost figures, specific dates, addresses, specifications, etc. 2. Clear and specific action statements at the close to specify the action(s) the writer wants the reader to take is another way to help audience cooperation.

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For example, closing with a request for information provides clear action the reader should take: Please write to me or call me at (phone number) before December 6,2006 to set up an interview regarding your participation in the forth-coming conference at the City Commerce Chamber. e) Information included with the message, in the form of enclosures, etc. that enables the reader to act or to understand the course of action in detail - such as brochures offering financial incentives, business cards, discount coupons for early purchase, etc. Strategies to encourage reader cooperation can be used both in documents that assume audience cooperation and in those that anticipate audience resistance.

2. Reasons for Audience Resistance


Audience may resist a message for many reasons - the message contains bad news, or because of the past negative experience with the communicator or the company. Following are the reasons for which the audience may resist a document:

1. The "Age" of Information: Audience resist messages that contain information


that is either too old or completely new. If the message informs about something that is already happening and of which the people are already aware, then the audience will not be interested in reading the message. Similarly, the audience may also resist completely new information because they have not had time to consider its ramifications.

2. Traditional Practices versus Change: Audience may resist change itself, because
they may find it confusing or threatening. For instance, students informed about a change in curriculum might immediately resist, because they feel uneasy about enrolling in unanticipated courses or fear a delay in their graduation. Because of this natural resistance to change, communicators often need to reassure their audience of the reasons for change and the benefits that will likely result. Communicators associate need for the change with something good and establish the change itself as something unique and good.

3. Organizational Hierarchy: Audience, within an organization, expects the


information to follow a certain organizational channel. If, for example, a ce type of information come from the middle management rather than the CEC

Unit 7 Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

audience may resist that information, simply, because they do not perceive the communicator as having the proper standing to speak on the subject. In such cases, it is best to let the information follow the organizational path to avoid resistance and allow cooperation. 195. Group Membership and Shared Goals: If you assume that the reader shares your views or goals and your assumption is incorrect, then the reader may resist your message. This very often happens in an organization where the boss feels that his subordinates share the same concerns or views or goals and later finds that his message is not received enthusiastically. This is possible when a group member shares the same goals as the group, but does not agree about the manner in which the goals are pursued, and hence, the message may be resisted. 196. Expertise: Readers may also resist a message because it does not match their level of expertise. Audience may become impatient with a message and resist what the communicator has to say if the material is either too difficult or too easy. Similarly, readers may resist the writer's message because they do not believe the writer has the qualification or expertise to provide the information. 3. Overcoming Audience Resistance : Following are the recommendations for overcoming audience resistance: 197. Build or preserve a positive history with the audience.

198. Find ways of 'softening' bad news or of finding positive aspects of negative situations. 199. Pay attention to the "age" of your information. In general, present old news before new news, and be especially alert when handling information that is either too old or too new. 200. Recognize that change itself is often threatening. Doing so will help you realise that, even if what you are proposing is a change for the better, audience will probably be resistant.

200. Know the established channels of communication in your office and be aware of hierarchical relationships within the organization. Use the support of the authority, when appropriate. 201. Analyse the interests of members within a group before you assume or appeal to shared goals.

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g) Remember that an audience's area and level of expertise helps you predict how the audience will respond to your communication.

J$ Activity A;
a) Reader's Digest has a very interesting way of drawing its customers to its other publications. This is done through "Golden Treasure Prize Draw" messages to its customers. Get hold of a set of these messages and identify the "Strategies to Encourage Audience Cooperation".

b) Did you ever have to impart "bad" news to a group of people? Did you face any audience resistance? List out what they were:

c) Do you recall your boss giving you bad news? Did he 'soften' the impact? How did you react?

7.3 ORGANIZING 'DIRECT PLAN' MESSAGES Whenever you can assume that your audience will be interested in what you have to say, or al least willing to cooperate with you, your message should follow the 'direct', or 'deductive plan'. You should: a) present the request or the main idea first, b) follow up with necessary details, and c) close with a cordial statement of action you want. This approach works well when your request or message requires no special tact or persuasion.

Unit 7 Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

Usually senders of direct messages may be tempted to begin with a personal introduction - "lam administrative assistant to the head of a large bookstore chain, and I am interested in expanding our selection of reference books." Remember, this type of beginning is a mistake, because what you may want your reader to know and do may get buried under the weight of your introduction. The best way to begin a direct message is to state what you want in the first sentence or two and let explanation follow this initial request or idea. Another aspect that needs to be remembered is the 'tone'. Even though you expect a favourable response, the tone of your initial request is important. Instead of demanding immediate action be patient and help your audience to understand your message or the request you are making. This is achieved in the middle part of a direct message. It explains the original idea or request by supplying necessary details. Example: "I would like to order a sample of several of your reference works to determine whether they appeal to our customers." Such amplifying details help your audience fill your request correctly. In the last section, 'clearly state' the action you are requesting or expecting. You may want to inform your audience where to send the sought-after information or product, indicate any time limit, or any other information that you could not cover in the previous parts. Then 'close' with a brief, cordial note reminding your audience of the importance of the message.

1. Writing Direct Requests a) Direct statement of the request:


This refers to the main idea. The general rule for the first part of the direct request is to write not only to be understood but also to avoid being misunderstood. Be as specific as possible in the sentence or two that begins your message. In the direct approach, the sender's primary goal agrees with the receiver's primary goal: what is foremost in the mind of the recipient is what the author most wishes to transmit. You should be as specific as possible in a sentence or two (about the subject matter that you wish to know) that begins your message. Be aware of the difference between a polite request in a question form, which requires no question mark, and a question that is a part of the request.

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Polite request in question form:


Would you please help us determine whether Mr. Ramgopal is a suitable candidate for the position of landscape designer. Question that is part of the request: Did Mr. Ramgopal demonstrate an ability to work as an efficient landscape designer? Many direct requests include both types of statements so make sure you distinguish between a polite request, which is your overall reason for writing, and specific question, which belongs to the middle section of your message.

b) Justification, explanation, and details: Justification for the purpose of your message can be made by way of explanation, which should be a logical outgrowth of your opening statements. You could construct the first sentence of your middle section in the form of "you-sentence" by stating a benefit to the reader. For example, you may write to your supplier: "By keeping us informed about your product, you can help create a new distribution network for your business." In the middle section: Call attention to how the reader will benefit from granting your request Give details of your request Another possible approach for the middle section is to ask series of questions, particularly if your inquiry concerns machinery or complex equipment. You may want to know about technical specifications, exact dimensions, precise use of the product, and more importantly the cost. If you are requesting several items or answers, you should number the items and list them in logical order or in descending order of importance Furthermore, so that your request can be handled quickly, remember: i) Ask only those questions that relate to your main inquiry fi) Do not ask for information that can be easily obtained by you iii) Make your questions open-ended and objective iv) Deal with only one topic in each question

Unit 7 Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

If the questions need amplification, keep each question in a separate paragraph.

c) Courteously close with request for specific action :


Your letter should 'close' with both a request for some specific response, and an expression of appreciation or goodwill. Help your reader to respond easily by supplying information for getting in touch with you. Do not thank the reader "in advance" for cooperating. If the reader's reply deserves a word of thanks, send it after you have received the reply. Close with: i) A request for some specific response ii) An expression of appreciation i) Information about how you can be reached.

2. Writing Requests for Routine Information and Action


When you need to know about something, to get an opinion from someone, or suggest an action, you usually need to ask. In making a routine request, say:

202. 203. 204.

What you want to know Why you want to know Why it is in the reader's interest to help you

Routine requests deserve a touch of tact, because in many organizations, memos and letters are sent to hundreds of employees, customers, clients, and shareholders. Thus, the concern for creating positive impressions is not as vital as the risk of causing ill will through ambiguous wording or discourteous tone. a) Requests to fellow-employees: Although requests to fellow-employees are after oral and rather casual, some requests are better put in permanent, written form. A request in memo form i) Provides a permanent record ii) Saves time (when well written)

iii) Helps readers to know precisely what is required

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b) Requests to other businesses :


Many letters to other businesses are requests for information about products, or something you have seen in advertisement. Where writing a letter in response to an advertisement i) Say where you saw the advertisement ii) Provide a clear and complete return in) Provide a clear and complete return address on the letter Very often inquires, not prompted by advertisement, demand more detailed letter. c) Request to customers and other outsiders : Businesses after ask individuals outside the organization to provide information or to take some action- such as attend a meeting, return an information card, enclose a document etc. Often these messages can be short and simple, but after situations require a more detailed explanation. In such cases, readers may not be willing to respond unless they understand hoe the request benefits them. Businesses sometimes need to reestablish a relationship with former customers. A letter of inquiry and encouragement to reestablish relationship with the company is needed.

Activity B :
You are Assistant Manager, Purchase, and your boss has asked you to inquire about air conditioners, which are to be installed in different offices of the company. The requirement is for 10 air conditioners that have to be installed within a period of 15 days. You need to obtain information from different agencies to acquire the best buy. Write a letter requesting information that would help your company to make the most appropriate decision.

Unit? Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

7.4 WRITING POSITIVE MESSAGES


When you have only positive information to present, rank your information with the most positive first, followed by the next most positive, and so on. Work your way down to the least positive details. Penrose et al observe, "When reading the most positive information first, the reader encounters the next thought in a more receptive mood. Assuming the second thought is the second most positive comment, these thoughts combine to place the reader in an even more favourable frame of mind for the third thought, and so on. This cumulative effect helps the reader receive the message with a better overall reaction than would be derived from an indirectly organized message". They further suggest, "Because substantial positive feelings can reflect well on the sender, you should make optimal use of this message category. You can achieve even more benefits by using direct statements that follow a subject/verb - first organization, selecting active voice, picking present tense, using strong verbs, organizing sentences for emphasis, and involving the reader through the use of the you tone." With positive content messages, the most difficult writing steps are: Correctly ranking the importance of the various items from the reader's point of view * Omitting extraneous information t Writing transitions from thought to thought Most business communication consists of positive messages. A clear understanding of how such messages are organized will allow you to write good ones quickly. Whether oral or written, these messages follow a simple formula:

206. 207. 208.

Clear statement of the main idea. Necessary details. Courteous close.

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1. Planning positive messages a) Clear statement of the main idea:


This refers to the main purpose of the message. When you begin a message write a statement of your purpose, you prepare your audience for the explanation that follows. Your introductory statement is important, so do not fill it up with unnecessary statements.

For example:
Instead of: I am pleased to inform you that after deliberating the matter carefully, our H.R. department has recommended you for appointment as an accountant. Write: You have been selected to join our firm as an accountant.

b) Necessary details :
The middle part of the message is typically the longest section of a routine, goodnews, or goodwill message. Your purpose of communicating can usually be expressed in a sentence or two, but you will need more space or time to explain your point completely so that the reader will not be left in confusion. In addition to providing details in the middle section, you must maintain the supportive tone established at the beginning. Maintaining this tone is easy while writing goodnews.

c) Courteous close:
Your message is most likely to succeed if your readers are left with the feeling that you have this personal welfare in mind. Make sure each audience member understands what to do next and how that action will benefit her or him.

2. Checklist for Positive Messages


a) Initial statement of the good news (Main idea) i) Respond promptly to the request. ii) In your first statement indicate that you are fulfilling the readers request. iii) If you are acknowledging an order, summarize the transaction, iv) Convey a courteous and you-oriented tone.

Unit 7 Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

b) Middle informational section i) Express interest in the request. ii) If possible, answer all questions and requests (in the order posed). m) Provide all the important details about orders. iv) Use sales opportunities when appropriate (e.g. enclose brochure). v) If you cannot comply with part of the request, explain to the reader why this is so, and offer positive alternative. vi) Frame negative statements in positive context, or as offer positive alternative. c) Courteous close i) Avoid cliches (e.g. "please feel free to") ii) Direct a request to the reader, or specify the action you want the reader to take. iii) Remind the reader of the benefits to be derived from the action you are suggesting. iv) Offer additional services. v) Express goodwill 3. Conveying positive information about people Professors, supervisors, and managers are after asked to write letters recommending students or employers for jobs, awards, or membership in organizations such letters may take the direct approach when the recommendation is generally positive. a) Recommendation letters: It is important that letters of recommendation contains all the relevant details

1. The full name of the candidate 2. The job or benefit that the candidate is seeking 3. Whether the writer is answering a request or taking the initiative 4. The nature of the relationship between the writer and the candidate

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208. 209.

Facts relevant to the position or benefit sought

The writer's overall evaluation of the candidate's suitability for the job or benefit sought. Recommendation letter are usually mailed directly to the person or committee who requested them, and are not shown to the concerned candidates. This enables the writer to give a balanced view of the candidate. A Good writer of recommendation letters will:

1. include only relevant, factual information 2. avoid value judgements 1. balance criticisms with favourable points
b) Good news about employment: Finding suitable job applicants and then selecting the right candidate for the job is a task fraught with hard choices. In contrast writing a letter to the successful candidate is a pleasure. Most of the time such a letter is eagerly awaited, so the direct approach serves well. A letter telling someone that she or he has been selected for the job is a legal document; hence make sure that all statements are accurate. The letter should take a friendly and welcoming tone and should explain the necessary details: job title, starting date, salary and benefits. The last paragraph, with the explanation of the first day's routine, will help the new employee. For example," please plan to arrive at 8.30 am on 24th of Nov. and ask for me at the reception. We will spend an hour or so in filling out the necessary forms and going over company employment policies " c) Writing positive replies: Many news and business letters are written in response to an order, an inquiry, or a request. When the answer is positive, or involves straightforward informatio then the direct plan is appropriate.

4. Acknowledgement letters
One of the simplest letters to write is one confirming that a customer's order has been* received and is being filled. If the products are being shipped or the services are <

Unit 7 Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

provided immediately, then the acknowledgement letter is unnecessary. But if the orders are large that cannot be supplied immediately, then it is appropriate to acknowledge the orders. Acknowledgement letters play a role of fostering "goodwill". In accordance with the direct plan, the first paragraph of the acknowledgement letter is a statement of "good news" The customer has placed an order and looks forward to receiving the merchandise, all you have to do is acknowledge the order and is being processed and that the merchandise is on its way. The middle section should demonstrate the professionalism of the firm by giving an accurate summary of the transaction, such as: 1. When the delivery may be expected 2. The cost of the merchandise 3. Cost of shipping and taxes 4. Explanation of problems that may have arisen Note : Letters of this type frequently add information in the middle or the closing sections, such as: a) Resale : Information about the company or product that confirms the customer's good judgement in making the transaction b) Sales promotion: Information about goods and services that go along with the customers purchase is also a part of this letter. Despite the business purpose of the acknowledgement letter, it should end on a warm, personal note and with a look towards future transactions. c) Replying to requests for information and action Any request is important to the person making it, whether inside or outside the organization. That person's opinion of your company and its products, your department, and yourself will be influenced by how promptly, graciously and thoroughly the request is handled.

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1
However, complying with a request is not always easy because the information may not be immediately available, and decisions to take some action may take longer time since higher level of management is involved. Furthermore, since a reply is written on letterhead stationery, it becomes legally binding. Hence, one must be careful in writing a response.

i) When a potential sale is involved :


Prospective customers often request an annual report, catalogue, brochure, or other type of information to help them make a decision about a product they have come across through advertisement. A polite and helpful response may help them to make the decision to buy. When answering requests involving a potential sale, you have three main goals:

2. To respond to the inquiry, or answer all the questions 3. To encourage the sale 4. To convey a good impression of you and your firm ii) When no sale is involved :

Some requests from outsiders and most requests from within the organization are no opportunities to sell a product. In replying to these requests, you have two goals:

1. To answer all the questions honestly and completely 2. To leave a favourable impression of your company or foster good working
relationships.

Activity C ;
Consider yourself as a professor who has been approached by a student intending to study abroad. The university requires a recommendation letter from a professor. The student requests you to write the letter of recommendation. Taking into account the entire relevant details necessary, write a recommendation letter.

Unit 7 Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

7.5 WRITING GOODWILL MESSAGES Business is not often all business. To a large extent, it is an opportunity to forge personal relationships. You can enhance your relationships with customers and other business people by sending friendly, unexpected notes with no direct business purpose. Some examples of these are congratulations, thanks, condolences, and greetings. Although goodwill messages have little to do with business transaction, they might include some sales information. You could use the opportunity to mention about some particular service or remind the reader of your company's product. However, it should be secondary to the goodwill message.

Only the straight hint of a sales message should ever appear in a goodwill message.

1. Congratulations: One prime opportunity for sending congratulations is the news of some significant business achievement or attaining an important civic position. Taking note of significant events in someone's personal life helps cement the business relationships. Highlights in people's personal lives - such as weddings, births, graduations, and success in nonbusiness competitions - are another reason for sending congratulations. You may even congratulate your business acquaintances on their achievements, or on their spouse or children's achievements. Some alert companies develop a mailing list of potential customers by assigning an employee to keep a track of important events. They then introduce themselves by sending out a congratulation note on the company's letterhead. This is enough to start a business relationship.

2. Letter of appreciation:
An important quality of messages is to have the ability to see employees or other business associates as individuals and to recognize then- contributions. People often value praise more highly than monetary rewards, and a letter of appreciation may also become a part of an employee's personal file. This documents a person's contribution. Sending a copy of the letter to the personnel department could do this. It could be of value to the person appreciated at the time of future pay increase or promotion.

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Suppliers also like to know that you value some exceptional product or the service you received. Long-term association also deserves recognition and appreciation. Your letter of appreciation not only makes the supplier feel good; it also encourages further excellence and good service. When you write a letter of appreciation to a supplier, try to mention specifically the person or people you want to praise. Guest speakers at meetings should also be thanked, even if they have been paid an honorarium or their travel expenses. Letters of appreciations are also appropriate for acknowledging donations to campaigns or causes. They should usually include a few details about the success of the campaign or about how the donation is being used. &$ Activity D : Write the following letters, keeping the points mentioned in mind: i) a letter appreciating the good work done by your advertising agency.

i) a letter congratulating your dealer for having crossed the target set for the year.

7.6 SUMMARY Positive replies, favourable responses, responses to routine requests, positive information about people, good news about products and operations, and goodwill messages - these make up much of the daily business correspondences. Theirrjurrjose is to convey a message that readers will eithen^elcomex^r accept without s^ Some of the messages also encourage readers to take a specific action. Routine, good news and goodwill messages follow a direct approach plan, first, a clear statement of the news or main point, second, the necessary explanatory details, third, a warm and courteous close. Some include resale information or sales promotion, which are complimentary references to the writer's company and its products.

Unit 7 Writing Routine, Good News and Goodwill Messages

A sincere and courteous tone highlights the positive image that your messages seek to convey and helps maintain a warm business relationship.

7.7 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS Q. 1 Explain the process of organizing "direct requests". Q.2 What are the important points to remember while writing positive messages? Q.3 Explain various types of "positive replies" and their salient features. Q.4 Write explanatory note on the following: 1. Congratulations 2. Letters of appreciation Q.5 Indicate whether the following statements are 'true'(T) or 'false'(F): 1. The direct approach plan is also known as inductive plan. 2. Always begin a direct message with personal introduction. 3. Middle part of direct message explains the main point. 4. It is always good to thank the reader "in advance". 5. It is advisable to write a request to fellow-employee in memos. 6. Recommendation letters are generally handed to the candidates. g) Good news letter about selection for a job is a legal document. h) Acknowledgement letter also fosters "goodwill". i) Prospective customers often request an annual report. j) Letter of appreciation contributes to the person's future promotion. Q. 6 Give three examples of positive requests. Q, 7 Give three examples of letters giving negative news.

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8.1 INTRODUCTION
In the previous unit we explained that when the writer expects the reader to agree with the content of a message, it is best to present the message directly. However, you will encounter many other occasions when you are likely to expect resistance - for instance, when transmitting strong negative information or when persuading someone to act. If positive messages with direct approach are among the easiest to write, then those with negative information or persuasive contents are among the most difficult. The difficulty of writingnegative messageis because of their dual objectives:

To transmit bad news clearly ^


To maintain reader's goodwill "Q To accomplish either of the objectives is fairly easy; to accomplish both takes skill. Persuasive messages, too, are usually indirect messages because they try to overcome a reader's resistance.

8.2 OCCASIONS FOR NEGATIVE MESSAGES


Negative messages convey information that the audience will likely resist. Occasions for writing negative messages can be grouped into three broad categories:

211.

Writer-centred situations when a writer must give a negative response to a routine request that often requires his/her personal attention or participation. Reader-centred occurrences when a reader' s direct request for information, goods, or services, or persuasive request for action meets with a negative reply. Message-centred occasions when negative information must be conveyed about an organization's operations, performance, or products.

212.

213.

Following are the examples of occasions that call for negative messages: \ a) Writer-centred: Occasion when the writer must respond negatively: i) Expressing inability to honour routine requests, i) Declining invitations and requests for favours

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iii) Refusing to write letters of recommendation b) Reader-centred: Occasion when the writer or organization needs to address a reader's correspondence (inquiry, direct request, order, persuasive request) with negative message: i) Responding to an inquiry with negative answers ii) Providing negative information about an order placed by the reader ffi) Refusing to grant requested credit or to allow a claim, complaint, or adjustment c) Message-centred: Occasion when the organization must convey negative information about itself: i) Conveying bad news about goods and services ii) Revealing bad news about operations (changes in policy or procedure) iii) Providing negative information about company performance, reporting bad news internally about company performance. 83 INDIRECT APPROACH FOR PRESENTING NEGATIVE INFORMATION One important consideration in writing negative message is to avoid hurting someone's feelings. When composing bad news or negative message, you must address two basic questions: 213. What tone will best contribute to the effectiveness of the message?

214. What arrangement of the main idea and supporting data will ease the disappointment of the audience? a) What tone? In bad news or negative messages of any kind, you must try to adopt at tone that supports three specific goals: i) You want your audience to understand that your negative message represents a ; firm decision.

i) You want your audience to understand that under the circumstances, your decision is air and reasonable.

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iii) You want your audience to remain well disposed toward your business and, possibly, toward you. With right tone, you can make an unwelcome point while preserving the audience's ego. One key is to make liberal use of the "you" attitude. For example, point out how your decision might actually further the audience's goals, even though if first causes disappointment. Or, for instance, even if a person is at fault, assume that he/she is interested in being fair.

b) What arrangement?
When you write a negative message, you have a choice between using an inductive (direct) and using deductive (indirect) approach. The more common plan for meeting readerresistance in a negative message is indirect or inductive approach. Following are the conventional organizational components of indirect approach. i) Opening: contains detail that "buffers" or softens the bad news, i) Body: has the reasons for the bad news, or negative message iii) Statement: a clear and diplomatic statement of the negative decision iv) Close: a helpful and friendly attitude and positive close.

i) Opening:
The first step in using the indirect approach is to put the audience in an accepting mood my making a neutral, non-controversial statement closely related to the point of the message. Such a statement that puts the audience at ease is known as "buffer". Buffer is a device in the opening paragraph of a negative message that attempts to soften bad news.

There a various ways in which you could build buffers. Here are some: Agreement:
Find a point on which you and the reader share similar views. Example: "We both know how hard it is to make profit in this industry"

Appreciation:
Express sincere thanks for receiving something.

Example: "Your cheque for Rs. 10,0007- arrived yesterday. Thank you."

Unit 8 Writing Indirect Messages

Cooperation:
Convey your willingness to help in any way you can. Example: Employee services have been established to smoother the way for those who work to achieve the company's goals. t Praise: Find an attribute or an admirable breath of experience, which should serve you well as you progress in your career. Here are some other things to avoid when writing a buffer:

Avoid saying no:


If you say no at the beginning, the reader may not read the reasons for saying no with an open mind. Avoid Apologizing: An apology weakens your explanation for the unfavourable decision

Avoid using a "Know-it-all" tone:


Do not use phrases such as " You should be aware that..." This will cause resistance to your message, because it will sound as if you are lecturing the reader.

Avoid costing time:


If you spend time with irrelevant phrases or unnecessary detail, your reader may loose patience at the outset.

Avoid misleading the reader:


Indirection is not the same as misdirection. In using indirect approach to write your message avoid information that can misdirect the reader.

if) Body:
This forms the first part of the body of the negative message. It presents reasons to show 'at your decision is justifiable and fair. It is important to explain why you have reached ur decision before you state what the decision is. If you present your reasons effectively, ;y will help convince your audience that the decision is justified, fair, and logical.

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Some guidelines:

219.

Explain why you have made your negative decision before stating what the decision is. Make sure that your explanation is specific and related to the reader's particular situation.

220. 221.

Use only your strongest reasons in your explanation. Avoid hiding behind company policy and blaming or criticizing others; accept responsibility for the decision. Structure the explanation so mat it leads logically to the decisions. Use positive wording and tone. Remember to add "you" attitude.

222. 223.

In short, well-written reasons that ought to be incorporated in the body are:

222. 223. 224. 225. 226.

Detailed Tactful Individualized Unapologetic Positive

iii) Statement of Bad News So that the audience is psychologically prepared, the bad news should be the logical outcome of the reasons that come before it. The bad news or decision could be explicitly stated on implied, but in any case it must be clear. If the message is handled carelessly it may cause the audience to react emotionally. When constructing the bad news try to minimize its negative impact by:

1. Avoiding 'no' and 'not' 1. Subordinating the bad news in the sentence 2. Limiting the space devoted to the bad news 3. Embedding it in the middle of a paragraph

Unit 8 Writing Indirect Messages

iv) Close
You may choose to close a negative message with either an action close or positive close. Action close: is especially appropriate to negative message that specifies alternative action. Positive close: ends the message in prosperous note- i.e. including subtle and appropriate sales information. An upbeat, positive close:

1. builds goodwill 2. offers suggestion for action 3. provides a look toward the future
Whatever type of close you choose, observe these don'ts:

1. Don't refer to or repeat the bad news 2. Don't apologize for the decision

1. Don't encourage further communication ("if you have further questions, please write."),
unless you are really interested in discussing your decision further.

2. Don't anticipate problems, (example: "Should you have further problem, please let
us know")

^Activity A;
Business communicators should develop skills to say "no". Below are some negative sentences, which have to be restated, by avoiding the use of "you" and yet conveying the negative message:

I) I don't think I should remind you that the deadline for getting this information was last
Monday.

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b) No, I cannot write a letter of recommendation for you without knowing about your recent work in this area of specialisation.

c) You must realize that a person with your credit history is a poor risk for a loan of any amount over Rupees 25, OOO/-

8.4 CONVEYING BAD NEWS ABOUT ORDERS


For several reasons, businesses must sometimes convey bad news concerning orders. In writing to a would-be customer, you have three basic goals:

3. To work toward an eventual sale 4. To keep instructions or additional information as clear as possible 5. To maintain an optimistic, and confident tone so that your reader won't lose interest. 1. Back orders
Back orders refer to the message that you send your customer conveying either of the following: You are able to send only a part of the order. You are able to send none of the order. When sending only part of the order, you actually have both good news and bad news. In conveying such messages use the indirect approach. The buffer contains the good news about the order being delivered, along with a resale reminder. After the buffer come the reasons for the delay of the remaining shipment. A strong and positive close should encourage favourable attitude toward the total transaction.

Unit 8 Writing Indirect Messages

2. Substitutions
Once in a while, a customer will request something that you no longer sell or that is no longer produced. If you are sure the customer will approve a substitute product, then you may go ahead and send it. Otherwise, first send a letter offering substitute product and give the customer simple directions for ordering it. In either case, be careful to avoid calling the alternate product a 'substitute', because the term carries a negative connotation. In any of these cases use the indirect approach for your message. However, the challenge is greater when the substitute is more expensive than the original. You should be able to convince the customer that more expensive product can be of more use than the one ordered for. Explain to the customer of the extra salient features of the alternate product you are offering.

3. Orders that cannot be fulfilled


There will be times when you may not be able to fill an order either in part or with a substitute. In such case, use the indirect approach to say that you cannot fill an order at all. One good way to maintain customer's confidence in you and your company is to mention another source from which the ordered product could be obtained.

4. Checklist for bad news about orders


a) Overall Strategy i) Use indirect plan in most cases i) Use direct plan when the situation is routine b) Buffer i) Express appreciation for the specific order i) Extract a welcome to a new customer m) Avoid negative words iv) Use resale information on product ordered to build the customer's confidence in his/her choice. c) Reasons i) Avoid apologies

ii) Avoid expressions of regret

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iii) Explain the problem with unclear orders (give details, send photographs, brochures etc.) iv) Handle back orders carefully v) Reinforce the customer's confidence with a resale vi) Explain substitutions in detail vii) Explain why orders cannot be filled viii) Avoid hiding behind company policy. d) The bad news i) State the bad news as positively as possible ii) Stress the benefits of the decision to the reader. e) Positive, friendly, helpful close i) Explain the desired reader regarding action, as clearly and simply as possible ii) Make reader action as easy as possible iii) Use resale information to clinch the sale, especially for replies about unclear orders, back orders, and non-confirming orders iv) Adopt a tone to answer your customer of personal attention. $ Activity B : a) Using the indirect approach, organize "back order" letters to your customer informing them that you are unable to fulfill: i) Part of the order

ii) Complete order

Unit 8 Writing Indirect Messages

b) During your work experience did you have to deliver "bad news" to your dealers? How did you 'package' the message?

8.5 COMMUNICATING NEGATIVE ANSWERS AND INFORMATION In business transactions, occasionally, your response to inquiries must simply be 'no'. Many people do not know how to say no, without impacting personal relationships. It is a mark of your skill as a communicator to be able to say 'no' clearly yet not cut yourself off from future dealing with the other person. Depending upon your relationship with the reader, you could use either the direct approach or the indirect approach. Use the direct approach when your negative answer or information will have little personal impact, use the indirect approach in more sensitive situations. 1. Denying cooperation with routine requests When people ask you for information or want you to do something and you cannot honour the request, you may answer with either the direct plan or the indirect plan. Let us assume that you have requested South-Western Corporation to participate in a research project concerning sales promotion. South-Western Corporation, however, has a policy against passing out any information about projected sales figures. You get an answer from Southwestern Corporation: "This letter is to inform you South-Western Corporation has no interest in taking part in your Sales Management Techniques research project. In fact, our company has a policy that prohibits dissemination of any projected sales figures. Thank you for your interest in our organization. If we can help you in any other way, please let us know." This letter would offend most readers, for the following reasons: The direct plan is used, even though the reader is outside the company and may be emotionally involved in the response.

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1. The tone of the first paragraph is unnecessarily negative and abrupt 2. The phrase "has no interest in taking part" implies that the research is unimportant. 3. The writer hides behind a company policy 4. Cliches in the final paragraph (thank you for your interest; if we can help) undercut
any personal, friendly impact that the letter might have had.

2. Declining requests for favours:


Once more, the plan to use when saying 'no' to a requested favour depends your relationship with the reader. For example, suppose that the president of the local chamber of commerce asks you to speak at a luncheon five weeks away; however, you are scheduled for a business trip at the tune. If you do not know the president well, you would probably use the indirect approach: The buffer recaps the request and demonstrates respect Dear sir,The chamber of commerce has accomplished many worthwhile projects and I have always admired the local organization. Thank you for asking me to speak at your luncheon meeting next month. The reason for declining implies the bad news itself. As you know, as a manager, I have to plan the marketing for Unique Pharma Ltd., which involves quite a bit of travelling. In fact, I am scheduled to be in New Delhi on the day you asked me to speak The close suggests an alternative plan. Can you suggest an alternative date? Any Thursday during April could be fine for me. The opportunity to speak to your members would be most rewarding.

3. Refusing request for claims and complaints


In almost every instance, a customer who requests an adjustment is involved; therefore, the indirect approach is generally used for a reply. Your job as a writer is to avoid accepting responsibility for the unfortunate situation and yet avoid blaming or accusing the customer. In such instances the tone of your message is very important. Remember that a tactful and courteous letter can build goodwill while denying adjustment claims. For example, a customer who bought a garment finds out a month and a half later that the garment has split at the seam and now seeks for a refund of the purchase price. Your negative response should have the following:

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1. The buffer covers a point on which both writer and reader agree (appreciate the
choice of purchase your customer has made).

2. The reasons that put the company policy in a favourable light (inform that the company
allows refund for any damage within 30 days of purchase).

3. A positive alternative action should put the customer at ease, (inform that even though
the seam has split, yet it is reinforced with flexible cloth tape).

4. The close could add sales promotion that would interest the customer (by sending
brochures of garments of quality fashions). Sometimes claims for adjustment could be unreasonable and even outrageous, to which you may be tempted to respond harshly. Resist such temptations. If you don't, then the consequences would be unpleasant to all parties involved. In such cases, demonstrate understanding and tact.

8.6 PERSUASIVE MESSAGES


Persuasion is the process of influencing or changing attitudes, beliefs, values, or behaviour of your audience. We come across many persuasive messages in the form of requests for donations, firm trying to market its goods or services, someone wanting a proposed approved to market its goods and services, someone wanting a proposed approved, etc. In business context too, there are many occasions when the persuasive messages are needed. 1. Persuasive Goals Every persuasive message attempts to achieve one of the four broad objectives: a) Adoption Message of adoption attempts to persuade readers to start doing something. Adoption is the essence of most sales letters. b) Continuance Message of continuance urges the continuation of behaviour. Continuance is the basis for selling any ongoing service. Example magazines, journalssend letters to current subscribers trying to convince them to renew subscriptions.

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c) Discontinuance Message of discontinuance are those persuasive messages that encourage customers to discontinue certain pattern of behaviour. For example, encouraging credit customers to make payment on delinquent accounts. In effect these messages are asking the customers to stop avoiding payment. d) Deterrence Message of deterrence tries to prevent an action from taking place. For instance, an important client is considering moving his/her account to a different company. A deterrence letter might be written to convince the client that the move is not wise.

2. Persuasive appeals
Effectively used, persuasive techniques work simultaneously on these levels. Persuasive messages appeal to the reader's sense of reasoning, establish credibility of the document, and evoke an emotional response from the reader. a) Persuading through Reasoning Persuasive documents try to convince readers to accept a particular point of view through the logical presentation of evidences. They thus involve act of reasoning - i.e. using available evidence to reach a conclusion. b) Persuading through credibility Credibility is a degree to which a statement, a person, and/or a company are perceived to be ethical, believable, trustworthy, competent, responsible and sincere. Although you cannot control exactly how others will perceive a message, you can use various techniques to influence how people perceive the document that you actually write. Your credibility is enhanced when your document focuses on customer benefits instead of dwelling on features of the product, proposal or idea. Level of credibility can often be raised through the use of testimonials-words of praise for a firm or its products or an idea attributable to someone whose name or reputation the reader respects.

Unit 8 Writing Indirect Messages

c) Persuading with emotion In many situations, emotions remain the most powerful persuasive factor. Where logical arguments sometimes fail, emotions often have the power to motivate people to respond and act. One way to determine the most effective emotional appeal is to analyse readers according to the hierarchy of needs. Emotionally appeals can also focus on emotions such as hope, pleasure, pride, honour courage, respect, and responsibility. For example, in a memo urging the consolidation of two departments, a writer may focus on both the courage that it takes to make such a difficult decision and the responsibility needed for the progress of the company. In some cases, emotional appeals are chosen to arouse negative feelings like fear or anxiety. A pest control service, for instance, may stress the extent of damage termites can cause and emphasize the fact that homeowners should investment in prevention rather than repairs. 3. Preparing to write a persuasive message Because persuasive message aim to influence an audience that is inclined to resist, they depend heavily on strategic planning. Before you begin to write a persuasive message, ask yourself: 224. 225. 226.
What you are writing about?

What audience you are writing to? What you want to happen as a result?

a) Appealing to the audience i) Needs and appeals People have many needs, and are motivated by their needs. Some needs are more important than the others. In writing messages appealing to the needs will bring about the desired affect. For example, you supervise someone who consistently arrives late for work. Once you have analysed the need that motivates the person to arrive late, you can craft an appeal ("hook") that will make him/her interested in your message about changing his/her behaviour. It is essential to analyse your audience and then construct a message that will appeal to their needs.

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ii) Emotion and logic When people's needs are not met, they are likely to respond emotionally. For example, a person whose need for self-esteem is not fulfilled would respond to the tone of respect in a message. Or for instance, such a person receives a letter of collection of dues in which there is a hint that the person is considered dishonourable; the message will have adverse affect. Persuasive messages make use of the emotions surrounding certain words, such as freedom, success, prestige, credit record etc., which help put the audience in a certain frame of mind that helps them to accept the message. in) Credibility Without credibility, your skilful use of needs, appeals, emotions and logic may seem to be nothing more than manipulation. It is especially important for a sceptical or hostile audience to believe that you know what you are talking about and that you are not trying to mislead anyone. One of the best ways to gain credibility is to support your message with facts. Testimonials, documents, guarantees, statisticsjreseacch results, and the like all provide seemingly objective evidence for what you have to say ancTthus make yourmessage more credible! If you demonstrate the following characteristics, your audience will more readily believe about you say:

228. 229. 230. 231. 232. 233. 234. 235.

Enthusiasm Objectivity Sincerity Expertise Good intentions Trustworthiness Similarity Semantics

How do you let an audience know, for instance, that you are enthusiastic or trustworthy? The choice of words can do that job for you. The words you choose for your message say much more than their dictionary meaning.

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Take for example, the use of words such as useful, beneficial, and advantageous in the following sentences: He suggested a useful compromise (The compromise enabled the parties to get to work.) He suggested a beneficial compromise (The compromise not only resolved the conflict but also had a positive effect, perhaps for both the parties) He suggested an advantageous compromise (The compromise benefited him or his company more that it benefited the other party) Another way that semantics can affect persuasive messages is in the varieties of meanings that people attribute to certain words. Because abstractions refer to things that people cannot experience with their senses, they are subject to interpretation. For example, you may be able to sell more flags by appealing to people's patriotism (which may be interpreted in many ways) than by describing the colour and size of the flags. b) Organizing persuasive messages Persuasion requires the indirect approach, often a specialized one called AIDA - i.e. (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) Plan. i) Attention Begin every persuasive message with a statement that catches attention. Your statement for attention should be:

1. Personalized 1. You- oriented 2. Not extravagant 2. Relevant


Interest In the section include:

1. Opening theme in quarter detail

2. Benefits specifically to the one getting attention

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iii) Desire In the desire section:

3. Provide relevant evidence to prove your claim 4. Draw attention to any enclosures
iv) Action End by:

3. Describing precisely what you would like to happen 4. Restating how the audience will benefit by acting as you wish 5. Making action easy
JS$ Activity C: a) As the President of the Students' Welfare Association, you have been entrusted with the task of organizing an inter-college event. This event would require funds, for which you have to get sponsors. Write letter to a big business house persuading them to sponsor the event.

b) Take any advertisement that you like and try and figure out how the communication \ works. Do you find the AID A pattern working there? [

8.7 WRITING SALES LETTERS By and large, specialized and highly skilled professionals write sales letters. Sales letters come in a variety of sizes, with enclosures or without. They can have messages from a single individual to another, or they can be mass mailings from one company to many

Unit 8 Writing Indirect Messages

consumers. The common factor, however, is their attempt to motivate people to spend money or to patronize an organization. In some countries sales letters are considered as legal contracts, so one has to be very careful in making offers that cannot be delivered. Also making false statement in a sales letter is considered as fraud, so avoid misrepresenting the price, quality, or performance capability of a product. Using a person's name, photograph, or other identity in a sales letter without permission constitutes invasion of privacy. Therefore, planning a sales letter requires professional skills. To maintain the highest standards of business entries, you must make every attempt to persuade without manipulating.
1. Prewriting

The three steps involved in planning a sales letter are similar to those involved in planning any persuasive message: 1. Determine the main idea (in sales letters, it revolves around a selling point and related benefits) 2. Define the audience 3. Plan the approach and format a) Determine the main idea Selling points are the most attractive features of a product; consumer benefits are the particular advantages that buyers will realize from those features. Therefore, the first step in writing any sales letter is to take a good look at the product. Once you have a completed file on the product, you must think of how its features can help potential buyers. You should determine which are the most appealing features so that you can direct your audience's attention to them. b) Defining the audience The most persuasive sales letters are written to appeal to a specific audience. When analysing an audience of individual consumers, marketers refer to demographics andpsychographics.

Business Communication

1. Demographics: Age, gender, education, occupation, and income 2. Psychographics: Personality', personality, attitude, and life-style.

The purpose of collecting these data about your audience, is to form a mental image of the typical buyer for the product you wish to sell. c) Planning the format and approach Once you have decided what and say and whom to say now you must decide on how to say it. You will have to decide on whether to send just a letter, or also enclose brochures, samples, response cards etc. What kind of stationary should be used must also be decided. You will also need to decide whether to reply on a single mailing or multi mailing campaign. All these decisions depend on the audience you are trying to reach. 2. Preparing the copy As seen earlier, sales letters are prepared according to the AIDA plan used for persuasive messages. a) Attention There are many devices for getting attention, which are commonly used in sales letters. i) Some genuine news tf) Personal appeal to the reader' s emotions and values in) Most attractive features and the associated benefits iv) Sample of the product v) Provocative questions vi) Solution to a problem b) Interest

To generate in your reader, emphasize the central selling point. To determine your product's central selling point, ask: i) What does the competition offer?

Unit 8 Writing Indirect Messages

ii) What is special about my product? 1) What are potential buyers looking for? c) Desire 0 Highlighting benefits: Selling points coupled with "you" attitude amounts to benefits. Determine the central selling point will help you to define the benefits to potential buyers. The benefit to the potential buyer could be framed in "your" statements. ii) Using action terms: Active words give force to any business message and are especially important in sales letters. Also make use of colourful verbs and adjectives; however, do not overload it. For example, "Your factory floors will sparkle like diamonds" is hard to believe and may prevent the reader from believing the rest of your message. Hi) Talking about price: You can prepare readers for your product's price by subtle choice and arrangement of words. Price of the product is a complicated issue and often a sensitive one. Whether the price is highlighted or downplayed, your entire letter should prepare the reader for it. If the price is an attractive feature, emphasize it by displaying it prominently To de-emphasize price:

232. 233. 234.

Bury actual figures in the middle of a paragraph near the end Mention benefits and favourable money aspects before the actual price Compare the price with the cost of some other product.

d) Motivating action
The overriding purpose of a sales letter is to get the reader to do something. Many consumer products are sold through the mail by asking the customers for a cheque -i.e. an immediate decision to buy. Try to persuade readers to take action immediately. You need to convince them that they must act now. Many sales letter offer easy payment mode, or free trial etc. The main purpose of the sales letter is to help the potential customers to make immediate decision and act.

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3. Checklist for sales letters a) Planning the direct mail package


i) Determine the specific purpose of the mailing n) Define selling points and consumer benefits in) Analyse the audience, using demographic and psychographic information iv) Plan the approach and format v) Present every element of your package

b) Attention dL
~jR i) Design a positive opening n) Promise a benefit to the reader in) Write an opening that is appropriate, interesting, and relevant to the central selling point. iv) Design an opening that will catch the attention of the reader

c) Interest
i) State information clearly, vividly, and persuasively and relate it to the reader's concerns. n) Develop the central selling point, in) Feature the product in two ways:

1. Physical description and 2. Consumer Benefit. d) Desire


i) Enlist one or more appeals to support the central selling point, ii) Anticipate and answer the reader's questions and objection, in) Use an appropriate form of proof to support your selling points, iv) Provide enclosures along with the selling point.

Unit 8 Writing Indirect Messages

e) Action i) State clearly the action you desire ii) Use techniques to make action easy (Example: Mail-back reply card) iii) Provide specific details on how to order and other necessary information iv) Offer a special benefit to help the consumer to act. 8.8 SUMMARY j^ The purpose of a bad news message is to convey unfavourable information without alienating the audience. o accomrjlisji both these goals, you must first consider the audience's point of view; if possible, explain how bad news can work to the advantage of the reader. Bad news or negative message is based on either the direct approach or indirect approach depending upon the circumstances.*-^ \_ fcgS^ ^\ The indirect approach begins with atbuffej/and moves to the reasons and closes with a ordial note. The purpose ofthepersuasive message is to influence attitudes and actions. Persuasive techniques are especially important for an audience that may not completely agree with you or gain any direct benefits from doing as you ask. You can motivate an audience to do as you wish by using theAIDAplan for organizing persuasive messages. Arreo^ / j^r^T, f>s*&( f^r^f Persuasive messages are used in many business contexts, including requests for action. 8.9 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS _ Q, 1 Explain the occasions for negative messages. Q.2 Discuss the various steps involved in indirect approach for presenting negative. messages 03 Describe the various persuasive appeals.

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9.1 INTRODUCTION Reports come in many different shapes and sizes. There are formal reports and informal reports. There are news report and technical reports routine reports and special reports. But they all belong to one of the two main types: status reports and decision reports. A status report describes things, people, and events. It tells us what things are or were like, or what happened. It gives us information and occasionally, analysis. It satisfies our need to know. A decision report, on the other hand, gives the person receiving the report a set of options based on an analysis of a problem and relevant facts. There may even be a clear recommendation with sufficient justification for the person to choose one of those options and act. The objective of decision reports is to help reporters take informed decisions. Business reports are like bridges spanning time and space. Organizations use them to provide a formal, verifiable link among people, places and time. Some reports are needed for internal communication; others are vehicles for corresponding with outsiders. Some are required as a permanent record; others are needed to solve an immediate problem or to answer a passing question. Reports are essentially management tool. Many move upward through the chain of command to help managers monitor the various units in the organization; some move downward to explain management decisions to lower-level employees responsible for day-to-day operations. The term 'report' covers a variety of documents ranging from pre-printed forms to brief, informal letter and memos to formal manuscript of hundreds of pages. 9.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD BUSINESS REPORTS The goal in developing a report is to make the information as clear and convenient as possible. Because of the constraints of time you tell the readers what they need to know and present the information in a way that is geared to their needs. Although reports vary widely in purpose and often in the audience they are written for, all good reports have at least three things in common:

1. The information is accurate. 2. The content shows the writer's good judgment. 3. The format style and organization respond to the reader's needs.

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

1. Accuracy
The first thing a business report writer must learn is how tell the truth. Unfortunately, telling the truth is not always a simple matter. We all see reality a little differently and describe it in a unique way. The following guidelines will help reduce the distortions resulting from differences in perception.

1. Describe facts or events in concrete term. 2. Report all the relevant facts. 3. Put the facts in perspective. 4. Give plenty of evidence for your conclusions. 5. Present only valid evidence and supportable conclusions. 6. Keep your personal biases in check.

2. Good Judgment
Some things simply do not belong in a report, whether or not try they are true. You can do both yourself and your organization a great deal of harm by being indiscreet. So you should not include anything in a report that might jeopardize you or your organization. You should also remember that managers have distinct preferences when it comes to report. They particularly dislike personal criticism, alibis, attempts to blame someone else, incomplete data, uncalled for opinions, and attempts to bypass them through distributions of the documents. In other words, keep "politics" out of your reports; provide a clear, direct accounting of the facts. Managers tend to like five things:

1. Getting the main idea at the beginning of the reports. 2. Seeing the facts. 3. Receiving the whole story. 4. Reading language they can understand. 5. Learning something that will make their jobs easier.

3. Responsive Format, Style and Organization


Select a format, a style, and an organization that reflect the reader's need. Before you write, you have to decide whether to use letter, memo, or manuscript format; whether

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to group the ideas one way or another; and whether to employ a formal or informal style. All these decisions revolve around the reader's needs. In thinking about these issues, ask yourself the following question and tailor the report accordingly:

Who initiated the report?


Voluntary reports, prepared on your own initiative require more details and justifications than authorized reports, which are prepared at the request of another person.

What subject does the report cover?


The subject of a business report affects its vocabulary and format. When both writer and reader are familiar with the subject and share the same background, the writer does not need to define terms or explain basic concepts.

When is the report to be prepared?


Routine reports submitted on a report basis(daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually) requires less introduction and transitional material than do special, nonrecurring reports that deal with unique situations.

Where is the report being sent?


Internal reports, prepared for use within the organization, are generally less formal than external reports, which are sent to people in other organizations. Many internal reports, especially lass than ten pages, are written in memo format. External reports, on the other hand, may be in the letter format if they are no longer than five pages.

Why is the report being prepared?


Informational reports focus on facts; analytic reports include analysis, interpretation, conclusions and recommendations. Informational reports are organized around subtopics; analytical reports are organized to highlight conclusions, recommendations or reasons.

How receptive is the audience?


When the reader is likely to agree with the content of the report, the material is presented in direct order i.e. key findings, conclusions, and recommendations. If the reader has reservations about the report, the material is presented in indirect order i.e. starting with the details

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

9.3 PLANNING SHORT REPORTS When planning short reports, your audience, purpose, and subject matter n-mct bf considered. Each of these three elements influences the format and length of your report, as well as its basic structure. 1. Deciding on Format and Length The person who requests the document may make decisions about the format and length of your report or memo for you. However, if you have some leeway, your decisions should be based on your reader's needs. In selecting a format for your report, you have four options: a) Preprinted Form Basically preprinted forms are for "fill in the blank" reports. Use this format when the person authorizing the report requests it. b) Letter For reports of five or less than five pages that are directed to people outside the organization the format of a letter is sufficient. They may have headings, footnotes, tables and figures. c) Memo This is the most common format for short (less than ten pages), informal reports distributed within an organization. Memos have headings at the top: "Date", "To", "From", "Subject", " "~~ d) Manuscript Manuscript format is required for reports (from few pages to several hundred pages) that require a formal approach. As~the length increases, reports in manuscript format require more elements i.e. preface, supplementary material. Length of your report depends on the following factors 1. Subject: if the subject is non-routine or controversial, you generally have to explain your points in greater detail. 2. Purpose: if the information is routine and uncomplicated then the length will be shorter than complicated issues.

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Relationship with readers: if your readers are relative strangers, if they are
sceptical or hostile, you will require more space to get around them while writing the report.

2. Establishing A Basic Structure


In addition to deciding on format and length, you have to decide on the basic structure of your report. Choice of structure involves three decisions:

1. What to say? 2. Direct or indirect order? 3. Topical or logical organization? a) Key points to cover [What to say?]
Your report should answer the key question of your audience. In most situations, the audience has one main question of greatest importance. For example: "Why are we loosing sales?" or "Is it a good investment?"

1. The reason to write the report is to answer the main question. Once you
have defined the main question you can sketch a general answer, based on the information available.

2. The next step is to determine additional questions your audience is likely to


ask based on the main question. As this chain of questions and answers proceed, the points multiply and become more specific, hi carrying out this exercise you could have defined the content of your report.

3. The question and answer chain clarifies the main idea of the report and
establishes the flow of ideas from the general to the specific. All effective reports and presentations are constructed in this way, with a mix of broad concepts and specific details.

4. Routine and problem solving messages are heavy on details and analytical
and problem solving messages are heavy on generalizations out of all the information and relate them to the needs of the audience. b) Direct versus indirect order Audience attitude is the basis for decisions about organization of a report.

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

When the audience is considered either receptive or open minded you should use the direct approach i.e. emphasize your key findings, conclusions and recommendations. This approach, which is most common for business reports, enables readers to get the main idea of the report at the outset, which saves time and makes the rest of the report easier to follow. If your audience is sceptical or hostile, you may want to adapt indirect $jb _or3^1norganizing your report. With this approved, you introduce the Aj complete findings and supporting details before the conclusions and recommendation, which usually come last. The indirect approach gives you a chance to prove your paints and gradually overcome your audience's reservations. Indirect approach allows you to weigh the evidence objectively without prejudging the facts of the case. It also allows the audience to gradually draw their conclusions when they have access to all the facts. c) Division of ideas Regardless of whether you use the direct or the indirect approach, you must still deal with the question of how your ideas will be grouped and developed. Table 9.1 Factors Affecting Report Format, Style, and Organization Factors Possibilities Implications For Format, Style, and Organization WHO originates it? Voluntary reports prepared on the writer's own initiative Authorized reports prepared at the request of another person Requires plenty of introductory information to explain purpose of the report.

Requires less introductory material than voluntary reports; should be organized to respond to the reader's request. WHAT subject does it cover? Sales reports, compensation policies, affirmative action plans, engineering proposals, research studies, progress reports Presentation dictated by characteristics of subject (for example, detailed statistical information summarized in tabular form)

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Factors Possibilities Implications For Format, Style, and Organization WHEN is it prepared? Routine, recurring reports prepared on daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis Special, nonrecurring reports prepared on response to unique situation Require standard format that facilitates comparisons from one period to next; need relatively little background and transitional information Do not need standardization; require plenty of background and transitional material WHERE is it sent? Internal reports prepared for use within the organization External reports sent to people outside the organization Can be relatively informal; written in memo or manuscript format Should be relatively formal in tone; written in letter or manuscript format WHY is it prepared? Informational reports providing facts Analytical reports providing analysis, interpretation, conclusions, and often recommendations Organized around subtopics Organized around conclusions or recommendations or logical arguments HOW will it be received? Receptive readers Sceptical or hostile readers Arranged in direct order Arranged in indirect order

198 Source: John V. Thill & Courtland L. Bovee, Excellence in Business Communication, McGraw-Hill, Inc. New York 1991 9.4 ORGANIZING SHORT REPORTS In the process of organizing reports the key is to decide first whether the purpose of the receipt is to provide chiefly information or analysis. From there, your can choose an organizational plan that suits your topic and goals. A) Organizing Information Memos And Reports The purpose of informational reports is to explain something in straightforward terms. Informational reports have several uses in business that include:

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

1.
Monitoring and controlling operations.

2. Statements of policies and procedures. 3. Reports on the organization's compliance with Government requirement. 4. Personal activity reports.
In writing informational reports, you usually do not have to worry too much about reader reaction because readers will presumably respond unemotionally to your material. Hence, you can present your report in the most direct manner possible. However, you must present the information accurately and in a logical manner.

1. Periodic Reports
Periodic reports are internal reports that describe what has happened in a department during a particular period. The purpose of these recurring documents, which are sometimes called status reports, is to provide a picture of how things are going so that the, manager will be upto-date and can take corrective actions if necessary. Periodic reports are usually written in memo format and do not need much introduction. Most periodic reports follow this sequence in organization:

1. Overview of routine responsibilities: A brief description of activities related to


each of the writer's responsibilities.

2. Discussion of special projects: A description of any new or special projects


undertaken during the reporting period.

3. Plans for the coming period: A schedule of activities planned for the next reporting
period.

4. Analysis of problems: Although often included in the overview of routine or


special activities, problem analysis is sometimes put in a separate section to call to access that may require high-level intervention.

2.

Personal Activity Reports


Personal activity reports, often irrthe form of brief iranies, describes the facts and

decisions that emerged during conventions, conference, trips or business meetings. They are intended to inform the management of any important information or decisions that emerged from the meetings.

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Because they are non-recurring documents, they require more of an introduction than a periodic report does. They are often organized chronologically, but some are organized according to topics that reflect the reader's interests.

B) Organizing Analytical Reports


Analytical reports differ from informational reports in their purpose and thus, in their organization. The purpose of an analytical report is to convince the reader that the conclusions and recommendations developed in the text are valid. They include justification reports, research reports, client proposals, and troubleshooting reports. In informational report, the focus of attention is the information itself. On the other hand, in analytical reports, information plays a supporting role. Analytical reports are generally written to respond to special circumstances. One common aim of all analytical reports is to guide the reader toward a decision.

1. Justification Report
Justification reports are internal proposals used to persuade top management to aggroyean investment or a project. When the reader is concerned about what action tolakeTu^recolmiOTdationsastrre main points. This structure is extremely efficient because it focuses the reader's attention on what needs to be done. You can use a similar approach when you are asked to analyse a problem or are opportunity and draw conclusions, rather than provide recommendation.

2. New Business Proposal To An Outside Client


Proposals to outside clients are attempts to get products, plans or projects accepted by outside businesses or Government clients. There also take a direct approach, but instead oTofganizing arou!iarcolicTusionsr6r recommendations, it is organized around the statement of a problem and its solutions.

3. Troubleshooting Report
Whenever a problem exists, someone must investigate it and propose a solution. A troubleshooting report is a decision-oriented document prepared for submission to top management. When you want your readers to concentrate on why your ideas make sense, your best way is to let your logical arguments provide the structure for your report. By using reasons as the main tool, you can gradually build a case for your conclusions and recommendations.

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

Organizing an analytical report around a list of reasons that collectively support your main conclusions and recommendations is a natural approach to take. Many problems are solved this way, and readers tend to accept the gradual accumulation of evidence, even though they may question one or two points.

^Activity A;
a) Identify the factors that you would take into consideration (with respect to format, style and organization) while preparing an appraisal report for a supervisor.

b) Select a product you are familiar with, and imagine that you are the manufacturer trying to get a local retail outlet to sell your product. Write a sales proposal.

9.5 PLANNING AND ORGANIZING LONG / FORMAL REPORTS PS Atkinson & Helen Reynolds, in their book, Business Writing and Procedures, define formal report as that which "presents in organized from the information that has been requested by an authorized person". Long or formal reports are those, which scientists, engineers, business executives and administrators haVe to write as a part of their duty. Such reports are the result of careful investigation, sound thinking, logical organization, and clear writing and they are presented in a conventional form. Following are the points, which have been identified by R C Sharma and Krishna Mohan that constitute the definition of report: A report is a formal statement of facts or information or an account of something.

It is presented in a conventional form


* It is written for a specific audience.

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1. It includes information about the procedures of collecting data and the significance of
such data.

2. It contains conclusions reached by the writer. 3. It often includes recommendations


The steps for planning and organizing formal reports are:

1. Identify the problem 2. Decide on areas to investigate 3. Determine the scope of the report 4. Plan the research or data gathering 5. Develop a preliminary outline 6. Collect the data 7. Analyse data, draw conclusions, and make recommendations. Step No.l: Defining the problem
The first step is to identify the problem to be studied and the objectives of the report. In other words, you should develop a clear written statement of the purpose of your report. Often, the person who authorizes the report defines the problem for you. However, to understand exactly what is required find out the objectives of the report. Once you have asked some preliminary questions, you should develop a clear written statement. Then double-check this statement with the person who authorized the study. The statement may be expressed as:

An Infinitive Phrase:
Example: The purpose of the report is to determine if the accounting department needs new computers.

A Question:
Example: This report seeks to answer the question "Does the accounting department need new computer?"

A Statement:
Example: This report will determine if the accounting department needs new computers.

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

Regardless of which from you choose for your statement, be sure to make the goal of the investigation clear so that you will not be side tracked into irrelevant issues. Step No.2 : Outlining Issues for analysis This step in report writing has to do with the outline of the issues you plan to study. To organize the research effort, you need to break the problem into a series of specific questions. This process of breaking the problem into series of questions is called "factoring". The process of outlining the issues for analysis enables you to solve a problem methodically. a) Developing a Logical Structure Since any subject can be factored in many ways, your task is to choose the most logical method, the one that makes the most sense. Begin by looking carefully at the purpose of your study. Logical structuring is used for informational assignments and analytical assignments. Both these are structured differently. It should however, be remembered that many assignments require both information and analysis.

Informational assignments :
General goal is to provide information, which someone else will interpret. Studies that lead to factual reports with very little analysis or interpretation are generally factored on the basis of subtopics dealing with specific subjects. These subtopics can be outlined.

1. In order of importance 2. Sequentially 3. Chronologically 4. Spatially (studying a physical object-left, right, top, etc)

1. Geographically 2. Categorically (sales, profit, cost, investments)


These methods of subdivision are commonly used in preparation of policies and procedures, compliance report, monitor/ control reports.

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Table 9.2: Logically Structured Outline Based on Problem-Solving Method

Factored on the basis of hypotheses Problem : Why are we having problem hiring Secretaries? 1. Salaries are too low. a. What do we pay our secretaries? b. What do comparable companies paytheir secretaries? c. How important is pay in influencing secretaries' job choice? 2. Our location is poor. a. Are we accessible by public transportation and major roads? b. Is the area physically attractive? c. Are housing costs affordable? d. Is crime a problem? 3. The supply of secretaries is diminishing. a. How many secretaries were available five years ago as opposed to now? b. What was the demand for secretaries five years ago as opposed to now?

Factored on the basis of relative merits Problem: Where do we build a new store? 1. Construction costs a. Location A b. Location B c . Location C 2 . Labour availability a. Location A b. Location B c. Location C 3. Transportation facilities a. Location A b. Location B c. Location C

Note : In the above outline the factoring of the problem is done on the basis of hypotheses

Note : In the above outline the factoring of the problem is done on the basis of

(1,2,3)

alternatives (1,2,3)

Source : Adapted from. J V Thill and C L Bovee, Excellence in Business Communication

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

Analytical Assignments Studies that result in reports containing analyses, conclusions and recommendations are generally categorized by a problem-solving method.

1. When the problem is to discover causes, predict results, or find a solution to a


problem, then studies may be factored on the basis of hypotheses.

2. When the problem is to evaluate various alternatives, then the studies may be
factored on relative merits. b) Following the Rules of Division Follow the rules of division to ensure that your study will be organized in a logical and systematic way. Scholars have developed a concise set of rules for dividing an idea into components:

3. Choose a significant and useful basis or guiding principle for the division. 4. When subdividing a whole into its parts, restrict yourself to one basis at a time. 5. Make sure that each group is separate and distinct. Be through when listing all the components of a whole.
c) Preparing a Preliminary Outline As you go through the factoring process, you may want to use an outline format to represent the logical flow and systematic grouping of your ideas. Organize your study by preparing a detailed preliminary outline, which gives you a convenient frame of reference for your investigation. Detailed outline serves well:

1. When you are one of several people working on an assignment. 1. When your investigation will be extensive and will involve many sources and
many types of data.

2. When the person who requested the study will may revise the assignment during
the course of your investigation (and you can keep track of the changes) Two widely used systems of outlining are the alphanumeric system and the decimal system.

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Table 9.3

Alphanumeric I.
A.

Decimal 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2.0

B.

1.

1.2.1

2.

1.2.2

a.

b.

3.

1.4.1

C.

1.4.2

II. A. 2.1 2.2

2.2.1

Source : Adapted from J V Thill and C L Bovee, Excellence in Business Communication Step No.3: Preparing The Work Plan

Once you have defined the problem and outlined the issues for analysis, you are ready to establish a work plan based on your preliminary outline. When you are conducting a lengthy formal study, the work plan should be quite detailed because it well guides the performance of many tasks over a span of time. Moreover, most proposals require a detailed work plan, which becomes the basis for a contract if the proposal is accepted. A formal work plan might include the following items. 1. Statement of the problem. 2. Statement of the purpose and scope of your investigation. 3. Discussion of the sequence of tasks to be accomplished (indicating sources of information, required experiments or observations, and any restrictions on time, money, or available data)

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3. Description of the end products that will result from the investigation (such as report,
plans, operating improvements or tangible products)

4. Review of project assignments, schedules and resource requirements (indicating who


will be responsible for what, when tasks will be completed, and how much the investigation will cost).

Step No.4 : Doing the Research


The value of your report depends on the quality of the information it is based on. So when the time covers to gather information your first concern is to get organized. Your work plan will be a big help during the research effort. The work plan should contain a list of the primary and secondary sources you will consult.

a) Reviewing Secondary Sources


Secondary sources are second-hand reports. Even though you may plan to rely heavily on primary sources (firsthand reports), you are wise to begin your study with a through review of information that has already been collected. This literature is usually in the form of books, periodical and reports. Secondary sources offer material that can form the background of your investigation and analysis. It gives a theoretical and conceptual from of reference to your research. Your objective should be to give as accurate and as through report as possible.

b) Collecting Primary Data


When the information you need is not available from secondary sources, you have to collect and interpret the data yourself by doing primary research. You must go into the real world to gather information through your own efforts. The four main ways to collect primary data are.

Examine Documents
In business, a great deal of information is filed away for future reference. Your own company files may provide you with accurate, factual historical records that you cannot obtain anywhere else. Business documents that quality as primary data include sales reports prepared by field representatives, balance sheets, income statements, correspondence with various parties, contracts and logbooks. Besides company files, government and legal documents are primary sources as well, because they represent a decision made by those present at some official proceedings.

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Observations
Observations make use of your five senses and your judgment in the process of investigation. Informal observations are a rather common source of primary data in business. Many reports, for instance, are based on the writer's visit to a site to observe operations. More objective information can be gathered through formal observations because the researcher has predetermined points that needs to be observed. The decision to observe, which is predetermined, is based on the purpose of the study. For example, if you are conducting a study on the sales performance of your company, you would look only for those behaviour of the employees on the shop floor during certain specific operation observation is a useful technique when you are studying objects, physical activities, processes, the environment, or human behaviour.

Surveys
A common way to conduct primary research is to interview well-qualified experts. The best way to obtain answers to your questions is to ask people who have relevant experience and opinions. Such surveys include every thing from a single interview to the distribution of hundreds of questionnaires. A formal survey is a way of finding out what a cross-section of people think about something. Aformal survey requires a number of important decisions.

1. Should you use face-to-face interviews, phone calls or printed questionnaires? 2. How many individuals should you contact to get results that are reliable, and
who should those people be?

What specific questions should you ask in order to get a valid picture?
Your answers to those questions have a profound effect on the results of your survey. One of the most critical elements of a survey is the questionnaire. To develop a questionnaire, begin by making a list of the points you are trying to determine. Then break these points into specific questions, choosing an appropriate type of question for each point. The questions could take any of the following forms:

1. Open-ended 2. Either-or

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

1. Multiple Choice 2. Scale


e) Checklist 1) Ranking g) Fill in the blanks. The following hints will help in preparing the questionnaires:

235. 236. 237.

Provide clear instructions so that the respondents know exactly how to fill out the questionnaire.

Each question should be clearly framed and should seek to elicit the fill out the questionnaire. Keep the questionnaire short and easy to answer. It should be precise and not vague.

238.

Avoid leading questions-questions that suggest or anticipate answers and thus either condition or prejudice the respondent's mind. Do not ask any questions that may embarrass the respondent.

239.

1. Arrange your questions in a logical order. 1. Pre-test the questionnaire on a sample group to identify questions that are subject to
misinterpretation. ! Activity B; Design a questionnaire for any topic you may want to find out more information about.

Experiments

Although some general business questions justify the need for experiments, their use is for more common in technical fields. An experiment requires extensive manipulation of the factors involved. Nevertheless, experiments do have their place. Hawthorne Experiment is a classic example of the use of the use of experiments in business field.

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The aim in conducting an experiment is to keep all variables the same except for the one you are testing. In other words, you have to be careful to control those factors you are not testing. Step No.5 : Analysing Data Once you have completed your research you have to analyse your findings. The analytical process is essentially a search for relationships among the facts and evidence you have compiled. By looking at the data from various viewpoints, you attempt to detect patterns that will help you to answer the question of your work plan. You analyse results by calculating statistics, drawing reasonable conclusions, and developing a set of recommendations. a) Calculating Statistics One important aspect in research is to quantity your findings. Testing of variables involve quantifying i.e. information that you compile during the research phase will be in numerical form. If your research does not involve measurable variables then your findings will not be credible. Once the factual data is precise, measurable, and objective they are credible. Statistical information in its raw form is of little particle value. It must be manipulated so that you and your readers can interpret its significance. i) Averages : One useful way of looking at data is to find the averages, which is 'one number' that represents a group of members. The same set of data can be used to produce three kinds of averages: mean, median and mode. Mean: Also known asJarithmetic mean^ which is a value that is computed by dividing the sum of a set of terms by the number of terms. Median: It is a value, in an ordered set ofyaluesjbelow andaboyewhich there are equal number of values. Or the average (arithmetic mean) of the middle values if time is no one middle value. Mode: It refers to the most frequent value of a set of data. For example, we want to consider the sales booked by a group of mine sales representatives over one month. a*

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

Sales Person Sharma. Gupta Kulkarni Kadam Chopra Jadhav Menon fillai Nikam

Sales (in Rupees) 3000 5000 6000 7000 7500 8500 8500 8500 9000 Mean Median Mode Mode Mode

63, 000 Functions of the three types of averages :

Mean is useful when you to compare one item or individual with the group.
However, this type of average could be misleading if one of the number is extreme. For example, in this case the mean is 7000; but if Nikam's sales figure were Rs.27,0007- then the mean would be 9000 in which case Sharma's figure of Rs.3000 would look even worse.

1. Medium is useful when one (or a few) of the numbers is extreme. For example,
even if Nikam's sales figure was 27,000, yet the middle figure of the list shows 7500. When the median is used for comparing the sales of other members, the extreme figure of Nikam would not influence it.

2. Mode is very commonly used. It is the figure that occurs more often than other
figures. It is useful in determining the most common level (here sales). For example, if you wanted to know what level of sales was most common, you could answer with the mode.

ii) Trends
If you were supervising the work of your sales force, you would be tempted to make some important personal decisions based on a month's sales figure. However, it would be a wise decision if you would compare the sales figure of the

present month with the sales performance over a period of time. Doing this would mean that you are looking for a pattern in the sales performance. This is

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what trend is all about. Looking at the trend would indicate whether a person is progressing, regressing, or remaining steady. Trend analysis is common in business. By looking at data over a period of time, you can detect patterns and relationships that will enable you to answer important questions.

iii) Correlations
A correlation is a statistical relationship between too or more variables. Once you have identified a trend, you should now look for the cause of the trend. Let us assume that Nikam consistently produces the most sales. You would want to know the reasons for his consistent high sales. This raises many questions in your mind - Is he a more persuasive person? Does he call on his customers more often? Does he have comparatively larger sales territory? Or is he more experienced there the others? Seeking answers to these types of questions, you look for a consistent relationship between each person's sales and other variables such as years of selling experience, area of territory, etc. If you observe that larger territory produces larger sales, you may assume that these two variables (area of territory and sales figure) are correlated, or related in a predictable way. From this assumption you may draw conclusion and state that Nikam's consistent high sales figure is due to the larger sales territory as compared to others. Correlations are useful evidence, but they do not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Putting it differently, drawing conclusions from an assumption is not a very sound method. Nikam's success might well be the result of several other factors.

b) Drawing Conclusions
Regardless of how much evidence you amass, at some point in every analysis you move beyond hard facts (which can be objectively measured and verified) and begin to draw conclusions. Conclusions are interpretations of what the facts mean. In formulating conclusions you make use of your assumptions and value judgments, which have been formed by your own experience. Thus, conclusions may be based on a combination of facts, value judgments, and assumptions. Value judgments and assumption form the basis for interpretation of facts, and decisions are based on interpretation. This implies that conclusions may be based on subjective factors. Using scientific research and statistical analysis you may come up with objective

Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

conclusions, but you cannot overcome the subjective factors that influence the formulation of conclusion. When applying a subjective thought process to objective evidence, be sure to check the logic that underlies your conclusions. If needs be get more evidence to confirm your conclusions. Be aware of possible biases that are not justified by the circumstances. If you are working as part of a term, you have the advantage of discussing your conclusions with your team, you have the advantage of discussing your conclusions with your team members, during which your own values and assumptions come into focus. The best conclusion is often the one that gains the most support.

c) Developing Recommendations
If conclusions are opinions or interpretations; recommendations are suggestions for action. When you have been asked to take the final step and translate your conclusions into recommendations, be sure to make the relationship between them clear. You can test the soundness of your recommendations against the following criteria: 2. The recommendations should offer real advantage to the organization. 3. The recommendations should be financially and politically feasible. 4. Develop specific plans to overcome hindrances that might impede implementations of the recommendation. Risks associated with the recommendations should be acceptable. > Activity C; You have been asked by your Marketing Manager to prepare a formal report on the problem of declining sales of motorcycles in the district of Pune. Prepare the following: a) Problem statement in an infinitive phrase, a question form, and a statement form.

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b) Prepare an outline for the report.

9.6 SUMMARY Preparing the final draft of a reperfmvolves decision on length, format, and organization. Short, informal reports ofterffake the form of memos or letters; lopg^k more formal reports sented in manuscript form. 5^"^ a "f^ <^ ^ i*?-^v K '

When readers are^ecepjive, yoiynay presen^your ideas in direct order, with the main point first. When readers are hostile or sceptical, use indirect order, presenting key findings, conclusions and recommendations Ja^tTlriformational reports are organized around subtopics. Analytical reports are organized around conclusions or recommendations or around logical arguments. Effective long reports begin with a clear definition of the problem to be investigated. Once the problem has been defined, you can determine what information will be required to solve it and develop a plan for obtaining that information. During the research phase, you should review secondary information. You may also conduct primary research to obtain information that is not available from existing resources. This research may take the form of examining documents, conducting surveys, making firsthand observations, or doing experiments. When you have completed your research and analysed the data, you are ready to develop conclusions and recommendations. Be sure that your suggestions are both logical and practical. 9.7 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS _ Q 1 . Discuss Informational reports and Analytical reports.

Q2 Explain the various elements in planning short reports.

Q3 . Describe in brief the different steps in planning formal reports.

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Unit 9 Short and Long Reports

Q4. Write explanatory notes on the following

1. Statement of purpose. 2. Averages 3. Correlations 4. Justification reports.


Q5. AnswerlhefoUowing:

a. Four components of a memo

ifif

b. Two types of informational reports \

c. Three types of analytical reports

d. Two types of outlining methods

e. Three kinds of averages

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10.1 INTRODUCTION

-y

218 Information technologies sucjj^selectronic mail, cellular phones, videoconferencing, and fax machines have enhanced communication. It has increased the dependency of business on technology, and this has made decision-making process faster. As a result human interaction and participation in decision-making by diverse groups of people has also enhanced. Despite all these developments, face-to-face communication has not mitigated. In the business world, face-to-face presentation is still the most effective way to reach the intended audience. : > '
/ *?

tion is a form of face-tp4ace communication, and plays an important role in sharing information and guiding actions within organizations. Presentation is more formal type of communication and hence requires a definite strategy- such as goal setting, situational knowledge, communication competence, and anxiety management. All these require adequate preparation to ensure effective performance. Making presentation is quite different from speaking with others in a two-party or smallgroup context. Ensuring audience comprehension is more difficult because feedback is less direct and less spontaneous. During a presentation, the speaker must be able to read the audience's nonverbal behaviour and infer the moods and reactions of the audience to the message being presented. 10.2 SPEECH AND ORAL PRESENTATIONS A common tool in business communication, a Speech is a highly structured form of address in which a speaker addresses an audience gathered to hear a message. Most feedback comes after the speech is over, although nonverbal feedback can occur at any time. By contrast, oral presentations are almost always extemporaneous, are very often delivered with the help of visual aids, and are frequently participative. Audience participation often takes the form of comments and questions that can punctuate the oral presentation at any point. Oral presentations play important roles in both a company's internal and external communication systems. Internally, for example, they are used to present budget requests and sell programmes. For instance, a redesigned benefits package will probably be presented to top management through an oral presentation. As an important part of a company's external communication, and presentations are used as tools to win and keep new clients. For example, when advertising executives submit

Unit 10 Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

advertising plans and their clients, they are making presentations. When a small business owner presents his company's credentials as a sub-contractor to a large corporation, he is making a presentation. ^Activity A; a) How would you differentiate between a speech and oral presentation based on your past observations of both?

b) Can you recollect a speech made by a politician that you have watched live on TV? Try to note down some non-verbal points you may have noticed.

10.3 IDENTIFYING THE GENERAL AND SPECIFIC PURPOSES The starting point for developing a message is selecting a topic. Making the decision in a work setting is usually quite easy; topics emerge naturally from the interplay of your job, your audience, and the organization's need. After you have generated several potential pics, you will select the actual topic for your presentation. Once you have selected a topic, the process of refining it begins. There are two levels at vhich the basic goal of presentation is identified. The two purposes that needs to be .ientifiedare: General Purpose Specific Purpose General Purpose: Despite the differences between formal speeches and oral presentations, they share common general purposes- i.e. communicating with an audience.

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1. 2. 3. 4.

to inform to persuade to motivate to celebrate.

a) To Inform:
Informative presentations provide ideas, alternatives, data, or even opinion, but most important, they provide credible, reliable information to supportyour major points. When giving an informative presentation, you function as s(teachei)ofyour audience. It is not always easy, to know the audience's level of knowledge on the topic, nor is it easy to narrow the topic so that you are working with a manageable and teachable amount of information. Informative presentations have the following characteristics: i) They are accurate: When you communicate facts, accuracy is essential ii) They are clear: Information must be communicated in a way that the listeners can understand. iii) They are meaningful: They must answer the question that every listener asks. "How will this help me?"

iv) They are memorable: Information not remembered has little value.

b) To Persuade :
Persuasive presentations can work at three levels. i) They can change or reaffirm existing attitudes about important topics ii) They strive to gain the commitment of the audience. f . -- ., iii) They motivate action. In Persuasive presentations, you are asking the audience to make a commitment to your view point and to act in ways that you(advocate)as with informative speaking, persuasive presentation require conscientious research to uncover the best available data on the topic.

Unit 10 Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

c) To Motivate :
Presentations designed to motivate audience are a special type of persuasive speech. Motivational presentations employ persuasion, but rely more extensively on stimulating the emotions and feelings of listeners as a method of inducing action. For example, drill sergeants may use highly charged, emotional language to push 'raw' recruits to new levels of physical exertion.

d) To Celebrate:
Ceremonial presentations often share many of the elements found in informative, persuasive, and motivational presentations. Included in the group of ceremonial presentation are the following: i) Introduction i) Acceptance in) Tribute iv) Goodwill v) Inspiration vi) Celebration

239. 240. 241. 242. 243. 244.

introducing other speakers welcoming an honour as reward making toasts remembering and honouring the past presenting a memorial or eulogy rejoicing in achievements.

Ceremonial presentations require you to consider the common ties that bind participants together as a group. Usually, for ceremonial presentation you may be given a general purpose and asked to select a topic, but in business you are frequently assigned a topic and must then choose the general purpose (approach) that will be most successful. Specific Purpose: Having established the general purpose now you must determine the specific purpose, which identifies what you as the presenter want the audience to think, believe, feel, or do as a result of listening to your presentation. Specific goals are far more effective for directing communication to achieve shared meaning and desired results. The specific purpose should contain a singe idea.

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Some basic considerations for specific purposed include the following:

1. Is the idea manageable in time allotted for presentations? 2. Is the idea challenging to the audience? 3. Is the idea important to the organizational values?
This exercise should result in developing a thesis statement - a single declarative sentence that summarizes the main ideas to be presented to the audience. This is also known as the "core idea". Every core idea should define, what speechcommunication experts Gerald Philips & Jerome Zolten call, "residual message- the idea that breaks through the resistance, that stays in the listener's mind when everything else is forgotten". 10.4 SITUATIQNAL KNOWLEDGE: ANALYZING THE AUDIENCE Audience analysis is the process by which business communicators analyse the needs and knowledge of their listeners in order to improve the likelihood of communicating effectively through oral presentations. Audience analysis corresponds to the second component of strategic communication- i.e. gathering situational knowledge. It helps you to understand the speaking situation as it unfolds, as well as how best to prepare for the audience's needs and likely responses to your message. Because audience analysis gives speakers tools to link their specific purposes to audience interests and needs it is at the heart of any successful speech or oral presentation.

1. Demographic profile of the audience - i.e. Age, social class, educational level, gender,
cultural background, and occupational status - is fundamental to any audience analysis. Demography (the collection and study of such information) is a necessary first step in establishing more specific and complex analysis of a target audience.

2. Target audience refers to the key decision makers who are members of the general
audience, and should be an important focus for your analysis. You are more likely to succeed by tailoring your ideas, information, and appeals to there audience members. Satisfying this target group thus requires asking yourself certain key questions:

Unit 10 Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

243.

What does the audience know about me? This question goes to the heart of speaker credibility: Will my position and reputation affect audience response? What does my audience know about my organization?

244. 245.

How much does the audience know about my topic? Is the topic technical for the audience, so that it will require explanation? How much interest does the audience have in my topic? How does the audience feel about my topic?

246. 247.

(Supportive, non-committed, or hostile).

248.

What is the context for my presentations ?

These questions require deliberation and careful analysis of audience to make your presentation effective. In the words of Peter F. Drucker: "To improve communication, work not on the utterer, but the recipient". Audience attitude toward many social and economic issues can be predicted through careful demographic analysis. For example, if you learn that for your presentation on "why the company should be de-unionize to encourage new hiring policies", your audience consists of mostly blue-collar male aged between forty to sixty who are union members, you will approach the topic with careful preparation. & Activity B: a) What audience information would you gather for analysis for a presentation on: ; i) Annual Sales Performance ii) School Sports Plan I) Polio Campaign for Uneducated Women

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b) Name three different occasions when a presentation could be made.

10.5 MAJOR PARTS OF PRESENTATION: INTRODUCTION One of the most difficult task in any kind of presentation is to begin unless you begin you cannot continue and conclude. The question is 'How to begin?' Let us consider a similar situation: first meeting of a class. What do the students want to know during the first session/period of a class? Study has shown that they want to learn three categories of information: 1. course coverage - what will be the content and focus of the course 2. course requirement - what is required to complete the course 3. course instructor - what kind of person will this teacher turn out to be? These questions fall into three general categories: 252. 253. 254. Orientation-what is happening? Motivation-what is in it for me? Rapport - will I like and respect the teacher?

VfsoH f U{VrV75Z!r\.

The introduction to a presentation serves similar functions. 1. It informs the listener what the message is about - orientation 2. Why the listener should attend to it - motivation 3. Why the speaker is a credible source of the message - rapport.

a) Orientation: i) One method of orientation is to state the topic to be discussed, give the thesis statement, explain the title of presentation, or review the purpose of presentation.

Unit 10 Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

Example: A speaker at a business fundraiser for local arts group." Some of you may wonder why this presentation is titled "Give, Don't Give Up". I am here today to tell you only it is more important now, in the face of difficult economic times, than ever before to contribute to cultural organizations" ii) Another method of orienting the audience is to preview the structure of the message. Example: "Cultural organizations provide three vital services to our community: they expand our view of the world and each other; they raise issues that we need to discuss; and they enrich our lives." I) The speaker may also explain why the topic was narrowed as it was: "When I was asked to give a fundraising presentation to you, business leader in the community, my first question was what can you do for us? I soon realized that I needed to tell you what are doing- and help to continue to do for you".

b) Motivation:
i) Motivational strategies include linking the topic and thesis statement to listener's lives. Example:' 'How many of you have attended a cultural event in our community in the recent past? Think of how our city would be diminished if these events were no longer held?" I) Another motivational strategy is to show how the topic has affected or will affect the audience's past, present and future. Example: "You may not have realized it, but tourism generated Rs.34 million for our city last year. Surveys showed that many of the visitors came to participate in our numerous cultural events, and in the process they bolstered the profits of your business." I) Third method of motivating the audience to listen is by demonstrating how the topic is linked to their basic need/goal. Example: "Cultural events are an important part of making our community vital and prosperous, and I am sure that all of us would want to keep it that way."

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c) Rapport: Building rapport can take several forms: i) Language - demonstrates competence and credibility. Through your words and delivery, you must convince your audience that you are qualified to speak. Establishing your expertise on the topic that would increase the audience's receptivity to your message. i) Capture attention - the main purpose of your introduction is to capture the attention of your audience and make them want to hear more. Capturing attention is a technique to build rapport. This can be done by:

255. 256. 257. 258. 259. 260.

Complimenting the audience Using humour Making startling statements Anecdotes Quotations

Rhetorical question (question designed to produce audience involvement in a subject without requiring an answer)

Your introduction should also preview your main points- i.e. Preview things to come. In no more than a sentence or two, your preview can provide the reasons why your audience should continue listening. 10.6 MAJOR PARTS OF PRESENTATION: THE BODY Generating Potential Main Ideas : Once you have narrowed a topic to a specific purpose and thesis statement and identified the characteristics of your audience, the next step in planning is to identify and research your main points. Be it a speech or a presentation, it is imperative that you carry out a thorough research so that your audience is drawn towards your goal. For instance, if you are an account executive for an advertising agency and your goal is to persuade a local hotel to select your agency to handle the hotels advertising campaign, what are the main ideas you need to stress to show them the benefits of selecting your

Unit 10 Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

agency? Here it becomes necessary to do a thorough research before you make your presentation to the prospective client You need to generate main ideas for your presentation. There are many ways to generate main ideas, but the topical system has been in use and still continues to be effective. Topical system uses a small set of headings or topic to identify standard ways of thinking and speaking about any subject. The basic premise of this approach is that the infinite member of possible topics contains finite number of themes - a result of our shared ways of thinking about human affairs. Putting it in simple terms, the infinite ways in which the humans think and act can be classified into finite number of themes: 1. Attributes:

4. Existence/ Nonexistence of things. 5. Degree or quantity of things or forces. 6. Spatial attributes - location, distribution, and position of things, especially in
relation to other things.

7. Time - when an event took place, how long it lasted, etc. 8. Motion or activity - type, degree. 9. Form - the physical or abstract shape of a thing. 10. Substance - the physical or abstract content of a thing.
h) Capacity to change - whether an event or situation is predictable or unpredictable. i) Potency - power or energy, including the ability to further or hinder something else. j) Desirability - whether the thing results in rewards or penalties. k) Feasibility - how well the thing works or how practical it is.

2. Basic Relationships : 1. Causality - the relation of causes to effects, effects to causes, etc. 2. Correlation - correspondence between, coexistence of, as coordination of things or forces.

c) Genus - species relationships - common characteristics or distinguishing characteristics of a thing as group of things.

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255. 256.

Similarity or dissimilarity in appearance, content, form, shape, etc. Possibility or impossibility of an event happening.

Now let us consider the case of an account executive of an advertising agency. In view of the attributes he/she could come up with the following points:

262.
years.

Existence: The ad agency has been serving the community for more than 30

263. 264. 265. 266. 267. 268.

Degree: The agency handles more than 20 hostel accounts and gains more every year (degree of expertise) Spatial attributes: The agency is conveniently located in a business center. Time: The agency can put together a trial campaign in two weeks. Activity: The agency's clients have reported substantial increase in customers.

Form: The agency can provide latest designs and graphics for the look of campaign. Substance: The agency will work with hotel management to decide on the precise message for the campaign.

h) Capacity to change: The agency will modify the campaign if it is not bringing the desired result. i) Potency: The agency can promote increased business of the hotel based on the campaign done for similar hotels in the past. j) Desirability: The agency can promote increased business that will enable hotel owners to open another hotel. k) Feasibility: The agency is a practical choice because of its expertise in the area of hotel advertising and its competitive rates. Once the main ideas of your topic has been developed you could choose few of these themes to stress during your presentation. However, it is not possible to cover all the themes during one presentation, but could be taken up during subsequent presentations. The main thing to remember in business presentation is to do a thorough spade work before making the presentation. As it is read: "People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan".

Unit 10 Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

>rk
,rf.

Providing Support Material for Ideas: Regardless of the purpose of your presentation, you will use some form of supporting materials to give credibility to your main ideas and to awake the message more

informative, interesting, relevant, clear, and acceptable, supporting materials facilitate learning Although teaching the audience is a fundamental goal of most presentations, for some people learning can be an uncomfortable or frightening experience, and therefore can be resisted. Certainly, people tend to resist a speaker's attempts the speaker to overcome these barriers to complete a successful presentation. These materials include: t Explanation 264. 265. 266. 267. Example Statistics Listening Visual aids

266. Explanation: is an act or process of making a subject plain or comprehensible. This is often accomplished through a simple statement of the relationship of a whole and its parts. There are many ways in which explanation can be offered- such as providing a definition, using comparison between the familiar and the unfamiliar, showing contrasts, giving a brief history, and so on. 273. Examples: comment the main ideas of presentation with a real or and ideal situation thought out by to speaker. Examples take a variety of forms, which include illustrations, specific instances, etc. The speaker may involve the listeners in a hypothetical illustration by suggesting, "imagine yourself. c) Statistics: describes the result of collecting, organizing, and interpreting numerical data. They are specially useful when you want too accomplish the following: 1. Reduce large masses of information to general categories (the average score of college students on the communication skills is 75).

2. Emphasize the size of something (corporate houses spend more than Rs. 200 cross annually for training and development). 2 2 9

Business Communication

Indicate trends (from 1997 to 2000, state government expenditure on


prisons increased 30% while spending on higher education fell by 18%).

275.

Testimony: a statement by a credible person (who is quoted by the speaker) that trends weight and authority is the speaker's presentation. The testimony gains credibility proper timidly to the expertise of the person who is the source of testimony. For insistence, any relevant quotation from Peter F. Drucker used in a management speech will give credibility to the presentation. Visual Aids: Business speaker after structure their presentations around series of slides that provide visual appeal and content, interest, clarity. Experienced speaker have added number of interesting option to the use of visual aids in written documents.

276.

JSZ Activity C;
Name some visual aids you would use for the following presentations: i) Book Review

ii) Ad campaign by an ad agency

iii) Student case study

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10.7 MAJOR PARTS OF PRESENTATION: THE CONCLUSION The conclusion of a speech or an oral presentation performs four important functions:

1. It summarizes your message. 2. It extends your message to a broader context 3. It personalizes your message 4. It calls for specific future action.
Like the introduction, the conclusion should take about 10 percent of your presentation time. As you think about you conclusion, keep in mind that these are the last words your listener will hear and that it is important to leave them with a lasting impression. Remember, also that your listeners need a signed that your speech is over. Use your conclusion to communicate closure. Your conclusion is not the place at which to make yet another point. a) Summarize your message Think of your summary as you last opportunity to "nail" your main points. As Winston Churchill once said: "If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. These come back and let it again, there hit it a thirst time- tremendous whack. When you want to make your point over again, do not repeat, but recast it in way, that would be remembered by you audience. Restatement is absolutely necessary to get your point across. If you are forced to cut-short your speech as presentation, your summary may be even more critical. When forced with the constraint of time you may omit some details or visual aids, but your summary can still make your point. As one expert or public speaker says, "tell them in brief, what you would have told them in full if you had not run out of time." Summarizing should have the following points.

277.

Restating the main points. Once you have everyone's attention repeat your main ideas. Be sure to emphasize what you want your audience to do or think. Then state the key motivating factor. Outlining the next steps: Some speeches and presentations require the audience to reach a decision or to take specific action. Be certain that everyone agrees on the outcome and understands what should happen next.

278.

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Ending on a positive note: Your final remarks should be enthusiastic and memorable.
The end of your speech should leave a strong and lasting impression.

b) Extend your Message to a Broader Context


Use you conclusion to look ahead. Do not let your presentation begin and end in the lecture hall; it should extend beyond the present context audit your ideas to broader from work of goals and ideas. For example, giving a lecture to students on communication skills should conclude by~bordering the thoughts from merely passing tfie exam to the use Gl communication skill in the world.
^ ^ |. . v

c) Personalize your Message


At the conclusion of your speech or presentation, reemphasize your focus or your listeners' needs- that is where their real motivation lies. Listeners who perceive themselves as the focus of your final remarks are more likely to receive your entire massage in personal term.

d) Make a Call to Action


Asking your listeners too do something is a task best left to the end of your message. Many persuasive speeches and sales presentation conclude with appeals that urge action. In concluding a presentation, you may also talk about the steps that come next. Talk about responsibilities or tasks that must be accomplished and the people responsible for them. Leave your audience with a vision and a sense of every.

Table 10.1: Purpose and Technique in a Formal Presentation Element Purpose Techniques Introduction

Body
Establish Credibility Capture attention

Preview main points Present main points Refer to your personal background Use humour Tell a story Ask rhetorical questions Use quotations Demonstrate Briefly tell your audience what is to come Rely on common organizational patterns Use facts, statistics, examples, narratives, testimony and quotations

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Conclusion
Present supporting material Summarize main points Extend message to broader context Personalize message Call to action Use repetition Form conclusions and recommendations Focus your message on the needs of your audience Focus on the future and what must be done.
Source : L.E. Boone, D.L. Kurtz and J.R. Block, Contemporary Business Communication, pg 459

10.8 VISUAL AIDS


It has been estimated that 11 % of what we learn is through hearing, 83 % through sight and the rest through the other threes sources. Hence, visual aids can make your presentation more effective. Visual aids help both the speaker and the audience remembers the important points. Some of the aids, which can serve you well, are snaps, pictures, pictures, charts, motion pictures, and slides overhead projectors, and blackboard. Two types of visual aids are used to supplement speeches and presentations. They are:

1. Text visuals help listeners to follow the flow of thoughts/ideas. 2. Graphic visuals present and emphasize important facts. They help the audience to
grasp numerical date and other types of information that would be hard to follow of presented orally.

Types of Visual Aids : 1. Objects and Models:


If you were presenting the prototype for a new product, your best visual aid would be the product itself. For example, if you were involved in the manufacture of a new commercial jet, a scaled-drown model would help you demonstrate its pique characteristics. As objects and models are passed around the room, they encourage active, hands-on interaction, but also disturb the audience from your presentation.

2. Flip Chart, Chalk and Writing Board and Porters


These media are effective in presenting information to small interaction groups. Flip charts are most co rumor way to display visuals in a business presentation, allowing you show a sequence of graphic with a turn of a page.

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In certain situations, you may actually prefer to write as you speak. When used in this manner, aids like flip charts and posters are excellent group- interaction tools.

3. Overhead Transparencies:
Overhead transparencies allow an image to be projected without losing touch with the audience. They are easy to use and are widely employed in many business settings. They are also flexible, allowing you to add or highlight concept while it is being shown.

4. Slides:
Both color and black-and-white slides can add a professional touch to a presentation. Slides can be used to display any type of two-dimensional visual aid, including photographs, maps, lists tables, and graphs.

5. Videos:
Videos are an integral part of many business presentations. Advertising agencies use video to screen new commercials for clients. A fashion designer may use a video to display the latest creation on live models. Videos have the advantage of easy recording and instant playback. Most videos are shown on small television screens, and are most effective for small audiences.

Table 10.2 : Using Visual Aids in Formal Presentations

Format Flip charts Chalk and Writing boards Overhead Transparencies

Audience Small

Advantages Help to organize/summarize High flexibility: low human error Informal

Disadvantages Low-impact

Medium/large Portable No technician needed High flexibility

Can be distracting Complex charts and graphs are ineffective Do not show motion Lights must be dimmed

Slides

Medium/large Flexible/Modular Minimum equipment needs Type serves as outline Graphs show relationships

Charts save time conceptually

Unit 10 Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

Video Cassettes

Small/medium High-impact Instant replay Flexible Easy assembly Supports other AV formats Provides change of pace

Requires equipment Availability

Source: L.E. Boone, D.L. Kurtz and J.R. Block, Contemporary Business Communication, pg 466 10.9 GUIDELINES FOR USING VISUAL AIDS a) Choose the right visual aid Limit your visuals to important points. Your choice should be determined by the purpose of your speech, the size of your audience, the needs of the occasion, and your skill and experience in using the medium. b) Remember that your audience wants to see you, not your visuals. For instance, beginning your presentation with slides projected on a screen in darkened room will prevent you from establishing our immediate audience conviction. On the other hand, ending with a visual will encourage your audience to remember the visual instead of you. 1. Don't repeat the context of the visual when you comment on it. You should explain to the audience the context of the visual. 2. Stop after your main point Allow the audience to scan the information projected on the visual. Avoid tuning your back on your audience. Maintain eye contact throughout your speech, even when displaying a visual. 1) Work on your timing. Never display a visual before talking about it; remove it when you have finished the

thought. .;i Rehearse Integrate your visual and oral presentations before your actual performance.

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Activity D;
a) List some guidelines you would follow while using visual aids.

b) Do you remember having sat through a good presentation? How would you comment on the: i) presentation as a whole:

ii) the visual aids used:

10.10 SUMMARY
At some point in your career, you are likely to be called on to give a speech or presentation. Brief speeches are organized like letters and short memos. Formed presentations, lasting up to an hour or more, generally involve more complex subjects and require more interaction with audience. They are organized like formed reports, with an introduction, a body and a final summary. Many long speeches and presentations make use of visual aids such as handouts, chalkboards, hip charts, overheads, and slides. These should be selected to suit your purpose and the size and needs of the audience.

Unit JO

10.11 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS Ql. Discuss the general and specific purpose of a presentation. Q2. Explain the following categories of introduction of a presentation. a. Orientation b. Motivation c. Rapport. Q3. Describe the various "support materials" for developing ideas. Q4. Explain the different types of visual aids.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7, 8. 9. Steps in listeners mind. Collection and study of profile. Correlation. Indicate trends. Empjhasi2 Tribute. They are numerable.

Q5. Match the following:

1. Oral presentation 2. Ceremonial presen 3. Residual message 4. Demography


iportant. *^ '0

277. 278.

Capture attention Coordination of things or forces^ i

Single declaration statement Extemi

g) Statistics is used to \f h) Graphics visuals ^ i) Informative presentations


t

O-> 10. Using humour. j) Thesis

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11.1 INTRODUCTION
Simply stetedUnterviews are a conversation between two people. EC Eyre, a management expert, states "an interview is a face-to-face verbal exchange, which endeavours to discover as much information as possible in the least amount of time about some relevant matter." Ajob hunter writes a resume and letter of application to get a job interview. Job interviews are more than just conversation with prospective employers. Interviews are valuable oppostmitics for both parties to see if the applicant fits comfortably into the company environment. Interviews play an important part in two-way communication. For not only does the interviewer learn a great deal about the interviewee, but it also provides an opportunity to the interviewee to give information about the organization and its aims ad objectives. Meetings, like interviews, are vital to the functioning of modern organizations. Meeting provides a form for making key decisions and a vehicle for coordinating the activities of people and departments. Whether the meeting is held to solve a problem or to share information, the participants gain a sense of involvement and importance from their attendance. Because they share in the decision, they accept it and are committed to seeing it succeed. There are many committees and meetings in an organization of any size. Not all the committees and meetings are successful. There are unproductive meetings, which are frustrating and expensive. If the management believes in the old proverb:" two heads are better than are," they equally ignore another adage: "Too many cooks spoil the broth." Whatever the outcome, meeting are an indispensable fact of corporate life in which you are going to be drawn whether you like it or not.

11.2 CATEGORIZING INTERVIEWS


Not all interviews are alike, thus they do not require the same set of skills. One major difference is that some interviews are dominated by exchange of information, which the other are geared more toward the exchange of feeling. Thus, the two types of interviews are:

279. 280.

Those dominated by the exchange of information Those involving the exchange of feelings.

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1. Exchange of information : a) Job interviews


The candidate-seeking job wants to learn about the position and the organization; the employer wants to learn about the applicant's abilities and experience. Both hope to make a good impression and to establish rapport. Job interviews are usually fairly formal and structured. Content and critical listening skills are especially important.

b)
Information interviews c) Persuasive interviews

The interviews seeks facts that influence a decision or contribute to basic understanding of certain subject matter. Information flows mainly in one direction - one person asks a series of question that must be covered and listens to the answers supplied by the other persons. Contentand critical listening skills are dominant, i In these interviews, one person tells another about a new idea, product, or serviceandexplains why the other should act or the recommendations. The persuader discusses the other person's needs. Thus persuasive interviews require skill in drawing out and listening to other as well as the ability to impart information.

d) Exit interviews
The interviews try to understand why the interviewee is leaving the organization of transferring to another department or division. A departmenternployer can often provide insight into whether the business is being handled efficiently or whether things could be improved. The departing employee should be encouraged to focus on events and process rather than personal gripes.

2. Exchange of feejings^~^^ a) Evaluation interviews

A superViser-per4eeti6alry gives on employer feedback or whisper performance. The supervisor and the employee discuss progress toward predetermined standards or goals and evaluate areas that require improvement. They may also

discuss goals for the coming years, as well as, the employee's longer-term aspirations and general concerns. Content, critical, andempathic listening skills may all be required. "~
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b) Counselling intervi^
aese involve thesupervisor's the supervisor's talks with the employee about personalproblems that are interfering with work performance. The interviewer should be concerned with the welfare of both the employee and organization and should confine the discussion to business. Critical and empathic listening skills are both important because the employer needs to evaluate the facts of the situation and deal with the human emotions involved.

c) Conflict-resolutions interviews
Here two competing people or groups of people explore their problems and attitudes. Thejoal is to bring the two parties clojertogethei^ cause adjustments in perceptions and attitudes, and create a more productive climate. Empathic and active listening skills are useful in fostering these changes.

d) Disciplinary interviews
Injhesethe^supervisor tries to correct the behavior ofan_employee whohas ignored the organization's rules and regulations. The interviewer must not only get the employee to set the reason for the rules and agree to comply, but must also review the facts and explore the person's attitude. Because of the possible emotional reaction, neutral observations are more effective than critical comments. Active and empathic listening skills are of prime importance.

11.3 PLANNING THE INTERVIEW

Planning an interview is similar to planning any other form of communication. You beginby stating the purpose, analysing the other person, and formulating your main ideas. Then you decide on length, style, and organization of the interview. Even as an interviewee, you have some control over the conversation. You need to anticipate a the interviewer' s question and then plan your answers so that the points you want to mak \ will be covered. Furthermore, by your comments and nonverbal cues, you can affect the | relationship between you and the interviewer. If you are the interviewer, responsibility for planning the interview session falls on you. ( the simplest level, you must schedule the interview and see that it is held in a comfo and convenient

location. You need to develop a set of interview questions and decide on| their sequence. Having a plan will enable you to conduct the interview more efficiently.

Unit 11 Interviews and Meetings

1. Types of Interview Questions :]$> The purpose of the interview and the nature of the participants determ i n p th p questions that should be asked. In terms of the structure of an interview, it is conducted in four phases, which can be remembered by the acronym -WASP- i.e. Welcome, Acquiring information, Supplying information and Parting. You should ask question so as to: 283. 284. 285. get information motivate the interviewee to respond honestly and appropriately, and create a good working relationship with the other person.

To obtain both factual information and underlying feelings, you would want to use types of questions, such as: /a) 1. Direct open-ended questions 2. Closed-ended questions 3. Restatement questions a) Open-ended questions: JD Open-ended questions

b) These are questions that invite the intervieweetopffer an opinion) and not just one-word answer. You can learn some interesting and unexpected things from open-ended questions. They, however, decrease your control over the interview. When you allow the

interviewee to voice his/her opinion or idea that many not be what you want, you may waste time in getting the interview back on tracks. Use open-ended questions to put the interviewee at eae, or to gain information when you have plenty of time for conversation. Direct open-ended questions: ib These types of questions ffiiggest respon^but no^pinion. For example, "What javeyou^one about.. ?" Assumes that something^ha& been done and calls for an explanation. With direct open-ended questions, you have somewhat more control over the interview, yet you still give the other person some freedom in framing a response. This form of question is good to use when you want to get a specific conclusion as recommendation from someone.
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c) Close-ended questions: These typeof questions reguirej'yes' or 'nojjanswers or call for short response. For example, "Did you makeji resery ationT or the flight?" Questions like these produce specific information, save time, require less effort from the interviewee, and eliminate bias and prejudice in answers. The disadvantage is that they limit the respondents' initiative and may prevent important information from being revealed. These questions are better for gathering information than for prompting an exchange of feelings. d) Restatement questions : Restatement, or mirror,questions invite the respondent to expand on the answer: "You said you disliked travel vouchers. Is that correct?" They also slgnaTthe interviewee that you are paying attention. Restatements provide opportunities to clarify points and correct misunderstandings. Use them to persue a subject further or to encourage the other person to explain a statement. You can use restatement question to soothe upset customers or co-workers. By acknowledging the other person's complaint, you gain credibility. 2. The Structure of the Interview: Organize an interview as much as you would organize a written document, with the interview's purpose and the audience's receptivity shaping the sequences of questions. Various types of questions are tools for developing ideas, which should be arranged in a sequence that will enable you to accomplish your purpose. Following are the purposes: a) .Informational Purpose: Topical organization, which is presented in direct order. b) Analytical or problem-solving purpose: Organization that allows you to state the problem, review the background and objectives, suggest solutions, evaluate the pros and cons of each, identify the best option, and agree on implementation plans. c) Persuasive Purpose: Organization that is based on the other person's receptivity. If there is receptivity, then focus on conclusions and recommendations that highlight the benefits of your ideas; if

there is resistance, then focus on the logical argument that gradually builds a convincing case for your position. 244

Unit 11 Interviews and Meetings

JS*> Activity A;
a) You must have been for a few interviews in the recent past. Can you identify the i) type of interview you attended, ii) the type of questions asked by the interviewer.

b) Looking back at that interview, what was the preparation you took to ensure your interview went off well?

11.4 EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW Unfortunately for both companies and employees, there is not much correlation between interviewing well and actually doing the job well. For this reason, experts now advise that tests become a larger part of the interview process. Computers have been suggested to answer multiple-choice questions based on the job description and corporate style. Applicants tend to be more honest with a computer than with human interviewers when asked about such things as their goals and preferences. However, until such testing becomes commonplace, interviews allow employers to decide how a prospective employee fits into the company. Employment interview may be the most intense and dynamic communication situation that you ever encounter in your career. Therefore, you ought to prepare adequately for success at the interview. Here are some important tips for preparing for an interview. 1. Do self-analysis - know your strengths and weaknesses. 2. Find out how relevant your competence is to the job you are seeking, and how you would use it for performing the required duties. 3. Gather information about the history, function and development plan of the organization and visualize the role you could play in its growth and development.

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285. 286.

Anticipate the likely questions that could be asked and their answers.

Discuss, if possible, with some employees of the organization of its work culture, professional ethics, and growth direction.

1. Attending the Interview: At the time of interview you should give positive clues to the interviewer - such as, punctuality, neat physical appearance, cheerful expression, pleasant manners, presence of mind, positive attitude and clear and confident voice. Here are some more practical hints:

288. 289. 290. 291.

Be brief and spontaneous in your response Present the relevant matter in an organized way. Support your views with nature and rational arguments. Be honest in referring to events, situations, and experiences.

1. Listen carefully to the interviewer's questions, statements and comments. 292.


Be perceptive of the signals that the body language of the interviewer may give.

g) Speak in a conversational style and avoid using unnecessary words, h) Exhibit utmost courtesy both in manners and speech. To avoid negative impact, take the following precautions:

1. Do not give irrelevant information. 2. Do not give excessive details about the topic under discussion. 3. Do not try to change the topic of discussion. 4. Avoid hasty generalization. 5. Do not give any evasive reply in an attempt to hide your ignorance. 6. Avoid long pauses while speaking 7. Do not keep smiling all the time 1. Do not make any disrespectful remarks of people with whom you have worked.

Unit 11 Interviews and Meetings

2. Interview Process:
The interview would usually start with direct questions, seeking specific information regarding your qualifications, achievements, and experience. After this introductory exchange, the interview process becomes more dynamic. At this stage open-ended questions, seeking substantial information are asked. For instance, you may be asked questions about the types of courses, and projects you did and to explain how they relate to your professional ambition. If you have some experience, you may be required to describe it in terms of its relevance the job you have applied for. Before the interview ends closed-ended questions may be asked. These usually related to the time you would take in joining the post, the place of posting, the nature of appointment (temporary, on probation, contracted, etc), or the expected salary, etc. You may be given an opportunity to ask questions about the job, comparcy, or clarification about anything that has been discussed or mentioned earlier. Various areas from whichquestions are usually asked arej :^Academic background -^Co-curricular activities t Extracurricular activities

293.

General

Knowledge t Experience

294.

Miscellaneous

3. Expectations of the Employers:


Through the process of interview the aim of the interviewer is not only to assure himself about the suitability of qualifications and experience required for the job, but also to discover the significant traits of your personality and family environment. Personal happiness and healthy social relationships are conducive to efficiency in work. In specific terms what the prospective employer seeks to find out may be classified as Mows:

8. Aptitude 9. Attitude - toward job, employer, colleagues, and towards life and society 10. Achievements 11. Temperament

12. Health

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4. Conducting an Interview: On becoming, a senior professional, you may be asked to interview candidates for a job in your organization. Given below are certain specific guidelines in the form of DOs and DON'Ts to help you conduct an interview effectively. Dos: 1. Analyse carefully the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the job. 299. Study the resume of the candidate to match his attainments to the requirement of the job. 2. Frame in your mind (or even write) the basic questions you would like to ask. 300. Ask only one question at a time :

3. Use precise expressions and plain language 301. Repeat the question if the candidate so desires, explaining to him clearly what you want to know. g) Allow time to the candidate to warm up and become interactive, h) Establish a rapport and encourage him to give his best. i) Be courteous, polite and amiable, but firm and professional. j) Listen carefully with interest to the responses of the candidate. k) Try to understand what the candidate is and to find out what he knows. Don'ts: 294. 295. 296. Do not ask a series of questions Do not put the same question to different candidates Do not ask for unnecessary details

297.

Do not ask questions to impress the candidate or to display your

knowledge. 298. 299. Do not ask highly personal questions Do not continue asking questions on one topic for a long time.

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CO

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g) Do not put any question when the candidate is answering your colleague. h) Do not at any time loose your temper or raise your voice. i) Do not become excited or emotional during interaction. j) Do not use slang or uncommon phrases or language. k) Do not make any comments that may make the candidate feel small or that may hurt him.
11.5 MEETINGS "Meetings are a strange phenomenon. Everyone calls them; everyone attends them. Yet nearly everyone is highly critical of them. They think of and talk about meetings as a necessary evil. Hardly anyone says they are fond of meetings". M.M. Monippally. Here are some statements about meetings: 302. 303. "A committee keeps minutes and loses hours". "A committee is a group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the

unnecessary." 304. "When you don't want to commit, committee yourself".

305. "A committee is a cul-de-sac into which ideas are lured, there to be quietly strangled to death". 306. "Best committee is a committee of two when one is absent".

307. "If you want to get a thing done, give it to one man; if you don't want it done, give it to a committee". 308. "Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything". (J.K. Galbraith) 309. "One either meets or one works. One cannot do both at the some time." (Peter Drucker)

Meetings are something that the organizations have to hold them but are seen as wasteful. They drain the time, money and human resources of a company. They delay decision-making. Despite, the fact that committees or meetings are so critically judged by so many, they still continue to be a part of any corporate culture. They have their own usefulness.

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305.

They give decision a depth that few individuals deciding without consultation

can generate.

306.

They help decision-makers see issues from angles that they would not have

thought of on their own.

307.

Ideas trigger new ideas in different minds. They prevent many mistakes from

being committed.

308.

Diversity and cross-fertilization are the strength of a committee.

11.6 CAUSES OF INEFFECTIVE MEETINGS Universal condemnation of meetings is not without reasons. There are some problems common to meetings that justifies condemnation. Some of the problems stem from the conveners, some from the chairperson, and the rest from the attendees. 1. Poor Preparation This is the most common reason for meetings turning wasteful. Too many meetings are convened too causally. The conveners are not clear about why they want the meeting and so do not prepare any agenda. If they do prepare an agenda, it does not reflect focused thinking. The agenda is not distributed to the committee members before the meeting, and hence, the attendees discuss issue without preparation. As a result, the members discuss irrelevant matters and this cause delay in decision-making. 2. Failure to Maintain Minutes One of the common reasons for many meetings to become wasteful is that no minutes are prepared and circulated. Or, minutes are prepared and circulated so long after the meeting that they serve no purpose. Without minutes of meetings people forget what decisions were taken and who was supposed to do what and when. Thus, the time invested in those meetings is wasted. 3. Incompetent Chairpersons Many meetings go off the track because the chairperson is incapable of hedging the discussion. It is the responsibility of the chairperson to keep the meeting within the limits of the agenda; and to ensure that everyone participates. Many chairpersons fail to do this because they are themselves underpreparpfL

Unit 11 Interviews and Meetings

At times chairpersons are unable to exercise control because certain members are above them in power, or have a strong and forceful personality. It requires high level of skill and courage to chair a meeting.

4. Cunning Chairpersons
Some managers convene meetings after meeting because they want discussion, but not decision. Some managers use meetings as a smoke screen for putting off action. Yet some managers use meetings to hide behind and not take the responsibility of decisions made. Some cunning managers use meetings to discuss some controversial matter without the members arriving at a broad agreement, thus, achieve their objective of delaying decision-making. The attendees may not suspect that they are being manipulated by the chairperson who presents the delaying tactics in a garb of democracy and the need for looking thoroughly at all aspects of the issue. a

5. Domineering Bosses
The presence of domineering bosses at the meeting may hinder free expression pf the members and render it wasteful. Members may not want to voice dissent once the boss has made his/her opinion known. They may not want to appear disloyal. Therefore, The meeting deteriorates into a monologue. Such meetings are wasteful because theyaddno value to the decision taken.

6. Spineless Bosses
Just the opposites of domineering bosses are the bosses who shy away from decision making on their own. They are risk-avoiders. They have the authority to take decisions, but not the responsibility of their consequences. They want to spread the responsibility of the decision made on the members of the committee, and thus hide behind the committee. This process, however, is time consuming for a lot of people because the chairperson has to make the attendees say what he wants to say.

7. Hidden Agendas
Meetings, especially departmental and interdepartmental ones within a company, may end up as time-wasters if there are hidden agendas. Personality clashes may result in prolonged discussions and delay decision-making. One or two members may use the whole time in discussing issues that they either favor or disapprove, while other members say nothing.

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8. Bloated Committees Some committees have more members than required. In such cases there will be too many members who may not contribute. Some are there because of protocol; some are there because their names have been suggested. Too many non-contributing members mean loss of man-hours. 9. Absence of Key Players Absence of members who contribute, as well as, whose presence is essential for discussing certain issues, may lead to wasteful meetings. In the absence of such essential members, if any decision is made they may, at later stage, raise objectives. Or they may show in the resolution weaknesses that none of those who attended the original meeting may have noticed. 10. Marathon Meetings Marathon meetings with long agendas tend to breed wastefulness. When meetings take long hours, efficiency declines. Attendees gradually begin to loose concentration because of other responsibilities that preoccupies their mind. Despite the snacks and beverages served the efficiency is not created. This leads to a group of people forced to sit waiting for the meeting to end. Activity B : The role of the chairperson who convenes the meeting is very important. If you have watched the proceedings of the Lok Sabha on TV, how would you rate the performance of the Speaker, who is supposed to conduct the daily meetings?

11.7 ARRANGING MEETINGS Careful planning of four elements - Purpose, Participants, Agenda and Location - is the key to productive meetings. The main thrust should be to bring together the right people, in the right place for just enough time to accomplish your goals.

Unit 11 Interviews and Meetings

1. Determining the Purpose


<K "

Before you call a meeting, satisfy yourself that it is the best way to achieve your goal. Then the purpose of a meeting can be categorized as informational or decision-making (although many meetings comprise both purposes). Informational meeting is called so that the participants can share information and possibly coordinate actions. This type of meeting may involve individuals briefings, by each participants or speech by the leader followed by questions from the attendees. Decision-making meetings are mainly concerned with persuasion, analysis, and problem solving. They often requires a brain storming session followed by a debate on the alternatives. Such meetings are less predictable than informational meetings. 2. Selecting the Participants Try to invite only those whose presence is essential. The number and choice of participants should reflect the purpose of the meeting. If the meeting is purely informational and one person will be doing the talking, you could include a relatively large group. However, if you are trying to solve a problem, develop a plan, or reach a decision, you should limit participation to between four and seven members. But be sure to include members who can make important contributions and those who are key decision makers. Holding a meeting to decide an important matter is pointless if the people with the necessary information are not there. 3. Setting the Agenda Although the nature of a meeting may sometimes prevent you from developing a fixed agenda, you should at least prepare a list of matters to be discussed. The agenda should include the following.
311. 312. 313. 314. 315. 316.

the names of expected attendees the exact place and time the time of starting the meeting the time when the meeting is expected to end the objective(s) of the meeting the issues to be discussed and resolved

317.

indication of how attendees in general or specific ones among them should prepare themselves for the meeting

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4. Preparing the Location Decide where you will hold the meeting, and reserve the location. Consider the seating arrangement, and give some attention to the overall environment and physical conditions of the location. Also, if you are working for a large organization with teleconferencing facilities, you may want to use this technology for your meeting. In companies where executives would otherwise have to spend time and money traveling from one location to another, teleconferencing can be a real boon. 11.8 RUNNING A PRODUCTIVE MEETING Whether the meeting is conducted electronically or conventionally, its success depends largely on how effective the chairperson is. If the leader is prepared and has selected the participants carefully, keeping in view the nature of agenda, the meeting will generally be productive. The duties of a chairperson are as follows:

319. 320. 321. 322. 323. 324. 325.

Pacing the meeting - allotting time for each item to be discussed. Appointing a note taker (secretary) Following the agenda Stimulating participation and discussion Summarizing the discussion or debate Reviewing the recommendations Circulating the minutes

& Activity C:
a) Have you arranged a meeting in the recent past? What were the steps you took in planning the meeting? List them out.

Unit 11 Interviews and Meetings

b) Did you attend a meeting that did not go too well ? Now that you have read this unit, can you identify the reason or reasons why the meeting failed?

11.9 SUMMARY
An interview is any planned, purposeful conversation involving two people. Informational interviews require mainly context and critical Jistening skills; emotion-sharing interviews may require empathic and active listening. Various types of interviews require different mixes of the foj^rnintypes of questions: open-ended, direct open-ended; and restatement. Planning interviews should be tailored to the subject, purpose, and audience and should include an opening, a body, and a close. Meetings have to be carefully mastered because they are expensive. They are indispensable, yet most people think they are a waste of time. They give depth to decisions, prevent many mistakes, provide diversity and cross-fertilization of thoughts, and give people the sense of involvement. Meetings should be called only when there is a definite purpose. Prepare the agenda well and select essential members without forgetting numbers whose presence the protect demands. Effectiveness of a meeting depends upon the skillful leadership of the chairperson. The goal of a meeting is to get all the participants to share information or to contribute to a sound decision.

11.10 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS


Ql. Describe the different categories of interviews.

Q2. Explain the planning process of an interview.

Q3. Discuss the various elements involved in planning a meeting.

Q4. Justify that the meetings are wasteful.

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12.1 INTRODUCTION
In the 1950s, social psychologist Kurt Lewin, in his book Field Theory in Social Science, suggested that group dynamics pervade in all facets of human lives. It is natural for human beings to be associated with some group or the other - be it jocia|ffloup, athleticjeam, student comrnunity, business organization, or Mends and families. As you enter into a work situation, you are bound to become a part of some group, and your participation will increase as you move up the organizational hierarchy. Communication between and within groups is vital to the organization. Before we understand group communication, we need to understand the nature of a group. We shall attempt to define a group by observing some important behavioural pattern that are prevalent in a group -such as characteristics of groups, group leaders, and special group formats. In the previous unit, we have studied information-sharing meetings, which are relatively wellplanned and very often routine. In this unit we shall concentrate on the problem-solving meetings, which consists of information sharing, tasks of finding solutions and making decisions about events or situations that have the potential to affect the performance of the organization. During the process of problem solving, the basic function is to identify and resolve specific problems by applying strong communication skills and problem-solving techniques. Besides problem-solving and decision-making, groups are also the source of "competitive communication" (that which is characterised by interdependent yet conflicting goals) within the organization. This is manifested in the forms of argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness. In handling such situations one must have strong commitment to organizational values and ethical standards, strong verbal and listening skills, interpersonal communication ability, and understanding of group roles, norms, and dynamics. Competitive communication demands the use of the methods of negotiation and conflict management. Negotiation or bargaining process can attain productive outcomes. However, there are times when the bargaining sessions can turn into conflict situation. Conflict may erupt from differences in goals or values, diverse economic or financial interests, role conflict, environmental changes, or even contradictory group loyalties. A major source of conflict is misunderstanding and communication failure. By learning productive methods of negotiation and conflict management, you can contribute a great deal to the groups, organizations, and people with whom you work.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

12.2 WHAT IS A GROUP? The interaction that takes place between two individuals is different from that which takes place among three or more people. As the size of the group increases, the interaction also begins to take different forms - the interaction becomes more formal, there is less chance of each member to participate, topics become less intimate, and tasks take longer to accomplish. Hence, the best way to define a group is to observe the behaviour of the people within the group. When a group is functioning, you can observe several important behaviours: 1 . The participants know each other by name or role. Unlike public speaking, where the speaker does not know the audience individually, but as a whole. In a group situation, however, the members know each other by their personal names, or by their roles - i.e. the boss, vicepresident, discussion leader, etc. In a group of friends everyone knows everyone by his/her name. 2. There is considerable amount of interaction among the participants. In a group situation, communication plays an important role. During group meetings, some members request information, and others provide it; there are agreements and disagreements among the members; and members clarify their positions and statements. Communication does not occur in a uniform or consistent manner. Interaction within 3. Each participant has some degree of influence on each of the other members. When group members get together, each person influences and is influenced by the others to some degree. Participants who express forceful arguments that are backed by powerful documentation may strongly influence others in the group. Influence may be verbal as well as nonverbal. For instance, if there is member who scowls at another, may influence the way that person reacts, speaks, or even votes. Each participant defines himself or herself as a member of the group and is also defined by outsider as a member. Over a period of time, as a group continues to meet and its members interact, the participants bond together. In a work situation, the bonding is the task that each member helps to perform. Belongingness to the group is something that each participant is proud of and makes no secret of it. This

feeling is something that the members share with others who not the members of the group; and these outsiders identify them as the members of the group. A sense of membership is a key characteristic of an effective group.

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5. The participants share some common goal, interest, or benefit by holding membership in the group. In almost all cases, common goals are the binding factor that holds a group together. They may be the reason why a person chooses to be a part of a group. Aperson who does not see that working with others is a means to achieve a common goal, advance a common interest, or help facilitate a common benefit should withdraw and accomplish the task on his own. 6. There is leadership. Within every functioning group, leadership is evident. In an informal group leadership evolves. A leader can emerge from the interaction of the group members. In some formal groups, a leader is designated. Sometimes group members formally vote and select a person to lead. At other times, a person is simply looked up to by others as the group leader, because of the quality of his or her contributions to the group. In many groups, it is difficult to pinpoint any one person as the group leader. Nevertheless, leadership is certainly present as group members interact. In such cases, we say that the group has 'shared leadership' - all of the functions of leadership are present, but they are provided by several members, not just one.

^Activity A;:
Seek an occasion to be in a group and find out which of the above-mentioned characteristics are present within the group: a. b. c. d.

12.3 FACTORS INFLUENCING GROUP COMMUNICATION


Group communications, because of the variety of people who participate, require special effort. Among the several factors that affect the quality and quantity of group communication are cohesiveness, norms, roles, conformity, group think, and conflict. Some of these havi positive effect on the group communication; others become barriers that have to be overcome.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

1. Cohesiveness :.
The tenn 'group' implies that it has to remain intact, which is its primary goal, no matter how difficult the situation or challenging the environment. Cohesiveness is the capacity and degree to which the group remains together. There are two ways in which we can think of Cohesiveness:

323.

A group is cohesive when its members retain their membership. The members

desire membership because of their affinity to other members of the group, perceived benefits that the members can avail, and financial and social investments that cannot be abandoned.

337.

A group is also cohesive if members strongly identify with the group. The more

the participants identify with the purposes and goals of the group, tell outsiders about the activities of the group, and take pride in their membership, the more cohesive the group remains. Cohesive nature of a group enables the group as a whole to meet challenges and successfully overcome obstacles. Maintaining Cohesiveness in a group is a challenge, but strong and effective communication can help. Following are the characteristics of Cohesiveness of a group:

The quality and quantity of communication in a high-cohesive group is more extensive than
in low-cohesive group.

330.

High-cohesive group exerts greater influence over its members that a lowcohesive group. ~ ' High-cohesive group achieves its goals more effectively than low-cohesive group.

331.

t Member satisfaction is greater in high-cohesive group than in a low-cohesive group. 2. Norms : Group norms are standards or limits that define appropriate behaviour of its members, as "1 as that of the outsiders. Generally these norms are not formally communicated toits .^infers, but are feamt 6y fne mem6ers tnrougfi o6servatibns ancf experience, flere are .some examples of norms: i) Negative criticism of other members or another person is unacceptable.

Prior permission should be obtained from appropriate person/s before inviting a guest. First name should not be used during meetings.

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Such norms facilitate the functioning of the group. Any member who fails to follow group norms may be isolated from other members, ignored, and, in some cases, excluded from group meetings. However, groups should monitor these norms so that they do not become cumbersome and adversely affect the functioning of the group.

3. Roles :
Every member of the group has a role. In many groups, members play several roles. These roles could either be official or unofficial. For instance, facilitator is an official role that demands the person to make sure that everyone gets to talk during a meeting. On the other hand, there may be someone who is a dominator (who speaks too often and too long during a meeting), which is an unofficial role. Taking on a role leads others to have some expectations about your behaviour in the group. For example, you have some expectations about your professor - i.e. prepare you for the class, take attendance, facilitate discussion, prepare examination, etc. People in a group emerge in certain roles because of the way they communicate with other group members. Here are some roles often played by members: b) c) d) e) f) a) Isolate: Sits and fails to participate. Harmoniser: Keeps tension low. Free rider: Does not do his/her share of work. Detractor: Constantly criticizes and gripes. Airhead: Is never prepared for group meetings. Socializer: Is a member of the group only for social and personal reasons.

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4. Conformity: C
Conformity is agreement with or correspondence to a set of ideas, rules, or principles. In a group, the ideas are often the opinion of one or more dominant members. Participants who value conformity either give in, compromise, or abandon their individual positions toj join others in the group. One of the reasons for people submitting to conformity is that it is difficult to act \ complete independence of all the members of the group. If one does try to act indepen of the group members, then he/she would receive hostile or uncooperative treatment. 1 instance, if, during a meeting, an issue has been resolved, and someone attempts to 1 it up for discussion it would spark off another debate. To avoid the situation, highly ( or authoritative leadership would suppress the individual and encourage conformity.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

Conformity may be necessary for group effectiveness. Groups eventually must reach decision, and conformity among group members provides a basis for consensus. Conformity to various rules, to standards, and especially to group goals is necessary under all conditions of group decision-making.

5. Groupthink:
Groupthink is the tendency of group members to seek agreement. This is conformity carried to its extreme. In other words, conformity in its extreme form leads to groupthink. Dan O'Hair, Gustav W. Friedrich, and Lynda Dee Dixon, in their book Strategic Communication, state that "group gripped by groupthink fails to explore alternative solutions, problems, or concerns in an effort to present a united or cohesive front to outsiders." Four conditions that give rise to groupthink are:

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Being out of touchy When a group meets for long periods of time from its regular routines, members tend to forget the real world and do what is necessary for the group to succeed, irrespective of how their decisions or actions may harm others. Being out of order. Informal and unstandardised decision-making procedures lead the group into unproductive areas with no way to get back on tracks. In other words, failing to follow standard procedures in decision-making could lead astray the group and thus make no headway. Being overruled: When the group members feel that the leader thrusts decisionmaking procedures upon them, they are likely to follow without much advocacy or dissention.

339.

340.

341.

JBejng out ofresources:When faced with a critical situation, a short time to make decision, and no reasonable alternative other than that which is proposed and favoured by the leader, the group is forced to groupthink.

6. Conflict:
The term 'conflict' is greatly misunderstood facet of group communication. We tend to think of conflict in its negative sense, but overlook the positive side of it. Many group leaders avoid conflict because they think that a group experiencing conflict is not running smoothly. Conflict does not mean that a meeting is disorderly, wild, or rude. It is a sign that people are actively participating in a discussion. Dan O'Hair, Gustav W. Friedrich, and Lynda Dee Dixon believe that if a group does not exhibit conflict by debating ideas or questioning others, there is very little reason for it to exist. Conflict, then, is the very essence

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of group interaction. Skilful leaders can use conflict as a means to determine what is and "what is not acceptable idea, solution, or problem. It should, however, be borne in mind that conflict here refers to debate about issues and not personalities. A group will not be productive if arguments are centred on the participants rather than on what the participants are saying.

$ Activity B:
List down three norms that you can find in the following groups: a) Office staff:

b) Your friend circle:

12.4 GROUP PARTICIPATION & GROUP LEADERSHIP


Participation and leadership in groups are likely to be interrelated. The extent to which the participants contribute to decision-making depends on the leadership style. A communicationspecific definition, as given by Dan O'Hair, Gustav W. Friedrich, and Lynda Dee Dixon, is that "a leader is the member of a group who speaks the most to the group as a whole, is spoken to the most, and directs the communication in the group to productive levels." In the work place, you may be assigned to formal task groups, or you may choose to volunteer for special project groups. In any case, your level of participation affects the group process and your attitude toward the group. An important factor influencing group involvement is the style of participation. Authoritarian, laissez-faire, and participative styles of decision-making allow varying degrees of participation by members with very different results.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

Many training and development programmes today attempt to teach the managers or supervisors how to be leaders. The focus of these programmes is on transforming managers from people with titles into people who exhibit true influence, direction, and motivation. A group cannot function effectively without a leader. Leadership style defines the communication pattern of a group. In particular, participative decision-making in the management world is greatly influenced by the leadership style. Leaders in business organization and other professions can be viewed in four.ways:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Traits 'Spv ,c-x|\sv. Style Situational leadership Functional leadership

1. Styles of Group Participation for Decision-Making: a) Authoritarian Decision Makii


Anjafhoritariaifsryle^fdecision-rnaking is one in which a leader hands downa decision to the group. The participants are not involved in the making of decision; ~they simply do what the leader tells them to do. TWo situations call for authoritarian decisionmaking: i. Crisis: When a group faces crisis, decision has to be made swiftly, and there is little time for discussion. ii. Lack of knowledge: When the members are asked to give their inputs on a subject, of which they have no knowledge or information - valuable time is lost. In such situations, authoritarian decision-making becomes necessary.

b) Laissez-Faire Decision-Making
A laissez-faire style of decision-making is one in which there is minimal involvement (^by the group leader. In this style, the members make decision without guidance or direction from the leader. This style is difficult to manage because some people may assume the role of leaders without having the required skills. Laissez-faire groups are likely to grope around for ways to identify problems or establish decision criteria, in which time and resources are lost.

c) Participative Decision-Making
Dan O'Hair, Gustav W. Friedrich, and Lynda Dee Dixon quote Gary Yukl, according to whom participation "usually refers to a management style or type

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of decision procedure through which subordinates are allowed to influence some of the manager's decision." Participative decision-making enables the group members to be more committed to the outcome, and yields an interesting and satisfying experience for group members. In this style of decision-making, i. leader must have sufficient authority to delegate and share decision-making with the group, il members must be knowledgeable and willing to participate in discussion, arid ~~~ ~" iii. there must bejmough time for the group to complete discussion and reach a consensus.

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Note:

339. 340.

When decision-making is authoritarian, the leader makes the decision for the group. When decision-making is laissez-faire, the leader turns decision over to the When decision-making is participative, the leader makes decision with the group.

341.
group

2. Types of Group Leadership: a) Traits


The 'traits' approach is the oldest method by which people have attempted to measure leadership. Generally, it is assumed that a leader is higher than non-leaders in intelligence, scholarship, dependability, and responsibility, activity and social participation, and socio-economic status. Leaders also outdo others in presenting a compelling vision, exhibiting power, exemplifying organizational values, and taking risks. Negative traits that prevent a person from assuming a leadership role include uninformativeness, nonparticipation, extreme rigidity, authoritarian behaviour, and offensive verbalization.

b) Style
Another way to conceptualise leadership is to notice the style of a person - the behaviours that a person exhibits when interacting with group members. A discussion on leadership style assumes that there is one style that works best for

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

most situations. In other words, you cannot have a combination of styles for one situation. Leadership styles follow the same classification outlined for decision-making: authoritarian, laissez-faire, and participative. These styles become obvious depending on the actions of the leader. c) Situational Leadership A third view of leadership suggests that there is no one best style, but rather that the best style is one that suits the situation. There are two types of situational leaderships:

1. Leader adapts to the situation and maturity level (willingness and ability to
perform the task) of the group members.

2. Leader is inflexible, in which the objective is to match the leader's ability


and style to the situation. d) Functional Leadership Sometimes groups contain several members who can perform many duties and responsibilities of a leader. When groups rise to an occasion and perform needed leadership functions, the group is demonstrating functional leadership. Some people may be very task oriented and push the group toward solving the problem. These members supply the group with a task function. Other members may be adept at maintaining harmony and social relations within the group.

^ActivityC;
Identify the style of group participation for decision-making in the following: 1. Military Operations 2. Friends deciding to go on a picnic "} Deciding the date for a class test. dj Worker is severely hurt during operating a machine. Deciding to change working conditions of a department.

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12.5 GROUP COMMUNICATION PROCESS: PROBLEM SOLVING Several types of meetings are common to most organizations. Planning meetings, staff meetings, and annual meetings bring together groups of employees and stakeholders to share information and update them on the direction the group and the organization is taking. Typically, these meetings are scheduled regularly and have set agendas. However, when problem-solving groups are called, their basic function is to identify and resolve specific problems. Problem solving groups are also called as task force, troubleshooting teams, or strategic communication committee. These groups are called upon to use their strong communication skills and special problem-solving techniques. In the process of managing the problem-solving group communication it is essential that you prepare the agenda, prepare for the meeting, develop critical thinking, and prepare for managing anxiety. Preparations: a) The Agenda: An agenda is like a road map that enables you to know how to reach you destination. Before you begin your meeting it is necessary that you prepare your 'road map' to achieve your goal. An agenda is a guide that specifies what is to be discussed, when, in what order, and for how long. The agenda serves as the framework, within which, the group leader organizes time and topics. But leaders are not the only contributors to the direction of the group. Effective group members must consider organizational, group, and individual goals. This requires self-control and constant efforts to be mindful of the purpose of the meeting. i. Organizational Goals: These are uppermost in the organization's hierarchy and describe pathways to excellence. To work effectively, serve the purpose of the organization, and avoid conflicts between group agendas and organizational goals. Groups are wise to keep in mind the overarching goals of the organization.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

1C

>n flue

ion. >'to sen. time oup. ;oals. rfthe

ii. Group Goals: These serve the mission and purpose of the group itself. Often a higher authority forms the group and gives it the charge to function, which serves as the fundamental goal of the group. For instance, a chief executive may appoint a group to recommend a change in the distribution system of the wholesale products. The group's fundamental charge may be to develop a new and more effective distribution system. iii. Groups may also set to "process goals". Groups attempt to improve their functioning by setting process goals. If, after a series of meetings, group members

feel they are not working together as well as they could, they may set goals to improve their internal harmony, research skills, decision-making process, or ability to deal with time pressure. Putting it differently, a group must constantly monitor its goals to ensure that its actions are serving the best interests of both the group and the organization. iv. Individual Goals: These are goals that the group members have, in addition to the group's goals. Some people join a group either to meet new people at work, to satisfy their need for achievement, or to gain recognition, knowledge, power, information, or skill. However, when you are asked to be a part of a group for some specific purpose, then it would be wise to keep your individual goals in the background and serve the purpose of the group for which it has been set up. Groups function most effectively when members place each type of goals in their appropriate order and have right perspective of each of them while engaging in meetings. b) Preparing for the Meeting: Proper advance planning is important for the success of a meeting. Location, participants, scheduling, and other environmental issues can affect the outcome of a meeting. i. Meeting Facilitiesj^Nhen deciding on the venue of the meeting the primary concern is that the physical conditions of the place meet the needs of the people planning to attend. See if the place can accommodate everyone in the group, has proper natural lighting and ventilation, etc. It is also important to arrange the seating positions appropriate for the type of meeting. Decide whether you require auditorium setup, or a classroom arrangement, or a conference arrangement, or U-shaped setup. Make sure that there are facilities for audiovisual requirements.

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ii. Settmf^Rujes of Order: Meetings run more smoothly when conducted according to an orderly procedure and established rules. Consult some best-known set of rules, which give precise standards of parliamentary procedure to follow in specific situations. One major advantage of using established rules of order is that the group leader is less likely to be accused of personal bias in decision-making. Using formal rules can be very effective for proceeding through the agenda. in. Developing Critical Thinking Skills: Many skills are necessary for effective communication, participation, and problem solving in meetings. The foundation of these skills is the ability to think critically about the subject or issue under discussion. Doing so, allows group members to formulate and express ideas that move the group toward achieving its goals. Analysis is the process of tearing apart an issue and examining its components parts to see how they relate to the whole. This skill is particularly important when group members are exploring the characteristics of a problem. To develop analytical skills for use in a group meeting, participants must exhibit the following:

1. Patience with alternative viewpoints and methods. 2. Ability to define terms clearly and willingness to demand that other participants do
the same.

3. A broad, open-minded approach to the problem. 4. A search for commonalities and differences. 5. A comparison and contrast of the problem under discussion with other problems that
have been previously discussed.

6. A summary of what the group has discussed up to a certain point.


Group members must demonstrate wide range of competence for effective group communication. 12.6 NATURE OF COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS IN ORGANIZATION Group meetings are not always smooth and without problems. There are instances when the meetings could develop situations where the need for strong communication skills and problem-solving techniques become necessary. In groups you would encounter people who are more aggressive than the others. It is likely that they would engage in argument.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

What happens when people who are arguing about issues refocus their attention on each other? An inclination to argue or a fondness for arguing is called "argumentativeness". "Argumentativeness include the ability to recognize controversial issues in communication situations, to present and defend positions on the issues, and attack the positions which other people take." Generally speaking, argumentativeness in the workplace is a positive and constructive strategy. Arguing for causes, positions, and ideas within organizations is often viewed favourably because people who are effective arguers are likely to achieve their goals. On the other hand, tendency to attack other people instead of other points of view is termed "verbal aggressiveness". It denotes attacking the self-concept of another person instead of, or in addition to, the person's position on a topic of communication. The difference between verbal aggressiveness and argumentativeness is the focus of attack. Argumentative people concentrate on positions, issues, reasoning, and evidence. Verbally aggressive people attack others personality. The difference affects the group performance, working relationships, and ability to achieve organization goals. Determining Your Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness: One way to find out is to score yourself on scales designed to measure argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness. The Strategic Skills Table 12.1 measures argumentativeness. It measures your reaction to controversy. The Strategic Skills Table 12.2 measures verbal aggressiveness. It reveals how you usually try to get people to comply with your wishes.

> Activity D:
Respond to each of the statements in Table 12.1 as honestly as possible to assess your communication skills in a group situation.

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Table 12.1 STRATEGIC SKILLS Argumentativeness Scale 1. While in an argument, I worry that the person I am arguing with will form a negative opinion of me. Arguing over controversial issues improves my intelligence. I enjoy avoiding arguments. I am energetic when I argue. Once I finish an argument, I promise myself that I will not get into another. Arguing with a person creates more problems than it solves. I have a pleasant, good feeling when I win a point in an argument. When I finish arguing with someone, I feel nervous and upset. I enjoy a good argument over a controversial issue. 343. 344. 345. 346. 347. 348. 349. 350. 351. 352. I get unpleasant feeling when I realise I am about to get into an argument. I enjoy defending my point of view on an issue I am happy when I keep an argument form happening. I do not like to miss the opportunity to argue a controversial issue. I prefer being with people who rarely disagree with me. I consider an argument an exiting intellectual challenge. I find myself unable to think of effective points during an argument. I feel refreshed and satisfied after an argument on a controversial issue. I have the ability to do well in an argument. I try to avoid getting into argument.

353. I feel excitement when I expect that a conversation I am in is leading to an argument Note A: If the statement is: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. almost never true, place 1 in the blank space rarely true, place 2 in the blank space occasionally true, place 3 in the blank space often true, place 4 in the blank space almost always true, place 5 in the blank space.

g 19. 1C 11

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Note B : 1. Tendency to approach argumentative situation: add scores on spaces 2,4,7,9,11, 13, 15, 17, 18, and 20. 2. Tendency to avoid argumentative situations: add scores on spaces 1,3,5,6,8,10, 12, 14, 16, and 19. 3. Argumentativeness trait: subtract the total of the ten tendency-to-avold items from the total of the ten tendency-to-approach items. 345. A higher positive score indicates high argumentativeness (score 20 to 40) A higher negative score reflects low argumentativeness. Source: Adapted/mm Dan O 'Hair, Gustav W. Friedrich, and Lynda Dee Dixon, 'Strategic Communication in Business and the Professions', New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2002, pg. 338 Table 12.2 STRATEGIC SKILLS Verbal Aggressiveness Scale 1. I am extremely careful to avoid attacking person's intelligence when I attack her/ his ideas. 356. I use insults to "soften" stubborn people. 357. I try very hard to avoid influencing people by making them feel bad about themselves. 358. If someone refuses to do a task I know is important for a reason that does not seem valid to me, I accuse him/her of being unreasonable. 359. When others do things I think are misguided, I try to be extremely gentle with them. 2. If someone I am trying to influence really deserves it, I attack her or his character. 360. When people demonstrate poor taste, I insult them to shock them into proper behaviour. 361. I try to make people feel good about themselves even when I think their ideas are useless.

4. When people simply will not budge on a matter of great importance, I lose my temper and make strong emotional outbursts. 5. When people criticize my shortcomings, I take it in good humour and do not try to get back at them. 6. When people insult me, I get a lot of pleasure out of overreacting.

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362. When I dislike someone strongly, I try not to show it in what I say or how I say it. 363. I like poking fun at people who do or say careless things to "wake them up". 364. When I attack a person's ideas, I try not to damage his/her self-concept. 365. When I try to influence people, I make an effort not to offend them. 366. If I see someone act cruelly, I tell everyone else how terrible he/she is in hopes of changing his/her behaviour. 367. I refuse to participate in arguments when they involve personal attacks. 367. When I am unable to influence others through conventional tactics, I resort to yelling and screaming at them. 368. When I am not able to refute others' positions, I try to make them feel defensive to weaken their positions. 368. When an argument shifts to personal attacks, I try very hard to change the subject. Note A: If the statement is: 364. 365. 366. 367. 368. Note B: Add your scores on numbers 1,3,5, 8,10,12,14,15,17, and 20. Call this "Total A". Add your scores on numbers 2,4,6,7,9,11,13,16,18, and 19. Call this "Total B". Subtract Total B from Total A. 369. If the result is between 20 and 40, you have a low tendency toward verbal aggressiveness. 370. If the result is between 0 and 19, you have a moderate tendency toward verbal aggressiveness. almost never true, place 1 in the blank space rarely true, place 2 in the blank space occasionally true, place 3 in the blank space often true, place 4 in the blank spaceal most always true, place 5 in the blank space.

371. If the result is negative number (below 0), you probably use verbal aggression frequently.
Source: Adapted from Dan O 'Hair, Gustav W. Friedrich, and Lynda Dee Dixon, 'Strategic Communication in Business and the Professions', New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2002, pg. 339

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

Uncontrolled verbal aggressiveness can lead to interpersonal difficulties. Attacking the personalities or self-concepts of others demonstrate lack of sensitivity to feelings and hurts those who are the targets of this aggression. Reducing verbal aggressiveness is to understand how and why it occurs. There are at least four reasons for verbal aggression: 1. Psychopathy: This refers to mental disorder that can stimulate attack on people (clinical counselling is recommended). 2. Dislike of others: This can cause verbal aggressiveness, especially if you are put off by the appearance or personality of the person with whom you are communicating. 3. Social learning: Observing and imitating parents, siblings, peers, and significant others who use verbal aggressiveness in your presence, can encourage you to verbal aggressiveness. 4. Desperation: This can lead to verbal aggressiveness in final effort to win an argument. Desperation is a common reason for verbal aggressiveness, which is caused by deficient critical thinking. Understanding and being aware of these causes of verbal aggressiveness can help you to control the urge to attack people personally. The best way to control verbal aggressiveness is to become a better communicator. Learn and practice the following skills on regular basis: 1. Conduct a thorough analysis of the situation. 2. Provide logical reasoning for your position.

1. Develop a careful interpretation of the conflict issues, both your and others. 2. Evaluate your position and that of your partner.

You will find that engaging in constructive argumentation decreases the urge to attack others personally. a ,_ -, \ <Z& ^ \^ r^k^ *>&'&*' 12.7 NEGOTIATION ^^ ^ ^Negotiation, or bargaining, frequently involves argumentation and verbal aggressiveness. It generally occurs when communicators - for example, buyer and seller, union leaders and company/representatives, supervisor and workers - are not in agreement. w\A

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1. Goal Setting:
Negotiators are different from problem-solving groups because of the differences in affiliation, the goals, the needs, and communication styles. Problem-solving groups work toward one common goal; whereas, participants in a negotiation session may have a common goal, but differ or disagree on the means and methods to achieve it. Negotiation is usually a planned and structured process of communication. Although arguments may arise spontaneously from something said in the course of discussion, negotiators frequently plan tactics to be used and topics to be covered before an encounter. In a negotiation session, two or more people with different goals exchange communication to produce a mutually desirable outcome. The parties involved must recognize that they are mutually dependent, because seldom can an acceptable outcome occur unless all the parties to negotiation recognize this fact. Most bargaining situations require give-and-take policy. Communicators must bargain forcefully and strategically, using effective argumentation skills while at the same time remaining aware that some concessions must be made so that all parties feel satisfied with the outcome. 2. Formal versus Informal Negotiation: Negotiation or bargaining process can be observed in both formal and informal situations. Formal bargaining situations develop when recurring issues require deliberation and confrontation over time, hi organizational setup, the most important formal bargaining is labour-management negotiation. Other instance of formal bargaining is negotiation between representatives of government and industry over the issue of law or policies; bargaining *Tviffilmbcontractorsor firms offering services, negotiation with suppliers over prices, etc. i' * 'r Informal bargaining is also quite prevalent in the workplace, which involve situations] that are not often repeated. It may occur when two parties must depend on one anotherto| resolve divergent goals. For example, managers and employees often bargaining over jg descriptions, salary, and^erformance standards. Informal bargaining could also occur! with outside organizations - for instance, negotiating discounts from vendors, with 1 about corporate discounts, etc. Regardless of whether a situation is formal or informal, similar negotiation strategies are| used.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

3. Communication Competence :
The first step in negotiation is to make an offer within limits acceptable to the other bargaining party. This would establish that the negotiator is bargaining in good faith. However, if the offer is not acceptable or does not appear to be reasonable on the first hearing, may in fact become persuasive as the negotiator takes it through the subsequent steps in the bargaining process. Regardless of the quality of your initial offer, you will usually need to persuade others that your position is worthy of consideration and their support. Use of strong evidence gives credibility to your position more effectively than does any other tactics. Evidence usually consists of some form of information - published documents, statistics, expert opinion, or testimony. Another persuasive element in negotiation is summarizing - summarizing your arguments may clear up confusion about the position you have taken and your reasons for taking it. Finally, look at the position taken by the other side. Negotiation is most effective when all concerned participants understand each other's positions on the issue and when there is no inconsistency.

4. Dimensions of Negotiation :
According to experts, there are three dimensions of negotiation: information management, concessions, and positioning. Each of them represents a category of strategies, tactics, and behaviours that are used by negotiators to advance their goals.

1. Information management: When engaging in bargaining with others, have at hand


as much research and information as possible, but manage the information effectively - use it to promote your goals. Information can be managed in a number of ways that strengthen your bargaining position - such as seek explanation from your opponents in an effort to clarify the issues; realign their position according to prevailing evidence; or reduce ambiguity that can be used against you.

2. Concessions: Negotiators come to the bargaining table expecting to give up, or


concede, some of their goals to obtain something in return. Making concessions demonstrates cooperativeness, which usually makes a positive impression on others and may encourage them to reciprocate.

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Making concessions is also a good way to maintain interest in the negotiation. Providing a minor concession from time to time can open new venues of opportunities, stimulate fresh approaches to negotiation, and revitalize communication among the bargaining parties. These concessions, however, should be judiciously administered. Concessions can take the form of time, money, resources, responsibilities, autonomy, and even change in job descriptions. Positioning: This term refers to moving the focus of the negotiation to issues that are important to you. You must use this technique carefully - i.e. if the issues that interest you are not central to the discussion, then refrain from emphasising them. Many negotiators use positioning to show their side in its most favourable light. In emphasising your issues you should not lose sight of your position, or distort or misrepresent it. Positioning, more than technique, is a result of pre-established rules and procedures. Many formal bargaining situations prescribe certain methods of discussion, procedures for decision-making, or an agenda of topics to be discussed. >,. 5. Anxiety Management : Negotiations can often produce anxiety, but there are some strategies to reduce the nervousness. First, remember that bargaining is a normal, accepted business practice. You are not a troublemaker for entering into a bargaining situation. Second, set a specific date and time for the bargaining session. This will give you time to gather enough evidence and data needed to support your position. This will build your confidence and reduce your anxiety. Third, keep in mind that bargaining is not a do-or-die situation. Be open and flexible during negotiations. Create a non-hostile environment by making the first concession. Negotiation is a common communication strategy in business and professional settings. The more effectively you can bargain, the more likely you are to attain positions of enhanced responsibility and authority because you can be trusted to get the best deal for your organization.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

Activity E ;
a) Remember any negotiation you have had recently, and state if it was formal or informal.

b) Also mention if there was any nervousness on your part and the strategy that you used.

12.8 CONFLICT MANAGEMENT When bargainers come to the table with serious purposes, strong negotiation skills, and mutual dependency, they can attain productive outcomes. But there are many instances when the bargaining sessions end up in serious conflict situations. When bargaining session breakdowns into conflict situation then the outcome is unproductive. What is Conflict? Conflict can take many shapes in the workplace. It can occur between people representing different organizational units, it can occur between organizational levels such as labour and management, and it can occur between people who work together. Conflict is a dynamic process that is precipitated, developed, and governed by the joint communication strategies of the parties involved. One expert defines conflict as "an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce rewards, and interference from the other party in achieving their goals." The parties must be interdependent. Conflict results when people view other people (people on whom they depend) as the reason they cannot attain their goals. Interdependency forces the conflict: if a party could attain its goals without interaction with the other party, conflict would not arise. The same dynamic properties that make group and organizational communication valuable are the reasons for potential conflict.

Business Communication

1. Causes of Conflict :
The primary cause of conflict is competing goals. Even though people usually enter into conflict situation with established goals, the goals may change as the situation develops and understanding of the opponents increases. As goals change, so does the communication of the conflict.

Es

b)
o types of goals in most conflict situations: content and relational. this conflict situation, the conflicting parties believe they understand t of the goals in the situation, yet each has a perspective that is different and unknown to the other party. Thus, content goals involve the obvious reasons for a dispute, but differing perspectives unknown to the other party. They are issues characterized by such as decision-making (participation in decision-making process), and rights (maintaining fairness), bach party understands its goals but has few ideas aBout the goals of its conflicting partner. Failure to communicate differing goals usually

Relational Goals: If in the content goals the involved parties are unaware of each other's goak<in relational goals there is an attempt by the conflicting parties to make Hheirg^afeless obvious. Relational goals "define each party's importance to the other, the emotional distance they wish to maintain, the influence each is willing to grant the other, the degree to which the parties are seen as a unit, or the rights each party is willing to grant to the other".

2. Managing Conflicting Goals :


Both content and relational goals must be brought out into the open and honestly discussed to prevent confusion and misunderstandings. The only way mat people in a conflict can share the perspective of their opponents is by understanding their goals.

The following steps can help you to clarify goals :

1. State your goals in clear, unambiguous language (use language that the other party
can understand).

2. Draw out clearly stated goals from the other party. c) d)


Openly discuss the difference between your content and relational goals. Make sure that you and your opponent have a shared understanding of each other's goals.

e)
Show that upholding your goals will not prevent managing the conflict productively.

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

Haying clarified the goals of both the opposing parties, now there should be an attempt to collaborate the goals - i.e. interdependent solution. The key to managing any conflict is working toward an interdependent solution. If any party considers only its goals and fails to acknowledge the other party's goals, it will only delay the productive resolution of differences. Here are some ways to encourage goal collaboration:

378. 379.

Search for commonalities among the competing goals.

Recognize that some of your opponent's goals may not have long-term implications and you may be able to live with them.

1. Remember the adage: "Every defeat is a victory and every victory is a defeat". People
who always get their way may be disliked for their success.

380. 381.
parties.

Give some concessions while asking for some. Develop new goals that incorporate and complement the competing goals of all

3. A Strategic Approach to Conflict: When approaching conflict situations, communicators must remain flexible so that the strategy they select is suitable for the people concerned, the goals to be achieved, and the situational constraints involved. Communicators must be able to respond to the changing conditions of a conflict situation. A number of factors can influence the selection of a conflict strategy. The various strategies or styles are competing, accommodating, compromising, avoiding, and collaborating. For productive conflict management, you should consider the following factors: goal setting, situational knowledge, communication competence, and anxiety management. a) Goal Setting: An important consideration in any conflict management is that the goals of communicators can change during the course of a conflict. If the goals of the conflict appear to be changing, you should be prepared to respond with an alternative conflict style. Second consideration for selecting a conflict style is the likelihood of multiple goals. You may choose a particular style because of your opponent's primary goals, but be flexible enough to shift to a more compromising position if it is productive in bringing about a resolution.

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284
Relational goals also influence the choice of a conflict style - i.e. if you feel connected to your opponent in some personal way, you are less likely to use competing or avoiding strategies and use more positive strategies. Also consider professional relationship you have with your conflict partner. His/her position in the organization may influence your choice of style. When you decide on a conflict style, consider the long-term relational consequences of your action. If you hope to carry on a long-term relationship with your opponent, employing competing or avoiding tactics may destroy your relationship. The destruction of long-term relationship may not be worth the short-term gains you may make by using such tactics. Therefore, it is very important to consider all possible aspects of conflict in the process of goal setting.

b) Situational Knowledge:
Situational factors are elements in a conflict that affect the nature of conflict and the styles you select to deal with them. For example, the physical environment (where the conflict takes place, such as private office, in the cafeteria, or in a meeting) will affect how you communicate during a conflict. Aggressive tactics are particularly risky when the conflict occurs in public view. Time is another factor that influences your choice of style of conflict management. For example, if you are expected to settle your differences with someone in a limited time period, you may feel unable to develop a successful, positive style and may resort to tactics such as competing or avoiding. If you have more time to settle your differences, you may be able to work out more elaborate styles such as collaborating and compromising.

c) Communication Competence:
In conflict situation be aware of your strengths and weaknesses - i.e. your communication competence. Competencies include argumentation skills, control of verbal aggressiveness, listening skills, and verbal and nonverbal skills. Controlling verbal aggressiveness is important in conflict situation. Allowing the discussion to drop to the level of personality attacks accomplishes nothing in the way of conflict management. It only escalates the conflict. Listening skills are essential to the choice of conflict style. Knowing what your opponents are saying and why they are saying it can tell you a lot about what style will work best in resolving conflict with them.

Sincere effort to remain flexible also aids in resolving disputes. Flexibility allows you to adapt to the changing dynamics of a conflict. For example, you may decide to

Unit 12 Group Communication Strategies

adopt an accommodating style in the initial stages of the conflict, but as the conflict progresses, the opponent stubbornness or hostility may make competitive tactics more useful. By remaining flexible, you will be able to make a change in your conflict style to counter the shift. In general, successful conflict managers are highly sensitive to shifts in conflict strategies by their opponents. d) Anxiety Management: Conflict can be a major cause of anxiety in the workplace. You may dread or avoid particular situations, such as an argument with a superior, hostility in a group meeting, or even a sensitive bargaining session, if the possibility of conflict makes you uneasy. Conflict, however, can have productive outcomes, and on some occasions it is better to engage in conflict than to avoid it. To lessen your anxiety in a conflict:

376. 377. 378. 379. 380.


^ Activity F:

focus on goals and outcomes view your conflict partner positively seek support of others who share your goals and position take a break to collect your thoughts call for a time out to relax.

a) List some conflict situations that are likely to arise, (two at your workplace and two in your home environment).

b) Can you recollect a recent situation where you had to face conflicting goals? List the steps that you took to help you clarify goals.

Business Communication

12.9 SUMMARY Group communication is inevitable in any business organization and professional settings. They are necessary because decisions are reached by groups are superior to decisions reached by individuals. The nature of group communication grows out of what groups do, what purposes they serve, and what constitutes a group. A number of factors influence group communication: cohesiveness, norms, roles, conformity, and groupthink. Groupthink can lead to poor decisionmakTrig^ _ 3*-<( f0 Another important dimension of group communication is leadership. Leaders can be classified according to the traits they exhibit, their behavioural styles, their adaptability to the situation at hand, or their ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a leader. Most competitive communication situation can be addressed through negotiation, which can be formal or informal. The three dimenslonsof negotiation are information management, concessions, and positioning. The selection of most appropriate negotiation strategy depends on the situation, although general guidelines can be applied. When bargaining breaks down it develops into a conflict. Conflict, the struggle between interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, may exist in all levels, situations, and relationships in an organization. Successfully resolving conflict requires strategic communication - goal setting, situational knowledge, communication competence, and anxiety management. 12.10 SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS Ql. Describe what constitutes a group and what are the factors that influence group communication. Q2. Discuss the different types of group participations and group leaderships.

Q3. Explain the strategic communication for negotiation.

Q4. Explain the strategic management of conflict in an organization.

Business Communication

13.1 INTRODUCTION In the previous units, we focused on the importance of communication skills as both a speaker and writer. The attempt was to understand the survival techniques, with regard to communication, in the work place. However, as a graduate from a college or a university, the first important business letter you would have to write would be an application for a job. As an advanced business student, you will share many common qualities with your peers - at school or at work. If you are not presently employed in a career-path job you probably also share a desire to find that special job where you will be rewarded with good pay and praise for your contribution to the team. But remember that such a job does not come easily. For majority of the students, obtaining the first major job takes a lot of hard work. Likewise, for those who are currently employed and working on a graduate degree, a new job, one that will allow you to use your newly acquired skills, is sometimes difficult to acquire. Traditionally, the job search process requires conducting a personal assessment, researching an organization, preparing a personal resume, writing letters of application, interviewing with several prospective employers both on campus and off campus, and sometimes applying for jobs through employment agencies. Today, the process has been enhanced enormously by taking your job search on-line. Electronic job searching and on-line career discussion groups that were once used by only a few are now considered important job-finding alternatives. In fact, employers are more frequently bypassing the campus recruiting process and are going straight to potential employees through on-line job advertising. You should be prepared for whatever job finding process you choose. You should be well equipped to join the working world. In this unit you will learn who you are and what you want to do, deciding how to market yourself through the preparation of a resume and different types of employment letters, and selling yourself in the job interview. 13.2 PLANNING YOUR CAREER PATH Anyone can find a job; finding the right job is more difficult. As an advanced busine candidate, you are faced with tremendous pressure from the school administrators <

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

placement centre personnel to complete your resume and make a decision on your major area of emphasis, and start the interview process. All too often, candidates do not consider what they want out of the job until, with resumes completed; they find themselves in the middle of the interviewing process. Presumably, you will have made your decision about your career before completing your resume; but if you have not, then realise that you are competing with the ones who have already made their decisions. Be as it may, it is essential that you take some time and assess who you are and what you want to do.

1. Consider Your Skills


Begin with assessing your skills and interests and clarifying what is most important to you in your career. One way of making such assessment is to go back over your life and identify several successful accomplishments. Describe each of these accomplishments in detail and list specific skills that you utilized in the different successes. This method, however, is too descriptive and potential employers would not be interested in going through the details. Moreover, you may not be able to list more that three or four success stories. Another way is to compile an inventory of all the major activities that you have been involved in during your life.

Use the following list as a starting point: EducationoUVocational programmes that you enrolled in and completed, and which
contributed significantly to your overall education. Course work accomplishments those were challenging and beneficial.

Volunteer, community, and extracurricular activities, which added to your skills,


knowledge, and leadership abilities. i Personal hobbies those you have enjoyed.

Military experiences and jobs to which you were assigned.


i Recreational activities that you found enjoyable.

Travel experiences to different countries and the learning you acquired.


Go back over the inventory and identify specific skills that you have learned and enjoyed using in different activities and experiences.

Business Communication

Review the skills that you have identified and circle the functional skills found in Table 13.1. 2. Consider Your Interests and Values Richard Bolles, in his best-seller, What Colour Is Your Parachute? stresses three questions that one must ask in job finding process: Where do you want to live? What do you want to do in life? Who do you want to work for? First question deals with the location where you would like to spend your remaining time after work. This should include the kind of people and surroundings you enjoy. Second question is concerning your personal and professional goals. You not only want to work, but also grow in your profession. Review the Table 13.2 and consider work values that affect your career, and write a brief description of your personal wants, dreams, career interests, and job values. The third question helps you to summarise and evaluate the types of jobs that can help you more fully develop your total personality, potential, and lifestyle. Table 13.1: Functional Skills Needed for Professional Employment Communication & Persuasion Writing Listening Training Selling ability Interviewing ability Making presentation Negotiation Thinking on one's feet Conversational ability Public speaking Teaching Research & Investigation Analysing Researching Reading Data gathering Critical thinking Data analysis Observing Outlining Human Service Interpersonal skills

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

I
Organization Management
^roblem solving Time management Decision making leadership Meeting deadlines Supervision Motivation ability Organization Coordinating Administration Ability to put theory into practice Ability to delegate Applying policies Giving directions Assuming responsibilities Discriminating tasks Interpreting policies Setting priorities Group process skills Sensitivity to needs Empathizing ability Counselling skills Information Management Math skills Ability to recognize information Information management Record keeping Attention to details Logical ability

Design & Planning


Anticipating problems Planning Conceptualising Designing programmes

Anticipating consequences of action Seeking new ideas Visual thinking

Source . J.M. Penrose, R.W. Rasberry, and R.J. Myers, Advanced Business Communication, Singapore: Thomson Asia Pvt. Ltd. 2002, pg., 372. Adaptedfrom Stanford University Career Planning ,uide, 1995-96. Table 13.2 : Values that affect Career Choice
Some wise person said: "Work without value is just mere labour." Work values are the aspects of our work that we regard as important sources of satisfaction. Values can be generally categorised as those that affect: '. Work enjoyment j Work condition ! Work of importance to others.

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Work Enjoyment values might include: 382. 383. 384. 385.


Excitement, Change, Variety - experiencing a high degree of any of these in the course of one's work. Creativity - creating new ideas, programs, organizational structures, etc., or not following a format previously developed by others. Knowledge - engaging oneself in the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and understanding. Profit, Gam - having a strong likelihood of accumulating large amounts of money or other material gain.

386.

Recognition - being recognized for the quality of one's work in some visible or public way.

Work Condition values might include: 1. Work Alone/Work with Others - doing work, which emphasizes either of these
conditions.

2. Independence - being able to determine the nature of one's work without significant
direction from others.

3. Time Freedom - having work responsibilities, which allow for flexible time schedules
or working on one's own time schedule.

4. Stability - having a work routine that is largely predictable and not likely to change
over a given period of time.

1. Adventure - having work duties, which involve frequent risk taking. Work of Importance to Others might include:
Moral fulfilment Helping society and contributing to the betterment of the world. Helping others, usually in a direct way, individually or in small groups. Friendship and community

Source : J.M. Penrose, R.W. Rasberry, and R.J. Myers, Advanced Business Communication, Singapore : Thomson Asia Pvt. Ltd. 2002, Adapted from Howard Figler, The Complete Job Search Handbook, 1979, and Stanford University Career Planning Guide, 1995-96

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

3. Consider the Kind of Work You Want to Do and With Whom You Want to Do It In order to consider this part of the process of job searching you have to do intensive research of the organization that interests you. If you do your research long before you write your resume and try to establish interview dates, you will come closer to knowing precisely which companies you do and do not want to work for. You will prepare a better resume and will be able to ask and answer questions during your interview. As you proceed in your research, the kind of work you want to do and the company you want to work for will emerge. A study conducted showed the characteristics that the employees most want from their jobs.
The list is ranked in order of importance:

383. 384. 385. 386. 387.

Health Interesting work Job security Opportunity to learn new skills Vacation time

I) Working independently g) Recognition from team members h) Regular hours i) A job in which I can help others j) Little job stress k) High income 1) Working close to home m) Work important to the society

n) Chances for promotion o) Contact with people Find out what are your motivators for the job you are looking for. Make your own list and ask if the company that you are considering will allow you to meet your objectives.

295

is* '

296

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Besides these motivators there are some pertinent questions posed by career specialist, Edgar H.Schein: 5. Will the company give me the opportunity to stretch and really discover what I am capable of doing? 6. Will I really matter inside the organization? Will they see me as a person of worth? Will they give me real responsibility and a chance to show what I can really do? 7. Will I be able to maintain my integrity? Will this company help me achieve a balance my life, to have a family, and to pursue my individual interests? 8. Will this job give me a real chance to grow? Will I be able to learn new things and develop new talents? 9. Will this company meet the ideals of the sound and ethical businesses that I have studied about? Will working for this organization enhance my self-image?
Source: J.M. Penrose, R.W. Rasberry, andR.J. Myers, Advanced Business Communication, Singapore: Thomson Asia Pvt. Ltd. 2002.

Activity A ; Identify the following: a) Your skills

b) Your work condition values

c) Your motivators for job search

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

13.3 PREPARING YOUR RESUME


Is the resume important? Yes ! It is the vital first step for marketing yourself. As an applicant, you may have excellent qualification, but if you cannot communicate your qualification clearly in a resume, you may never reach the interview stage. A good resume is a marketing tool. It should portray you in the most favourable manner possible.

1. Fallacy & Facts about Resumes Table 13.3 : Fallacy and Fact about Resumes

455 FALLACIES:
388. 389. 390. 391. 392.
FACTS: The purpose of your resume is list all your skills and abilities. A good resume will get you the job you want. Your resume will be read carefully and thoroughly by an interested employer. The more good information you present about yourself, the better. If you want a really good resume, have it prepared by a resume service.

393. 394. 395.

The purpose of your resume is to kindle employer interest and generate an

interview. Several good resumes cross employer's desks every working day. Your resume probably has less than ten seconds to make an impression.

1. By including too much information, a resume may actually kill the reader's appetite
to know more.

2. Many resume services use undistinguished standard formats, so you should prepare
your own - unless the position you are after is very high level and you choose the service very carefully.
Source: J.V. Thill <& C.L. Bovee, Excellence in Business Communication, New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1991.

'Resume' is a French word meaning to summarize', a resume is a summary of pertinent "acts about the candidate. The typical resume consists of one to three pages about the andidate and includes job objectives, past employment, education, and personal data.

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Developing a strategic plan that focuses on what you want to do now and several years from now will help you to write a good resume.

2. What should be in your Resume?


As a marketing tool, the purpose of the resume is to 'sell' you. Your resume should include the most important information about you, your education and your work experience. From this your prospective employer will make a preliminary determination about whether you qualify for the job. Resumes contain many other types of information such as: c) d) e) f) g) h) i)

388. 389.

Personal data - name, address, telephone, fax number, and e-mail address. Career/job objective

Educational background Work experience (both full and part-time) Militaty experience Special qualification, awards, honours, and publications Community activities Personal interests, special skills, and hobbies Statement about references. The Harvard University Graduate School of Business Student Handbook on Resume^ Writing makes the following statement: "Don't write an autobiography or an obituary; the resume is not an all-inclusive life history! In it you work mostly with the "plus factors" that will help you sell yourself, so emphasize your most important assets. Above all, it must be factual. Each statement needs to be accurate and not blown up beyond its value; on the other hand, it need not be underplayed. Executives are seeking capabilities, so write up your achievements with the employer's needs in mind."

[Student Handbook On Resume Writing, Harvard Graduate School of Business and Administration, Boston, Massachusetts, p. 2 Quoted by J.M. Penrose, R. W. Rasberry, and R.J. Myers, Advanced Business Communication, Singapore: Thomson Asia Pvt. Ltd. 2002]

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

Your resume should be able to balance the employer's needs and what you can offer.

Employer's Needs Wzoareyou? What do you want to do? What do you have to offer? What can you do? 3. Types of Standard Resumes
There are three kinds of standard resumes:

396. 397. 398.

Traditional Resume Functional Resume Skills Emphasis Resume

a) Traditional Resume Your Resume Description Identification section Job objective section Education and work history Personal skills t A traditional resume lists your educational background and your work experience in reverse chronological order. It highlights job titles, company and school namesTdates of enrolment and employment, and other pertinent information needed by the employer. A traditional resume is best if you have steady career growth, if you intend to remain with your current employer, or if you intended profession calls for it. Certain professions, such as education, law, and accounting, require a traditional resume. If your response to the following questions are positive then you should construct a traditional resume: i) Can you show continuity in your work history? ii) Are you looking for a job related to your past experience? iii) Are you unconcerned about employers seeing gaps in your past? iv) Do you want to emphasize non-professional jobs that you have held?

There are, however, some drawbacks with type of resumes. The gaps and discontinuities in your jobs profile becomes very evident and can cause you difficulty in getting a job.

Business Communication

This is especially true for those who are seeking to re-enter the job market, or for fresh candidates from colleges whose work experience may be a part-time or summer jobs. Traditional resumes place little value on non-paid jobs such as community programmes, campus activities, and volunteer work. Table 13.4 gives an idea of traditional resume. b) Functional Resume This type of resume is preferable to traditional resume when there are gaps that you do not want to highlight. The functional resumelists your education and job experiencss^but in a more organized manner - allows your experiences to be described by function instead of by employment history, job titles, company names and dates of employment. You can, in the functional resume, describe what functions you have most satisfying, what research you have done, and how you have handled problems or managed people. In this type of resume you can describe your other activities and experiences, such as travel, community activities, and sports achievements. Functional resume is appropriate if you are: Changing careers. i) Entering the job market with no work history, but have other relevant experiences to offer. in) Returning to the job market after an absence. iv) Seeking a position unrelated to your previous employment. v) Moving from one professional realm into another (for example, office assistant to manager). Table 13.5 is a sample of functional resume, c) Skills Emphasis Resume A skills emphasis resume resembles a functional resume in format. It begins with the identification section, followed by an objective or desired position.

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

The objective should indicate and highlight some of the skills that the applicant mentions in the resume. For instance, "Desired: A Sales Position leading to a career in marketing and management staff that calls for skills in leadership, communication, financial analysis, and creativity." Following this include short background information, and a description, which would explain how this background has helped you in developing skills such as leadership, communication analysis, and creativity. Table 13.6 shows the skills emphasis resume.

Table 13.4: Traditional Resume


Kyle Woo 123" Baseline Boulder, CO 23920 (310) 5557321 kwoo@ mail.eoc .eda Career Focus: international Business Education
University of Colorado B.S., Business Administration <200I) Emphasis: International Business

Representative Coursework
Introduction to International Business Management of Muitinationai Enterprises World Commerce arid Development

International Finance international Marketing International Management

Related Experiences

398. 399. 400.

Pacifle JUm Trip: Visited Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, and Singapore i connection with CD cogrsework. Opportunity gave exposure to conducting business in the Pacific Rim.

International Business Internship: Under direction of CU Small Business Center, worked with entrepre neurs from ireiand in researching, identifying, and contacting companies ottering potential for import/export business Import Experience: Presently employed with Far East Trade Company which specializes in importing fine jewelry from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and India; recommend product purchase, maintain inventory, and orga nize shows for sales in five western states. Computer Usage

Extensive computer coiirsework (6XH- hours) with knowledge of various desktop hardware and software applications, including Lotus I -2-3, Microsoft Office, and dBase III+ and IV. Extensive application of Work! Wide Web. Employment Summary Personally financed 100% of education through the following employment:

Import/Sales: Far East Trade Company Assistant Manager/Driver. Boulder Cab Convention Coordinator: Broker Hotei Waiter: Bouldrado Hotel Affiliations International Business Association Pacific Rim Trade Association Toastmasters interniuionai 1999-Present 1998-1999 1997-1998 1996-1997

Desire to RelocateReferences Upon Request

Business Communication

Activity B;
a) Construct a Functional Resume presenting your qualifications.

b) Construct a Traditional Resume presenting your qualifications.

13.4 APPLICATION LETTERS


A letter of application is written to sell one's services. It should, therefore have all the qualities that are required in the sales of any tangible product. When you write an application letter you must keep the requirement of the employer's point of view in mind. Having these requirements in mind, you must analyse to see if you have the required qualities. Putting it differently, before applying for any job, you should be able to assess the requirement and your own personal qualities and achievements. The job analysis will help you to understand the kind of person the company is looking for and self-appraisal will enable you to prepare an inventory of your personal details and achievements.

There are two kinds of application letters: 400. 401.


One-part letter in which all the information - your qualification, experience, and personal details - is written in just one letter, and Two-part letter in which there are two parts. The first part is short and serves as a covering letter, containing reference to the information about the vacancy - such as advertisement - to which you are responding; the second part consists of your resume.

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

The second type of application is more common and effective. In this type of application the applicant has more scope of revealing his personal qualities and experiences. It enables the prospective employer to examine your resume more effectively. o Letters of application and their accompanying resumes can be solicited or unsolicited
^STW 3JAA ' "" "~~~ ~"

Ty A solicited letter responds to a specific announced job opening in a newspaper.


'AJ - ~~~

An unsolicited letter explores the possibilities of employment based either on the information received or past experience of the company. Whether solicited or unsolicited, the letter of application consists of the following components: 1. Opening : name the job position and the context 2. Body : develop major selling points and create a match between writer's qualification and prospective employer's needs 3. Penultimate (second-to-last) paragraph of the body (if necessary) : refer to desirable personal qualities Close : request an interview and facilitate contact 1. Drafting the Application The letter of application is a special letter and functions as a sales letter. It prepares and invites the reader to have a closer look at the product that is being offered - i.e. the resume.

It prepares the reader - here the prospective employer - by indicating the need advertised by the employer, and invites the employer to examine the resume and thereby know the "product" (i.e. the applicant) the employer wishes to acquire. As any other letter the application also has three parts - introduction, body, and conclusion. a) The introduction should attract the attention of the employer besides saying whether you are applying in response to an advertisement, or at someone's suggestion, or on your own initiative. Some common ways of starting such an introduction are: I wish to apply for the post of Manager HR, as advertised by your company in Times of India of 6 November, 2006.

Business Communication

403. 404.

Please refer to your advertisement on page 12 of Times of India of 6 November, 2006 for the post of Manager HR. I wish to be considered for this post. I should be grateful if you would consider me for the post of Manager HR advertised by your company in Times of India, dated 6 November, 2006.

You could use a more dynamic approach by writing something like this:

My qualification and experience as an Assistant HR Manager for five years in


TELCO, Pune makes me confident that I can do the job of Manager HR advertised by your company in Times of India of 6 November, 2006. b) The body of the application letter should contain information that would help develop the interest of the prospective employer. Make an attempt to show, with evidence, how you are the person the company is looking for. You could do this by indicating that you possess the qualities and experience, which the post requires. If you have made any contribution that is worth mentioning, do it. Encourage the reader to go through your resume. If there is any indication of mentioning expected salary then mention your present salary and further give a range within which you would be willing to except the job. Do not specify the salary that you want; it is better to discuss the details of salary at the time of interview. The question about the salary is a sensitive issue, though all of us work for that. Therefore do not take the initiative to start the discussion on salary but allow the interviewer to start it. c) The conclusion should be such that it would motivate the employer to respond to your application. The purpose and goal of your application letter should be to secure an interview. If your application letter gets you an interview you have achieved your purpose. Some ways of concluding your application letter are as follows:

1. I look forward to hearing from you. 2. I hope that my qualifications will merit your consideration. 3. I trust you will favour me with an interview.

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

I would very much appreciate if an opportunity is given to me for providing


furtherdetafls.

I would appreciate an opportunity of attending an interview. Source: R.C. Sharma, Business Correspondence and Report Writing, pp. 284- 285 2. Portfolios One of your options in applying for a job is to svfbmit a portfolio along with your resume and letter of application. Portfolios are displa/of assetsj'ortfolios concerned with your communication assets would be indicative of your oral as well as your written skills such as: 1. Topics you can handle 2. Audience for which you have written 3. Designs you have created 4. Visuals and graphics you have designed and used 5. Organizational and development strategies that you have used in various projects 6. Presentational strategies, including multimedia 7. Genres or types of writing you are skilful and comfortable with. Source: H.R. Ewald and R.E. Burnett, Business Communication
The content of the portfolio would depend on the nature of job you are applying for and the skills you wish to highlight. The purpose of portfolio is sales: you are marketing yourself. Since your task is to display your communication skills you would have to include everything that will enable you to demonstrate them. The design of portfolio should help the reader to get in it and out of it without much difficulty or loss of time. At the same time the reader must learn something useful about your abilities. Your resume should provide the reader with an overview of your credentials and the context for your portfolio.

JS$ Activity C; Prepare the following application letters for a position of Management Trainee: a) Solicited

b) Unsolicited 13.5 OTHER TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT MESSAGES In search of a job, you may have to prepare other types of messages, as the case may be such as job-inquiry letter, application form, and application follow-up letters. 1. Writing a Job-Inquiry Letter Some companies will require of you to fill out and submit an application form for a job. The purpose of a job-inquiry letter is to get you an application form. You should include enough information about yourself indicating that you have sufficient qualification for the position that you are seeking for. This would increase your chances of getting the necessary application form. Another approach would be to go to the company in person to obtain the application form, which you may be able to get at the reception counter or the personnel department. This would give you an opportunity to get a first hand impression about the company. It would also indicate your initiative. 2. Filling out Application Forms Some organizations require an application form instead of a resume, and many require both and application form as well as a resume for all positions.

Unit 13 Resumes and Employment Letters

An application form is a standardized data sheet that simplifies comparison of applicants' qualifications. Moreover, it provides a convenient one-page source for the information, which is essential for the employer to make decision. The most important thing about filling the application form is to be accurate and thorough. Use your resume as a reference for such details as dates of employment, educational qualifications, etc. When not sure of date for which you have no reference then give an approximate date. Many application forms request that you provide information about expected salary. Unless you are sure what the range of salary is for the company's employees do not commit. The safest thing would be to suggest a range that is common in the job market for that particular position, or write "Negotiable" or "Open". One of the major drawbacks of the application forms is that it does not provide enough space to indicate one's abilities and skills. You could, however, fill out the form, as best as you can, and wait for the interview time when you can provide all necessary information.

3. Writing Application Follow-ups


If your application letter fails to bring a response within a certain period, say a month or so, it would then be proper to write another letter. The purpose of the follow-up letter is to keep your file active. This will give you an opportunity to upgrade your original application letter with additional information that will job-related.

For example: Since applying to you on May 3 for an office secretary position, I have completed a course in office management. Also, my typing speed has increased to 75 words per minute. Please keep my application in your active file, and let me know when you need skilled secretary. Even if you have received a letter acknowledging your application and saying that it will be kept on file, do not hesitate to send a follow-up letter two or three months later. Business Communication Activity D ; You must have had the opportunity to fill a number of application forms as a student or while applying for a job. What were the drawbacks you faced? List three of them. 13.6 SUMMARY

A resume is a factual report about your qualifications that is intended toiet The organizing of a resume depends on the type of information that you wish to supply to your prospective employer. Depending on the need and type of information that you wish to offer you could either use the traditional type of resume, orjunctionaLoi skills emphasising resume. o An application letter often accompanies a resume. An application letter is a sales letter, which is meant to sell yourservices to an employer."~" r.. Application letter could either be a solicited or an unsoliqkeBone. This has to have an introduction, a body and a conclusion that would fetch you an opportunity for an interview. The application letter has to be carefully drafted so as to inform the reader about you and win an interview. There are other types of employment related messages - such as job-inquiry letter, application form, and follow-up letters. Application forms are often used by organizations to make their search easier. These need to be filled out completely and accurately. Application follow-up letters are intended to keep your file active in the organization for "" Business Communication 14.1 INTRODUCTION Communication is central for the success of any organization, and so the challenge for businesses is to create a communication system that is both effectiyeand efficient. The advancement and growth in technology has made impact on every facet of organizational life, and the need to develop effective and efficient communication system has intensified. The use of technology in the communication process has been termed "electronic communication" or "e-communication". Electronic communication - voicejnail

9|p teleconferencing, e-mail, electronic databases, and electronic networks - is increasingly <* "common in business world. While^Enology may change the speed with which a message is generated and received, the amount of information available, and the number of people involved in generating and receiving message, the technology does not change the quality of the message itself. In other words, while technology changes the human element remains constant.Affective communicatorestill need to consider the purpose, audience, and occasion of a message, regardless of the way the message is generated or transmitted. " Traditional media, such as written messages, phone calls, and face-to-face communication, arenow being replaced by e-mailas the^rsferr^d channel in the business world. Increasing use of Internet and intranet is decreasing the importance of brochures and organization-wide memos. These changes have influenced organizational communication internally as well as externally. "To maximize the impact of technology as a communication method, organizations must be aware of the possible benefits and associated problems in order to create both the process and atmosphere for effective communication". (P. O'Kane, O Hargie, and D. Tourish) 14.2 ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES The formal networks of communication are reflected visibly in a company's organizational chart, informal networks are invisible and yet influential. When you work in an organization, you are automatically part of both its formal communication network as well as its informal networks. When you need to communicate with someone - whether a co-worker within the organization or a client across the country - you have a wide choice of technologies to choose from, The two key tools for facilitating e-communication are: the Internet and email. Unit 14 Communicating with Technology 1. The Internet The Internet is a system of networked coniputers. It had its beginnings in the 1960s in the form of Arpanet, commissioned by the Department of Defence to promote the sharing of

super-computers amongst researchers in the US. Since then it has metamorphosed into the World Wide Web (WWW), becoming an almost indispensable source of information globally. The use of Internet has grown to such an extent that it has permeated every aspect of human activity, and in particular the economic activity. Internet is considered as the "public face of the organization"(P. O'Kane, O Margie, and D. Tourish). A research suggests that image creation is the major function of a corporate home page. 2. Website As suggested by P. O'Kane, O Hargie, and D. Tourish, a corporate website should have the following characteristics: Easy to navigate Provide relevant information Represent the company image. Organizations design their website in one of the following formats: a) Static: ^W ^^W , *\rt&* i) It provides a fixed message ii) It is not interactive iii) It serves as a promotional brochure iv) It gives "cyber presence" to the organization. b) Broadcast: i) Content of the message is continually changed and refined ii) It is one-way message i.e. it is not interactive iii) Hyperlinks are provided so that the visitors can navigate specific areas of interest Business Communication Examples: Special information, events, weather, etc. c) Interactive: i) These sites encourage two-way communication (visitors can interact with the information) ii) E-mail addresses are provided for interested visitors to contact specific corporate staff members

in) Since the sites are interactive they should be well manned and managed to deal with inquiries. The key factors that the organizations need to bear in mind are: the audience, available resources, and products. Audience: An organization should design their website depending on the needs of its customers. Manufacturing or engineering firms may require information site with feedback and contact options. Trading firms and banks may require transaction tools because of high level of interaction needed with the users. Younger audience may require information on latest music scene, healthier life-styles, etc. Resources: Companies should have resources to deal with extra orders they may receive by way of their website. Companies should be fully competent to deal with difficulties associated with overseas selling, such as exchange rates and tax tariffs Continual maintenance of the website Training staff to deal with customer-service and communication. Product: Many prefer to browse the Internet for products to standing in a shop to do their purchasing. Therefore, many organizations are moving the sales of their products onto the Internet site. Unit 14 Communicating with Technology According to one management expert, to transform traditional business transaction into ecommerce one must follow these five steps: Redefine the competitive advantage - decide what the company can offer that no one can. Rethink business strategy - how does this need to change in order to capture the cyber market. Re-examine traditional business and revenue models - integrate the figures

for doing business on to the net in order to assess financial viability. Re-engineer the corporation and website - the company needs to pursue the proposed changes and ensure that the site meets the company needs. Re-invent customer service - the unique needs of the Internet customer must be met. [Source: P. O'Kane, O Hargie, andD. Tourish] 3. E-commerce E-commerce is the use of electronic information technology for business transactions such as displaying catalogues, selling and buying goods and services, processing payments, etc. . There are three types of E-commercel: inter-organizational, retail, and intraorganizational. ' ^ *" "' a) Retail: Many companies have established their own websites, which are mainly used for passing on information about their products and also for the purposeof_ sales. The direct cojitact between the producer and the consumercan^o^t sales, and the time and moneyspent on despatch^ advertisements, stationary, etc. can be cut down dramatically. However, in order to target their market the companies need to develop a profile of their customers who can receive tailored information. Furthermore, creating a site that enables the user to have a personalized experience increases its usage potential. For instance, hotmail.com provides horoscopes and up-todate news, which encourages the user to return to the site. This form of "virtual marketing" both draws the visitors to the site as well as keeps them there. Business Communication

The Internet differs from other forms of customer communication in that it requires the individual to make the first move - this is known as "pull strategy". This means that a person who is interested in a product or a service should log onto the site. In such cases the organization must build a relationship with the client, and this can be done by: i) Regular e-mail contact ii) Prompt response to queries

iff) Provide a medium for personal contact - to clarify information, close a transaction, correct an error, etc. b) Inter-organizational: According to R.C. Sharma & K. Mohan, business-to-business E-commerce has been expanding faster than business-to-consumer E-commerce because many reputed companies are already in possession of necessary technology infrastructure. Internet is usedinsourcing suppliers and resources. It gives the organization an opportunity toTnvestigate and gain information on many different producers and products in order to select the most relevant. It also provides an opportunity to find out the competitors' products and services in order to remain up-to-date. The Internet riot only makes other organizations vulnerable, but ""also exposes your organization to the competitors, c) Infra-organizational: E-commerce occurs within an organization too. The objective is to link the members of the organization and increase the flov&LofJnformation. For instance, Internet presents a new opportunity for training. P. O'Kane, O Hargie, and D. Tourish state: "E-learning enables employees to manage their own education time table and encourages 'bite-sized' learning, which breaks it into manageable chunks that can be undertaken at the employee's convenience... From an organizational view point it is easier to manage and assess training programmes as the facilities are in place to allow reporting of progress". [Pg.81] 4. Intranet and Extranet An "intranet" facilitates increased collaboration among employees, as it flattens the organizational structure and introduces "anyone-to-anyone" connectivity within the company. An "extranet" extends this form of communication to tire external sjakeTKteT such as specifjccustomeivQLshareholders. These media can havestotegicadvantages Unit 14 Communicating with Technology such as improved decision making and innovation. The intranet has a different role to play than the Internet in the field of organizational communication. Consequently, the designing and managing of the intranet has to ifferent because it caters to a specific audience. Following are the guidelines: Know your audience: As the intranet audience is much smaller there are fewer needs to be catered for. 'Visitors' access it only to find out information, which is work-related. Deliver woik_productivity: To discover the productivity of the site, find out what me site is usedlorTwho uses it, and how frequently it is used. It should consist of a directory, search facility, and corporate news.

c) Emphasize breadth overdepth: Intranet sites should allow employees an easy access to important information and applications. Links to information should be available as early as possible. d) Minimize the graphics: Intranet is meant for quick reference and not to for long accesses. If a person wnts to access a telephone number, then it would be Irritating and cumbersome to go through graphics or news that are not relevant. 3JL Colloquial labelling can work: An intranet audience is more defined and therefore *\ specialized, andTiehce company- or organization-specific labels can be incorporated to aid understanding. The extranet is a more common feature in corporate websites, in which companies allow their customers to keep a track of their orders or their accounts online. Corporate information can be limited to "members only" to make it cost effective. Like the intranet the extranet also has information that is relevant, accessible and up-todate. For security purpose, the company can have sign-in and sign-out procedures. 5. E-mail Electronic mail or e-mail is the method of communication electronically with other users of the network. "The central advantage of e-mail is that it enables the 'instant transfer of messages and documents world-wide between people on the same private network, or with access to the same public network" 319 320 Business Communication Uses of e-mail: Saving of cost and reduction of time Electronic filing and distribution of information Dissemination of useful marketing information Making time-critical corporate announcements Multimedia

The e-mail is informal in nature, which can be the cause of misunderstandings. Spellings and grammatical errors that would be unacceptable in written memos or letters are readily accepted in e-mail. In business contexts, words and phrases need to be chosen carefully. Table 14.1 presents guidelines for e-mail composition, which should be incorporated into employee training. Table 14.1: Rules for the Composition of Business E-mail Decide that e-mail is definitely the most effective medium. Would face-to-face telephone or 'paper' communication be better? Be aware of your audience. Tailor the style to the person to whom it is being sent Always use a signature as this gives vital contact details for follow-up. Select the 'subject' line carefully to reflect the content. Only prioritise or mark 'urgent' when it really is. Keep the message brief and to the point. Keep emphasis to a minimum. Check for spelling and grammar - this is often overlooked in casual e-mail. Re-read message to check for clear understanding. Do not get involved in 'flaming'. There is a natural temptation to respond to rude emails in kind. But remember, if you lose your temper you lose the argument. Source : P. O'Kane, O Hargie, and D. Tourish, "Communication without frontiers: The impact of technology upon organizations ", Key Issues in Organizational Communication. Eds. Dennis Tourish & Owen Hargie, Routledge, London. 2004 Unit 14 Communicating with Technology & Activity A: a) Go to the Internet and select some companies in India and identify at least three that have designed their websites in the following formats: Static websites Broadcast

Interactive b) Do you know any organization that uses intranet? Talk to an employee and find out how he would list out the benefits. c) In your organization, is e-mail used extensively? How would you define the e-mail etiquette which is followed? 14.3 ISSUES COMMUNICATION WITH ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY When an organization embarks upon the process of introducing new technology for communication purposes it must look at issues surrounding cost, time, and storage and the underlying consequences, which include changes in organizational structure, legal, security and privacy issues, and technologies. P. O'Kane, O Margie, and D. Tourish make the following observation: 321 322 Business Communication 1. Cost: Reduction in cost is one of the compelling motives in the introduction of new technology for organizational communication. Sending messages via the e-mail is far cheaper than written messages, which involves the cost of stationary, postage, and internal mail costs. E-communication also allows the organization to eliminate the supply chain by using Internet to sell goods ad services. This not only reduces the cost for the organization, but also for the consumers (as well as an opportunity for improved customer relations). However, in introducing new technology, care should be taken in providing proper support system, maintenance, and training of the staff. 2. Time: Use of e-mail for transmitting messages, in an organization, can have both positive as well as negative effects. E-mail reduces the time for both internal and external transfer of messages. It also provides a quick way to send messages to both the employees and the

customers. There is a temptation to waste time by reading e-mails related to gossip, jokes, and other unproductive materials. Internet misuse, through excessive web surfing, and problems associated with the technology, can lead to loss of productivity. While introducing E-communication technology in the organization there has to be a monitoring system to control the use of Internet. 3. Information Flow: A core advantage of e-mail has been in the field of information transmission. a) You can send documents as attachments that would save time, not only over long distance, but also within the organization (which would otherwise be carried physically from one place to another). Unit 14 Communicating^ith Technology Bulk mail is distributed, company- wide, customer- wide, and as well as to specific audience, without much delay and thus all are kept informed about the activities of the organization. Information can be easily and speedily updated on the Internet - i.e. there is an increase in information exchange. For example, from the point of the organization, employees have more relevant material available to them - such as during some major change the employees and customers can be quickly informed. The ease with information flows can lead to information overload - the level of material available to employees can become overwhelming. This information overload can affect productivity. For instance, in one survey the respondents stated that the work would be more effective if information overload was reduced. Such overload could be handled if the employees are trained to prioritise their e-mails. Some organizations create electronic distribution lists and indiscriminately send messages to everyone on those lists, which can create information overload. You should consider the following questions while sending information in order to avoid information overload: i) Does the recipient need the information? ii) Do recipient begin to ignore all messages if many of them are irrelevant?

in) Is selecting only certain messages to read or installing 'filter' to prevent messages from certain individuals an appropriate solution for information overload? 4. Storage and Retrieval : The traditional form of storage such a filing cabinets and cupboards are being replaced by the storage facility that the computers applications provide. For example, the Encyclopaedia Britannica of 32 volumes is available in just one CD-ROM at a fraction of the cost. Information stored on the website, which reduces the possibility of it being lost, because it cannot be removed by an individual, and it can be easily retrieved much quicker than form a traditional filing system. Business Communication

5. Organizational Structure: Electronic networks are changing traditional hierarchies in organizations where employees can directly contact anyone else in the organization, regardless of rank or position (although some organizations actually forbid staff from sending e-mails to level higher than immediate line manager). This widespread access through technology has impacted the work culture in organizations in various ways: A sense of empowerment in the employees because of their ability to pull information towards them rather than pushing the information at them. Technology enables the employees to complete their task with ease, which influences their self-image as effective workers. Higher level of collaboration becomes possible because information sharing between members of the same community has become more readily available through features such as bulletin boards on the intranet. It has a positive affect on the relationships among the employees. It was observed that in companies with low level of dynamism and complexity, an increased use of Internet and intranet led to increases in organizational innovation. Information technology can help to generate ideas in a company, but it should be implemented with certain amount of caution. The increase in communication across all levels that has resulted form the introduction of e-communication has impacted upon the internal mechanism of

most companies. One problem is the threat to management jobs, because decisions are increasingly becoming the responsibility of the employees. This could lead traditional managers to view e-communication with an air of mistrust. The loss of power may be associated with accompanying feeling of loss of status. This feeling may result in lack of motivation to help build a communication technology system that may be their end of authority and power. As one of the managers has observed: "The cultural effect is enormous. It's helping to dissolve the old corporate hierarchy". Computer-based interactive media facilitates information exchange, yet creates interpersonal distance. For instance, people may opt to exchange e-mails with colleagues in adjacent offices rather than engage in face-to-face communication. Unit 14 Communicating with Technology This raises important issues such as: i) Social presence that is conceptualised as the prominence of the other persons involved in an interaction, and the consequent prominence of the interpersonal relationship. In other words, the more aware we are of the other person's presence the more it will result hi interpersonal relationship. Various media simulate the 'presence' aspect of a dyadic encounter. ii) Media richness is a result of social presence and refers to a channel's capacity to carry information based on: Availability and speed of feedback Ability to communicate many cues simultaneously, such as voice tone and nonverbal behaviours Use of language rather than statistics Ability to transmit affective components of messages. Thus, social presence is reduced when communication channels that simulate 'presence' are available. However, face-to-face communication is best when: Issues are inherently complex Conflict is involved Reducing uncertainty is a priority

Building interrelationship is an urgent requirement. Therefore, managers must make intelligent and informed choices about channel and media selection, depending on the numerous variables, before using them. g) E-communication also enables some employees to make the decision to work away from the office for an extended period of time. While this arrangement could have its merits, it also can result in decreased job satisfaction. There is a clear 'isolation effect' associated with a remote working environment. In other words, working away from the organization could isolate a person from fellow-workers and the organizational setup, which could have an adverse affect. Business Communication 6. Technostress : Technology can add stress to the workplace. The phenomenon has been termed as "Technostress" or "information fatigue syndrome". This is caused by various factors such as challenge to learn new and ever-developing technology, changes to existing work routines, meeting deadlines, systems problems, and computer errors. Physical problems include backaches, eyestrain and headaches. Emotionally, the workers are affected in more serious ways by technophobia, ineffective training in use of computer, negative experiences (such as losing important documents or contracting virus), and inability to use the equipment (keyboarding skills). With sufficient encouragement to use the technology, and appropriate support, these difficulties can be overcome. 7. Facilitating group communication: The Internet, e-mail and their applications have important role to play in enhancing group communication. Using technology for discussion over long distance and time results in greater flexibility in the structure of task groups and members can participate without having to travel for the meetings. Managers need to be aware of number of factors that influence meetings using technology and the dynamics of e-group, which differs form face-to-face communication. 8. Legal, security and privacy issues : When a company install the Internet system, it has to protect itself from the legal and security problems that are associated with it. Internet being a worldwide network, companies should take care to safeguard itself from any infringements. "People often e-mail messages that they would never send in a formal written paper document. They forget that the 'delete' button is not a destruct button. Messages have a

permanency in the system and can be tracked and traced." (P. O'Kane, 0 Hargie, and D. Tourish) Table 14.2 indicates some areas for which monitoring measures are required. Unit 14 Communicating with Technology Table 14.2 : Privacy, Legal and Security Issues Legal Cognisance must be taken of the following legal possibilities: Copyright infringement Corporate espionage Harassment and discrimination Admission against interest Adverse uses -liability for company Defamation Invasion of privacy Security Here, protection should be developed against: Hackers - e-communication exposes the company to external hackers Viruses - these can lead to the theft, destruction or alteration of vital data Unauthorized access to confidential information - can be illegally transferred by employees Privacy An 'electronic trial' is left form which it is possible to identify the source of the message and view the contents. This can allow organization to: Track worker productivity Monitor e-mail content

Monitor web usage Source : P. O'Kane, O Hargie, and D. Tourish, "Communication without frontiers: The impact of technology upon organizations" in Key Issues in Organizational Communication, Eds. Dennis Tourish & Owen Hargie, Routledge, London 2004 There is a necessity to monitor employee actions in terms of e-mail content and website accessed in order to protect the company. The question, however, is to what extent should the employees be monitored? O'Kane et al quoting a research conducted state: "several 327 ft Business Communication studies of telecommunications and clerical workers suggest that electronically monitored workers experience higher levels of depression, tension and anxiety, lower level of productivity, and more health problems than unmonitored employees". Table 14.3 gives some recommendations that could be followed in monitoring the use of e-mail by the employees. Table 14.3: Recommendations for managing employee e-mail Develop an e-mail system plan. Formulate an e-mail policy. Identify who will put this e-mail policy into practice. Appoint an e-mail system manager. Implement technical forms of privacy protection within the e-mail system. Consider the consequences for employees. Understand the implication for the organization. Take cognisance of the wider external consequences. Clearly communicate to all employees the e-mail policy and system. Undertake regular audits and reviews of the e-mail policy.

Source : P. O'Kane, O Hargie, and D. Tourish, "Communication without frontiers: The impact of technology upon organizations" in Key Issues in Organizational Communication, Eds. Dennis Tourish & Owen Hargie, Routledge, London 2004 Activity B ; a) Interview a person from a company that uses electronic technology for communication and identify the following: i) Impact on the organizational hierarchy. Unit 14 Communicating with Technology n) Symptoms of "Technostress" experienced by the people in the company. b) Check out if your company has an email policy. If it does, what are the points highlighted? 14.4 SOFTWARE FOR BUSINESS COMMUNICATION You will have access to many different types of computer software typically used in business. One of your challenges will be to know what software to use for a particular audience, purpose, communicator role or occasion. Table 14.4 indicates various communication problems encountered in an organization and the corresponding technological software that offers solution. Table 14.4: Communication Problems Solved with Software COMMUNICATION PROBLEM SOFTWARE SOLUTION You need to generate, revise, and store and print documents Word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Word Perfect. You need to organise numeric data in order to complete computation or transformations. Spreadsheet software such as Lotus 1-2-3 or Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheets are useful for forecasting and decision-making. You need to create tables, graphs, diagrams, drawings, and other visuals.

Drawing and graphing software such as Claris Draw, Lotus Freelance, or Adobe Illustrator enables you to create graphs and figures of various kinds that can be placed directly into documents. Business Communication You need to produce high-quality documents without the expense of outside designers and typesetters. Desktop publishing software such as Aldus PageMaker or Ventura Publishing. You need to collaborate to share ideas and expertise, coordinate schedules, work on projects, and prepare documents. Groupware such as Lotus Notes or CE Software's TeamVision allows you to collaborate with physically distant groups, sharing schedules, database, mail, memos, and reports. You need to organize and have easy access to large amounts of data that can be shared with colleagues. Database management software such as Microsoft's Access lets you obtain, organize, transform, and display information so that it can be shared and used in a variety of documents and oral presentation. You need to 1. do complex, long-range project planning, be able to track every aspect of the project, and quickly obtain up-to-date information about the project. Project planning or project management software such as Microsoft Project. Most planning packages enable you to generate information for reports at various stages in the process. You need to create presentations with transparencies or slides and coordinate handout materials. Presentation software such as Aldus Persuasion or Microsoft PowerPoint. You need to create a presentation that attracts the audience through multiple

senses. Persuasion or PowerPoint in conjunction with QuickTime video clips lets you integrate slides, clip art, video clips, and sound into simple multimedia presentation. You need to input the information from paper documents and picture into a computer. Imaging software enables you to scan paper documents or pictures so they are digitised in the computer and can be imported into the current document. Source : Helen Rothschild Ewald & Rebecca E. Burnett, Business Communication, Prentice-Hall International, Inc. NJ, 1997. Unit 14 Communicating with Technology Four types of software are particularly important for business communication: Groupware Database management software Project planning software Multimedia software 1. Groupware This type of software is becoming increasingly important to business communication because it allows you to collaborate with physically distant people. Following are the features of groupware software: i) Aid to productivity ii) Communicating electronically with colleagues iii) Pool information about prospective clients iv) Draw on the expertise of the others in the organization v) Helps you to answer a question or resolve a problem vi) Collaborative interaction vii) Access database to retrieve useful information

vm) Overcome and move past restrictions imposed by social or political pressures in an organization 2. Database Management This is vital to business communication because it gives users access to huge amounts of information that would otherwise be overwhelming or inaccessible. Its features are: i) Allow you to obtain, organize, and display variety of information, which can be used in oral presentations. i) Access to database can change the way people do their job - lets employees know what information is available so that they can draw on it and improve. iii) Coordinates information about customers' orders and current inventory. 331 Business Communication iv) Writing reports become easy, interesting, and useful. 3. Project Planning Another very important kind of software for business communication is project planning software that lets you keep track of and update deadlines, resources, and costs. The functions of project planning software are as follows: i) _ Visualize your plan i) Allocate resources efficiently (equipments and personnel) iii) Manage large projects iv) Monitor progress v) Create custom graphs and reports Big value of this software is when there is a change in the original plan. With the change in plan comes the change in schedule and cost. Project planning software enables you to identify the steps for each job, construct a schedule, assign resources and estimate costs. 4. Multimedia Software

Multimedia presentations integrateslides^clip art, video clips, and sound (voice. music, sound effects) to cf&ffirfopealingL business presentations. Multimedia presentations are widely used in sales and marketing presentations, in conference presentations, and at important meetings. Multimedia could be used at different levels and for different purposes. Firstly, it could be used for making a simple presentation using simple graphs and charts that could be for promoting a product or service. Secondly, it could be used for preparing a presentation for, say annual stockholders meeting or trade show booth. You could make such presentation interactive for the benefit of the participants. Thirdly, multimedia could be used to prepare more advanced production for the viewing of general public. This would include the use of sound, musical score, animated maps, video sequence, etc. ca Ir n< ef fr( flu 332 Unit 14 Communicating with Technology Activity C; a) Prepare a PowerPoint presentation on "Environmental Awareness" for the benefit of the employees of a company. b) Open Microsoft Project and list down the features that are helpful in preparing a project report. c) Have you had the experience of working on a database? How did you use it and what were the advantages you saw? 14.5 SUMMARY The machines have taken overjriany of the routine functions of a business office such as recording information, receiyjrtg and sending messages, calculating and accounting, gathering and analysing data. Consequently, paper has considerably reduced and there has been an enormous increase in efficiency. The introduction of computers has facilitated the processing of information, reproduction of documents and communication with persons or organizations anywhere in the world. Internet and intranet has become a part of the business world that enables the companies not only to make a "cyber presence", but also to encounter their customers directly and effectively. Electronic networks also serve employees at every level of the organization,

from executive to worker on the production line. Different types of software make the functions of the employees quicker and easier. 333 338 Business Communication 15.1 INTRODUCTION An effective letter, memo, or report does more than store words on paper. It must get to the right person, make an impression, and tell the recipient who wrote it and when it was written. Over the centuries, certain conventions for formatting and laying out business documents have developed. Though some aspects of business documents have remained the same, the organization and style often varies to suit the needs. Effective communicators know that format, the way information is arranged on a page, helps readers to move through documents in a predictable and logical fashion. Formats are not about rigidity^but about consistency and fulfilling reader expectations. Most organizations recognize that documents appearance acts as an expression of company image. The function of company stylesheets is to make that image consistent. For example, most companies establi sh guidelines for how they want headings situated, greetings worded, persons addressed, and so on. Companies also specify how they want these guidelines to appear- whether it is conventional block style or a customized style. Regardless of what type of organization you belong to, that organization is going to have some idea about how it wants its image and ideas conveyed through written documents, and you should be aware of these written conventions. 15.2 FORMATS OF BUSINESS DOCUMENTS A) Letters A letter or other written document is often the first or only contact that a person has with your organization. Therefore, it is important for documents to look neat and professional and to be easy to read. Several elements - the paper you use, the letterhead, and the typing - tell the readers a lot about you and your company's professionalism. Elements: 1. Stationary: a) Paper: The paper used for letterheads and other company documents should be of the finest quality. The texture and thickness of the paper should all spell of class. Do not economize on the paper by writing business letters on very thin paper, or poor quality of paper. It may offend the recipient and will be counterproductive. Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents

Never send out business letters on ruled or coloured paper. White is the safest colour all over he world. The size of the paper that is most popular is the A4 size (297 mm x 210 mm). For short and routine letters we may use A 5 size ( 10 mm x 148 mm). The idea is that the text should match the size of the paper used. <tf b) Letterhead: -\J The letterhead should be elegant. Letterpress printing for the letterhead should be avoided because it not even and sharp. Screen-printing is recommended for I smaller quantity and offset printing fore bigger print-orders. Get the letterhead designed professionally for maximum positive impact on the potential reader. The colour scheme adopted should project the company in a favourable light. M. M. Monippally states: "Loud colours may be good for a flashy designer's firm, but not good for serious commercial organization. The stationary is like the clothes you wear; they should match and support the image you want to project." c) "typing: The kind of typing or printing you adopt is also important because they appeal to the reader in different ways. For instance, hand written note may give a personal touch, but a long official letter written by hand may seem odd. It is advisable to type out the letter and print in on a laser printer that may give the letter a professional look. In business situation creating an impression is very important for business deals and relationships. A letter not well written and printed may give an impression that the person is either not serious or lacks secretarial assistance. d) Envelopes: Many attractive letters loose out by sending them in envelops that are not good enough. An envelope is more than a cover; it packages the letter. It is the first impression. An illchosen envelope can spoil the image that you are trying to create with your letter. Cheap envelopes may easily come open in the course of shipment, and important papers may be displaced. Such open envelopes also pose the danger of the contents of the letter being read by someone else. 339 340 Business Communication

Letters carry communication from one person to another. Whatever the content, they are the medium by which communication is transferred form one to another. In other words, the content of the letter is the voice of the people; and it must be sent in the most appropriate and acceptable manner. Standard Letter Parts: According to Thill and Bovee, all business letters typically include seven elements in the following order: Heading Date Inside address Salutation Body Complimentary close Signature block According to Sharma and Mohan, the following 12 elements usually constitute the structure of a business letter. Heading Date Reference Inside address Attention line Salutation Subject Body Complimentary close Signature

Identification marks Enclosures Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents Table 15.1: Components of a Business Letter Heading Date

Your Reference Our reference Inside address _ Attention

Salutation. Subject Body Complimentary close Signature

Identification marks Enclosure Source: R C Sharma & Krishna Mohan, Business Correspondence and Report Writing 1. Heading Most business organization use printed letterheads for correspondence. The letterhead show the organization's name, full address, and almost always the telephone number and telegraphic address (if any). Executive letterhead bears the name of the person who is within the organization.

Generally, the name and address are printed in the top middle of the letterhead and any other information is indicated in the margins. 2. Date The date is placed two spaces below the last line of the letterhead; or typed immediately below the return address. The date is written on the upper right-hand corner. When you are typing the date, the full name of the month (no abbreviations) is written, followed by the day (in numerals), then a comma, and then the year: November 14, 341

Business Communication 2003. You could also write it in the following manner: 14 November 2003 (notice there is no comma after the name of the month). 3. Reference Some letterheads contain two lines to indicate references - our reference and your reference. This usually happens when there is a series of correspondence that require references. For example, some companies prefer to indicate the reference number of the correspondence in the body of the letter: Thank you for your letter No. CB/54/S321 of November 14 2003. This is with reference to our letter No. FG/65/E786 of November 12 2003... The reference number is advantageous when you want to continue discussion on a specific topic that you have been engaged in with your reader. 4. Inside address The address of the recipient, whether a person or an organization, should be written two spaces below the date and two spaces above the attention line. In case there is no attention line then the inside address should be written two spaces above the salutation in the left margin. The addressee's name is preceded by a courtesy title - such as Mr., Ms., Dr., and so. The accepted courtesy for women in business is Ms; however, a woman who is known to prefer the tile Miss or Mrs. should be accommodated. Any other title, such as Professor or General should not be abbreviated.

The person's organizational title, such as Director may also be included in the first line along with the name or in the next line below; the name of the department may also follow. 5. Attention Line To ensure prompt attention, sometimes a letter, which is addressed to a firm, is marked to a particular person (either by designation or name) of a department. This is usually written two spaces below the inside address. Attention line is generally underlined. 342 Example: Attention: The Sales Manager or Attention: Mr. R.C. Gupta. L Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents 6. Salutation Salutation in a letter is an essential element, which is like greeting a person when you meet. It should be placed two spaces below the attention line, if there is one, or below the inside address. The choice of salutation depends upon the personal relationship between the writer and the reader. If you are addressing a firm, a board, a club, a society, or an association, use 'Dear Sirs". Letters to people you do not know well enough to address personally should use the courtesy title and last name followed by a colon. Addressing someone as Dear Lewis instead of Dear Professor Lewis, whom you do not know well, may demonstrate disrespect and the stranger might resent it. / When you are writing to a government officer by name, your salutation should be 'DearSir', 'Dear Smt.', followed by his or her surname-example: 'Dear Sir Gupta' or 'Dear Smt. Sharma'. In government departments, letters that are addressed by name are known as demi-official letters (DO). They are written to draw attention of the concerned officer and to ensure prompt action. 7. Subject In business correspondence the subject line enables the reader to immediately know what the massage is all about. This also helps to direct the letter quickly to the concerned person. The usual practice is to type the line in double space between the salutation and

the first line of the body of the letter. Some organizations prefer to have the subject line between the attention line and the salutation. The subject must be mentioned if it has been indicated in the letter you are replying to. Like the reference the subject line helps to keep track of numerous correspondence that will be exchanged on the subject. 8. Body The body of the letter is the message. The main purpose of the letter is to convey a message and the main purpose of the message is to produce a suitable response in the reader. This achieved through the body of the letter. In the first paragraph, reference, to any correspondence, which has already taken place, should be mentioned. In the second paragraph the main message should be 343 344 Business Communication stated. The paragraphs are not given headings, unless the letter is a long one with many important points, which ought to be indicated. Almost all letters are typed single-spaced. There, however, should be double spacing before and after salutation, between the paragraphs, and before the complimentary close. 9. Complimentary close Complimentary close is a polite way of ending the letter. It is typed two spaces below thelast line of the body of the letter. The close must agree with the salutation - i.e. depending upon whom you are addressing to. A number of alternatives for wordings are available - such as faithfully, obediently, respectfully (when you are writing to someone who is senior to you or some dignitary); truly, or sincerely (when the salutations are formal); sincerely is very commonly used. To place Yours before these words is a common practice. 10. Signature Signature is the signed name of the sender and is placed below the complimentary close. After leaving three to four spaces below the signature the name of the sender is typed. The sender's title or designation may also be written along the name or just below it.

For a partnership firm, any one of the partners may sign either by writing in ink the name of the firm or by putting his signature below the typed name of the firm. The firm may also delegate the authority of signing letters to an officer by executing a legal instrument called Power of Attorney in his favour. Such an employee will write per pro. or pp. before the name of the firm and then sign below it. [Per pro. or pp. is the abbreviation of a Latin phrase per procurationem meaning 'agency' or 'on behalf of] 11. Identification marks These marks are put in the left margin to identify the typist of the letter, and are placed one or two spaces below the signature. These marks are also known as "reference initials", which show who helped prepare the letter. When the writer's name has been typed in the signature block, then only the typist's initials are necessary. But if only the department name appears in the signature block then the initials of both - the one Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents who dictated and the one typed the letter - will appear in the following form: RSR/sm or RSRrsm. (thr first set of initials is the writer's and the second is the typist's. 12. Enclosures If there is anything attached to the letter then it must be notified. This is the enclosure notation, which appears at the bottom of the letter, one or two lines below the identification marks. Some common forms are as follows: Enclosure Enclosures (3) Enclosures: Resume Photograph End. Letters Formats: There are several styles that are used for writing business letters. Individual taste and preference decides the choice of style used for writing letters. 1. According to Sharma and Mohan, the following are the styles used for writing business letters : The Indented style The Block style The Complete-block style The Semi-block style

The Hanging-indented style a) The Indented style In this style of writing each new item is indented two or four spaces. Perhaps the oldest style of writing letters, yet many use it. Closed punctuations are used in this style of writing. b) The Block style In this style the date line, the complimentary close, and the signature are aligned with the right margin. All the other parts of the letter are set to the left side. 345 Business Communication

2. Double spacing indicates division between the different parts of the letter. That is to say the distance between the reference, inside address, salutation, body, signature, and identification marks is all double space. c) The Complete-block style All the parts of the letter are aligned with the left margin. There is no indentation required for this style. There is very little use of punctuation in this form of letter. d) SejntbJock-5tyleThe format of this style is like the block style - date line, complimentary close and signature are all on the right side - except that the paragraphs are indented and (spaced. ' e) The Hanging-indented style This style is like the block style except that the first line of each paragraph is aligned with the left margin whereas, all other lines in each paragraph are indented four or five spaces. This style uses mixed punctuation. Punctuation Styles : Open Punctuation refers to omission of unnecessary commas and full stops. Open punctuation uses no colon or comma after the salutation or the complimentary close. It does not even use full stops in any part of the letter

except in the body in which usual punctuations are used. Mixed Punctuation uses a comma after the date, the salutation, and the complimentary close and a full stop follows the last line of the inside address. Closed Punctuation makes use of punctuation in the main parts of the lettersuch as commas and full stops. Sometimes instead of putting a comma after the salutation a colon is used - Dear Sir: According to Thill & Bovee and Ewald & Burnett there are basically three types of letter formats: Block format Modified format Simplified format (also known as AMS - Administrative Management Society Simplified Letter format) 346 Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents The major differences among these formats are the way the paragraphs are indented, the placement of letter parts, and some of the punctuations. However, each part of the letter is separated form each other at least by one line. If the paragraphs are indented, the indention is normally five spaces. In addition to these three letter formats, letters may also be classified according to the way the punctuations are used. Mixed punctuation style uses colon after the salutation (a comma if the letter is social or personal) and comma after the complimentary close. Open punctuation uses no colon or comma after the salutation or the complimentary close. Either style of punctuation can be used with block or modified formats. But because the simplified letter format has no salutation or complimentary close, the style of punctuation is irrelevant. Tables 15.3,15.4, and 15.5 indicate block, modified, and simplified formats respectively. Table 15.2 : Components of Business Letter Components Explanation Issues & Considerations Dateline

Include month (spelled out), day, and year. Place approximately 2 inches from top of the page:o If letterhead is being used, place dateline two spaces below letterheado If standard address line is used, place dateline immediately below address Block - date is aligned with left margin Modified block - date is placed in the right two-third of the page AMS -same as block Inside Addresses Include name (with Dr., Mr., Ms., etc) and title of person, company (optional department), street a ddress, city, state abbreviation, and ZIP. Unless the person explicitly refers to him- or herself as Dr., or Rev., defer to Mr., or Ms. Use "Mrs" only if that is her preference. Unless the addressee is in a leadership or noteworthy position, title is not needed. Salutation Use appropriate courtesy title unless you are on a first-name basis with the addressee. Mixed style of punctuation requires a colon after salutation. 347 Business Communication Components

Explanation Issues & Considerations Use "Ladies and Gentlemen" when addressing a letter to a general and unidentified audience. Open style requires no punctuation after salutation. AMS omits salutation.

Body Complimentary Close Use single spacing; leave space between paragraphs. Avoid indenting paragraphs. Indentation is appropriate only when a more "personal" style is wanted - when correspondence is addressed to customers. Rely on using Sincerely or Yours truly in more formal situations; Cordially in less formal. Block - paragraphs are not indented. Modified block -indentation is optional AMS - paragraphs are not indented. Mixed style of punctuation requires a comma after close. Open style requires no punctuation after close, AMS - close is omitted. Signature and Tide Place title below signature unless both are short, then a comma can be used to separate. Modified block - sometimes initials after the name and title in the "From" section at the top of the page can substitute for a signature. 348

Source : Helen Rothschild Ewald & Rebecca E. Burnett, Business Communication Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents Table 15.3 : Block MatteiToys Mt1el, Ine, s Avenue Hs*!f!arf, CA9025Q-92 TelephOfW 213 V>9 5150 TELEX 188155 or 188170 September 5, 1991 Mr. Clifford Hanson General Manager Th Toy Trunk 356 Emerald Drive Lexington, K 40500 Dear Mr, Hanson: You should receive your shipment of Barbie dolls and acces-sories within two weeks, just in tie for the holiday shop-ping season. The merchandise is being shipped by United Parcel Service. As the enclosed invoice indicates, the aaoant due is $332.32. In preparing to ship yowr order, I noticed that this is your 15th year as a Mattel customer. During that period, you have sold over 3,750 Barbie dolls! We sincerely appre-ciate tise part you have played .in marketing our toys to the public. Your customers should be particularly excited about the new Barbie vacation outfits that you have ordered. Our winter advertising campaign will portray Barbie trekking through the jungle in her safari suit, climbing mountains in her down parka, and snorkel ing off a coral reef in her skin diving gear. Next month, you'll be receiving our spring catalog. Notice the new series of action figures that will tie in with a TV cartoon featuring King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. As a special introductory incentive, you can re-ceive a 15 percent discount on all items in this line until the end of January. Please send your order soon. Sincerely, Ms. Rhonda Rogers Customer Service Representative jhb

Enclosure 349 Business Communication 350 Table 15.4: Modified June 3, 1991 Ms. Clara Simpson, President jLeague of Women Voters of Miami P.O. Box 112 Miami, FL 33152 Dear Ms. Simpson: : Thank you for inviting us to participate in the League of Women Voters' Spring Fashion Show. We will be delighted to provide some clothing samples for the May 15 event. . You indicated that you would like us to supply about 12 outfits from our designer collection, all in a size 6. We can certainly accommodate your request, To give your audi-ence a representative overview of our .Merchandise, I sug-gest we provide the following: three tailored, daytime dresses or suits, two dressy dresses, one formal ball gown, four casual weekend outfits, and two active sports outfits. Please give me a call to schedule a "shopping" trip for you and your committee members. Together, I'm sure we can find exactly what you need to stage -a well-rounded show. In the meantime, you might enjoy looking through the enclosed catalog. It will introduce you to. some of the options. Sincerely, (Mrs.) Vera O'Donnell Director, Public Relations beg .Enclosure Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents Table 15.5: Simplified

Kgntuc^f fried CMcten P.O. Box 32070 Louisville Kentucky 4Q232-2fftGl (502) 456&* August 20, 1991 Mr. Arnold Brewer 8976 Commerce Avenue Hot Springs, AR 7.1901 FRANCHISE INFORMATION Thank you, Mr. Breaer, for your recent inquiry about becoming a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee. We appreciate your enthusiasm for our organization and sincerely hope that you will decide to become one of our affiliates. I have enclosed a package of information for your review, including our offering circular and a confidentional appli-cation fora. Filling out the form does not obligate you in any way; it simply gives us a general idea whether you have the background and financial resources required to succeed as a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee. Please complete the application and return it in the en-closed envelope. We will then contact you to discuss the next steps toward owning a franchise of your own. In the meantime, please use the enclosed coupon to enjoy a free sample of our Chicken Littles. If you have any doubts about joining the organization, one bite should convince you that you are on the right track, with Kentucky Fried Chicken. WAYNE SUTHERLAND Franchisee Comaunications pb Enclosures 351 Business Communication B) Memos Interoffice memos are not distributed outside the organization and thus may not need to be typed on the best-quality paper. They, however, are official documents that convey important information. Clarity, careful organization, and neatness are important. Guidelines that have developed for memos enable the reader to understand the content at a glance. Many organizations have memo forms printed, with labelled spaces for date, the receiver's name, the sender's name, and the subject. Fig 15.1 shows a sample of a preprinted memo form.

MEMO -FROM: DEPT: TELEPHONE: -StfBJECT: Y For your Approval | (information | | Comment 352 Message, Comment, or Reply Fig 15.1 Following are the considerations for a memo : The memos typed or printed should always have a tide - MEMO or INTEROFFICE CORRESPONDENCE (all in capital) centred at the topofthe withtheleft margin. The four elements - Date, To, From, and Subject - should also appear on the memo sheet. Some memos also have the word "File* for the purpose of file or reference number. ^^ If the memo is to be sent to a long list of people, the notation See distribution list or See below goes in the place provided for "To". Sometimes the memo is addressed to a group of people -All Sales Representatives, Production Personnel, Assistant Vice Presidents, etc. ' ~~ Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents Courtesy titles need not be used anywhere on a memo; in fact, first initials and last name, first name, or even initials are sufficient. The body of the memo starts on the second or third line below the heading. Like the body of the letter, it is usually single-spaced. In case the memo is very short, it may be double-spaced.

Paragraphs are separated by blank^es, but may or may not be indented. Unlike the letter the memo does not require a complimentary close, because the writer's name is already mentioned on the top. However, the writer may initial the memo. All other elements - such as reference initials, enclosure notations, and copy notations - are treated as they are in a letter. Memos may be deliveredbyjiand, by post office (in case the receiver is working in the same organization, but at a different location), or through interoffice mail. Q Meeting Documents Meetings are important forum for business communication. But the success of any meeting depends on the preparation of the participants and on the follow-up measures they take to implement decisions or to seek information after the meeting. Meeting documents - agendas and minutes - aid in this process. 1. Agenda: Small, informal meetings may not require a written agenda, but any meeting involving relatively large number of participants or covering numerous points will run smoothly if an agenda is distributed in advance. The advantage of having a written agenda is that it helps participants prepare by telling them what will be discussed, and it helps keep them on track once the meeting begins. 353 II 354 Business Communication Table 15.6: Agenda Format AGEND APLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING TEUSDAY, AUGUST 21,1991 / 10:00 am EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE ROOM I. Call to Order H. Roll Call

ffl. Approval of Agenda Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting Chairperson's Report Subcommittee Reports

New Markets New Products Finance VII. Unfinished Business VHI. New Business IX. Announcements X Adjournment Source: Adapted from J. V Thill & C. L. Bovee, Excellence in Business Communication 2. Minutes: The body of the minutes, which follow the heading, should note the time at which the meeting started and ended, all the major decisions reached, all assignments of tasks to the participants, and all subjects that were deferred to a later meeting. In addition, the minutes should objectively summarize important discussions, noting the names of those who contributed major points. Additional documentation, such as tables, charts submitted by participants, should be noted in the minutes and attached. At the end of the minutes, the words "Submitted by" should be added, followed by few blank lines for signatures, and then the name of the one who prepared the minutes. Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents D) Report Format The report format has these following components: [From "Standard Report Components" in H R Ewald & R E Burnett, Business Communication] Letter of Transmittal \ Title Page Table of Content

Text Body Appendixes Bibliography / Works Cited 1. Letter of Transmittal Letter of transmittal will contain three main paragraphs: 5 Introduction to report subject and purpose^ (j Focus on some key points - such as central problem, recommendations Courtesy close and a call for action Letter of transmittal should provide a context for the report that follows. Readers should be provided with enough information so that they will know what to expect in the report. 2. Title Page Title page should contain three main sections (all centred): The report title Title type style should match the highest-level heading found in the text (all caps) If report title is more than one line in length, double-space between lines and divide the line according to logical units. Person or group for whom the report is prepared

Receiver line (the name of the one who receives the report) is preceded by the words "prepared for" 355 Business Communication Receiver line should note the title of the receiver, company, and company address Identification of report writer(s) ^\ Preparer line (name of the person/s who has/have prepared the report) should be preceded by the words "prepared by"

Preparer line should note the title of the preparer, company, and company address Preparer line should include date after address and a space. 3. Table of Content Table of content has three functions: Locating device for topics Forecasts extent and nature of topics Shows logical arrangement and relationship of parts Following are some considerations: A table of content can serve as an outline while drafting report You should match entries to page numbers using a dotted line for easy reading of topic and page number You should also space out entries; overcrowding can hinder referencing You should match heading in the content with the highest-level headings found in the text 4. Text Body Generally, all reports will have certain basic components in the following orderOverview Background Recommendations Evidence Discussion 356 Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents Considerations:

All sections of the report must be easy to find (by good use of space and logical arrangement of headings) Remember that reports are persuasive documents that are not to be diluted with extraneous materials; this will reduce the power of the report. 5. Appendixes If appendixes are used, they need to be listed in a separate section after the Table of Content Appendixes should be used only if visuals are referred to in multiple sections of the report 6. Bibliography/Works Cited In order to make your report credible, outside research data must be used to support the report's ideas and argumentative points. In so doing, all outside sources must be attributed within the text (footnotes, parenthetical citations, etc.) and in the bibliography. You should be knowledgeable of your organization's style preference and use it properly and consistently. &$ Activity A: Visit a company and request them for A blank memo form. A letter written by them to the general audience. Study its format. Formats they use to write reports. 357 Business Communication 15.3 DOCUMENTATION AND CITATION This section contains excerpts from Business Communication by Helen Rothschild Ewald & Rebecca E. Burnett.

Documentation and citing indicates that you are a careful researcher. It also enables your readers to make judgement about the credibility of your argument based on these resources. Let us define these terms. Documentation typically refers to the source lists that appear at the end of a document. When these lists are called Sources, References, or Bibliography, they typically list all sources used in preparation of a document. When the list is called Source Cited, it typically lists only sources actually referred to in the document. Citation typically refers to the in-text of end-of-document references for specific materials. These in-text notes (usually in parenthesis or brackets), bottom-of-page footnotes, or end-of-document notes identify the source for quoted or paraphrased information. While text citation appear in the text or at the end of the document, citation for data in visuals or for entire visuals are typically placed immediately after the visual (as in the case of table, or a figure, etc.) Circumstances that require citations: <&'%?. / 3*K /X^7* t' *&~v When you quote material directly, using the exact words from the original source When you paraphrase or summarize material, using your own words but generally reflecting the content and organization of the original source When you refer to any information (theories, practices, examples, etc.) that is unique to or typically associated with a specific person, publication, or organization When you use data or information from a source as the content of a visual When you use an entire visual of any sort Styles for documentation and citations: There are three most commonly used manuals for documentation and citations: Chicago Manual of Style Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) MLA Handbook, published by Modern Language Association Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents Documentation and Citation Formats 1. Journal Articles: MLA Style Jaffe, W. "Walras's Economics As Others See It." Journal of Economic Literature

18 (June 1980): 528 In Text: (Jaffe 528) Footnote: W. Jaffe, "Walras's Economics As Others See It," Journal of Economic Literature 18 (June 1980): 528 APA Style Jaffe, W. (1980, June). Walras's Economics As Others See It. Journal of Economic Literature, 18, 528 In Text: Jaffe, 1980, pg. 528) Chicago Manual Style Jaffe, W. 1980. Walras's Economics As Others See It. Journal of Economic Literature 18:528 In Text: (Jaffe 1980, 528) Footnote: Jaffe, "Walras's Economics As Others See It," Journal of Economic Literature 18 (June 1980): 528 2. Books : MLA Style Kuhn, T.S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962 InText: (Kuhn 123) Footnote: T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962)123 359 360 Business Communication APA Style Kuhn, T.S. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ^

In Text: (Kuhn, 1962,123) Chicago Manual of Style Kuhn, T.S. 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. In Text: (Kuhn 1962, 123) Footnote: T.S. Kuhn. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), 123. 3. Reference Books (Signed Articles in a Reference Book): MLA Style Krooss, Herman. "Business and Industry, History of ." Collier's Encyclopaedia. 1989 ed. 20-27 In Text: (Krooss 20-27) Footnote: Herman Krooss, "Business and Industry, History of," Collier's Encyclopaedia, 1989 ed. 20-27 APA Style Krooss, Herman. (1989). Business and Industry, history of. In Collier's Encyclopaedia (1989 ed., Vol. 5, pp. 20-27). New York: Macmillan 4. Electronic Resources: a) CD ROM MLA Format Weidman, Christine Ingleborg. "Prices for Earnings Expectations: The Role of Loss Functions". ProQuest. CD-ROM. 1994 Unit 15 Formats for Business Documents APA Style Weidman, Christine Ingleborg (1994). Prices for Earnings Expectations: The Role of Loss Functions [CD-ROM]. Abstract from: ProQuestFile: Dissertation Abstract Item: 9409570 b) On-Line Journal Article - General Access APA Style

Haynes, Jenny. (1994). Checklist on market makers [17 paragraphs]. NASDAQ Financial Executive Journal [on-line serial], 4(2). Available: http://www.law.cornell.edu/nasdaq/ nasdtoc.html Chicago Manual of Style Haynes, Jenny. 1994. Checklist on market makers. In NASDAQ Financial Executive Journal (Vol. 4, no. 2) [on-line serial] Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Law School. [Available from http.Y/www/law.comell.edu/nasdaq/nasdtoc.html] c) Software - With Author MLA Format Wright, Will. Sim City 2000. Computer software. Orinda, CA: Maxis, 1993 APA Style Wright, Will. (1993). Sim City 2000 [computer software]. Orinda, CA: Maxis. Chicago Manual of Style Wright, Will. Sim City 2000, Maxis, Orinda, CA $ Activity B : a) Visit an on-line site and write the citation for On-line Journal Article in ah1 three styles MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual. 362 Business Communication b) Write a citation for an abstract from CD-ROM in the MLA and APA style. 15.4 SUMMARY An effective letter, memo, or report not serves to store messages, but also get across to the right person and makes the necessary impact to get the appropriate action from the receiver. To make the right impact on the reader the message has to have the correct format and medium. Business documents have definite format that has to be used in order to create the necessary impact.

All business letters have components that are common - such as heading, date, inside address salutation, body, complimentary close, and signature block. However, the formats differ depending on the indentation and punctuation style. Letters may be used for internal communication or external, depending on the type of message. Similarly, memos also have definite format and are used primarily for communication within the organization. Other forms of business documents are the meeting documents - agendas and minutes - and the reports. Reports are more elaborate form of written communication, which are usually organized around a certain problem that the organization encounters. They have definite format and have the following components - letter of transmittal, title page, table of content, text body, appendixes, and bibliography/works cited. All these components have their specific functions that make the report appear professional and credible. The process of writing reports involves considerable amount of research for which number of sources have to be referred to. The sources that are used have to be cited. Documentation and citation are important part of report writing and should be incorporated in the report. Giving credit to the referred sources requires a definite format. The most professional forms of citing these sources are according to the following format - Chicago Manual of Style; Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA); and MLA Handbook, published by Modern Language Association. Sources for research are available in the library in the form of books, journals, reference books, etc., as well as the Internet.