Business Communication- Principles and Process Notes – CSEET
When one communicates to transact some commercial activity, that is, providing goods or services, with the intention of generating profits, it is termed as business communication. According to Scott, “administrative communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting action which will accomplish organization goals”. The importance of communication to an organization, all the more so to a business organization, cannot be over emphasized. It links not only the various components of the organization but also its internal world with the external world. In order be proficient in business communication, it becomes imperative to acquire skills of effective writing and speaking. In fact, lack of these may result in loss of business opportunities. Therefore, curriculums of most business schools the world over cover the subject of business communication extensively. It is also common for the prestigious companies to insist upon excellent communication skills as a requirement at the time of recruitment.
Features of Communication
(1) Communication is essentially a two-way process. The success or the failure of communication is decided by the feedback we get. Hence, feedback is essential to communication.
(2) Communication is an ongoing process. Communication is essential in all kinds of organizations and at all levels of management. No manager can be effective in his role unless he is able to communicate. Professional and result oriented organizations are always looking for managers who can communicate persuasively and competently.
(3) Communication consists not only of facts but ideas and emotions too. Communication is much more than words. The tone and facial expressions often carry a greater meaning than words. We can communicate a lot through signs, symbols and gestures. For example, a victory sign made by two fingers communicates better than words.
(4) Communication is a dynamic process. It incorporates the changing shape of the participants and the environment.
(5) Communication is a goal-oriented process. Communication can be effective if both the sender and the receiver are aware of the goal of communication and there is congruence of their goals.
(6) Communication is an inter-disciplinary science. Knowledge derived from several sciences is used in communication. Anthropology (study of body language), Psychology (study of persuasion, perception and attitudes), Sociology and Political science (study of voting behaviour) have provided insights to make communication effective.
Importance of Communication
Effective communication has always been essential for success in business. In recent times, communication has become all the more essential due to the following reasons:
(i) Increase in Size : Business firms have grown tremendously in scale of operations. A large business firm today employs thousands of people and has operations in different parts of the world. An efficient system of communication is required to carry out its activities across successfully.
(ii) Growing Specialization : Narrow division of work results in different activities being handled by different departments. Sound communication is essential for ensuring mutual cooperation and understanding among different departments without which no organization can function smoothly. If, for example, there is no communication between production and sales departments, the sales department might book such orders that the production department fails to supply.
(iii) Cut-throat Competition : Liberalization and globalization have resulted in severe competition among public sector, private sector and foreign banks. Persuasive communication in the form of advertisements, personal contacts and publicity becomes essential to survive in the race of competition.
(iv) Trade Union Movement : In organisations, employee’s unions are very strong and powerful.
Management must consult union leaders on several matters. Regular exchange of information and ideas between managers and union officials helps them to maintain healthy relations with one another.
(v) Human Relations : Effective communication between management and employees is necessary to develop mutual trust and confidence. Participation of employees in the decision-making process and other activities helps to develop among them a sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization.
(vi) Public Relations : Society expects a sense of responsibility from managers. Business has to keep the Government, distributors, suppliers, investors and other sections of society well-informed about its contribution to society. Public relations help business to improve its image in society, and big enterprises employee professional experts for this purpose.
(vii) Personal Asset : Communication skill is essential for success in every job. Managers are required to deliver speeches, write documents and conduct interviews. Teachers, advocates, journalists, receptionists need high degree of communication skill. The ability to communicate effectively is equally essential for promotion in career.
The communication process consists of a series of steps by which a sender reaches a receiver with a message. It involves six steps:
(1) Develop an Idea : It is an idea or thought which the sender wishes to transmit. This is the key step. Unless there is a worthwhile message to communicate all further steps are rendered useless.
(2) Encode : In this, the idea is encoded with suitable words, charts, or symbols for transmission. At this point, the sender determines the method of transmission.
(3) Transmit : The finally developed message is transmitted by the method chosen. Senders also choose certain channels and communicate with careful timing, but they try to keep their communication channels free of barriers.
(4) Receive : Clear reception of message is a condition precedent to its effective interpretation, storage and use. In an interpersonal mode, it would involve attentive listening too.
(5) Decode : Step five is to decode the message so that it can be understood. The sender wants the receiver to understand the message exactly as intended. But, due to different perceptions of two different people, the receiver sometimes does not understand exactly what the sender intends. Hence, the sender must before land assess the abilities of the receiver to make the communication happen.
(6) Feedback : Feedback is the receiver’s response to the sender’s message. Feedback enables the sender to know whether or not his massage has been received and interpreted correctly. The exchange of information through feedback can be very helpful in improving the communication process.
(7) Noise : Most of the time communication failure is caused by noise. Noise is distracting and interferes with the communication process. If the channel medium we are relying upon is faulty the message may be at times encoded wrongly. Sometimes distortion in sound or a speech defect also hampers the process of effective communication. Besides noise, sometimes sender’s attitudes, personal prejudices, certain assumptions, frame of mind or use of wrong tone interfere with the communication process. Similarly, on the other end the receiver’s background, prejudices, his ability to understand the message as intended, influence the effective communication. Apart from these factors speech defects, distracting body language, illegible hardwiring, etc. bring about the failure of communication.
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