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Business Communication

The word “Communication” is originated from the Latin word “communis”, which means common. Thus, communication is sharing of ideas in common. The dictionary meaning of communication is to exchange or convey information and share ideas.

Elements of Business Communication:

There are 6 basic elements of Business Communication. They are:-

1. Message:

This is the subject-matter which is passed or transmitted by the sender to the other party or group of persons. This might be suggestion, opinion, order , feeling, attitude, view, etc.

2. Sender:

He/she is the person who intends to pass the information to make it understand to other person.

3. Receiver:

The person for whom the message is send is known as receiver.

4. Channels:

Information is transmitted through certain channels (e.g., , telephone, radio, television, whatsapp, letter, e-mail, etc.). The media must be selected by the sender considering various factors.

5. Symbols:

These are the actions, words, and signs which are passed on by the sender while he communicate with the receiver.

6. Feedback:

When the receiver understand the message of the sender and responds back to him/her message, feedback takes place. Without a proper feedback communication is incomplete.

Features of Business Communication:

Basic features of Business Communication are as follows:-

1. Practical:

An effective business communication deals with the practical aspect of the information explaining when, why, how and the like queries. It avoids unnecessary, impractical, imaginary, or repetitive information to eliminate waste of time. It conveys only important information to the receiver.

2. Factual:

In general a business message contains figures and facts in place of overall idea. Important time, place, date, etc. should be clearly mentioned in a business communication.

3. Clear and Brief:

The language used in business communication should be clear, brief, simple, and without ambiguity. Sometimes photographs, diagrams, charts, etc. are used to clarify or condense the information.

4. Target-Oriented:

A business communication must have a certain objective and must be planned properly so that the objective of the communication can be achieved.

5. Persuasive:

Business communication plays a persuasive role. It persuades an employee to perform his/her duties and it persuades a customer to buy a service or product, etc. The basic characteristics mentioned above are related to the information or condense of the communication.

Objectives of Business Communication:

The main objective of communication are:-

1. Giving Information:

The first object of communication is to make the members of an firm aware of its goal and acquaint them with all the relevant information needed. This helps the business organization to achieve success through concerted efforts of all the people concerned. It is a fact that well-informed people will have knowledge and can achieve better.

2. Persuasion:

To persuade means to make other people decide to do something, especially by again and again asking them or telling them the reasons why they should do it; in other words, influencing others to believe and to do what one wants.

3. Conveying Suggestion:

Communication helps in conveying opinions, ideas and suggestions. The employees who are actually engaged in the work know better the loopholes in it and can suggest to the managers the ways or path to plug the loopholes. This was an example of upward communication. In big organizations suggestion boxes are kept and suggestions are received throughout the year. Sometimes further communication is made with the suggestions given by employees for clarification. Interaction of ideas and suggestions help the progress of a company.

4. Advice:

One of the objectives of business communication is to advise a group of people or an individual. The manager advises the subordinates about the ways which helps in better performance. Advice involves personal opinion of a person and it influences the action and opinion of the other person(s) to whom advice is being given.

5. Motivation:

Communication is done to motivate or inspire and to create a sense of loyalty among the employees. Due to effective communication their morale is boosted up and it leads to better performance. Effective communication is necessary for inspiring the employees or workers and infusing in them a positive attitude towards work and create healthy relationship with the managers.

6. Training:

It is necessary to meet the need of an firm that employees need to be trained to update them about the new technological developments so as to adjust themselves to changing work environment or job demands. The new employees also require training at the initial stage to cope up with the systems, methods and techniques of work in the firm.

7. Instruction, Guidance and Counselling:

This is one of the objectives of business communication to manage the employees or workers by means of providing instruction, giving guidance and arranging for counseling. Legal, vocational and medical guidance and counseling are provided free of cost to the workers or employees in a good business organisation. Lawyers, coaches, doctors, etc are employed for the purpose. The underlying objective of such assistance is to keep the employees physically fit and mentally alert so that they can work with their heart and soul for the well-being of the firm.

8. Giving Warning and Appreciating Good Work:

It is very important to appreciate a good worker. It will encourage employee to strive for better performance and greater involvement. It makes the worker conscious about his duties and responsibilities. On the other hand it is also necessary to give warning to the workers who tend to be in disciplined, create disturbance or non-accountable and unproductive. The objective of both warnings and appreciation may be accomplished through written or oral communication.

9. Resource Utilisation:

Communication checks wastage of the resources of the firm and helps in better utilization or resources. Lack of knowledge and proper direction in time may cause the waste or misuse or resources. Communication helps to bridge the gap of knowledge through advice, instruction, etc. and due to this waste or misuse of resource is minimized. Not only material resources, but also the human resources, financial resources and other resources are utilized properly through communication.

10. Management Efficiency:

Business Communication helps to increase efficiency of the management. If there is a good network of communication (formal and informal), the firm can be managed effectively and efficiently.

Process of Communication:-

1. Sender’s Idea:

The first step in communication process is to be familiar with the problem or idea to be communicated. If the communicator has no clear view of this problem or idea, its reception on the other end may give similar obscure idea and may thus be misunderstood. So, the process of communication demands clear view of the problem or idea to be communicated.

2. Encoding the Idea:

When the idea is converted into a symbolic form in terms of language, it may be termed as the encoding a message. The language may consist of symbols, words, charts, gestures, diagrams, etc. Encoding depends on the personal characteristics of the sender as well as the receiver who receives the message. The clarity, length, style, form, etc. of the message varies from person to person.

3. Transmission:

In transmitting the decisions or ideas, certain matters are to be taken into consideration. The first consideration should be to select an perfect channel (i.e., non-verbal, verbal, written, etc.) and a medium (telephone, letter, e-mail, face to face conversation, etc.).

4. Getting the Message by the Receiver:

The receiver must get the message to make the communication useful. Suppose a message is sent to a person. It is not possible for him to understand its meaning unless it is received by him.

5. Decoding the Message:

Decoding means understanding the meaning of the message. If the receiver understands the message given by the sender in the same sense as the sender intends, the objective of communication is presumed to be fulfilled.

6. Sending Feedback:

Feedback is the receiver’s response to the message after understanding it. The feedback tells the effectiveness of the message. If the sense of the message is realist properly, the feedback will be desirable and, if it is not, one has to understand that there are some barriers in the process of communication. Steps must be taken for the removal of such barriers.

7. Channel:

Channels are the paths or routes of the communication. The sender’s idea is transmitted to the receiver through these paths. The receiver sends feedback to the sender through these channels. Thus, channel is used at least two times in the process of communication. Oral or telephonic message, different audio and video media, letter, computer, fax, e-mail, etc. are the popular channels of communication. Selection of channel depends upon the nature of the message, urgency, necessity and situational conditions.

8. Noise:

It is not a separate step from the process of communication. It can be present at every step and make the communication ineffective or less effective . Noise distorts the message and conveys ideas which are not intended by the sender and results in confusion, chaos and complexity.

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