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Presentation on theme: "BUSINESS COMMUNICATION STUDENT NOTES JANUARY 2008."— Presentation transcript:


2 Communication involves these things: The diagram shows the four elements of communication: a sender a message a medium a receiver These four elements are used together to get the reaction that we want. In business, communication can be sent in various directions.

3 Three methods of communication that can be used internally or externally : –spoken: at meetings, on the telephone, in interviews and presentations –written: letters, memorandums, reports, trading documents, staff magazines –electronic: computers, videos, fax machines, mobile phones, modems

4 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION For communication to work and get the response or reaction that you want, the receiver must understand the message that the sender is sending. To make this possible the message should be: Clear Simple Accurate Complete Relevant This sounds easy enough to do but there are quite a few problems that get in the way of effective communication.

5 Understanding If you were told to "vat vir jou 'n boek en sit daar op die stoel" you would not do so. Not surprising, considering that the communication takes place in a language you don't understand. (It is, by the way, in Afrikaans, which is one of South Africa's 11 official languages). There has not been effective communication between me, the sender, and you, the receiver, because the medium used was one you did not understand.

6 Attitude Your response to the request "would you be able to stay this afternoon and help in the office?" would be very different if the message was given by a sender you liked and wanted to impress than it would be if the same message was given by a sender you disliked. The communication from the sender you want to make a good impression on would have got the desired result, you would have helped in the office. The sender that you have a bad attitude towards would be doing the work himself.

7 Timing Teenagers are experts at timing! Don't you just know the right time to ask Dad for those new jeans? Even if your communication is clear, simple, accurate, relevant and complete you know that it won't be effective (get the jeans) if you ask when the receiver (Dad) is in a bad mood, has just come home from a hectic day, has just seen your report/messy bedroom/you fighting with your sister.

8 Tone The "Oh, go away" that you laughingly say to your friend who is teasing you is communicating a very different message to the "Oh, go away" that you say to your irritating little brother when he asks if he could borrow money. Same message but very different tones that convey very different meanings.

9 Purpose In business, communicating is usually to remind, reprimand, persuade, request, encourage or inform. Your reaction to any message would depend on the purpose of it, what the sender was trying to get you, the receiver, to do.

10 Capability It is very important for the receiver to understand the message, given in the right tone, at the right time for the right purpose, but useless if the desired result is beyond his/her capabilities. Instructing you to split the atom is not effective communication because you are not a trained physicist.

11 SPOKEN COMMUNICATION This type of communication happens a lot more than written communication for both internal and external matters. The feedback, or reaction, is immediate. Verbal communication can be over the telephone, and now with mobile phones, it is quick and flexible.

12 SPOKEN COMMUNICATION Much communication in businesses is face to face, verbal communication. This can be at meetings, either formal ones like an AGM or more informal departmental meetings to get a report back on the progress of a task. Unless minutes are taken at the meeting there is no record of what has been said and different people may have "received" different messages. Some may not even have heard the message at all! A written agenda is usually sent out before a meeting. It is to let those who would be attending know what matters will be discussed at the meeting.

13 Another form of spoken communication is interviews, both internally for a promotion or assessment or externally if you are applying for a job. These are very stressful because even though they give immediate feedback in the form of an impression, this impression is often false.

14 WRITTEN COMMUNICATION Another form of spoken communication is interviews, both internally for a promotion or assessment or externally if you are applying for a job. These are very stressful because even though they give immediate feedback in the form of an impression, this impression is often false.

15 WRITTEN COMMUNICATION Letters are a popular form of written communication. Letters are often sent within the business. When you get appointed to a new job you get a letter of appointment, if you do that job well you will get a letter of promotion, if you do that job badly you will get a letter of warning and, after enough of those, a letter of dismissal. That's a lot of letters. Letters are also a business's main form of external communication. Letters, newsletters, contracts and brochures are sent to customers all the time.

16 REPORTS Reports are used internally to give feedback on the progress of any task that may have been delegated. Like a memo, they have a standard format but are more detailed. Any report should have: introduction findings conclusion recommendations A report could be written on the results of a marketing campaign, the progress in any department, quality control on a new product or even on an assessment of staff members.

17 TRADING DOCUMENTS Trading documents are used for written communication externally. By these we mean invoices, statements, delivery notes and quotations. These documents are standard and pre-printed to save time and effort. They record all the buying and selling transactions and even with all our "paperless technology" trading documents are still a very important method of communication for any organisation's office.

18 WRITTEN COMMUNICATION A lot of businesses have in-house staff magazines which are used to communicate internally to staff about the organisation, functions that have happened or will happen, social activities and news on other staff members. These are great for boosting morale and team-building within a business, they make the staff feel like part of a team. Do you have a school magazine or newsletter? It's the same idea.

19 ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION The advantages of electronic communication are that it is quick, it can be recorded and it is accurate. The disadvantage is that the equipment is expensive. It has, however, changed the workplace and the way business communicates, both internally and externally.

20 Most employees have a desktop computer which allows them to send and receive "paperless" memos, letters, reports, trading documents and other messages quickly and accurately. All documentation can be stored on disks which saves on filing and storage. Email is used widely for internal and external communication as not only is it quick and reliable, but sending an email is also cheaper than using paper and employing someone to do internal mail. With email, the message is typed in, sent to the receiver's email address immediately and the receiver is made aware that he has a message waiting.

21 Another great method of communicating using technology is video conferencing where a group of people can hold a meeting without even being in the same country. Sounds and pictures are sent via telephone links so that the different people can see and hear each other, making it almost a face-to-face meeting. Video conferencing is expensive, but think of the money businesses could save on airfares, hotel accommodation and other travel expenses.

22 Fax machines have been around for a while and are very popular for sending written documents, diagrams and pictures. As the fax machine is linked to the telephone line, it is a cheap, accurate and quick means of communicating.

23 Mobile phones mean that business communications, whether internal or external, can take place anywhere, anytime. Now with WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), not only can we phone people on our mobile but we can also use it to access the internet and our email. WAP is internet on a mobile phone so you can send messages, do your banking, read the news, check the listed stock prices and book your cinema tickets using your mobile while you sit in the park feeding the ducks.

24 Portable notebooks, modems, email, mobile phones and fax machines all allow for teleworking, where the employee works at home and communicates with colleagues via computer, telephone, fax machine and email. Employees can work in their own environment, keep the hours they prefer and be near to their families.

25 Even with all this technology available to us, communication is still a two-way process. The sender still needs to use the correct tone and language. He still needs to have a positive attitude and must send a clear, accurate, complete and relevant message. He must still choose an appropriate medium, whether it is spoken, written or electronic. The receiver must still be able to understand the message and give the desired reaction. Not as easy or as simple as it sounds!

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27 REVISION NOTES All communication must be effective, it must result in the desired reaction or response. There are four elements in communication: a sender, message, medium and a receiver. Feedback is when the receiver shows that he has understood the message from the sender. A business communicates internally with staff members (colleagues and subordinates). A business communicates externally with customers, suppliers, the public and shareholders.

28 REVISION NOTES A sender's timing, method of communicating, tone and purpose could affect the way he gives his message and could mean that the receiver will not respond in the way that the sender had hoped. A receiver's understanding, attitude and capability could affect the message he receives and this could lead to him not taking the required action. There are three methods of communication that can be used internally or externally: –spoken: at meetings, on the telephone, in interviews and presentations –written: letters, memorandums, reports, trading documents, staff magazines –electronic: computers, videos, fax machines, mobile phones, modems


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