Business Administration Chapter 5 Notes
Business Administration Chapter 5 Notes BSAD 180
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This 16 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chase Siegfried on Thursday September 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BSAD 180 at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire taught by Professor Mark Alfuth in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Business Administration in Business Administration at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.
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Business Administration Notes: Chapter 5 Business Communication: Creating and Delivering Messages that Matter Learning Objectives: 5-1: Explain the importance of excellent business communication 5-2: Describe the key elements of nonverbal communication 5-3: Compare, contrast, and choose effective communication channels 5-4: Choose the right words for effective communication channels 5-5: Write more effective business memos, letters, and emails 5-6: Create and deliver successful verbal presentations Section 1: Excellent Communication Skills: Your Invisible Advantage Vocabulary Notes: Communication: The transmission of information between a sender and a recipient. Noise: Any inference that causes the message you send to be different from the message your audience understands. Communication Barriers: Obstacles to effective communication, typically defined in terms of physical, language, body language, cultural, perceptual, and organizational barriers. Intercultural Communication: Communication among people with differing cultural backgrounds. In-text Notes: Much of your success in business will depend on your ability to influence the people around you. Excellent communicators are not only influential but also well liked, efficient, and effective. So what exactly are “excellent communication skills”? Effective communication happens only when you transmit meaning – relevant meaning – to your audience. Communication must be a two-way street; both directing speaking and listening. 5-1a: Communication Barriers: “That’s Not What I Meant!” Why is effective communication so challenging? The key issue is noise. Noise refers to any interference that causes the message you send to be different from the message your audience understands. Some experts define noise in terms of communication barriers, which arise in a number of different forms. Physical Barriers: o These can range from a document that looks like a wall of type, to a room that’s freezing cold, to chairs in your office that force your visitors to sit at a lower level than you. Language Barriers: o Slang, jargon, and regional accents can interfere with meetings. Body Language Barriers: o Even if your words are inviting, the wrong body language can alienate and distract your audience so completely that they simply won’t absorb the content of your message. Perceptual Barriers: o How your audience perceives you and your agenda can create a significant obstacle to effect communication. If possible, explore their perceptions – both positive and negative – in advance. Organizational Barriers: o Some companies have built-in barriers to effective communication, such as an unspoken rule that the people at the top can’t talk to the people at the bottom. Cultural Barriers: o These can include everything from how you greet colleagues and establish eye contact to how you handle disagreement, eat business meals, and make small talk at meeting. As globalization gains speed, intercultural communication will become increasingly pivotal to long- term business success. Section 2: Nonverbal Communication: Beyond the Words Vocabulary Notes: Nonverbal Communication: Communication that does not use words. Common forms of nonverbal communication include gestures, posture, facial expressions, tone of voice, and eye contact. Active Listening: Attentive listening that occurs when the listener focuses his or her complete attention on the speaker. In-text Notes: Most of us focus on what we want to say, but how we say it matters even more. IN fact, studies cited in The Wall Street Journal’s Career Journal suggest that during face-to-face communication, only 7% if meaning comes from the verbal content of the message – 38% comes from the tone of voice, and 55% comes from body language such as facial expressions, gestures, and posture. The goal of nonverbal communication should be to reinforce the meaning of your message. Random facial expressions and disconnected body language – arbitrary arm thrusts, for example – are at best distracting and at worst clownish. But strong, deliberate nonverbal communication can dramatically magnify the impact of your message. Eye Contact: o Within American culture, sustained eye contact (different from a constant cold stare) indicates integrity, trust, and respectful attention. Tone of Voice: o Variation is the key to effectiveness, since paying attention to a monotone takes more concentration than most people are willing to muster. Facial Expressions: o People vary widely in terms of how much emotion they show on their faces, but virtually everyone communicates, whether or not they know it, through a wide range of expressions that include shy smiles, focused frowns, clenched jaws, squinted eyes, and furrowed brows. Gestures and Postures: o How you handle your body speaks for you. For example, leaning forward can indicate interest, shrugging can suggest a lack of authority, and fidgeting can imply either impatience or nervousness. 5-2a: Active Listening: The Great Divider How we listen (or don’t listen) also sends a high-impact, nonverbal message. In fact, an old Chinese proverb asserts that to listen well is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well. Those who do both are unstoppable. Strong listening skills – active listening – play an obvious role in business success. The higher you go in an organization, the more you find that people are listening. According the International Listening Association website, 85% of our learning is derived from listening, yet listeners are distracted, forgetful, and preoccupied 75% of the time. When you listen, try to use the extra thinking time to make yourself pay closer attention to the speaker. You’ll find that people tend to tell more to those who listen better, so if you polish your listening skills, you’re also likely to buff up the quality of what you know and when you know it. Section 3: Choose the Right Channel: A Rich Array of Options Vocabulary Notes: Communication Channels: The various ways in which a message can be sent, ranging from one-on-one in-person meetings to Internet message boards. In-text Notes: Figuring out the right way to send a message can be a daunting challenge, especially in light of the growing number of choices. The various options are called communication channels. Understanding the impact of each channel will help you make the best decision regarding which to use. Communication channels differ from one another in terms of how much information – or richness – they communicate to the recipient. Key Channels are listed in the table below: Texting Very low richness Memos/Reports Very low richness Email Very low richness Voice Mail Low richness Telephone Conversation Moderate richness Videoconferencing High richness In-Person Presentation High richness Face-to-Face Meeting Very high richness 5-3a: Consider the Audience: It’s Not About You! Clearly, the needs and expectations of your audience play a crucial role in your choice of communication channel. Even if the recipient’s preferences seem absurd, remember that your first priority is to communicate your message. Analysis and consideration of your audience should also be a top priority after you choose your communication channel. Section 4: Pick the Right Words: Is that Car Pre-loved or just Plain Used?! Vocabulary Notes: Bias: A preconception about members of a particular group. Common forms of bias include gender bias; age bias; and race, ethnicity, or nationality bias. Action Voice: Sentence construction in which the subject performs the action expressed by the verb (e.g., The accountant did the taxes.). The active voice works better for the vast majority of business communication. Passive Voice: Sentence construction in which the subject does not do the action expressed by the verb; rather the subject is acted upon (e.g., The taxes were done by our accountant.). The passive voice tends to be less effective for business communication. In-text Notes: Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” Perhaps that’s a little extreme, but it may not be too far from the truth. 5-4a: Analyze Your Audience The find the right words, begin with the needs of your audience. Consider: Expectations: o What kind of language do most people use in the organization? I it formal or informal? Is it direct or roundabout? Should you differ from the norm? Why or why not? Education: o The education level of the audience should drive the level of vocabulary and the complexity of the message. Profession: o Some professions are rife with jargon and acronyms. How should this influence your message? 5-4b: Be Concise: It pays to be clear and concise in business communication. But don’t be concise at the expense of completeness; include all information that your audience may need. 5-4c: Avoid Slang: Unless your absolutely certain that your audience will understand and appreciate it, do not use slanf in either written or verbal communication. The risk of unintentionally alienating yourself from your audience is simply too high. 5-4d: Avoid Bias: Intentionally or unintentionally, words can communicate biases that can interfere with your message, alienate your audience, and call your own character into question. As a result, you will be less effective in achieving the immediate goals of your communication (and possibly any future communication as well). Three kinds of bias are common: Gender Bias: o Gender bias consists of words that suggest stereotypical attitudes toward a specific gender. Avoiding bias becomes tricky when you simply don’t know the gender of your audience, which often happens when you apply for a job in writing. Another common challenge is to establish agreement in your sentences without creating gender bias. Age Bias: o Age bias refers to words that suggest stereotypical attitudes towards people of specific ages. In American culture, older people tend to experience negative age bias much more often than younger people. This happens despite specific federal legislation outlawing employment discrimination against people over 40 years old. Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality Bias: o Words can also suggest stereotypical attitudes toward specific races, ethnicities, and nationalities. Leaving aside prejudice – which is clearly wrong – the problems in this area are usually unintentional and stem from unarticulated assumptions about a person’s attitudes, opinions, and experiences. 5-4e: Use the Active Voice Whenever Possible: Active voice facilitates direct, powerful, concise communication. You have used the active voice when the subject is doing the action described by the verb. You have used the passive voice when the subject of your sentence is not doing the action described by the verb. Here’s an example: “Our team did not hit our sales goal” – Active voice “The sales goal was not reached” – Passive voice Section 5: Write High-Impact Messages: Breaking through the Clutter: Vocabulary Notes: There are none In-text Notes: For many businesspeople, checking email – or even regular mail – is like approaching a fire hose for a sip of water. Goal number one is to crank down the pressure to get what you need without being knocked over by all the rest. To attain this goal, many people simply press the delete button. Your challenge as a writer is to make your message a must-read, and the starting point should be the needs of your audience. Consider how the audience will respond to your message and use that information to guide your writing. The anticipated audience response should directly affect how you structure your writing. If the recipient will feel positive or neutral about your message, the memo or email should begin with your bottom line. What is your request or recommendation or conclusion? Why should the audience care? After you’ve clarified those points, follow up with your rationale and explanations. If the recipient will feel negative about your message, start the memo or email with a couple of lines that present the rationale before you give the bottom line. Follow up with alternatives if there are any, and be sure to end on a positive note. 5-5a: Strike the Right Tone: Good business writing sounds natural – it flows like spoken language and reads like a conversation on paper. To strike the right tone for any given message, remember that you can choose from a wide variety of conversational styles from formal to chatty. A few guidelines will also help: Use common words in most situations Use the active voice Use personal pronouns Use Contractions as often as you would when speaking 5-5b: Don’t Make Grammar Goofs: Grammatical errors will distract your reader from your writing and undermine your credibility. Most businesspeople are aware of the more common grammatical errors, so they tend to jump off the page before the content of the message. But if you’re uncertain about a particular point, look at how professionally edited publications handle similar issues. Finally, don’t be afraid to do a common-sense check on any grammatical question. An expert in business communications believes that: It is OKAY to end sentences with a preposition when doing so sounds natural ad does not involve excess words. It is OKAY to begin a sentence with “And” or “But”. It is OKAY to split infinitives. If you follow these principles, your writing not only will sound more natural, but also will flow more easily. 5-5c: Use Block Paragraphs: There are three elements to block paragraphs: (1) use single spacing, (2) double space between paragraphs, and (3) do not indent the first sentence of your paragraphs. This approach has become standard for business writing over the past decade, as writers have begun to include an increasing number of additional elements such as headings and illustrations. 5-5d: Use Headings and Bulleted Lists Wherever Appropriate: Both headings and bulleted lists will guide your reader more easily through your writing. And the easier it is for your reader, the more likely that he or she will absorb your message, which is, of course, your ultimate goal. Headings: o A heading is not a title; rather, it is a label for one of several parts. Bulleted Lists: o A bulleted list is an invaluable tool that you can use to engage your reader’s attention whenever you have more than one of anything in your writing. By formatting your lists with bullets, you are directing your reader’s eyes through your writing. Section 6: Create and Deliver Successful Verbal Presentations: Hook ‘Em and Reel ‘Em In! Vocabulary Notes: Dynamic Delivery: Vibrant, compelling presentation delivery style that grabs and holds the attention of the audience. In-text Notes: What do people fear most? The book of lists asserts that public speaking ranks number one for the majority of people, high above the fear of death at number four. As with most communication, the needs of the audience are the best place to begin. How does your audience feel about you and your topic? 5-6a: Opening: The opening of your presentation gives you a chance to grab the attention of the audience. If your opening hooks them, you’ve boosted the likelihood that you will hold their attention throughout the presentation. But developing that hook can be a challenge. The following are some suggestions for effective hooks: An interesting or Startling Statistic: o In a presentation from a nonprofit foodbank seeking to partner with a grocery chain, you could open by sharing that “the U.S. has the largest number of homeless women and children of any industrialized nation, and 57% of homeless kids spend at least one day a month completely without food. How could be improve these devastating numbers?” Audience Involvement: o Pulling the audience into your opening can be very effective. A compelling Story or Anecdote: o This approach works best when it’s completely genuine, using specific details that are directly relevant to the audience. For instance, in a presentation about employee benefits, you might want to share the story of a colleague who beat cancer using the company’s innovative healthcare program. A Relative Simile or Metaphor: o “Being a scientist is like doing a jigsaw puzzle in a snowstorm at night… you don’t have all the pieces… and you don’t have the picture to work from.” Engaging Questions: o In a presentation about customer service, you could open by asking: “How many of you have spent far too long waiting on hold for customer service that was finally delivered by a surly agent who clearly knew nothing about your question?” 5-6b: Body: The most common presentation mistake is to include too many key ideas in the body of your presentation. Audiences simply cannot absorb more than two to four main points, and three are ideal. 5-6c: Close: Ideally, the close of your presentation will summarize your key points. Then circle back to your introduction, so that the beginning and the end serve as “bookends” for the body of your presentation. Also, keep in mind that you should verbally signal to your audience that you are about to conclude. After saying so, make sure you actually conclude. Nothing is more frustrating to an audience than a speaker who keeps going on after he said he was finished. 5-6d: Questions: At the start of the presentation, decide whether you want to handle questions throughout your talk or save them for the end. Tell your audience your preference upfront; most of the time, they will respect it. 5-6e: Visual Aids: Studies suggest that three days after a presentation, people retain 10% of what they heard from an oral presentation, 35% from a visual presentation, and 65% from a combined visual and oral presentation. Most businesses use PowerPoint. If you are going to use PowerPoint, use the following suggestions: Showing Works Better Than Simply Telling: Use pictures and graphs. Less is More: No more than seven words per line; no more than seven lines per slide. Don’t Just Read Your Slides Aloud: Instead, paraphrase, add examples, and offer analysis and interpretation Go Easy on the Special Effects: Too many sounds and too much animation can be painfully distracting. Don’t Let Your Slides Upstage You: Look at your audience, not at the slides. And dim the screen when you’re not specifically using it. 5-6f: Google Presentations: Although Microsoft PowerPoint remains the software option of choice for business presentations, Google Presentations software is swiftly gaining ground. Google Presentations is one of a growing number of applications based in “the cloud”. Another popular option is Prezi, which includes pan and zoom features that give presentations an engaging cinematic feel. 5-6g: Handling Nerves: Believe it or not, most experts agree that nervousness can be useful before a presentation. A little adrenalin can help you perform better, think faster, and focus more completely. But we all know that out-of-control nerves can interfere with effectiveness. Here are some ideas to mitigate speech anxiety. Send yourself positive messages; visualize success. Take ten slow, deep breaths. Through nose and out mouth. Take a sip of water to loosen your throat muscles and mitigate a shaking voice. Pick a friendly face or two in the audience, and imagine yourself speaking only to those people. Remind yourself that the audience wants you to succeed. Focus on their needs rather than your nerves. 5-6h: Handling Hostility: We’ve all seen hostile questioners who seem determined to undermine presenters. It can be awful to watch, but it’s surprisingly easy to handle. Here are a few tips: Stay calm and professional Don’t be afraid to pause before you answer the question Once you’ve answered the question, don’t reestablish eye contact with the questioner If the questioner insists on follow-up, you may need to agree to disagree. Use body language to reinforce that you are done interacting with the questioner. 5-6i: Incorporating Humor: Everyone likes to be funny, but incorporating humor in a business presentation can be risky. Only do it if you’re very, very sure that it’s funny. 5-6j: A Spot on the Back Wall? Many people have heard the od myth that no one will know the difference if you calm your nerves by looking at a spot on the wall rather than at an audience. DON’T DO IT! 5-6k: Delivery: Some people are naturals, but for the rest of us, dynamic delivery is a learned skill. It begins and ends with preparation, but keep in mind that practice doesn’t always make perfect – in fact, practice more often just makes permanent. So be sure that you practice with an eye toward improvement. If possible, you should set up a practice situation that’s close to the real thing. Below are 10 tips for delivery: 1. PRACTICE! 2. Know your material, but never memorize it word for word. 3. Look directly at members of your audience at least 50% of the time. 4. Vary your voice, your facial expressions, and your body language. 5. Use selective notes (but keep them inconspicuous). 6. Stick to your allotted time. 7. Slow down and listen to yourself. 8. Don’t apologize (unless you really did something wrong!). 9. Remember to use natural gestures. 10.PRACTICE!
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