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Communicating in Business

by: Oral Rutherford

Communicating in Business MGMT 3330

Oral Rutherford
GPA 3.9

Evelyn Pitre

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Evelyn Pitre
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Oral Rutherford on Sunday October 25, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MGMT 3330 at University of North Texas taught by Evelyn Pitre in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see /class/229222/mgmt-3330-university-of-north-texas in Business, management at University of North Texas.

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Date Created: 10/25/15
Communication Process Model How does it work theoretically The communication process is dif cult at best Although always communicating human beings are rarely capable of making themselves perfectly understood The failure of the process lies in the process itself This document will present the components of the communication process will discuss the dynamic of the process and will suggest where the problems occur in the process A Components of the Communication Process Model As suggested by the Communication Process handout distributed in class the model requires the following elements 1 A sender 2 A message to be sent 3 A channel through which to send the message 4 A receiver 5 A response to the message sent back to the sender by the receiver Throughout the communication process unintentional interferences occur distorting or interrupting the process These interferences are called noises Noises can be real noises auditory stimuli like phones ringing people talking or street workers jack hammering Noises are also distractions like a streaker running across a stage during a commencement address Noises are distortions as well static over a phone solar ares altering a television s reception or psychological illnesses modifying how people perceive the world Communication without noises has yet to happen Therefore recognizing the sources of noise and attempting to minimize its effect is essential to improving the ef ciency of one s communication B Dynamic ofthe Communication Process The communication process has a dynamic of its own The process goes through several phases Here is a description of those phases 1 The sender has an idea Dif cult to think of someone trying to make common to communicate if that person has nothing to share Yet thinking of the sender as needing to have an idea in order to start the communication process is misleading since everything people do and everything people are communicates something to others The intent of this phase is to start the process at a time when a sender intentionally decide to send a message to someone else So the sender has an idea 2 The sender encodes the idea Human beings are not a telepathic breed They do not transmit pure ideas from one s brain to another Human beings have learned to transmit symbols representations of their ideas These symbols are varied Throughout the world humans use a multitude of symbols to represent their ideas Some symbols are linguistic verbal or written code developed into complex languages I nguages are many the Morse code the Braille language the American Sign Language and all the spoken and dead languages of the world Other symbols are also in use to communicate mathematical formulas paintings pictographs hieroglyphs traffic signals zip codes baseball gestures signaling instructions from managers to players The word TREE written on a blackboard is not a tree nor is a drawing of a tree a tree Both are agreed upon representation of some reality The responsibility of the sender to choose a code that will best carry the message is obvious When encoding one s idea one has to pick the code that will fit the message and that will allow the receiver to understand So the sender encodes the message 3 The sender transmits the message In order for the sender to transmit the encoded message the sender has to choose a channel a medium through which to send the message Senders can send information verbally or nonverbally In nonverbal communication messages are sent through gestures tone of voice use of space etc In verbal communication messages are sent through speeches or through documents In all case messages are sent through a variety of media such a telephones computers papers faxes radios videocassettes DVDs CDs etc Some channels are better suited for some messages than others A fivepage memo is a poor choice for an invitation to lunch The characteristics of each medium somewhat dictates its ability to serve a given purpose These characteristics describe the richness of a medium A rich medium is one that 1 can convey a message using more than one type of clue visual and verbal and vocal 2 can facilitate feedback and 3 can establish personal focus The richest medium is a facetoface conversation Facetoface conversations allow the receiver to get the sender s message verbally through the words spoken nonverbally through the facial expressions or the gestures and vocally through the tone of voice or the pace of the speech Facetoface conversations allow for immediate feedback from the receiver and allow the sender to control some of the environmental noises Facetoface conversations can be personalized by the sender to each receiver involved The leaner medium is a mass mailing or any kind of unaddressed documents Junk mails send the message only in a written format without possibility of feedback without control of noises without personal touches In addition to its richness the medium chosen should be analyzed for its other characteristics The speed of the medium may be a criteria for its choice How quick is a message prepared on a given medium memo versus formal letter or delivered email versus snail mail may be the reason to choose that medium The ability of the medium to be permanently kept may be a criteria for its choice Whether a record of the message can be kept on a given medium 3M note versus email may be the reason to choose that medium Other criteria include the medium s feedback capacity telephone conversation versus letter the medium s capacity to convey the intensity or the complexity of a message causal conversation versus formal written report and the medium s level of formality email versus formal letter or level of confidentiality sealed handdelivered letter versus fax The sender is responsible for choosing the medium that will convey the message efficiently and effectively When choosing a media one has to choose one that will convey the message properly to the intended audience So the sender transmits the message 4 The receiver gets the message Unless he or she has a hearing problem or he or she is affected by noises distorting the reception of the message the receiver receives the signal sent by the sender 5 The receiver decodes the message The receiver always decodes the message using his or her knowledge of the code used to encode the message A receiver with a poor knowledge of the language used will likely decode the message poorly A receiver trying to decode contradictory verbal and nonverbal mes sages will likely decode the intended message incorrectly The receiver chooses the code he or she will use to decode the message Choosing the wrong code is like using the wrong key the message will not yield its secret if the wrong code is used The receiver will choose a code based on his or her background and his or her environment In Louisiana a pea row is a boat a beignet is a donut and coffee comes in light roast dark roast and between roast not medium roast The receiver has the responsibility of choosing the right code to decode the message More mdamentally the receiver also has the responsibility of listening to the sender So the receiver decodes the message 6 The receiver send feedback to the sender Using the same phases as the sender the receiver send a message back to the sender providing information on his or her level of comprehension of the message C Problems with the Com m unication Process What are the problems that prevent good communication Since the process is based on the interactions of two people it appears that the problems reside on the shoulders of these two people 1 Problems with the sender A lot of weight rests on the sender s shoulders The sender is responsible for making all the choices that should incur the highest level of congruity between the intended message and the message received The sender can make several mistakes from which problems will stem Problem The sender may not know what he or she wants to communicate Solution The sender has to decide clearly what ideas he or she wants to get across Problem The sender does not chose his or her code properly given his or her objectives If the sender wants to convince a reluctant receiver the sender should not be yelling at the receiver Solution The sender has to match his or her goals with the verbal and nonverbal tools he or she uses Problem The sender is not centered on the receiver He or she does not think of the level of understanding of the receiver of the vocabulary of the receiver of the cultural experiences of the receiver Solution The sender has to tailor his or her message to the intended receiver Problem The sender is sending contradictory verbal and nonverbal messages Solution The sender should be aware of his or her nonverbal messages Problem The sender choose an inappropriate medium or an ineffective medium Each channel has its advantages and its disadvantages Solution Depending on the purpose of the message different media should be chosen Problem The sender does not pay attention to the existing noises while sending the message Solution The sender needs to try to control as much noises as possible 2 Problems with the receiver The receiver is not without responsibilities In all interactions the receiver s role will become that of a sender when the feedback phase is reached So the receiver needs to pay attention as well Problem The receiver is not listening to the sender The receiver is not paying attention is trying to interpret the total message before the message is complete is trying to judge the sender based on his or her look is trying to formulate an answer or is doing something else Solution The receiver should concentrate on listening only Problem The receiver is not decoding the message properly The receiver does not use the right code The receiver does not have the same vocabulary Solution The receiver should ask questions to verify his or her understanding of the code Problem The receiver omits to send feedback Solution The receiver should always send feedback Writing Negative Letters Excerpts from Guffey M E 2003 Business communication Process and product 4th ed Mason OH SouthWestem a division of Thompson Learning Whereas good news can be revealed quickly bad news is generally easier to accept when broken gradually Revealing bad news slowly and indirectly shows sensitivity to the reader By preparing the reader the impact is softened The indirect strategy enables the writer to keep the reader s attention until the writer has been able to explain the reasons for the bad news In fact the most important part of a badnews letter is the explanation The indirect plan consists of four parts the buffer a neutral or mildly positive meaningful statement that does not mention the bad news the reasons explanations of the causes of the bad news before disclosing it the bad news clear and understated announcement of the bad news that may include an alternative or a compromise and the close forwardlooking statement Buffering the Opening A buffer in the context of writing a business letter is a device to reduce shock or pain The buffer should be neutral or mildly positive and meaningful The buffer should be relevant and concise and provide a natural transition for the explanation that follows Although the simplest buffer is the traditional Thank you for your letter other less trite possibilities exist Comgliment The writer could praise the receiver s accomplishments organization or efforts honestly and sincerely In a letter declining an invitation the writer could write Your group has my sincere admiration for its fund raising projects I am honored that you asked me to speak at your luncheon on November 5 AQQreciation The writer could convey his or her thanks to the reader for doing business for sending something for conveying confidence in your organization for expressing feelings or simply for providing feedback To refuse employment the writer could say I appreciated learning about the hospitality management program at Cornell and about your qualifications in our interview last Friday Agreement The writer could make a relevant statement with which both reader and receiver can agree A letter that rejects a loan application might read We both realize how much the export business has been a ected by the relative strength of the dollar in the past two years Facts The writer could provide objective information that introduces the bad news In a letter announcing cutbacks in the hours of the employees cafeteria the writer could say During the past five years the number of employees eating breakfast in the cafeteria has dropped from 32 percent to 12 percent Understanding The writer could show that he or she cares about the reader In a letter announcing a product defect the writer expresses concern We know that you expect superior performance from all the products that you purchase from O ficeCity That s why we re writing personally about the Exell printer cartridges you recently ordered Apology From a legal point of view apologies are better avoided However over 60 percent of letters 1 r J to r39 39 39 d apologies either in the introductory paragraph or in the concluding paragraph If it seems natural to apologize the writer may want to do so but The writer should never fall back on the familiar I m sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused It sounds mechanical and totally insincere Instead the writer should try to apologize not for the problem caused because it can open the company to liability but for the bad feelings experienced by the customers This type of apology is the stereotypical male apology of bad relationships instead of apologizing for being late or for forgetting an anniversary the man apologizes this way I m sorry that you feel this way putting the problem back onto the other person s shoulders In business situations such apologies can read like the following sentences We understand the frustration you ve experienced or You are right to be concerned or We re genuinely sorry that you are disappointed in the price of the product you purchased Presenting the Reasons The most important part of a badnews letter is the section that explains why a negative decision is necessary Producing an explanation reduces feelings of ill will and improves the chances that the reader will accept the bad news Being sgecific if Qossible Ifthe reasons are not con dential and ifthey will not create legal liability the writer can be specific Growers supplied us with a limited number of patio roses and our demand this year was twice that of last year Citinq other benefits created bv refusinq Readers are more open to bad news if it may help them In refusing a customer s request for free hemming of pants Lands End wrote We tested our ability to hem pants a few months ago This process proved to be very time consuming We have decided not to offer this service because the additional cost would have increase the selling price of our pants substantially Readers also accept bad news better if they recognize that someone or something else benefits such as other workers or the environment Although we would like to consider your application we prefer to fill managerial positions from within Explaining comgany Qolicy Readers resent blanket policy statements prohibiting something Company policy requires us to promote from within Instead of hiding blindly behind the policy the writer needs to explain why the policy makes sense We prefer to promote from within because it rewards the loyalty of our employees In addition we ve found that people familiar with our organization make the quickest contribution to our team effort Choosing positive words Because words can affect a reader s response the writer needs to choose carefully To keep the reader in a receptive mood until the bad news is announced the writer should avoid expressions with punitive demoralizing or otherwise negative connotations The writer should stay away from such words as cannot claim denied error failure fault impossible mistaken misunderstand never regret rejected unable unwilling unfortunately and violate Although as always better unable than not able Showinq that the matter was treated seriouslv and failrlv The writer should demonstrate to the reader that the matter was taken seriously was investigated carefully and was treated fairly Cushioning the Bad News Although the writer cannot prevent the disappointment that the bad news brings he or she can reduce the pain by breaking the news sensitively A number of thoughtful techniques can cushion the blow Positioning the bad news strategically The writer should sandwich the bad news between other sentences The writer should not let the refusal begin or end a paragraph Another technique is to put the painful idea in a subordinate clause Although another candidate was hired we appreciate your interest in our organization and wish you every success in your job search Subordinate clauses often begin with words like although as because if and since Using the passive voice Passive voice verbs enable the writer to depersonalize an action Whereas the active voice focuses attention on a person We do not give cash refunds the passive voice highlights the action Cash refunds are not given because Accentuate the positive Messages are more effective when the writer describe what can be done rather than what cannot be done Rather than We will no longer allow credit card purchases the writer should try to highlight the positive We are now selling gas at discount cash prices Implying the refusal It is sometimes better to avoid stating the refusal altogether Often the reasons and explanations leave no doubt that the request has been denied Explicit refusal may be unnecessary Because we will soon be moving all our funds are earmarked We hope that next year we will be able to support your cause Suggesting a compromise or an alternative A refusal may not be so depressing if a suitable compromise substitute or alternative is available Closing Pleasantly After explaining the bad news the closing statement should be an attempt to promote goodwill The closing should be personalized and may include one or several of the following strategies Forward look The writer here anticipates future business Again thank you for your bid We look forward to working with your talented staff when future projects demand your special expertise Alternative If an alternative exist the writer should end the letter with follow through advice I will be happy to give you a free inspection and consultation Good wishes A letter rejecting a job candidate might read We appreciate your interest in our company and we extend our best wishes in your search to find the perfect match between your skills and a job Freebies When customers complainiprimarily about food products or small consumer itemsicompanies often send coupons samples or gifts to restore confidence and to promote future business Resale or Qromotion When the bad news is not devastating references to resale information or promotion may be appropriate The computer workstations you ordered are unusually popular To help you locate hard to find accessories we invite you to visit our Web site where our online catalog provides a huge selection of surge suppressors multiple outlet strips security devices and PC tool kits The writer should avoid endings that sound canned insincere inappropriate or self serving The writer should not invite further correspondence If you have further questions do not hesitate and should not refer to the bad news


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