COURSE MODULE OUTLINE: BUSINESS COMUNICATION(BB105)
Course Instructor: SIMRAN.R .KAUR, SHILPA JAIN
E-Mail ID: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Internal Assessment Break-up
Minor Test 1 5 marks
Minor Test 2 5 marks
MSE- 15 marks
Assignment- 5 marks
Class participation 5marks
The course demands:
1. Your regularity in all the lectures.
2. Your commitment towards the assignments.
3. Your serious preparation for the tests.
4. Your active participation in lectures and tutorials.
5. Your initiative to prepare notes of the difficult concepts.
6. Your involvement in Group Discussions.
I shall not be able to help you, if:
1. You fall short of attendance i.e. 75% of total lectures delivered.
2. You don’t score well in MSTs.
3. You don’t buy and read recommended books of the course.
4. You copy your assignments from each other and submit them late to me.
5. You don’t take up your tests seriously.
This is a module in basic communication. It gives the student a fairly rigorous
grounding in the essential tools of communicating in business organisations. The aims
and objectives of the module, together with information on learning methods is given
Students will gain:
•To prepare the students to become well versed in English speaking
•To make them capable enough to present themselves in the business world
Sr. No./ Topics Assignments Case studies
1,2 Introductory Session (the students will
Introduce themselves to the class)
Other ICE Breaking Activities(Given
3 Meaning of communication :it is defined
as an exchange and exact replication of
thoughts, feelings between and among
individuals through a common system of
symbols to cause some actionns or change
definitions: "it is a process of transmitting
feelings,attitudes, facts, beliefs and ideas
between living beings." -- Birvenu
. 4. Activity- the students will be required to
choose 5 different situations from their
day to day life and explain why they feel
communication is important (randomly
students will be called to explain their
5. Communication Models;
(one way communication
-Communication in which information is
always transferred in only one reassigned
direction. One-way communication is not
necessarily constrained to one
transmission path, Examples of one-way
communication systems include broadcast
stations and wire line news services.
Two way communication is a form of
transmission in which both parties
involved transmit information. Common
forms of two-way communication are:In-
person communication, telephone
Picto Activity And Following instuctions
6,7 Role of noise in communication
communication noice refers to influences
on effective communication that influence
the interpretation ofconversations.. While
often looked over, communication noise
can have a profound impact both on our
perception of interactions with others and
our analysis of our own communication
Forms of communication noise include
psychological noise, physical noise,
physiological and semantic noise.
Activity- The students will be required to
identify the barriers to communication in
8 Discussion of the Activity given.
Importance of communication .
Paper fold exercise
9 Basic Presentation skills (using ppts)
10 Story telling
11 No. 1
12 Formal communication is that which is
connected with the formal organizational
arrangement and the official status or the
place of the communicator and the
receiver. It moves through the formal
channels authoritatively accepted
positions in the organization chart.
-Types of formal
Communication which flows from the
superiors to subordinates is known as
downward communication. In an
organization structure, the superiors
utilize their abilities to attain the desired
targets which mean that they may be
engaged in issuing commands, directions
and policy directives to the persons
working under them (at lower levels).
Some examples of downward
communication include notice, circulars,
instructions, orders, letters, memos,
bulletins, handbooks, annual reports,
loudspeaker announcements and group
13 Upward communication
14 Informal communication
-grapewine: it is an informal
communication network which ignores
formal channels communication and
spreads rumours and gossips at all levels
of the organisation.
. Noun, pronouns
15 Exercise through worksheets.
16 Verb, adverb
Exercise through worksheets.
18 Verbal communication is one way for
people to communicate face-to-face. Some
of the key components of verbal
communication are sound, words,
speaking, and language.
Speaking can be looked at in two major
areas: interpersonal and public
19 verbal communication
Public speaking - Turncoat
20 No. 2
21 Essentials of effective communication
22,23 Non-verbal communication includes
facial expressions, eye contact, tone of
voice, body posture and motions, and
positioning within groups. It may also
include the way we wear our clothes or the
silence we keep.
-Kinesics means body language the best
way to access an executive's managerial
potential is not to listen to what he has to
say, but to observe what he does when he
is saying it. He calls this new behavioral
science "movement analysis."
25,26 Non verbal communication
Activity on giving instructions
27, 28 Gestures : International perspective
Learning gestures across the world
29, 30 Business etiquettes, interview skills
31 Learning few words in British And
32 Paragraph writing- teaching them how to
place the sentences in order and telling
them the importance of connectivity
33 Paragraph writing
34 Vowels Exercise
35,36 Precis writing,
37,38 report writing
39 Prepositions, articles and conjunctions
40 Report writing on Koshish
41 Common idioms exercise
43. Principles of letter writing
44 Sales letters
45. Request letter
46 Response letters
47 Refund letters
48 Salary advance letters
49 Applying for loan appeals
50 Revision of syllabus
P The students will be divided into groups of 4 students each and will be given the
Each group will be required to speak on the respective topics for 20 minutes.
o The students will be marked on the basis of a fixed criteria:
Q Attendance will be compulsory.
PRESENTATION TOPICS: Set1
• Education System in India
• Managing Diversity in the organizations
• Mobile Phones : Boon or Bane
• effects of cinemas on youth
• Are ethics applicable in media
• Religion Vs. God
• Similarities and Differences between genders in communication styles
• Principles and forms of public communication
• Impact of Retail stores on small vendors
• Strategies to,persuade, convince and get results
• The art of selling message
• Face to face communication
• Inter office communication
• Paying bribes, why, when and why not?
• Benefits of performance-related pay.
• Small business ideas and opportunities.
• Globalization trade opportunities
• Review of a popular book about a business topic.
• Ceiling on weekly working hours?
• How to implement workers' ideas.
• The mighty power of strategy for winning in business and in life.
• How to avoid product wastage due to churning frozen food products
• Top ten strategic e-marketing issues
• Trade in bankruptcy.
• Five ideas for a cool dance party.
• What to do to prevent stress.
• Tips to motivate your audience to purchase healthy running shoes.
• How to choose safe video games for kids.
PRESENTATION TOPICS: Set 2
1. Fight Club – Although it’s a bit gory in spots, Fight Club is perhaps the best movie
through which you can explore virtually every chapter in the book. But, it definitely
shines at its depiction of power, particularly at what it has to say about culture and
gender. You will have two analyses of how each character communicates
powerfully – before the surprise ending and after.
2. Steel Magnolias – This moving movie can serve as a vehicle through which you can explore
several different types of relationships: friendships, close relationships, and
familial relationships as well. What characterizes effective communication in the film?
What characterizes ineffective communication?
3. Father of the Bride, Part II – This movie can serve as a vehicle through which you
can explore communication in the family. Depicted is communication between parents
and children, significant others, and extended family networks. What role does empathy
play in these characters’ actions?
4.Monster’ s Ball -- The close interconnection between culture and interpersonal
relationships, especially the role of racism, is seen in Monster’s Ball, as it explores the relationship
between Hank and Leticia
5. Freaky Friday – This film shows the importance of empathy in listening and how it can
change our behaviours
6. You’ ve Got Mail – This movie serves as a nice vehicle for exploring how e-mail
conversations can differ from real-life exchanges
7. As Good As It Gets -- Jack Nicholson plays a most ineffective communicator — at least
at the beginning — and becomes involved in the lives of a waitress and a neighbour. As
these relationships develop, Nicholson’s character becomes more human.
8. The Mummy or The Mummy Returns – How do these action-adventure films use
nonverbal communication in the sets, costumes, etc. to convey a sense of romance,
mystery, and intrigue?
9. Erin Brockovich -- The story of a woman’s fight for the rights of victims of corporate
misconduct is told in Erin Brockovich. Throughout the film you see how people base their
initial impressions of Erin Brockovich on how she looks and dresses — on her nonverbal
communication messages. Although she is incredibly competent and resourceful, many
persist in dismissing the validity of her arguments because of her flamboyant
10. Sixteen Candles – In several episodes, this movie demonstrates the stages of listening.
11. Forrest Gump – Forrest Gump’s mother practices the art of confirmation and honest
appraisal in her dealings with her son.
12. The Wizard of Oz – This film begins in black and white and switches to color to express
meaning, but that’s just the beginning. Verbal and nonverbal alike both make this movie classic.
13. Zoolander – This outlandish comedy relies on exaggeration of nonverbal and verbal
14. Fight Club – Who we are completely changes our listening competence and the lens
through which we perceive situations and actions.
15Madagascar – neatly shows the purposes of listening.
16 My Best Friend’ s Wedding – The ability to listen effectively influences the plot and
The marks for the assignment for the purpose of internal assessment will be taken as the
average of the marks of all the assignments.
The students will be given the topic for the assignment on the scheduled date and will be
required to submit the same after 4 days. Late submissions will not be accepted.
The students are required to keep a record of all the assignments given so that at the time of
giving the assessment no confusion is created.
Assignment No. 1:
Making an online magazine and writing article on word ‘IF’
Assignment No. 2:
Making Introduction through Tree Analogy and presenting the same in the class. (10marks)
Assignment No. 3 (E-Mail)
Writing one formal letter to communication coach about their expectations on communication
Writing one informal letter to friend describing about fresher’s party or 10 rules they would
like to break in PCTE.
Following is the broad outline of the type of tests which will be conducted on the scheduled
dates. The students are required to keep a record of the tests along with the marks so that
there occurs no confusion at the time of giving the assessment.
4. CASE STUDIES:
The case studies as said above help the students to have a better understanding of the topics
of economics and understand their application in the practical world.
o The class will be divided into groups of two each and the case study will be discussed.
The marks will be allocated to the students on the basis on the basis of their participation
The students will be given the case studies in advance. The students are expected to have a
copy of the same on the date of discussion.
A case study
mr and mrs Basu went to Woodlands Apparel to buy a pullover.Mr. Basudid not read the price
tag on the piece selected by him. At the counter,while making the payment he asked for
the price.Rs 950 was the answer meanwhile,Mrs. Basu,who was still shopping came back
and joined her husband. she was glad that he selected a nice black pullover for himself.she
pointed out that there was a 25% discount on that item.the counter person nodded in
Mr.Basu was thrilled to hear that, " it means the price of pullover is just Rs.645. thats fantastic,
said Mr. Basu.
He decided to buy one more pullover in green colour. in no time, he returned with second
pullover and asked him to pack both.he was astonished to see that he had to pay Rs.1900 and
not 1290 when he recieved a cash memo.
Mr. Basu could hardly reconsile himself to the fact that counter person had quoted the discounted
price that is Rs.950. the original price printed on the price tag was Rs1225.
Bridging the Communications Gap at a Multinational Corporation:
A case study
When the efficiency and profitability of one of the world’s largest software and information
technologies companies – a proverbial “household name” in the IT sector – becomes hampered by
organizational and communicative difficulties, the stakes are high. This is precisely what took place
within the Enterprise Product Groups (EPG) division at the X Corporation. Although consisting of
only 12 tenured senior directors and their direct reports, this division currently accounts for
approximately 1/3 of the organization’s overall sales and marketing budget. As such, the need to
cultivate a streamlined and seamlessly integrated organizational environment was absolutely crucial;
a responsibility I accepted with both enthusiasm and anticipation.
In its most basic form, the organization was experiencing a “disconnect” between its various poject
teams on the one hand, and the recruiting personnel assigned to their needs on the other. At the very
heart of the problem was a break down in effective communications which ultimately served to
undermine office productivity while also contributing to an overall climate ill-suited to efficient
team-based operations and adequate employee succession. Although not always aparent at first
glance, it was clear that this communicative breakdown was hampering departmental performance
and limiting the organization's profitability.
Specifically, the highly specific (and forever changing) needs of the individual project teams were
not being adequately identified, evaluated, and articulated as efficiently as they should have been. In
addition, the intentions, motivations, and operational concerns of each recruiting team were not
transparent enough such that a seamless communicative relationship between the two groups could
develop. Instead, the relationship was replete with misunderstanding, misdirection, and
After a thorough evaluation of the problem, it became apparent that the communication breakdown –
and the subsequent losses in terms of employee productivity – was less a product of individual
personalities and/or unfulfilled employment responsibilities, and more a product of an organizational
structure that required adjustment in the present and ongoing management in the future; the problem
was systemic as opposed to episodic.
Above and beyond communication barriers, the organization lacked the necessary procedures to
adequately deal with candidate cycles, personal interviews, employee relocations, and other integral
tasks related to the hiring process. In short, numerous organizational protocols had to be modified
and some had to be created from the ground up.
The importance of communication
Clear communication is essential when managing activities. Amway needs to communicate regularly
with its 35,000 distributors in order to help them prepare for their increasingly challenging role.
Communication is the passing on of ideas and information. In business, it is essential to have good
clear channels of communication.
This case study focuses on how Amway uses a range of communication methods and processes to
help individual distributors develop their own business opportunities. There are many possible
objectives and benefits from a close and well developed communication system as shown below:
Communication is only successful when the intended result is achieved. This effectiveness is
dependent on the choice of recipient, the clarity of the message and the choice of communication
It would be inefficient and wasteful to send a message to every distributor regarding every single
issue, particularly if some issues only concerned a few individuals. Similarly, members of an
organisation should not be overburdened with communications. If there are too many messages,
distributors may simply stop reading them. This could mean that they may miss the most important
Effective communication at Amway, therefore, involves making prior decisions about who needs to
receive the message.
Sometimes it is necessary to repeat a message. For example, in the classroom, a lecturer will attempt
to explain a task in clear and simple terms, but if students are unsure about the message, he will
rephrase it until the students understand. Repeating messages through a different communication
channel can also aid the target market's understanding.
Messages to Amway's distributors should, therefore, be as clear and direct as possible, limiting areas
in which misinterpretation could arise. A good understanding of the audience using terms and
language they are familiar with is vital.
A True Tale of a Case Interview Gone Bad
Job-seekers true story
I 'he following is the sad but-true story of what went wrong in a case interview. The narrator was .1 liberal-
arts graduate in political science who worked for a short and unhappy time after graduation as a financial
consultant and aspired f () a position in management consulting. He was interviewed at McKinsey and
Company. The names in the story have been changed.
It was the third week in February on a gloomy gray morning, and I sneaked out of the office and
away from the phones, to which I was chained, under the guise of a personal business appointment. I
raced to my car, trying perhaps to create a physical excuse for my rapid pulse. Carefully
maneuvering around the droop in the ceiling, I shut myself in my dingy red '85 Nissan 200, and with
a tentative glance at my leaking sunroof, I was off to be interviewed at what felt like my only
salvation from the life-sucking, money-ruled treadmill that had become my existence. I scrambled in
the mist from my parking lot to the third tallest building in Atlanta, and headed for the top floor. As I
was greeted by the recruiter, I had condensation or perspiration- I'm not sure which-trickling down
my temple. She led me hack to an area with two sofas already accommodating three other
interviewees. That caught me off guard slightly. For some reason I figured I would be alone since it
was the end of recruiting season. Seating myself, I realized I had not really had a chance to
contemplate what to expect. I waited there in the morgue.
All three of my companions looked like the antithesis of at-ease. Had I realized at the time (hat this
was the job, I would have been nervous, too, perhaps. I was anxious all right, but it had little to do
with the company. If I had been interviewing for a similar paying job at Bob's Wholesale Hardware,
I would have felt the same. The Truman scholar from Cali and the Yalie to my left-info I would soon
pry out of them each seemed to be focused on some mental mantra that they were repeating in their
heads. Both looked like they were trying to remind themselves that they were brilliant enough and
also decide exactly, which fine feat they should talk about as their greatest accomplishment, or use
for some clever analogy in their interview. I, too, had considered these questions, but not knowing
what to expect, I figured I would simply say what I believed. Probably, my biggest mistake.
I was surprised at how tight-lipped everyone seemed to be during those few anxious minutes on the
couches. I casually sparked up a little conversation and learned that each person was there for a final
day-long round of interviews. They kept looking at me with a strange tilt, as if they were sending me
telepathic messages saying, 'what are you doing!? Don't you know this is MCKINSEY??!!! They
could hold this stuff against us!' One by one, they were led off, leaving me alone on the couch for a
few uncertain minutes. Finally, I was greeted by a young woman in her late 20s and pregnant. I will
call her Mandy for the sake of this anecdote. She was welcoming, and we chatted as she led me to a
narrow little station where we could talk. I found Mandy to be warm, personable, and helpful. She
put me at ease in what I realized was a completely unknown environment. She asked me several
'interview-type' questions, but her tone was always helpful and inquisitive.
I think I made three mistakes during this interview: (a) I felt as though I was always trying to give
some nebulous right answer and failing short.
I had difficulty being concise because my nerves were so shot, and I think my stammering did
not help. (b) When she asked a question about where I saw myself in 10 years, I gave a very
honest and unusual answer about how people create stress for themselves trying to plan and not
being able to be flexible. I instead gave goals but probably was not as concrete as I should have
been. I wondered if my honesty was appreciated less than a strong goal-oriented statement. (c)
Although I was vaguely familiar with case questions, I was not well versed or practiced. When
she asked me about how to figure out how many quarters were in a mall, I knew she would
want to hear how I structured my analysis, but I probably focused too much on that and also got
myself caught in my own thoroughness. Had I been more practiced, I could have been more
systematic in my approach and then stuck to my answer instead of feeling the need to add
something I may have left out.
Walking out of the room back to the sofas, 1 felt that it had gone fairly well. I had shown
some strengths, found some connections with her (she was human). 1 was not sure whether 1
had done well or poorly on the case question, but could not think of anything 1 left out. With
hindsight, i could have been a little more efficient and structured but 1 still think 1 did all right.
Back on the couch we waited, and one by one) my 'friends' were whisked away. Again, 1 was
the last one on the couch and really beginning to believe that 1 was an afterthought, at best.
Maybe, looking back, 1 should have been flattered, but at the time and under the circumstances,
i tried hard to be amused, primarily to keep at bay the doubt that kept creeping in. When my
final inquisitor-I will call him Ken-finally arrived, 1 heard the hammer hit the nail.
Nothing Ken did or said put me at ease or made me feel like the interview was anything other
than adversarial. 1 also knew that the moment I became confrontational, 1 would lose. He
started out with a series of questions that were harmless enough, but sent me scrounging.
'What was your most rewarding leadership experience?' 1 told him about how 1 started, at the
age of 15, playing ice-hockey, without knowing which way to hold my stick or how to skate
backwards, and the next year was chosen captain, and the next again when 1 led our team to
the playoffs. Ken's enthusiastic response, 'That's nice, but how about something you did?'
Maybe I chose the wrong thing by giving a heartfelt answer as opposed to an ideal answer, or
perhaps 1 just was not clear in my point of leadership by example. Either way, 1 felt his
response to be colder' than the February air.
He then asked me a case question: 'How much does a Boeing 757 weigh?' Again, I knew he
was less concerned about the number 1 came up with as opposed to my process,
but he was no help. 1 asked him all sorts of questions, and he just shrugged his shoulders and sat
tight-lipped until after the fifth attempt he finally said, 'To answer your one question, you can
assume that the seats are empty and the tank is full'. He corrected me a few times, too. 'Now 1
heard recently that the Concorde that they mounted atop a building near Times Square weighs
'Tons or pounds?' asks Ken.
‘I thought tons...right???' 1 asked as 1 felt the last bead of self-esteem trickle down the small of
my back. 'I don't know,' helped Ken smugly.
'Well 1 figure the Concorde seats about 300 people, so the 757 probably somewhere around
350-375'. 'Actually, its more like 500', helped Ken again, 'and you have two more minutes'.
I could barely stand up after our time was up; my legs were weak. Ken started down some
stairs, and 1 mentioned, 'I need to pick up my umbrella and briefcase from the waiting area,
and he said, 'OK, meet me at the door afterwards'. 1 did not know what to make of it all, but I
was scared. I could hardly keep the tears back as I headed for the job I so desperately wanted out of. I
had a bad feeling in my stomach. Two weeks later I received a voice message from Ken, and over the
next week and a half of phone tag, I could scarcely wonder whether I was nixed, or they wanted to
take another look. When we finally connected, he seemed to be friendlier than I remembered. It
hurt all the more when he said, 'I've got some bad news...'. I asked why they felt they were not
interested, and he said I took too long to answer some questions and seemed to be unsure with
That hurt. All day long, I rapid-fire numbers and calculations on the spot as a financial consultant.
Always one of the first with an answer. And I have been told time and time again that my biggest strength
is being able to communicate a point quickly. Yes, I stumbled in the interview, but it still seemed ironic.
I bombed out in this interview because of: (a) innocent naiveté about the big players in consulting and
what that really meant; (b) unfamiliarity with their process and what it is they look for in a first interview-
I just had no clue; (c) emotional turmoil; (d) lack of confidence and certainty about what I was doing and
why; and (e) some general bad luck.
I. What were the biggest mistakes that the author made? Do you really think that these are mistakes or do
you believe that the author is being too under estimative? Discuss.
2. What are some of the necessary mental preparations that the author missed and for which he paid
2. What are some of the necessary mental preparations that the author missed and for which he paid
Woodrow Wilson once said: 'If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if
fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.'
As Indian businesses continue to globalize in scope and activity, effective communication
with both international and domestic clients and, employers is becoming one of the mast
important ingredients for sustained success. From a young graduate needing to prove
himself in an interview, to a corporate executive wanting to build a strong inter-personal
relationship with a client, to a CEO giving a powerful presentation in hopes of winning an
international business deal, oral and written , communication have became vital elements in
our professional landscape. Sushma Panniker Communication Training Head at Wipro
Spectramind, Powai, explains, 'Globalization is so rampant in India today that you cannot
afford to ignore, ommunicatian. You can be technically very sound but if you are unable to
communicate that knowledge, you end up stuck doing one type of thing and not growing.'
To find a job in almost any multinational today, appropriate communication is necessary.
Prem Kamath, former Head (HR), Hindustan Lever, states, 'It is understood that to attain a
corporate job with a company such as Hindustan Lever, you need to know haw to
communicate effectively, write reports, and put together presentations.'
Tragically, the majority of our youth today not only lack fluency and polish, but are also
embarrassingly deficient in grammar. Even students who have studied in English medium
schools their whole lives are unable to construct grammatically correct sentences. Others grapple
with pace, tone, and pronunciation. This is not just about attaining a British or American accent
to work in a call centre but about expressing ones thoughts cogently and using language
properly. Ritu Yadav, communication specialist and trainer states, 'Today’s youth have either a
pathetic command over the English language or very weak delivery. Communication is wasted if
not chosen for the correct audience-this is what is missing too.' HR and training managers are
made painfully aware of this fact.
Sunita Bhuyan, Training Head at Epicenter Technologies, explains, 'Ninety per cent of those
who apply far voice based positions are turned away due to poor communication skills.' Panniker
adds, 'In addition to poor grammar the youth have grave problems with listening,
comprehending, assimilating, and responding.' It is not only Call Centres that are facing
problems, as revealed by an HR manager, 'We face a problem as our employees need to be able
to express themselves strongly. Also, we do not provide language training and so we expect our
hires to have communication skills to begin with.' Ironically, individuals most disappointed by
this glaring deficiency of adequate communication training are the graduates themselves. Namita
Khaire, a 23-year old commerce graduate, needed to work immediately after she graduated. 'I
went to aver 15 call centres, and was told by the last one that I should not apply to any job where
spoken English is required. I was so humiliated,' she confesses. Or take Malesh Dugudu, another
commerce graduate who was forced to work for a meagre Rs 2500 per month as no other jobs
were available. 'I went for about 20 interviews but because I could not speak well I was rejected.'
Today, people from all walks of life concur that communication is an important skill for any
profession. As Abhijit Bandyapadhyay, an IT specialist, shares, 'Just having technical knowledge
and no communication knowledge is like having one leg amputated.' A group of engineering
students opine, 'We need English in everything as 99 per cent of the professional world
communicates in English.'
It seems that corporations and young graduates are both on the same page. So why is there
such a wide chasm between actual and desired performance? Why are to day's youth found
wanting in self-articulation?
There are two main ways in which individuals develop communication skills: exposure and
education. While global exposure may be available to urban youth, formal training in
communication seems to be lacking.
Postgraduate institution profess that there is no room in their curriculum for a communication
course and that these skills should be acquired at the undergraduate level. Sunil Karve, Founder
Trustee and Vice Chairman of Mumbai Education Trust, further explains, 'Most of our
postgraduate management students come directly from the undergraduate level without having
work experience. I believe effort should be made at the undergraduate level in terms of
personality development and improving communication skills, as at the postgraduate level, there
is no time to focus on these skills. And once these graduates get into the industry, there is no
room to rectify their flaws.'
Students agree with this viewpoint, 'Our subjects are not practical. We should learn how to
give an interview, how to communicate---whether an MBA or not, you should know these skills',
states Dugudu. 'Communication classes should be mandated by universities', says Khaire.
Neelum Moolchandani, a tutor from Jai Hind College, MMK College, Mithibhai College and
NM College, states, 'It is frightening to imagine that these students will have to write formal
letters and communicate in the business world. There is grammar comprehension, but no ability
when it comes to application.'
Opinion on the importance of establishing formal courses in communication at the
undergraduate level seems divided among college principals. Some feel that communication
within their student body is 'good enough'. One principal commented, 'If a person is to be hired
in communication or PR then it is important that these skills are taught. Otherwise it is useful but
not of utmost concern.'
The ray of hope, however, comes from certain universities who recognize the need for better
communication and are planning extensive courses so that their students graduate with enough
wherewithal to face the corporate world. Dr Indu Shahani, Principal of HR College, comments,
'Over the last two years we realized that while our students were good at theory, their analytical
and communication skills were not up to the mark. So we took steps to change this.'
Vernacular and English medium students who have undergone high-impact, industry-driven,
and interaction-based communication training at the corporate level, commented that in less
than 10 days, their grammar, diction, intonation, conversation abilities, and speaking confidence
Perhaps the solution is for corporate India to come forward and work with educational
institutions to help instate such courses. Dr Madhavi Pethe, principal of Dahanukar College,
points out, 'We are interested to make a push to improve the communication levels, but I feel
that the corporate sector should begin co-shouldering this responsibility. We need help in
designing courses and want to better understand the requirement of various corporates.'
For our youth to attain a level of polish required in today's globally competitive economy,
focus has to be placed on enhancing communication skills at the undergraduate level. If
university management accepts this phenomenon and begins offering quality training in the
first year, there is scope for improvement. It is our duty as society to create an environment
where our youth can develop the skills they need to achieve their success.
(The author is managing director and CEO of communication consultancy, Fitter Solutions
Source: Nasha Fitter, 'Communication Complication', Education Times, the Times of India,
Mumbai, 10 February 2005, p. 33.
I. Comment on the views of Sushma Panniker, Communication Training Head at Wipro
Spectramind Powai and Prem Kamath, former Head (HR), Hindustan Lever on the organiza-
L Rim Yadav, communication specialist and trainer states, 'Today's youth have either a pathetic
command over the English language or very weak delivery. Communication is wasted if not
chosen for the correct audience-this is what is missing 100.' Discuss Ms Yadav's views with
special reference to the importance of audience analysis in written communication.
3. What role do the colleges and universities play in developing communication skills in their
4. There are two main ways in which individuals develop communication skills: exposure and
education. Discuss this statement with suitable examples.
5. Neelum Moolchandani, a tutor, says, Missing Briefcase
'There is grammar comprehension but
no ability when it comes to application.' Do you agree? Justify your view in about 150 words.
It was Saturday afternoon and Reisti was determined to take care of all pending correspondence before
leaving for the weekend. A few days back, he had received a memo from John, a sales representative,
which went like this:
'Last week I made a sales presentation to Riverside Electronics and carried two briefcases with me---my
regular one plus a second one filled with brochures and pamphlets. At the conclusion of my presentation,
I distributed the brochures, picked up my regular briefcase and left---completely forgetting about my
other suitcase. When I discovered the following morning what had happened, I immediately called
Riverside Electronics, but so far they have been unable to locate the suitcase. This leather suitcase as
around a month old and cost $275.70. Since the company policy manual states that employees will be
reimbursed for all reasonable costs of carrying their assigned duties, may I please b~ reimbursed for the
loss of the briefcase? The cash memo is attached.'
Reisti has been thinking about this situation all week long, he had even discussed it with Borde,
Marketing Chief, who has told him to make whatever decision he thought was reasonable. John is a good
sales representative and the policy manual does contain the exact sentence he has quoted. On the other
hand, Reisti feels that assuming responsibilities for such mistakes would not only be expensive bur also
might encourage padded expense accounts. Finally, Reisti decides to do two things. First, he will write a
memo to all the sales staff, interpreting more fully the company policy. He wants the sales staff to know
that in future he intends to interpret this policy to mean that any personal property that is stolen will be
reimbursed at present value only if reasonable care has been taken to secure such property, if the incident
is reported within two working days, and if the value can be determined. Any sales representative can,
however, appeal Reisti's decisions to Borde. Second, because the present policy may not have been
sufficiently clear, Reisti will write a memo to John and agree to his reimbursement request.
1. How reasonable was John's claim? Was the intent of the policy clear? Should Reisti have reimbursed
him? Why or why not?
2. How reasonable is John's interpretation of the company policy?
3. Compose the two documents that Reisti intend to write: the memo to the sales staff and the memo to
John. Format them in appropriate styles.
The Keyboard Syndrome
A manufacturing facility in Mumbai employs three data entry operators who work full time entering f he
records related to production, personnel, and III VCl1tory data into the8 computer. This data is then sent
over the Internet to Brijlax Systems mainframe computer, where it becomes part of the corporate database
for financial, production, and personnel management. As required by the labor agreement, in addition to a
one-hour break as part of the lunch period, these three operators receive two 15 minutes break daily; they
may take them at any convenient time, once in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Otherwise,
they generally work at their keyboards all day.
last year, Rajiv Sen, one of the operators, was absent from work for two weeks for a condition diagnosed
as carpal tunnel syndrome, neuromuscular disorder of the tendons and tissues in the wrists caused by
repeated hand motions. His symptoms included a severe ache in the wrists and ever growing pain in the
neck and shoulder. His doctor treated him with anti-inflammatory medicine and a few injections, and he
had no problems thereafter. However, after a week, a second data entry operator experienced similar
symptoms; his doctor diagnosed his ailment as 'RSI or repetitive stress injury' and referred to it informally
as the VDT (Video Display Terminal) disease. Because the company anticipates further automation in the
future, with more data entry operators to be hired, Ramesh Chauhan asked his assistant, Sandeep Kaul, to
gather additional information on this condition. In fact, Ramesh wants Sandeep to survey all workers in
Mumbai to determine the type and degree of their use and to identify any related health problems. Once
the extent of the problem is known, he wants Sandeep to make any appropriate recommendations regard-
ing the work environment-posture, furniture, work habits, rest breaks, and the like-that will alleviate this
problem. Sandeep develops a questionnaire as a first step and asks at least 50 clerical staff of the company
to fill it. He then analyses the data carefully and uses it to prepare his final report.
Assume the role of Sandeep Kaul, define the problem of the report and then identify the components of
1. What are the ethical implications of this case?
2. Develop an employee questionnaire that elicits the information Ramesh had asked for. Include a short
introductory paragraph at the top of the questionnaire explaining the purpose of the study and giving
any needed directions.
3. Considering the findings from your questionnaire and the secondary sources, what does all this
information mean in terms of your problem statement?
4. Prepare a recommendation report. Include an executive summary, use formal language for the body of
the report, organize the body by criteria, and place the recommendations and conclusions at the end.
Goodwill Corporation ltd
The president of Goodwill Corporation Ltd., Mr. Abhishek Mukherji, wanted to facilitate
upward communication. He believed an open-door policy was a good option. He
announced that his own door was open to all employees and encouraged senior
managers to do the same. He felt this would give him a way to get early warning signals
that would not be filtered or redirected through the formal chain of command. Mukherji
found that many employees who used the open-door policy had been with the company
for years and were comfortable talking to the president. Sometimes messages came
through about inadequate policies and procedures. Mukherji would raise these issues and
explain any changes at the next senior managers' meeting. The most difficult complaints to
handle were those from people who were not getting along with their bosses.
One employee, Anand, complained bitterly that his manager had over committed on
behalf of the department and put everyone under tremendous pressure. Anand argued
that long hours and low morale were major problems. However, he would not allow
Mukherji to either bring the manager into the discussion or seek out other employees to
confirm the complaint. Although Mukherji suspected that Anand might be right, he could
not let the matter lie and said, 'Have you considered leaving the company?' This made
Anand realize that a meeting with his immediate boss was unavoidable.
Before the three-party meeting, Mukherji contacted Anand's manager and explained
what was going on. He insisted that the manager come to the meeting willing to listen
and without hostility towards Anand. During the meeting, Anand's manager listened
attentively and displayed no ill will. He learned the problem from Anand's perspective
and realized he was over his head in his new job. After the meeting, the manager said
he was relieved. He had been promoted into the job from a technical position just a few
months earlier and had no management or planning experience. He welcomed
Mukherji's offer to help him do a better job of planning.
1. What techniques increased Mukherji's communication effectiveness?
2. Do you think that an open-door policy was the right way to improve upward
communication? What other techniques would you suggest?
3. What problems do you think an open-door policy creates? Do you think many
employees are reluctant to use it? Give reasons for your answer.
The Farewell Speech
The farewell dinner was on. The vice president was being given a farewell by the employees
with whom he had worked for more than 25 years. Camaraderie, reflections, sharing of thoughts
and memories, lots of wine, and plenty of food could sum up the mood of the party. The CEO
walked in to join the party and he was soon requested to deliver a short speech looking at the
mood and the spirit of the occasion. The CEO, an eloquent speaker, stood up and delivered a
great speech, marked with touches of gentle humour, about life after retirement, what the vice
president meant to the company and to him personally, how he had reached such heights and
yet never compromised his values, and that his exit would be a difficult space to fill in. As the
CEO spoke, all eyes were fixed on him. Most employees were serious, watchful, and paying
full attention. Some were clearly indifferent. A few proactive listeners, however, enjoyed every
bit of what the CEO said which was quite evident from their body language. Their smiling
faces, twinkling eyes, and occasional head nods, in agreement with what the speaker said, were
indicative of their level of involvement and enjoyment. In other words, they had tuned
themselves to whatever the CEO was saying. However, midway through his speech, the CEO
sensed that his speech was becoming a little too stretched; he cut short his speech and wished
the vice president all the good health and peace.
1. What has happened here? Explain.
2. Did everybody receive the message the same way? Why?
3. How should a CEO approach his speech preparation for such an occasion?
4. How do listening skills differ according to place, person, and time? Explain in the context of the above
5 OUT OF THE BOX ACTIVITY:
This activity is held for the purpose of making the students aware and knowledgeable about the
topics not from the syllabus:
-The students will be divide into groups of 4 each and will be asked to visit any institutes
teaching spoken English. The students will have to interview the concerned and inquire about
the proceedure as to how to become a part of the institute and how will it be beneficial for them.
The students will be required to prepare a report.
Business communication: Varinder Kumar and Bodh Raj
Effective Business Communication: M.V. RODRIGUEZ