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Fundamentals of Effective Business Communication

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The presentation describes how to communicate effectively in the business world today. Content has been extracted from "Business Communication Today" (9 ed.)

Publicado en: Empresariales
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Fundamentals of Effective Business Communication

  1. 1. Effective Business Communication
  2. 2. Benefits of effective communication • Faster decision making and problem solving • Stronger business relationships • Better returns for investors • Enhanced professional image • Stronger marketing messages • Lower turnover and higher retention • Early identification of potential problems • Improving work flow and productivity
  3. 3. What employers want from employees • Employees must be able to express their ideas and thoughts properly • Employees must be able to listen effectively • Employees must be able to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds • They must be able to deliver high quality writing and speaking • Practice business etiquette • Communicate ethically • Be able to use communication technologies effectively
  4. 4. Characteristics of effective messages • Practically useful information( help understand something or perform a desired action) • Factual information (truthful , accurate, detailed; opinions to be presented with strong arguments) • Concise information (summary of important points) • Clearly defined expectations and responsibilities in terms of response • Persuasive arguments and recommendations
  5. 5. Communication in organizations • Internal – Between members of the organizations • External – Between members and people on the outside • Formal – Planned communication following business manners and etiquettes • Upward- employee to employer (internal) • Downward – employer to employee (internal) • Horizontal – between employees or between employers (internal) • Informal – casual communication • Grapevine (internal) • Unofficial lines of power (internal)
  6. 6. Factors affecting Business communication • Pervasiveness of technology • Emphasis on team work • Globalization of business • Emphasis on workforce diversity • Increasing value of information • Evolution in organizational structures
  7. 7. Increasing value of information • Information needed to : • Gain competitive edge over rivals • Understand and accordingly cater to customer needs • Understanding regulations and guidelines imposed on business activities • Knowledge workers are persons within organizations that acquire, process and communicate information at all levels.
  8. 8. Globalization and diverse workforce • Businesses are crossing international borders to: • Increase customer base • Partner with other businesses • hire executives and workers from diverse backgrounds • Cultures, religions, gender, races, education • The more diverse the workforce, the more attention must be paid to communication within the organization • Diverse workforce brings new communication skills and new ideas and can give competitive advantages
  9. 9. Pervasive technology • Voice systems • Virtual agents • Mobile communication • Networking advances Important to keep technical expertise up to date to prevent falling behind the competition
  10. 10. Evolution of organizational structures • Tall structures: • Many levels, communication breakdowns are common • Slow and highly distorted communication • Very formal • Shift to flat structures: • Fewer levels or layers • Less formal • Faster and less distorted communication • Individuals have more responsibility for cross department communication • Flexible structures and outsourcing • Corporate culture defines atmosphere and personality of organization • An open climate is preferred because it allows employees to express their ideas and thoughts more freely.
  11. 11. Communicating effectively • Connecting with one’s audience • Using audience centered approaches • Reducing communication barriers and distractions • Providing constructive criticism • Improving communication skills • Observing business etiquette
  12. 12. Connecting with audience • In order to communicate effectively to the audience: • Understand the audience • Understand the process of communication • Process of communication: • Sender has idea or thought • Sender encodes the idea into a message that can be understood by the receiver • Sender puts the message in oral, visual, written or electronic form • Sender passes the message along a communication channel (many barriers in channels) • Audience receives message • Audience decodes message • Audience formulates response to the message • Audience provides feedback on the effectiveness of the communication
  13. 13. Reduction in barriers • Internal distractions – one’s own thought processes and emotions • External distractions – Noisy and crowded atmosphere, multitasking, uncomfortable environment • Competing messages – leads to information overload which makes it difficult to distinguish between messages in terms of importance and can enhance workplace stress • Filters – Technological or human intervention, intentional or unintentional • Channel breakdowns
  14. 14. Mind of the audience • For the audience to actually receive a message, three things are needed: • The audience must sense there is a message • The audience must select from the sea of messages • The audience must perceive the relevance of the message • For the audience to perceive your message, you must: • Empathize with the audience • Know audience expectations • Ensure compatibility of message • Ensure familiarity • Ensure ease of access and use for your medium of transmission
  15. 15. How audience decodes message • Affected by: • Culture • Social environment • Personal beliefs • Thinking patterns and styles • Life experience • Moods and emotions • Language • Selective perception occurs when people ignore or distort information in order to align it with their preconceived notions of reality.
  16. 16. How audience responds to messages • The audience must remember the message (short to long term memory) long enough to act upon it. The audience must be able to retrieve the message from memory when the time for action arises • The audience must be motivated to respond to the message. • The audience must be able to respond according to your requirements.
  17. 17. Minimizing distractions • Be courteous • Use common sense • Do not disrupt others • Set out time to attend to private and personal messages • Respect personal space and differences • Prioritize messages and inform others to do so • Do not communicate unnecessarily • Know your emotions and learn to control them • Anticipate emotional reactions from others
  18. 18. Audience centered approach • Know your audience – the you attitude • Relate to your audience – Emotional intelligence is key
  19. 19. Improve communication skills • Learn on the job • Practice preparing documents and speech • Listen carefully • Collaborate with others • Communicate across cultures
  20. 20. Constructive feedback vs destructive feedback • Constructive feedback focuses on improvement • Destructive feedback focuses on shaming • Avoid personal attacks and give clear guidelines for improvement when giving constructive criticism • getting defensive when you receive constructive criticism, respond unemotionally
  21. 21. Observing etiquette • Respect • Courtesy • Common sense
  22. 22. Using technology • Understand that technology can’t do everything for you. • Reduce dependency on technology • Know and understand the technology to use it efficiently • Take time off from technology to communicate in person • Spend money on technology wisely
  23. 23. Unethical communication • Plagiarism – presenting someone else’s work as your own • Selective misquoting – omitting unflattering comments or views • Misrepresenting numbers • Distorting visuals
  24. 24. Ethical dilemma vs ethical lapse • Ethical dilemma is choosing between alternatives that are equally ethical and valid. • Ethical lapse is doing something despite knowing that is ethically wrong
  25. 25. Ensuring ethics • Individual employees practice ethics • Leadership must be ethical • Laws and policies concerning behaviors and ethics must be drafted and enforced effectively
  26. 26. Ethical regulation - areas • Marketing • Promotional communications • Contracts • Intellectual property • Defamation • Employment communications • Financial reporting

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