Introduction to Business Communication

Definition of Business Leader

The activity of leading a group of people or an organization or the ability to do this.

Motivating other, presenting him/her self and providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize the vision is the quality of a business leader.

What is Communication?

The word communication has derived from Latin word “Communis” (meaning to share). The meaning of this word is common or general.

Some writers opine that the word communication has come from French word “Communing”. The meaning of the word is “the act of communicating”.

Communication is the process of exchanging thoughts, messages, ideas, news, feelings, emotions and expression of things or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior.

This exchange occurs between two or more persons. When one person transmits or sends any information to another and he or she receives the information and ensured by feedback, is termed as communication.

Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the message of the sender.

Some Important Definitions of Communications

Newman and Summer Jr. – “Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.”

According to American Management Association- “Communication is one kind of behavior that is the result of transmitting facts.”

David H. Holt- “Communication is interpersonal process of sending and receiving messages through symbols or gesture.”

What is Business?

Business is a service of activities which is directed to conduct the trade and produce the goods to earn profit.

A business (also known as enterprise or firm) is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers.

The etymology of “business” relates to the state of being busy either as an individual or society, as a whole, doing commercially viable and profitable work.

What is Business Communication?

When business related information’s are transmitted from one person to another person, it is called business communication.

Such types of communication occur internally or externally.

If business oriented events, thoughts and emotions or transactions are exchanged among the businessmen, it is called business communication.

Professor W.H. Meaning said that, “The exchange of ideas, news and views in connection with business among the related parties is called Business Communication.”

Characteristics of Communication

Two or more persons: The first important characteristic of communication is that there must be a minimum number of two persons because no single individual can have an exchange of ideas with himself. A listener is necessary to receive one’s ideas. Therefore, there must be at least two persons-the sender of information and the receiver.

Main elements: Main elements are information, feelings, emotions, ideas and concepts.

Feedback: Feedback means response of the receiver.  It means the receiver must understand the information to provide feedback.

Direct and Indirect Communication: It is not necessary in communication that the receiver and giver of information should be face-to-face with each other. Communication can be both direct and indirect. Direct communication means face-to-face conversation, while indirect communication is through other means.

Continuous Process: Communication is an endless process, as is the case with business where the manager continuously assigns work to his subordinates, tries to know the progress of the work and gives directions.

Use of Words as well as Symbols: There can be many means of communication, like the written, the oral and symbolic. The examples of symbolic communication are the ringing of bell for closing a school or a college, saying something by the movement of the neck, showing anger or disapproval through eyes, giving some decision by the raising of a finger in cricket, etc.

Different kinds of information will be communicated.  

Finally, we can say that when information, ideas, feelings, thoughts are transmitted from one party to another is called communication.

Communication may be written, oral, face-to-face, visual, audio-visual, and computer based or silent.

It occurs every day, every moment.

 

"communication process model"
Figure: communication process model

Steps of communication process or communication process model

Thought: The first step in the communication process is to develop and frame a thought or idea in the communicator’s mind.

Encoding: It means converting the idea or thought of the message into some transmittable form like spoken or written words, body movement, gestured, etc.

Transmission of Message: When thought or ideas are converted into an appropriate language, it is required to transmit to the receiver through a suitable channel.

Reception of Message: In the communication process, it is the first step from the receiver’s point of view. The receiver or any one on his/her behalf receives the message.

Decoding: It is the interpretation of the message. The receiver translates the message to give a precise meaning of the communication.

Understanding: After decoding the message, understanding takes place.
Response or Feedback: The sender is naturally interested in knowing how his/her message has been received. Basically it is receiver’s response to the actual sender.

Components of Communication Process

Context: Communication is affected by the context in which it takes place. This context may be physical, social, chronological or cultural. Every communication proceeds with context. The sender chooses the message to communicate within a context.

Sender / Encoder: It is a person who sends the message. A sender makes use of symbols (words or graphic or visual aids) to convey the message and produce the required response. For instance – a training manager conducting training for new batch of employees. Sender may be an individual or a group or an organization.

Message: It is a key idea that the sender wants to communicate. It is a sign that elicits the response of recipient. Communication process begins with deciding about the message to be conveyed. It must be ensured that the main objective of the message is clear.

Channel: It means used to exchange / transmit the message. The sender must choose an appropriate medium or channel for transmitting the message else the message might not be conveyed to the desired recipients. The choice of appropriate medium of communication is essential for making the message effective and correctly interpreted by the recipient. This choice of communication medium varies depending upon the features of communication. For instance – Written medium is chosen when a message has to be conveyed to a small group of people, while an oral medium is chosen when spontaneous feedback is required from the recipient as misunderstandings are cleared then and there.

Recipient / Decoder: It is a person for whom the message is intended / aimed / targeted. The degree to which the decoder understands the message is dependent upon various factors such as knowledge of recipient, their responsiveness to the message, and the reliance of encoder on decoder.

Feedback: Feedback is the main component of communication process as it permits the sender to analyze the efficacy of the message. It helps the sender in confirming the correct interpretation of message by the decoder. Feedback may be verbal (through words) or non-verbal (in form of smiles, sighs, etc.). It may take written form also in form of memos, reports, etc.

 

Source: wikipedia and management study guide

 

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