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smu semester 1 mb0023 set 2
smu semester 1 mb0023 set 2

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Published by: para2233 on Dec 14, 2009
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ASSIGNMENTS- MBA Semester I Subject code : MB0023 (3 credits) Set 2 Marks 60 Subject Name : Business Communication Q 1.

Describe three specific situations at the workplace where positive non verbal communication could be used effectively to enhance verbal communication. Ans. communication. Situation 1: Making a presentation to a team. There are 4 elements of non verbal communication that you must pay attention to as you practice or make your presentation. They are: 1) Eye contact Look your audience in the eyes. The number one reason to use good eye contact is it involves your audience in your presentation. If you look directly at a member of the audience, they are likely to return your gaze, and keep looking at you rather than looking at a paper on the table, staring out the window, or daydreaming. The second reason to use good eye contact is it leads people to trust you. Studies show that when people are lying, they tend to look up or look down. Looking people in the eyes demonstrates that you're being sincere. The third reason to use good eye contact is that it shows confidence. You must engage in eye contact with the whole audience, as well. Rather than staring down one audience member, scan the room, and be sure to include people sitting to your far right and far left who are often neglected. 2) Gestures It is the movement of your body or limbs to illuminate and emphasize the meaning of your words. Simple hand movements such as holding up the number one with your fingers when you say "my first point is," are appropriate. Gesture can be used to demonstrate how something looks or acts, as well. Some people naturally talk with their hands. Nervousness can accentuate this characteristic. Beware of gesturing too much as it can be distracting. On the other side, please use some gestures. I've seen presenters give thirty minute long speeches, desperately grasping the podium throughout. It is also important to vary your gestures. 3) Posture Posture is the bearing of your body, your stance. When speaking to an audience, stand straight with your shoulders back, your head centered above your body and your feet shoulder-width apart. Don't slump. Don't lean against the wall. If the situation absolutely calls for it (for example, you're asked to give an impromptu presentation during a business meeting), you may sit but sit up straight. 4) Movement in the speaking-space When you are provided with a podium or lectern, the tendency is to remain directly behind the lectern for the entire presentation. This can be appropriate. However, do not be afraid to walk around a bit to get closer to the audience. If you're speaking to a particularly large audience, it may be appropriate to mingle with the audience talk-host style during your presentation. Your movement or lack of movement will help set the tone of your presentation. If you stand behind the podium, you'll be perceived as more formal, and possibly somewhat removed from the audience. If you move around the front or place the lectern off to one side rather than

standing behind it, you'll be perceived as less formal, and probably more accessible to the audience members. Situation 2: Meeting People “The first ten seconds of a meeting determine the impression you make on other people." When you meet a person for the first time, the first 10 seconds will give an impression, which to a large extent will determine whether you will like this person or not. In these first ten seconds, you will notice impressions like nervousness, seriousness, etc. These first seconds will also influence to a large extent the rest of the conversation and any further contacts. Therefore the first impression is very important. Eyes An important factor in the first contact is the eyes. The eyes should look at the person. If you want to impress the person, you should open your eyes slightly more than usual, since raising the eye brows gives people the impression that they are welcome. After the first "hello", you should maintain eye contact, which prevents the impression of nervousness with the other person. You should also smile and look friendly. First Meeting During the first meeting, it is good to look carefully at the other person. If he or she disapproves your behavior, you should adapt your behavior. Also, behavior should be appropriate for the situation. For example, a firm and long hand shaking is quite usual for meeting a friend you have not seen for a long time, but quite inappropriate on a funeral. Situation 3: Body language in office meetings Reading Body Language When it is your turn to you are make a contribution, the best way of staying in control and keeping the other participants with you is to keep them interested in what you are saying. Meeting participants who are not actually speaking don't usually think of themselves as being observed. Consequently, their body language is relatively easy to read. Body language signals that you might observe among your meeting partners include: Resistance or disagreement can be implied if you observe a negative posture, with an impassive or slightly hostile expression, arms folded as if to form a barrier and legs crossed with the person leaning back. However, you should be careful to avoid making judgments based on observing one aspect of body language in isolation. For example crossed legs or crossed arms on their own should not automatically be read as a negative reaction. A neutral and open attitude is often accompanied by a neutral or slightly friendly facial expression and an upright or slightly forward leaning seating position. Encouraging Interaction In order to make your contribution clearly and concisely, it is often advisable to include a question and answer session at the end, and make this clear at the outset. This will enable you to deliver your message and then end strongly, before entering the relatively unpredictable area of tackling questions from the other participants. When you have finished preparing your contribution, read through it carefully, this is the time to focus on any areas in which your message is short of facts or vulnerable to being challenged. It is often possible to anticipate most questions that are likely to arise. When answering questions do so by speaking clearly and confidently, otherwise you will appear unsure of what you are saying. Don't let nerves draw you into responding hastily, always think about your answer before you speak and if necessary refer back to your notes in order to answer a question.

Four Main Aspects You need to be aware of your body language from the moment you begin to make your contribution to the meeting. The other participants will analyze your body language, even if they are unaware of this at the conscious level. A brilliantly prepared presentation delivered in an interesting voice will often fail to be convincing if it is accompanied by negative, intrusive or hostile body language. There are four main aspects of body language that you should consider; what to do with your eyes, what your facial expressions indicate, the positioning and movement of your body and limbs, and your hand gestures. Positive Eye Contact Eye contact is an essential part of any communication. Without it people are unlikely to relate to the message in a meaningful way. Not many people realize how important eye contact is, or how sensitive people are to it. Eye contact should be a positive form of body language communication, but if it is not used correctly it can easily become negative. As well as understanding how to make positive eye contact with an individual, in a meeting it is also important to ensure that your gaze encompasses all of the attendees. If you do end up looking at only one or two members of a group, they are likely to feel awkward whilst the others may begin to wonder if they need to be there at all. Whilst you may find it more difficult to engage members of the group who appear neutral or even hostile, it is important to include them, as you will often need to win them over. Body Language and Stance If your meeting involves standing up to make your contribution, then you should be aware that basic aspects of your stance can easily communicate subconscious messages -some of which you will want to avoid. The sort of messages that your stance may convey include: The forward sloping – this stance indicates a wish to dominate others. Often this stance is accompanied by an over-stressed point. The speaker may be attempting to impose a concept or point of view on their audience. This is made worse by aggressive or intrusive behavior such as the use of hostile gestures. The backward sloping – this stance indicates a speaker who is not happy with their situation. This defensive or submissive stance tends to indicate that they lack confidence in what they are saying and would rather not be there.

Q 2. Lateral or horizontal communication is more important today than vertical communication. Do you agree or disagree? Justify your answer.

Ans. Formal Communication Network – A formal communication network is one which is created by
management and described with the help of an Organizational chart. An organizational chart specifies the hierarchy and the reporting system in the organization. Therefore, in a formal network, information is passed on only through official channels such as memos, bulletins and intranet (email within the organization). The organizational chart implies that information can flow in any of three directions – vertically, i.e., upward or downward, and horizontally. a. Upward Communication -This may be defined as information that flows from subordinates to superiors. Some of the reasons for upward communication include discussing work related problems, giving suggestions for improvement and sharing feelings about the job and co-workers. This type of communication has both benefits and disadvantages. One of the biggest benefits is problem-solving. Once a subordinate has brought a problem to his superior’s notice, chances are that the problem will not recur, since the subordinate learns from his superior how to tackle it the next time. Thus, his ability to solve new problems and therefore his managerial ability, improves. Another benefit that could arise from upward communication is that valuable ideas and suggestions may sometimes come from lower level employees. Therefore organizations should encourage this kind of communication. A third benefit is that employees learn to accept the decisions of management and thereby work as a team. The biggest problem associated with this type of communication is that it may lead to “handing down” of decisions by superiors. When subordinates frequently seek the superior’s guidance, the latter may adopt an authoritarian approach and merely give instructions, disregarding the subordinate’s opinion completely. b. Downward Communication – This may be defined as information that flows from superiors to subordinates. The most common reasons for downward communication are for giving job instructions, explaining company rules, policies and procedures and giving feedback regarding job performance. A number of studies have indicated that regular downward communication in the form of feedback given to employees is the most important factor affecting job satisfaction. Therefore organization’s today are trying to encourage more of this type of communication. There are both benefits and disadvantages associated with this type of communication. Downward communication that provides regular feedback will be beneficial if the feedback or review of performance is constructive. A constructive review is one where a manager “counsels” an employee, or advises him on how to improve his performance. On the other hand, a destructive review can destroy employee morale and confidence. Regular downward communication also creates a climate of transparency or openness, where information is passed on through official channels, rather than through rumors. Thirdly, downward communication boosts employee morale, since it indicates that management is involved in their progress. The problems with this type of communication are the danger of doing destructive reviews, as mentioned, and that of “message overload.” This means that superiors many sometimes burden their subordinates with too many instructions, leading to confusion. c. Horizontal Communication – This type of communication is also known as “lateral” communication. It may be defined as communication that takes place between coworkers in the same department, or in different departments, with different areas of responsibility. For example; Sales Managers and Advertising Managers in the Marketing department, or Marketing Managers and Finance Managers. The reasons for this type of communication are for coordination of tasks, sharing of information regarding goals of the organization, resolving interpersonal or work related problems and building rapport. The biggest potential benefit of horizontal communication is the sense of teamwork that is created. Regular communication of this type ensures that all co-workers work together towards achieving a common goal in the overall interest of the organization. The biggest

potential problem is that conflicts such as ego clashes are bound to arise, when coworkers at the same level communicate on a regular basis. In spite of these problems, horizontal or lateral communication has become more important in today’s business scenario than upward or downward communication. This is because the “organizational pyramid” indicating the different hierarchies or levels in an organization has flattened. This is illustrated by the diagrams given below. The first diagram illustrates the previous organizational pyramid which was a “multi-layer” pyramid. In this type of pyramid, vertical, i.e., upward and downward communication still plays an important role. This is still the case in many traditionally run organizations today. However, this has been replaced by a “compressed” or flattened pyramid where the hierarchy has diminished, as shown in the second diagram.

Q 3. Imagine that you have to make an oral presentation on the features of the EduNext portal to new students of the SMU MBA program. Prepare an outline of the presentation and specify the following – a) Purpose of the presentation b) Key idea c) Audience analysis d) Delivery style.

Ans. Statement of Purpose: The main aim of this presentation is to inform new students of SMU MBA program with Edunxt web portal recently launched by Sikkim Manipal University. Introduce students about the flexibility of Edunxt portal, by high lighting the salient features of this portal that it is an online class room for the students from which they can access to a wide variety of activities like e-boos, SLMs, Quizzes etc anytime anywhere by just simply logging in. Key Idea: Sikkim Manipal University has launched first time in the History of Distance Education in India, the virtual classroom through Edunxt. Within the Edunxt portal, after logging in, a student can access study materials in the form of an e-workbook with value-added components, attempt quizzes related to his study curriculum interactively, ask questions in the Discussion groups related to his subject of study and will get the reply also either from the LC faculties or the SMU core faculties just sitting in the comfort of his own drawing room. The portal is for bridging the gap between the students and the SMU Head-quarter faculties, for transferring the knowledge of the core-faculties directly to all students, for increasing the interaction between the LC faculties as well as core-faculties and above all for imparting quality education in a more productive way. Audience Analysis: Making a good presentation alone is not enough. It also has to be tailored to your listeners, in such a way that they understand and appreciate it. The group size of the students is 45 and nearly 50% of the students are new to internet. So the presentation should be more focused towards those persons in educating them about the advantages of Edunxt and how to use it without any difficulty. Explain the user friendliness of the web portal. As the group size is large more time can be devoted for question and answers for making it more interactive. Also nearly 10 participants are not very good at English, hence the presentation could be had at a slower speed so that they can understand the point of discussion. There are around 5 participants who have used the Edunxt portal for the first time. We could take an opportunity to request them to share their opinion on this portal. Delivery Style: The delivery style of the presentation could be Speaking from Notes – because this is generally the most effective style of delivery. I write down the main ideas in point form on index cards and then referring to these cards merely as a trigger while speaking, I can deliver the presentation. If the main ideas are put down briefly on the cards, I can elaborate on these ideas in my own words and speak for any length of time. The presentation is likely to be more effective, since it comes across as natural and permits eye contact with the audience.

Q 4. Write a letter to your distributor, conveying the bad news of one of your product lines being phased out or discontinued, offering some form of compensation in return. Ans. Oct 4th, 2009

Mr. Sunder Kumar, Director, M/s. Sunder Distributors, M G Road, Bangalore. Dear Mr. Sunder Kumar, Wish to congratulate you and team on exceeding the target sales of product A in the previous month. You are one amongst the top 3 distributors in southern region. The sale of another product B which we had launched recently is picking up and as per the conversation we had with you; the customers are enquiring about the product B also. You had also mentioned that the lot of 5000 units of product B, which we have supplied earlier to monitor sales; have completely sold out and you have requested another 5000 units of product B. One of our product lines which manufacture product B was discontinued because of some major technical problems. We regret to inform you that we will not be able to supply the requested number of units’ of product B for 15 more days. We regret the inconvenience caused. However, we could provide you with an additional of 500 units after 15 days free of cost. This would help you in covering the losses incurred to some extent. As an experienced distributor with us, would request you to bear with us in this critical time and provide your continual support. Sincerely, Distributor Relations Representative

Q 5. As a Sales Manager, prepare a one page report in memo format addressed to the VP Marketing, providing sales updates for a newly launched FMCG product. Ans. MEMO The VP Marketing Sales Manager

Oct 20th, 2009 Sales update for a newly launched Soap. We had launched the Suraksha Soap, a new FMCG product last month. I was given the Bangalore territory for promoting and monitoring sales of the product. Wish to update you that our sales of this product are almost equal to the sale of our earlier soap, i.e., 30000 units. I have done an in depth analysis of the current market situation in my territory. Although several new entrants and our existing competitors have done well, we continued to enjoy a good reputation in the market. Although the current rate of sales is encouraging, the future market potential is enormous, pointing towards a positive growth. Would suggest increasing the supply of the product so that there won’t be any short supply of the product; when the sales are at its full swing. Would also recommend to increase our distribution network to suburban parts of Bangalore.

Q 6. Case Study Problems with Email communication Start Assemble, leading developer of web-based project and detail management services that improve communication and increase productivity, has released a white paper chronicling the growing problems associated with email--"Can Your Business Survive Email?" The paper recounts the history of email, its changing role in business, and the emergence of new Web 2.0 collaboration tools, such as Start Assemble Plan Done, that offer new and better ways for companies to manage their workflow.

Email usage drains workplace resources and hinders the timely completion of projects of all types. Given today's fast pace of business, communication in real-time and keeping staff on the same page are crucial to staying ahead. Yet delays caused by using email to coordinate business-critical data between individuals, departments, and remote locations actually slow productivity. Top 10 critical email problems: 1. Lack of security 2. Attachment problems 3. Reliability problems 4. Spam clutter 5. Document version confusion 6. Scattered data 7. Unclear project direction 8. Project status confusion 9. Next step priority uncertainty 10. Lack of accountability "Email has become a barrier to effective communication and productivity. Start Assembly’s Plan Done encourages participation from everyone involved with a project's outcome and is available anytime and anywhere," said Start Assemble founder AJ Wacaser. "As email problems escalate, the Plan Done solution will become the method of choice for managing day-to-day operations of companies everywhere." Transferring project and task functions from email to Plan Done's interactive platform helps teams build on each other's work. Ideas and opinions are shared, documented, and refined in constructive ways. Two powerful tools--priority ranking and deadline analysis--help staff focus precisely on first things first each day, ensuring last-minute changes and course corrections don't turn into unmanageable business fires. Unlike most other software, Plan Done supports both individual styles and team methods rather than forcing everyone to conform to one rigid system. Star assembly’s motto is "Work smarter. Live happier!" We believe in team creativity and sharing ideas, and are passionate about the collaborative process. Our purpose is to enable and inspire our customers to better manage their knowledgebase and workforces by providing a simple, open platform where every staff member can assemble, participate and contribute--revolutionizing corporate communications and strategic planning. Questions 1. Evaluate email communication as a tool for internal communication, based on the facts mentioned in the case. 2. How will you adapt email communication to overcome some of the problems mentioned in this case? Ans. Problems with Email communication Evaluate email communication as a tool for internal communication, based on the facts mentioned in the case. More and more individuals are receiving more emails than they can digest and because it is physically more difficult to read on a computer screen, email writing is different from other styles of letter writing. In business it is important that emails do not become so burdensome, that more time is spent answering email that doing work. Emails must be prioritized, and accurate subject lines chosen. Skimming emails is common, so make sure that the major point in your email is handled first. Make a decision whether it is best to divide the email into multiple emails with different subject lines, because this is often easier and quicker to reply to. Internal Business Email Communication: Managing by E-Mail We need to be able to set expectations, assign and monitor the progress of their work and give feedback. But there is a major difference in the way you communicate with your employees when you telecommute: You usually don't speak face-to-face. With the Internet being used for almost every aspect of business, it's no surprise that the majority of managers who supervise telecommuters communicate with them via e-mail as per the case study. But managing employees through e-mail messages can be complicated. The difficulties are not necessarily inherent in e-mail messaging, but arise from poor communication skills and misunderstandings from poorly crafted messages. When you e-mail an employee, make the message as personal as possible. When you manage telecommuters it's important to take a personal interest in them and their work. Because your

employees don't see you every day, they need to know you are accessible when they need you. Simplify your messages for clarity. By re-reading a message before you send it, you can catch and rephrase statements that might be misconstrued. If you have any concerns that your e mail could be misinterpreted, discard the message and call the person instead. Sometimes a phone call can save a lot of trouble. Create an e-mail policy that all your employees will embrace. Establish how often e-mail should be checked, how to prioritize messages and how files are to be transferred. Setting expectations will prevent messages from going missing or unanswered. When an employee has done a task particularly well, praise a job well done by sending e-mail to the entire department. But do not publicly reprimand employees. Never discipline an employee via an e-mail message. E-mail can be too easily misinterpreted, and it might look as if you are avoiding dealing directly with the problem. Pick up the phone and discuss matters privately. E-mail is a useful tool for communicating with employees. But when the message you need to send is particularly complex or sensitive, a phone call still remains the best option. How will you adapt email communication to overcome some of the problems mentioned in this case? The problems mentioned in the case study are 1. Lack of security 2. Attachment problems 3. Reliability problems 4. Spam clutter 5. Document version confusion 6. Scattered data 7. Unclear project direction 8. Project status confusion 9. Next step priority uncertainty 10. Lack of accountability Email is an effective means of communication for business and personal use but it also has some disadvantages. These are the ways where we can make effective use of the emails by overcoming problems. Email is effective in providing quick answers to yes and no, type questions. eg. Do you do international delivery? Email is effective in finding the right person in an organisation or company to answer your question. Email is good to make appointments for busy people. Email can distribute information quickly to many people for the time it takes to email one person. The disadvantages are; Email can become time consuming for answering complicated questions and misunderstandings can arise because cultural differences in the interpretation of certain words. The telephone, is much better for providing detailed answers or if you feel that the question is not absolutely clear. Email can compromise the security of an organisation because sensitive information can be easily distributed accidently or deliberately. Email should be entrusted to well trained and trusted staff members. Email can become impersonal or misunderstood.

Email security Do not open an attachment or click on a link in an email from someone you don't know. If the content of the email looks suspicious, but it is from someone you know -don't open until you clarify it with the sender first. Trust your intuition or you may end up infected with a computer virus. Use of Mailing Lists Email is a highly effective medium of communication but a wise company needs to treat the recipient like a person not a number on a mailing list. Email needs to be personal or else it is regarded as SPAM and sent off to the recycling bin or blocked by the customer. SPAM is unsolicited mail. Because it is easy and inexpensive to send email, it is also easy and inexpensive to send junk email. Just because a person joins your mailing list does not necessarily mean that he or she wants to be bombarded with useless information or made feel as you are using the mailing list purely for profit. Email can look really impressive by adopting a brochure format, but unless the pictures are there for a reason and the email engages the reader by providing useful information, then it is better to send a text based email. If you need to display products, then a link inside an email to the page on your web site where the product is displayed is in my opinion a better option. This leads the person back to your web site. An email formatted like a brochure is uninviting because it resembles advertising but by providing a link, you are giving the customer a choice to view your product. This empowerment is the difference between informative email and advertising. Informative email is inviting, email that resembles advertising is pushy. Email needs to tread the line of being personal yet business like. It is a way of building good customer relationships. Email used well can make people feel as though they matter. Relationships are the key to any business and it can make for a rewarding experience. If the desire is to serve the customer, you will certainly be well in front of your competition by responding to every email, promptly and politely. Email tips Always, greet the customer using their name and end by using your name. To not use a recipient's name makes the customer feel as though you are too busy to care to address them properly. Make sure your contact details are clearly displayed on the end of every email. Your contact details should include your full name and company name, ABN or ACN number, your business phone number, fax number, web site address, mobile phone number, business address and postal address. Always ask the customer if they want to be included on a mailing list before adding them to the mailing list. Terms like 'regards' or 'kind regards' are formal but friendly. When sending out newsletters, make sure they are personal. Imagine that you are the recipient. Treat your customer like a person and not a number. Do not use subject lines like 'newletter number 42' or 'company A weekly newsletter'. Make sure that the email title entices the recipient to read the email. Increasingly, large volumes of information means that an email subject title needs to stand out.

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