Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

Reg No.: 511011932

MB0039 – Business Communication - 4 Credits Assignment Set- 1 (60 Marks) Q.1 Describe any situation in your experience where the communication went wrong. Analyze the situation by pointing out the type of barrier to communication and suggest how to overcome this barrier. Ans. Situation where Communication was a failure to me: As an Associate Manager, I was a sender for a communication and intended to be received by my executives. I have sent the following communication to my executives through a notice and displayed on the notice board: “Coming Second Saturday to complete our targets for the month a review meeting is arranged and all should attend. If any executive is not able to attend should find out the contents of the meeting from their peers without fail”. But my communication went wrong and out of 10 executives, only three executives have attended at 4.00 PM who checked-in with me the time of the meeting. Following were the barriers of communication which stood in the way of my communication: The “Channel” I have chosen communication by “Receivers” did not ensure the receipt of the The communication lacked the “Chronological context” The second Saturday being a non working day. The communication has created a “Psychological noise” by not mentioning correct time of the meeting and confusion has been created. The “social context” also is one of the cause for the failure of the communication as I have not taken all my executives into confident by giving any advance information or a intention of the meeting earlier. Lessons learnt in order to overcome these barriers of communication: My communication was unclear by not giving exact time of meeting. The media I have used is the placing the notice on the notice board, instead had I circulated to all the receivers and obtained their signatures by asking their availability or feedback my communication would not have failed. I have chosen a wrong day a holiday though the task was a routine one. I could have maintained good relations with my executives for success of my communication. Overcome the communication barriers When you send a message, you intend to communicate meaning, but the message itself doesn’t contain meaning. The meaning exists in your mind and in the mind of your receiver. To understand one another, you and your receiver must share similar meanings for words, gestures, tone of voice, and other symbols.

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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

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1. Differences in perception The world constantly bombards us with information: sights, sounds, scents, and so on. Our minds organize this stream of sensation into a mental map that represents our perception or reality. In no case is the perception of a certain person the same as the world itself, and no two maps are identical. As you view the world, your mind absorbs your experiences in a unique and personal way. Because your perceptions are unique, the ideas you want to express differ from other people’s Even when two people have experienced the same event, their mental images of that event will not be identical. As senders, we choose the details that seem important and focus our attention on the most relevant and general, a process known as selective perception. As receivers, we try to fit new details into our existing pattern. If a detail doesn’t quite fit, we are inclined to distort the information rather than rearrange the pattern. 2. Incorrect filtering Filtering is screening out before a message is passed on to someone else. In business, the filters between you and your receiver are many; secretaries, assistants, receptionists, answering machines, etc. Those same gatekeepers may also ‘translate’ your receiver’s ideas and responses before passing them on to you. To overcome filtering barriers, try to establish more than one communication channel, eliminate as many intermediaries as possible, and decrease distortion by condensing message information to the bare essentials. 3. Language problems When you choose the words for your message, you signal that you are a member of a particular culture or subculture and that you know the code. The nature of your code imposes its own barriers on your message. Barriers also exist because words can be interpreted in more than one way. Language is an arbitrary code that depends on shared definitions, but there’s a limit to how completely any of us share the same meaning for a given word. To overcome language barriers, use the most specific and accurate words possible. Always try to use words your audience will understand. Increase the accuracy of your messages by using language that describes rather than evaluates and by presenting observable facts, events, and circumstances. 4. Poor listening Perhaps the most common barrier to reception is simply a lack of attention on the receiver’s part. We all let our minds wander now and then, regardless of how hard we try to concentrate. People are essentially likely to drift off when they are forced to listen to

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information that is difficult to understand or that has little direct bearing on their own lives. Too few of us simply do not listen well! To overcome barriers, paraphrase what you have understood, try to view the situation through the eyes of other speakers and resist jumping to conclusions. Clarify meaning by asking non-threatening questions, and listen without interrupting. 5. Differing emotional states Every message contains both a content meaning, which deals with the subject of the message, and a relationship meaning, which suggests the nature of the interaction between sender and receiver. Communication can break down when the receiver reacts negatively to either of these meanings. You may have to deal with people when they are upset or when you are. An upset person tends to ignore or distort what the other person is saying and is often unable to present feelings and ideas effectively. This is not to say that you should avoid all communication when you are emotionally involved, but you should be alert to the greater potential for misunderstanding that accompanies aroused emotions. To overcome emotional barriers, be aware of the feelings that arise in your self and in others as you communicate, and attempt to control them. Most important, be alert to the greater potential for misunderstanding that accompanies emotional messages. 6. Differing backgrounds Differences in background can be one of the hardest communication barriers to overcome. Age, education, gender, social status, economic position, cultural background, temperament, health, beauty, popularity, religion, political belief, even a passing mood can all separate one person from another and make understanding difficult. To overcome the barriers associated with differing backgrounds, avoid projecting your own background or culture onto others. Clarify your own and understand the background of others, spheres of knowledge, personalities and perceptions and don’t assume that certain behaviors mean the same thing to everyone.

Q.2 Describe any two aspects of non verbal communication and give examples of how each of them could be used to convey positive messages at the workplace. Ans. Knowledge of non-verbal communication is important managers who serve as leaders of organizational "teams," for at least two reasons: To function effectively as a team leader the manager must interact with the other members

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successfully. Non-verbal cues, when interpreted correctly, provide him with one means to do so. The team members project attitudes and feelings through non-verbal communication. Some personal needs such as approval, growth, achievement, and recognition may be met in effective teams. The extent to which these needs are met is closely related to how perceptive the team leader and team members are to non-verbal communication in themselves and in others on the team. If the team members show a true awareness to non-verbal cues, the organization will have a better chance to succeed, for it will be an open, honest, and confronting unit. Argyle and his associates have been studying the features of nonverbal communication that provide information to managers and their team members. The following summarizes their findings: Static Features Distance. Distance. The distance one stands from another frequently conveys a non-verbal message. In some cultures it is a sign of attraction, while in others it may reflect status or the intensity of the exchange. Orientation. People may present themselves in various ways: face-to-face, side-to-side, or even back-to-back. For example, cooperating people are likely to sit side-by-side while competitors frequently face one another. Posture. Obviously one can be lying down, seated, or standing. These are not the elements of posture that convey messages. Are we slouched or erect ? Are our legs crossed or our arms folded ? Such postures convey a degree of formality and the degree of relaxation in the communication exchange. Physical Contact. Shaking hands, touching, holding, embracing, pushing, or patting on the back all convey messages. They reflect an element of intimacy or a feeling of (or lack of) attraction. Dynamic Features Facial Expressions. Facial Expressions. A smile, frown, raised eyebrow, yawn, and sneer all convey information. Facial expressions continually change during interaction and are monitored constantly by the recipient. There is evidence that the meaning of these expressions may be similar across

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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

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cultures. Gestures. One of the most frequently observed, but least understood, cues is a hand movement. Most people use hand movements regularly when talking. While some gestures (e.g., a clenched fist) have universal meanings, most of the others are individually learned and idiosyncratic. Looking. A major feature of social communication is eye contact. It can convey emotion, signal when to talk or finish, or aversion. The frequency of contact may suggest either interest or boredom. The above list shows that both static features and dynamic features transmit important information from the sender to the receiver. Tortoriello, Blott, and DeWine have defined non-verbal communication as: . . the exchange of messages primarily through non-linguistic means, including: kinesics (body language), facial expressions and eye contact, tactile communication, space and territory, environment, paralanguage (vocal but non-linguistic cues), and the use of silence and time." Let's review these non-linguistic ways of exchanging messages in more detail. Kinesics Lamb believes 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." Some of the movements and gestures he has analyzed follow: Forward and Backward Movements. If you extend a hand straight forward during an interview or tend to lean forward, Lamb considers you to be an "operator"- good for an organization requiring an infusion of energy or dramatic change of course. Vertical Movements. If you tend to draw yourself up to your tallest during the handshake, Lamb considers you to be a "presenter." You are a master at selling yourself or the organization in which you are employed. Side-to-Side Movements. If you take a lot of space while talking by moving your arms about, you are a good informer and good listener. You are best suited for an organization seeking a better sense of direction. Lamb believes there is a relationship between positioning of the body and movements of the limbs and facial expressions. He has observed harmony

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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

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between the two. On the other hand, if certain gestures are rehearsed, such as those made to impress others, there is a tendency to separate the posture and the movements. The harmony disappears. Studies by Lamb also indicate that communication comes about through our degree of body flexibility. If you begin a movement with considerable force and then decelerate, you are considered a "gentle-touch." By contrast, if you are a "pressurizer," you are firm from beginning to end. The accuracy of Lamb's analyses is not fully known. However, it is important that corporation executives are becoming so sensitive to the importance of nonverbal messages that they are hiring consultants, such as Lamb, to analyze non-verbal communications in their organizations. Facial Expressions Facial expressions usually communicate emotions. The expressions tell the attitudes of the communicator. Researchers have discovered that certain facial areas reveal our emotional state better than others. For example, the eyes tend to reveal happiness or sadness, and even surprise. The lower face also can reveal happiness or surprise; the smile, for example, can communicate friendliness and cooperation. The lower face, brows, and forehead can also reveal anger. Mehrabian believes verbal cues provide 7 percent of the meaning of the message; vocal cues, 38 percent; and facial expressions, 55 percent. This means that, as the receiver of a message, you can rely heavily on the facial expressions of the sender because his expressions are a better indicator of the meaning behind the message than his words. Eye Contact Eye contact is a direct and powerful form of non-verbal communication. The superior in the organization generally maintains eye contact longer than the subordinate. The direct stare of the sender of the message conveys candor and openness. It elicits a feeling of trust. Downward glances are generally associated with modesty. Eyes rolled upward are associated with fatigue. Tactile Communication Communication through touch is obviously non-verbal. Used properly it can create a more direct message than dozens of words; used improperly it can build barriers and cause mistrust. You can easily invade someone's space through this type of communication. If it is used reciprocally, it indicates solidarity; if not used reciprocally, it tends to indicate differences in status. Touch not only facilitates the sending of the message, but the

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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

Reg No.: 511011932

emotional impact of the message as well. Personal Space Personal space is your "bubble" - the space you place between yourself and others. This invisible boundary becomes apparent only when someone bumps or tries to enter your bubble. How you identify your personal space and use the environment in which you find yourself influences your ability to send or receive messages. How close do you stand to the one with whom you are communicating ? Where do you sit in the room ? How do you position yourself with respect to others at a meeting ? All of these things affect your level of comfort, and the level of comfort of those receiving your message. Goldhaber says there are three basic principles that summarize the use of personal space in an organization: The higher your position (status) in the organization, (a) the more and better space you will have, (b) the better protected your territory will be, and (c) the easier it will be to invade the territory of lower-status personnel. The impact of use of space on the communication process is related directly to the environment in which the space is maintained.

Q3. which types of listening would be required the most at the workplace? Explain with suitable examples. Ans. Effectively listening in the workplace is a form of non-verbal communication. Clichéd, as it may sound, silence speaks more than words. When you make a conscious decision to listen to somebody, you do it with full, undivided attention. Your complete attention and concentration, towards the speaker's subject, communicates your concern to the speaker. In this way, effectively listening in the workplace, serves as a non-verbal communication tool. Corporate organizations are demanding and challenging. Most of us cope up with the pressures, however, it is always a listening ear, that provides us with motivation, care and concern to carry on. Read more about employee motivation. Developing effective listening in the workplace through effective listening activities, is a way of fortifying emotional intelligence at work. This works with the logic of 'a friend in need, is a friend indeed'. If your employees can establish strong relations with each other, it's going to

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benefit your organization. Those of you, who think that your employees may conspire if they mingle too much, then let me tell you, boss, you are wrong!! Hearing out one another, working together, sharing load, being a helping hand and walking the extra mile, will go a long way in making your organization successful. Read more on emotional intelligence. There are many factors to effective listening strategies. However, focusing with clarity is the important of all. I hope these effects of effective listening in the workplace and effective listening techniques, help you in building a reliable workforce. Work days are longer, the pace of life is faster, and there's an endless contest for our attention. In an environment full of deadlines, cell phones, e-mail and other distractions, focusing long enough to listen to another human being can be a challenge. But in a tight labor market, you can't afford to alienate the people you spent so much time and money to hire. Employees are more willing to share their ideas if they know you're really listening. Being a good listener not only helps boost morale but also helps you learn more about what motivates your staff and how you can get the best work from them. Active listening prevents miscommunication, improves customer service and increases your effectiveness as a leader. "Bosses, in particular, find power in effective listening," says Jamie Martindale, a psychology professor with the ITT Tech Institute in Indianapolis. "You don't need to give in as much on projects, parameters, deadlines and so forth when employees feel you understand them." The secret lies in using the Chinese characters that make up the verb "to listen": ears, eyes, undivided attention and heart. Example Indiana's Chief Deputy Building Commissioner Bill Franklin has a reputation for being an excellent listener. When the writer for this article contacted the building commissioner's department, she didn't have a contact name to request, only the description "a manager who implemented better listening skills." The receptionist immediately said, "You must mean Bill Franklin. He's the best listener I've ever worked with." Franklin started developing his listening skills when a manager from the elevator and amusement safety division came to his office at wit's end. He requested Franklin to facilitate a team within his division because "they just don't listen to me." To do this, Franklin decided to become a better listener himself. So he attended an eighthour training course that emphasized reflective listening, and returned to his offices to set an

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example. The results show on several fronts. One noteworthy example: In 1999 after four years of absorbing an active listening culture, a division team was given 40 days to conduct a plan review. The employees accomplished the task in seven days. From Franklin's point of view, understanding employees' latent feelings means his staff now spends extra time working to understand the core issues before striving to solve problems. Once they are able to hear each other's positions, they can better formulate solutions that meet the needs of the team.

Q.4 Imagine that you have to make a presentation on your MBA project to a group of your professors and industry experts. Prepare the following – a) A general statement of purpose b) A specific statement of purpose c) The key idea d) A brief audience analysis e) Delivery style. Ans. Whatever planning tool an entrepreneur uses, it must as a minimum reflect the way in which entrepreneurs develop and exploit opportunities (effectual approach). This means that the planning process should build momentium towards launch and not bog it down in the details that are more important later in the enterprise development. Entrepreneurs want a planning tool that helps them create, conceptualize and clarify the idea for themselves firstly so that they can then passionately communicate it to key stakeholders. The planning should be less about controlling existing worlds and more about creating new ones. It needs to accommodate the entrepreneur's ambiguity, sixth-sense and hunches with a work towards goals and objectives at a much later time in the process. It must enhance the entrepreneur's win-win story. The plan should be directed to the critical factors of success and be strategic rather than operational in focus. It should be detailed on the things that matter (steps to launch & plans to sustainability) whilst applying a broad brush to most everything else. It must believe that recourses are more likely to follow a great team with an ordinary idea than a great idea with an ordinary team. a) A general Statement of Purpose: I want to be research marketing and an academic for sales industry. I would like to specialize in formal methods and various steps. For these reasons, I would like to get a MBA in one of these fields. Formal Methods Research Experience: Because I want to get my MBA in formal verification, I have spent the last two years doing projects and research, and expanding my knowledge through seminars and book club meetings on this subject. I carried out this work under the supervision of Prof.

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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

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Sudar Shrivastava, and as a member of his research team. As a result, I have extensive exposure to and hands-on experience in formal methods. b) A specific Statement of the purpose: The main specific statement of the purpose behind this project report is to believe in myself and in what I thought is good for the company. I will take a pro-active approach with the initiative approach and play a leadership role in motivating people and executing the project to completion. A good manager is one who can figure out where the problem lies, deal with it effectively by involving all the members of the company and improve the overall culture of the company. The fact that I would be able to pull off this task alone has boosted my confidence in my abilities. C) The Key Idea: it's difficult to start describing things in a structured, top-to-bottom, complete way from the beginning, unless it’s a small project or you are a genius. Picasso once said I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else. I will begin with explanation of general idea, business model, inspirational graphic concept, description of some behavior requirements, pages of website or interfaces of software product or even defining some domain-specific entities. The way in which it’s easier to start depends on the project and information available, or on the way of thinking of people engaged in the process. In any case the key idea is to begin moving in an easy way without creating huge, detailed things which are expected to be final from the beginning, but rather starting with any known elements and reshaping or changing them as the time goes, to finally get smooth, clear, structured, sufficient and up-to-date documentation. d) A brief audience analysis: Evaluation of financial results might include a break-even analysis of each campaign. A market share analysis (before and after) would serve to document marketing success. Client satisfaction surveys will help in evaluating the quality of products and services. Input from associates, perhaps through an advisory board, could provide valuable insight to help improve quality and efficiency. Systems should be developed to monitor the success of the plan and determine if modifications are necessary. Such systems include methods of measuring and evaluating results and obtaining feedback from clients and employees. Too often marketing campaigns are blindly repeated year-afteryear without any idea as to whether or not they have worked. Don't fall into that trap. A written analysis will help you to clarify your company's situation and develop appropriate strategies. A good method is a "S.W.O.T." analysis to identify your company's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The SWOT method can be viewed as a matrix as shown below. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors. Obviously, we have more control over internal factors than external factors.

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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

Reg No.: 511011932

Yet we must be aware of the external factors in order to develop effective strategies. A sample outline of a situational analysis for a tax preparation firm appears below. Strengths can usually be translated into opportunities. Opportunities to eliminate or counter weaknesses also exist. Weaknesses and threats can sometimes be turned into opportunities. Each item listed should be explained in writing for the benefit of all interested parties. e) Delivery Style: An oral presentation consisting of 15-20 PowerPoints that details the new venture's business model - i.e the opportunity and the plans to exploite it. An entrepreneurial prospectus that provides the key details relating to the venture - including sections on preliminaries, the opportunity, the concept outline, the business model, an executive summary, launch action plans with an accompanying deal sheet if required. 20+ start-point worksheeets that analyise, clarify and inform the two presentations detailed above. These worksheets should follow the entrepreneurial development thinking being - Need - Idea Opportunity - Business Concept - Business Model - Entrepreneurial Strategic Action Plan. These worksheets are only for internal use but will prove handy as external stakeholders probe for analysis and answers. (interrogate)

Q5. In your opinion, does the success of a meeting depend more on the chairperson or the participants? Justify your answer. Ans. The success of every meeting depends on the co-operation and support the chairperson receives from the participants. The chairperson should thus be fully aware of people's attitudes to meetings. Meetings are an everyday occurrence at schools. List the reasons why you think some people regard meetings as a waste of time. The Chairperson is responsible for ensuring that meetings are run effectively and efficiently. The chair must consider both the task functions of the group, i.e., the actions and decisions that are critical to achieve, and the maintenance functions – the relationships, welfare and harmony of the group. Both functions are important and will affect the organization’s success. The chair has the lead role in planning, preparing, implementing and evaluating meetings and is responsible for starting and ending on time and involving members in the decisions and discussions Amongst the many reasons people have for not liking meetings, the following have been found to be the most common: Poor leadership: The leader does not keep the discussion on the subject and so fails to keep

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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

Reg No.: 511011932

things moving in the appropriate direction and to engage in those aspects of the discussion that are stimulating and motivating to the members. Goals are unclear: Members are not really sure what they are trying to accomplish. Lack of commitment: Assignments are not taken seriously by committee members. No clear focus: For example, 'What are we supposed to be doing today?' Recommendations ignored: Management needs to be responsive to the recommendations of a committee. Inconclusive discussion: Problems are discussed but no conclusions are reached or decisions made. Lack of follow-through: Members are not given assignments. Domination: Often one person or clique dominates a meeting, talking and pushing for their positions while others wonder why they are there. Lack of preparation: The agenda is not prepared and materials that really need to be there are not available. Someone has not done his or her homework. Hidden agendas: Some participants may have personal axes to grind, promoting discussions that only they think are important.

Q6. How do memos differ from other written communication channels? Give examples of two business situations that would require either an informational or a persuasive memo. Ans. A Memo is for inner communication. You would send a memo to your work colegues or fellow students/professors from the same school. A memorandum or memo is a document or other communication that aids the memory by recording events or observations on a topic, such as may be used in a business office. The plural form is either memoranda or memorandums. A memorandum may have any format, or it may have a format specific to an office or institution. In law specifically, a memorandum is a record of the terms of a transaction or contract, such as a policy memo, memorandum of understanding, memorandum of agreement, or memorandum of association. Alternative formats include memos, briefing notes, reports, letters or binders. They could be one page long or many. If the user is a cabinet minister or a senior executive, the format might be rigidly defined and limited to one or two pages. If the user is a colleague, the format is usually much more

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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

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flexible. At its most basic level, a memorandum can be a handwritten note to one's supervisor. As the communication mechanism of the policy analysis process, the briefing note should provide a coherent synopsis of a policy problem, identify different policy options for addressing the problem, articulate opposing perspectives and advocate a recommended option. The typical structure for a briefing note includes: a description of the proposed policy; relevant background information; a discussion of key considerations (including implementation concerns, financial considerations, stakeholder impacts, and possible unanticipated consequences), a summary of arguments for and against the policy and a recommended decision. There is no universal standard for a briefing note, but it is generally understood to be a concise, coherent summary of a public policy problem with a clearly articulated logic for following a recommended course of action. ”Next to a political nose, and a logical brain, the most important skill of the good treasury [person] resides in [their] fine drafting hand. The concise, coherent and penetrating note is the final expression of all other talents.”

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