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ASSIGNMENT 01

Name Registration No. Learning Centre

: : :

Iwin Jose 1205005579 IIT Kottayam 01517 Master of Business Administration MB0039-Business Communication Semester 1 Set 1 30/09/2012

Learning Centre Code: Course Subject Semester Module No. Date of submission Marks Marks awarded : : : : : : :

Directorate of Distance Education Sikkim Manipal University II Floor, Syndicate House Manipal 576 104

Signature of coordinator

Signature of Center

Signature of Evaluator

Master of Business Administration MBA Semester I MB0039 Business Communication- 4 Credits (Book ID: B1128) Assignment Set- 1 (60 Marks)
Q1. Describe a situation that you experienced where communication went wrong because the non-verbal behavior sent conflicting signals. Which aspect of non-verbal communication was responsible for the communication failure? How would you rectify this? Ans: As a 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 did not ensure the receipt of the communication by Receivers 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.

Q2. Explain why Public Relations is an important part of external business communication? Public relations (PR) are the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public.[1] Public relations provides an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. [2] The aim of public relations by a company often is to persuade the public, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about it, its leadership, products, or of political decisions. Business communication is diverse and involves both internal stakeholders within the organization, as well as external stakeholders outside the organization. A manager has to constantly communicate with and maintain good relations with each of these stakeholders or publics, so as to achieve the overall goals of the organization and to project a favourable image. A manager has to stay in continuous touch with his internal stakeholders on the one hand superiors, peers, subordinates, shareholders, employees and their unions; at the same time, he has to communicate with external stakeholders such as customers, intermediaries (distributors and retailers), suppliers of materials and components, government, bankers, society at large and the media. Effective business communication therefore involves both internal as well as external communication. We will now look at some of the reasons for communication with internal and external stakeholders, as well as the appropriate channels to be used in each case. Before we discuss the reasons for communication with external stakeholders, it is important that you understand the overall importance of external business communication. External business communication is essential for the following reasons For Successful Marketing Organizations need to inform and create awareness among consumers about their existing and new products. This is largely done through advertising, which is a form of mass communication. This is very much a part of external business communication To build a Favorable Corporate Image Today, organizations need to focus on projecting themselves as responsible corporate and social Citizens. This is known as corporate social responsibility. For example, they need to communicate the fact that they are involved in social development or in environmental protection. This involves being in touch with various external stakeholders, especially consumers, media and the society at large.

To Increase Shareholder Value If customers have a positive image of the company, the companys share price will go up and shareholders wealth increases, thereby enhancing shareholder value. Shareholder confidence in the company also drives shareholder value. When shareholder value increases, they will participate in the companys expansion and growth. To Overcome a Crisis Sometimes when a company is facing a crisis, a public relations campaign may be needed to manage the situation, put things in a proper perspective and restore the image of the company in the eyes of consumers, the media and society at large. Public relations require effective communication with various external stakeholders. To Enhance Credit Rating An organizations credit rating will also go up if it maintains good external communication. This way its borrowing ability will increase and more money can be raised for expansion and growth. Having emphasized the importance of external business communication, let us now go into the reasons for communicating with external stakeholders and the channels used to communicate with them, just as we did with internal communication.

The wheel of business communication illustrates that external business communication involves interaction with the following stakeholders Consumers Organizations need to communicate with consumers to provide information about their products and services, special promotional offers and new product developments. The written channel is the most appropriate medium for communicating with consumers. This could take the form of letters, or mass media advertising. Intermediaries This refers to the trade distributors, wholesalers, retailers, franchisees, etc. It is necessary to communicate with them to provide information about product availability, special offers, incentives and allowances, contractual aspects, order processing, delivery aspects and merchandising, or the visual display of products. Keeping intermediaries aware and informed and motivating them to meet targets through competitions, prizes and incentives is extremely important for the success of any product. The appropriate channels of communication with intermediaries could be both oral and written channels. Written contracts, advertisements announcing special offers and incentives and dealer newsletters inviting dealers to share their experiences, are examples of written channels. Periodic review meetings and continuous communication through sales staff are examples of oral channels. Suppliers These are suppliers of raw material, components, power, water or other utilities. Communication with suppliers is essential to give technical specifications, ensure quality and timely delivery. Today, due to outsourcing or relying on outside sources for raw materials and components, there is need for more sophisticated and direct communication and a more continuous, on-going relationship with suppliers. The internet now plays an important role in communication with suppliers, through Business to Business (B2B) communication. Government Communicating with the government is particularly important in the Indian context and is a part of public relations. The reasons for communicating with the government include compliance with tax matters and legal aspects, seeking clearances for new activities such as joint ventures, borrowing from overseas banks, foreign exchange requirements and so on. Communication with the government could take place through both oral and written channels. Periodic meetings may be held with regard to statutory compliances such as licensing. However, most of the time, written communication through formal letters is more appropriate. This is because clearances for various activities have to be sought in writing. Society As pointed out earlier, organizations need to communicate with the community at large to project themselves as responsible corporate citizens. The channels of communication with society could be oral and direct

for example, talking to elders in a village or locality, about family planning or schools for children. Mass media advertising in the form of public service advertising could also be used to spread these social service messages Bankers Like shareholders, organizations need to communicate with bankers both in good times and bad times. The reasons for communicating with bankers are the same as those for shareholders. Communication with bankers could take place through oral channels. In addition to oral channels, periodic written reports need to be submitted to the bank on overall business conditions. Transparency is needed in dealings with the bank and failure to keep them informed could lead to the companys collapse. Media Today, the media are becoming more powerful and investigative and are intruding into peoples personal lives. If wrongly informed, the media can destroy an institution. Therefore, the primary reason for an organization to communicate with the media is to maintain good relations. If the company projects a favorable image to the media, the media in turn will carry a positive story about the company for free. This is known as publicity and is part of public relations. Stakeholder Consumers Channel Advertisements Letters Overall Objective Awareness Information Persuasion Awareness Information Motivation

Intermediaries

Written Contracts Newsletters Advertisements Review Meetings Direct Oral Communication Online Communication Periodic Meetings Formal Letters Direct Oral Communication Advertisements Periodic & Special Meetings Written Reports News conferences News Releases

Suppliers

On-going Relationship Partnership

Government

Government Cooperation

Society

Corporate Social Responsibility

Bankers

Good Rapport More borrowing ability

Media

Good Relations

From this we can say that public relation is an important part of business communication.

Q3. Select a company of your choice in a sector that you would like to work in. Imagine that you have to make a brief presentation on this company to business school students. Develop a) A general and specific statement of purpose b) The key idea c) Your style of delivery. a) General and specific statement of purpose: means before preparing for the presentation, it is important to be clear on the goal of the presentation. A statement of purpose, expressing what you want to achieve through the presentation should be framed, so that it becomes easy to measure whether the goal has been accomplished or not. Although it is useful to define the general purpose of a presentation, it is more important to frame a specific statement of purpose, which clearly spells out the answers to the following questions 1. Whom do I want to influence? 2. What do I want them to do at the end of the presentation? 3. How do I want them to do it? 4. When? 5. Where?

Here I want to present about an oil field company named ITS to business school students. In this context the answer for first question is business school students. I want to present about the origin of company, history of the company, works in that company and opportunities in that company. Also present the web site of the company. At the end of presentation all students should know about that company and should influence my presentation in them. This is the answer for second question. With power point presentation and other electronic medium, I can explain it to students. Also Invite a representative from that company will influence students more. With a proper presentation I can explain that company effectively. This is to be presented in front of business students. So it should be informative and influential . b) The Key Idea: means the key idea of a presentation is a statement that expresses the main message to be conveyed to your audience. It is different from a statement of purpose, in that the purpose is generally meant for you as the presenter, while the key idea is mentioned to the audience at the beginning of the presentation. In this context I am trying to give the business students about an oil field company. So my effort in this oral presentation is to convey my knowledge about this company. Also conveys opportunities in that company, So that the students can apply for job in that company after the course.

c) Style of delivery: there are different methods for delivery. From this for me, Speaking from notes is effective. It consists in jotting down the main ideas in point form on index cards and then referring to these cards merely as a trigger while speaking. If the main ideas are put down briefly on the cards, the speaker can elaborate on these ideas in his 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

Q4. Discuss the principles of business writing?

Principles of Business Writing: Having dealt with writing in general, we will now go briefly into the specifics of business writing. As pointed out earlier, the language, style and tone of business writing is very different from general writing. Therefore, we will examine these aspects in some detail.

Tone The important point to keep in mind regarding tone of voice is to avoid mixed signals that is, making sure that what you say is consistent with how you say it. The spoken words, however perfect, can convey a negative message, if the tone of voice is not consistent with what is said. Tone is equally important in conveying written messages, particularly business related messages. In written communication, tone refers to the way a statement sounds, which in turn, depends on the choice of words. A sentence or statement may be grammatically perfect, but may convey a negative message, if the choice of words is wrong. Example You failed to meet the sales target. The above statement has a negative tone, since it emphasizes what could not be achieved. The same idea could be expressed in a more positive tone, by emphasizing what could have been done instead. Example With a little extra effort, you could have achieved the target. The example shows that even a negative idea can be expressed in positive language through the use of appropriate words. The tone of business communication should also be confident. You should avoid language that makes you sound unsure of yourself. Consider the following example: I hope you will agree that my qualifications match your job profile. Beginning the sentence with I hope creates the impression that you lack confidence in yourself. It might be better to say On reviewing my bio-data, you will find that my qualifications match your job needs in the following respects While it is important to be self assured, avoid sounding over confident and pompous. Example I am sure you will agree that our Company has the best reputation for quality and service.

Instead, something like We shall try to live up to our reputation for quality and service. would be more appropriate. Another aspect of tone is to sound courteous and sincere. This builds goodwill and good relations and increases the likelihood of a message achieving its objectives. Avoid statements such as the following: You sent your complaint to the wrong department. You should have sent it to the shipping department. This sounds very discourteous and rude when responding to a customer complaint. Instead, it might be better to say We have sent your complaint to the concerned department, which will be contacting you shortly. Sincerity also means avoiding exaggeration and flattery, especially when communicating with customers. Consider the following examples: 1. 2. We are more interested in your satisfaction, than in making profits. You are such a valued customer that we shall go to any lengths to earn your satisfaction.

The first sentence sounds insincere, since the main objective of any organization is to make profits. The second sentence is exaggerated and unduly flatters the customer. It should be toned down by saying something such as We value your goodwill and will make quick efforts to ensure your satisfaction. Finally, the tone of business writing should be non-discriminatory. This means that the language that is used should not be offensive, irrespective of gender, religion or race. One way of ensuring this is to avoid sexist language by using neutral job titles, or titles that do not imply that a job is held only by a man. For example, the following titles should be used: Chairperson, instead of Chairman Salesperson, instead of Salesman If the readers gender is not known, use a non-sexist salutation such as Dear Customer, Investor, or Advertiser, instead of Dear Sir or Madam Personal titles and salutations such as Dr., Professor, etc. should be also are used wherever appropriate.

Emphasis and Subordination

A business writer can be compared to an artist or a musician. Just like an artist or a musician tries to make certain elements stand out and others to get little attention, so too with the business writer. An important principle of business writing is to emphasize important ideas and to downplay unimportant ideas, so as to make the reader understand what you consider to be significant. Generally, pleasant and important thoughts are emphasized, while unpleasant and insignificant thoughts are subordinated or de-emphasized. Several techniques for emphasis may be used by the business writer: Place the idea in the first paragraph or in the last paragraph, in order to get attention.

Put the word that you wish to emphasize first or last in the sentence. Example: Success comes through sincere efforts. Failure will result without them. Or, the event was a success. Without your efforts, it would have been a failure.

Use the active voice to emphasize the doer of the action and the passive voice to emphasize the receiver of the action. Example: John made the presentation. (Active) The presentation was made by John. (Passive)

Use words such as primary, major and significant to lay emphasis. Example: Cost is a significant factor to be taken into consideration.

Use repetition. Example: The Tata Nano is an inexpensive car. Inexpensive to purchase and Inexpensive to maintain.

Number the ideas, so as to rank them in the order of importance Example: The main reasons for his poor performance are: 1) Lack of training 2) Lack of team skills and 3) Lack of motivation.

Use visual elements such as bold type, capital letters, bigger font size and underlined words to emphasize key ideas. Example: The Reva electric car is 25% LESS POLLUTING than other cars. Another point to be remembered regarding emphasis in business writing is to stress what is known as the you attitude, rather than the me attitude. This means explaining the benefits to the reader, understanding his situation and answering his unspoken question How is it relevant to me? Example: Instead of saying, Our bank will be open 24 hours, say You will be able to avail of round-the-clock banking service.

Write at an Appropriate Level of Readability A third very important rule of business writing is to tailor your writing to your audience and to make it simple enough for even a layperson to read and understand. As pointed out in an earlier section, readability is determined by the length of words and sentences. Robert Gunning developed what is known as the Fog Index or a readability formula to measure the readability of a piece of writing. According to this formula, the appropriate reading level in business writing should be between 8 and 11.

Calculation of the Fog Index involves the following steps: Select a written passage of approximately 100 words. Calculate the average length of a sentence by dividing the total number of words in the passage by the number of sentences. Find the number of difficult words. A word may be defined as difficult if it contains three or more syllables (e.g. communication). Determine the number of difficult words per hundred, by dividing the total number of words in the passage into the number of difficult words, then by multiplying this figure by 100. Add the number of difficult words per hundred and the average sentence length. Multiply the figure obtained in step 4 by 0.4, to calculate the reading grade level for which the passage was written, or the Fog Index. Ideally, the Fog Index should be between 8 and 11 for most business writing, indicating that a reader between the eighth grade and the eleventh grade should be able to understand it without difficulty.

Q5. Write a short note on the SQ3R technique of reading? This technique of reading was developed by Robinson in his book "Effective Study" (1970). SQ3R stands for the initial letters of the five steps in studying a textSurvey(S) Question (Q) Read (R) Recall (R) Review (R) Let us briefly go through these steps in the given order. 1. Survey: Survey refers to a quick glance through the title page, preface and chapter headings of a text. By surveying, you will be able to gauge the main ideas of the text. Besides, the authors name, date, place of publication and title page can give you an idea of the general subject area. The table of contents, preface or foreword in a book would give you an idea of the themes and how they are organized. A survey of the index or bibliography tells you immediately whether the book contains what you need.

2. Question: The second step in the SQ3R technique of reading is question. A survey of the text will surely raise a few questions in your mind regarding the text. Some of the questions could be Is the book useful or relevant to my study? Does it provide some guidelines/information on the subject at hand?

However, as you go through the individual chapters, you might have specific questions regarding the topic. This will surely lead to gaining some insights into the text, topic and the author's comments. You will be surprised to see how your questions are answered in the process of reading and understanding the text. Therefore, don't treat reading as an automatic process. It has to be conscious and deliberate, with a definite purpose, where you interact with the topic and the author. 3. Reading: After surveying and questioning, you begin the actual reading. You need to develop a critical approach to reading anything for that matter. Read the text over and over again, each time with a different question and a different purpose in mind. "I read it once and understand everything" kind of attitude is nothing but a myth. Hence, while reading for the first time, you should just focus on the main points/ideas and supporting details. 4. Recall: The fourth stage in reading comprehension is recalling. Reading is not an isolated activity. Every reading exercise increases your background knowledge. You should be able to connect the information gained with the already existing background knowledge. Recalling whatever you have read will enable you to connect and relate the content with the previous and future learning of the subject. This leads us to the next stage in reading i.e., review. 5. Review: Reviewing is nothing but checking whether we have followed the earlier stages promptly and efficiently. Have we surveyed the book, article, or magazine properly? Have we asked the appropriate questions relating to the content, have we read it critically and have we recalled the most significant details or information required for our study? These are questions that should be asked in the final stage of reading. Review will sharpen your critical ability, enable you to form your own opinions on the topic and express them to others.

Q6. (a) List the importance of effective communication in the workplace (b) Explain the advantages of oral communication with the help of suitable example?

(a) List the importance of effective communication in the workplace: Communication is the nerve center of business today. As you go up the corporate ladder, you will find that communication skills are required, more than technical skills. Communication research has revealed that among the factors most important for managerial success, communication skills rank above technical skills. Several surveys conducted among people who have been successful in their professions have indicated that communication skills are more vital to job success than subjects taken in college. Communication has assumed even greater importance today, since the new model of business is based on teamwork, rather than on individual action. Teamwork requires greater coordination and communication. Communication is also required all the more in this age of information and technology. Without communication and human skills, technology will overwhelm an organization. Communication helps to make sense of technology and to manage all this information. For example, communication is required to explain a new computer program or software. While computers can perform routine tasks, jobs like responding to customers needs require a high degree of communication skills. Effective communication serves the following specific purposes in an organization

Greater Awareness of Organizational Goals and Teamwork: When there is open communication between superiors, co-workers and subordinates, there is smooth flow of information regarding the goals of the organization. Coordination between the different departments in particular, leads to greater motivation to work together towards achieving a common organizational goal, rather than working in isolation. Better Employer-employee Relationships: By listening to employees, showing empathy and giving them the freedom to express their opinions without fear of being repressed, a manager can create a climate of openness that leads to better work relationships. Employees will then feel more comfortable in approaching their superiors and discussing any matter with them. Problem-solving: Effective communication can help resolve conflicts between co-workers, work related and performance related problems. Faceto-face communication is especially suited for achieving this task, since it is one to one and highly personalized in nature. Improved Performance: Effective communication by managers at the time of appraising the performance of their employees can point out areas for improvement. A constructive review of performance, through which a manager gives positive feedback and counsels the employee, instead of criticizing him for poor performance, can motivate the employee to perform better. Stronger Link between Managers and the External Environment: Apart from internal communication within the organization, effective communication by managers with external audiences such as customers, government, bankers, media and suppliers leads to a better rapport with them. A manager will be able to understand the needs of his customers, be aware of the presence of quality suppliers of material, of government regulations and of the expectations of the community at large, only through proper communication.

(b) Explain the advantages of oral communication with the help of suitable example: Advantages of Oral Communication: Oral communication may be defined as a process whereby a speaker interacts verbally with one or more listeners, in order to influence the latters behavior in some way or the other. Example: In a business context, a manager is doing a performance appraisal with an employee, or a sales manager making a sales plan presentation to his sales team. In the first example, the manager may point out areas for improvement and in the second case, the sales manager may be explaining how to achieve new sales targets. Oral communication in a business context can take the form of meetings, presentations, one-to-one meetings, performance reviews and so on. Oral communication has some advantages compared to written communication. These include its personal quality, high interactivity, possibility of making immediate contact, instantaneous feedback and control over the receivers attention. Oral communication was also classified into oral face-to-face communication (meetings and presentations) and oral non face-to-face communication (teleconferencing, telephone and voice mail). While face-to-face meetings are more effective than non face-to-face communication in most ways, they are expensive and impractical sometimes, due to the distance factor. Thanks to advances in technology, meetings today can still take place without being face-to-face, through teleconferencing. Teleconferencing allows participants at distant locations to speak and sometimes to see each other. Apart from the high cost and the difficulty in setting it up, teleconferencing has the same advantages as oral face-to-face communication.

Example: Several retailers like Walmart, the worlds largest retailer, make use of teleconferencing to keep their US headquarters in touch with their store managers worldwide. Some headhunters also make use of the facility to conduct preliminary interviews and shortlist candidates based in other countries, before inviting them for a face-toface interview. Many multi-national corporations and large Indian organizations also use this facility extensively. In spite of its advantages, teleconferencing will not replace face-to-face meetings completely, since it is unsuitable for certain types of communication that involve brainstorming, negotiations, persuasion and problem solving. Telephone communication, another form of non face-to-face communication, has the biggest advantage of being able to contact a receiver who would be impossible to reach in person. Today, mobile phones have made it even easier to contact people who are on the move. Telephone communication also has a personal quality and permits the use of some non-verbal cues such as tone of voice, to enhance the communication. Voice mail is a type of telephone communication and is similar to an answering machine. Although it is generally inferior to speaking in person to the other party, it has some advantages. When you leave a recorded message, you can make your point felt and save time that might be wasted in exchanging pleasantries. Invitations can also be declined without having to give an explanation or reason, or having the other person talk back. Thus, there is greater control over how the message is composed and delivered. Besides, voice mail also makes it possible to keep a permanent record of the communication, unlike other types of oral communication. In spite of these advantages however, voice mail has not caught on in India.