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Name : Benoy

Johnson Kurien.

Subject : Business
Communication.

Date of Submission : 14th August


2007.

Assignment no. : MB0023.


Business communication – MB0023

1. Comment on the appropriateness of each of the


different communication channels for each of the
following business situations – a) Performance
appraisal b) Disciplining an employee c) Handling a
customer’s warranty complaint.

Answer -
Types Of Communication :

Communication may be divided into two areas –

1. Verbal communication.
2. Nonverbal communication.

1. Verbal communication :

Verbal communication, or
communication through words, provides the
opportunity for personal contact and two way flow
of information. A large part of our
communication, whether at work or outside, is verbal
in nature.

Verbal communication in turn, may be divided


into two areas
a. oral communication.
b. written communication
a.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 latter’s behavior in some way or the other.
Example – In a business context, a manager doing
a performance appraisal with an employee, or a
sales manager making a sales plan presentation to
his sales team. Oral communication in a
business context can take the form of meetings,
presentations, one-to-one meetings, performance
reviews and so on.

b.Written communication :
Written communication is a process whereby a writ
er interacts verbally with a receiver, in order to
influence the latter’s behavior. Example – A
manager writing a letter of apology in response to
a customer’s complaint regarding poor service.

1. Nonverbal communication :

It defined as communication
without words. It refers to any way of
conveying meanings without the use of verbal
language. The game of “dumb charades” is a
perfect example. Nonverbal communication
is generally unintentional, unlike verbal
communication. All of us tend to communicate
silently and unknowingly send signals and
messages by what we do, apart from what we say.
Gestures, facial expressions, posture and the
way we dress, are all part of nonverbal
communication. Nonverbal communication can have
a greater impact than verbal communication, since
“how you say something” is sometimes more
important than “what you say.” Although
nonverbal communication can affect both our
personal and business relationships, it is particularly
important in the workplace. Therefore,
while the spoken or written words may be
perfect, the nonverbal aspects could convey the
exact opposite meaning.

Q 2. Imagine that you are attending a business


seminar. What are the
different barriers that might come in the way
of your listening
effectively? Suggest ways to overcome these
barriers.

Answer –

Barriers to Listening :

There are a number of obstacles that stand in the way of


effective listening, both within and outside the
workplace. These barriers may be categorized as follows –

1. Physiological Barriers –
Some people
may have genuine hearing problems or deficiencies that
prevent them from listening properly. Once
detected, they can generally be treated. Other
people may have difficulty in processing information, or
memory related problems which make them poor
listeners. Another physiological barrier is rapid thought.
Listeners have the ability to process information at the
rate of approximately 500 words per
minute, whereas speakers talk at around 125 words per
minute. Since listeners are left with a lot of spare
time, their attention may not be focused on what the
speaker is saying, but may wander elsewhere.

2. Physical Barriers –

These refer to distractions in the environment such as the


sound of an air conditioner, cigarette smoke, or an
overheated room, which interfere with the
listening process. They could also be in the form of
information overload.

3. Attitudinal Barriers –

Preoccupation with personal or work related problems can


make it difficult to focus one’s attention completely
on what a speaker is saying, even if what
is being said is of prier importance. Another common
attitudinal barrier is egocentrism, or the belief that you
are more knowledgeable than the speaker and that you
have nothing new to learn from his ideas. People with
this kind of closed minded attitude
make very poor listeners.
4. Wrong Assumptions –

The success of communication depends on both the


sender and the receiver, as we have seen in an earlier
unit. It is wrong to assume that communication is the sole
responsibility of the sender or the speaker and
that listener have no role to play. Such an
Assumption can be a big barrier to listening. Another
wrong assumption is to think that listening is a passive
activity, in which a listener merely absorbs the thoughts
of the speaker. On the contrary, real listening or active
listening is hard work – it requires speaking sometimes to
ask questions, agree or disagree with the speaker, give
feedback etc. Yet another barrier of this type is to assume
that speakers are more powerful than
listeners. Speakers are seen as being in command of
things, whereas listeners are seen to be weak and lacking
authority. According to communication experts however,
the reverse is true. Listeners are as important and
as powerful as speakers. In fact David J. Schwartz, writer
and management professor, emphasizes the importance
of listening by saying “ Big people monopolize the
listening. Small people monopolize the talking.”

5. Cultural Barriers –

It can be barriers to listening, since they interfere with the


ability to understand the meaning
of words that are pronounced differently. The
problem of different accents arises
not only between cultures, but also within a
culture. Another type of cultural barrier is differing
cultural values. The importance attached to listening and
speaking differs in western and
oriental cultures. Generally, Orientals regard listening and
silence as almost a virtue, whereas Westerners attach
greater importance to speaking. Therefore this would
interfere with the listening process, when two
people from these two different cultures communicate.

6. Gender Barriers -

Communication research has shown that gender can be a


barrier to listening. Studies have revealed that men and w
omen listen
very differently and for different purposes. Women are
more likely to listen for emotions behind a speaker’s
words, while men listen more for the fact and the content.
A male user may take his answer at face value, whereas a
female user may detect some hesitation in his voice. This
is because the male user listens for the content of the
message, whereas the female user listens for the tone of
the message.

7. Lack of Training -

Lack of Training Listening is not an inborn skill. People are


not born good listeners. They have to develop the art of
listening through practice and training. Lack of training in
listening skills is an important barrier to
listening, especially in the Indian context. Lee
Iacocca, former Chairman of the Chrysler Corporation
in the US, was one of the first to recognize the need for
organized training programs in listening skills. Today,
many organizations both in India and
abroad incorporate listening skills in their training
programs.

8. Bad Listening Habits: Most people are very average


listeners who have developed poor listening
habits that are hard to shed and that act as barriers to
listening. For example, some people
have the habit of “faking” attention or trying
to look like a listener, in order to impress the speaker and
to assure him that they are paying attention.
Others may tend to listen to each and every fact
and, as a result, miss out on the main point. Yet another
habit is to avoid difficult listening and to tune off
deliberately, if the subject is too technical or difficult to
understand. Sometimes, the subject itself may be
dismissed as uninteresting, because the listener does not
want to listen. Some
of the suggested methods are discussed in detail below

1. Create a Conducive Environment –

To an extent, you can try to control the environment in wh


ich communication takes place, so that listening can take
place without any distractions. Ensuring a
proper sound system
and acoustics so that the speaker is audible, avoiding
places with high levels of activity, loud noises from the
outside environment and poor air conditioning
systems, shutting off mobile phones and telephones are
some of the ways in which you can overcome some of the
physical barriers to listening.

2. Select Face-to-face Channels –


Listening is less accurate in the absence of face-to-face
communication. For example, listening to and
understanding ideas correctly over the telephone
are much harder than through a face-to-face
meeting. Take the case of calling a restaurant and placing
orders over the telephone for home delivery of a meal.
The chances are that your orders may not be understood
correctly. Therefore, as far as possible, arrange face-to-
face contact to ensure more accurate listening. Be Open-
minded and Avoid Distractions
– Listening is an exhausting activity which requires the
right attitude and mindset. You have to focus your
attention completely on what the
speakeris saying, without letting your mind wander. This k
ind of concentration can be developed through
various techniques and through constant practice. In
addition, it is also important to rid yourself of the notion
that you have nothing new to
learn from the other person. Even if it is a subject
about which you may be knowledgeable, the speaker may
offer a different perspective or
point of view. Therefore it is important to listen actively.

4. Use Nonverbal Cues to Indicate Active Listening


It is important to communicate to the speaker that you


are listening actively to what he is saying. This can be
done even without verbal communication. All the
different aspects of nonverbal communication discussed
earlier should be used for maximum effect. For
example, maintaining steady eye contact with the
speaker, sitting up with an erect posture, nodding
now and then to show appreciation and understanding
and appropriate facial expressions are some of the
ways in which your nonverbal communication can
indicate that you are involved in what the speaker
is saying.

5. Use Verbal Communication to Indicate Active


Listening –

While nonverbal behavior by itself can communicate


that you are an active listener, it is also important to
engage in verbal communication with the
speaker. Silence is often interpreted as lack of
understanding or attention. You need to
seek clarifications, give feedback and suggestions, or just
paraphrase in your own words what the speaker
has said, in Order to convey that you
have understood his message.

6. Listen First Before Responding –

Always let yourself finish listening before you begin to


speak. Avoid the tendency to formulate your
own response, ]even before You have listened
completely to the speaker’s words. If you are too
busy thinking about what to say next, you may miss the
main point that the speaker is trying to
make. This also gives the speaker the impression that you
are preoccupied or rude.

7. Use the Speaker listener Gap Constructively –

It was pointed out earlier that listeners have the ability to


absorb information faster than speakers’ rate of
speech. This spare time available to listeners is often
misused by letting the mind wander and is one of the
physiological barriers to listening. One way
of overcoming this barrier is to try to use this spare time
to note down what the speaker
has said, review what has been said so far and anticipate
what he may say next. Thinking ahead of the speaker and
trying to guess where his talk is leading is a good
strategy for effective
listening. This is not easy, but can be learnt through prop
er training.

8. Focus on the Verbal and Nonverbal Message –

Listening involves not only hearing and understanding the


meaning behind the words, but also being alert to the
nonverbal behavior of the speaker. The importance of
nonverbal cues has been emphasized
throughout this book. It is important to watch for
any positive or negative messages that may be conveyed
through the speaker’s tone of voice, facial expressions,
gestures and outward appearance.

9. Focus on the Content, rather than the Delivery –

In order to grasp the true meaning of what the speaker


is saying, it is important to concentrate on the content of
the message, rather than on how the message
is delivered. For example, looking at the power point
slides during a speaker’s presentation may distract your
attention from the main point that he is trying to
convey. Similarly, being over critical of the speaker’s
accent or mannerisms may make you miss the essence of
the message.
10. Ask Questions of Yourself and Make Notes–

In order to engage in active listening, you also need to


ask certain questions to yourself while listening. For
example, “What is the key idea that the speaker is trying
to convey?”,“ How does this fit in with I already know on
the subject?” or “ How is this presentation
organized?”, are some possible questions that you
could jot down along with the answers. The table
below sums up some of the characteristics of good
listeners, based on studies carried out on perceptions
of listening behavior –

A Good Listener -

1. Considers al evidence before jumping to a conclusion


2. Takes notes when listening, in order to recall
information or understand a difficult idea.
3. Concentrates on what the speaker is saying and not on
unrelated thoughts
4. Is willing to consider the opinions of others
5. Listens openly when others disagree with him
6. Encourages others to express their ideas, instead of
occupying center stage
7. Is able to grasp the main idea from others’ Comments
8. Is curious about other people and their ideas
9. Does not interrupt others, or change the topic to suit
his purpose
10. Makes the speaker feel comfortable while talking
11. Remembers important ideas given by others, even
when he is busy
12. Does not pretend to understand, when he is confused
13. Recognizes that people may change over time and
have something new to offer.
14. Tries to find solutions to others’ problems
15. knows when to speak and when to listen

Q 3. Mention two different situations (imaginary)


when oral presentations would be more effective
than written presentation reasoning why. Explain
the different principles for making successful oral
business presentations.

Answer –

Oral business Presentation is a powerful way of


presenting your ideas to others, and is usually called for
when a written memo or report will not be sufficient to do
the job. A written presentation is less effective in some
manner

1. Definition of the Purpose of the Presentation


Before preparing
for the presentation, it is important to be clear on the
goal of the
presentation. A“statement of purpose”, expressing w
hat 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. The purpose of the presentation
may be stated in broad or general terms, or in more
specific terms. A general statement of purpose could
be expressed in terms of one of the following –
a. To Inform – A presentation that seeks to inform
would merely create
awareness about developments and progress on
specific fronts, or try to spread knowledge about
something new. In the table above, the first
eight types of presentations are aimed at informing
different audiences about something or the other –
new procedures, new terminology, new
software, findings of
a study, sales progress, company achievements,
Viewpoints and background.
b. To Persuade – A presentation that aims to
persuade would try to
change the attitudeor behavior of the audience.
It usually involves selling either a product, or an
idea. In the above table, the product presentation,
project proposal and policy proposal, are all
persuasive presentations. The product presentation
seeks to persuade consumers to try a new product,
the project proposal tries to persuade bankers to
provide funds for a new project and the
policy proposal tries to persuade
top management to adopt a new policy of reimbursin
g mobile expenses.
c. To Entertain – A presentation with this purpose
is meant to make the audience relax and have a
good time. In the table above, presentations
marking special occasions such as the
company anniversary, may
merely focus on making people feel good
about them. Although it is useful to define
the general purpose of a presentation, it is more
important to name 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?

2. Development of the Key Idea The key idea of a


presentation is a
statement that expresses the main message to be co
nveyed to
your audience. It is different from a statement of
purpose, in that the purpose
is generally meant for yourself as the
presenter, while the key idea is mentioned to the
audience at the beginning of the presentation.

3. 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 following information should be
gathered about your audience, even before you
begin preparing for the presentation –
a. Job Designations and Areas of Expertise – You
need to find out whether the audience
comprises of specialists in a particular area such as
information technology, or generalists. If they are
specialists, your presentation could include
technical aspects and jargon, which they would be
able to understand. If not, you may have to make
the presentation more simple, or explain some of
the terms elaborately.
b. Preferred Style of Presentation –It would also be
relevant to know the
personal preferences of your audience, with regard to
the style of presentation that they are
most comfortable with. Some people may prefer a
more informal or conversational style with some
humor thrown in, to a more
formal style. Others may like the presentation to be
made at a slower pace. It should be remembered
however, that humor should be used with care, so
that it is relevant and does not offend the
audience. Analyzing all this in advance would help in
determining how the presentation
should be delivered.
c. Demographic Characteristics of the Audience –
The gender, age, cultural background and
economic status of the audience also needs to be
studied in advance, so that the presentation
may be tailored to appeal to that particular audience.
Example – A financial planner addressing an
audience comprising of senior citizens, is likely to
suggest investment options that would be
different from those that might be suggested for a
younger audience.
d. Size of the Audience – The size of the audience
would determine your presentation style, the
time set aside for questions and answers, the size of
the visuals and so on. With a smaller group, the
presentation could be made less formal, the time for
questions and answers less and the
visuals smaller, than for a larger group.
e. The Level of Knowledge on the Subject – You
need to know how familiar your audience is with the
subject of the presentation. If the audience
comprises of experts in that particular area, basic
explanations may not be needed. On the other hand,
if the level of familiarity is not so high, a lot of
background information and explanation will be
required.
f. The Attitude of the Audience – The attitude of
your listeners, both towards you as a speaker and
towards the topic of the presentation, needs to be
studied in advance. If the audience is prejudiced
towards you for some reason, you may have to alter
your style of presentation considerably. If the
presentation happens to be on a sensitive topic, you
may have to proceed
very tactfully. This is especially true of
presentations that aim to persuade.

4. Analysis of Yourself as a Speaker Apart from


analyzing your audience, you also need to do a self-
analysis to determine your own purpose of making
the presentation, your level of knowledge on the
subject and your feelings about the subject.
As explained earlier, a clear statement of the
specific purpose of the presentation should be
developed. If you have a choice of subject, it is
always better to speak on a subject on which you
are an authority. If the choice is not given to you
and you are
less knowledgeable, then it is important to research
the subject thoroughly, so that you are in a position
to anticipate and answer any questions. Finally, you
need to assess your feelings about the subject and
make sure that you are convinced enough to be able
to persuade others as well. This is similar to a
salesperson being convinced about a
product to be sold

5. Analysis of the Circumstances This includes taking


into consideration any limitations of
infrastructure, time and
context that might affect your presentation in
any way. For example, if you will be speaking in a
small room where the
lighting and the acoustics are insufficient, you may
have to overcome these limitations by altering the
seating arrangement, using brighter visuals and
speaking loudly. If the presentation is to be made
after lunch, it may have to be made more attention
getting, so that the audience is kept alert. If you are
making a presentation as part of a team, your style
of presentation has to be consistent with that of
your team members. 6. Preparation of Outline
Once the initial groundwork has been
done, you will need to develop an outline of your
presentation. Irrespective of the nature and purpose
of the presentation, a standard
format is generally followed, including the following –
a. Introduction – This should include an
“attention getter” to get the audience involved and
interested in the presentation topic. Several
techniques may be used to command
attention, which will be discussed later. The
key idea, or main message which was discussed
earlier, will also be conveyed to the audience during
the introduction.
b. Body or Main Section – This is where the
main points will be presented and elaborated
upon. It is best to limit the number of main
points to five, so as not to overload the listeners with
too much information.
c. Conclusion – A brief summary of the
presentation, along with concluding remarks would
be included in this section. The conclusion
should have as much “punch” as the attention getter
in the introduction.

6. Collection of Information and Material Once the


outline of the presentation has been
developed, you will need to start gathering the
relevant material. This is a time consuming
process and requires a fair amount of research. The
information can generally be gathered from existing
sources such as magazines, newspapers and the
internet. Sometimes, you may need to do
original research in the form of a survey to gather
fresh data. For example, if you are making a
presentation on a new product, you may have to
conduct a survey to find
out how consumers feel about that product concept a
nd also about similar, competing products.
8. Organization of the Body The body of
the presentation should always be prepared before
the introduction. Organizing the body consists in
identifying the key points that will support your
main idea and then selecting an organizational plan
to develop these key points. Let us take our earlier
example of a sales presentation on a vacuum
cleaner to prospective customers, where the key idea
is to highlight that it is superior to competing
brands. The main points in this case may be –
1. It has greater cleaning power than other brands.
2. It is more affordable
3. It is easier to use than other brands. Once the
main points have been determined, sub points can
be developed to expand on each of these.

7. Planning the Introduction Since the introduction


is where you make the first impression, it should be
planned with care. It should take up between 10
and 15 percent of your total speaking time. At the
outset, you need to try and establish your credibility,
by showing that you are qualified to speak on the
subject of the presentation. An attention getting
opener should be developed, using techniques such
as humor, dramatic questions, an interesting story, a
quotation or a startling statement.

8. Planning the Conclusion The conclusion of a


presentation should be shorter than the introduction
and occupy only 5 per cent of the entire
presentation. Generally, every conclusion
should have a review and a closing statement. The
review is essentially a reinforcement of the key idea
and a summary of the main points. The
main points can be enumerated, as in the outline of
the presentation. The closing statement should be
as strong as your opening statement, so that your
audience will remember the
presentation. Therefore, the same techniques used to
capture audience attention may also be used to
prepare a good closing statement. In the
case of persuasive presentations, the closing
statement can include a call for immediate action.

9. Selection of a Delivery Style Once your presentation


has been adequately prepared in terms of
content, you also need to ensure that it will be
delivered effectively, by selecting an appropriate
style
of delivery. Five different delivery styles are available
to speakers
a. Speaking Impromptu – In this case, the speaker
is called upon to say a
few words without any warning or
advance notice. Since there is little or no time given
for preparation, it is suited for only expert speakers.
Impromptu speeches should be brief, simple and
direct, compared to prepared speeches.
b. Speaking Extemporaneously – This is
different from speaking impromptu. While impromptu
speeches are delivered on the spot and
not rehearsed, an extemporaneous speech
is prepared and rehearsed in advance, but delivered
naturally, without the support of notes or other
aids. This is the delivery style used by experienced
professionals, who have sufficient knowledge of the
subject to be able to speak without relying on notes.
c. Memorizing the Presentation – This is the
least appealing style of delivery, since it
comes across as unnatural and monotonous to the
audience. A speaker who memorizes and delivers a
presentation word for word will also be
at a disadvantage if he forgets a part of the speech
since he or she will be unable to speak naturally.
d. Reading from Written Notes – This consists in rea
ding the entire presentation from notes. It is a
method used by government or business
officials and may be appropriate when the material to
be presented is highly technical or complex.
However, it has some limitations. First, it gives the
impression that the speech is very long and
heavy. Secondly, it prevents the presenter from
making eye contact with the audience.
e. Speaking from Notes – This is generally the
most effective style of delivery. 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.

Q 4. The Office Manager of a Company has written


to you, requesting you to replace the lot of 30
allegedly defective printers that he bought from
you ten days ago. Write a letter in response to his
request, declining replacement, but suggesting an
alternative, which you think will retain his loyalty
as a customer.

Answer –
10thJune2009

Thomas Mathew

Office Manager

HDFC Bank Ltd

6/1 M.G Rd,

Bangalore, 560001.

Dear Mr. Mathew,

I am writing u a letter in information related to


replacement of printer. Actually as per our company
policy there is 7 days replacement warranty. So please be
corporate us as we can replace the printer but I am giving
alternate solution

After seven days according to our policy defective


printers will be repair by our authorized service center.
But you are our main and major customer you don’t
required to send your printer in our service center, we will
send our engineer on your place for check the defective
printers. I am giving such a alternate solution, if any issue
related to the problem you can free to contact us on our
customer support number.

I am aware of problem u facing now. I try my best


efforts to solve this problem.

Sincerely,

Benoy Johnson Kurien,

Dell India Ltd

Banarghrtta Road,

Bangalore 400 070.

Q 5. Assume that you are the President of the Mess


Committee in your college and that you have
received several complaints from the students,
concerning the quality of food and timings for
various meals. The complaints are regarding the
following issues – unhygienic conditions,
overcrowding, tasteless food, excessive oil and
spices and no variation. Write a report to the
Director of your institute, on the basis of the data
procured and suggest means through which it can
be improved.

Answer –

10thJune2009

Johnson Mathew

Director

Ray Institute

St Marks Rd,

Bangalore- 560001.

Dear Mr. Johnson

I am writing u a letter for complaint of our institute. In our


institute there are Several complaints from the students,
concerning the quality of food and timing for various
meals.
The complaints are regarding for the unhygienic
conditions , overcrowding in canteen, tasteless food,
excessive oil & spices and no variation.

I am suggest you that verify this and take some strict


decision against all the above issues.

Your sincerly,

Benoy Johnson Kurien

President of Mess Commitee

Q 6. Case Study

Business Meetings in the UK


Foreigners may believe that the UK resident is overly
formal and focused on etiquette, with conversation based
almost entirely on the weather.
However, in reality the communication culture of the UK
business world is more open and relaxed than many
imagine, with efforts to extend a work relationship into
the realms of informality or even friendship.
Reading between the lines
Cross cultural solutions website Kwintessential.co.uk
notes that UK businesspeople employ a unique style of
conversation, unlike their European or American
counterparts.
"The British have an interesting mix of communication
styles encompassing both understatement and direct
communication," the site suggests.
While stating that some, especially older, members of the
community still use quite formal language, the website
points out that the British tend to use qualifiers such as
‘possibly' or ‘it could be' to avoid making exaggerated
claims.
Overwhelmingly, the British conversational style is more
understated than direct.
The British dislike animated or heated discussions and
tend to avoid raised voices or over-enthusiastic body
language.
As Executive Planet points out: "A pensive ‘hum' may
convey enthusiasm or hostility - or indifference.”
"This may be disconcerting for foreigners, especially
Americans, who are more accustomed to a forthright
directness that Britons find embarrassing.
On the whole though, communication in the UK is
reasonably relaxed, friendly and informal.
Kwintessential reveals that workplace conversations can
be about personal issues in addition to business matters.
This means that relationships between colleagues can
often approach friendship more than relationships found
in other countries, with individuals who have frequent
contact through business conversing about their families
and leisure activities.
The British sense of humor and the…weather
According to Executive Planet, humor is also prized by the
British and seen as a positive addition to communication.
The culture of ‘banter', or short, humorous exchanges, is
an established tradition in the UK, which may seem
strange to those more accustomed to a thoroughly formal
working environment.
Occasionally, these exchanges can display inappropriate
levity, although this is very unlikely to occur in a serious
business encounter and is more likely to happen between
two people who are quite familiar with each other.
However, individuals should not feel compelled to make
jokes of their own or strive to be overly witty - for the
British, humor is something that flows naturally into
conversation and is not forced.
In addition to discussing the business at hand, there are a
wide range of topics that the visitor can bring up to
further a conversation, claims Executive Planet.
While clichéd, the weather is always a good starting point
and will promote a response.
Sport is another major topic of conversation, with many
UK residents following a football team.
Current affairs and music are also areas that will lead to
an engaging conversation, while commenting on the good
points of the UK will also be welcomed.
Topics to avoid
There are topics to avoid, reveals Executive Planet, with
the most notable ones including religion, political issues
and questions that may be deemed too personal.
This openness in communication causes differences in the
usual British meeting to its international equivalent,
according to Kwintessential.
"Business meetings are one arena in which poor etiquette
can have negative effects," the website says.
"By improving your business meeting etiquette you
automatically improve your chances of success," it
continues.
Attendees to the meeting will usual undertake a degree of
small talk before the proper start, with any greetings,
handshakes and introductions being made as necessary.
Once the meeting starts, it will be chaired by the most
senior person present - although the proceedings are not
conducted in as hierarchical a fashion as found in other
countries.
Business meetings in the UK are more of an open forum
than a top-heavy setting of the agenda.
Objective criticism and free discussion of the topic at
hand are encouraged more than they are in other
cultures, with individuals allowed to express their views
and ideas as appropriate.
While in a meeting, show good manners by being
attentive to what is said.
“If presenting, use clear communication, backing up the
pitch with facts and figures rather than emotion”,
suggests Kwintessential.co.uk.
In essence, business communication in the UK is a
balance between formality and openness.
Key points to remember are respect and friendliness, with
the usual customs of etiquette, such as a neat
appearance, a handshake greeting and good manners,
increasing the chances of a successful business
encounter.

Q. Develop a set of specific guidelines, both for


conducting and participating in business meetings
in the UK, based on the facts of the case.
Answer –

The communication culture of the UK business world is


more open and relaxed than many imagine, with efforts
to extend a work relationship into the realms of
informality or even friendship. UK businesspeople employ
a unique style of conversation, unlike their European or
American counterparts. "The British have an interesting
mix of communication styles encompassing both
understatement and direct communication," the site
suggests.
While stating that some, especially older, members of the
community still use quite formal language, the website
points out that the British tend to use qualifiers such as
‘possibly' or ‘it could be' to avoid making exaggerated
claims. Overwhelmingly, the British conversational style is
more understated than direct.
The British dislike animated or heated discussions and
tend to avoid raised voices or over-enthusiastic body
language. the whole though, communication in the UK is
reasonably relaxed, friendly and informal.
Kwintessential reveals that workplace conversations can
be about personal issues in addition to business
matters.This means that relationships between
colleagues can often approach friendship more than
relationships found in other countries, with individuals
who have frequent contact through business conversing
about their families and leisure activities. According to
Executive Planet, humor is also prized by the British and
seen as a positive addition to communication. The culture
of ‘banter', or short, humorous exchanges, is an
established tradition in the UK, which may seem strange
to those more accustomed to a thoroughly formal working
environment.
Occasionally, these exchanges can display inappropriate
levity, although this is very unlikely to occur in a serious
business encounter and is more likely to happen between
two people who are quite familiar with each other.
"Business meetings are one arena in which poor etiquette
can have negative effects," the website says. By
improving your business meeting etiquette you
automatically improve your chances of success, it
continues.
Attendees to the meeting will usual undertake a degree of
small talk before the proper start, with any greetings,
handshakes and introductions being made as necessary.
Once the meeting starts, it will be chaired by the most
senior person present - although the proceedings are not
conducted in as hierarchical a fashion as found in other
countries.
Business meetings in the UK are more of an open forum
than a top-heavy setting of the agenda.
Objective criticism and free discussion of the topic at
hand are encouraged more than they are in other
cultures, with individuals allowed to express their views
and ideas as appropriate.