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Business Communication Assignment I

Q.1 Explain briefly the characteristics of communication. Communication in simple terms is a transfer of information between people, resulting in common understanding between them. Communication has the following characteristics: a) It is unavoidable It is impossible not to communicate, since we communicate unintentionally all the time, even without the use of words. Our body language, the way we dress, the importance we give to arriving on time, our behaviour and the physical environment in which we work, all convey certain messages to others. b) It is a two-way exchange of information Communication is sharing of information between two or more persons, with continuous feedback. c) It is a process Each message is part of a process and does not occur in isolation. This means that the meaning attached to a message depends on what has happened before and on the present context. For example, your boss response to your request for a promotion will depend on your past relationship with him, as well as his mood at that particular moment. d) It involves a sender and a receiver of information Any communication starts with a sender of a message and requires a receiver to attach some meaning to that message. e) It could be verbal or non-verbal Communication could be through the use of words in spoken or written form, or through the use of body language such as gestures and facial expressions. f) It is successful when the receiver interprets the meaning in the same way as that intended by the sender The receiver may not always attach the same meaning to a message as the sender. When the message is wrongly interpreted, the communication is a failure. This may be due to several reasons, which we will examine later in this unit. g) It is a dynamic process Communication involves sharing of thoughts and experiences in a meaningful manner while assimilating, processing, and responding to the person one is talking with. The mode and manner of communication may vary according to the situation. h) It enables understanding Communication enables people to understand the necessity for change, the reasons for performing certain things, the method of implementing processes, and the importance of their actions.

Q. 2 Name the communication channel to which teleconferencing, Email, and telephone belongs to. Explain teleconferencing. The communication channel to which teleconferencing, email, and telephone belong to is 'two way, but not face-to-face channels'. In 'two way, but not face-to-face channels', the communication is purely oral, since nonverbal cues cannot be used to enhance the communication, in the absence of face-toface contact. Immediate feedback is however, possible, as with the face-to-face channel, since the receiver can react immediately to the senders telephone or email message. The communication which happens through this type of communication channel is of an impersonal nature, due to lack of face-to-face contact. Teleconferencing Teleconferencing is almost as good as face-to-face communication, since it enables two parties in different locations to speak to each other. Today, many large Indian organisations make use of this technology. While teleconferencing has the advantage of saving time and costs involved in travel, it cannot replace face-to-face meetings completely. Some types of interaction such as brainstorming, negotiation, persuasion and problem solving can be conducted better through face-to-face meetings.

Q.3 Informal communication network is not just for idle rumours and may be useful in

many ways. Justify. A communication network refers to how information flows within the organisation. Information within an organisation generally flows through a system, rather than being a free flow. Communication networks may be formal or informal. Informal communication network In this type of network, information does not flow in a particular direction, as we have seen with formal networks. The information is also not passed on through official channels such as memos, notices or bulletin boards. The information need not be circulated within the organisation, but could be passed on outside the work environment, wherever co-workers or colleagues meet socially. Thus, informal networks are based more on friendship, shared personal or career interests. For example, co-workers may meet outside the work environment at a company picnic, party or a car pool and discuss areas of common interest that may or may not be work related. Information may then be passed on to each other about happenings in the company, such as layoffs, the companys plans for acquisitions etc. Such communication is free from any formalities. This type of informal network is not just for idle rumours and may be useful in many ways. First of all, it sometimes fills in the transparency gaps left by formal networks. Such gaps usually occur during times of crisis such as strikes or layoffs. The strikes and layoffs may not be officially announced. Secondly, it may help to confirm important information, such as the fact that the company is going in for a major acquisition. Thirdly, the grapevine can be used for a constructive purpose by the organisation. For example, the government could get the press to publish news in the local paper that there is going to be a petrol price hike soon, just to test the reactions of the general public. If the reaction is negative, then the news may be withdrawn on the basis that it is just a rumour. Similarly, organisations could deliberately plant proposals in the minds of their employees, just to test their reactions. Given that informal communication networks have their advantages, they should not be suppressed as rumours. On the contrary, competent managers should accept the informal network. At the same time, they should make efforts to counter false rumours and to ensure transparency through the formal network. This means making all types of information - both positive and negative, available to everyone in the organisation through official channels.

Q 4 Explain some of the approaches for handling customer complaints and listening to customers. The different approaches for handling customer complaints and listening to customers are as follows: 1. Believe the customer There is a saying that The customer is the king. Therefore it is important to take the customers at their word, even though they may not be telling the truth, rather than doubt what they are saying. Even if the customers complaint may not be justified, it is important to make an attempt to solve their problem. 2.Listen actively Make your customers feel that you are showing empathy, or putting yourself in their place. When a customer starts to complain, it is important to hear out the complaint completely, before responding or offering a solution. Sometimes a customer may be rude, angry and frustrated, but he/she needs to be handled tactfully. Once he/she has vented his/her feelings, it would be a good strategy to repeat the problem in an objective manner, to show that you have heard and understood clearly. Consider the following example of how a sales assistant in a medical shop deals with an angry customer: What you are saying is that you entered the shop, asked for and paid for 20 headache pills. When you got home, you discovered that you had been given only 10, is that correct? This is the best way to show the customer that you have listened to and registered the complaint. 3.Apologise Even if the customer and not the company are at fault, it is always a good idea to apologise to your complaining customer. From the customers perspective, he/she is right and therefore expects an apology. A sincere apology will go a long way in calming down an angry customer. A general statement of apology such a s We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to you will be sufficient in such a situation. A written letter of apology would also be effective in regaining the customers trust and confidence in the company. 4. Satisfy There is a saying that A satisfied customer is the best advertisement for your product. This is because such a customer will spread positive word -of-mouth publicity about your product to others. Therefore, it is important to identify your most valuable customers, listen to them and make efforts to retain them, by offering them special privileges from time to time. 5. Thank Even if the customer has launched a complaint, it is important to thank the customer for bringing it to your attention, so that a solution can be found. A customer complaint should be looked at in a positive way - as an opportunity to solve a problem that did not exist earlier. In the absence of the complaint, you may not have been aware of the problem in the first place and this could have damaged the reputation of the organisation.

Q 5 Explain briefly the four steps of the review process. The four steps of the review process can be explained as follows: 1. Review for strategy Review whether the document adheres to the design strategy. For example, whether objectives are accomplished, main idea is conveyed first or last, the technicalities are defined as per target audience requirements, language style used is as per audience requirement, credibility is established, logical flow, etc. 2. Review for macro issues Review the document as a whole before reviewing sentence by sentence. For example, document design, connection between sections and subsection, effectiveness of paragraphs or sections etc. 3. Review for micro issues Review the sentences and words for example, check for wordiness, long sentences, complex and incomplete sentences, clarity of sentences, etc. 4. Review for correctness Review for correctness of the content with respect to grammar and punctuation for example, parts of speech, parallelism, incorrect use of comma, etc.

Q 6 Explain the different delivery styles that speakers can select for their presentation I.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 must be brief, simple and direct, compared to prepared speeches. II.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. However, the speech is 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. III.Memorising the presentation This is the least appealing style of delivery, as it comes across as unnatural and monotonous to the audience. Speakers who memorise and deliver presentations word for word will also be at a disadvantage if they forget a part of the speech, as they will be unable to speak naturally. IV.Reading from written notes This involves reading 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. V.Speaking from notes This is generally the most effective style of delivery. It involves 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 speakers can elaborate on these ideas in their 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. Along with these elements the speaker must also ensure to maintain good voice quality during oral communication, as it creates a stage for healthy communication. As a speaker you must ensure that you are audible to the listeners. Therefore, you must adjust the pitch and loudness of your voice accordingly.

Business Communication Assignment II


Q 1 Explain the five steps of SQ3R techniques of reading. SQ3R technique of reading was developed by Robinson in his book "Effective Study" (1970). SQ3R stands for the initial letters of the five steps shown in the table below Steps of SQ3R Steps Expansion Abbreviati on Step 1 Survey S Step 2 Question Q Step 3 Read R Step 4 Recall R Step 5 Review R 1.Survey Survey refers to a quick glance through the title page, preface and chapter headings of a text. By surveying, we 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 organised. 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 our mind regarding the text. However, as we go through the individual chapters, we might have specific questions regarding the topic. This will surely help us to gain some insights into the text, topic and the author's comments. 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 must just focus on the main points or ideas and supporting details. Make a note of the important points that you have read. 4. Recall Recalling or reciting follows reading level. In this level, the reader recalls or recites the content after reading some portion of text. This is done by checking and amending notes. This is done because every reading exercise increases your background knowledge and you must be able to connect the information gained with the existing knowledge. Thus, recalling whatever you have read enables you to connect and relate the content with the previous and future learning of the subject. 5. Review Reviewing is the process of 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 must 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.

Q 2 Write a note on the responsibilities of chairperson during a meeting. Responsibilities of chairperson during a meeting1. Opening the meeting The manner in which the meeting is opened is important, as a good opening will ensure that the rest of the meeting proceeds smoothly. Generally, when you open a meeting it is a best practice to sum up what has been stated in the agenda - including the goals, background information and expectations of the participants. It is also a good idea to provide an outline of how the meeting will proceed, as well as schedule of the meeting. 2. Encouraging balanced participation It is also the responsibility of the chairperson to encourage silent members to contribute to the meeting and to moderate the dominant members. This is to ensure that everyone gets equal opportunity to express their ideas in the meeting. 3. Managing time Usually, there is no prescribed duration for a meeting. The duration of a meeting depends on the type and purpose of the meeting. Generally, problemsolving meetings will take longer than other routine meetings. In any case, the chairperson must set a time limit for the meeting, depending on the agenda and ensure adherence to the time limit. 4. Keeping the meeting focused Often, a lot of time is wasted during meetings by going off track and by discussing topics that are irrelevant. In such situations, it is the responsibility of the chairperson or the person moderating the discussion to make sure that the discussion remains focused on the topics mentioned in the agenda. 5. Ensuring convergence Convergence means hearing the points of view of all the members and then arriving at a decision. It is again the responsibility of the chairperson to bring the meeting to a point where an opinion emerges on each item of the agenda. 6. Summing up This means summing up the different points of view, decisions and actions to be taken. This must be done by the chairperson. The chairperson has to identify the role of each person in achieving each item of the agenda, along with a deadline mentioned. 7. Concluding the meeting The way a meeting is concluded is as important as the opening, as it will influence the follow-up action taken on decisions made during the meeting. The chairperson must know when and how to conclude the meeting. The meeting must normally be concluded at the scheduled closing time, unless important issues still remain to be discussed and members are willing to extend the meeting. There are different ways of concluding a meeting. One way is to signal and indicate how much time is remaining, so that the group can wrap up the discussions. Another way is to summarise what has been discussed and decided and to mention the follow-up action to be taken. 8. Keeping minutes of the meeting As meetings are called to take important decisions concerning the organisation, it is important to maintain a permanent written record of the proceedings, which can be referred to at a later stage or can serve as a guide for action. Such a record is known as minutes of the meeting and may be done in an informal or formal manner, depending on the type of meeting.

Q.3 When you write a memo what language and writing style will you follow, explain. A memo is a short, informal report; the following points have to be remembered regarding the language and style that is used: Be concise It is important to be brief and focus on the point, so that the memo does not exceed two pages in length. Make the sentences and paragraphs short, limit each paragraph to five lines or less and use bullet points wherever possible. If you are giving reasons, number them or put them in separate paragraphs with double line spacing. Otherwise use single line spacing between lines. Use active not passive voice As mentioned earlier, use of personal pronouns and active voice is permitted in a memo, unlike a formal report where the passive voice must be used for the sake of objectivity. In other words, it is appropriate to say for example that Based on my experience, I feel that the budget is not adequate. Use simple language In earlier units, the importance of using simple English was emphasised. It is a good practice to use short and simple words. At the same time avoid trying to impress the reader by using unnecessary jargon. Avoid giving too many reasons Although, it is important to provide a justification when you make a request or try to persuade someone to do something, do not overdo it. In general, a reader can only absorb a maximum of six or seven reasons at once. Therefore, do not overstate your reasons. Close with a call for action Do not leave the reader hanging. If you wish to persuade the reader to accept your request or recommendation, you must say it clearly using action words and indicating a time frame or limit. For example, I would like to discuss this in person with you and get your approval before the end of this week. Therefore, while writing business memos it is important to have clarity in writing, use short and simple words, use positive language, keep paragraphs unified and coherent, have one idea in one paragraph and use right tone.

Q 4 What is sampling? Briefly explain the various methods of sampling.

Q 5 Explain the principles that you need to follow while using emails for business communication. Watch the content e-mail messages are not always confidential and one can never be sure who will read them. The minute an e-mail message is sent, multiple copies are created on your own Personal Computer (PC) and server. At the same time, a copy is also created on the recipients PC and server. There is no way of ensuring that the message will not be forwarded to others. Sometimes, e-mail messages can even be used as proof in court. Once a message is sent, a permanent record is created. Therefore, it is always wise to avoid writing anything negative or offensive in e-mails. Pay attention to the tone The very nature of e-mail communication can make the message sound negative, abrupt and rude. For one thing, e-mail lacks the personal quality of face-to-face communication, where body language and other non-verbal cues may be used to make the communication more positive. Secondly, e-mail messages are brief, use short words and sentences and lack salutations. Brief messages may be interpreted as being rude and unfriendly. Therefore, you must pay close attention to the tone of the message and ensure that you sound friendly and courteous. Avoid using humour and sarcasm which might be misunderstood or sending messages when you are angry or annoyed. Include a specific subject line Your e-mail message must always include a subject line that clearly mentions the topic of the e-mail. Place important information first As business executives do not have time to read lengthy e-mail messages, it is a good idea to put all the important information that you want to convey in the first three lines of the message. Explain attachments in the body of the e-mail Attachments take time to download and must be sent along with an explanation in the body of the e-mail, as to what they are all about. This makes it easier for the recipient of the message to decide whether they must be opened or not. Otherwise it can lead to unnecessary waste of time. Use the to and cc button carefully The to box must be used only to send messages to people who are responsible for doing something. The cc button is used when sending multiple copies of the same e-mail message to other recipients, who need to be kept informed on a specific issue. Pay attention to brevity, emphasis and white space The look, appearance and language used in the e-mail message can influence the readability of the message. Some techniques for enhancing readability of e-mail messages include short paragraphs (six lines maximum), spacing between paragraphs, use of bullet points and numbers for lists, use of paragraph captions, highlighting main points in bold type and use of white space.

Use the WIFM rule WIFM stands for Whats in it for me? and means that the benefits of your message to the reader must be emphasised. This involves the use of the second person pronoun, you, rather than the first person pronouns I or me. It is important to stressing on the you attitude rather than the me attitude. Tidy up your mail box e-mail traffic can lead to your inbox becoming cluttered, with more messages than you can handle. It then becomes difficult to retrieve important messages when you need them. It is therefore a good idea to clean up your mailbox regularly, by deleting unimportant messages. Proofread your e-mail message Just as it is important to proofread business reports, letters and memos, e-mail messages must also be checked for spelling and grammar mistakes, so as to avoid any embarrassment. Set aside time to check e-mail e-mail must not become a substitute for face-toface interaction at the workplace or use valuable time that could be spent on other important jobs. It is a good idea to determine a certain time during the work day when you can check and respond to e-mail messages.

Q. 6 Select a company of your choice. Write a sales letter in the AIDA format to a prospective customer, persuading him/her to buy the companys product. October 27th, 2012 Dear Home Owner, The saying goes that an Englishmans home is his castle. Do you see your home as an investment in real estate or as your castle? Is it a means of getting tax exemptions, or a place where you can unwind and relax after a stressful week at work? Homes should be viewed as places where we feel safe and free from outside intrusions. Unfortunately, this is not the case, since recent statistics show that 10% of households in Bangalore city were robbed last year. How can you protect yourself? Home Security Products offers a simple and dependable solution the SafeHome Burglar Alarm System, which can protect up to 2500 square feet of your home. Just plug it in, adjust the sensitivity to the size of the room and turn the key. SafeHomes microprocessor screens out normal sounds like dogs barking, babies crying rain and traffic. Only hostile sounds such as the breaking of glass will trigger the alarm. The alarm is also loud enough to alert the neighbourhood and to drive away the smartest burglars. You may wonder what might happen if a clever burglar disconnects the electricity to your home. You need not worry, since SafeHome has built-in batteries that recharge automatically and ensure that it operates in spite of power failures. The best thing about SafeHome is the ease of installation. You simply have to mount it on a wall and plug it in. Security now comes at a price that you can afford just Rs. 999, along with a one year warranty and a 10 day return policy, to ensure complete satisfaction. With SafeHome, burglaries will soon be a thing of the past. Ordering it is easy just call our toll-free number 1-800-222-3333 and use your credit card. SafeHome will be home delivered to you within a couple of days. Soon, your home will be a haven of peace. Sincerely, National Sales Manager Home Security Products