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Business Communication

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Introduction: Entomologists trace the origin of the word communication to the Latin prefix “communis” .this word is in the same family of words like ‘communism’ and commune which means in common. When two or more people exchange ideas and they seems to understand each other they have something in common or in short they have communicated. Communication serves as an instrument of social interaction.it helps us to understand ourselves and to keep in touch with other people to understand them and predict their response to situation. Communication is seen as lubricant that keeps the machinery of the organization functioning. It is the means through which roles are identified and assigned. Simply put it’s the life blood of an organization. DEFINITION: communication is vesicular term changing its meaning with every author or perspective hence the need to find a working definition that will guide us in our discussions. Communication as defined by R.Chappelet. al. (1984) is any means by which thought is transferred from one person to another. Communication is the transfer of ideas from a sender to a receiver. Any means that an individual uses to transfer idea, meaning, emotion, feelings or attitude to others is communication.

Communication is a process of conveying message from one person to another, an organization to another or from one network eg TV Radio, Gsm to the people. In short communication is an act of sending and receiving messages. Rita and Sheila Udall (1979) defines communication as a process by which one person or group shares and imparts information to another person or group so that both people or group clearly understands one another. Hudson (1977) defines communication as an “ability to convey in simplest form information or ideas which the recipient can easily understand; and an ability on the side/part of the recipient to reciprocate in such a way we can easily understand him” Little (1977) viewed communication as the process by which information is passes between individuals and or organization y means of previously agreed symbols. (Here communication is seen as a process of encoding and decoding).

Communication in this broad sense involves an encoding process which encompasses ideation and media decisions and its interpretation by the receiver which involves a decoding process. Chruden and Sherman (1978) focus on the definition of communication within an organization. According to them at all levels in the organization amongst and between executives, managers, staff, personnel supervisors, foreman and employees the communication process is continually in action conveying information ,ideas, attitudes, and feelings amongst individuals and amongst group of individuals. From all the definition above one could adduce that there is a common thread that linked all of them. We could see that communication in short is: A process of transmitting information and thought.

Communication is purposeful
Imparting and sharing information
a two-way process
conveying of ideas attitude and feelings
Symbols and language of communication must be clearly understood by both the sender and the receiver. Communication process
Communication takes effect in a web of continuous process as it has been observed that 70% an active human beings life on the job is spent in the communication process A typical communication process is depicted in the diagram below Feed Back

Transmission of message
Reception, decoding and understanding the message

Thought encoding


Communication begins with the sender who has” thought” or idea which is encoded in such way that can be understood by the receiver. The information is transmitted over a channel that links the sender and the receiver. The receiver then receives the message and decodes the message and decodes into thought (understanding of the idea of the message). Accurate communication occurs only when both the sender and the receiver attached the same or at least similar meanings to the symbols of communication. STAGES OF COMMUN ICATION

There are six recognizable stages or variables involved in communication. These are: Originating/formulating idea or the message (ideation)
Arranging the idea into symbols (trans formation of idea into meaning or understandable for communicating) Transmission of the message
Receiving the message
Interpreting the message by the receiver
Acting on the message/ Feed Back. ELEMENTS OF COMMUNICATION
There are five (5) element s of communication .these are the sender, Receiver, Message, Channel and feedback. SENDER: a sender is the originator of a message. The sender wants someone to understand and act on his/her message. (Message could originate from humans, animals, objects and machines. Though quite often we think that communication is more related to humans. Certain action of our pets could convince us that they are sick or hungry). RECEIVER: communication cannot occur unless there is somebody who receives the message. The receiver is the target of a message. He is expected to receive, interpret and act on the message. A receiver may be a person animal or object. MESSAGE: these are the thoughts, ideas, opinions and feelings conveyed from the sender to the receiver. There are three types of messages Verbal,

Vocal and
CHANNEL:messages are transmitted through channels of communication. A channel is anything that is used to carry the message across to the receiver. FEEDBACK: Feedback is the last stage in the communication process. Here, the receiver having received and decoded the message sent, sends a reply it is important when the expected feedback is gotten it confirms to the sender that his message has been received. It is important to note that wrong feedback could be sent as a result of distraction hence communication has not taken place though the message has been received feedback can modify and influence the message of the sender. There are four kinds of feedback:

1. Positive feedback: it’s a kind of feedback that is in line with the expectation of the sender.
2. Negative Feedback here your request is denied
3. Neutral Feedback
4. Mixed feedback
Importance of feedback
1. Feedback helps to reveal the position thought and attitude of the receiver toward a message and the sender.
2. It serves as a source of idea, information clue to the sender
3. It influence and modifies a given message
4. It helps to determine next line of action
5. It marks the end or completion of communication process.
These elements are shown in a diagram below.
RECEIVER oooDecoding understanding
MEDIUM oooMessage oooSEDER oooMeaning Encoding

From time immemorial communication has always been in spoken form. This is whereby a person conveys information to another with spoken words and other attendants’ personal expression like gesture, facial expression, smile and vocal expression. The spoken word could be referred to as linguistic mode of communication while the attendants’ personal expression is regarded as paralinguistic mode of communication.In a nutshell one can say that the elements of oral communication are words, action, and sound. Oral communication could be in the form of face to face or telephone exchange. MERIT OF ORAL COMMUNICATION

Immediate feedback
Clarity of message
It gives opportunity for better personality assessment of interlocutors There is the use of paralinguistic features to aid communication It helps to build relationship.
Denial: oral communication can be easily denied
Oral communication most of the time is not precise because of its disjointed pattern It is impossible to use as a result of long distance and face to face is not possible where there is no telephone service WRITTEN COMMUNICATION

With the invention of various letters of alphabet of language and subsequent composition of words, another form of communication. It involves the writing of messages in a prescribed format (paper) and sending it from one person to another. It could be in the form of letter, e-mail, and text telegram, fax, memos etc. Advantages of written communication

Performance it last for long time people yet unborn can benefit from it books newspapers etc. It is more accurate in presentation it takes time to think before writing It helps in record keeping
It is more formal in official communication
It is difficult to repudiate /deny written communication.
a. illiteracy on the part of the sender/receiver may make it impossible to communicate.
b. it can be used as evidence against the writer
c. it takes time and energy to write and read a written message. TYPES OF COMMUNICATION
Intra personal communication
Interpersonal communication
Group communication
Mass communication
Public communication
Intrapersonal: in this involves talking to oneself.ma y people talk to themselves especially when they under pressure or alone in deep thoughts.it serves as a mean s of voicing g out an d relieving tension. It could be consciously/unconsciously. Interpersonal: this involves one person talking to another person, and it ranges from serious to casual conversation.eg friends talking to each other, boss and employee etc. ELEMENT OF INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION

There are so many approaches by different writers on how members of a group transfer information between each other. In this course it can be said that that the major element of interpersonal communication is listening, speaking, and non-verbal. These are often been regarded as the primary element s of a person’s interpersonal communication LISTENING

Listening is not the same thing as hearing. It involves comprehending and retaining what is heard. It is often been referred to as a mental activity that a person goes through whilst he awaits his/her turn to speak. LISTENING PROCESS

Listening process consist of four elements:
Hearing: this first element of listening process. It is a physiological process. When we hear the auditory nerves are stimulated by sound waves. Filtering: filtering is the elimination of unwanted stimuli. It allows a listener to focus on stimuli of specific interest. An individual has difficulty concentrating on an oral message when hi/her filtering process is unable to eliminate or minimize distraction (distracting stimuli) Interpreting: this is when the listeners assigned meaning to the stimuli. This process is assisted through the use of the person’s mental filters. A listener tends not to consider verbal cues as well as non- verbal cues when interpreting oral messages Recalling: this involves remembering the earlier interpreted information at a later date. The success of this element depends largely on the association relationship period on the stimuli during the interpretation phase. GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LISTENING

Listening as a process can be improved if the receiver takes active role. Below is a check list that can help to improve listening skills Concentrating on the message and avoid distractions and mind wandering Keep an open mind. Be ready to ask questions cause the speaker to amplify remarks Listen attentively for points and area of relevance or personal importance. Provide a regular feedback

Monitoring and controlling personal non-verbal communication sign. Ensure that written / tape-recorded notes are made clearly and in sufficient details for future reference and follow-up work. IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING

Listening enhance good customer relationship. Effective listening is a vital to the development of good customer relationships. This can improve quality, boost productivity and save money for the organization. SPEAKING/ORAL COMMUNICATION

Oral communication, speaking for that matter is the chief means of conveying messages. All forms of one-on-one speech and group discussions are all forms of communication that is done by words of mouth. Before you start your talk or presentation it is pertinent that you really understood what you want to say, to whom, when, how, where and why. When speaking ask yourself the following question Who are you speaking to?

What did you want to communicate?
How best to convey your message?
When? (Timing is important)
(Adapted from ATSWA as coated in mindtool.com)
Creating the message: in order to create a well-structured message, the speaker should: First decide on the context of the oral communication and what outcomes are desired Establish key points to get across and what running order would best link them together in a beginning, middle an and end. Advance the salient facts and figures which will support your argument Decide on what the delivery style of message should be before embarking on it Constantly monitor feedback you receives from the audience

Know when you have said enough and stop on a positive note (adapted from ATSWA) IMPORTANT SPEECH FEATURES TO KNOW
Accent: accent of different people may be accepted, but it should be devoid of being foxed by local dialect word Pronunciation: people will not like to hear speech marred by ugly or resentful habits. Enunciation/articulation: good vowel sound

Intonation/emphasis avoid ponderous utterance of drab monotones Projection: erect stand and head position.
Group communication: involves three or more people this may consist of people who belong to a club ,society, union party such group usually have a leader who moderates in discussions. eg conference, seminar, symposia etc. Public communication: this is when two or more people present a message before an audience eg public speaking. Mass communication: this involves one or more people communicating to a large audience spread across a long distance. The message is transmitted through electronic signaling system usually; the sender and the receiver are not in contact. Most often it’s one way communication example of mass communication are radio, television, newspapers and magazine. COMMUNICATION IN THE WORK PLACE

Communication is an integral 0part of an organization .without communication the corporate objectives of a company cannot be achieved both internally and externally. Therefore it is very important to develop a good speaking /writing and listening skills to function effectively in the workplace eg talking with co-workers listening to or giving instructions and asking questions in the work place require good communication skills than others do some of these are: Sales: most jobs require one to market one thing or another. You need good communication skills to advertise and market goods. Health and other helping professional: communication is good in carrying out medical examination its important for health professional to have good understanding of the patient (process of diagnosis). Religious professional: clergy and other co-workers need good communication to deliver sermon and counseling. Communication play important role because messages conveyed must be understood in order to achieve the objectives of evangelism and counseling. Education: Teachers need adequate class room communication skills in order to make teaching and learning effective. Politics and Law: These are two professions that communication is the principal tool of practice. IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION

Communication is one of the tools used to achieve the corporate objective of any organization. It promotes and enhances information flow, which leads to mutual coexistence and understanding among individuals both within and outside and organization. Communication is the blood stream of an organization. Just like a person cannot survive without blood stream so is organization without effective communication Communication enables employees to understand their jobs, role and what is expected of them( it promote greater productivity) Communication helps to boost the morale of employees it provide means by which members of an organization can be motivated to execute plans. Communication is needed for managerial effectiveness. To achieve managerial effectiveness in all managerial functions, the manager has to be effective communicator.

The managerial function especially planning and controlling, are essentially information processing activities. And it takes communication to make these functions or process. Effective communication brings about reduced frustration and labour turn over. Effective communication gives subordinates the opportunities to air their views on issues of interest It helps management to achieve maximum productivity with minimum cost It enables organizations to avoid costly failures. Communication failure. It provides a vehicle by one can implement a plan of action coordinated toward a common goal Setting goals and objective

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