Business Communication Introduction Business communication refers to relaying of information related to services, products or companies within the business (Clutterbuck , Hirst & Cage, 2003). Communication is an integral part in the daily operation of a business. Clear communication channels within a business helps the organization carry out its activities effectively. On the other hand poor communication will not only lead to poor performance but may also result to failure of the business enterprise. Communication is closely linked to management.
Business communication is wide and encompasses myriad areas, including but not limited to Marketing, public relations, online communication, advertisement and employee management.
All businesses require effective communication channels and skills regardless of their size and nature. There are various communication channels which include face-face communication, internet communication print, presentations reports, telephone conversations and forum boards. The ubiquity of internet and globalization has led to increase in online communication which enables passage of visual and oral messages.
Face to face is the richest communication method where a wide range of information can be exchanged by the persons involved.
Often communication requires feedback which is usually a communicative process. Feedback is important because it confirms that the message has been received by the intended person. Feedback is usually specific and is assessed to check the degree of acceptance of the message. Purpose of communication Communication should enable the sharing of ideas and information within a business. The major impediments to effective business communication are the existence of unclear or inappropriate business strategies.
An example is the use of mission statements to pass on the objectives of an organization to employees (Kaul, 2000). In most cases, these mission statements are not evaluated to determine their effectiveness and in most cases are non-functional. Growth in the size and existence of multiple branches of organizations has prompted the establishment of effective methods of sending information and receiving feedback. Communication allows for growth of strong human relations within organizations. Individuals in the organization usually have personal goals and objectives.
Organizations that have established proper communication channels get to learn and understand the goals of employee which has fostered better relations (Matokensen, 2004) . Understanding the goals of employees enables the management to cater to their individual goals. Every organization and business entity owes the public a social responsibility. Today organizations that have established strong public relations have gained a competitive advantage. Communicating with the public is an effective method of creating a positive image.
Communication here should be directed to the business suppliers, customers, suppliers, the government and the public at large. Effective management depends on good communication within the organization. The manager’s roles usually relate to coordination, issuance of instructions, collating information and monitoring. To carry out these managerial duties the manager has to show effective communication skills. Good communication skills ensure easy and effective completion of underlying tasks. Communication usually deteriorates as the organization grows in size.
Effective communication needs effective management, understanding the effects of technological skills and interpersonal skills. Communication is the vehicle through which management perform the basic duties. Social and cultural background Communication is greatly affected by the social and cultural differences that exist among the customers and employees of an organization (Hartley & Bruckmann, 2009). Usually there is some degree of common cultural background that exists among employees. However, most businesses find it difficult to determine the common background of employees in an organization early.
Communication occurs within a specific social context. It is important that one takes note of the social and cultural aspects of communication within a specific context (Hartley & Bruckmann, 2009). Communication at professional or personal level is important for the continued success. Communication skills are a set of skills that enable an individual pass on information as intended. Communication involves conveying a message to other people clearly and unambiguously as well as receiving information from others without distortion.
Therefore communication is a process that involves the sender and the receiver (Kushal & Ahuja, 2009). Poor communication occurs when information conveyed through messages is either muddled by the sender or misunderstood by the recipient. Therefore it is important to take care of the possible errors of communication before they happen. Communication errors will result in wasted efforts and confusion. In order to ensure that communication is healthy the sender and listeners should have the necessary skills (Kushal & Ahuja, 2009). The sender must demonstrate good skills when composing and sending messages.
The receiver should be able to receive the message without assumptions, biases and through active listening. The elements of effective communication are verbal, non-verbal and listening skills. Unfortunately businesses hire employees who fall short of good communication skills. Graduates and postgraduates exhibit poor written and oral communication skills. Most communication in the corporate world occur orally around eighty percent of miscommunication in the corporate world occurs as a result of listening errors. It is therefore important for employees to improve their communication skills.
Effective communication should not be mistaken for fluency. Whereas speaking fluently is an added advantage, one needs to listen effectively write well, and read in the language that they are familiar with. The main types of communication levels in an organization are; internal, external and personal communication. Internal communication is communication amongst the employees in the organization and relates to work matters. It may comprise of orders, instructions, oral exchanges reports and records. Reports and records here are related to sales, inventories, production and maintenance.
In most cases it may include exchange of emails as employees carry out their assignments. External communication is carried out by the business workers and personnel with people outside the business. This may include suppliers, customers, agents, government, organizations and service providers. Successful organizations must communicate effectively with the customer to ensure that their needs are met. Organizations today depend on one another in performing their duties. Effective communication ensures that interdependent organizations reap the full benefits of their cooperation.
Personal communication refers to the exchange of information and feelings among people whenever they interact. This information may not be business related; however it has significant effect on the success of an organization. Personal communication can influence the employee’s attitudes therefore influencing productivity and output of the company excessive personal communication can interfere with the work done on the other hand its absolute denial could result in emotional upsets (Kaul, 2000). . The process of communication
Hartley & Bruckmann ( 2009), have summarized the communication process through the following table. Information source This does not necessarily refer to an individual but rather to the source which the information is originating Transmitter or encoder This refers to the individual who is charged with the responsibility of composing messages and transmitting them to the recipient. Encoding and decoding Encoding refers to the process of using codes to achieve the communicative objective while decoding is the use of our experiences and knowledge to understand the intending meaning of a message.
Medium/ Channel The medium here refers to the channel through which a message is transmitted from the sender to the intended recipient. This varies from the air that transmits the voice between two speakers to emails and other forms of electronic messaging. Noise This refers to random inputs that may distort the intended message making it difficult for the intended receiver to get the message easily. An example is failure to clearly get audio messages due to noise originating from traffic. Receiver The receiver is the intended recipient of the information.
Destination The destination refers to the act of carrying out the action that was relayed in the message. Conclusion Business communication is an integral part of business management. Successful organizations have embraced communication enabling them conduct their business with ease. Communication also enables an organization create a positive image to the public and other institutions. Employees and the management must also develop skills that will enable them communicate effectively with customers and their partners.
Developing good communication channels which are closely monitored will ensure that communication is efficient within the organization. References Clutterbuck, D. , Hirst, S & Cage, S. (2003). Talking business: making communication work. Burlington, MA. Butterworth Heinemann. Hartley, P & Bruckmann, C. G. (2009). Business communication. New York: Routledge. Kushal, S. J & Ahuja, S. (2009). Business communication. New Delhi: V. K (India) Enterprises. Kaul, A. (2000). Effective business communication. New Delhi: Prentice hall Matokensen, O. (2004). Business management through communication. Mumbai: Dhillion Publishers.
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