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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1 MB0039 Business Communication- 4 Credits (Book ID: B1622) Assignment Set- 1 (60

Q1. List the barriers to effective communication. What are the ways in which an organisation can overcome the barriers to communication? Ans :- The channels of communication, the relative advantages and disadvantages of the different types of channels of communication. We also learnt the guidelines to choose the right channel in a particular business situation. In this unit, we will discuss the specifics of business communication and what it involves. We will discuss how a manager has to maintain communication linkages with different entities, both within and outside the work environment. We will also, explain some of the appropriate channels for communication with different audiences. Finally, we will examine how communication flows within an organisation, both through official and unofficial channels.

Types of Business Communication

Business communication is diverse and involves both internal stakeholders within the organisation, as well as external stakeholders outside the organisation. A manager has to constantly communicate with and maintain good relations with each of these stakeholders or public. This will enable the organisation to achieve its overall goals and project a favourable image.
Wheel of Business Communication

The wheel of business communication reinforces what we discussed in the very first unit communication is like breathing, it never stops and is a constant process. Managers have to stay in continuous touch with their internal stakeholders like their superiors, peers, subordinates, shareholders, employees and unions. At the same time managers have 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.

Barriers to Communication Communication fails when the message received is not

identical to the message that is sent. Several factors could interfere with the exchange of messages. Noise refers to all these factors that disrupt the communication and can be classified under the following types: Physical noise Distracting sounds, poor acoustics, or just information overload could interfere with the listening process. Physiological noise Hearing or other disabilities, fatigue, or physical illness could come in the way of both speaking and listening. Psychological noise Sometimes emotions within the sender or receiver such as preoccupations, hostility, fear or lack of interest could interfere the speaking or listening process. There are many other barriers to communication, an understanding and analysis of which are needed before coming up with ways to eliminate or minimise them. Figure 1.2 depicts the barriers to communication. the barriers to communication may be classified as follows:

Environmental barriers An environmental barrier is the same as physical noise, which could be in the form of distracting sounds, an overcrowded room, poor facilities and acoustics, all of which may hinder the ability to listen to and understand the message. Individual barriers A major barrier to interpersonal communication is a tendency to judge, evaluate, approve, or disapprove the views of another person. This happens particularly in situations where we have strong feelings about something. In such cases, we tend to block out the communication and form our own viewpoints. Organisational barriers In organisations that are too hierarchical, that is, where there are multiple layers, messages may have to pass through many levels before they finally reach the receiver. Each level may add to, modify or completely change the message, so much so that it becomes distorted by the time it reaches the intended receiver. In other words, there is likely to be loss of meaning and the message may not reach the receiver in the same way as it was intended by the sender.

Q2. Explain the different types of verbal communication. Ans- Verbal communication This type of communication occurs with the help of words. It 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 may be divided into two types. They are: o Oral communication This type of communication may be defined as a process in which a speaker interacts verbally with one or more listeners, in order to influence the latters behaviour in some way or the other. Oral communication in a business context can take the form of meetings, presentations, one-to-one meetings, performance reviews, etc. Example In a business context, a manager doing the performance appraisal with an employee or a sales manager making the sales plan presentation to the sales team. In the first example, the manager may point out areas for improvement and in the second case, the sales manager may explain how to achieve new sales targets.

o Written communication This type of communication is the correspondence made in writing. It can be handwritten, printed or typed. For example, a manager writing a letter of apology in response to a customers complaint regarding poor service. Written communication at the workplace can take several forms such as letters, memos, circulars, notices, reports and email.
Q3. Write short notes on: a. SQ3R technique of reading b. Memo Ans (b) Memo In an organisation a large amount of information is communicated via the written medium. Written communications include memos, notices, circulars, organisation periodicals, etc communicated via e-mails, bulletin boards, etc. Written communication is preferred over other forms of communication as it provides a tangible and verifiable record of the information that was exchanged. The record can be stored for an indefinite period and hence, in-case of any concern on the communicated message, it is physically available for verification. This is very useful for communication that involves complex

and lengthy information. For example, the company's marketing plan for a new product contains a number of tasks spread out over several months and numbers of stakeholders are

associated with it. Writing it down helps to communicate the plan effectively to all and it will be readily available for reference over the entire life span of the product. Written communication can be used for both informal to formal communication. As it can be easily duplicated, many individuals in the organisation can receive the message simultaneously making it highly flexible. The errors made in written communication can be easily identified. Hence, individuals who prepare it take extra care. Thus, written communications are likely to be well thought out, logical and clear. Memo is one of the most important forms of written communication in an organisation. Memos can be used for formal and informal communication. The word memo is a short form for memorandum, which is derived from the Latin word memorandus which means a thing which must be remembered. It is also referred to as an inter office memorandum, since it is used primarily as a tool for communicating within the organisation. The memo is essentially a condensed or a brief report that can be used to convey information and decisions or to make short requests to co-workers, superiors and subordinates. It is relatively informal in style, compared to letters and long reports and is unpretentious and concise.
It is important for the business executive to know how to write condensed reports or memos. Often, business executives may also be asked to condense business articles for their superiors. This is essentially the same as prcis writing, where an article is condensed to one fourth its size, without losing the essence or meaning. The condensed article could then be put in memo format and sent to the superior.

Q4. Explain some of the approaches for handling customer complaints and listening to customers. Ans- Listening to customers Organisations today are beginning to recognise the importance of being customer oriented. Customer orientation means identifying and then satisfying customer needs, which in turn involves listening to what the customer really wants. When measuring customer satisfaction, it is also important to listen to and respond to customer complaints. This is because a dissatisfied customer can create negative word-of-mouth publicity for your product and company. Therefore, it is important to satisfy and retain your existing customers, so that they remain loyal to your company. We will discuss some approaches for handling customer complaints and listening to customers. The different approaches are as follows: 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. 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. 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 as 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. 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. 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.

Q5. What are some of the consequences of spelling and punctuation errors, redundancies, clichs and misuse of words?

Q6. Explain the different delivery styles that speakers can select for their presentation.