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Approaches /Essentials of Effective

Business Communication

Effective Communication
Communication becomes effective when the receiver understands the
meaning of the message as the sender intends. All communication
attempts may not be effective.Certain barriersand problems may cause
communication failure. When information is received timely, exact
meaning of the message is understood andproper feedbackis given,
communication becomes effective.
Consequently, to make an effective communication, the following
qualities of communication are neededTimely receiving.
Understanding exact meaning of the message.
Proper feedback is given by the receiver to the sender.
R.W. Griffinmentioned aboutEffective Communication,
"Effective communication is the process of sending a message in
such a way that the message received is as close in meaning as
possible to the message intended."

Effective Communication-Definition
American Management Association(AMA)has definedeffective
communicationas,
"A communication is said to effective because of the following ten
commandants
Clear idea regarding topics and receiver of communication.
Determination of purpose.
Understanding the environment of communication.
Planning for communication with consulting others.
Consider the content of the message.
To make receiver aware regarding the value of communication.
There must be feedback from the receiver.
To define properly whether communication messages are of short-run
or long-run importance.
All actions must be suitable with communication.
Good listening.

Effective Communication Skills


As the key to efficient business lies partly in communicating
effectively, we must therefore make a conscious effort to
master it. Effective communication depends mainly on three
things: understandable messages, credibility Effective
communication can be achieved by having a thorough
knowledge of the communication process in an organisation.
And also being aware of the various barriers that exist and
taking relevant steps to overcome the same while keeping in
focus the objective of the communication, whom it is meant
for and under what circumstances it is being made.
In any business environment, adherence to the 7 C's and
the 4 S's helps the sender in transmitting his message with
ease and accuracy. Let us first take a look at the 7 C's:

Seven Cs of Effective Communication

Credibility
Builds trust: If the sender can establish his credibility,
the receiver has no problems in accepting his statement.
Establishing credibility is not the outcome of a one-shot
statement. It is a long-drawn out process in which the
receiver through constant interaction with the sender
understands his credible nature and is willing to accept
his statements as being truthful and honest.
Courtesy
Improves relationships: Once the credibility of the
sender has been established, attempts should be made
at being courteous in expression. In the business world,
almost everything starts with and ends in courtesy.

Seven Cs of Effective Communication

Clarity
Makes comprehension easier: Absolute clarity of ideas adds much to the
meaning of the message. The first stage is clarity in the mind of the sender. The
next stage is the transmission of the message in a manner, which makes it simple
language, and easy sentence constructions, which are not difficult for the receiver
to grasp, should be used.
Correctness
Builds confidence: At the time of encoding, the sender should ensure that his
knowledge of the receiver is comprehensive. The level of knowledge, educational
background and status of the decoder help the encoder in formulating his
message. In case there is any discrepancy between the usage and comprehension
of terms, miscommunication can arise. If the sender decides to back up his
communication with facts and figures, there should be accuracy in stating the
same.
Consistency
Introduces stability. The approach to communication should, as far as possible,
be consistent. There should not be too many ups and downs that might lead to
confusion in the mind of the receiver. If a certain stand has been taken, it should be
observed without there being situations in which the sender is left groping for the
actual content or meaning. If the sender desires to bring about a change in his
understanding of the situation, he should ensure that the shift is gradual and not
hard for the receiver to comprehend.

Seven Cs of Effective Communication


Concreteness
Reinforces confidence. Concrete and specific expressions are to be
preferred in favour of vague and abstract expressions. In continuation of the
point on correctness, the facts and figures presented should be specific.
Abstractions or abstract statements can cloud the mind of the sender.
Instead of stating: "There has been a tremendous escalation in the sales
figure", suppose the sender made the following statement: "There has been
an escalation in the sales figures by almost 50% as compared to last year.
The receiver is more apt to listen and comprehend the factual details.
Conciseness
Saves time. The message to be communicated should be as brief and
concise as possible. Weighty language definitely sounds impressive but
people would be suitably impressed into doing precisely nothing. As far as
possible, only simple and brief statements should be made. Excessive
information can also sway the receiver into either a wrong direction or into
inaction. Quantum of information should be just right, neither too much nor
too little.

4 S's of Business Communication


An understanding of the 4 S's is equally important.
Shortness Economizes. "Brevity is the soul of wit, it is said. The same can be said
about communication. If the message can be made brief, and verbosity done away
with, then transmission and comprehension of messages is going to be faster and
more effective. Flooding messages with high sounding words does not create an
impact.
Simplicity Impresses. Simplicity both in the usage of words and ideas reveals a
clarity in the thinking process. It is normally a tendency that when an individual is
himself confused that he tries to use equally confusing strategies to lead the receiver
in a maze. Reveal clarity in the thinking process by using simple terminology and
equally simple concepts.
Strength Convinces. The strength of a message emanates from the credibility of the
sender. If the sender himself believes in a message that he is about to transmit, there
is bound to be strength and conviction in whatever he tries to state. Half-hearted
statements or utterances that the sender himself does not believe in add a touch of
falsehood to the entire communication process.

Sincerity Appeals. A sincere approach to an issue is clearly evident to the receiver. If


the sender is genuine, it will be reflected in the manner in which he communicates.

Guidelines to Ensure Effective Communication


The following guidelines ensure effective communication:
(i) Choose the Right Means and Mode: It is most important to
choose the right means and mode of communication. This would
depend on, the organisation, its size, its policy, cost involved, urgency,
distance, resources available, confidentiality, safety, security, necessity
for official record of the communication, the recipient and the resources
available.
(ii) Own your Messages: It is important to take responsibility for
what we say.
(iii) Offer Complete and Relevant Information: Messages must
offer complete and relevant information in order to become effective.
Incomplete information makes it necessary to begin another cycle of
communication to issue clarifications.

(iv) Obtain Feedback: Feedback is the culmination of the


communication-process. It confirms that the receiver has correctly
understood our message. We may get a feedback through an
appropriate closing. The closing line of a business letter often invites
such a response. When sending out a cheque, we often ask the receiver
to acknowledge its receipt. Similarly we ask the other party to confirm
that the appointment is suitable to it when we proposed an important

(v) Think of the Recipient: Effective messages are invariably You-centered. We do


not address the President of our company in the same manner as we speak to a fellow
manager. The rank of the former demands careful thought and respect. Familiarity with
the latter may make us feel more at ease.

(vi) Verbal and Non-verbal Congruence: As explained earlier, meanings are often
communicated in more than one way. For example, our words as well as gestures
simultaneously send out signals. A message of welcome should ideally be uttered with a
smile. Angry words are spoken with a frown. To put it in another way, our words and facial
expressions must send out the same message. A reprimand administered with a smile
would send out wrong and conflicting signals.

(vii) Repeat if Necessary: Repetition is generally avoided in order to save time and
space. However, in exceptional circumstances, repetition ensures that the crucial part of
the message is not ignored or overlooked. Telegraphic messages, which by nature are
brief, often use repetition to good effect.
viii) Do not Judge: Unfavourable judgments provoke reactions and are better avoided.
If a subordinate has not finished the work allotted to him on time, then the boss has two
options. He may either point out this fact in a plain and matter of fact tone or may
reprimand him for being lazy, good-for-nothing guy who should be fired immediately. The
first option is clearly preferable and strengthens the credibility and trustworthiness of the
sender.

(ix) Rely on Facts: Facts lend credibility to our communication since it is not possible to
refute them. If a candidate claims that he has a typing speed of fifty words per minute,
then it is possible to verify this claim. Opinions on the other hand are subjective. While it
is not possible to exclude opinions from our messages, we can make them acceptable by