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Corporate Communication

Chapter I Understanding Communication: the Definitions, the Process and the Elements
Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: What communication means The process through which communication occurs The elements involved in communication Contents 1.1 Meaning of Communication 1.2 Definitions of Communication 1.3 Process of Communication 1.4 Business Communication Summing Up Self-assessment

1.1 Meaning of Communication Communication is a means of exchanging ideas, thoughts, feelings and knowledge. All living things have the natural ability to communicate but man alone is capable of using language for communication. Animals and birds use non-linguistic forms of communication such as sounds and other sensor y modes of exchange. The histor y of civilisation shows that human progress depends upon effective communication. Man being a social animal, the desire to communicate with other human beings is a natural urge in him. Communication enables us to grow, to learn, to share our thoughts and feelings, to receive and impart knowledge and thereby adjust to our environment. The word communication' has its origin in the Latin word communis' which means sharing knowledge or information. The most common medium of communication for human beings is language. However, non-linguistic forms of communication such as physical gestures, nodding, or moving our hands or facial expressions such as smiling or disapproval often accompany speech-acts and influence communication. 1.2 Definitions of Communication Different scholars have defined communication in different terms. The following are some of the important definitions of communication. According to Newman and Summer, communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons. Communication is also defined as intercourse through words, letters, symbols or messages and as a
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Understanding Communication: the Definitions, the Process and the Elements

way through which the member of an organisation shares meaning and understanding with another. According to Leland Brown, communication is interchange of facts, ideas, feelings or course of action. the transmission and

Allen Louis says communication is the sum of all the things one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding. Ordway Tead thinks, communication is a composite of information given and received, of a learning experience in which certain attitudes, knowledge, and skills change, car ving with them alterations of behaviour, of listening effort by all involved, of a sympathetic fresh examination of issues by the communicator himself, of sensitive interacting points of view, leading to a higher level of shared understanding and common intention. According to M. T. Myers and G.E. Myers, communication refers to a special kind of patterning: a patterning which is expressed in symbolic form. For communication to take place between or among people, two requirements must be met: (1) a symbolic system must be shared by the people involved (we need to speak the same language or jargon or dialects) and (2) the associations between the symbols and their referents must be shared. In view of Katz and Kahn, communication is the exchange of information and the transmission of meaning. It is the ver y essence of a social system of an organisation. Davis, opines that communication is a process of passing information and understanding from one another. Davis also believed that the only way that management can be achieved in an organisation is through the process of communication. Chester Barnard believes that in the exhaustive theor y of organisation, communication would occupy a central place because the structure, extensiveness and scope of organisations are almost entirely determined by communication techniques. 1.3 Process of Communication The main components of communication are: Sender, message, channel (or medium), receiver and response. The Process of communication can be represented in a diagram.

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Corporate Communication

COMMON FRAME OF REFERENCE


SENDER MESSAGE RECEIVER RESPONSE

CHANNEL MEDIUM

SENT

RECEIVED

SEMANTIC GAP

FEEDBACK

Figure 1.1 The communication process a. Communication requires two parties - a sender and a receiver who interact within a common frame of reference or a common background consisting of shared social, cultural, religious and national emblems, and above all a common purpose. Apart from this shared common understanding, it is necessar y that the sender and receiver co-operate with each other and are willing to speak and listen. In the Indian context, lamp lighting signifies inauguration whereas in the west, ribbon cutting is used for the same purpose. In Australia, the Koala is a national emblem. In the USA the White House is not merely the residence of the President but implies global authority. b. Channel is the term used for the specialised use of Language. In a scientific conference, participants are likely to use technical language which is not the language that is spoken in the home environment. Geographical locations are also responsible for variations in language. The English spoken in Canada is different not only from the Asian dialect of English but is distinct from American or British English. c. The medium of communication may be a language or a non-linguistic code such as a diagram, chart or a system of signs such as the morse code used by the National Cadets Corps (NCC). The Choice of a channel or a medium is determined by the situation. A manager may decide to speak to his subordinate over the telephone rather than send him a written memo. d. When the sender transmits a message, he expects a response. The response may be immediate, as in the case of an appointment letter, or a delayed one, as is likely to happen in the case of a letter asking for funds. The response may be a favourable one, viz., a leave application is sanctioned or an unfavourable one, such as funds not being sanctioned. Successful communication takes place when the meaning of the message reaches the receiver.
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Understanding Communication: the Definitions, the Process and the Elements

e. Feedback is not the same as response but is the sender's obser vation of the receiver's response. An NGO is in urgent need of funds. When it receives a negative response from the Personnel Officer it may tr y to obtain some clues as to why this response was generated. The feedback is hence a partial clue to the success or failure of a communication. f. The semantic gap in the diagram is the mismatch between the sender and the receiver due to improper communication. A message may fail to produce a desired response, for instance a teacher announces in the class that students should begin maintaining a diar y for their academic activities. However, the students fail to comply with this instruction. Why has the communication failed? It may be due to several reasons. a. Lack of communication ability on the part of the teacher. He has not been able to emphasise the importance of his message. b. He is not clear about his aims. He himself does not know why exactly he wants the students to maintain this kind of a diar y. c. The students (the receivers in this case) have not been able to understand the message properly. Effective Communication skills are necessar y to reduce this semantic gap. 1.4 Business Communication Business Communication is a specialised branch of general Communication. The principles and process of General Communication apply to Business Communication as well. The major difference between the two is that while General Communication is used in the world at large, Business Communication is specifically concerned with the business or official activities of an organisation, which are well-defined. Communication for official purpose is result oriented, messages are sent with the specific purpose of receiving a positive response and a feedback. Business activities can be both internal and external. Internal activities relate to the communication among the employees and various departments within an organisation. For instance, the Human Resource Department attempts to maintain and improve the employees' morale. The Production Managers are concerned with giving instructions to workers. The Administration announces policies and organisational changes and the Research and Development prescribes methods and procedures for production. External communication of the organisation includes interaction with outside organisations such as Government Authorities, Shareholders and other general concerns. Business communication hence deals with commercial and industrial subjects. It is characterised by certain formal elements such as a commercial or a technical vocabular y, use of standard formats and audio-visual aids all organisations have standard formats for memos, requisitions, leave
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Communicated Meanings and their Problems Corporate Communication

applications, etc. Audio-visual aids are used for quick, concise and speedy communication. Business communication aims at avoiding vagueness and ambiguity and maintains an impartial and objective point of view. At times, it adopts complex writing techniques and procedures. Organisations require both oral and written communication. The following table shows how the choice of media or channel of oral and written affects a sender's response:
Oral Immediate feedback Shorter sentences; shorter words sentences; Conversational Focus on interpersonal relations Prompt action Less detailed technical information More personal pronouns Simpler constructions pronouns More imperative, interrogative and permanent record; exclamator y sentences documentation Written Delayed feedback longer words, Formal Focus on content Delayed action More detailed technical information Fewer personal Useful for detailed Possibility of review

Table 1.1 Choice of media or channel and a sender's response

Summi ng Up
Communication is the process of transforming meaning from one person to another. The different definitions of communication enable us to understand both communication in the general sense and communication in the specific context of business. The process of communication and the elements involved in this process, the sender, the message, the channel, the receiver, the feedback and the context require careful study. The standard diagram displaying the communication process enables a quick and clear understanding of these elements. Communication can be either oral or written depending upon the requirements within and outside an organisation. Contextual factors such as nature of the message and choice of the medium play an important role in business communication.

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Selfassessme nt
1. The writer/speaker of a message is known as . and 2. Communication codes can be both . 3. The receiver/decoder of the message is expected to give a 4. The media is suitable for detailed technical information.

to the encoder.

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Communicated Meanings and their Problems

Chapter II Communicated Meanings and their Problems

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The important concepts of communication The problems of miscommunication The problems of the perception of reality Contents 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Conventions of Meaning 2.3 Problems in Conventions of Meaning 2.3.1 Mis-communicated Instructions 2.3.2 Denotations and Connotations 2.4 Perception of Reality 2.5 Problems in Perception of Reality 2.5.1 Abstracting 2.5.2 Inferring 2.6 Values, Attitudes, and Opinions 2.7 Problems Regarding Values, Attitudes, Opinions Summing Up Self-assessment

2.1 Introduction No two people in the world are exactly alike, and no two cultures or countries are the same. For example, the decision-making process in India takes more time by Western standards. You may also wonder why Germans are so thorough in their reports; why the French are so polite in letter writing, and why Middle Eastern business people are less concerned with time. The reason is that in those cultures, these different attitudes are acceptable and appropriate. All these differences, however, can cause problems in conveying intended meanings. Each person's mind is a unique filter. Problems with communication are more likely to occur when the communicators' filters are sharply different. The message, the sender's meanings and the receiver's response are affected by numerous factors, such as an individual's convention of meaning, perception of reality, values, attitudes, and opinions. 2.2 Conventions of Meaning A fundamental principle of communication is that the symbols the sender uses to communicate messages must have essentially the same meaning in both the sender's and receiver's minds. You can never assume that the message in your

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Corporate Communication

mind will be perfectly transmitted to your receiver. The same symbols (the same words or sentences) may convey a different meaning to the receiver creating semantic misunderstanding (misunderstanding at the level of meaning). A way of clarifying semantic problems is to view the semantic triangles (Figure 2.1). In this view, a symbol is a sign for something that exists in reality. Thus your name is really a symbol or word that represents you. Only through common experience can a connection be made between the symbol or word attached to you and the person you really are. The closer the common experiences surrounding the symbols and their objects (referents) in the minds of the sender and receiver, the closer is the level of understanding.

Less common experiences

Common experiences

Symbol

Referent (reality)

Figure 2.1 The Communication Triangle For example, many acronyms have become accepted into Standard English and are generally understood by most people, such as laser' (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) and sonar' (sound navigation ranging). Others, however, are particular to certain fields, such as FIFO (first in, first out) and LIFO (last in, first out) in accounting. People who are not accountants may not understand such acronyms. 2.3 Problems in Conventions of Meaning The meanings of words (semantics) are constructed within one person's experience of reality. The knowledge we each have about a subject or word affects the meanings we attach to it. Different word interpretations are especially notable in mis-communicated instructions and in reactions to denotations, connotations, and euphemisms. 2.3.1 Mis-communicated Instructions When the message sender and receiver attribute different meanings to the same words or use different words though intending the same meanings, miscommunication occurs. Many English and foreign words have several dictionar y definitions; a few have over 100. For example, in one abridged dictionar y, the word 'run' has 71 meanings as a verb, another 35 as a noun, and 4
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Communicated Meanings and their Problems

more as an adjective. Moreover, for certain words many people have their own unique meanings, based on their experiences, and such personal meanings are not in a dictionar y. Thus, confusion sometimes arises, as these listening' incidents illustrate: 1. A legislator hires a new office manager with instructions to turn in a bi-monthly report on all the activities that have occurred in the previous period. After a month goes by with no report, the legislator asks the office manager why he has not turned in the report as requested. The office manager replies that he thought the legislator wanted the report only ever y 2 months. After a short discussion on the definition of bi-monthly, the two look the word up in the dictionar y. They discover that bi-monthly means both twice a month and ever y two months. 2. A woman sells a piece of property and asks her attorney to draw up a contract of sale. When she receives the document for her signature, she reads: the party of the first part agrees to sell to the party of the second part the tenement. She quickly telephones her attorney to point out that the land she is selling has no tenement. But tenement in the law means only a holding of hand. M i s c o m m u n i c a t i o n c a n o c c u r a n y w h e r e , a n y t i m e . To a v o i d miscommunication when you give instructions or discuss issues, be sure that your words convey the intended meaning to the recipient. When you are the recipient of some unclear instructions, before acting on them, ask questions to determine the sender's intended meaning. 2.3.2 Denotations and Connotations We all have experienced on some occasion or other that a remark intended as a compliment, a matter-of-fact statement, or a joke is interpreted as an insult. As words have both denotative (dictionar y meaning) and connotative (contextualised meaning) meanings and as a sender may not consider the receiver's probable interpretations and reactions, miscommunication may occur. a. Denotations: Most people agree on denotative meanings. It often is the dictionar y definition. Denotative meanings inform the receiver, naming objects, people, or events without indicating positive or negative qualities. Such words as car', desk', house', and water' convey denotative meanings, provided, ofcourse, that the communicators are using the same language and provided that the receiver has a similar understanding of the context in which the words are used. b. Connotations: In addition to literal denotative meanings, some words have connotative meanings as well those that arouse qualitative judgments and personal reactions. The term house' is denotative. Mansion', villa,' home,' cottage', firetrap', shack' though they all denote a place of residence, have connotative meanings. The word student' is denotative. The sender evaluates the subject. Some words, such as efficient', gentle',
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Corporate Communication

Prompt', usually have favourable connotations. Others, such as lazy', cowardly', rotten', delinquent', usually have unfavourable connotations. Some
words have positive connotations in some contexts and negative in others. For example, free enterprise' and free manners' (meaning, rude, bold); sucker' (meaning, customer) and sucker' (meaning candy); cheap product' and cheap price', slim chance' and fat chance'.

The connotative meanings of words are also affected by the communicator's varied backgrounds and interests. 2. 4 Perception of Reality Complex, infinite, and continuously changing, the material world provides a special reality to each individual. Also, human beings' sensor y perceptions of touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste are limited, and each person's mental filter is unique. We make various abstractions, inferences and evaluations of the world around us. 2 .5 Problems in Perception of Reality 2.5.1 Abstracting Focusing on some details and omitting others is a process called abstracting. In countless instances, abstracting is necessar y. However, you should be cautious about slanted statements. a. Necessar y, desirable abstracts: Whether you write or speak, you are usually limited by time, expense, space, or purpose. You need to select facts that are pertinent to accomplish your purpose and to omit the rest (as you do, for example, in a one-page application letter about yourself.) b. Slanted statements: Conscientious communicators, both senders and receivers of messages, should tr y to determine whether the facts they are acquainted with, are truly a representation of the whole. Slanting is unfair in factual reporting. For example, the news reporter is taught to include quoted statements in context and to avoid expressions of personal approval or disapproval of persons, objects, or occurrences being described. Not only the language you use but also the type of information you include and exclude can result in slanting, revealing your own biases. Although total objectivity is not possible, you should tr y to not let personal preferences influence your factual reporting of information. 2.5.2 Inferring Conclusions made by reasoning from evidence or premises are called inferences. Ever y day most of us find it necessar y to act on some inferences. We make assumptions and draw conclusions even though we are not able to immediately verify the evidence. Some inferences are both necessar y and desirable; others are risky, even dangerous.

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Communicated Meanings and their Problems

a. Necessar y Desirable Inferences: For business and professional people, inferences are essential in analysing materials, solving problems, and planning procedures. System analysts, marketing specialists, advertisers, architects, engineers, designers, and numerous others all must work on various premises and our legal procedures allow inferences after they have gathered as much factual data as possible. Even our legal procedures allow inferences from experts as acceptable evidence. In our ever yday activities, we make inferences that are necessar y and usually fairly reliable: (a) when we land at a foreign airport, we assume we will be treated hospitably; (b) when we send a fax to Frankfurt, Germany, we assume it will reach the intended receiver; (c) when we drop a letter into the mailbox, we infer that it will be delivered to our intended reader; (d) when we enter an elevator in our building, we hope it will take us to the desired floor. When we base our inferences on direct obser vation or on reasonable evidence, they are likely to be quite dependable; but even so, there are disappointing exceptions. The conclusions we make about things we have not obser ved directly can often be untrue. b. Risks of Inferences: As intelligent communicators, we must realise that inferences may be incorrect or unreliable and anticipate the risks before acting on them. Suppose a personnel manager sees that Mohan Joshi, a new management trainee, has been staggering into his office ever y day for the past week, he might infer that the trainee has a drinking problem. But if the reason for his unsteady movement were the presence of Menier's Syndrome (a disease of the inner ear), the manager would be wrong to assume a drinking problem. You should tell those who may be acting on your inferences which portions of your statements are mere assumptions. If you are presenting a report on which an important executive decision may rest, be careful to distinguish clearly among verifiable facts, inferences based on facts, and mere guesses. 2.6 Values, Attitudes, and Opinions Effectiveness of communication is also influenced by values, attitudes, and opinions the communicators have in their mental filters. People react favourably when the message they receive agrees with their views towards the information, the facts, and the sender. 2.7 Problems Regarding Values, Attitudes, Opinions Receivers' views of the information presented will affect their response; which could be what the sender desires or just the opposite. a. Favourable or Unfavourable Information: The effective communicator considers the receivers, will regard information as favourable or beneficial. Receivers often react to unfavourable information by rejecting, distorting, or avoiding it.
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b. Inadequate or Incorrect Information: Occasionally people react according to their attitude towards a situation rather than to the facts. For example, a customer may be happy over an adjustment that a company has extended, but angr y when learning that someone else received a better deal for what the customer assumed (perhaps wrongly) to be the same circumstances. This customer may have incomplete or incorrect information. c. Closed Minds: Some people hold rigid views on certain subjects. These people do not consider facts or additional information and maintain their rigid views regardless of the circumstances. Such a closed-minded person is ver y difficult to communicate with, and often you can't communicate with that person at all. While dealing with such a person, you may have to resort to a mediator or a court of law to resolve disputes. d. Sender's Credibility: Often people react more, according to their attitude toward the source of information, than to itself. In general, people react more favourably to a communicator who has credibility - someone whom they trust and respect. An effective communicator builds credibility by writing and speaking in a fair and just manner and by considering the receiver's point of view. e. Other Circumstances Af fecting Attitudes, Opinions, and Responses: When personal, business, or environmental stressors occur, attitudes toward a message may be affected. On a day when personal problems seem over whelming, a communicator's message may seem gr uf f, or unco-operative. Life's stresses affect our ability to send effective messages and colour our responses when we receive them. Sensitivity to your own state of mind as well as to that of your receiver helps you communicate your message in a positive way.

Summing Up
Several factors affect communication between the sender and the receiver. Some of them being differences in conventions of meaning, perception of reality and values, attitudes and opinions. Successful communication implies a perfect understanding between the sender and the receiver, but this happens ver y rarely as the two do not share a common experience. Miscommunication occurs due to varied connotations and denotations of words. In order to maintain efficient communication in an organisation, skills such as abstracting, inferring, are necessar y. But both these should be based on facts. Values, attitudes, and opinions influence communication depending on whether they are positive or negative. Inadequate or incorrect information can reduce effective communication.

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Self-assessment
a. Answer in a single sentence 1. Give an example of mis-communication. 2. What are slanted statements? 3. What is an inference? b. Fill in the blanks 1. Information can be either or . 2. People who maintain a rigid view regardless of circumstances are said to be having . 3. Words have both and meaning.

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Nature, Scope and Importance of Communication

Chapter III Nature, Scope and Importance of Communication

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The nature, scope and importance of communication The internal and external communication at organisation level Benefits of communication at the professional level Benefits of communication at the working place Contents 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Nature of Communication 3.3 Scope of Communication 3.4 Purpose of Corporate Communication 3.5 Principles for Effective Corporate Communication 3.6 Importance of Communication 3.7 Communication as Lifeblood of an Organisation 3.7.1 Internal Communication 3.7.2 External Communication 3.8 Benefits of Effective Communication 3.9 Communication as a Valuable Job Requirement Summing Up Self-assessment

3.1 Introduction In order to understand corporate communication, it becomes rather imperative to understand the nature of communication and how it functions in the corporate world. As far as the scope of communication is concerned, communication has been an instrument of our sur vival and leads to our overall progress and advancement in all walks of life and organisation. 3.2 Nature of Communication An organisation is often represented as a communication system. It is a formal process to accomplish the desired common goals. It is an exchange of information between individuals, groups, departments, etc. Ever y organisation has its own sub-systems and there is always interaction and interface between the sub-systems to achieve goals. Communication transmits information and data to the sub-systems as well as to the total system. The management information system operates effectively through communication. It involves information gathering, storage, processing, monitoring. Communication includes both present and past information. It is a tool and vital aspect of the management process. As a matter of fact the superior-subordinate
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relationship can exist only with effective and meaningful communication. There must be two parties to the process of communication. The communicator or sender or transmitter of the message constitutes one party and the receiver or recipient or listener or reader constitutes the other. The purpose of communication is to make others understand. Communication is effective when the message is shared and understood. There can be no communication if the information is not understood by the receiver in the same sense as it was intended by the communicator. It is not necessar y in effectivecommunication, that the receiver must agree or accept the information. It is sufficient if the information is understood even though information is rejected, or some kind of disagreement exists between the sender and the receiver. 3.3 Scope of Communication The scope of communication is wide and comprehensive. It is a subject of almost unlimited dimensions and is an inter-disciplinar y one. It is a two-way process involving both transmission as well as reception. It is a continuous process of exchange of facts, ideas, feelings, attitudes, opinions, figures, and interactions with others. In the process, it uses a set of symbols; which may be words, actions, pictures and figures. Communication, however, does not mean downward movement of sending directions, orders, instructions, etc. It is only on one-way communication. Two-way communication represents the upward movement of communication. Internal communication flows in different directions viz. vertical, horizontal, diagonal, across the organisation structure. Internal communication may be formal and informal. External communication is concerned with transmission of messages outside the organisation with the government, its departments, customers, dealers, inter-corporate bodies, general public investors, etc. External communication promotes goodwill with the public. Internal communication helps in discharge of managerial functions like planning, direction, coordination, motivations, etc. The broad policies and objectives flow downward from the top management to the lower one. Both written and oral or verbal media can be used to transmit messages. Written media consist of instructions, orders, letters, memos, house journals, posters, bulletins, boards, information racks, handbooks, manuals, annual reports, union publications, etc. Verbal media may consist of face-to-face conversation, lectures, conferences, meetings, inter views, counselling, public address system, telephone, grapevine, etc. Recently, a number of sophisticated communication technologies have emerged, both in oral and written communication on account of technological advancement. 3.4 Purpose of Corporate Communication According to communication exper t Lee O. Thayer, the purpose of communication in an organisation can be classified into five broad activities:
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Nature, Scope and Importance of Communication

a. Becoming informed or informing others: This is the basic purpose of routine, day-to-day communication. Communication provides a means of affirming the joint purpose of organisational members, that is, all the members will work towards complementar y goals. When decisions have been made, they will have to be implemented and reflected in organisation operations only after members involved have been informed. b. Evaluating one's own Input and another's output or some Ideological scheme: The dynamic nature of function demands that constant evaluations be made of activities in order that progress towards the desired objectives can be evaluated. Thus, the complete communication process is necessar y, with feedback being particularly important. Feedback tells us the effect of a communication or action. c. Directing others or being directed or instructed: The manager's function of directing the combinations of persons and materials towards goals requires that communication occur between the manager and the human and physical resources within her/his authority. Job training depends upon communication; delegation of authority cannot occur without communication. d. Influencing others or being influenced: Motivation must be present as one of the elemental forces in providing for a dynamic organisation. Any motivational forces, not inherent, are provided to an individual and then stimulated through communication. The balance between efficiency and inefficiency lies with the ability to persuade or influence. e. Several incidental, neutral functions: Many communications within the organisational context have no direct connection with the accomplishment of the objectives of the organisation. However, an auxiliar y or contributing communication may contribute indirectly to organisational objectives and directly to the satisfaction of individual needs that are compatible with organisational goals, providing social contact within the organisation is an example. 3.5 Principles for Ef fective Corporate Communication The following are principles for effective corporate communication: 1. There must be a clear line of authority running from the top to the bottom of the organisation. 2. No one in the organisation should report to more than one line authority. Ever yone in the organisation should know whom he should report to. 3. The responsibility and authority of each department should be clearly defined, if necessar y in writing. 4. Responsibility should always be coupled with corresponding authority. 5. The responsibility of the higher authority for the acts of its subordinates is absolute. 6. Authority should be delegated as far down the line as possible. 7. The number of levels of authority should be kept at the minimum.

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8. The work of ever y person in the organisation should be confined as far as possible to the performance of a single leading function. 9. Whenever possible, the line function should be separated from the stafffunctions, and adequate emphasis should be placed on important staff objectives. 10.There is a limit to the number of positions that can be co-ordinated by a single executive. 11.The organisation should be flexible so that it can be adjusted by changing conditions. 12.The organisation should be kept as simple as possible. 3.6 Importance of Communication The ability to communicate well is an asset to those who possess it. To be able to communicate effectively in speaking and writing is a highly valued skill. In numerous sur veys, business executives rank the ability to communicate first among the personal factors necessar y for promotion. The use of effective communication extends to all areas of business, including management, technical, clerical, and social positions. The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others. This is a process that involves both the sender of the message and the receiver. This process leaves room for error, with messages often misinterpreted by one or more of the parties involved. This causes unnecessar y confusion and counter productivity. In fact, a message is successful only when both the sender and the receiver perceive it in the same way. By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you convey do not necessarily reflect your own, causing a communication breakdown and creating roadblocks that stand in the way of your goals, both personally and professionally. In a sur vey conducted by the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Business School, in the U.S., recruiters from companies with more than 50,000 employees cited communication skills as the single most important decisive factor in choosing managers. It also pointed out that communication skills, including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factor contributing to job success. In spite of the increasing importance given to communication skills, many people continue to struggle with this, unable to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively whether in the verbal or the written format. This inability makes it nearly impossible for them to compete effectively in the workplace, and stands in the way of career progression. Getting your message across is paramount to achieving success. To do this, you must understand what your message is, what audience you are sending it to, and
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how it will be perceived. You must also weigh-in the circumstances surrounding your communications, such as situational and cultural context. 3.7 Communication as Lifeblood of an Organisation An organisation is a group of people associated for business, political, professional, religious, aesthetic, social or other purposes. These activities require people to interact and react, that is, to communicate. They exchange information, ideas, plans, order needed supplies, make decisions, rules, proposals, contracts, and agreements. In other words, communication is the lifeblood of ever y organisation. 3.7.1 Internal Communication at Organisation Level Effective internal communication is the vital means to attend to a company concern downward, upward, and horizontal. It helps increase job satisfaction, safety, productivity and profits and decreases absenteeism and grievances. When employees receive appropriate downward' communication from the management, they can be easily motivated and can work more efficiently. They need not only clear job directions and safety rules but also facts about organisational strategy, products and viewpoints on important controversial issues. They are concerned about employee benefits, healthcare, insurance, promotions, pensions, training, work environment, retirement. In all, for any amount of employee welfare, employers are accountable for their decisions through effective downward communication. Employers who communicate effectively have more productive employees. Likewise, upward' internal communication has become increasingly more significant. Many executives sincerely seek frank comments from employees, in addition to the usual periodic reports. Successful managers listen closely to opinions, complaints, problems and suggestions, especially when these are clearly and effectively stated. As a response to increasing global competition, some companies are developing new management styles, which make input from employees an integral part of important decisions affecting the company. Effective horizontal' communication between peers is also essential in organisations in order to solve problems, perform job duties, prepare for meetings and co-operate on important projects. For example, if you think about the time spent listening to and making requests, writing notes and memos, and discussing and writing about projects, you soon realise that communication is the medium through which an organisation accomplishes its goals. 3.7.2 External Communication at Organisation Level Messages to persons outside the company can have a far-reaching effect on its reputation and ultimate success. The right letter, proposal, report, telephone call or personal conversation can win back a disgruntled customer, create a desire for a firm's product or ser vice, help negotiate a profitable sale, encourage collections, motivate performance and in general, create goodwill.
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Furthermore, communications to the public regarding social accountability have become significantly more important during the past two decades. Because of demands by many special interest groups (labour unions, environmental groups, governmental agencies political action committees, and others), the media, business organisations, political groups are seriously concerned about enhancing their public image. Important are well-planned public speeches, tactful replies to comments and criticisms, free informative pamphlets, annual reports and image-building inter views with the news media. All these messages should be transmitted with an emphasis on honesty, openness, and concern for the public. 3.8 Benefits of Ef fective Communication Effective communication skill is a prerequisite for success in any job or field. What is more essential is that you must have effective communication skills to gain advantage in your career graph and consequent advancement in employment. Your job, promotion, and professional reputation often depend upon how well you write and is influenced by how effectively you can speak. It is a valuable asset for personal growth. 3.9 Communication as a Valuable Job Requirement If your career requires mental rather than manual labour, your progress will be strongly influenced by how effectively you can communicate your knowledge, proposals and ideas to others who need or should receive them. The following table lists a host of jobs that strongly require communication skills. Job Title Finance Associate Fiscal Officer Product Manager Senior Sales Representative Desired Communication Skills Must be able to communicate clearly to clients and other finance professionals Superior writing and presentation skills Develop and communicate product objectives and strategies Excellent communication and follow-up skills, ability to write proposals and quotations General knowledge of proposal preparation, good oral/written communication skills

Contracts Administrator

Table 3.1 Jobs and their desired communication skills Communication is a primar y responsibility in many careers, such as customer relations, labour relations, marketing, personnel, public relations, sales and teaching. Also technical and scientific fields need editors, producers, researchers and writers. Advancement can be made to management, research, training and consulting positions.
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Even if your work is mainly with figures, as in the accounting profession, the ability to communicate to those who read your financial reports is essential.

Summing Up
Effective communication is necessar y for managing information systems. It enables the smooth transmission of information and data to the various subsystems. In a corporate organisation ever y message is expected to generate a response, either favourable or unfavourable. Internal communication within an organisation may be formal or informal and can flow in vertical, horizontal and diagonal directions. Communication can be both oral and written. The purpose of communication in an organisation consists of informing others or being informed, directing others or being directed, influencing others or being influenced. There are several principles for effective corporate communication, regarding delegation of responsibility and authority. Business communication has its source in the ancient traditions of the East and the West. Governments of Greece, Rome, as well as China knew about the impor tance of communication and had formulated the principles of communication. Effective internal communication can be downward, upward, and horizontal. It helps to increase job satisfaction, safety, productivity, and profits by eliminating misunderstanding among employees. Upward communication is becoming increasingly important, as executives require feedback from subordinates. External communication should be carefully monitored and made as error-free as possible because it has far reaching effects on the reputation and success of the organisation. Effective communication skills provide employees a competitive edge for career advancement. Job positions such as Finance Associate, Fiscal Officer, Product Manager, Sales Manager, and Administrators require strong communication skills.

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Self-assessment
a. Answer in a single sentence 1. Which are the components of management information system? 2. In which different directions does internal communication flow? 3. What is the purpose of internal communication? 4. What is external communication? 5. What is the importance of horizontal communication in an organisation? 6. How do communication skills increase your chances of promotion? 7. What is meant by professional development?

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Chapter IV Non-verbal Communication

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The concept of non-verbal communication The importance of appearance in communication The importance of body language in communication The concept of silence, time, and space in communication Contents 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Communicating with Appearance 4.3 Communicating with Body Language 4.3.1 Facial Expressions 4.3. 2 Gestures, Postures, and Movements 4.3.3 Smell and Touch 4.3.4 Sound 4. 4 How Silence, Time, and Space Communicate 4.4.1 Silence 4.4. 2 Time 4.4.3 Space Summing Up Self-assessment

4.1 Introduction In the preceding chapters while discussing communication process we have focused upon the verbal' aspect of communication written or spoken symbols, usually words. We also communicate non-verbally' without words. Sometimes non-verbal message contradict the verbal; often they express feelings more accurately than the spoken or written language. As per sur vey study, 60 to 90 percent effect of a message comes from non-verbal cues. In this chapter we briefly discuss the important aspects of non-verbal communication in terms of appearance, body language, and silence, time, and space. 4.2 Communicating with Appearance Appearance conveys non-verbal impression that affects receivers' attitudes towards the verbal message even before they read or hear them. An envelope's appearance, size, colour, weight, and postage may impress the receiver as important', routine' or junk' mail. Telegrams, Mailgrams, Express Mail, and private courier mail also have distinctive envelopes that signal urgency and importance. Next, the letter, report, or title page communicates
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non-verbally before its contents are read by the kind of paper used, its length, format, and neatness. Finally, the language itself, apart from its content, communicates something about the sender. Whether you are speaking to one person face-to-face or to a group in a meeting, personal appearance and the appearance of your surroundings convey nonverbal stimuli that affect attitudes towards your spoken words. a. Personal Appearance: Clothing, hairstyles, neatness, jeweller y, cosmetics, posture, stature are part of personal appearance. They convey impressions regarding occupation, age, nationality, social and economic level, job status, and good or poor judgement, depending on circumstances. b. Appearance of Surroundings: Aspects of surroundings include room size, location, furnishings, machines, architecture, wall decorations, floor (carpeted or bare?), lighting, windows, view, and other related features wherever people communicate orally. Surroundings will var y according to status and according to countr y and culture. 4.3 Communicating with Body Language 4.3.1 Facial Expressions The eyes and face are especially helpful means to communicate non-verbally. They can reveal hidden emotion, including anger, confusion, enthusiasm, fear, joy, surprise, uncertainty and others. They can also contradict verbal statements. For example, on his first day in a new job an embarrassed employee may answer, yes, to something. But an intelligent senior will notice the employee's bewildered expression and hesitant voice and will guess that the answer is actually a no. In formal situations, direct eye contact is considered desirable when two people converse. The person whose eyes droop or shift away from the listener is thought to be either shy or dishonest and untrustworthy. But because people differ, we must be careful not to make a false inference about eye contact. It is always advisable to collect additional facts before judging a person's facial expressions conclusively. 4.3.2 Gestures, Postures, and Movements In some occupations, actions speak louder than words. Traffic Police who direct traffic in crowded streets or people who guide trucks when backing up in narrow places effectively communicate by pointing arms or fingers or by tapping on the side of the vehicle to indicate the desired direction. Deaf people communicate with a language primarily composed of hand, finger, and eye movements. Gestures and movements are culture-specific. Continual gestures and movement such as pacing back and forth may signal ner vousness and may be distracting to listeners. Handshakes reveal attitudes (and sometimes handicaps) by their firmness or limpness.
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Posture and movement can convey self-confidence, status or interest. A confident executive may have a relaxed posture, and yet may stand more erect than a timid subordinate. An interested listener may lean for ward toward the speaker; one who is bored may lean away, slump, or glance at the clock. 4.3.3 Smell and Touch Various odours and fragrances sometimes convey the emotions of the sender and sometimes affect the reactions of the receiver, especially if the receiver is sensitive to scents. Also, touching people can communicate friendship, love, approval, hatred, anger, or other feelings. A kiss on the cheek, pat on the shoulder, or slap on the back is prompted by various emotions. 4.3.4 Sound Your voice quality and the extra sounds you make while speaking are also a part of non-verbal communication called Paralanguage. Paralanguage includes voice, volume, rate, articulation, pitch, and the other sounds you may make, such as throat clearing and sighing. The words You did a great job on this project! could be a compliment. But if the tone of voice is sarcastic and said in the context of criticism, the true meaning is anger. A loud voice often communicates urgency while a soft one is calming. Speaking fast may suggest ner vousness or haste. A lazy ar ticulation, slurring sounds or skipping over syllables or words, may reduce credibility. A lack of pitch variation becomes a monotone, while too much variation can sound artificial or overly dramatic. Throat cleaning can distract from the words. Emphasising certain words in a sentence can purposely indicate your feeling about what is important. 4.4 How Silence, Time, and Space Communicate Silence, time and space can communicate more than you may think, even causing hard feelings, loss of business and profits. It pays to know these differences across cultures, as you will see in the chapter dealing with cultural differences in communication. 4.4.1 Silence Consider how you feel when you make an oral request that is met with silence. Or think about the confusion you feel when your written message generates no response. Suppose you wrote a request to your super visor for additional funds for a project you are developing. If you receive no answer for several weeks, what is your reaction? Do you assume that the answer is negative? Do you wonder if your super visor is merely ver y busy at the moment and hasn't been able to answer your request? Do you think your super visor is rude or considers your request unworthy of an answer? All the above reactions are valid with given circumstances.
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4.4.2 Time Waiting for an important request, which is ignored, may cause problems and attitude changes. In the preceding example, after the long silence, should you ask again? Time is important in many ways. How do you feel when you are kept waiting two hours after the scheduled time for an inter view? Concepts of time, however, var y across cultures. 4.4.3 Space If you step into an empty elevator, where do you stand? If the elevator then fills up with people, where do you move? The need for personal space decreases as the number of people increase. The distance between two persons talking varies according to culture. For example, in America, the need for personal space in a two-person conversation is about 18 inches. However in many Asian cultures, including India, this space is ver y less. There is this interesting stor y about an American and a Saudi Arabian who fell into conversation. The Arabian takes a step for ward; the American edges backward; the Arabian advances; the American retreats. By the end of the conversation, the American feels bullied, and the Arabian feels insulted. Effective communicators must learn to adapt to both senders' and receivers' expectations regarding space. The key to be successful communicators is to be aware of the differences.

Summing Up
Non-verbal communication includes appearance, body language and concepts of silence, time and space. Non-verbal communication often accompanies verbal communication and affects the receiver's attitude towards the message as they generate non-verbal stimuli. Facial expressions, gestures, posture and relevant sensor y impressions, quality of voice while speaking, as well as the sense of time, space and silence in communication have a way of af fecting communication.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in single sentence 1. Give an example of gesture that is culture-specific. 2. Mention a few emotions that can be communicated by facial expression. b. Fill in the blanks 1. Clothes and lifestyles are examples of 2. Silence can be interpreted as both or . .
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Chapter V Cross-cultural Communication


In any organisation, there are the ropes to skip and the ropes to know. R. Ritti and G. Funkhovser Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The concept of cross-cultural communication The guidelines to improve such communication The significance of communicating internationally Contents 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Cross-cultural Communication 5.3 Improving Cross-Cultural Communication 5.3.1 Maintaining Similarity 5.3.2 Emphasise Descriptions 5.3.3 Empathy 5.3.4 Working Hypothesis 5.4 Communicating Internationally Summing Up Self-assessment

5.1 Introduction Culture plays an important role in the organisational environment. In recent years, organisational theorists have begun to emphasise the significance of culture playing a crucial role. Organisations are institutionalised; they take on a life of their own, apart from any of their members and thus organisations acquire value support. 5.2 Cross-cultural Communication Organisational culture refers to a system of shared meaning held by the members that distinguishes the organisation from other organisations. One of the characteristics of organisational culture is the communication pattern. It is the degree to which organisational communications are restricted to the formal hierarchy of authority. Ever y organisation may have a dominant culture and a number of sub-cultures. A dominant culture represents the core-value shared by a majority of the members of an organisation. Whenever it is referred to as the organisation's culture, it means a dominant culture. A sub-culture, on the other hand, may include the core value of the dominant culture plus additional values, particular and peculiar to the members of that subgroup. In large organisations, there are bound to be sub-cultures, which reflect common problems, situations or experiences that members face. Department delegations and geographical separations would give rise to sub2/MITSDE

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cultures. A sub-culture is uniquely shared only by the members of that department. Individuals with different backgrounds and levels will tend to describe an organisation's culture in similar terms. Though an organisation culture has common properties, it does not mean that it is without sub-cultures. It is a ver y difficult task to maintain effective communication in a situation where dominant sub-cultures prevail. Cross-culture presents communication problems. According to N. Adler, cross-culture factors clearly create the potential for increased communication problems. Different individuals in the organisations may possess different cultural backgrounds. Difference in perception, degree of understanding makes a difference in encoding of the message by the sender and decoding of the message by the receiver into arbitrar y symbols. Because of the difference in cultural backgrounds, the perception or meaning of the message is not the same for each person. If the degrees of difference in the backgrounds of the members of the organisation are greater between the sender and the receiver, greater is the difference in the meanings attached to particular words or behaviour. S. P. Robbins writes: People from different cultures see, interpret and evaluate things differently, and consequently act upon them differently. The r esults of cr oss-cultural communication ar e misper ception, misinterpretation, misevaluation and misunderstanding. 5.3 Improving Cross-cultural Communication The following are some of the methods through which you may improve crossculture communication. 5.3.1 Maintaining Similarity It is always desirable to presume the existence of differences until similarity is established. People always think that others are similar to them. But actually, people working in an organisation with different cultural backgrounds var y from one another. The sound principle is to assume the existence of differences until similarity is proved. 5.3.2 Emphasise Descriptions Another important rule is to emphasise description rather than interpretation or evaluation. It is advisable to delay judgment until the obser vation and interpretation of the situation from different perspectives of all the cultures involved are completed. 5.3.3 Empathy Empathy is different from sympathy. Empathy is feeling with the other person, not feeling sorr y for him, which is sympathy. Empathy can be regarded as the primar y prerequisite for a satisfying experience in any relationship where a certain degree of depth of understanding is expected. The sender of the message should put himself in the recipient's shoes before sending a message.
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He has to understand the values, experience the frame of reference of the recipient. He has to see and understand the other person as he is. 5.3.4 Working Hypothesis Another Rule for improving cross-cultural communication is interpretation as a hypothesis that needs further testing. 5.4 Communicating Internationally With more and more companies globalising, employees in various international locations now have day-to-day communications with each other. Given different cultural contexts, this brings new communication challenges to the workplace. Even when these employees speak the same language (for instance, correspondences between English-speakers in the U.S. and English-speakers in India), there are some cultural differences that should be considered in an effort to optimise communications between the two parties. In such cases, effective communication strategy begins with the understanding that the sender of the message and the receiver of the message are from different cultures and backgrounds. Of course, this introduces a certain amount of uncertainty, making communications even more complex. Without getting into cultures and sub-cultures, it is perhaps most important to realise that a basic understanding of cultural diversity is the key to effective cross-cultural communication. Without intently studying the individual cultures and languages, we must all learn how to communicate better with individuals and groups whose first language, or language of choice, does not match our own. Learning the basics about culture and at least something about the language of communication in the host countr y is necessar y. This is necessar y even for the basic level of understanding required to engage in appropriate greetings and physical contact, which can be a tricky area inter-culturally. While many companies now offer training in the different cultures where the company conducts business, it is important that employees be thrust into communicating across cultures, practice patience and work on their own to increase their knowledge and understanding of different cultures. This requires the ability to see that a person's own behaviour and reactions are mostly culturally driven. to treat

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Summing Up
Different employees in an organisation may belong to different cultural, religious and social backgrounds. To improve cross-cultural communication, it is necessar y to understand and sympathise with differences in cultures. The key word here is tolerance without any hostility. In case of international communication, cultural diversity should be assumed and treated with respect.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in a single sentence 1. Why is cross-cultural communication being stressed in recent times? 2. What is paralanguage? b. Fill in the blanks 1. Verbal media may consist of , etc. , , , ,

2. Communication principles originating in the East were developed mainly in . 3. When an organisation communicates with the public at large, it is known as communication.

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Chapter VI Barriers to Communication

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The various barriers to Communication The effects of such Barriers in Communication Contents 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Wrong Choice of Medium 6.3 Types of Barriers to Communication 6.4 Physical or Mechanical Barriers 6.4.1 Defects in the medium 6.4.2 Noise 6.4.3 Time and Distance 6.4.4 Defects in the Organisation's Communication System 6.5 Semantic or Language Barriers 6.5.1 Different Comprehension of Reality 6.6 Personal Socio-Psychological Barriers 6.7 Socio-Psychological Barriers 6.7.1 Self-centred Attitudes of Interest 6.7.2 Sense of Belonging to a Group 6.7.3 Self image 6.7.4 Selective Perception of Information Content 6.7.5 Defensive Behaviour 6.7.6 Filtering of Message 6.7.7 Status Consciousness 6.7.8 Resistance to Change 6.7.9 Closed Mind 6.7.10 Poor Communication Skills 6.7.11 State of Health Conditions 6.8 Cross-cultural Barriers 6.8.1 National Character 6.8.2 Language 6.8.3 Values and Norms of Behaviour 6.8.4 Social Relationships 6.8.5 Concept of Time 6.8.6 Concept of Space 6.8.7 Thought Processes 6.8.8 Non-verbal Communication 6.8.9 Para language 6.8.10 Perception 6.9 Remedies 6.9.1 Follow-ups and Feedback 6.9.2 Keeping the Channel in Good Working Condition

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6.9.3 Timing 6.9.4 Attention to Language (Semantic and Language Barriers) 6.9.5 Removal of Personal Barriers

Summing Up Self-assessment

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6.1 Introduction Barrier is the hurdle or problem that we face while performing a task. Like any other task, communication has also its barriers. Due to these barriers, miscommunication occurs. We face many problems in our business and personal lives resulting from miscommunication. What the receiver receives from a message many not always be the same what the sender intended. Several communication barriers exist between the sender and the recipient and they may be responsible for a message not being understood correctly, or a message becoming distorted. Communication will be effective only when the recipient understands, accepts and acts upon the information that has been transmitted to him. The sender of the message must know the various barriers that can impede not only transmission of information but also affect understanding and acceptance of it. Communication barriers cause the breakdown of the communication process leading to many managerial problems. 6.2 Wrong Choice of Medium Communication may fail for a variety of reasons such as poor vocabular y, poor communication skills, lack of pre-judgment or wrong choice of medium and so on. Various modes of communication are available to us, such as oral, written, visual, audio-visual, computer-based, etc. All these have their relative merits and demerits or limitations. A properly selected media can add to the effectiveness of communication. At the same time a wrong choice of medium may act as a barrier to it. For instance, a field salesperson has to submit a detailed report to the sales manager ever y fortnight for the progress made by him in obtaining sales orders. If he presents his report in writing in a lengthy paragraph and transmits the report to the sales manager through e-mail, it will reach the sales manager within minutes, provided the sales manager has an internet connection. At the same time, if he mails the report through postal deliver y, it may take few days to reach the report to the sales manager. Therefore, the best choice of medium will increase the effectiveness of the communication. 6.3 Types of Barriers to Communication The modern communication theor y offers different types of communication barriers. According to McFarland, the important barriers to communication are: unsound objectives, organisation blocks, semantic blocks and human relation barriers caused by status and position, language and general inclination to resist change. Keith Cavis has classified the communication barriers into three types: personal barriers, physical barriers and semantic barriers.

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Some others like Urmila Rai and S.M. Rai classified communication barriers as physical barriers, semantic barriers and socio-psychological barriers. Keeping all these categorisations in mind, the communication barriers can be divided into: a. b. c. d. e. Physical or Mechanical Barriers Semantic or Language Barriers Personal Socio-Psychological Barriers Socio-Psychological Barriers Cross Cultural Barriers

6.4 Physical or Mechanical Barriers These are obstacles or barriers that prevent a message from reaching the intended recipient. Some cannot be controlled because they are in the environment, whereas some can be controlled by the management. Such physical barriers are: 6.4.1 Defects in the Medium Defects in the devices used for transmitting communication are external and usually not within the control of the parties engaged in communication. The telephone, the postal system, the courier ser vice or even electronic media may sometime fail or break down. A partial failure of the mechanical equipment is more dangerous than a complete failure, because a partial failure carries an incomplete or distorted message, which might cause a wrong action to be taken. The only way to overcome this barrier is to postpone the communication or use an alternative medium. 6.4.2 Noise A typical physical barrier is a sudden detracting noise that temporarily drowns out a voice message. In face-to-face communication, the air may be disturbed by noise in the environment, such as traffic, factor y work or people talking. Organisations with sound-proof rooms can overcome this barrier. In a factor y, oral communication is ver y difficult due to the noise of the machines. 6.4.3 Time and Distance Time and distance also act as barriers to the smooth flow of communication. Sometimes, mechanical breakdowns render the use of telephones along with computer technology, ineffective. In such cases, the distance between the transmitter and the receiver becomes a great barrier. If telecom and network facilities are not available, people working in dif ferent shifts in factories, faulty seating arrangements in the examination hall, etc. can create physical barriers to effective communication.

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6.4.4 Defects in the Organisation's Communication System Within an organisation, oral messages and information that passes through many levels of authority are often delayed by the system itself. They are also likely to be distorted, because, at each level, they are edited and interpreted before being passed on. As a result, some persons in the organisation may not get some information, which they need for their works due to the communication gap. Many gaps are created in upward and downward communication. Subordinates do not send all information upward; they tend to send up only such information, which will show them in a favourable light, and hide such information that may not be favourable to themselves. In downward communication, the loss of information is said to be so great that many employees at the lowest level receive only 20 percent of what they should get. Too much dependence on written communication is one of the reasons for this. Circulars, bulletins, notices and even letters are not read carefully. Many employees are unable to read and understand long messages. Even educated employees at higher levels do not always give proper attention to all written communication. Other physical barriers include distances between people, or static that interferes with radio messages. People recognise when physical interference occurs and tr y to adjust with the interference. 6.5 Semantic or Language Barriers Communication consists of the manipulation and interpretation of symbols. Semantic barriers arise from limitations in the symbols with which we communicate. Symbols have a variety of meanings. A major set of symbols we employ is language. A problem here is that many words commonly used in communication carr y quite different meanings for different people. Two general kinds of semantic problems present barriers to communication: a. Some words and phrases are so common or abstract that they invite var ying interpretation b. When different groups develop their own technical language, some words like present, transfer, record, are used as verbs and as nouns with a differences in stress in speaking, but no difference in spelling. Similar sounding words like access and excess, flour and floor, cite, site and sight can cause misunderstanding in speech. Besides, adjectives and adverbs like far, fast, few, early, easy, convey different meanings to different persons depending on their daily activities and way of life. The meaning of descriptive adjectives like beautiful and ugly depends entirely on personal taste. Even a concrete noun like table may suggest a writing table or a dining table or a statistical table to different persons; chair could be something to sit on, or a position to occupy. Sentences can convey entirely dif ferent meanings depending on how they are
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spoken. Consider the sentence, What can I do for you? It means something different with ever y shift of emphasis from one word to another. In oral communication, the speaker can signify the meaning by emphasising particular words; but in written communication, the reader is in control and may read with different emphasis. More importantly, semantic barriers arise because words mean different things to different persons. It is said, meaning is in people, not in words. Age, education, cultural background and many other factors influence the meaning we give to words. In brief, semantic barriers may occur, if the transmitter and the receiver assign different meanings to the same word or use different words for the same meaning, or words carr y different flavours or shades to the transmitter and the receiver. To minimise or to avoid semantic barriers, you should use words, which are familiar to the receiver. If you feel that a word being used is likely to be unfamiliar to the receiver, tr y to explain it in the context. 6.5.1 Dif ferent Comprehension of Reality Reality is not a fixed concept; it is complex, infinite and continually changing. Therefore, the reality of an object, an event, or person is different to different people. No two persons perceive reality in an identical manner. The barriers caused by different comprehensions of reality are: a. Abstracting: It means picking a few details and leaving or omitting others. In a number of cases, abstracting is both necessar y and desirable, for it may save valuable time, space and money. We can overcome this barrier if you tr y to make your abstract as fairly representative of the whole situation as possible. b. Inferring: It means drawing inferences from obser vation. What we directly see, hear, taste or smell we immediately verify and confirm the constituents. But the statements that go beyond facts and conclusions based on facts are called inferences. For instance, if we drop a letter in a letterbox, we assume that it will be picked up and carried to the post office for onward transmission to its destination place. Such inferences are also drawn out in business. Being experts in their fields, their inferences are accepted as legal evidence. A wrong calculation of inference can certainly be a barrier to perfect communication. 6.6 Personal Socio-Psychological Barriers Personal barriers in communication arise from human emotions, values, and poor listening. They are common in work situations. Personal barriers often involve a psychological distance between people that is similar to actual physical distance. Our emotions also act as filters in nearly all our communications. We see and hear what we are emotionally tuned to see and hear, so communication cannot be separated from our personality.
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People have personal feelings, desires, fears and hopes, likes and dislikes, attitudes, views and opinions. Some of these are formed by family background and social environment; some are formed by the individual's own intelligence, inherited qualities, education and personal experiences. They form a sort of an emotional filter around the mind, and influence the way we respond to messages we receive and to new experiences. Factors like time, place and circumstances of a particular communication also influence our understanding and response. Problems of understanding, interpretation and response to communication arise partly from our socially learned attributes and partly from our personal attributes. These are called socio-psychological barriers. To some extent, these barriers may be overcome by an effort of the will. Persons in responsible positions need to overcome their barriers in order to be able to manage their work. In order to overcome socio-psychological barriers, you must know how we deal with a received message. We receive a message at three levels: a. Noticing: We notice the message at the physical level with our senses; when we become aware that a message is addressed to us, we focus attention on it. It is quite possible that our eyes or ears miss it on account of other competing messages, which claim our attention. Sometimes we may not notice a message addressed to us. b. Understanding: We must be able to understand the language or any other symbols used in the message. Also, the ideas and concepts in the message must be within our understanding and knowledge. c. Acceptance: There is usually an emotional response of pleasure, dislike or indifference to ever y message that we receive. If the message arouses an unpleasant feeling, we may reject it, prevent it or forget it. 6.7 Socio-Psychological Barriers Elements of socio-psychological barriers are as follows: 6.7.1 Self-centred Attitudes of Interest We tend to see and hear ever ything in the light of our own interests and desires. We pay attention to messages, which are useful to us, and often, do not pay enough attention to those that do not interest us. 6.7.2 Sense of Belonging to a Group People have a sense of belonging to a group, such as family, the larger family of relatives, locality or city, religion, language, age group, nationality, economic group and so on. Many of our ideas, attitudes and values are picked up from the group. People tend to reject an idea that goes against the interest of the group. Sometimes it is difficult for parents and children to agree because of the different age groups. Sometimes employees and the management cannot come
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to an agreement because the interests are different. It is difficult for persons of one group to understand how persons of another group think and feel. This becomes a barrier to communication. 6.7.3 Self-image Self-image is our idea about what we are, what we look like and what impression we make. It is usually based on some truth and some exaggeration of our good points. A self-image is built up over the years and it is quite difficult to accept any idea that goes against it. This makes it particularly difficult for us to give and take feedback. If you make a good self-assessment, it would be easier for you to endure the stress of an assessment by others. A systematic self-assessment gives you a balanced self-image. 6.7.4 Selective Perception of Information Content Sometimes, we fail to receive a complete message sent to us. We see, read or hear selectively according to our own needs, interests and experiences. We project our expectations into the communication as we interpret the message. While doing so, some of the aspects and content of the message may not be perceived by us. 6.7.5 Defensive Behaviour If we feel threatened by a message, we become defensive and respond in such ways that reduce understanding. We may question the motives of others or become sarcastic or judgmental. Such defensive behaviour prevents understanding. 6.7.6 Filtering of Message Filtering is the process of reducing the details or particular aspects of a message. Each person who passes on a message, reduces or colours a message according to his/her understanding of the situation. In the role of the sender, we tend to edit information so that it will appear favourable to ourselves; some information is changed and lost in this way. Information to be sent to the higher authority has to be condensed and integrated so that the senior managers are not overloaded with information. At each level, the information gets edited according to what the person thinks is important. The more the levels of hierarchy in an organisation, the greater is the filtering and loss of information. 6.7.7 Status Consciousness A boss who is conscious of status finds it difficult to receive favourably, any suggestions from subordinates. People in senior positions often develop the
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feeling that they know ever ything about how to run the business. They do not agree that a junior may have some good ideas. Many good ideas are wasted only because they come from junior employees who are considered to be too young and inexperienced. The ideas of workers are most likely to go unheard because of the social distance between them and the managers. A subordinate may be too ner vous to speak to a ver y senior manager. Social distance sometimes makes workers too shy or frightened to speak to their senior bosses. Social and official status distance can raise a difficult barrier which both may be unable to overcome. Suggestion schemes are meant to overcome this status block. Good managers personally tr y to overcome it by developing friendly contact with their subordinates or by maintaining an office which does not frighten them by its status symbols of expensive dcor and furnishing, or by following an open door policy. 6.7.8 Resistance to Change This is a serious psychological barrier. Some people strongly resist new ideas, which are against their established opinions or traditions or social customs. They may avoid new ideas because they feel insecure or afraid of changes in methods or situations. People bound by traditions have their own emotions, attitudes, standards and convictions and do not accept anything that goes against their cherished ideas. 6.7.9 Closed Mind Limited intellectual background, limited reading and narrow interests can make a person's mind narrow. This limits the ability to take in new ideas. Persons with a closed mind do not take to any suggestions for change. Young employees with bright ideas and fresh approach feel frustrated by the closed mind of the seniors in an organisation. Persons with a closed mind have limited understanding of human nature; this makes it difficult for them to receive communication with sympathy. This becomes a serious barrier in receiving grievances and appeals. These barriers can be overcome to some extent by organisational procedures like grievance committees, counselling and suggestion schemes. 6.7.10 Poor Communication Skills Lack of skill in writing and speaking prevents a person from framing a message properly. Oral communication can be handicapped by a number of problems. Ner vousness in facing an audience may affect a person's clarity in speaking. Even excitement about an achievement or a new idea may make a person's speech incoherent. Written communication can be handicapped by poor skills in using language.

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Writing and speaking skills can be developed by training and practice. The other two communication skills, reading and listening, are really the more important skills. Unfortunately, these two skills do not receive enough attention in business training schools. Poor reading habits and faulty listening are both psychological and need careful training to overcome them. Training workshops are organised for these skills. 6.7.11 State of Health Conditions Physical condition can affect your efficiency in communication skills. If you have a pain or fever, you are not inclined to engage in talking. But even when there is no pain or fever, if the state of health is poor, communicating ability is reduced because the mind is not sufficiently alert; there may be gaps in attention while reading or listening; there may be lack of energy to think clearly and to find the right words. Perceptions are low when the state of health is poor. 6.8 Cross-cultural Barriers Even in the best of conditions, communication can be difficult. Cross-cultural factors naturally increase the possible problems of communication. If for historical or political reasons, relationships between two countries are not friendly, there can be even greater problems of communication. Culture is a shared set of values and attributes of a group; it is the sum total of the ways of living built up by a group and transmitted from one generation to another. Culture is so much a part of an individual's manner of talking, behaving and thinking that communication style and competence are influenced by it. In a world that is global in its business approach, skill in communicating with people of other cultures is vital to any business success. Some of the most significant differences between cultures are as follows: 6.8.1 National Character Each nation has a character of its own. The Chinese are not like the Indians, not the Pakistanis not the Sri Lankans, although they are neighbouring countries. Neighbouring European nations like the French and the Germans and the Swiss are also different from one another. 6.8.2 Language The language of any group directly reflects their culture. You only have to think of some of the sayings or proverbs or idiomatic expressions in an Indian language and in English to see that translation from one to other is nearly impossible. Many words cannot be translated exactly. Even among countries that speak the same language like the British and the Australians, a word may not have the same significance. Connotations of words differ in different cultures. When the Japanese say yes they mean, Yes, I am listening. The Americans may take it to mean, Yes, I agree. Negotiations may prove difficult because of this.
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6.8.3 Values and Norms of Behaviour Values are our ideas of what is good and what is evil; they form the basis of our behaviour and actions. Notions of good and evil var y among cultures. Besides, norms, rules and manners of cultures differ. Behaviour expected from Eastern culture is different from what is expected in Western culture. 6.8.4 Social Relationships Social relationships depend on the groupings in that society. All societies have groups like families, classes, castes and so on. The Indian caste system, though officially abolished, still plays a significant part in social behaviour. Significance of family relationships in India is reflected in the elaborate system of words, which can describe the precise relationship of two persons indicating the descent three or even four generations back. In Western Languages, the allcovering word cousin describes a variety of relationships. Relationships between parents and children, between teachers and students, and the rules of behaviour that govern these relationships differ vastly between Eastern and Western cultures. 6.8.5 Concept of Time The concept of time is perhaps one of the most troublesome differences that cause barriers in cross-cultural communication, especially between Eastern and Western cultures. The Eastern concept of time is that it is circular, while the Western concept is linear. Apart from this, time orientation varies; some cultures focus on the past, some on the present and some on the future. For some cultures, time is money and is more important than personal relationships; for others, time is subordinate to relationships. As a result of perceiving time differently, work behaviour and social behaviour styles var y greatly. Ideas about punctuality and scheduling of activities depend on the concept of time. In India, and other Eastern countries, lack of punctuality and not functioning to schedule is almost normal; in Western countries arriving late for an appointment is one of the worst things you can do. The idea of keeping work time strictly separate from personal time is a Western concept and is not easy for Eastern cultures to understand and follow. Attitude to time is one of the major problems in cross-cultural communication between Indians and people of Western cultures. 6.8.6 Concept of Space Concept of space influences design and use of shapes and colour. Besides, it has an important effect on behaviour and the distance between speakers during conversation; in some cultures, speakers stand close enough to touch often, while in others they maintain distance to denote respect. People in South Asian countries like India and Sri Lanka maintain less inter-personal distance.
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6.8.7 Thought Processes Thought processes var y between cultures; some are strictly logical and rational while others may be holistic and emotional. The frame of reference, that is, the higher perspective from which we view a situation makes a difference to the way we see it. Thinking process is affected by acceptance or rejection of superstition, belief in magic, miracles and so on; cultures where these beliefs are rejected are likely to view the world as logical, clear and law-based. 6.8.8 Non-verbal Communication Non-verbal communication is another area of trouble in cross-cultural communication. Body language is a major factor that varies between cultures. Not only are gestures understood differently, but also the amount of use of the gesture varies. Indians use much more natural gestures than the British; the Japanese have many formal gestures for social interaction but less free body movements. Appearance tends to be a subconscious basis for evaluation. We react subconsciously to the biological appearance (colour and texture of skin and hair, shape and colour of eyes, stature and body structure) as well as to the acquired appearance (style of dress and grooming) of persons we communicate with. The appearance of people of different cultures varies significantly. Ways of dressing and what may be considered formal clothes is another problem area. The Indian sari, which seems so formal in India, is not an acceptable formal clothing in most American countries. 6.8.9 Para language Para language means aspects of the voice. Cross-cultural confusion arises from the way we use our voice. People in India speak loudly, whereas in some Western cultures people speak in such low voices that you can hardly hear them, and may wonder if they intend to be secretive. Difference between cultures in the speed of talking makes the faster talking people consider the slow talking cultures as slow and lax. Some cultures expect formality and formal tone at work and are embarrassed or put off by the informal tone of another culture. The amount of silence that is considered as right during a conversation can cause confusion. The Japanese believe, Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know. This is quite contrar y to Americans who are embarrassed by silence and hasten to fill it by speaking. 6.8.10 Perception Perceptions are influenced by culture. We perceive some things and ignore others; we particularly perceive what is contrar y to our own culture and what makes us uncomfortable. What smells good or bad is perceived differently. Rain means something different for Indians from what it means for the British.

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Differences of perceptions of the world can be amazing. Our worldview and attitudes to life affect our meanings. 6.9 Remedies Constant organisational effort is needed to overcome the barriers, which are unconsciously built up by different people in the organisation. Persons in positions of authority, as well as subordinates, can be helped to overcome communication barriers by training in effective communication. Several techniques of remedies are commonly employed by managers to overcome communication barriers. The important among them are as follows: 6.9.1 Follow-ups and Feedback In this technique, the sender establishes a formal mechanism for checking how the message transmitted is actually being interpreted by the receiver. Feedback makes the communication a two-way process. In a face-to-face situation, the sender becomes sensitive to facial expressions of the receiver that indicate how the message is being received. In written communication, the sender may request the receiver to reply within a specified time or in a specified form. Periodical review and reorganisation of communication networks is also needed to ensure that the message reaches people in time. One has to cultivate all the communication skills including getting feedback and non-verbal communication. 6.9.2 Keeping the Channel in Good Working Condition The internal barriers of defective channels and faulty organisational systems are the responsibility of the management, within the organisation. The channels must be kept in good working condition, the intercoms, notice boards, information meetings, etc. must be kept up-to-date. 6.9.3 Timing When a manager has pressing problems, he may ignore a memo or a request. Usually two kinds of actions can be suggested by the management to ensure the correct reception of communication: either the management may standardise the timing to receive specific messages or may establish or allot a time away from the normal job pressures, to exchange views with employees and others. 6.9.4 Attention to Language (Semantic and Language Barriers) Language barriers can be overcome only by being careful with the use of language, and by using words, which have clear meaning (by using short and simple sentences). Whenever possible, feedback must be taken and given to ensure that there is common understanding of a message.

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6.9.5 Removal of Personal Barriers These can be overcome by a conscious effort from both the speakers and the listeners. People in responsible positions are expected to improve their communication skills. This is the reason that many companies organise training sessions for their staff for better communication skills. To reduce misunderstanding while communicating with people from different cultures, certain rules must be obser ved: a. Do not assume similarity until you are sure that others are similar to us or quite different in their thinking, and b. Before communicating, tr y to feel yourself in the other's role, values and frame of reference.

Summing Up
It is necessar y to classify the barriers that lead to incomplete or erroneous communication. The success of a communication depends on there being minimum barriers, the most important ones being psychological barriers, and cross-cultural barriers. Semantic barriers can be reduced if the sender is aware of the receiver's linguistic ability. Barriers arising due to differences in perception of reality can be overcome through repeated communications. A conscious effort to overcome all barriers through follow-up and feedback can lead to better communication.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in a single sentence 1. Give two methods of overcoming psychological barriers. 2. How can cross-cultural barriers be eliminated? b. Fill in the blanks 1. Resistance barrier. 2. to change is a

barriers. and

are instances of mechanical

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Chapter VII The Seven C's of Ef fective Communication

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The principles to be followed for Effective Communication Contents 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Completeness 7.2.1 Provide All the Necessar y Information 7.2.2 Answer All Question Asked 7.2.3 Give Something Extra, When Desirable 7.3 Conciseness 7.3.1 Eliminate Wordy Expressions 7.3.2 Include Only Relevant Material 7.3.3 Avoid Unnecessar y Repetitions 7.4 Consideration 7.4.1 Focus on You Instead of I or We 7.4.2 Show Audience Benefit or Interest in the Receiver 7.4.3 Emphasize Positive, Pleasant Facts 7.5 Concreteness 7.5.1 Use Specific Facts and figures 7.5.2 Put Action in Your Verbs 7.5.3 Choose Vivid, Image-Building Words 7.5.4 Sensor y Appeal 7.6 Clarity 7.6.1 Comparisons 7.6.2 Choose Precise, Concrete and Familiar Words 7.6.3 Construct Effective Sentences and Paragraphs 7.7 Courtesy 7.7.1 Be Sincerely Tactful, Thoughtful, and Appreciative 7.7.2 Thoughtfulness and Appreciation 7.7.3 Choose Non-discriminator y Expressions 7.8 Correctness 7.8.1 Use the Right Level of Language 7.8.2 Check Accuracy of Figures, Facts, and Words Summing Up Self-assessment

7.1 Introduction To compose effective written or oral messages, you must apply certain communication principles. These principles provide guidelines for the choice of content and style of presentation, adapted to the purpose, and to the receiver of your message. Called the seven C's, they are completeness', conciseness',
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consideration', concreteness', clarity', courtesy', and correctness'.

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Although we have dealt with these principles here on the sentence level, they are applicable to all forms of communication, from mere utterances and sentences to complete documents and presentations. To some extent the principles overlap because they are based on a common principle for the audience, whether that audience consists of listeners or readers. The following are the seven C's of effective communication: 7.2 Completeness Your business message is complete' when it contains all facts the reader or listener needs to know. Remember that communicators, senders and receivers differ in their mental filters; they are influenced by their backgrounds, viewpoints, needs, experiences, attitudes, status, and emotions. Because of these differences, communication senders need to assess their messages through the eyes of receivers so as to be sure that they have included all relevant information. Completeness offers numerous benefits. First, complete messages are more likely to bring the desired results without the expense of additional messages. Second, they can do a better job of building goodwill. Messages that contain information the receiver needs, show concern for others. Last, communications that seem inconsequential can be surprisingly important if the information they contain is complete and effective. To achieve completeness while communicating you should keep in mind the following guidelines: a. Provide all necessar y information b. Answer all questions asked c. Sometimes give extra, when desirable 7.2.1 Provide All the Necessar y Information When you initiate a message, check to make sure you have provided all the information the reader needs for a thorough, accurate understanding. One way to help make your message complete is to answer the five W questions who', what', when', where', why' and any other essentials, such as how'. The fivequestion method is especially useful when you write requests or announcements. Make clear what you want, when you need it, to whom and where it is to be sent and how payment will be made. For example, to reser ve a hotel banquet room, specify the accommodation needed (what), location (where), the sponsoring organisation (who), the date and time (when), the event (why) and other necessar y details (how). 7.2.2 Answer All Questions Asked Whenever you reply an enquir y, tr y to answer all questions stated and implied. A colleague or prospective customer's reaction to an incomplete reply is likely to be unfavourable. The customer may think that your response is careless or that you are purposely tr ying to conceal a weak spot. In general, omissions cast
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suspicions, whether you are answering an enquir y about your product or recommending a former employee for a new job. If you have no information on a particular question, say so clearly. If you have unfavourable information in answer to certain questions, handle your reply with both tact and honesty. Sometimes before you can answer an enquir y, you need certain specific information from the enquirer. If so, it is a good idea to list the needed details on a reply form that the enquirer can fill out and return to you. This way both your answer and that of your respondent will be complete. 7.2.3 Give Something Extra, When Desirable The words when desirable, are essential. Sometimes you must do more than answering the customers' specific questions. They may not know what they need, or their questions may be inadequate. You have to understand their requirement and communicate adequately. For example, suppose you are the president of your local Rotar y Club and receive the following enquir y from out-of-town members: I'm new to the city and would like to consider joining your club. I will be visiting your club within the month, will you please tell me where the next meeting will be held? If you answer only this one question, your letter would be incomplete. Realising that your reader is a newcomer to your city and to your Rotar y Club, you should include in your reply, a welcome plus such needed details as directions for reaching the building, parking facilities, day, date and time of the meeting, and perhaps also the programme for the next meeting. Your message will then have the something extra that a reader really needs and appreciates. In most cases the reason the communicator includes something extra will be obvious. Whenever it is not completely clear, explain why you are including the additional information. The following is an example of an incomplete question for which you have to communicate something extra. a. Content of a fax: How come my request for an interview letter did not receive a response? When was the letter sent? Who sent it? To whom was it sent? In other words, to answer the fax you would require a return letter or fax seeking answers to the above questions. 7.3 Conciseness Conciseness is saying what you have to say in the fewest words possible without sacrificing the other C' qualities. A concise message is complete without being wordy. Conciseness is a prerequisite to effective business communication. A concise message saves time and expense for both, the sender and the receiver. Conciseness contributes to emphasis; by eliminating unnecessar y words, you
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let important ideas stand out. When combined with a you-view, concise messages are inherently more interesting to recipients. Finally, concise messages show respect for recipients by not cluttering their professional lives with unnecessar y information. To achieve conciseness, you must obser ve the following: a. Eliminate wordy expressions b. Include only relevant material c. Avoid unnecessar y repetition 7.3.1 Eliminate Wordy Expressions The following are some concrete suggestions you can use to reduce wordiness in your communication. 1. Use single-word substitutes instead of phrases whenever possible without changing the meanings. Wordy: In due course Concise: Soon 2. Omit unnecessar y expressions. Wordy: Please be advised that your admission statement was received. Concise: Your admission statement has been received. 3. Replace wordy conventional statements with concise versions. Wordy: Please find attached the list you requested. Concise: The list you have requested for is attached. 4. Avoid overusing empty phrases. Wordy: It was known by Mr. Smith that we must reduce inventor y. Concise: Mr. Smith knew we must reduce inventor y. 5. Omit which and that clauses whenever possible. Wordy: She bought desks that are of the executive type. Concise: She bought executive-type desks. 6. Eliminate unnecessar y prepositional phrases. Wordy: The issue of most relevance is teamwork. Concise: The most relevant issue is teamwork. 7. Limit use of the passive voice. Wordy: The total balance due will be found on page 2 of this report. Concise: The balance due is on page 2 of this report. In all attempts to reduce wordings, you must be careful to not distort the meaning. Conciseness reflects the thoughtful elimination of unnecessar y words.

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7.3.2 Include Only Relevant Material The effective, concise message should omit not only unnecessarily wordy expressions but also irrelevant statements. To be sure you include only relevant facts, you have to obser ve the following suggestions. a. Stick to the purpose of the message b. Delete irrelevant words and rambling sentences c. Omit information obvious to the receiver. Do not repeat at length what that person has already told you. If you feel it is important to remind the audience of known information, subordinate the familiar information. d. Avoid long introductions, unnecessar y explanations, excessive adjectives and prepositions, pompous words, gushy politeness. e. Get to the important point tactfully and concisely. For example: Wordy: We hereby wish to let you know that our company is pleased with the confidence you have reposed in us. Concise: We appreciate your confidence. 7.3.3 Avoid Unnecessar y Repetitions Sometimes repetitions are necessar y for emphasis. But when the same thing is said two or three times without reason, the message becomes wordy and boring. Here are three ways to eliminate unnecessar y repetition. a. Use a shorter name after you have mentioned the long names. Instead of the North Central Company, use North Central. b. Use pronouns or initials rather than report long names. Instead of citing American Association of Technical Analysts again and again, use it or they or AATA. When using well-known initials or acronyms, give the full reference with the initials in parentheses: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is being debated in Congress. c. Cut out all needless repetition of phrases and sentences. Sometimes it is possible to combine two or even more sentences by using subordinate clauses or phrases. 7.4 Consideration Consideration means preparing ever y message with the message received in mind. Tr y to put yourself in their place: You are considerate, you do lose your temper, you do not accuse, you do not charge them without facts. You are, foremost, aware of their desires, problems, circumstances, emotions, and probable reactions to your request. Then handle the matter from their point of view. This thoughtful consideration is also called you-attitude, empathy, the human touch, and understanding of human nature. In a broad but true sense, consideration underlies the other six C's of good business communication. You adapt your language and message content to your receiver's needs when you make your message complete. Three specific ways to indicate consideration are:
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a. Focus on you instead of I and we b. Show audience benefit or show interest in the receiver c. Emphasise positive, pleasant facts. 7.4.1Focus on You Instead of I or We To create considerate, audience-oriented messages, focus on how the receiver will benefit from the message, what they will receive, and what they want or need to know. In some cases, this can be accomplished by emphasis; you might downplay your own feelings and emphasise a point, make an explicit reference, or use a direct quotation in responding to the request of another individual. Creating a you-attitude may require avoiding telling others how they feel, assuming you know their needs. The following is the example of difference between the we and you attitude: We-Attitude: I am delighted to announce that we will be extending our hours to make shopping more convenient. You-Attitude: You will be able to shop evenings with the extended hours. Messages that use we can be receiver-oriented if the we includes the recipient of the message. Messages that use you can be insensitive in negative situations. In fact, sometimes avoiding you can reduce potential defensiveness or allow the recipient to save face. An extreme example of a negative situation is the collection letter with you or your in almost ever y sentence; if those sentences are insulting, sarcastic, tactless, or untrue, the letter surely lacks a you-attitude. Consider the following example: Insensitive: You failed to enclose your cheque in the envelope. Considerate: The cheque was not enclosed. [passive voice] Considerate: The envelope we received did not have a cheque in it. [depersonalised] 7.4.2 Show Audience Benefit or Interest in the Receiver Whenever possible and true, show how your receivers will benefit from whatever the message asks or announces. Benefits must meet recipients' needs, address their concerns, or offer them rewards. Most important, they must be perceived as benefits by the receivers. This means that you must identify the legitimate benefits of your position, policy, or product and then put yourself in the place of the receivers to assess their perspectives. Receivers will be more likely to react favourably and do what you suggest if you show that benefits are worth the effort and cost you ask of them. Merely inserting the word you does not ensure a you-attitude, as shown in the following sentence: You will be glad to know that we now have a Walk-Up Window. The receiver does not have any substantial benefit from this message.
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Reader-benefit appeals help smooth business communication not only among business houses, but also among customers. Such appeals are desirable also in job applications, favour requests and announcements to your customers, prospective buyers, stockholders and employees. Whether you are writing to one person or to large numbers, you should tr y to personalise the reader benefits instead of stating them in a general way. Benefits that are realistic, inherent, and tailored to individuals, help communicators achieve goals in an effective way. 7.4.3 Emphasise Positive, Pleasant Facts A third way to show consideration for your receivers is to accent the positive. This means stressing what can be done instead of what cannot be done, and focusing on words your recipient can consider favourably. The following table explains this: Negative Unpleasant It is impossible to open an account for you today. We don't refund if the returned item is soiled and unsaleable. When you travel on company expense, you will not receive approval for first class fare. Positive Pleasant As soon as your signature card reaches us, we will gladly open an account We refund when the returned item is clean and resaleable. When you travel on company expense, your approved fare is for Tourist class.

Table 7.1 Negative and positive statements Among the positive words to which people react favourably are benefit, cordial, happy, help, generous, loyal, pleasure, thanks, thoughtful. Words with negative connotations that often arouse unfavourable reactions include blame, complaint, failed, fault, negligence, regret, reject, trouble, unfair, and many others. For example, in the following opening of a letter, the negative words (underlined) focus on ideas you'd rather not have the reader think about. We regret that, since you have closed your account, your name will be missing from our long list of satisfied customers. We sincerely hope that, despite the best efforts of our fine staff, there were no occasions on which you felt we failed to ser ve you properly. 7.5 Concreteness Communicating concretely means being specific, definite, and vivid rather than vague and general. Often it means using denotative (direct, explicit, often dictionar y-based) rather than connotative words (ideas or notions suggested by or associated with a word or phrase). Thus the term female may appear in personnel when using terms as wife, mother, spinster, widow, maiden, matron, or dowager. Each of these terms also refers to female but with wide-ranging associations.
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For business professionals the benefits of using concrete facts and figures are obvious: your receivers know exactly what is required or desired. Using concrete language has some additional, less obvious advantages. When you supply specifics for the reader or listener, you increase the likelihood that your message will be interpreted the way you intended. Moreover, concrete messages are more richly textured than general or vague messages; thus they tend to be more vivid, dynamic, and interesting. The following guidelines should help you compose concrete, convincing messages. a. Use specific facts and figures b. Put action in your verbs c. Choose vivid, image-building words 7.5.1 Use Specific Facts and Figures Whenever possible, use an exact, precise statement or a figure in place of a general word to make your message more concrete. Consider the following examples: Vague, General, Indefinite: Student GMAT scores are higher. Concrete, Precise: In 1996 the GMAT scores averaged 600; by 1997 they had risen to 610. Of course it is permissible, even desirable, to use general expressions. But note some exceptions to the facts and figures rules. a. When it is not possible to be specific: You may not have the precise figures or facts. b. When you wish to be diplomatic (considerate): You have missed three invitations to my office is harsh; you may be more tactful by saying I've sent you several reminders to see me in my office. c. When exact figures are unimportant, as in more than the committee was present. 7.5.2 Put Action in Your Verbs Verbs can activate other words and help make your sentences powerful. Use active rather than passive verbs and use action words as verbs rather than nouns and infinitives. Again, it is advisable to use the active voice. When the subject performs the action described by the verb, the verb is said to be in the active voice. Usually the active voice puts the verb up front. Consider the sentence, The financial officer reported to the board. Here the subject (the financial officer) reported; the verb reported is active, is up front in the sentences. 7.5.3 Choose Vivid, Image-Building Words Among the devices you can use to make your messages forceful, vivid, and
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specific are sensor y appeals, comparisons, figurative language, concrete nouns, and well-chosen adjectives and adverbs. But use these devices with caution: business writing uses fewer descriptors than does a news magazine or fiction. 7.5.4 Sensor y Appeal Concrete language often evokes a sensor y response in people; it appeals to one or more of the five senses: sound, sight, smell, touch and taste. Such language tends to be more descriptive than conventional business language. For example, instead of saying It was hot in the factor y, you might appeal to both sight and touch by saying Sweat trickled down the arms of the line workers or The secretar y's face was wrinkled after squinting into the computer the entire day. Although sensor y appeals are used primarily in marketing products, they also have a limited place in providing colour and specificity in other forms of business communication. 7.6 Clarity Clarity means communicating without any ambiguity. The message should be clear and easy to understand, so that the listener does not have to make extra effort to understand the message. The following are the some of the ways through which you achieve clarity in communication. 7.6.1 Comparisons Analogies (either figurative or literal) or comparisons can make an unclear idea clearer or more vivid. 7.6.2 Choose Precise, Concrete and Familiar Words Clarity is achieved in part through a balance between precise and familiar words. When you use precise or concrete language, you select exactly the right words to convey your meaning. Precise words need not be pretentious. When you use familiar language, you select a word that is part of your personal repertoire, familiar to the audience, and appropriate for the situation. Familiar words, as between two good friends, for example, are often conversational, and occasionally may be part of a speech or written communication. 7.6.3 Construct Ef fective Sentences and Paragraphs A correct sentence is the core of clarity. A grammatical statement, expressed clearly can move the reader and the listener. To write effective sentences you should consider the following: length, unity, coherence, and emphasis. a. Length: Generally, short sentences are preferred. The suggested average sentence length should be about 17 to 20 words. Because variety in sentence length adds interest to writing, you can adopt a range from 3 to 30 or more words. But when a sentence exceeds 40 words, tr y to rewrite it into more than one sentence. Also, if all sentences are short (under 10 words), the result is a primer like language-choppy and overly simple.

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b. Unity: In a sentence, whether simple, compound, or complex unity means that you have one main idea, and any other ideas in the sentence must be closely related to it. I like coffee, and the Eiffel Tower is in Paris obviously is not a unified sentence. c. Coherence: In a coherent sentence the words are correctly arranged so that the ideas clearly express the intended meaning. You should place the correct modifier as close as possible to the word it is supposed to modify. d. Emphasis: The quality that gives force to important parts of sentences and paragraphs is emphasis. Writers must decide what needs emphasis, and then choose correct sentence structure. In a complex sentence the main idea should be placed in the main clause; the less important points are in subordinate (dependent) clauses or phrases. For instance, in the first sentence below, the two ideas appear to be of equal value. In contrast, if the important idea is that the airplane was difficult to control, the second sentence would be more meaningful and emphatic; its main idea is in the main clause. Little emphasis: The airplane finally approached the speed of sound, and it became ver y difficult to control. Better emphasis: As it finally approached the speed of sound, the airplane became ver y difficult to control. 7.7 Courtesy True courtesy involves being aware not only of the perspective of others, but also their feelings. Courtesy stems from a sincere you-attitude. It is not merely politeness with mechanical insertions of please and thank you, although applying socially accepted manners is a form of courtesy. Rather, it is politeness that grows out of respect and concern for others. In addition to following the guidelines discussed under Consideration, courteous communicators generate a special tone in their writing and speaking. The following are suggestions for generating, a courteous tone: a. Be sincerely tactful, thoughtful, and appreciative b. Use expressions that show respect c. Choose non-discriminator y expressions 7.7.1 Be Sincerely Tactful, Thoughtful, and Appreciative Though few people are intentionally abrupt or blunt, these negative traits are a common cause of discourtesy. Sometimes they stem from a mistaken idea of conciseness, sometimes from negative personal attitudes, sometimes from not knowing the culture of a countr y or even groups of people. 7.7.2 Thoughtfulness and Appreciation Writers who send cordial, courteous messages to deser ving parties (to persons both inside and outside the firm) help build goodwill. The value of goodwill or public esteem for the firm may be worth a lot of money.
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7.7.3 Choose Non-discriminator y Expressions Another requirement for courtesy is the use of non-discriminator y language that reflects equal treatment of people regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, and physical features. 7.8 Correctness The correctness of communication mainly concerns grammar, punctuation, and spelling. However, a message may be perfect grammatically and mechanically but still insult or lose a customer. The term correctness, as applied to business messages, also implies the following: a. Use the right level of language b. Check accuracy of figures, facts, and words c. Maintain acceptable writing mechanics 7.8.1 Use the Right Level of Language There are two ways of using language: formal and informal. Formal writing is often associated with scholarly writings: doctoral dissertations, scholarly articles, legal documents, top-level government agreements, and other materials where formality in style is demanded. The style is not conversational, usually impersonal, and often contains long and involved sentences. Business writing is more of the informal kind. Here you use words that are short, well known, and conversational. 7.8.2 Check Accuracy of Figures, Facts, and Words It is impossible to convey meaning precisely, through words, from the sender to the receiver. Our goal is to be as precise as possible, which means checking and double-checking to ensure that the figures, facts and words you use are correct. Thus, you can tr y to adopt the following: a. Verify your statistical data b. Double-check your totals c. Avoid guessing at laws that have an impact on you, the sender and your message receiver d. Have someone else read your message if the topic involves data e. Determine whether a fact has changed over time. In other words, there are accepted measures for statistical analysis just as there are rules for good grammar.

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Communication as a Management Tool

Summing Up
Completeness gives coherence to the communication. Messages in clear, leaving no room for organisations should always be ambiguity. Consciousness is expressing the message using only the required number of words. Consideration provides the human attitude in a message. Correctness implies being scientific and definite. Courtesy refers to a polite attitude and correctness and accuracy is the final guideline to effective communication.

Selfassessment
a. Answer sentence in a single

1. How can correctness be achieved in a report? 2. What is the advantage in using the minimum number of words while communicating a message? b. Fill blanks in the

1. can make an unclear idea clear. 2. Facts and figures increase the message.

of a

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Corporate Communication

Chapter VIII Communication as a Management Tool

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The relation of Communication and Management The Communicative process of Management The principles of effective communication in Management Contents 8.1 Introduction 8.2 Communication as a Tool for Management 8.3 Management Function as a Communication Process 8.3.1 Planning 8.3.2 Organisation 8.3.3 Control 8.3. 4 Direction 8. 3.5 Co-ordination 8.4 Communication with Employees 8. 4.1 Recruitment 8.4. 2 Orientation 8. 4.3 Operation 8.4.4 Individual appraisal 8.4.5 Personal Safety 8.4.6 Discipline 8.5 Management through Communication Summing Up Self-assessment

8.1 Introduction Communication is a tool for management. Communication as a transferor of the message ser vice to management through its various functions has to employ a number of tools and techniques like any other discipline. With the advancement of technology, a host of conventional communication media or channels have been replaced by new ones, making communication easier and more
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Communication as a Management Tool

sophisticated.

8.2 Communication as a Tool for Management Used appropriately, the communication tools can be effective and beneficial. As a tool for management, a system of communication should provide an opportunity for communicating within the organisation between various levels. In carr ying out the managerial functions of planning, co-ordination, direction and motivation, the management must communicate with managers and operating personnel. An effective tool of communication provides data for effective decision-making. Delegation of authority is to be communicated.

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Corporate Communication

The entire business process may be broadly divided into three areas known as production, finance and marketing. Production is concerned with the making of goods or rendering ser vices. The finance function relates to providing the necessity funds for the activities. Marketing, sometimes referred to as distribution, is concerned with the activities from the point of production to the point of consumption. All these activities necessitate communication between various channels. Marketing involves both inter nal and exter nal communication at organisation level. Sales promotion is concer ned with communication and persuasion. Advertisement is a medium of sales promotion. Personal selling, demonstration and demonstration-cum-sale are nothing but oral communication by way of faceto-face conversation. To a considerable extent, production activities involve communicating with the operating workforce as to the method of production, process of production, safety measures to be taken and similar activities in an organisation. All financial activities revolve around communication. Metabolism of the required finance is not possible without providing the necessar y information to investors. Capital market activities are nothing but communication. 8.3 Management Function as a Communication Process Functions like control, direction, planning, motivation, called management functions'', are essentially the functions of the communication process. Data and other information are needed in effective performance of all the managerial functions. Thus, communicating information is the life-blood of management in decision-making, control and direction. The following are some of the management functions: 8.3.1Planning Planning for the future is essentially a mental and creative process. Here what is to be achieved in an organisation is decided well in advance. It is not the task of an individual, but of a group, comprising of functional heads and other people. Planning involves inter views, discussions, exchange of ideas and finalising a plan. Thus, planning at the management level involves the communication process. A good system of information exchange is indispensable for successful formulation of a plan. The effective system of communication with the suitable channel and media helps to accomplish the planning function of management. 8.3.2 Organisation Organising men, material and machine involves communication. It consists of formal communication, downward communication, upward communication, horizontal communication, and internal and external communication. Downward communication has its origin at the top management by way of order, instructions, rules, objectives, etc. Upward communication begins at the lower level by way of complaints, suggestions, advice, feedback, etc.
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Communication as a Management Tool

8.3.3 Control The Control function of management is to see that things are going on as per schedule. It is found in the planning and the organisation function. It is an examination of actual performance. It involves explanation and reasons, which enable others to perform in a better way. Just formulation of plans is not enough without performance appraisal. Probably no management task is more significant than that of communicating success or failure. Measuring actual performance against set standards, analysing deviations, reasons for deviations and remedial actions, etc. involve written or oral communication. It is the feedback, which is important to ensure effective control. 8.3.4 Direction The direction function of management also applies to communication. Direction involves instructions, issuing orders to the support staff, communicating rules, objectives, procedures, guidelines, motivating and super vising them. The act of direction is the process of communication, transferring information and understanding. A successful manager always develops effective systems of communication so that he may issue instructions, receive the reaction of the receiver of the information and guide them. It is through ef fective communication that managers can create a feeling of belonging among the subordinates. The interaction and exchange of facts, feelings and opinions, improve management subordinate relations, by keeping both in contact with each other. 8.3.5 Co-ordination The co-ordination function of management also requires communication between various sections and groups. This function af fects the manager as the communicator. In a business enterprise, there are a large number of people working in different departments with different types of authorities and at different levels. In this, ever yone has to contribute towards the accomplishment of the common broad-objectives of the business. It is the co-ordination that is the main tool that makes it possible. 8.4 Communication with Employees Scholars like Koontz and Donnel state that there are several areas of communication with the employees right from recruitment to retirement. The following are such areas: 8.4.1 Recruitment In the recruitment process, the purpose of communication is to persuade potential employees to work for the enterprise. Communication is equally necessar y to inform prospective recruits about the enterprise to create goodwill. The prospective recruits also need information about the internal policies and practices, organisation structure, about their suitability in the organisation and the prospects.
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Corporate Communication

8.4.2 Orientation The object of orientation is to impart a sense of familiarity and security in jobs. Adequate information is necessar y towards making the employees acquainted with peers, super visors and subordinates, familiarising them with social and business groups. It is only with communication that explanations are transmitted about procedures, policies, and practices. 8.4.3 Operation The employees in an organisation do not work in a vacuum. They have to work in relation to others, establishing interpersonal relations. All the employees in the organisation require considerable information. Employees have to respond well to directions and super vision. Ever y individual needs to know to whom he is responsible, his interpersonal relationships and their importance to the overalloperation. 8.4.4 Individual appraisal It is not just enough to communicate orders, instructions, etc. but one needs to evaluate the performance of the employees against the standards. This is the only method to know where employees stand, how to improve their skills and assessment of their strength. Here the need for the superiors to communicate with the subordinate arises. 8.4.5 Personal Safety Safety of the employees is an important function of the management. It is their responsibility to provide adequate, useful and timely information about the safety of the employees on job. From the viewpoint of the employees, communication of the safety information will boost their morale and improve performance. Employees' safety, their lives and welfare are generally of prime importance to the employees. On the other hand, such communications keep down the human cost of accidents, the problem of compensation, insurance premium and other such problems. 8.4.6 Discipline Discipline is one of the primar y duties of ever y employee in an organisation. The function of communication in the area of discipline is to make employees aware of the rules and regulations of the organisation. The management with the help of effective internal communication and with the appropriate channel and media, has to make the employees acquaint with rules, regulations, working hours, safety regulations, amicable relations, etc. 8.5 Management through Communication By definition we know that communication is a process of transmission of information from one person to another. Therefore, managing through communication means getting things done through others. It is essential that a manager communicate with members in the organisation.
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Corporate Communication

Managers spend most of their time in communicating either orally or in writing, either sending or receiving information. Here, one should understand that communication is not a one-way process. It is a continuous and co-ordinated process of transmitting information, listening to subordinates or getting feedbacks. Thus, it is a process of telling, listening, understanding, acting and getting feedback. The success of all managerial functions depends on successful and effective communication. An ineffective communication system may lead to failure. Therefore, a suitable organisation structure should be designed as per the particular business, so as to enable communicating job assignments. Managers work and have to speak, write and discuss job description for their subordinates. In other words, managers do not work and manage in isolation, but are always involved in carr ying out their management functions by communicating to others.

Summing Up
The three main areas of business viz. production, finance, and marketing require co-ordination and communication at ever y stage. Functions such as control, direction, meaning and motivation are essentially functions of communication. Planning, organising, controlling, direction and co-ordination all require communication. Effective communication by the management to the employees will result in greater efficiency within the organisation.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in single sentence 1. Name the different types of communication that take place in an organisation. 2. Explain the term, management of communication. b. Fill in the blanks 1. , , communication with employees. , etc. are the areas

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Presentation Skills

Chapter IX Presentation Skills


"One of life's terrors for the uninitiated is to be asked to make a speech." Most people rank public speaking high on the list of things they don't like to do. George Plimpton

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The concept of public speaking Different stages and skills required in presentation Understand the tips for effective presentation Contents 9.1 Introduction 9.2 Speaking to an Audience 9.3 Preparing a Presentation 9.4 Achieving Clarity and Impact 9.5 Using Visuals 9.6 Arranging the Room 9.7 Tips and Techniques 9.8 Presentation Planning Checklist 9.8.1 Presentation 9.8.2 Deliver y 9.8.3 Appearance 9.8.4 Visual Aids 9.9 Understanding Presentation Aspects 9.9.1 Making Technical Talk Interesting 9.9.2 Preparation 9.9.3 Research 9.9.4 Organising Your Material 9.9.5 Delivering Your Presentation Summing Up Self-assessment

9.1 Introduction Presentation is the process of presenting the content of a topic to an audience. Presentation software such as Microsoft Power Point can be used to illustrate the presentation content. There are many different types of presentations including professional (work-related), presentations for students at schools (secondar y and/or college), or other general projects. Besides using a slide set8/MITSDE

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up, there are many ways that one can present material to their audience. Pamphlets, posters, and collages are just a few examples of what one can use to convey a message during a presentation.

A manager needs to be good and ef fective in presentation, as many a times he would be required to make business related presentations before a large crowd or in public. Making presentation is an unavoidable part of corporate life, so why not make the best of it? The following should help you prepare a more interesting, informative, and persuasive talk the next time you're asked. 9.2 Speaking to an Audience Speaking to an audience can be fun and exciting. However, lack of preparation or a clear, definite goal of the presenter and the audience can make even the bestintended presentation a complete disaster. Preparation is the key to successful speaking. To ensure that your presentation is effective, first you have to determine your objective. You may ask yourself: a. Why am I giving the presentation? b. What do I want the audience to gain from the presentation? Second, determine your audience. Their familiarity with the presentation topic will determine the level at which you present your speech. 9.3 Preparing a Presentation Once you have determined your presentation's objective and overall goal, as well as the audience, it's the time to structure your presentation. You will need to start this process by determining the length of the presentation. Take the allotted time and break it into smaller segments, with each segment tackling a specific task (all of which reflect the overall objective of the presentation). For example, the fist segment of the presentation should be introduction. In this segment, you should give an over view of your presentation, or a short summar y of your speech, explaining the topic, why you are covering this topic, and what you hope to accomplish. The next segment should tackle the first item on your agenda, with the following segment tackling the following item on your agenda, and so on. Once you have developed the introduction and outlined the following segments, spend some time thinking about the conclusion of the presentation. The introduction and the conclusion of the presentation are the most important parts and should have the strongest impact. 9.4 Achieving Clarity and Impact Keep your presentation short and simple. Your audience will not remember ever y point of your presentation, so highlight the most important ones; the longer the presentation, the higher the risk of boredom.
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Presentation Skills

When in doubt, use the tell them structure: a. Tell them what you are going to tell them (For instance, In this presentation I will show you). b. Tell them the key points, expanding and illustrating each one, clearly and concisely. c. Tell them what you have told them (For instance, In closing or In summar y) and conclude. 9.5 Using Visuals Next, consider the use of visual aids. Slide projectors, data projectors, video machines and computers should be tested out beforehand to make sure they are operating correctly and that you know how to use them. Make sure you do not cram too much information onto any single visual. It is a good idea to keep each visual to six lines or less. Also, make sure the graphics are large enough so that the audience can see them clearly (from all seats) and make sure the colours used are easy on the eyes, taking into account the lighting. A sad fact is that much of your authority will be judged by the quality of your slides. You need to make sure that their design supports the style of your message. Overheads should be clearly marked and arranged in order beforehand. Flip charts should be prepared in advance when possible. When used during the presentation to take notes, make the print large enough for all participants to see. When using visuals, you should not turn your back to the audience. Position yourself so you can use the visuals while facing your audience. 9.6 Arranging the Room If possible, visit the room in which you will make the presentation well in advance. Determine the seating (circle seating encourages interaction, rows of seats discourages interaction, etc.) and determine how the visual aids you choose will work. Consider lighting, space, even the temperature of the room. Consider placing notepads and pencils at each seat if participants need to take notes. Or, you may want to arrange for water if the presentation is going to last more than half an hour. If you do this, make sure you allow time for bathroom breaks. While you do not need to memorise your entire presentation, make yourself ver y, ver y familiar with it through several practice runs. Rehearse the presentation in its entirety as often as you can before delivering it to a live audience. The more you rehearse, the more confident you will be and the more fluent you will seem to your audience. If you know your subject matter and have adequately prepared, you will be able to deliver your message loud and clear. When in doubt or ner vous, stay focused on your purpose, helping your audience understand your message. Direct your thoughts to the subject at hand. The audience has come to hear your presentation and you will succeed!
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Corporate Communication

9.7 Tips and Techniques The following are some of the tips that may help to make your presentation a smashing success: a. Avoid too many statistics and confusing information in your presentation. Instead, put this information in a handout for participants to refer to at a later date. b. If you forget your words, pause for a moment and remember your objective. While the words may not come right back to you, this will help keep you on track and may even help you to think of additional thoughts and ideas your audience will benefit from hearing. c. Visualise yourself succeeding d. Begin by breathing e. Before the presentation, focus on the needs of the audience 9.8 Presentation Planning Checklist 9.8.1 Presentation The following can be used as a checklist for your presentation: a. Does your introduction grab the participant's attention and explain your objectives? b. Do you follow this by clearly defining the points of the presentation? c. Are the main points in logical sequence? d. Do the main points flow well? e. Do the main points need support from visual aids? f. Does your closing summarise the presentation clearly and concisely? g. Is the conclusion strong? h. Have you tied the conclusion to the introduction? 9.8.2 Deliver y The following can be used as a checklist for the deliver y of your presentation: b. Are you knowledgeable about the topic covered in your presentation? c. Do you have your notes in order? d. Where and how will you present (indoors, outdoors, standing, sitting, etc.)? e. Have you visited the presentation site? f. Have you checked your visual aids to ensure they are working and you know how to use them? 9.8.3 Appearance The following can be used as a checklist for your appearance at the presentation: a. Make sure you are dressed and groomed appropriately and in keeping with the audience's expectations. b. Practice your speech standing (or sitting, if applicable), paying close attention to your body language, even your posture, both of which will be assessed by the audience.
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Presentation Skills

9.8.4 Visual Aids The following can be used as a checklist for the visual aids you may use: a. Are the visual aids easy to read and easy to understand? b. Are they tied into the points you are tr ying to communicate? c. Can they be easily seen from all areas of the room? 9.9 Understanding Presentation Aspects While preparing for a presentation one important question that you should answer precisely is, how long should your presentation run? Experience shows that 20 minutes is good. Less seems insubstantial; more is boring. An hour is the maximum. If you're asked to speak for a longer time, you may stop after an hour and give your audience a break. Since the average person speaks at a rate of about 100 words a minute, a 20minute talk is 2000 words long. This translates into eight pages of double-spaced typewritten copy (on the basis of 250 words per page). A good pace for matching visuals with your narration is one visual for ever y minute you're speaking. It is important to know your audience, since different people are interested in different aspects of a subject for different reasons. Let's say, for example, that the subject of your presentation is interactive videotext. Engineers would be interested primarily in the technical aspects of how the system operates, while bank executives would want to learn more about the possibilities of banking via the home computer or cable television. Advertising executives, on the other hand, would be interested in interactive television as a potential advertising medium. 9.9.1 Making Technical Talk Interesting Many managers/engineers, when faced with giving a talk, do so with a minimum of preparation perhaps because they feel that the topic is so cut and dried that a straightfor ward recitation of the facts is sufficient. But it isn't. If your voice drones in a monotone, or your talk is dr y, or the content lacks excitement or news or useful information, your audience will be bored. And you will lose them early on in the speech. Ever y topic has at least some points, which are interesting. You may highlight these points in your presentation. Technical topics are not dr y and dull in themselves; rather, whether a subject makes for an interesting talk or a boring one depends on the style of the speaker and the content of the lecture. Make your topic fascinating by digging for useful applications, immediate benefits, new developments, or little-known facts. Read better trade journals, and stories in newspapers to see how skilled writers turn highly technical material into interesting reading. Use these same techniques to spice up your talk.
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Corporate Communication

9.9.2 Preparation Another important question to answer is, how much time goes into researching, writing, and preparing for a speech? According to a religious magazine, it takes clergymen about seven hours to prepare a 20-minute sermon. According to Terr y C. Smith, author of the book Making Successful Presentations, to give his best effort it requires one hour of preparation for ever y minute he will talk. Of course, the time you must spend to prepare your talk depends on several factors: your experience and skill in public speaking, your knowledge of the topic, and the importance of the talk. Also, it takes considerably less time to brush up an old presentation than to create a new one. The point, however, is that preparing a memorable address requires many hours much more time than inexperienced speakers ever dream would be required. Plan your schedule accordingly so that you can give your talk the attention it deser ves. In a 20-minute, 2000-word presentation, there are limits to the amount of information that can be transmitted. To ensure a meaningful, informative talk, focus on a narrow, specific subject rather than a broad-based area. A speech is just that, a speech. And writing a speech is not the same as writing for the printed page. Words intended to be spoken must sound like conversation, or else the talk will seem stiff and artificial. To ensure a good talk, read your rough draft aloud first to yourself, and then to others. Rewrite any sentences that sound awkward or unnatural until they roll off the tongue (and into the ear) smoothly and naturally. A little humour can help lighten a heavy technical talk and prevent your audience from drifting off. But overdoing the humour can ruin an other wise fine presentation and erode the speaker's credibility. The best way to handle this is to pepper your talk with titbits of warm, gentle, good-natured humour but to avoid jokes. 9.9.3 Research You are probably knowledgeable in the topic of the presentation other wise, you wouldn't have been asked to talk. But this doesn't mean you know ever ything about it or even enough to put together an engaging lecture. Good speakers supplement their own knowledge and experience with external research and examples. The librar y is an excellent place to start: books, magazines, newspapers, and trade publications can provide a wealth of data, ideas, advice, and anecdotes. Inter views, informal chats, and letters exchanged with colleagues and experts in the field can further add to this information. Gather about twice as much material as you need. Then, when drawing on this data, you can be choosy, selecting only the best stuff. The process of doing research will also act to permanently increase your own knowledge. And this is a
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Presentation Skills

real confidence-builder to the speaker. As Cicero said, "No man can be eloquent in a subject he does not understand." 9.9.4 Organising Your Material The best way is to take notes on index cards. Jot down one idea or one piece of information per card. You may also want to make a rough outline of your talk, and then arrange the cards according to the topics on the outline. This helps you organise the material in logical sequence, and also reveals which areas require further research. Ever y talk has three parts: beginning, middle and end. In the beginning, you state your purpose, and provide a preview of what will be covered. This preview is a quick summar y of the outline of your talk. In the middle, you go through the outline point by point. Be sure to cover ever y topic promised in the preview. In the end, sum up your talk and ask for any appropriate action. A scientist might ask top management for funds to pursue a particular avenue of research. A salesperson might ask a group of prospects for an order. Visual aids have become a standard in business and technical presentations as visuals reinforce the presentation and help the audience remember your talk after it's over. Visuals also ser ve to focus audience attention on the speaker. The key to creating successful visuals is not to cram too much onto a single slide. Each slide should contain no more than one simple graph or chart, or five short lines of copy. A good test of legibility is to hold the slide at an arm's length and read it. If you can't make out the words, chances are that the people at the back of the room won't be able to read the slide when it is projected. Psychologists estimate that 80 percent of the population suffers from stage fright. This should not be a cause for worr y. Many professional speakers would advise you not to eliminate stage fright. According to them a little anxiety is a good thing. It keeps you sharp and alert, so you can do the best job possible. 9.9.5 Delivering Your Presentation a. When talking, make eye contact with individuals in the audience. Look at a person, and act as if you are speaking directly to him or her. After a minute, pick someone else. This helps you communicate with the audience rather than just read to them. b. Speak loudly enough so that people at the back can hear you. If people are too far away, ask them to move closer before you start. c. Use gestures and tone and volume of voice to emphasise key points.
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Corporate Communication

Stick to your main points as outlined in the visuals and your notes. Don't go off on tangents.Leave time for a question-and-answer period. Take all questions after the talk, rather than allowing interruptions.At the conclusion, summarise your main points and tell the audience what action they should take (or at least what you expect them to have learned, or want them to believe).

Summing Up
A successful manager must possess the art of public speaking, persuading and at times even manipulating his audience. Before making a presentation, it is necessar y to keep in mind one's overall objectives. The length of the presentation should be in accord with the time given to you for speaking. Illustrations and visual aids should accompany a presentation. The conference room should be viewed before you make a presentation. In order to make a successful presentation, it is necessar y to focus on the needs of the audience.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in a single sentence 1. Which are the pre-requisites for a good presentation? 2. What is the advantage of a good introduction in your presentation? 3. Give an example of an appropriate visual aid in your presentation.

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Running Effective Meetings

Chapter X Running Ef fective Meetings


Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The skills for effective meetings The necessar y steps in effective meetings Contents 10.1 Introduction 10.2 The Importance of Preparation 10.3 Running Effective Meetings 10.4 Managing a Meeting 10.5 Issuing Minutes 10.6 Preparation of a Meeting 10.6.1 Agenda 10.7 Conducting a Meeting 10.7.1 Code of Conduct 10.7.2 Matching Method to Purpose 10.7.3 Support 10.8 Responding to Problems Summing Up Self-assessment

10.1 Introduction In a meeting, two or more people come together, in particular to have discussions, often in a formal setting. In an organisation, meetings are the most important vehicles for human communication. While meetings are wonderful tools for generating ideas, expanding on thoughts and managing group activity, this face-to-face contact with team members and colleagues can easily fail without adequate preparation and leadership. 10.2 The Importance of Preparation To ensure ever yone involved has the opportunity to provide their input, you can begin your meeting by designating a schedule that allows time to all participants to prepare adequately. Once a meeting time and place has been designated, make yourself available for questions that may arise as participants prepare for the meeting. If you are the meeting leader, make a meeting agenda, complete with detailed notes. In these notes, outline the goal and proposed structure of the meeting, and share this
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Corporate Communication

with the participants. This will allow all involved to prepare and to come to the meeting ready to work together to meet the goal(s) at hand.

10.3 Running Ef fective Meetings The success of the meeting depends upon the skills displayed by the meeting leader. To ensure the meeting is successful, the leader should: a. Generate an agenda to all involved in the meeting b. Start the discussion and encourage active participation c. Work to keep the meeting at a comfortable pace not moving too fast or too slow d. Summarise the discussion and the recommendations at the end of each logical section e. Circulate minutes to all participants 10.4 Managing a Meeting Choosing the right participants is the key to the success of any meeting. Make sure all participants can contribute and choose good decision-makers and problem-solvers. Tr y to keep the number of participants to a maximum of 12, preferably fewer. Make sure the people with the necessar y information for the items listed in the meeting agenda are the ones that are invited. If you are the leader, work diligently to ensure ever yone's thoughts and ideas are heard by guiding the meeting so that there is a free flow of debate with no individual dominating and no extensive discussions between two people. As time dwindles for each item on the distributed agenda, you may find it useful to stop the discussion, then quickly summarise the debate on that agenda item and move on the next item on the agenda. When an agenda item is resolved or action is agreed upon, make it clear who in the meeting will be responsible for this. In an effort to bypass confusion and misunderstandings, summarise the action to be taken and include this in the meeting's minutes. 10.5 Issuing Minutes Minutes record the decisions of the meeting and the actions agreed. They provide a record of the meeting and, importantly, they provide a review document for use at the next meeting so that progress can be measured. This makes them a useful disciplining technique as individuals' performance and non-performance of agreed actions is given high visibility. The style of the minutes issued depends on the circumstances, the situations of critical importance and where the record is important, then you may need to take detailed minutes. Where this is not the case, then minutes can be a simple lists of decisions made and of actions to be taken (with the responsible person identified). Generally, they should be as short as possible as long as all key information is shown - this makes them quick and easy to prepare and digest. It is always impressive if the leader of the meeting issues minutes within 24 hours of the end of the meeting. It's even better if they are issued on the same day.
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Running Effective Meetings

10.6 Preparation of a Meeting In any organisation, meetings are a vital part of the organisation of work and the flow of information. They act as a mechanism for gathering together resources from many sources and pooling then towards a common objective. They are disliked and mocked because they are usually futile, boring, time consuming, dull and inconvenient. Your challenge is to break this mould and to make your meetings effective. As with ever y other managed activity, meetings should be planned beforehand, monitored for effectiveness, and reviewed after wards for improving their management. A meeting is the ultimate form of managed conversation; as a manager, you can organise the information and structure of the meeting to suppor t the ef fective communication of the participants. Some of the ideas below may seem a little too precise for an easy going, relaxed, semi-informal team atmosphere - but if you manage to gain a reputation for holding decisive, effective meetings, then people will value this efficiency and prepare professionally so that their contribution will be heard. As with all conversations, as a manager, you must first ask: is it worth your time? If the meeting involves the interchange of views and the communication of the current status of related projects, then you should be generous with your time. But you should always consider cancelling a meeting, which has little tangible value. A meeting loses its effectiveness if too many people are involved: so if someone has no useful function, explain this and suggest that they do not come. It may seem difficult to predict the length of a discussion, but it is advisable that you decide a time span for your meeting. Discussions tend to fill the available time, which means that if the meeting is open-ended, it will go on forever. You should stipulate a time for the end of the meeting so that ever yone knows, and ever yone can plan the rest of his or her day with confidence. It is wise to make this expectation known to ever yone involved well in advance and to remind him or her at the beginning of the meeting. There is often a tendency to view meetings as a little relaxation since no one person has to be active throughout. You can redress this view by stressing the time-scale and thus forcing the pace of the discussion. If some unexpected point arises during the meeting, then realise that since it is unexpected: 1) you might not have the right people present, 2) those there may not have the necessar y information, and 3) a little thought might save a lot of discussion. If the new discussion looks likely to be more than a few moments, stop it and deal with the agreed agenda. The new topic should then be dealt with at another "planned" meeting. 10.6.1 Agenda The purpose of an agenda is to inform participants of the subject of the meeting in advance, and to structure the discussion at the meeting itself. To inform
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people beforehand, and to solicit ideas, you should circulate a draft agenda and ask for notice of any other business. If you know in advance that a particular participant either needs information or will be providing information, then make this explicitly clear so that there is no confusion. The agenda states the purpose of each section of the meeting. There will be an outcome from each section. If that outcome is so complex that it cannot be summarised in a few points, then it was probably too complex to be assimilated by the participants. The understanding of the meeting should be sufficiently precise that it can be summarised in short form. Therefore display that summar y for all other interested parties to see. This display will emphasise to all that meetings are about achieving defined goals. This will help you to continue running efficient meetings in the future. 10.7 Conducting a Meeting Whatever your role may be as the manager, you must provide the necessar y support to co-ordinate the contributions of the participants. The degree of control you exercise over the meeting will var y throughout; if you get the structure right at the beginning, a meeting can effectively run itself especially if the participants know each other well. In a team, your role may be partially undertaken by others; but if not, you must manage. In order to achieve this you may consider the following: a. Clarification: Always clarify: the purpose of the meeting, the time allowed, the rules to be obser ved (if agreed) by ever yone. b. Summar y: At each stage of the proceedings, you should summarise the current position and progress: this is what we have achieved/agreed; this is where we have reached. c. Focus on stated goals: At each divergence or pause, re-focus the proceedings on the original goals. 10.7.1 Code of Conduct In any meeting, it is possible to begin the proceedings by establishing a code of conduct, often by merely stating it and asking for any objections (which will only be accepted if a demonstrably better system is proposed). You can then impose this with the full backing of the whole group. 10.7.2 Matching Method to Purpose The (stated) purpose of a meeting may suggest to you a specific way of conducting the event, and each section might be conducted differently. For instance, if the purpose is. a. to convey information, the meeting might begin with a formal presentation followed by questions b. to seek information, the meeting would start with a short (clear)
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statement of the topic/problem and then an open discussion supported by notes on a display, or a formal brainstorming session c. to make a decision, the meeting might review the background and options, establish the criteria to be applied, agree who should make the decision and how, and then do it d. to ratify/explain decisions, etc as always, once you have paused to ask yourself the questions: what is the purpose of the meeting and how can it be most effectively achieved; your common sense will then suggest a working method to expedite the proceedings. You just have to deliberately pause. Manage the process of the meeting and the meeting will work. 10.7.3 Support The success of a meeting often depends upon the confidence with which the individuals participate. Thus all ideas should be welcome. No one should be laughed at or dismissed. This means that even bad ideas should be treated seriously and at least should be given a specific reason for not being pursued further. Not only is this supportive to the speaker, it could also be that a good idea has been misunderstood and would be lost if merely rejected. But basically people should be able to make naive contributions without being made to feel stupid; other wise you may never hear the best ideas of all. As a manager you should avoid direct criticism of any person. For instance, if someone has not come prepared, then that fault is obvious to all. If you leave the criticism as being simply that implicit in the peer pressure, then it is diffuse and general; if you explicitly rebuke that person, then it is personal and from you (which may raise unnecessar y conflict). You should merely seek an undertaking for the missing preparation to be done. 10.8 Responding to Problems The following are some of the basic guidelines through which you may tackle problems that may arise in the proceeding of a meeting: a. If a participant strays from the agenda item, call him/her back: "we should deal with that separately, but what do you feel about the issue X?" b. If there is confusion, you might ask: "do I understand correctly that...?" c. If a point is too confusing or too vague, ask for greater clarity: "what exactly do you have in mind?" d. If someone interrupts (someone other than the speaker), you should suggest that: "we will hear your contribution after Mr. X has finished." e. If people chat, you might either simply state your dif ficulty in hearing/concentrating on the real speaker or ask them a direct question: "what do you think about that point." f. If someone shows disagreement with the speaker (for example, by a grimace) then make sure they are brought into the discussion next: "what do you think about the topic?" g. If you do not understand, say so: "I do not understand that, would you explain it a little more; or do you mean X or Y?
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h. If there is an error, look for a good point first: "I see how that would work if X Y Z, but what would happen if A B C?" i. If you disagree, be ver y specific: "I disagree because..."

Summing Up
For a meeting to run smoothly, it should be preceded by a notice and an agenda. A meeting is a platform for professional and committee members to negotiate matters and exchange ideas. Managing a meeting requires a skillful leader who is open to the thoughts and ideas of all members and is also firm enough to resolve differences and disputes by taking the right direction. A meeting is open only to members and invitees. The time for the meeting should be fixed while preparing the agenda. The effectiveness of a meeting depends on careful planning and monitoring of the actual proceedings, which is the responsibility of the leader. Agreements and disagreements, along with discussions should be carefully recorded in the minutes.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in a single sentence 1. How does one respond to problems in a meeting? 2. What is an agenda? b. Fill in the blanks 1. A meeting may be if it has no tangible value. 2. A record of the decisions taken in a meeting is known as meeting.

of a

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Chapter XI Business Letters

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The importance of letters in business The skills and formats of business letters Contents 11.1 Introduction 11.2 Importance of Business Letters 11.3 Qualities of Good Business Letters 11.3.1 Clarity 11.3.2 Truthfulness 11.3.3 Completeness 11.3.4 Conciseness 11.3.5 Courtesy 11.3.6 Convincingness 11.3.7 Cleanliness 11.3.8 Coherence 11.3.9 Time Factor 11.3.10 Effectiveness 11.4 Format of Business Letters 11.5 Types of Business Letters 11.5.1 Letter of Enquir y 11.5.2 Letter of Quotation 11.5.3 Letter of Order 11.5.4 Letter of Advice 11.5.5 Letters of Trade Reference 11.5.6 Letters of Complaint 11.5.7 Circular Letters 11.5.8 Circular with a Tear-off Slip 11.5.9 Reply-paid Cards 11.5.10 Agency Letters 11.5.11 Letters to Banks and Insurance Companies 11.5.12 Letters of Introduction 11.6 Personnel Letters Summing Up Self-assessment

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11.1 Introduction The letters exchanged between business organisations/personnel in connection with any business purpose are called business letters. Business letters are an important part of communication in an organisation for internal as well as external purposes. 11.2 Importance of Business Letters Business letters have much importance in the present day scenario when a firm operates internationally. Business correspondence is a simple, easier and less expensive means of approach to exchange marketing information between different places, parties and countries. According to Herbert N. Casson, a good letter brings back two lost customers, creates three new ones, motivates four travelling salesmen, creates five good-wills, obtains six bad-debts, removes seven customers' complaints and creates eight new markets. The following are the noticeable advantages of business letters. a. Maintain contacts with distant places: Business correspondence is the cheap and better means of contacting customers at distant places. b. Ef fective mode of contact: Where personal contact becomes difficult due to the distance factor, correspondence is the ef fective mode of contact. During personal talk, one may forget to state an important or urgent matter. But correspondence does not omit any such matter because before writing a letter one usually plans it out. c. Help in development of business: Letters are arguably the most important means of communication in a corporate world. d. Acts as reference and certification: The letter received against a reply sent by an office acts as reference to the previous correspondences. This helps and on certain occasions the letters act as a certification of facts and figures. e. Cheap and easier means of communication: In comparison to other means of communication like telephone, fax, etc., letters are a cheaper and easier mode of communication. f. Creator of good-will: A good and well-written letter acts as a creator of good- will. g. Helps to face competition: Letters help a business house face competition. They not only act as a source of communication, but also a source of increasing sales. They help in creating new markets and motivate salesmen. Business letters have an important place in the prosperity of business; thus, it is not without reason that business letters are called the Heart of business. 11.3 Qualities of Good Business Letters Herbert N. Casson, obser ves that a good business letter is similar to a master key which can open any door. It creates markets and paves the way for increasing sales of goods and ser vices. Therefore, it is essential that a business letter must bear all the essential qualities that are prescribed below:
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11.3.1 Clarity Lord Chesterfield writes, ever y sentence of a letter should be so clear and certain that even a person of unsound mind can never misinterpret it and need not read it again to understand the contents. If the contents of a letter are not certain and clear, it will create a misunderstanding. 11.3.2 Truthfulness Truthfulness is an essential quality of a business letter. Whatever matter is written in the letter must be based on truth, other wise other businessmen and clients may lose faith in the firm, resulting in loss of good-will. 11.3.3 Completeness Completeness is anther important quality of a business letter. Completeness means the letter must contain all facts and figures for which it was written. It is said that a complete letter is better than three incomplete letters. 11.3.4 Conciseness As far as possible a letter must have the quality of conciseness. But it does not mean loss of clarity and completeness. Irrelevant matters should not get a place in the letter. 11.3.5 Courtesy The language as well as phrases used in a letter should create pleasantness to the reader; no rigid language should be used. The letter writer should use the appropriate wordings while writing letters. Nothing will be lost by the expression of courtesy; it only brings benefits to the business. 11.3.6 Convincingness The ideas or the expressions in the letter should be convincing to the reader. For example, in a sales letter the price of the material, its quality, design, weight and measures, model, etc., should be convincingly written. By offering warranty and after sales ser vices, customers can be convinced. 11.3.7 Cleanliness Cleanliness is another important characteristic of a good letter. The wording should be clear and legible in the case of handwritten letters. There should not be any over-writings or cuttings. In typewritten letters there should not be any spelling mistakes. In case the content of the letter is ver y small and the letterhead is big, suitable margin adjustment is done on the letterhead so that the matter is centrally typed. 11.3.8 Coherence
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A good business letter must also have the quality of coherence. This provides continuity in the passage. Where, in a letter, different subject matters are to be included, they should be written in different paragraphs so that the letter is not confusing. Time

11.3.9 Factor

Reply to ever y letter is written within a reasonable time. Untimely delay in reply causes dissatisfaction among clients and may sometimes bring complaints. In the normal course, a reply should be sent within two or three days of receipt of the letter. 11.3.10 Ef fectiveness Effectiveness means that the letter must satisfy the purpose for which it was written. If a letter contains all the qualities stated above, that shall be more effective. 11.4 Format of Business Letters The language and subject matter of ever y letter written by a businessman to different parties or clients may differ, but the form and structure of letters should be uniform. A special feature of a business letter is that it must create an impression upon the receiver at the first sight. You may note that the form of business letters is usually not obser ved rigidly. In practice, minor changes in the form of the letter can be done. The major parts of a business letter are: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. Heading Date Reference number Inside address Salutation Subject Main body of the letter Complimentar y close Signature of the sender Enclosures, if any Post script or P.S., if any

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A Format of a Business Letter is Given Below:

(Heading) .(Nature of business) Address.. Telegraphic Address. Telephone No... Reference No.... Inside Address.. ... ... Place Date.

Salutation, Subject. Reference.

Main contents........ ............. ............. ............ ............. ............. .............

Enclosure.. P.S..

(Complimentar y close) Signature..

Figure 11.1 Format of a business letter


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a. Heading: Heading is the name of the firm printed on the letter pad in an attractive form. A good and beautiful heading attracts the receiver of the letter to go through thoroughly. The heading contains the name of the firm, nature of business, address of the registered office, telephone number, telegraphic address, etc. The heading is usually printed in attractive colours. According to the view of experts, the heading portion should not cover more than 1/5th of the letter paper. Suitable measurement for heading is 2 to 2.5. An example of a heading is given below: Rawat and Company Publishers and Booksellers Telephone No Telegraphic Address:' Rawat Station Road Jaipur 302 016 b. Date: Date is an important part of a letter. If should be written clearly with the date, month and year. There are different ways of writing the date in a letter, like 1-9-2005, or 1/9/2005 etc. This is an old fashioned way of writing and currently dates are written the following way: Sept. 1, 2005 or Sept., 2005 and so on. c. Reference number: The reference number is the number and date of the previous correspondence held on behalf of the subject concerned. If the reference number and date are given, there will be no need to write the previous letter again or to send a copy of it. Only the letter number and date of the previous letter is sufficient for the receiver to refer back his file to understand the details of the previous letter. This is the reason that the letters received and the replies sent against each letter are maintained in a file. The reference number is given in continuation of the code number, as RAC/97- 98/101 or 97-98/101. d. Inside address: Inside address is the name and address of the person or institution to which the letter is addressed. This is written at the left-hand side just below the reference number, in three lines. The first line is used to write the name of the person or institution, second for writing lanes, flat/plot no, etc. and the third line for the city-town. A semicolon is used at the end of the first and second lines and the third line is closed with a full stop. A specimen of the inside address is given below: American Method
(Left aligned on page) (Right aligned on page)

English Method

M / s Sanjeev Publications; Chaura Rasta; Jaipur 302 006.

M / s Sanjeev Publications; Chaura Rasta; Jaipur 302 006.

While writing the address, respectful words like Shri or Mr. is used. The word Esq. (Esquire) must be used to address a person of high status, after the name. While addressing a woman, the word Mrs. or Miss should be used. For companies or organisations, the word Messers. (M/s) is used.
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e. Salutation: After writing the inside address, the salutation word is written below it. This is a word of respect to the receiver. In business correspondence the words Dear Sirs, Honourable Sir, or Honourable Madam is used. After the salutation, usually a semi-colon is added. f. Subject heading: Subject heading is the brief statement of the main body of the letter. The subject heading is written for the convenience of the reader. This helps the reader to understand the contents of the letter and the department to which it is related, at first glance. This will enable the person to direct the letter to the person or department concerned without any delay and initiate action immediately. A few examples of subject headings are given below: 1. Subject: Enquir y of prices 2. Subject: Regarding damages of goods 3. Subject: Payment of outstanding etc. g. Body of the letter (contents): This is the major part of the letter. The subject matter is explained in this part. This part should be written ver y carefully using simple language in an effective manner. All the facts should be stated in order of priority so that the reader would understand ever y point clearly. The body of the letter has mainly three parts: (i) The introductor y part: In case a reply is being sent against a letter just received, the introductor y part gives that letter number and date (reference). If a reply to some earlier letter or letters are being sent, the reference of that/those letter/s is also be made in the introductor y part. (ii) The main body of the letter: The main body of the letter states the subject matter in detail. Ever y point is explained in different paragraphs. It is written legibly using good words and phrases to attract the attention of the reader, so that he may immediately act upon the letter. (iii) The conclusion: The concluding part is the third and final part of a letter. In this part the writer of the letter makes it clear cleverly what he expects from the other party. The conclusion is usually expressed in any of the following ways: h. The complimentar y close: The way a letter begins with a salutation, it must end with a complimentar y close. The complimentar y close is written at the right hand side below the body of the letter. Words like, Yours faithfully, Yours sincerely, Yours truly, etc. are used to denote the complimentar y close. Yours faithfully is another common term. i. Signature: After the complimentar y close, the writer of the letter puts his signature. One should sign personally, not by affixing his specimen seal. Usually the name of the signator y is also written/typewritter below his signature, along with his official position, as stated below:
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1) In the case of a letter from the proprietor of a sole-trading business: Yours faithfully, Sd/(Prem Kumar) Proprietor 2) In the case of partnership firm: Yours faithfully, Sd/For Nawal Kishore & Sons (Nawal Kishore) Par tner 3) In the case of company: Yours faithfully, Sd/For National Textiles Ltd., (Nawal Kishore) Manager j. Enclosures: The number of documents, if any, to be sent along with the letter are mentioned in the left hand side of the letter. Usually cheque, draft, bills or invoices, etc. are enclosed with the letter. This will bring to the notice of the reader the number of documents enclosed with the letter and he can check at his end whether the enclosures have been duly received with the letter or not. k. Post Script or P.S.: Sometimes matter of importance may be left out in the main body of the letter. In such a situation, it can be included in the letter by giving a footnote as P.S. After writing the post script the letter writer should sign below it. 11.5 Types of Business Letters The major types of business letter are as follows: 11.5.1 Letter of Enquir y Before a decision is taken for purchasing any item, a businessman always makes a rate enquir y. The purpose of this enquir y is to receive information about the price range as well as terms and conditions of sale. A letter of enquir y is usually written in the following situations: a. When prices of articles are to be enquired into b. When samples of items are to be obtained, or c. To enquire into terms and conditions of sales such as extension of credit, after sales ser vice, etc.

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11.5.2 Letter of Quotation A letter of quotation is a reply to a letter of enquir y, in which the requisite information asked for is stated clearly, so that no time is wasted by writing letters again and again. Usually, the letter of quotation contains the following: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Name, quantity and price of the item Terms of payment and mode of payment Samples-duly affixed with price tag Nature of packing Discounts or deductions allowed Special discount, if any, in case of purchases in larger quantities Who will meet the freight charges, and Any other matter

11.5.3 Letter of Order The decision to place orders are taken on the basis of quotations received. While placing orders, care should be taken because such letters have legal binding. When an order is accepted by the supplier, it cannot be withdrawn, unless both the parties so agree. The supplier is also legally bound by it. The following matters must be included in the orders: a. Name, quantity and other characteristics of the goods for which the orders are being placed b. Quantity or the number of items to be supplied c. Prices d. Mode of transport, period of deliver y and expenses to be met by the buyer e. Nature of packing f. Terms and conditions of payment, etc. g. Schedule of deliver y of goods, etc. 11.5.4 Letter of Advice A letter of advice is a notice issued by the seller of goods to the buyer giving intimation about the dispatch of goods, giving the date of dispatch, mode of transport by which the goods have been transpor ted, etc. enclosing therewith the invoice and bills of the transport company. In case the goods cannot be dispatched immediately on receipt of a firm order, this fact should be intimated to the buyer. Similarly if the supplier is unable to carr y out the orders, he should express his inability to the buyer in time. 11.5.5 Letters of Trade Reference A letter of trade reference is written by a trading agency to another with whom a good business relation exists. Such a letter is written to verify the economic conditions and goodwill of a new customer who is interested in purchasing goods on credit. If the reply is in favour of the new dealer, credit facility is extended to him, other wise the new customer will be asked to deposit the money in advance before the dispatch of goods. A trade reference letter is written confidentially.
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11.5.6 Letters of Complaint Complaint letters are of two types: (a) written among traders, and (b) letters from customers to business houses. A letter of complaint between business houses is usually written on occasions like: a. The goods received are not according to the orders placed or samples approved. b. Goods are received, damaged or in broken conditions, goods are received in less quantity than ordered. c. The price is higher, etc. d. The goods transported through or by any other mode of transport are found damaged or e. Negligence of the concerned employees 11.5.7 Circular Letters When a uniform message is to be conveyed to a number of customers at a time, circular letters are issued. A circular letter is written in the following circumstances: a. When the name or address of the business of fice is changed. b. When a new partner is admitted to a partnership or a partner leaves the firm. c. Introducing new product lines. d. To advertise special offers. e. When new items are added in the stock, etc. f. To announce opening of a new office/ branch. g. To inform staff of new policy matters. A circular letter is sent out to many people at a time. The letter may be prepared once and then duplicated. With modern technology, however, it is more likely that each letter could be personalised to look like an original. When writing a circular letter, you should remember the following: a. Keep it brief, other wise it may not be read b. Ensure the letter is informative and direct c. Use individual terms, e.g., you, not all of you.' 11.5.8 Circular with a Tear-of f Slip Sometimes when sending out a circular letter, a reply is needed. To ensure that you receive the required reply from ever yone, a tear-off slip may be included, which may be completed and returned to you. Remember the following when designing a tear-off slip: a. Use a continuous line of dots or hyphens for tearing' b. Include a return date and address

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c. Use double-spacing where details have to be completed d. Leave sufficient space for completion of relevant information 11.5.9 Reply-paid Cards Sometimes a company will enclose a special reply-paid card for you to complete and return. The postage on these cards is pre-paid by the company. A charge will be made by the post office only for the actual cards, which are returned. 11.5.10 Agency Letters A letter which is written by a trader to another for obtaining an agency for any special kind of items is called an agency letter. On many occasions, companies themselves write letters to many trading companies proposing agencyship. 11.5.11 Letters to Banks and Insurance Companies Traders need to enter into correspondence with banks from to time. A letter is written when a current account is opened, negotiation of payment of cheques, enquir y into the reason of dishonour of any cheque, issue of standing orders, obtaining bank loans, etc. Similarly, correspondence takes place with insurance companies to enquire into various types of fire insurance policies, to present insurance claims, etc. 11.5.12 Letters of Introduction A letter written by a person to introduce another person, institution or a trader with a similar institution is known as a letter of introduction. An introductor y letter is written in any of the following circumstances: a. When a representative of an organisation goes out for any business purpose b. When an institution wants to introduce another institution or its representative with a third person or any institution, etc. A letter of introduction can be written to a person or any number of persons or times. 11.6 Personnel Letters Personnel letters are issued by business enterprises in reference to any individual employed in the enterprise. These types of letters include: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Reference, Recommendations and Testimonials Making enquiries about candidates Giving information about candidates Appointment letter Confirmation letter Promotion letter Warning memo Letters of goodwill and appreciation
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i. Letters of sympathy and so on. a. Reference, recommendations and testimonials: A reference is written in reply to an enquir y about a candidate or applicant. It is addressed to the person who has signed the enquir y. A recommendation is not necessarily a reply to an enquir y; it is written at the request of the candidate and is addressed to a prospective employer, who expects the candidate to get a recommendation letter. A testimonial is open, and not addressed to any specific person and is not for any specific post. It endorses the character and abilities of the candidate. It is in the form of a certificate. b. Making enquiries about candidates: Companies seek specific information about the candidate's ability, intelligence, character, status, etc., about a candidate seeking employment, from the previous employer. The enquir y as well as its reply is marked with the word Confidential on the letter and the envelope. Specimen Dear Mr.. Mr. J .P. Tandon who has applied to us for the post of Assistant professor, has given your name as reference. I would be grateful if you could kindly give your opinion about his character and intellectual ability. Whatever information you may give or opinion you may express will be treated as strictly confidential. Yours sincerely, ABC c. Giving information about candidates: A letter of this kind usually indicates: 1. Candidate's name, length and nature of ser vice 2. A brief account of his conduct with job, colleagues, superiors, etc. 3. Remarks about his temperament and nature 4. Reason for leaving the job 5. Opinion on the candidate's suitability for the post applied for Specimen Dear Mr.. I know Mr about whom you have enquired, since 20, when he joined ABC Electrical Goods Ltd., as a sales representative. He has proved himself quite able in his profession. He was able to get a good number of customers for the company. His good personality and polite manners are an asset in the sales line, as well as in the of fice. We should be sorry to lose his services, as we cannot of fer him a promotion at this moment. I feel that he will be able to per form well in the managerial position for which he has applied. Yours sincerely, Sd/18/MITSDE

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d. Appointment letters: A letter given by the employer to the employee after recruitment and selection is called the appointment letter. Appointment letters are legal documents, in case of any dispute in the future. An appointment letter must contain the following details: 1. Name of the post 2. Pay scale and rate of yearly increment 3. Basic salar y to be given to a particular person in case he is given a higher start in the pay-scale 4. Allowance applicable such as D.A., City Compensator y Allowance (C.C.A.), Travelling Allowance (T.A.), House Rent, etc. 5. Date by which the person is allowed to on probation 6. Other benefits like pension, gratuity 7. Probation period if the appointment is on probation 8. Period of notice required for termination of ser vice or quitting the job. e. Confirmation Letter: A confirmation letter is given at the end of the probation period, if the work of the employee is found satisfactor y. Confirmation to the post is important because certain benefits like leave with pay, provident fund, pension, etc. become applicable only after confirmation. f. Promotion Letter: A promotion letter is issued to an employee when he is selected for a higher post. A promotion letter should contain the following: 1. Date of promotion 2. Name of the new post and pay-scale 3. Salar y and total emoluments, etc. g. Letters of goodwill and appreciation: For a corporate house the largest asset is its workforce and growth comes from asset appreciation. Ever yone likes to be appreciated and it is a major function of a super visor or a team leader to appreciate ever y good job done by subordinates. Appreciation is a method of open communication and it is considered an important reason for employees to like their organisation. Employees n e e d to be helped to reach their best potential in achieving their own and the organisational goals; recognition and rewards are among the primar y w a y s of encouraging and motivating employees. Letters of congratulations and appreciation are written on various occasions, when an employee or a group attains achievement. h. Letters of sympathy: When an employee meets with misfortune of any kind, a message of sympathy is sent to him. A letter of sympathy should be sent immediately. Delay makes it more difficult to draft such a letter. The most important qualities required in a letter of sympathy are sincerity and tactfulness. A letter in simple language to express genuine feelings will carr y worth. A letter of condolence is short and simple. It may include a suitable tribute, or a few words of praise for the person whose death has occurred.

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The following are some of the specimen business letters

Manoj Kumar & Sons Cloth Merchant Raviwar Peth, Pune Telegraphic Address: 'Manoj' Telephone No: 22526121 Code No,: M/s Raman and Sagar, Kamla Market, New Delhi Dear Sirs, Subject: Request for Price List We are happy to inform you that our textile business, started with larger investment nearly two years back, is progressing well at present. We have been given to understand from reliable sources that you are one of the biggest dealers in textile goods. We are ver y anxious to establish trading relations with you. Therefore, we request you kindly to supply us the latest price list of the textile items sold by your firm. Also please intimate the commercial terms and conditions. In case your price list and terms and conditions are acceptable to us, a good amount of orders will follow. Yours faithfully, For Manoj Kumar & Sons Sd/(Devendra Vyas) Partner June 5, 2005

Figure 11.2 Letter of enquir y/ letter for obtaining price list


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M / s Raman and Sagar, Cloth Merchant (Wholesale) Telegraphic Address: Ramansagar' Kamla Market, New Delhi Telephone No.: 312121

Letter No. 98/2020

June 15, 1998

Thank you for the information provided to us. In due course of time, as and when the requirement arises, we will consider placing orders for large-scale purchases from you.

Yours faithfully, For Manoj Kumar & Sons, Sd/(Virendra Pathak) Manager

Figure 11.3 Reply to letter of enquir y/ letter for obtaining price list
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Maharawal Traders Fancy Cloth Merchant Satara road, Pune Telegraphic Address: Fancy' Telephone No.: 24521516 Letter No. 98/8585 April 3, 2002 M / s.. ..

Dear Sirs, The rapid development of our business over the last few years has caused space constraints. As this had created problems in giving better ser vices to our customers, we have decided to transfer our business premises to Kar venagar, Pune. Business at the new premises will start from May 1, 2002. You are, therefore, requested to send all future correspondence at the new address with effect from the above-mentioned date. We extend our kind co-operation at all the times and expect the same from your end.

Yours faithfully, For Maharawal Traders Sd/(Arjun Singh) Proprietor

Figure 11.4 Circular letter


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Raj Books & Subscription Agency Publishers & Book Sellers Telegraphic Address: Raj Books' Rasta Peth Pune 411234 Letter No. 98/810 Telephone No.: 563826 M / s Best Book Company, Hospital Road, Mumbai Dear Sirs, Messers Rupa & Company, Tilak Nagar, Jaipur wants to establish trading relations with us and the Company has given your name for reference. We have received a supply order worth Rs. 10,000 from M/s Rupa & Company and they desire credit sale for one month from us. This is our first dealing with them. As we know that your dealings with this company have been ver y old and on the basis of your experience, please let us know the economic condition, good will and policies towards payment, etc. at the earliest. We will take a decision and permit credit sale to this company after the receipt of a reply from you. The information supplied by you shall be kept most confidential. There will be no liability on your part in this matter. Awaiting an early reply. Yours faithfully, |For Raj Books & Subscription Agency Sd/R. K. Parnami Proprieto May 3, 2002

Figure 11.5 Letters of trade reference


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Vasant Cloth Store Telegraphic Address: Vasant' New Market, Ajmer Telephone No: 568206 Letter No. 1002/98 May 12, 2002 M / s Bhagwant Cloth Store, Bapu Bazar Jaipur

Dear Sirs, We are in receipt of your letter no. 123/98 dt. March 8, 2002 together with goods ordered and bill for payment. When the parcel was opened, it was found to our surprise that the goods were not in accordance with the orders placed and the samples approved by us. The drawbacks are as under: 1. 20 woolen shawls have been found in short supply. 2. In place of Bangalore silk saris, Kota Dori saris have been received. 3. In place of 100 Raymond ready-made shirts, only 25 have been received. We are suffering considerable loss due to short-deliver y of the items. It is, therefore, requested that you send the remaining items, as per our supply orders, immediately. Yours faithfully, For Vasant Cloth Store Sd/Proprietor

Figure 11.6 Letter of complaint/complaint against goods


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Fancy Saree Store Telegraphic Address: Fancy' Bhopal Gunj, Bhilwara Telephone No,: 7585 Letter No. 1538/98 The Chief Commercial Superintendent, Western Railway Church Gate, Mumbai 400 004 Dear Sirs, Today we took deliver y of a parcel containing saris from the local railway station sent by M/s Jyoti Sari Centre, New Delhi on March 21, 2002 vide Railway Receipt No. 12340. It has been noticed that the parcel was opened in transit and many of the items are missing. While taking deliver y of the parcel we have obtained a certificate from the Railway Station Authority certifying this fact of missing items, a photocopy of the certificate is enclosed herewith for your kind perusal. On checking the parcel with the help of invoice it has been found that 20 saris costing a total value of Rs. 8,000 are missing from the parcel. It is, therefore, requested kindly to order for an inquir y and compensate the losses to us. An early action is requested. Yours faithfully, For Fance Sari Store sd/Yogdutt Sharma Encl,: (1) Photocopy of the certificate (2) Photocopy of Invoice Manager Dt. June 3, 2002

Figure11.7 Complaint against Railways


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Lata Trading and Transport Co. Ltd. Telegraphic Address: Lata' Shakti Nagar, Delhi-110 007 Telephone No: 5612128 Letter No. 265/98 The Post Master, Shakti Nagar, Delhi-110 007. Dear Sirs, We sent a registered parcel from your post office on June 3, 2002 addressed to Messers. Mukesh Kumar & Sons, Bada Bazar, Goleghar, Mumbai-400 014. This parcel has not been received by the client so far, as informed by the par ty. A photocopy of the parcel receipt issued by your office is enclosed herewith. You are, therefore, requested kindly to order an enquir y into the matter and find out why this parcel has not been received there. Necessar y action may please be taken at the earliest. June 7, 2002

Yours faithfully, For Lata Trading & Transport Company Ltd., sd/(Ratan Swaroop) Proprietor Encl: Photocopy of the receipt

Figure 11.8 Lodging of complaint with postal authorities


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Vikas & Sons Cloth Merchant Telegraphic Address:

Vikas' Kamla Nehru Market,


Jaipur Telephone No: 563704 Letter No. 1234/98 Messers Mohan Lal Sohan Lal Chopasni Road, Jodhpur Dear Sirs, We invite your kind attention to our letter no. 2476 / 98 dated 10 March, 2002 enclosing therewith a bill no. 225 for Rs. 5,000. Being busy with business matters, you might not have paid attention towards the payment of this bill. Now we request you kindly to send the cheque for this amount as early as possible. A copy of the bill No. 225 is again sent herewith. We are confident that you will send the cheque and will continue to get your co-operation at all the times. Encl: one Yours faithfully, For Vikas & Sons Sd/(Vikas Choudhar y) Proprietor 15 April, 2002

Figure 11.9 Dunning letter


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Vikas & Sons Cloth Merchant Telegraphic Address: Vikas' Kamla Nehru Market, Jaipur Telephone No: 563704 Letter No. 3502/98 Messers Mohan Lal Sohan Lal Chopasni Road, Jodhpur Dear Sirs, We regret to write this letter that after having sent three letters, towards the payment of Rs. 5,000 outstanding against our bill No. 225, neither the payment is received nor any reply from you so far. This is absolutely against business principles. There have been good business relations between us and we do not want to create any split in it. Therefore, through this letter I would again request you kindly to expedite the payment within one week from the date of receipt of this letter, failing which we will be forced to take legal action against you, for which you will be held entirely responsible. We are confident that you will make the payment in time and will not force us to take legal action against you. Yours faithfully, For Vikas & Sons Sd/(Vikas Choudhar y) Proprietor 25 April, 1998

Figure 11.10 Final letter after three reminders were sent


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Fashion Cloth Store Telegraphic Address: Fancy' 207, Kutcher y Road, Ajmer Telephone No,: 26661 Letter No. 664/98 Messers Raj Trading Company Vasai Road, Mumbai - 400052 May 25, 2002

Dear Sirs,

We are pleased to introduce the bearer of this letter Mr. Mahavir Desai who is the representative of our firm, and request you kindly to extend your co-operation to him. We shall be grateful to you for this act of kindness.

Yours faithfully, For Fashion Cloth Stores Sd/(Ar vind Jain) Proprietor

Figure 11.11 Letter of introduction


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Rahul Brother, Watches Merchant Telegraphic Address: Rahul' Tripolia Bazar, Jaipur Telephone No: 526341 Letter No. 1056/98 Managing Director Citizen Watch Factor y, Ansari Road, Agra Dear Sirs,

April 28, 1998

We came to understand from your notification appeared in The Times of India dated 20 March, 1998 that you are interested in appointing sole selling agents for the State of Rajasthan for your different products. It will be a pleasure for us to provide our ser vices to you as sole selling agent. We would like to state that we are one of the leading traders for watches in Rajasthan since last 20 years. We are ver y familiar with your products. We already have good relations with many dealers in Rajasthan. We have showroom facility to exhibit your products, and have confidence that we will be able to capture a good market for your products in Rajasthan. If you so desire, you may enquire from the following agencies about our economic conditions and trading activities: 1. Ashok Watch House, Station Road, Agra 2. Bank of Baroda, M. I. Road, Jaipur We assure you that if we are given an opportunity to act as sole selling agent for Rajasthan, we will always keep your interest in mind and make your product popular in Rajasthan. Yours faithfully, For Rahul Brothers Sd/(Rahul Verma) Partner

Figure 11.12 Letter of agency


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Chandra Stores Cloth Merchant of all kinds Nehru Market, Jaipur Telegraphic Address: Chandra' Telephone No: 312012 Letter No. 410/98 Dear Manager, State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur Bchawani Singh Marg, Jaipur Dear Sirs, We would like to open a current account with your bank for which we will deposit a sum of Rs. 10,001 Please favour us by opening a current account in the name of our firm and hand over a cheque book and pass book. For reference we are giving the name of Messers Atma Ram and Sons, station Road, Jaipur. Undersigned shall keep the authority to issue cheques in connection with the proposed Current Account. April 10, 2002

Yours faithfully, For Chandra Stores Sd/(Chandra Kant) Proprietor

Figure 11.13 Letter for opening a current account


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Soni Textiles Telegraphic Address: Soni' Indra Bazar, Pune Telephone No: 2161 Letter No. 13/98 The Divisional Manager Life Insurance Corporation of India Pune Dear Sirs, With grief, we write to inform you the sad demise of our partner, Mr. Rajesh Agar wal on March 10, 1998 at 10.00 p.m. in the S.M.S. Hospital, Pune after a brief illness. He was 50 years of age. We jointly have a life insurance policy for Rs. 50,000. The policy number is 28283855. I am the only person entitled to receive the claim. The following documents relating to the claim are enclosed herewith. 1. Death Certificate issued by the Pune Municipal Council. 2. Insurance Policy in original. I request you to make necessar y arrangement for payment. April 12, 2002

Yours faithfully, For Soni Textiles Sd/(kailash Agar wal) Partner

Figure 11.14 Submission of claim with life insurance company


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Dear Mr.

With reference to your inter view on (date) for the post of Office Superintendent, I am happy to inform you that you have been selected for appointment to the post on a basic salar y of Rs. 5,400 in the pay scale of 5,000-10,000 and D.A. admissible as per rules applicable to State Government employees.

The appointment is on probation for one year and will be confirmed on satisfactor y completion of the probation period.

Contributor y Provident Fund benefits become applicable on confirmation. The appointment is terminable by a month's notice from either side during probation period.

You are advised to take charge within 10 days of receipt of this letter, failing which this appointment shall deemed to be terminated.

Yours sincerely, Sd/-

Figure 15.15 Specimen appointment letter


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Dear Mr.

Your appointment, to the post of ..is confirmed from .2002, on satisfactor y completion of your probation. The benefits like pension, gratuity, etc. will be applicable to you now, according to the ser vice conditions. Please sign and return the attached copy of this letter.

Yours sincerely, Sd/-

Figure 11.16 Specimen letter of confirmation


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Dear Mr.

I am happy to inform you that you are promoted to the post of Assistant Director with effect from March 1, 200, Your basic pay will be Rs./in the pay-scale of Rs; which is applicable to the post. You will be entitled to all the benefits of the post according to the ser vice conditions.

Please intimate your acceptance immediately.

Yours sincerely, Sd/Managing Director.

Figure 11.17 Specimen letter of promotions


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Dear Mr..

The displays you have created for the Festival season promotion are just beautiful. Several of the sales personnel have appreciated it. We received numerous compliments from the customers also.

I convey the appreciation and goodwill for this to you on behalf of the company.

Yours sincerely, Sd/Manager (Marketing)

Figure 11.18 Specimen letter of appreciation


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Dear Sirs,

Thank you ver y much for your quotation No. dated We should be grateful if you could arrange to deliver the following items at 327-B Subhash Market, Janakpuri (Opposite Police Chowki) within a fortnight.

Particulars 1. Single pedestal steel grey-coloured desks (60 x 40 x 28) 2. Double pedestal steel grey-coloured desks (62 x 48 x 28) 3. Typist's posture steel chairs with seat and backrest padded with foam (height adjustable from 16 to 20 , width 17; length 12 (from back to front); depth of backrest 5; width of backrest 10; colour: sky blue)

Quantity 35

It is ver y thoughtful of you to have sent us your folder. We shall certainly use it for our future transactions with you. Our bankers are United Commercial Bank, Janakpuri Branch and we propose to pay you by a crossed cheque drawn on them. Please confirm that this arrangement suits you.

Yours faithfully, R.T. Mahesh Purchase Manager

Figure 11.19 Specimen letter for placing orders


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Dear Sir,

Thank you ver y much for your quotation of G/3603 dated 15 November, 2001.

The terms and conditions indicated therein are acceptable to us. Please send the H.T. and L.T. cable end boxes also and include the extra charges in your bill.

A crossed cheque drawn on the UCO Bank for Rs. 11,780 is enclosed as desired.

Yours faithfully, B.N. Sen Maintenance Officer Enclosure. Cheque No. T/R 467821 dated 22 November 2001.

Figure 11.20 Specimen letter for placing an order


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Dear Sirs,

We had ordered 2000 1 kg tins of Natural Baby Food Powder under our order No. T-7056/ FP dated 19 April 2005. Today when the consignment arrived we checked its contents and found only 400 tins, out of which 5 were badly damaged. It seems one of the cases was not packed properly or some heavy load had been placed over it in transit.

There is a great demand for this powder in the town at this time of the year and we expected to clear the whole stock during the next two months. But it appears some of our customers will have to remain disappointed.

With enormous resources at your command we hope you can save the situation by sending 1000 tins immediately by quick transit ser vice.

As regards the damaged tins, we want your advice. There are two alternatives: either you allow us to sell them at reduced price in which case we shall send you the total amount realised after deducting our usual commission of 7 per cent or permit us to return them to you at your cost for replacement. We would ver y much appreciate an early reply.

Yours faithfully, R.L. Bagchi Purchase Manager

Figure 11.21 Specimen letter of claims and adjustment


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Dear Sir,

On 6 Februar y 2002 we bought a voltage stabiliser, Voltrex for Rs. 3228.56 from messrs Shyam Kumar and Co., Dar yagani Delhi, one of your authorised dealers. It bears No. LT 400397A and the guarantee card is numbered VL 4448632. After we had used it for about a month for regulating current to our computer IBM 1130 it began to produce a loud noise. I sent it to Shyam Kumar and Co. They said it was a minor defect and returned it to us after repairs. After about three weeks the same trouble star ted again. We called an engineer and got our equipment checked. He said that the computer is all right and has advised us against using the stabiliser as it may damage the equipment. Now we feel reluctant to approach the dealer. They might once again dismiss the trouble as a minor one and return it after repairs. The fact that stabiliser has developed trouble twice within about seven weeks indicates that there is some manufacturing defect in it. I, therefore, request you to arrange to replace it immediately by issuing necessar y instructions to the dealer. I may add that some other organisations, which own your stabiliser, have been getting troublefree ser vice for several years. In fact, their recommendation has prompted us to buy your product.

Yours faithfully, T.M. Tingale Research and Development Officer

Figure 11.22 Specimen letter of claim and adjustment


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Dear Sri Marathe,

Thank you for your letter No. dated bringing to our attention the defect in your Voltrex Ser vice.

Today we have written to them to send our Delhi-based engineer to you for a thorough on-the-spot check-up of your Voltrex. If it indeed is something, which needs a minor repair he will do it, and you can rely on his work as he has been especially trained for such tasks. But if it is a manufacturing defect, your Voltrex will be promptly replaced by a new one by our dealer.

We are indeed distressed that you have been put to a lot of inconvenience. We shall feel grateful if you drop a line after our engineer has visited you. We would like to know whether you wish us to do anything further.

Yours sincerely, T.K. Prabhu Sales Manager

Figure 11.23 Specimen letter of claim and adjustment


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Kashiwal Plastics Limited 2 Prabhat Road Pune 411 029 Tha Manager Suhani Enterprises 472A, New Link Road Mumbai 400 024 Subject: Supply of Camel Stationer y Dear Sir, Please refer to your letter dated 12 October, 2004. We are pleased to accept you as a credit customer of our company. Your order for Camel Stationer y is being sent immediately through DHL on the credit terms proposed by you. A bill for Rs. 55,000 is enclosed herewith. You will notice that we have allowed the usual trade discount, and that the last date by which the payment should reach us is 9 Januar y, 2005. The shipping papers have been sent separately to your bank. We have investigated the credit references given by you and found them satisfactor y. We look for ward to ser ving you in future and hope to receive an order for another lot soon. We wish you success in promoting the sale of Camel Stationer y. A form for credit information is sent herewith in duplicate. Please fill it in and send us one copy. This request is a part of our credit procedure and helps us update our records as regards our credit customers. 10 November 2001.

Yours faithfully, P.K. Santosh Credit Manager

Figure 11.24 Specimen letter for granting credit


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Summing Up
Business letters are an important mode of communication between different organisations and the interaction between organisations and government. Apart from being an effective mode of contact, in the corporate world, business letters help to develop business and create good-will. Good business letters need to be clear, precise, courteous, convincing and coherent in expression. They have to be written in a particular format. Business letters can be generally categorised into letters of enquir y, quotation, order, advice, trade reference, complaint and circulars. The introductor y and closing paragraphs should be brief whereas the main body should deal with the subject matter in detail.

Selfassessment
a. Answer sentence in single an infor mal

1. How does a business letter dif fer fr om letter? 2. Which part of the business letter is the most important? b. Fill blanks in the

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Chapter XII Report Writing

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The importance of report writing The skills and style of writing reports Contents 12.1 Introduction 12.2 Defining Reports 12.3 Importance of Reports 12.3.1 Oral and Written Reports 12.4 Types of Reports 12.4.1 Periodic or Routine Reports 12.4.2 Special Reports 12.5 Characteristics of a Good Report 12.6 Before Writing a Report 12.7 The Body of a Report Summing Up Self-assessment

12.1 Introduction A reports are important channel of upward communication in an organisation. Ever y organisation makes arrangements to receive reports, to keep information moving upward in an orderly fashion. Such information is used to review and evaluate the progress of work, keep a check on the continuity of activities, so as to plan for the future course of action on the basis of ef fective decisions taken, based on reports. 12.2 Defining Reports A report is the logical presentation of facts. Writing good reports is an important skill a manager has to develop. Reports are also a part and parcel of written communication in an organisation or a company.
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Reports may be written by an individual or a group of individuals in an organisation, and submitted to the authority that has assigned them. A report is a feedback that the super visors get from the subordinates working under them. For example: A foreman, at the closing of the day writes a report to the manager the about progress of work carried on under his super vision during the day. A bank manger sends a periodic report to the Head Office on the bank transaction carried on during the fortnight or the month. Sales personnel working in the

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fields on behalf of their organisation are required to submit a periodical or weekly report stating the sales orders obtained or likely to be obtained by them, etc. The Government sets up committees to report on various social, political and economic problems of a particular area or section of the society. Reports can thus be of various types. 12.3 Importance of Reports The following are some of the reasons why a report is impor tant in a business organisation. a. A report is a management tool for effective decision-making. In large organisations, where diversified business activities are carried out by different departments, the top executive cannot keep a watch over all the activities. So they base their decisions on the reports. b. A report certifies the quality and knowledge of the sender. A report contains various parts such as title, terms of reference, and writing procedure. c. A report contain the findings and recommendations of the reporter, which help the decision-maker in his final decision-making in the matter. 12.3.1 Oral and Written Reports A report may be oral or written. An oral report is simple to communicate and sometimes it may be quite useful. But a written report is always preferred since it enjoys various advantages over the oral report such as: a. An oral report can be denied at any time, but a written report cannot and it will remain on record. b. An oral report tends to be vague and may be encumbered by irrelevant facts. In a written repor t, the writer of the repor t tries to be accurate and precise. c. A written report can be referred to again and again and it always remains as a legal document, but an oral report has no legal validity. 12.4 Types of Reports Reports may be classified mainly into two categories: 1) Routine and 2) Special. Routine reports are presented periodically to convey information about the progress or status of work/task performed. They are presented at regular inter vals or soon after the completion of the work. Special reports are required when a special situation or problems arises. This task for preparing the report is assigned to any individual or a committee of persons who have wide knowledge and understanding in the field or subject, to investigate, collect information related to it and make suggestions to assist the management to make a suitable decision in the matter. Periodic or Routine Reports a. Progress report b. Inspection report c. Performance appraisal report d. Periodical report

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Special Reports a. Information report b. Investigation report c. Feasibility report or sur vey d. Project reports. The ultimate purpose of any report is to provide the foundation for decisions to be made and action taken. Whatever the purpose and length of reports, all reports require the following writing skills. a. The ability to record facts clearly and objectively b. The ability to interpret information and make conclusions c. The ability to present suggestions on ways in which a situation may be improved. A brief description of routine reports and special reports is given as follows: 12.4.1 Periodic or Routine Reports a. Progress repor t: A progress report gives information regarding the progress of work or project, in progress, such as construction of a building or the manufacture of products or the implementation of any scheme. A standard format is generally used for the preparation of the progress report. b. Inspection repor ts: As soon as any inspection is carried out, the inspection report is submitted to the authority concerned. Inspection is necessar y for detecting any deviations from the standard established or any irregularities in day-to-day work. Internal audit is carried out to detect any financial irregularities. Sometimes surprise check may be done in order to ensure that the work is properly done all the time. For inspection purposes, printed forms and guidelines are provided to the inspectors by the authority concerned. Ser vices of experts in the field, such as engineers, technicians, auditors, etc. are also availed for this purpose. c. Per formance appraisal repor ts: These are actually periodical reports and are meant for assessing and recording the performance of an employee. Ever y super visor/superior has to fill in an assessment report annually for each of the subordinate. On the basis of these reports, decisions about promotions/demotions, and other benefits are taken. d. Periodical repor ts: Periodical reports, as the name suggest, are submitted periodically at regular inter vals on the working of a department or section of the organisation. The information requested here is of a routine nature and can be easily tabulated; hence it is prepared by filling the prescribed forms. Some other routine reports include representatives' reports on sales visits, equipment and maintenance reports, safety reports, accident reports, etc. 12.4.2 Special Reports a. First information repor ts (FIR): FIR is required to be submitted when there is a disaster like fire, building collapse, robber y or accident, in an

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organisation. This repor t is prepared by the responsible person on the spot or the person in-charge, for submission to a higher authority like a Branch Manager to the Regional Office or the Head Office. This report has to include all the relevant information, which is available immediately after the incident, occurs. This report indicates the time when the incident happened, loss or destruction or loss of life, property, etc. estimated immediately. b. Investigation repor t: An investigation is carried out when there is any problem and the management wants to find out the causes of the problem, to find solutions to such problem. For instance, on declining sales, declining deposits in a bank, or on customer complaints, etc. investigation report is prepared after making a thorough study and inquir y. An individual or a committee may be appointed for this purpose to investigate and suggest measures to overcome the problem occurring again and again. This process involves the collection of information, its analysis, and conclusions have to be drawn for the submission of reports with recommendations or suggestions. c. Feasibility repor t: A feasibility report is obtained by an organisation when it intends to launch a new product in the market, introduce a new ser vice or to make any major changes that may affect the company's future sale or customers. The proposed field has to be sur veyed and its conditions are obser ved and recorded. Availability of essential requirements in the area, facilities provided by the competitors, attitude of the people/customers, government's policies, estimated expenses, etc. are to be investigated and included in the feasibility report. d. Project repor t: A project report describes the proposal of a new scheme to be undertaken in the future showing the cash flow and expected results. It is used for planning and also for convincing funding agencies, like governmental departments and banks. A project report is not assigned, but it is prepared by persons who want to get their proposal sanctioned. Special reports may also include reports written in response to requests for specific information, reports made on a special topic after research and investigation, report regarding a change of policy and the market research report. 12.5 Characteristics of a Good Report A good report must have the following characteristics: a. Grammatical accuracy: It is one of the basic requisites of a good report that there must be grammatical accuracy of language used in the report. Faulty construction of sentences makes the meaning of the report ambiguous and meaningless. b. Clarity: A good report must be absolutely clear to understand. Clarity depends on arrangement of facts and figures in a systematic order. It is the duty of the report writer to make the report purposeful, clear, define the important terms used in the report, and state his findings clearly and finally make necessar y recommendations. c. Precision: In a good report, the writer is ver y clear about the main purpose of writing the report. Precision gives a kind of unity and coherence to the report and makes it a valuable document.

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d. Accuracy of facts: The scientific accuracy of facts is ver y essential to a good report. Since all the reports invariably lead to decision-making, inaccurate facts or any biased report leads to disastrous decisions. e. Reader-orientation: A good report is always reader-oriented. While drafting, it is necessar y to keep in mind who is/are the persons going to read the report. A report meant for technical experts will be different for a layman. f. Relevance: The facts presented in a report should not only be accurate but also relevant. It is equally essential to see that nothing relevant has escaped inclusion in the report. Irrelevant facts make a report confusing. Exclusion of relevant facts renders it incomplete and likely to mislead the decisionmaking. g. Objectivity of recommendations: The recommendations made at the closing of the repor t must be impartial and objective-oriented. They should come as a logical conclusion to investigation and analysis. The recommendations must not reveal any self-interest on the part of the reportwriter. h. Brevity: A good report should be as brief as possible. Brevity should not be achieved at the cost of clarity. Nor should it be at the cost of completeness. Sometimes the problem being investigated is of such importance that it calls for a detailed discussion of facts. Brevity in a report is the kind of brevity one recommends for a prcis. This way a good report must be precise and brief, accurate, relevant, and objective-oriented. 12.6 Before Writing a Report Before a writer undertakes to prepare a report, he should consider the following points: a. Kind of repor t to be expected: The reporter is to be instructed to prepare a specific kind of report or the precedents to be followed. But generally it is seen that the reporter will have to decide for himself whether he is to prepare an informal or a formal report; or if it is a formal report, whether it a statutor y or non-statutor y report. It is important that, right from the beginning, the reporter should be clear about the content, form and style of the report. b. Time to be allowed to prepare the repor t: The length of time the writer has been allowed to prepare the report. This will give him guidance of the type of report expected. If a thorough study of the problem is needed and to conduct any research work, more time should be allowed to prepare a formal report. c. Purpose of the repor t: The purpose of the report is the most important factor to be kept in mind before deciding the type of report needed. Suppose the writer has been asked to prepare a report on whether his company should collaborate with another company, it is a matter of great importance and it needs ver y carefully written formal reports. d. Purpose of the repor t: It is ver y important to keep in mind the purpose of the proposed report. Such awareness will help in eliminating wasteful labour and will help in the inclusion of all relevant facts relating to the problem.
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e. Be clear about the facts that are to be included in the repor t: The facts and figures to be included in the report should be known in advance. Suppose, a market study is to be undertaken before modification of the existing product in the market, it should be clear that the report should contain the opinion and preference of the consumers who are already using the product. The consumers or the users can give more information according to their liking and disliking of the product, which will help product modification according to market needs. f. Be sure about the reader of the repor t: Who is going to read the report? If the report is to be read by a technical exper t, it ought to contain a detailed, step-by-step account of the investigations carried out, along with detailed findings. At the same time, it should be kept in mind that it doesn't include any information, which is surplus to the reader's requirements. 12.7 The Body of a Report The body of a report contains the following: Title: A report must have a title indicating the subject of investigation. In the case of a long report the title part gives the name of the person who assigned the report and name(s) of the person/committee who prepared it, with the date, month and year. Terms of reference: This is the first section of the repor t and gives details of the assignment and the purpose and scope of the research. The details of assignment include: who assigned the report and/or appointed the committee, on what date, names of members of the committee, what is the date of submitting the report, and whether the report is expected to make recommendations, if any. If the assignment is made by the letter of any authority, the terms of reference must give the number and date of the letter, the name and title of appointing authority, the purpose of the report, and the time allowed for submitting the final report. Procedure: This is the second section of the report and it states the procedure used for collecting information. There can be several methods for collecting the requisite information: a. By records of the organisation: Which give date on production, sales, marketing, expenditure, etc. b. By the obser vation method: By watching certain phenomena involved in the problems, and recording what is systematically obser ved. c. By asking questions: This may be done by inter viewing, distributing questionnaires, meeting experts and asking for their opinions. d. By use of reference books: Reference to books, directories, standard publications, etc.

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e. By personal visits and inspection: When suitable sites are being sur veyed. f. By experimentations: By various kinds of tests for different kinds of inquiries. The value of the findings, conclusions and recommendations depends on the thoroughness of investigation, and the method used. Findings: This is the third section of the report. Here the collected facts and information have to be organised into a presentable form, with headings and sub-headings. For this purpose, the collected information is analysed and divided for easy and readable presentation. Recommendations: This is the last section of the report. Recommendations are proposals for action suggested by the report writer(s) to the appointing authority. Sometimes, an assignment may be only to present findings without recommendations. In that case this section is not required. Recommendations are written in the repor t in the same order as the problems are stated in the findings, as far as possible. Recommendations may be used with a sentence like: The committee makes the following recommendations or The following, steps are recommended. Signature, Place and Date: A committee report must be signed by all members of the committee, on the right side of the bottom of the report. The place and date are on the left. The date is the day of submission of the report, as stated below: R. B. Upadhyay Place: Jaipur Date: 7th July, 2001, J. S. Mehta

C. K. Pathak (Convener)

Given below are a few specimen reports:

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15th October 2001 The Managing Director XYZ Paints Ltd Sir Re: Working of Jaipur Branch. In accordance with your instruction by telephone, on 8 October 2001,I visited the JAIPUR Branch for a surprise inspection last week. I obser ved the working of the branch office for three days and also inspected the office and the records. I am sorr y to report that the branch office is run in a most unsatisfactor y manner. When I reached the branch office on 15 October at 10.30 a. m., which is 30 minutes after opening time, I found that there were only a peon and two clerks. Taking me for a client, they informed me that of fice work started only at 11.00 a. m. The manager, Mr. R. S. Tak arrived at 11.30 a. m.; lacking discipline himself Mr. Tak is unable to maintain any discipline among the staff. The stock register and the account books have not been properly maintained for the last three months. It also appears that office stationer y and small articles are freely used and taken away by the staff. The general indiscipline, if not controlled at once, is likely to result in heavy losses. I recommend that Mr. Tak should be brought to the H. O. and kept in a subordinate position. Mr. R. K. Chandak, Assistant Manager of Pune branch has proved himself quite able; he may be promoted as Manager and posted at JAIPUR. Yours faithfully, ABC Secretar y * * * * Date..

Figure 12.1 Specimen report


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The Managing Director Glazed Tiles (Pvt.) Ltd. Dear Sir, Sub: Decline of Sales of Tiles In accordance with your instructions I have inquired fully into the causes of the decline in the company's business in the last two years till December 2001, and submit my report as follows: Several new companies have put out glazed tiles in the market. Some of the companies have introduced artistically designed tiles in a variety of colours. Besides most companies make square tiles in four sizes and rectangular tiles in two sizes. We have limited our production of tiles to six standard colours without design, and that too only two sizes. Tiles are used extensively in kitchens of homes and hotels but the demand is for designed tiles, and for sizes other than those we make. Hence, while the market for tiles has gone up, we have not been able to keep our share of the business. Recommendations 1. An experienced designer should be appointed to create new designs for our tiles. 2. A colour technician should be appointed to assist the designer. 3. Some of the more popular sizes and shapes should be introduced. 4. An intensive advertising and sales campaign should be launched in order to win back the lost market. 5. Follow-up correspondence should be maintained with all former customers in order to regain and build up old contacts. Yours faithfully, XYZ Secretar y * * * * *

Figure 12.2 Specimen report


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15 September 2001 The Directors Rosa Glass Works (Pvt.) New Delhi Sirs, In accordance with the instructions in your letter dated 1st September, 20 we had two experienced persons from this firm obser ve the working of your company for two weeks to investigate the methods of running the business, and the daily conduct of the staff. From the obser vation, the following defects were noted: 1. The Secretar y's age and continued poor health has made him lose interest, and the Registrar is too indecisive to control the staff members who disobey his instructions. As a result, the work as a whole is not carried out according to the instructions of the Managing Director, and is often seriously delayed. Customers complain about delays and some even cancel their orders owing to the delays in deliver y. 2. The departmental managers at the works, with the exception of the one in the Stores Department, have become too friendly with the workers. Their authority is thus weakened, and the workers waste a great deal of time. The production is seriously slowed down, and the goods are not finished to the required high standard. This has resulted in rejection by customers, and general loss of business, apart from the loss of man-hours, power and raw material. This matter has been reported twice to the Secretar y by the Work Manager, but no action has been taken. 3. The Accountant, owing to ill-health, has not kept his professional knowledge up-todate, and made no effort to find the best system of costing to suit the company's business. Price quoted for some contracts have been far below the actual cost, and some of the contracts carried out have resulted in losses. When an attempt was made to correct this, unreasonably high prices were quoted, leading to loss of business. The following recommendations are made: 1. The Secretar y should be superannuated, and the Registrar demoted to the position of superintendent. The positions of secretar y and Registrar should be filled by competent and efficient men who are able to impose discipline on the staff. 2. All the departmental managers at the works, except the Stores Manager should be dismissed immediately, with one month's salar y. 3. The Accountant should be superseded, and a person with up-to-date knowledge should be appointed above him. 4. A staff meeting should be called to explain the need for discipline and to point out that disobedience to orders of superiors will be punished with immediate dismissal. Notices announcing this warning should be put up in all the departments of the office and the works. Yours faithfully, XYZ Partner, Sanghvi and Shah Accountants

Figure 12.3 A report by auditors to directors of a company where indiscipline led to losses was assigned to a firm of Chartered Accountants
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The schematic form may be used for presenting a complex repor t. The details are arranged under headings. The passive voice is used for most statements in a formal style.

Summing Up
Like memos, reports form an important part of written communication in an organisation. A report is a written record of events or the progress of work in an organisation. They enable us to keep checks on various activities and form an important backup for future reference. Besides they ensure the effective passing of information within an organisation. Reports can be both oral and written and are of various types such as routine reports and special reports. Characteristics such as accuracy, clarity, relevance, brevity, and objectivity are important in case of report writing. A report must have a title, subject and appropriate references and recommendations.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in single sentence 1. What is an FIR? 2. Why are recommendations necessar y in case of certain reports? b. Fill in the blanks 1. A report contains the reporter. 2. or problems. and of

reports are required in case of a peculiar situation

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Chapter XIII Memorandums

Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to understand: The importance of memo writing The format and style of writing memos Contents 13.1 Defining Memorandums 13.2 Identifying a Memorandum 13.3 Viewing Memorandum Formality 13.4 Writing Memorandums 13.5 Warning Memo Summing Up Self-assessment

13.1 Defining Memorandums Memorandums are a form of letter written internally in business houses. Memos or memorandums are an important part of the written communication and part and parcel of any organisation or the corporate world. In rare cases, they may be used in communicating outside the business. They are written messages exchanged by employees in the conduct of their work. They may be distinguished from other messages primarily by their form. Originally, they were used only in hard copy, but with the advent of computers they are now often processed electronically as faxes. In fact, their function of communicating within the business has been taken over somewhat by intra-company e-mail. Even so, they still are a part of most company communication. Some memorandums communicate factual, problem-related information and are classified as reports, those not classified as reports are the memorandums. Even so, much of the following discussion applies to both types. 13.2 Identifying a Memorandum As we have noted, memorandums are distinguished from other messages primarily by their form. Most large companies have stationer y printed especially for memorandums. Sometimes the word memorandum appears at the top in large, heavy type. But some companies prefer other titles, such as inter-office memorandum, memorandum of inter-office communication. Below this main heading come the specific headings common to all memorandums: Date, To, From, Subject (though not necessarily in this order). This simple arrangement is displayed in Figure 13.1 because memorandums are often short, some companies use 5 X 8 -inch stationer y for them as well as the conventional 8 x 11-inch size. Hard-copy memorandums are usually initialled
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by the writer rather than signed.

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Large organisations, especially those with a number of locations and departments, often include additional information on their memorandum stationer y. Department, Plant, Location, Territor y, Store Number, and Copies to are examples (see Figure 13.1). Since in some companies memorandums are often addressed to more than one reader, the heading 'To' may be followed by enough space to list a number of names.

YOUR ONE STOP STORE MEMORANDUM

To: Store: At: Territor y:

Date: From: Store: At: Territor y:

Subject : Form for in-house letters (memos)

Figure 13.1 Memorandum stationer y with special headings adapted to the needs of an organisation with multiple locations.

Notice that the memorandum uses no form of salutation. Neither does it have any form of complimentar y close. The writer does not need to sign the message. He or she needs only to initial after the typed name in the heading. Notice also that the message is single-spaced with double spacing between paragraphs. This is an illustration of our memorandum stationer y. It should be used for written communications within the organisation. 13.3 Viewing Memorandum Formality Because memorandums usually are messages sent and received by people who work with and know one another, they tend to use casual or informal language. Even so, their degree of formality ranges from one extreme to the other. At one end are the casual notes that workers exchange. At the other are the formal messages written by lower-ranking workers to their top administrators. The typical memorandum falls somewhere between these extremes.
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13.4 Writing Memorandums The techniques for writing memorandums are much like those for writing email messages. As with e-mail, the short, simple memorandums are typically written in casual or informal language. And usually they are organised in a direct pattern beginning with the most important point and working down. Although memorandums are internal letters, they differ from letters in two major ways. First, memorandums are more likely to be written in the direct order. Most letters also are direct, but an even greater percentage of memorandums are direct. Most memorandums are direct because they concern work information, and such information rarely requires preliminar y explanation, justification or persuasion strategies. The second major difference is that usually the writers of memorandums have less need to be concerned about the effect to their works. That is, tactfulness, negativeness-positiveness, you-viewpoint, and such usually are not major concerns. This is not to say that rudeness and harshness are acceptable that the practice of good business etiquette does not apply to relations between employees. It simply means that people working together in business situations typically want and expect clear, straightfor ward communication. They are not personally involved in the message; so there is little need to be concerned about their sensitivity to the wording. 13.5 Warning Memo A warning memo is issued in confidence to an employee whose work has been found unsatisfactor y, or violates rules and regulations; or does not behave in a disciplinar y manner. A written memo is issued after oral warnings. The memo letter must contain exact details of the charges committed by the employee. There must not be vague statements; other wise the management will have trouble with employee unions as well as legal consequences. A warning memo is not a threat of dismissal from ser vice. It only expects better work/behaviour from the employee. Unless there is improvement, confirmation or increments or promotions, may be withheld. A warning memo can be issued in variety of ways. A simple form is given below:

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Dear C. L. Singhal It has been brought to my notice that your attendance at the office has been ver y irregular. You have been reporting late by more than an hour ten times during this month, in spite of regular warning by your super visor. You are expected to be regular and punctual in attendance and to be careful and attentive in your work. If you do not improve your conduct and your work, disciplinar y action in the form of withholding increments, may be taken. This may be treated as a final warning. Yours sincerely, Sd/General Manager

Figure 13.2 Specimen warning memo

Summing Up
Memorandums (or memos) are an impor tant medium of inter nal communication in an organisation. They can be in the form of a hard copy or fax/computer message. They can be distinguished from letters by their printed heading such as date, to, from, subject. Memos var y in length and in formality depending upon content but are always direct and clear. The relationship between the sender and the receiver being an official one, the content and tone of a memo is largely impersonal.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in single sentence 1. How does a memo differ from a letter? 2. How is MS Word useful in writing memos? b. Fill in the blanks 1. The word memo is an abbreviation of 2. The sender-receiver relation in case of a memo is that of .

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Chapter XIV Technology and Corporate Communication


Learning Objectives Reading this chapter would enable you to: Understand the impact of technology on corporate communication Acquaint yourself with the use of modern media in corporate communication The importance of attitude in communication The qualities required in the work environment Contents 14.1 Introduction 14.2 Telex (Teleprinter Exchange) 14.3 Fax 14.4 The Computer 14.5 Teleconferencing 14.5.1 Audio Teleconferencing 14.5.2 Audio Graphics Teleconferencing 14. 5.3 Video Teleconferencing 14.6 The Internet 14.6.1 Corporate Use of Internet 14.7 E-mail 14.8 Cellular Phone 14.9 Challenge of Communication in the Global Market 14.10 Developing the Right Attitude 14.11 Preparing Adequately 14.12 Becoming Flexible Summing Up Self-assessment

14.1 Introduction If you want to achieve speedy and effective communication, there is no other way than to adopt technology, which has literally changed the way we communicate. In the recent years communication in the corporate world has changed drastically. It is ver y essential to know and be familiar with technology and media in corporate communication and subsequently understand their significance in communication. Now-a-days electronic mail and Internet have become a part and parcel of our communication channels.Modern media systems transmit signals instantly from one source to any destination in the world with the use of modern electronic technology. Some of the oft-used media systems are: a. Telex b. Fax
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c. d. e. f. g.

Teleconferencing Internet E-mail Cellular Phone Computer

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Memorandums Memorandums

The following are some of the important technologies used in corporate communication. 14.2 Telex (Teleprinter Exchange) Telex is a worldwide tele-type ser vice providing instantaneous communication through a direct dial teleprinter-to-teleprinter system. Messages can be sent and received 24 hours a day. A telex connection is can be had through the Post Office and each subscriber has an identification code for the connection. The system of direct dial teleprinter exchange was introduced in 1985; within ten years it had more than 25,000 subscribers. It enables subscribers to send messages and data directly to each other. The teleprinter has a keyboard for typing messages and a transmitter/receiver for sending and receiving messages. The machine is fitted with a roll of paper, and messages can be typed out continuously. When a message is typed on the sender's machine, the same message is typed at the same time on receiver's machine too. The following are the notable uses of Telex: a. The advantage of this machine is that it automatically types out received messages even when the machine is not attended, the received messages can be read later. If the receiver's machine is attended, the sender and the receiver can carr y on a two-way dialogue by typing out in turn. b. Telex messages are paid for on the basis of the time taken for transmission and the distance, the charges begin as soon as the connection is made. Telex users have developed a language of contractions and abbreviations for saving time. c. Recent developments have made it possible to use a computer instead of a teleprinter for the transmission of telex. As technologies converge, the use of teleprinters may become outdated. d. A telex connects the two communicants in real time; it is not subject to problems like viruses. It is used mainly by organisations like railways, ports, stock exchanges, banks, etc., which need constant inter national communication. Telex messages are replayed on a screen in newspaper offices, share markets, airports, railway stations and places where momentto-moment information has to be conveyed to many people. 14.3 Fax The facsimile machine is a device for transmitting copies of printed images through a modem (modular-demodulator) attached to a telephone. The sender has to dial the receiver's fax number, insert the documents into the machine, and press the start button. A fax machine is a relatively inexpensive and essential medium of communication for any business. Fax transmits and receives any kind of message - handwritten, printed, word-processed, maps, messages, diagrams,
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Photographs. Transmission of a fax message takes only seconds, depending on the length of the documents. Sending messages by a fax is a popular choice today due to its versatility and speed. Fax is often used between divisions or branches of the same company instead of the telephone or memos. Business letters are frequently either sent by fax or replaced by fax messages. Most corporate houses use a special fax letterhead for fax messages. The following are the notable uses of fax. a. The machine scans the page and makes an electronic representation of the text and graphics, compresses the data to save transmission time and transmits it to the detailed fax machine. b. The receiving machine decr ypts the signals and uses its inbuilt printer to produce an exact photocopy of the original page. The cost of the printout is borne by the receiver. c. Fax permits quick exchange of information and documents between offices or organisations and individuals. Important decisions and instructions can be quickly conveyed to branches and other offices. d. Fax is used for only documents that are not confidential. The machine puts out a print and the printout can be seen and read by anyone. However, you can arrange (by telephonic talk) to be alone with the machine, when a confidential message is being sent. e. The printout contains the time, date and the fax number of the sender's machine. The sender gets a confirmation printout showing the receiver's fax number, the date and the time of transmission and the number of pages transmitted. f. The fax machine can be set to function as a telephone or as a voice mail (answering machine) by pressing relevant buttons. It can also make one or two photocopies of a document. g. Fax can be sent through a computer provided the required software and modem is installed and a telephone line is connected to it. Some recent models of computers have an in-built modem, and software for a fax is included as a part of windows. A computer can transmit only messages that have been created on the computer; it cannot transmit a document as it is, as the fax machine. 14.4 The Computer The computer is a versatile electronic instrument, which can combine various media functions. It has entirely changed the modern phenomenon of corporate communication, revolutionising business concepts and information deliver y systems. Computer programmes such as the Word Processor help in the preparation of letters, reports, meeting agenda, presentations by guiding you through the steps of the layout. It ensures that the document is neatly laid out in a few commands. It enables you to prepare a circular and personalise it for several persons and addresses by mail merge.
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Programmes like PowerPoint guide you through outlines of presentations for various occasions and business purposes, demonstrations, seminars and corporate meets. Computers have made communication ver y fast and more importantly economically viable. Spreadsheets, tables, charts and other graphics can be quickly prepared on the computer. Databases of customers, suppliers, and so on, are maintained and easily updated. Recent versions of MSOffice facilitate scheduling of meetings and sending out meeting notices. The business personnel, executives, managers can engage in conversation on computers with anyone connected worldwide. Electronic mail, Voice mail, Video conferencing and Multimedia facilities allow all forms of communication to be transmitted. Fax and telex can also be sent through computers. Websites on the internet enable you to publish information about your business. With the development of e-commerce and propagation of on-line business and internet banking, it is possible to accomplish most of the functions of business through the computer. 14.5 Teleconferencing Teleconferencing can be defined in several ways. Most people agree that it can be defined simply as a technique of bringing people together without having to spend time and money on travel. There are three types of teleconferencing: a. Audio teleconferencing b. Audio graphics teleconferencing c. Video teleconferencing 14.5.1 Audio Teleconferencing Audio teleconferencing provides the interactive element of the telephone; it is the most frequently used, most productive and less expensive medium. It is also called phone meeting. It does not need any special equipment other than the ordinar y telephone. The reasons for its widespread acceptance in the corporate world are as follows: a. b. c. d. e. Easy to use. Ever yone can use a telephone Easily available. Telephones are available anywhere. Easy to participate from any telephone line in the world. Takes only a few minutes to set up a conference call. Less expensive.

14.5.2 Audio Graphics Teleconferencing Audio graphics teleconferencing provides the facility to move text, computer generated images, photographs and large files over ordinar y telephone lines (ver y much like the internet). It is not as expensive as video conferencing but still requires moving to the location where the equipment has been placed or investing in the equipment.
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14.5.3 Video Teleconferencing Video teleconferencing allows people at different locations to see and hear each other at the same time; it is fully interactive and almost like a face-to-face meeting. Depending on the level of technology used, it may connect two locations interactively or it may work as broadcast video with the broadcasting site transmitting its image to many sites that may be able to communicate back through standard telephone lines. With more complex systems and equipment, it is possible to have more than two locations connected together so that they can all see and hear one another, ver y much like an actual meeting. Video conferencing is made possible through merging a variety of complex technologies, advanced network and transmission ser vices, compression of digital signals, and techniques that allow systems to talk with one another. The basic components of video conferencing are: monitor, camera, microphone, speaker, codec (compressor-decompressor), equipment control pad at each location and network ser vices to connect the locations. The benefit of video teleconferencing is wide-ranging. First of all, it is almost like communicating face-to-face. The interaction allows people at distant locations to understand one another better making discussion more meaningful. It helps people feel connected and goes a long way in building relationships in a way that telephone and e-mail cannot. It improves understanding and assimilation by including diverse media like video and audio clips, graphics, animation, and computer applications, for demonstration and explanation. It saves time and travelling expenses and at the same time allows people to keep in touch more frequently. 14.6 The Internet The internet has been seen as a blessing for the corporate world for its versatile and commercial use. E-mail is just one way of communicating using the powers of modems, computers and telephone lines, but the possibilities that internet provide are endless. The internet is a rich source of information, a link to the world, an education tool and an entertainment medium. In other words, the Internet is redefining the way we communicate and learn. Businessmen, individuals and education providers have gone on-line to experience this fascinating medium. E-commerce has become a buzzword today because it has occupied entire business and commercial sectors and providing ever ything related to corporate world on-line to be received by anyone, at any time and anywhere. The internet is a worldwide collection of computer networks that co-operate with one another by using a common software standard. It conveys data through satellite links and telephone wires. 14.6.1 Corporate Use of Internet No business or industr y can face competition without the use of the internet for commercial and business purposes. If you publish a website for your company, you probably stand to gain more customers than placing, say, an advertisement in the newspaper.
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Another major facilitator for any corporate sector is the use of on-line interactive communication. Most businesses need a lot of interaction internally among their executives, managers, employees and externally with business associates, when many persons have to contribute to discussions. The Internet Phone has recently become one of the most vital instruments of communication. It is cost effective and ser ves all business purposes through telephonic conversation. The following are the important uses of the internet. a. Information on business and ser vices is placed in an assembled fashion in a common location through the website of the corporate sector and provides on-line business facilities. b. A mechanism for immediate feedback from consumers or business partners is provided. c. The cost of information deliver y to internal and external sources is reduced. d. An efficient means of updating and disseminating current information to customers and internal staff. e. Customised information and communication to consumers, partners, associates and other concerned departments is delivered more conveniently. 14.7 E-mail Electronic mail, popularly known as e-mail is the most effective and widely used corporate communication tool because of its inherent and obvious advantages. It has become ver y popular due to its universality, speed of communication and cost-effectiveness. Businesses today operate in a highly competitive market in which high-speed communication and information transfer is essential. Most of the activities in today's offices are electronic using computer-based technology. E-mail has evolved as an effective, low-cost and quick method of communication with customers and colleagues all over the world. E-mail is the most frequently used application of the internet. With e-mail, messages are keyed into a computer workstation and then transmitted to the recipient. A single message may be sent simultaneously to many recipients. A lot of time and effort is saved in producing formal, printed memos, but of course you may still print a copy of an e-mail messages, if required. The following are the advantages of e-mail: Besides sending a message, you can send documents, which are on your computer, as attachments with the message. Sending and receiving messages is quite easy and convenient to both the sender and the receiver. a. E-mail makes information more accessible and permits faster procedures in an organisation. b. E-mail has high-speed send/receive cycle. Messages do not waste time. c. E-mail has contributed to relationship building since it is easier to keep in touch with a large number of people across the world in a few seconds.

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d. It is a highly effective and efficient mode of corporate communication for international business purposes. 14.8 Cellular Phone The recent and most advanced tool of modern communication has changed the scenario of corporate communication. Cellular Phones have become an important component of business and corporate world because of direct and the catch-anywhere' nature of communication. Mobile phone instruments have facilities for storing telephone numbers, record of missed calls (calls which were not answered), for receiving text messages and for receiving information given by the network about the weather, about conditions on the road, and other vital news needed while travelling. Cellular phone providers offer added ser vices like voice mail which is a personal answering machine ser vice, call conferencing which allows a user to join up to five parties in a discussion, Ask Me information ser vices, airlines information, restaurant bookings, and so on. The mobile ser vice has freed many managers from the confines of their offices as they can be in touch with the office from wherever they are. It has become possible to contact persons who are travelling or are out of station. 14.9 Challenge of Communication in the Global Market The way you communicate both within and outside your own countr y will affect ever ything you plan to accomplish. Your ability to speak, write and your attitude are crucial at the international level. These qualities will help you to be effective in dealing with global customers outside your organisation. In addition, becoming flexible in attitude and methods of communicating will help you to be effective in dealing with issues within your organisation. 14.10 Developing the Right Attitude To the customer, you are the company. This good advice comes from public relations experts. Your attitude when dealing with customers, clients, and the public reflect on the company you represent. When you deal with international business people, your attitude will reflect your countr y and your culture. You may realise that special and important communications can make a visible difference to your company. But you should also be aware that daily routine messages are just as important. Each message communicates the essential quality and culture of your company and can either build goodwill or destroy it. Doing an honest job enthusiastically and competently helps both the doer and the receiver. Answering even routine inquiries should and can be an interesting change. For example, an insurance company correspondent may often receive similar questions from policyholders who have lost their insurance policies. Though lost-policy cases are familiar to the insurance staff member, they certainly are not routine to the reader. Thus a good approach is to send a personalised, helpful message, sensitive to the reader's viewpoint.
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Messages written to international clients, customers, suppliers, and other business contacts must be especially sensitive to audience concerns. Goodwill towards your organisation is at stake as well as goodwill towards you as a representative of your countr y. 14.11 Preparing Adequately You can learn to communicate effectively for business if you are willing to devote whatever effort is necessar y to prepare yourself adequately. In addition to the proper goodwill-building attitude, the following qualities are desirable for effective communication: a. Careful, sound judgment when choosing ideas and facts for each message b. Patience and understanding, even with unjustly insulting persons c. Integrity, backed up by a valid code of ethics d. Reasonable facility with the English language e. Applied knowledge of the communication process and principles and of successful methods for sending and receiving messages f. Knowledge of the cultural conventions of your audience 14.12 Becoming Flexible Today's workplace is increasingly diverse as regards to age, gender, and nationality. Though confusing at times, diversity has its own strength. Changing demographics have contributed to changes in management styles, making effective communication central to success in carr ying out an organisation's business. Many companies now offer seminars and workshops in handling diversity in workplaces. Today's managers and workers need to be flexible in the way they deal with others. Problems can be avoided by keeping an open mind and being willing to make extra - efforts in communication.

Summing Up
Adequate knowledge of the functioning of the electronic media is essential for effective communication. In today's world, the medium is the message. Telex, fax, teleconferencing, internet, e-mail, cellular phone, etc., all have their distinctive features and should be used for appropriate communication. The internet is the main media for access to information at a relatively cheap cost. Public relations experts feel that customers tend to identify an employee with the company to which he/she belongs. It is hence important to develop the right attitude while dealing with people outside your organisation. Qualities such as patience, understanding, cheerfulness, integrity, need to be carefully cultivated. Fluency in English facilitates good communication, along with a practical

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knowledge of the communication process. The global village is a diverse one; it demands flexibility in attitudes and working methods.

Self-assessment
a. Answer in a single sentence 1. What are the advantages of an e-mail? 2. How is a telephone useful for communication? 3. Which aspects of the surroundings are likely to convey non-verbal meanings? 4. Why is the appearance of an envelope as important as the message it contains? b. Fill in the blanks 1. Computer provides 2. , , , , and are the three types

facilities for communication. of teleconferencing. 3. is favourably viewed in the Western Corporate world. 4. The key to successful communication is to be aware of . 5. The and of the speaker's voice convey more meaning than the actual world.

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Answers to Self-assessment

Chapter I Understanding Communication: the Definitions, the Process and the Elements 1. encoder 2. verbal, nonverbal 3. feedback 4. written Chapter II Communicated Meanings and their Problems b 1. favourable, unfavourable 2. closed minds 3. connotative, denotative Chapter III Nature, Scope and Importance of Communication a 1. Information gathering, storage, processing, monitoring 2. Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, across the organisation 3. It helps to discharge managerial functions like planning, direction, co-ordination, and motivation. b 1. conversation, lectures, conferences, meetings, inter views 2. China 3. external Chapter IV Non-verbal communication b. 1. personal appearance 2. positive, negative Chapter VI Barriers to Communication b. 1. Psychological 2. Defects in medium, noise Chapter VII The Seven C's of Ef fective Communication b. 1. Analogies 2. correctness or accuracy

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Chapter VIII Communication as a Management Tool b. 1. recruitment, orientation, personal safety, retirement Chapter X Running Ef fective Meetings b. 1. cancelled 2. minutes Chapter XI Business letters b. 1. Clarity, coherence, effectiveness, etc 2. Circular letter Chapter XII Report writing b. 1. Findings and recommendations 2. Special Chapter XIII Memorandums b. 1. Memorandum 2. Employer-receiver Chapter XIV Challenges of communication in the global market b. Fill in the blanks 1. e-mail, voice mail, video conferencing, multimedia 2. audio, audio graphics, video 3. punctuality/regularity 4. differences 5. tone, pitch

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