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Letter of Transmittal

January 15, 2011 Professor Dr. Khondoker Bazlul Hoque Department of International Business Faculty of Business Studies University of Dhaka. Subject: Submission of Assignment. Dear Sir, It is indeed great pleasure for me to submit an assignment on Understanding Business Communication. In this assignment I have tried to focus the process of business communication, barriers associated with successful communication as well as how to overcome these barriers.

I hope and believe that this assignment will serve the purpose of hard work as required by this curriculum. Thanking you. S. M. Yusuf Mallick Roll-37 Department of International Business University of Dhaka

Table of Contents

Name of Contents 1. Communication and Business Communication 2. Process Of Communication 3. Barriers to successful communication between people 4. Barriers to successful communication within organization 5. Measures to overcome obstacles 6. Bibliography

Page No.

Executive Summary

Communication whether it is verbal, nonverbal, written or spoken in individual to individual or organization to organization involves a process called Communication Process. The process contains six major steps: (1) idea formulation, (2) message encoding, (3) message transmission, (4) message receiving, (5) message decoding and (6) feedback.

To make communication successful we must have the idea about the barriers that hinder communication process. These barriers may be interpersonal or organizational. Successful communicators are concerned about these barriers and they follow some measures to overcome such barriers. In fact, these steps are the key to make successful communication process.

Communication
Communication is a process of transferring information from one entity to another. Communication is commonly defined as "the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs". Communication is the process in which there is an exchange and progression of thoughts, feelings or ideas (energy) towards a mutually accepted goal or direction (information).

Business Communication

Business communication is the communication between the people in the organization for the purpose of carrying out business activities. It may be oral, verbal, written etc.. A business can flourish when all objectives of the organization are achieved effectively. For efficiency in an organization all the people (inside and outside) of the organization must be able to convey their message properly. The exchange of ideas and understanding within and outside the organization to achieve the business goals is known as business communication.

The Process of Communication

For our purposes communication is the transmission of information and meaning to individual or group to another. The crucial element of this definition is meaning. The process of communication is successful only when the receiver understands the idea as the sender intended it. Both parties must agree not only on the information transmitted but also on the meaning of that information. Communication is more than a single act, indeed it is a transactional (two way) process that can be broken into six phases: (1) idea formulation, (2) message encoding, (3) message transmission, (4) message receiving, (5) message decoding and (6) feedback.

Lets have an overview of all those phases:

(1) Idea Formulation: The process of communication begins when the person with whom the message originates- the sender- has an idea. The form of the idea will be influenced by complex factors surrounding the sender: mood; frame of reference; background, culture and physical makeup as well as the context of the situation and many other factors. The form of the ides whether a simple greeting or complex idea, is shaped by assumptions based on the senders experiences. A manager sending a message to employees assumes they will be receptive, while

direct mail advertisers assume that receivers will give only a quick glance to their message.

(2) Message Encoding: The next step in the communication process involves encoding, converting the idea into words or gestures that will convert meaning. Encoding also involves deciding on the messages from (word, facial, expression, gesture), length, organization tone, and style- all of which depend on senders idea, audience, personal style or mood. A major problem in communicating any message verbally is that words have different meanings for different people. When misunderstandings result from missed meanings, its called bypassing. Recognizing how it is easy to be misunderstood, skilled communicators choose familiar words with concrete meanings on which both senders and receivers agree. In selecting proper symbols, senders must be alert to the receivers communication skills, attitudes, background, experiences and culture.

(3) Message Transmission:

The medium over which the message is physically transmitted is the channel. Message may be delivered by computer, telephone, memorandum, report, announcement, picture, spoken word, fax, or through some other channel. Because communication channel deliver both verbal and non verbal messages, senders must choose the channel and shape the message carefully. The channel and medium the sender chooses, depend on the nature of the message, location of the message, senders need for speed and the formality of the situation.

(4) Message Receiving: The receiver gets the message. For communication to occur, the receiver must first receive the message. If it is a letter, the receiver must first read it before understanding it. If is a speech, then audiences have to be able listen it and they have to be paying attention.

(5) Message Decoding:

The individual for whom the message is intended is receiver. Translating the message from its symbol form into meaning involves decoding. Only when the receiver understands the meaning intended by the sender- that is, successfully decodes the message- does the communication takes place. Such success, however, is difficult to achieve no two people share the same life experiences and because many barriers can disrupt the process. Decoding can be disrupted by the receivers lack of attention to or bias against the sender. It can be disrupted by large sounds or illegible words. Decoding can also be sidetracked by semantic obstacles, such as misunderstood words, or emotional reactions to certain terms.

(6) Feedback: The verbal or nonverbal response of the receiver is feedback, a vital part of the communication process. Feedback helps the sender know that the message was received or understood. Feedback is a key element in the communication process because it enables the sender to evaluate the effectiveness of the message. If audience doesnt understand the meaning, the sender can tell by the response or by refine the message.

Barriers to Successful Communication


The communication process is successful only when the receiver understands the message as intended by the sender. It sounds quite simple. Yet, it is not. Most messages that we send reach their destination, but many are only partially understood. One can improve the chances of communicating successfully by learning to recognize the barriers that are known to disrupt the process. These barriers can occur at any stage in the process. Such communication barriers can exist between people and organizations.

Communication Barriers Between People Differences in Perception Incorrect Filtering Language Problem Poor Listening

Communication Barriers Within Organization Information Overload Message Complexity Differing Status Inadequate Communication Structures Incorrect Choice of Medium

Differing Emotional States

Barriers between People


When we send a message, we intend to communicate the meaning, but the message itself doesnt contain the meaning. The meaning exists in our mind and our receivers. To understand one another, we and our receiver must share similar meanings for words, gestures, tone of voice and other symbols.

(1)Bypassing: In the business world and our personal lives, we depend almost totally on words to exchange ideas. Each of us attaches a little bundle of meanings to every word and these meanings are not always similar. Bypassing occurs when people mess each others with their meanings.

(2) Frame of Reference: Everything we see and feel in the world is translated through our individual frame of reference. This frame is formed by a combination of our experiences, education, culture, expectations, attitudes, personality and many other elements.

Because our frame of reference is unique, the ideas we want to express differ from other persons. Even when two people have experienced the same events, their mental images of that event will not be same or identical. As senders we choose the details that seem important and focus our attention on the most relevant and general. As receivers, we try to fit new details into our existing patterns. If a detail doesnt quite fit, we are inclined to distort the information rather than rearrange the matters.

(3) Language Problem: No matter how extraordinary the idea, it wont be understood or fully appreciated unless the communicators involved have good language skills. Each individual needs an adequate vocabulary, a command of basic punctuation and grammar and skill in writing and oral expression. Todays knowledge workers require especially fine turned skills because our economy increasingly revolves around the exchange of language based information.

(4) Poor Listening: Although most of us think we know how to listen, in reality many of us are poor listeners. We all let our minds wander now and then, regardless of how hard we try to concentrate. People are especially likely to drift

off when they are forced to listen to information that is difficult to understand or that has little bearing on their own lives. if they are tired or concerned about other matters, they are even more likely to lose interest. As already mentioned, too few of us listen well.

(5) Differing Emotional States: Communication suffers when emotions cloud the mind. Shaping an intelligent message is difficult when we are feeling joy, fear, resentment, hostility, sadness or some other strong emotions. Its especially hard to concentrate when anger muddies our ability to reason. When angry senders and receivers drop those cooperative roles, and become adversaries, so that the communication process deteriorates into name calling or other counterproductive behavior.

Barriers within Organizations


Although all communication is subject to misunderstandings, business communication is particularly difficult. The material is often complex and controversial. Moreover both the sender and the receiver may face destructions that divert their attention. Further, because opportunities for feedback are often limited, it is difficult to correct misunderstandings.

(1) Information Overloaded: Too much information is as bad as too little because it reduces the audiences ability to concentrate effectively on the most important messages. People facing information overload sometimes try to cope by ignoring some of the messages, by delaying response to messages they deem unimportant, by answering only part of some messages, by responding incorrectly to certain messages, or by reacting superficially to all messages,

(2) Message Complexity: When formulating business messages, we communicate both as an individual and as a representative of an organization. Thus one must adjust his/her own ideas and style so that they are acceptable to his/her

employer. In fact one may occasionally be asked to write or say something that he/she disagree personally. Business message may also deal with subject matter that can be technical and or difficult to express.

(3) Differing Status: Employees of low status may be overly cautious when sending message to a manager and may talk only about subjects they think the manager is interested in. Similarly, higher status people may distort messages by refusing to discuss anything that would tend to undermine their authority in the organization. Moreover, belonging to a particular department or being responsible for a particular task can narrow our point of view so that it differs from the attitudes, values, and expectations of people who belong to other departments or who are responsible to other tasks.

(4) Inadequate Communication Structure: Organizational communication is affected by formal restrictions on who may communicate with whom and who is authorized to make decisions. Designing too few formal channels blocks effective communication. Strongly centralized organizations, especially those with a high degree

of formalization, reduce communication capacity, and they decrease the tendency to communicate horizontally- thereby limiting the ability to coordinate activities and decisions. Tall organizations tend to provide too many vertical communication links, so messages become distorted as they move through organizations level.

(5) Incorrect Choice of Medium: If an inappropriate medium of communication is chosen, messages can be distorted so that the intended meaning is blocked. We can select the most appropriate medium by matching our choice with the nature of the message and of the group or the individual who will receive it. Media richness is the value of a medium in a given communication situation. Its determined by a mediums ability to Convoy a message using more than one informational cue (visual, verbal, vocal) Facilitate feedback Establish personal focus

Overcoming Communication Barriers

The road to communication success might appear to be filled with insurmountable obstacles. Effective communicators however have learned to overcome the barriers. Here are some suggestions for conquering barriers that disrupt interpersonal and business communication:

Realizing That the Communication Process Is Imperfect Adapting Messages to the Receiver Improving Language and Listening Skills Questioning Preconceptions Planning for Feedback Simple Communication Structure

(1) Realizing That The Communication Process Is Imperfect: Half the battle in communication successfully is recognizing that the entire process is sensitive and susceptible to breakdown. Like a defense driver anticipating problems on the road, a good communicator anticipates problems in encoding, transmitting and decoding a message. Just knowing what can grow wrong helps one prepare strategies and to reduce misunderstandings.

(2)Adapting Message to the Receiver: Successful communicators focus on the receivers environment and frame of reference. They ask themselves questions such as, How is that individual likely to react to my message? Does the receiver knows as much as about the subject I do? What language level does the person understand? The better one is anticipating these answers and viewing the message through the receivers frame of references, the more successful the communication will be.

(3) Improving Language and Listening Skills: Misunderstandings are less likely if one arranges ones ideas logically and use words precisely. Using words more precisely and listening more carefully help reduce miscommunication.

(4) Questioning Preconceptions: Successful communicators continually examine their personal assumptions, biases and prejudices. The more one pays attention to subtitles and knows how to encode and decode messages more perfectly, the better the communication process.

(5) Planning for Feedback: Finally, effective communicators create an environment for successful feedback. In oral communication this means asking questions such as Do you understand? and What questions do you have? as well as encouraging listeners to repeat instructions or paraphrase ideas. As a listener it means asking questions and providing access.

For communication to be successful following these steps helps to lessen misunderstandings and make a better communication.

Bibliography

Guffey, E. A. Business Communication: Process and Products, Thill V. J. , Bovee L.C. Excellence in Business Communication, . Internet.