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The Importance of Effective Communication in Business Management

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Communication serves as the foundation of every facet of a business. Effective communication is communication between two or more persons with the purpose of delivering, receiving, and understanding the message successfully.

Communication is the act of sending a message through different media; it can be verbal or nonverbal, formal or non-formal so long as it transmits a thought provoking an idea, gesture, action, etc. Good communication is considered a learned skill. 

Most people  are  born  with  physical  ability  to  talk,  but  we  must  learn to  speak  well  and communicate effectively. Speaking, listening and our ability to understand verbal and nonverbal   meanings are skills we develop in various ways. We   learn   basic communication skills by observing other people and modelling our behaviors based on what we see.It is however important here to point out that information is of little use until it is communicated to the person who is to receive it or who has the need for it.

Effective Business Communication

Communication  therefore  is  the  process  of  transmitting,  disseminating  or  passing information from one person to the other or from one place to the other. In other words, communication  is  the  process  of  creating,  transmitting  and  interpreting  ideas,  facts, opinions  and  feelings.  It  is  a  process  that  is  essentially  a  sharing  one,  a  mutual interchange between two or more persons.In addition ,communication is the exchange of information between managers.

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To make sure you communicate in the most effective manner possible, you need to know the 7 principles of communication. Therefore, below list of the 7Cs of communication, also known as the 7 principles of communication, will provide you with a useful checklist to ensure good communication in the workplace. 

1. Concrete

When your message that you want to convey is concrete – not liable to have fallen, your audience (team or clients) will have have a clear picture of what you’re trying to tell them. It will only be concrete when it has suitable data that backs it up. Your argument should be supported by factual material that includes data and figures, leaving no space for the audience to imagine the things.

2. Coherent

The whole point behind your message will be useless when you are not coherent. You need to have a good understanding of what goes where and what comes when. Coherent communication is logical. It is a well-planned, logical and sequential manner of communication. There should be a good connection with the main topic and the flow should be consistent.

3. Clarity

The purpose of your message should be clear so that the reader doesn’t head up scratching his/her head to understand what you mean. Be clear of what format do you want to say it in. Be clear about your goal or purpose. Your readers shouldn’t have to make assumptions regarding what you’re trying to say. For example, the sentences should be short, prefer the active voice and state it in separate bulleted points.

4. Commitment

Commitment is a major part of workplace communication skills. It simply measures one’s dedication and the degree to which one communicates surety in the argument. It convinces the prospects kindly. A well-committed message will leave a greater impact and increase your morale.

5. Consistency

The choice of words matters when you are communicating at work. Your words shouldn’t leave your team confused. You need to communicate your message in the least possible words, have the consistency of tone, voice, and content so that you can save time. There is no room for repetition. Try to use short sentences and short words.

6. Completeness

Never leave your sentences incomplete. Each message must have a logical conclusion. People shouldn’t be left wondering if there is more to come. Make sure you communicate completely that includes the need to be informed and take action.

7. Courteous

Your argument should make the other person respectful. Try your best that in your communication you’re honest, respectful, open and polite. Say it with proper care and it will be perfectly effective and important. Offensive words can put off people.

The Need for Good Communication in Organizations

Communication is an essential part of any company. Moreover, good communication  skills  are  incredibly important  in  the  business  world.  In  some researches we can find many ways to   manage   and deal with difficult communication. She attests that the point of communication is having a conversation with another person, and this conversation must be two-way in order for communication to successfully occur. This central idea is to remember what is communicated  especially  during  times  of  conflict.  In  fact,  ―you  are  not  being effective when your voice rises, your body tenses, or your temper flares. 

Some  scientists  believe  that  in  order  for  successful  communication  to  occur, two  things  must  be  kept  in  mind;  the  first  is  that  everyone  has  his/her  own  ideas and perceptions and these must be respected. The second is the idea of closure; that every conversation needs closure. Tucker states that you need to keep in mind that each person comes to the conversation table with his or her own perception of what happened, what exists, or how to do something. 

It does‘t help the situation to negate a person‘s viewpoint without facts and concrete   examples   of   behavior   or   acts   that   were   considered   inappropriate, unprofessional or unacceptable. However, it is important to communicate until you get closure‖ on the conversation. Closure means you and the other person have discussed  all  of  the  issues  and,  while  the  person  may  not  agree,  he  or  she  has listened to you in a non-threatening, non-defensive environment and clearly heard what you had to say.

This concept is incredibly important to remember in the corporate environment. Companies are made up of various types of employees and managers, each  with  their  own  personalities  and  viewpoints.  Therefore, it is important  to remember  to respect  everyone‘s opinions  no matter how different  they  may be. Also, the notion of closure in a conversation  is  essential  because  leaving a conversation  up  in  the  air  or  even  with  hostility  can  often  result  in  damaging  or breaking  business  relationships. Good communication is necessary  in  order  for businesses to run successfully and smoothly. 

While  an  organization is  separated  from  its  environment, it  has  to  have  some ways  of  communicating  with  the  environment.  Anything  which  is  external  to  a system  belong  to the  environment  and  not   to the  system  itself. This  is  true  of  all types  of  organizations.  The  environment  exerts  considerable  influence  on  the behavior    of  an  organization  at  the  same  time,  the  organization  can  do  little  or nothing to control the behavior of the environment.

The importance of communication for a manager

The  most effective  managers  are those who understand communication and its use in he organization setting.  Communication is the vehicle that allows managers to fulfill each management function.  To plan successfully, managers  must be able to  effectively  communicate  their  vision  to  the  rest  of  the  organization. To organize  successfully,  managers must allow for and encourage free-flowing  communication  both  up  and  down  the hierarchy, as well as between departments and colleagues.

To lead successfully, managers must clearly communicate organizational goals to  employees  and  through  that  communication, inspire employees to trust in their leadership and to perform at the  highest levels possible. To control successfully, managers must effectively communicate with employees to monitor progress to re-emphasize organizational goals, and to correct on-going processes. Consequently, communication  is more than simply talking, writing, reading and listening.

 Effective  communication  is  the key to successful management.Communication allows managers to share goals with shareholders both inside and outside  the  organization.    It  permits  managers  to  stimulate  behavior  changes  in employees  and  suppliers.It  enable  managers  to  inspire  loyalty  from  employees  and customers.  It allows managers to convince employees and unions to abandon counter productive practices.  It enables managers to persuade leaders to provide financing and it permits managers to calm angry customers and to impress new ones.

Hence,  managers  must  be  effective  communicators  to  function.    But  what makes  managers  successful  communicators?    First,  they  must  understand  what communication  is.    Next,  they  must  understand  how  communication  works,  on both an interpersonal and an organizational level and finally, they must understand what   barriers   can   impede   communication   so   that   they   can   overcome   such impediments and improve communication through the organization.

In  the  modern  day  organizations,communication  is  popularly  considered  in terms  of;  the  media  of  communication  such  as  internal  memorandum,  reports  of various  forms,  etc;  the  skills  of  comm uni-cation  such  as  giving  instructions, interviewing,  charing  meetings,  etc  and  the  organization  of communication  like chain  of command, briefing groups, work committees, etc.

However,  communication  at  its  basic  levels  involves  three  basic  elements  or components,  which    are  encoder,  channel  and  decoder.  The  source  or  the  origin information  is  known  as the  encoder.  That  is,  the  encoder  is  the  originator  of  the information  to  be  communicated  to  the  other  party.  The  channel  is  the  medium chosen or to be used in communicating the message or information to other party. The decoder is the person to whom  the message or information is being sent. He is the receiver of the message. However, he may, or may not, be the user of such an information. For  instance,  if  the  Managing  Director  of  company  22  telephoned  the  personnel manager  of  company 45,  the  managing  director  is  the  encoder,  the  telephone  line  the channel and the personnel manager is the decoder in this example. However, the three of them must always be present regardless of the size or system of communication.

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Communication Method

There  are  many  methods  or  techniques  of  communication  depending  on  the nature, scope and level of technology and those of application of information in the organization.  For  instance,  in  small  scale  business  organizations  like  a  sole proprietorship  (Sole  trader  or  one-man  business),  small  scale  dry-cleaning  firms, etc., most communications whether between the business owner and the workers or between him and his clients are done on face-to-face personal contacts.

However,   as   business   expands   and   nature   of   operations   becomes   more complex,   there   will   normally   be   the   need   for   more   documentations   which necessitates written  rather than  simple  oral communication. This  essentially the  is the  main  feature  of  the  medium  scale  business  units  like  the  partnerships,  and private and public limited liability companies.

In addition, most of the giant companies especially the multi-products, multi-national  and  trans-national companies,  etc,  make  use  of  the  modern  day  high technology.In  nearly  all  these  companies,  most  communications  are  done  using computers,   telephone,   Internet,   Intercom,   telex,   telefax,   radiogram,   telegram General System of Mobile communications (GSM) and the like.

An  organization can choose from variety of  channels  available for effective communication  of  business  or  management  information  across  the  lines  within  the system  on the  basis of its own  peculiarities.  Also,  the  nature  of  linkages  between organizational   systems   will   vary,   depending  on the requirements of each subsystem.  Consequently,  typical  means  or  channels  of  communication  from among which an organization may choose may be categorized as  in the following subsections.

Oral Communication

This express information through the use of languages, which is composed of words  and  grammar.    To  create  a  thought,  words  are  arranged  according  to  the rules  of  grammar  so  that  the  various  parts  of  speech  are  in  the  proper  sequence.  Then the message is communicated either in Oral form or Written form. 

The  expression  of  ideas  through  spoken  word.    Managers  communicate  with colleagues  and  employees  using  such  oral  media  as  face-to-face  conversion, telephone   calls,   (including   messages   left   on   answering   machines), private meetings,  group  meetings,  teleconferencing  (the  use  of  telephone  equipment  to allow people in differing locations to take part in discussion.

Oral   communication   is   generally   easier   and   more   efficient   than   written communication.    It  allows  for  immediate  feedback.    Managers  tend  to  rely  more heavily on oral than on written communication for sharing information on  a day-to-day basis, although they generally put important messages in writing.  

From this analysis, it can be observed that oral communication may occur in a face-to-face personal situation or by telephone. Information regarding business can be  communicated  using  the  telephone.  For  instance,  an  oral  contact  can  be  made through the  telephone  by  the  sales  ledger subsystem  to find  out  when  payment  of an overdue debt is expected, the request and responses are both provided verbally. A  major  limitation  of  oral  communication,  however,  is  that,  even  though  it provides a personal and dynamic form of expression, its transitory nature makes it subject to misinterpretation and mis-remembering.

Having discussed oral and communication thus far, attention here will be focused on an in depth study of the potency of oral communication.  In this sense, emphasis will be  laid  on  the  ―Power  of  word  concepts‖  as  it has  been  revealed  right  from  the beginning of the universe.  ―Word‖ itself has been explained by various philosophers and  the  use  or  potency  of  it  has  almost  become  unquestionable.The  potency  or  the power of words is undoubted. For instance, in saying prayers, in cursing one another, in praising, etc., word or oral communication is very important.

Knowing  the  simple  ways    of  saying  ―I  am  sorry,  ―Please,  ―Let  us  do it together, ―Kindly help me or even constructive criticism by word of  mouth  can do a lot to dictate the success or otherwise of an administrator or manager at work, at  home,  within  a  society,  etc.  Consequently,  a  good  administrator  should  be mindful  of  what  he  says  all  the  time  with  a  high  degree  of  consciousness.    Once you have  altered  a word or statement, you cannot deny it; else you become  a liar. Hence, a manager can use his word of  mouth to damage his or her own chances of  success  at  work  not  to  talk  of  those  of  his  subordinates  or  even  colleagues.  Likewise,  the  employees  can  make or  mare  the  corporate  objectives  of  their organization if care is not taken.  

Electronic Communication

In  many  big  companies  or  organizations  where  computerization  has  gained  a lot of grounds, much information is transferred between subsystems by computers.Interfaces  between  modules  of  computer  systems  enable  automatic  transfer  of electronic  data  in  the  forms  of  signals  and  waves.  Consequently,  details  of dispatches of good from stock might be automatically passed on to the sales ledger or accounting subsystems, so that invoice can be raised.

Electronic  communication  is  also  possible  for  one  off  messages,  for  example, through the use of electronic mail. The benefits of electronic communication are speed, accuracy and the elimination of much human processing.  Typical examples of electronic communication is the use of internet facilities such as E-mail, voice-mail, etc.

Information  systems  play  a  vital  role  in  the  e-business and  e-commerce operations,  enterprise  collaboration  and  management,  and  strategic  success  of businesses that must operate  in an internet worked  global environment.―Access to information  and  communication  technologies  (ICTs)  implies  access  to  channels and  modes of communication that are not bound by language,  culture or distance. New  forms of  social  organization  and  of  productive  activity  emerge  which,  if nurtured,  could  become  transformational  factors  as  important  as  the  technology itself  (International  Development  Research  Centro,  1996) Internet  services,  in conjunction with existing and more widely used communication media, will enable the    broadest    enhancement    of    information    and    communication    resources.Other Means of Communication

We  can  notice  non-verbal  and  non-written  communication.  They  express information   without   words,   through   gesture   and   behavior   and   it   is   often unplanned,  even  unconscious  while  it  is  governed  by  few  rules.  Non-verbal communication   and   non-written   commune-cations   can   convey   the   following meanings:

  • Gestures and Postures.  For instance, learning forward and maintaining eye contact show interest.    
  • Facial expressions and eye movement. For example, genuine smile indicate warmth or approval.
  • Touch.This can have both positive and negative connotations.  It can comm-indicate caring and support as well as intimidation and intrusion.
  • Dress and Personal Traits. Appreciate communication style, personality and status.  In most organization, a professional image is important.

From  this  section,  we  would  observe  that  communication  methods  include written,  verbal,  formal  and  informal  communication.    Written  communication encompasses letters,  memos,  notes,  emails  and all other forms  of writing.  Verbal communication  includes  face-to-face  discussions,  phone  calls,  i-chating  over  the Internet  and  group  meetings.    Both  verbal  and  non-verbal  communication  is extremely important within the business world and also in people‘s personal lives.  Being  able  to  communicate  properly  can  make  uneasy  situations  or  tough  times much  easier  to  handle,  remaining  calm  and  understanding  can  lead  to  resolve  of uncomfortable  situations.    One  of  the  biggest  components  of  being  a  good communicator is being a good listener.  Without the ability to listen you cannot be a good communicator.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, effectively communication can be a very useful tool when it comes to confrontation. At the work place, confrontations do occur; that is no surprise! However, effective communication can put many of these issues to bed if used properly. In a stressful situation, an effective communicator will be able to defuse‖ the situation. This applies not only to aggressive confrontations but also to conflicts of interest. 

One team member may want to follow option A while the wants to follow option B. The effective communicator will lay out the positives and negatives of both options and gather everyone‘s opinions on the situation. This not only provides a majority decision but also a calm resolution to a problem. The idea of whether women are better communicators than men is circumstantial. 

Sure women tend to engage in more and lengthier conversations than men, but this is dependent on personality. There are far too many stereotypes that portray women as talkers and even more persuasive than their male counterparts. 

However, this is incredibly subjective. Environment and upbringing is the one factor of whether or not someone, despite gender, can become a good communicator. The argument based on the beliefs of society that deems women as more conversational is simply not enough to support the idea that women make better communicators than men.

 


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