Steps to become a good business communicator/manager

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Steps to become a good business communicator/manager. The word “Communication” has come from the Latin word “communis”, which means common. Thus, communication signifies sharing communication is to convey or exchange information and share ideas.

It is a process through which two or more persons transmit or exchange thoughts and ideas among themselves. “Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.”

Communication is the process of transmitting information and understanding from one person to another or from one unit to other unit with a view to getting the desired response from the receiver. Through this process two or more persons exchange

ideas and understanding among themselves to achieve the desired effect in the behavior of another person.

It is a two-way channel for transmitting ideas, feelings, plans, commands, instructions, reports and suggestions that influence the attitude towards an organization’s objectives. The communicator’s goal is to convey the meanings or ideas without distortion. Success of the leader and the enterprise depends upon adequacy of communication.

It is the responsibility of the managers to establish and maintain the channels

whereby they can convey their own thinking and policies to the subordinates, and

can receive their reactions and an account of their problems.

  • Communications Process

Communications is a continuous process which mainly involves three elements viz. sender, message, and receiver. The elements involved in the communication process are explained below in detail:

Sender
The sender or the communicator generates the message and conveys it to the
receiver. He is the source and the one who starts the communication

Message
It is the idea, information, view, fact, feeling, etc. that is generated by the sender and
is then intended to be communicated further.

Encoding
The message generated by the sender is encoded symbolically such as in the form of
words, pictures, gestures, etc. before it is being conveyed.

Media
It is the manner in which the encoded message is transmitted. The message may be
transmitted orally or in writing. The medium of communication includes telephone,
internet, post, fax, e-mail, etc. The choice of medium is decided by the sender.

Decoding
It is the process of converting the symbols encoded by the sender. After decoding
the message is received by the receiver.

Receiver
He is the person who is last in the chain and for whom the message was sent by the
sender. Once the receiver receives the message and understands it in proper
perspective and acts according to the message, only then the purpose of
communication is successful.

Feedback
Once the receiver confirms to the sender that he has received the message and
understood it, the process of communication is complete.

Noise. It refers to any obstruction that is caused by the sender, message or receiver during

the process of communication. For example, bad telephone connection, faulty

encoding, faulty decoding, inattentive receiver, poor understanding of message due

to prejudice or inappropriate gestures, etc.

Types of Communication. Let us delve deep into the 5 types of communication observed between the group of people or a formal team.

1) Verbal Communication

Verbal communication can also be called as Oral communication. In very simple

terms, any communication that happens orally between people is known as verbal

communication. The objective of such communications is to ensure that people

understand whatever you want to convey. Because of its very nature, verbal
communications is more quick and precise than email communication.
In the era of messaging via WhatsApp or using email, people still prefer personal
meetings or phone calls (or face to face skype calls) because they are effective and
much more convenient in conveying the message.
Nowadays, Verbal communication is an important aspect and is looked as a key
strength in an individual.
The higher up an organization you go, the better should be the verbal skills that you
have. This is because you need to ensure that your speech is precise and to the point
and does not leave any scope for any misunderstanding.
2) Non-verbal / Interpersonal communication
How do you make people feel when you enter the room? Is your body language
strong and are you standing straight and erect or are you slouched and tired? Are you
clean shaven, looking your immaculate best for a team meeting or are you shabby
with shirts that are not ironed? When you shake hands, do you do so strongly or do
you just brush your hand against others?
The above were some examples of Non-verbal communications or interpersonal
communications. One of the Human Resource requirements for new joiners in an
organization is for them to have good interpersonal skills. This basically means that
the employees should brush up on their non-verbal skills.
Example of the Non-verbal type of communications
In Customer service, non-verbal and interpersonal skills play a huge role. Imagine
you were unhappy with a product and you went to the customer service department.
Instead of understanding your problem, the customer service executive gives a rude
reply. Repeatedly you visit them and even though the problem is not resolved, you
don’t get a satisfactory answer.
Compare that with a customer service department which smiles when you come in.
They reassure you that they are on top of your problem. They are proactive and
update you themselves on when to expect the problem to be resolved. Later on, they
follow up whether you were satisfied with the response and if there was anything
they could do further.
This smile, the body language of reassurance, the listening ability are all non-verbal
type of communications. A good customer service executive will pay special

attention to them and will ensure that you leave satisfied! Hiring good customer
service executives, who have great interpersonal skills, is the sign of a good
organization which is focused on customer satisfaction.
3) Written Communications
There are many ways that written communications can be used. The number of ways
is ever increasing with the penetration of smartphones and the internet. One of the
most common forms of written communications used till date is Email. But slowly,
written type of communications is becoming more informal with WhatsApp and
other online messaging apps being used regularly.
All different forms of written communication can be formal or informal. If today,
we visit a court of law, you will find that even WhatsApp messages are considered
to be legal in nature. In fact, there have been so many cases of celebrities brought
under the scanner because of wrong written communications on their social media
account.
Thus, the above example is further proof that written communication needs to be
used safely and effectively. In fact, written communication between friends can be
informal but this type of communication between working professionals should
always be formal so that any misquoted words are not misused with ill intent.
The advantage of written communication is that it acts as the final word once a
decision has been taken. When you quote your prices to the customer, when you
rank a dealer on top, when you promote an employee or when you launch a new
product, you use written communication to communicate the update to your team
and your employees.
4) Formal &Informal
There are two types of communication when considering the formality of the
communication. One is the formal and official type of communication which can be
emails, letterheads, memos, reports and other such kinds of written material. These
are considered as documentary evidence and certain formality is associated with
them. You cannot submit such formal documents and later deny them.
Informal communication is one where there is nothing official about the
communication that is happening. It can be known as Grapevine communication.
There is no specific channel of informal communication because there is Social
media, WhatsApp, SMS which are all vehicles of informal communication which
can be used by people.

Advantages of formal communication

When you want to finalize policy and want to decide a course to adopt, then formal

communication is more effective

Formal communication can help in establishing procedures and ensuring that the

steps are followed.

Any promises or any official plans need to be formally documented so that they can

be referred to later.

Advantages of informal communication

Informal communication helps the “Open door policy” and makes people more

confident and forthcoming with their ideas and creativity.

Informal communication does not incite fear into people’s mind

Informal talks encourage people to share their problems.

The problem with formal communication is that it is not personal and a distance is

maintained if you use only formal communications. Whereas on the other hand,

informal conversations can get out of hand and there can be negative grapevine

generated.

5) Visual Communication

One of the industries which most prominently uses Visual communication is the

medical industry. New medicines which come into the market have to be shown to

doctors and the advantages have to be explained. At such times, the medical

representatives carry informative pamphlets which are shown to the doctors and

dropped with the doctors.

These informative pamphlets have all the information about the medicine so that

doctors can feel confident in suggesting the medicine to their patients. Similarly,

many different industries are using visual communication to help interaction with

their customers so that they can communicate their ideas better. Explainer videos as a concept is rising and is becoming as one of the best types of communication observed on websites.

  • There are many elements in visual communication that can be used by marketers or companies.
  • Colors (such as brand colors)
  • Design (logo and brand design)
  • Advertising
  • Animations
  • Illustrations
  • Typography
  • Presentations
  • Video resumes

In person to person communication through visual communication plays a role.

Consider the diagrams made by teachers on blackboards when explaining a concept

to a class of students. Or we can also take the example of graphs made in power

points by managers when doing a power point presentation to a team of executives or seniors.

  • Qualities of a Good Communicator

Despite the many ways to communicate, good communicators share in common

important principles and techniques that enable them to communicate effectively.

The characteristics of good communicators cut across all languages and cultures.

Becoming a good communicator has many benefits and advantages in nearly all

careers, the home, and in commerce. Remember that becoming a good

communicator is a lifelong journey and not a destination.

  • Listening

Good communicators listen. Listening is an important component of communicating

effectively not only because it shows other people that you are sincere and interested

in what they are saying, but it also allows you to correctly respond to people.

Listening enables you to weigh and evaluate various issues before you formulate a

response. Listening also affords you a reciprocal response from your audience

because you showed that you were willing to patiently listen to them.

  • Clarity

Good communicators communicate clearly whether it in writing, speaking or

gesturing. Ambiguous statements or questions amount to a lapse in communication

because the truth is unclear. In terms of speaking, good communicators project their

voices with an assertive and unwavering tone to ensure that people can literally

understand them. In terms of writing, good communicators use the appropriate

words to convey different senses of meaning. This limits the potential for ambiguity.

Good communicators must have a strong vocabulary

  • Organization

Good communicators organize their thoughts to ensure that what they communicate

comes out in an organized fashion. This allows them the ability to make assertions

and then substantiate those assertions with premises, examples and illustrations.

Good communicators also organize what they say into concise statements that are

easy to understand by the listeners. This way it is not too difficult for listeners to

follow what they say.

  • Sincerity

Good communicators are sincere. When a speaker shows that she is genuine about

what she says, listeners are likely to believe the speaker because of the sincerity with

which she speaks. You must be aware that this is not necessarily always the case

because speakers can be misguided despite fervent belief, but being wrong does not

necessarily exclude a person from being a good communicator. Sincere

communicators usually communicate convincingly because they are willing to put

their beliefs on the line for the sake of communicating the truth.

  • Barriers to Communication

The communication barriers may prevent a communication or carry incorrect

meaning due to which misunderstandings may be created. Therefore, it is essential

for a manager to identify such barriers and take appropriate measures to overcome

them. The barriers to communication in the organizations can be broadly grouped as

follows:

  1. Semantic Barriers
    These are concerned with the problems and obstructions in the process of encoding
    and decoding of a message into words or impressions. Normally, such barriers result
    due to use of wrong words, faulty translations, different interpretations etc.
    For example, a manager has to communicate with workers who have no knowledge
    of English language and on the other side, he is not well conversant with the Hindi
    language. Here, language is a barrier to communication as the manager may not be
    able to communicate properly with the workers
  2. Psychological Barriers
    Emotional or psychological factors also act as barriers to communication. The state
    of mind of both sender and receiver of communication reflects in the effective
    communication. A worried person cannot communicate properly and an angry
    recipient cannot understand the message properly.
    Thus, at the time of communication, both the sender and the receiver need to be
    psychologically sound. Also, they should trust each other. If they do not believe each
    other, they cannot understand each other’s message in its original sense.
  3. Organizational Barriers
    The factors related to organizational structure, rules and regulations authority
    relationships, etc. may sometimes act as barriers to effective communication. In an
    organization with the highly centralized pattern, people may not be encouraged to
    have free communication. Also, rigid rules and regulations and cumbersome
    procedures may also become a hurdle to communication.
  4. Personal Barriers
    The personal factors of both sender and receiver may act as a barrier to effective
    communication. If a superior thinks that a particular communication may adversely
    affect his authority, he may suppress such communication.
    Also, if the superiors do not have confidence in the competency of their subordinates,
    they may not ask for their advice. The subordinates may not be willing to offer useful
    suggestions in the absence of any reward or appreciation for a good suggestion.

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