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Business and Administration Course 2011/2012

Unit 2

Communication (1)


Purposes of Communication  Communication involves the Exchange of

Information  Communication involves transmitting (sending) information

from a sender to a receiver. The information that’s sent is called the message  Messages are sent using a particular medium. Examples of media

include: email, letter, phone...  The receiver of the message can send feedback to show they

have received it and understood it. Feedback is important for judging how successful the communication has been


Before sending a message, you need to choose a system A communication system is made up of a method, a channel and a medium of communication

Choose the best method of communication

 Written messages can be kept and read many times  Oral messages are spoken (they are more personal, and good for getting immediate feedback)  Visual methods involve images or body language (they express meaning quickly without words  Pictorial methods use pictures (e.g.  is a quick, informal way to express happiness)  Graphical methods use graphs, charts and diagrams to show technical

information and data


Choose the right channel of communication  Internal and external: Messages that don’t leave the business go through internal channels. Messages sent to receivers outside the firm are sent through external channels  Formal and informal: Formal channels are used for official business (e.g. Formal letters sent to suppliers, or job applicants). Informal channels are less official (e.g.Word-of-mouth messages) 

Confidential and non-confidential: Confidential messages (e.g. Financial data) need to be private

 Urgent and non-urgent: Urgent channels are used to deliver important messages quickly

Choose the right channel of communication The medium means the equipment you use to send the message. This will depend on the method and the channels of communication


Business and Administration Course 2011/2012

Unit 2

Communication (2)


Barriers to communication  Barriers can prevent good communication  Jargon: This is technical language to do with a particular subject. People who aren’t experts in that subject may not understand  Noise: This could be traffic noise making it hard to hear a phone call. Or it might be visual noise (e.g.Too much information o a page can make it hard to pick out the important points  Poor choice of channel or medium: E.g. An urgent letter sent by second-class post may not get there in time. And complex information might be best written down, rather than spoken, so that the receiver doesn’t forget any of it  Inappropriate presentation: A message’s presentation should

be suitable for the audience. E.g. An advert should be easy to understand, if it’s too complex, customers might lose interest


 Emotional interference: E.g. If the sender and the receiver don’t get on personally, it can affect how the communication is understood  Trust and honesty: If the receiver thinks the sender is dishonest they may be suspicious about the content of the message  Cultural differences: Communicating internationally can be tricky. Foreign languages can easily be mistranslated. Also, what seems polite in one country may be rude in another

 The status of the sender: People outside a business are often more likely to trust information if it comes from somebody who’s high up in the organisation


 Checking documents for errors is a good idea Errors can also be a barrier to communication. They can make messages misleading and confusing. Luckily, written and visual messages can be checked for errors before they are sent

 Errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar: In formal business documents, this looks unprofessional (the firm may lose respect if words aren’t spelt correctly)  Errors in tone: This will depend on the sender, message and receiver. A formal business letter to a customer needs formal language. If the tone is too chatty, it can seem disrespectful  Factual errors: Factual errors can cause big problems. E.g. Putting the wrong prices in a catalogue could damage a firm’s reputation. Giving out misleading information could even be a criminal offence  Problems with graphics and diagrams: Graphics are supposed to make information clearer. But if they’re labelled, they could just add to the confusion


Please, don’t forget Checking business documents for error

can save embarrassment, confusion, and more serious problems

The main drawback of checking for

mistakes is that it takes time and money to do it properly. But it’s usually time and money well spent


Business Communication