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Business Communication – Exam 1

the five basic steps of the communication process
(1) Sender has an idea.
(2) Sender encodes the message.
(3) Sender chooses a channel.
(4) Receiver decodes the message.
(5) Receiver gives feedback to the sender.
four barriers to communication
(1) Lack of/poor language skills.
(2) Frame of reference – need to determine which topics will “reach” the most people.
(3) Bypassing – if you say something the other person doesn’t understand, they will focus on that and stop paying attention OR using words that mean something different to you than to the person you’re speaking to.
(4) Distractions (physical and emotional)
reduce communication barriers
(1) Improve language skills.
(2) Adapt to audience.
(3) Avoid distractions.
(4) Seek to understand audience’s frame of reference
five basic types of communication
(1) Intrapersonal communication – communication with yourself, helps you organize and solidify your thoughts.
(2) Interpersonal – communication with other people.
(3) Small Group
(4) Public
(5) Non-verbal
three main functions of all communication
(1) Inform
(2) Persuade
(3) Promote goodwill
the selective processes
(1) Selective exposure – decide what you’re exposed to
(2) Selective attention
(3) Selective comprehension
(4) Selective perception
(5) Selective retention
(6) Selective action
selective perception
People see what they want to see, according to their beliefs
information overload
Getting more information than we can process
effectiveness and tone
Effectiveness is whether or not the message accomplished what you intended. Tone is the writer’s attitude toward the reader and the subject of the message.
nonverbal communication and the functions of different types
Nonverbal communication is the sending and receiving of wordless cues between people. The three functions are:
(1) Illustrates
(2) Reinforces and accentuates
(3) Contradicts (what you’re doing vs. what you’re saying)
stereotype vs. prototype
A stereotype is a simplified and standardized conception of something or a group of people. To be prototypical is to be open-minded and open to change.
How does business writing differ from other writing?
Business writing always has purpose and is targeted. It is both persuasive and problem solving.
five factors to consider when choosing a communication channel
(1) Do I need a permanent record
(2) How much feedback/how quickly
(3) How formal
(4) How sensitive is the message
(5) Price
Four C’s of effective message creation
(1) Concrete words (not abstracts)
(2) Concise
(3) Clarity
(4) Coherence – overall sense or understandability
What is encoding? What is noise?
Encoding is the process of converting information into a coded format. Noise is anything that interferes with the message (actual noise, typos, etc.)
frame of reference
Frame of reference is the overall context in which a problem or situation is placed, viewed, or interpreted. Frame of reference affects how you write the message and how the receiver interprets the message.
internal and external operational communication
(1) Internal-operational: occurs when a business is conducting its work (orders/instructions from superiors, verbal exchanges between workers, written reports, emails, memos, proposals, oral presentations
(2) External-operational: outside the business (direct selling/sales presentations, advertisements/marketing, correspondence with other businesses, government, community)
formal and informal communication networks
(1) Informal communication: workers express information/feelings, sometimes complaints
(2) Formal network: communication through established channels (downward – managements-down, informative, policies, procedures, upward – reports, marketing info so management can make decisions, lateral – communication is horizontal, more prominent with flat management)
(3) Grapevine: spreads rumors, gossip, news and information. It is fast and effective; can’t outlaw or control it, must use it to your advantage.
opening fillers
There is, there are… unnecessary phrases at the beginnings of sentences and expressions
trite expressions
At this point in time….In the event that (if)
Repeating meaning unnecessarily (reason why, continue on)
parallel sentence construction
Each item in a list or in bullets must use the same format.
readability formula
Fog index – measures the length of words and the length of sentence to determine how foggy the meaning will be.
Spelling, grammar, names, numbers, capitalization, etc.
the “you” view or attitude
Correspondence must always be reader oriented – never start a letter with “I.”
Everyday positive business messages – give the main idea at the beginning and using the rest of the message for explanation (direct pattern).
What should you know about the reader before writing?
Education level, what they already know, their frame of reference.
direct and indirect communication organization
(1) Direct communication: topic sentence/main idea goes first – used for positive messages.
(2) Indirect communication: Use the beginning of the message for explanation and put the topic sentence/main idea at the end. Used for bad news.
tips for constructing clear sentences and paragraphs
Keep sentences short (16-18 words), 8-10 lines in a paragraph, try to reach middle-level adult, economize on words when possible, eliminate words that don’t add anything to the meaning, manage the emphasis, seek unity, avoid excessive detail, avoid illogical construction.
basic requirement for communication success
The meaning or understanding is transmitted
aspects of discriminatory
wording/references in the workplace
Need to use “him or her.”
the steps that occur when business people are solving problems and communicating about them
(1) Sense the need for communication
(2) Define the situation (research, define the problem and audience, look at prior, similar situations, define “how”
(3) Consider a strategy
(4) Select a course of action (deciding what you’re going to say and how you’ll say it)
(5) Compose the message (encoding)
(6) Send the message (timing and context are important)
(7) Receive the message (decoding)
(8) Interpreting the message, form perceptions
(9) Receiver decides on a response
(10) Replying to the message – recipient becomes the sender, cycle starts again
Separating ideas in a message by paragraphs. It makes message easier to read and understand. Unity is when the parts of good sentences combine to form one clear thought
better readability
8-10 lines per paragraph, shorter words, etc.

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