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Business communication involves internal and external communication

In our everyday lives we communicate with other people. It can be talking to someone over the phone, chatting on line, e-mailing a relative or even just chit-chatting with your friend. Communication may have a lot of definitions. It can be giving, getting, or trading of information. It’s not only information that be traded. It can also be opinions or ideas. It is a process of talking to someone, letting other people know how we feel, having comments on what people say, and many more. It can be as simple as any two parties exchanging information. There are different types of communication.

These are the written communication, oral communication, visual communication and the non-verbal communication. Under these types are the modes of communication, and these are thinking, action, observation, speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Business communication involves internal and external communication. Internal communication is when the members of the same company communicate with one another, for the better of the organization. There are several approaches on how to communicate with the members of the organization, depending on the requirements.

In a small business, like a convince store with less than ten employees information can be informally and directly exchanged. It will be

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easier for them to just talk just like chatting with each other. There is already a bond among them. They can freely say and express the information they need to. Unlike with a big business like Nestle, it will be more difficult. You can’t just relay the information to anyone. The time should be properly set, get an appointment with the right person. The place should be appropriate for the kind of message you want to say.

You can not just say anything while walking on the corridor. Everything has to be prepared. There are three different kinds of information flow within the internal communication. These are the downward, upward and horizontal communication. These are all under the formal communication channels. These show us how the transfer of messages happens inside the company. Downward information flow is as simple as saying top to bottom. All the decisions of the president of the company go down to the operating personnel. The information can be done in a formal or informal way.

Formal is when the manager calls for a meeting and gives them the information that his staff needs to know. Informal is just having a casual conversation. For example, the head of marketing has a friend under him, and they are just having coffee, giving the messages that his friend under him need to know. This can be done in several ways, like posting an announcement on the bulletin board, giving out memos, sending it through e-mail, workshops, video tape, newsletters or even voice mail. It all depends on the importance of the message.

Every one in the organization should understand the message fully, so when they pass on the message to the lower level it will be correct, and each of them can apply it properly and exactly how the president wants it to be done. This is usually done for the employees to improve on their jobs. It is like the president helping his whole organization. Most likely the information for the organization comes with instructions, goals and strategies for the improvement of the entire organization. Let’s say the owner of the company Mc Donald’s thought of a new strategy for the entire company to do better with its sales.

Then he will have a meeting with his board. After that the board will pass on the massage to each of the head of the departments, then to the managers, down to the operating personnel. Downward communication is very important in the hard times of the company. It lets its employees know what’s going on and problems it faces, so they will know what to do and expect from the company in the future. Upward information flow is practically the same with downward. It is for problem solving and making important decisions. The managers should know what is going on with the organization.

They’re just people, so they really can’t know everything and supervise all the time. They will have to depend on the lower-level to report what’s going on or any suggestions for improvements. There is a disadvantage with this communication. Most of the workers would not like to say the negative matters. It will be forever easier to say the positives ones, because they know that the managers will not be hard on them. For example the head of Mc Donald’s wants to know what the lower-level has to tell them, they can put up a suggestion’s box for all kinds of levels and departments.

That way the employees can be more open and has the right o speak what’s on their minds. The horizontal information flow is the transfer of information from one department to another. There are two ways in doing this. It can be diagonally or laterally. This will be easier for the company to solve problems which are complicated or hard to solve. It will also be easier also to divide each work for every department. For example, the production people is short in terms of money, they will need to communicate with the finance people in order for them to produce. Horizontal communication has a very important role in an organization.

With-out this, the staff of the company can’t help one another. They can’t assign the work properly, their submissions for requirements will not be met, and maybe their works will be doubled and will cost the company more and the efforts of each will be wasted. In an internal communication there is also an informal channel, which is called the grapevine. This is an important source in most of the organizations. It is impossible for an organization to be formal all the time. People in the office make friends with other people too, even in different departments.

This is the time when they can just talk about anything and have fun. It can be over coffee, playing golf or any kind of sport, having out of towns or any kind of bonding. While having there conversations it is inevitable that they talk about the business. No matter what they talk about, it all boils down to the work their in. Most of the information is being transferred through the grapevine. It is faster than the formal ones, because people can talk freely and say what they just want to say. This is very powerful, that it can make or break your name within the office.

External communication is when the organizations communicate with the people outside their company, and bring information from the outside of the company. This is when they company communicates with the customers, competitors, investors, people from the press, government officials and there could be more. This is usually done in a formal way, because the organization needs to be careful with the things they say to the outsiders. It is seldom done in an informal way. There is a formal contact with outsiders. It is impossible not to talk to the outsiders of the organizations. Usually it is done casually and not really planned.

Most of the organizations control the things they say about the company. They watch the things they say and they are very careful with the information they say to the investors, customers and to the public. There are really two departments in charge of this, the marketing and public relations. Let’s say there is a new soap to be launched. The investors will be present, prospective buyers will be there and the media will be there too. Everything that will be said there is planned. They will say all the positive things about it and what’s new about it, and how it is different from others.

They will not say anything that will ruin their name. Everything will all be praises so that new soap will be talked about in a good way. There is an informal contact with outsiders, being a part of the business you know something about it or at least hear something that is going on with the company. Not really knowing it, it stays in your mind. Maybe when you see a long lost friend you have a chat with him and catch up with each other, unconsciously you have mentioned things already to him about your company. It can also be when you have too many problems at work and ask help from your friends or family.

In communication not everyone can understand one another clearly. There are barriers why this happens. There are a lot actually, for communication breakdowns to happen. The sender of the message should be able send the message with the whole idea completely and clearly along with its meaning. To perfectly understand one another, the sender and the receiver of the message should be in the same level of thinking. Differences of perception are a barrier of communication. Each one of us has our own minds and believes in different things. Having experienced different things in life makes us different from one another.

For example, you’re with your friends and you’re in the mall for a movie, each and everyone will be having their own likes and dislikes. The other one would like to watch an action film, the other one would like to see a love story and the other does not really care. Incorrect filtering is a barrier. It is when the way the receiver of the message understood it in a wrong way. Like when the boss tells his secretary to tell the driver to pick him up at five a. m. but the secretary did not understand and just told the driver to pick the boss up five p. m.

The way the secretary understood it was wrong, so the message that she passed was incorrect too. Another language barrier is the language problem. It is when a person uses a different set of words, when the language their using is exclusive for their kind of people only. It is like when the scientists talk to a regular employee. The employee will not understand if the scientist will use scientific terms. Poor listening is the most common barrier for communication. It is when the listener is not giving his full attention to you, when they get bored with what you’re saying and decided to just think of something else, just day dream.

It’s like at first they are listening, but at the middle of the message they lose interest. This usually happens if the information you are trying to get across is difficult to understand. Differing emotional has states the content and meaning of the message. There should be an interaction between the receiver and the sender. It’s important to deliver your message with the correct emotion because the receiver’s feedback will somewhat depend on it. The sender’s message may contain profound words but by using a calm and friendly tone, the receiver will take the message in a different perspective.

Differing backgrounds is one of the hardest barriers to correct. The whole experience of the receiver is totally different from the one giving the message. It could be because of their age, gender, education, religion and many more. To overcome this barrier you should try not to talk about your background to much. Listen to what other people have to say and try to understand them. There are different barriers within organizations too. First of all there is the information overload. When the information is too much the audience tend to not mind the other important details just for them to catch up.

Then the message complexity is when you have to say something about the business as the manager. It is different from your own individual personality. Some people get confused and combine both personalities. You must adjust your own thoughts and strategies form the business. Another barrier is the message competition. When you are giving instructions to your secretary and she is doing paper work and answering the phone she will not know where to focus anymore. Differing status is when different people from different departments or level transfer the message, because they are use to talking with the people who is in the same level as them.

Lack of trust can be a very difficult problem in an organization. You can’t just give anyone your trust. You don’t know the real people to you. Inadequate communication structures hold restrictions that delay your message you want to send. You should practice and encourage two-way communication. Incorrect choice of medium can distort your message and the meaning you are trying to send out can be blocked. Make sure that the medium that you use is appropriate with your message.


Excellence In Business Communication. Fourth edition by John V. Thill

Communication for Business. Third Edition by Shirley Taylor

Business Communication by Carol M. Lehman and Debbie D. DuFrence

Principles of Business Communication-student notes

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