The process of effective communication entails a series of steps:
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the sender has an idea that is evaluated in terms of relevancy, importance and depth;
the sender encodes the idea;
the sender transmits the message;
the receiver gets the message;
the receiver decodes the message;
the receiver sends the feedback. For effective communication, every single step is of significant importance.
Business communication differs from the other less formal communication because of the following reasons: globalization of businesses has led to diversification of the workforce implying that communication has to occur between individuals of diverse cultures, the value of business information is increasing due to the complexities of the business world today, the persuasiveness of technology hinders communication, the organizational structures are evolving, and the reliance on teams is at its all time high.
Communication can be disrupted by physical distractions such as a malfunctioning technology, overloading of information through bombarding individuals with too much information, perception differences caused by variations in culture and experiences, deceptive tactics and language barriers. In order to enhance effective communication at work, it is important to minimize distractions, adopt an approach to communication that is audience-centered, refine individual business communication skills through learning opportunities, giving and responding to feedback and being sensitive to business etiquette.
Technology can also be used to facilitate business communication. Within an office, such technologies as wireless networks, intranets, the follow-me telephone service, flexible workstations and electronic presentations can be used to enhance effective communication. Also, web-based meetings, video-conferencing, internet videophone, wall displays and shared workspaces are examples of technologies that can be used to enhance remote communication . It is important to ensure that the messages communicated in businesses are ethical.
This means ensuring that the message stated is accurate and sincere, and avoids unethical issues such as plagiarism and selective misquoting. Ethical dilemmas and ethical lapses should be identified and their distinction clearly formed. Therefore, ethical communication that includes all the relevant information, is true in all aspects, and avoids any form of deception. Finally, business etiquette plays an important role in the hiring and advancement of people in the modern workplace.
Etiquette mostly concerns presenting oneself in a manner that suggests that they can be taken seriously. Business etiquette that can help a person communicate effectively, such as being courteous and thoughtful to other workers, relying on respect, common sense and courtesy, can be helpful in promoting effective business communication.
The emergence of the global economy implies that people have to communicate within a culturally diverse environment.
A multicultural environment exposes people to a broad range of views, leading to a better understanding of diverse markets. However, the diversity can also be a hindrance to effective communication within the workplace. This can be avoided through fostering understanding and sensitivity to the ways of thinking, speaking, and behavior of the other cultures. Intercultural communication has been defined as the process of sending and receiving of messages between people with different cultural backgrounds, language being just an aspect of it.
Culture refers to worldview, attitudes, beliefs, expectations, values as well as the behavioral guidelines that are shared by a group of individuals that defines the meaning of words, significance of gestures, rules of human relationships and time and space importance. Cultural diversity in the workplace has both advantages and challenges. It encompasses national, religious and ethnic backgrounds and even the gender and age group differences, bringing a broader range of viewpoints. They can also affect the manner in which businesses conceive, plan, send, receive and interpret messages in the workplace.
In order to overcome the cultural differences in the workplaces, it is important for people in other cultures to recognize their cultural differences with the other cultures in terms of context, legal and ethical aspects, social, non-verbal cues, as well as age and gender. Moreover, it is important to ensure effective cultural communication through enhancing one’s skills in writing. In doing so, some of the crucial points to note is that the written language needs to be simple and clear, the message should be brief, avoidance of slang language among other points.
Effective intercultural communication is enhanced by fostering cultural sensitivity through overcoming ethnocentrism, as well as promoting the intercultural communication skills through studying other cultures and languages, respecting preferences for their styles of communication, learning to speak and write clearly, careful listening, and helping others to adapt to one’s culture. To improve one’s speaking skills, one should speak slowly, avoid rephrasing unless it becomes absolutely necessary, learning foreign rephrases among other verbal cues.
Technology can also be used to promote intercultural business communication. For instance, electronic translation options have provided opportunities for understanding words, phrases, and other basic messages.
Pearson (2015a). Introduction to Business Communication. Retrieved on August 8, 2015 from http://www. pearsoncustom. com/mct-comprehensive/asset. php? isbn=1269879944&id=11572
Pearson (2015b). Intercultural Communication. Retrieved on August 8, 2015 from http://www. pearsoncustom. com/mct-comprehensive/asset. php? isbn=1269879944&id=11611