- Slides: 45
Understanding Business Communication in Today’s Workplace
Learning Objectives • Explain the importance of communication to you and to your employer • Describe audience-centred communication skills • Describe the traditional communication process model and social communication • Describe ethical communication • Explain how cultural diversity affects business communication and the steps you can take to communicate more effectively across cultural boundaries • Describe guidelines for using communication technology effectively
Tips for Success “To connect with staff around the world, we use many different channels to communicate as effectively as we can — but nothing replaces face-to-face discussions. ” -Judi Hess Vice -President Eastman Kodak General Manager, Enterprise Solutions
Why Look At Effective Business Communication? Communication Is Important to Your Career Good Communication = Competitive Advantage over other businesses! -Communication skills are ranked highest on the list of employability skills by the Conference Board of Canada.
Why Look At Effective Business Communication? Enhanced professional image Clearer promotional materials Quicker problem solving Communication Is Important to Your Company Stronger business relationships Stronger decision making Increased productivity
Effective Communication vs. Communication Breakdown
Effective Communication vs. Communication Breakdown A brain tumor patient died unexpectedly in an Oregon hospital's emergency room after she was accidentally fed the wrong drug through her IV drip, officials said. Loretta Macpherson died at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend after she was mistakenly given a paralyzing agent normally used during surgeries instead of an anti-seizure medication, which is routine, reports KTVZ. "We believe that a tragic medication error occurred, " Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Michel Boileau told KTVZ. “And that mistake, that error, has caused her death. This appears to be a misidentified medicine. We thought we are going to give one medicine, and we gave another medicine. ”
Bad management and a communications breakdown by BP and its Macondo well partners caused the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the White House oil spill commission said today. A report to the commission said safety lapses were "chronic" at the company and improvements to its systems still needed to be made. In its final public deliberations before delivering its findings to Barack Obama next month, the commission said the fatal blowout on BP's well could have been avoided. "The series of decisions that doomed Macondo evidenced a failure of management, and good management could have avoided a catastrophe, " William Reilly, the co-chair of the investigation, said. A report by expert staff said all three companies – BP, Halliburton, and Transocean – were guilty of bad management. "Most of the mistakes and oversights that led to the blowout were the result of management failures by BP, Halliburton Co, and Transocean Ltd, " the staff concluded. However, the commission singled out BP for failing to ensure its cost-cutting measures did not further increase risks in an already dangerous environment. Further unchecked cost-cutting would mean "financial pressures will likely bias decisions in favour of time and cost savings", technical staff said.
The report, which reviewed seven accidents in the US and UK over the past decade, said: "BP safety lapses appear to be chronic; its systems safety engineering and safety culture still need improvement. " The commission is holding its last public hearings today and tomorrow before delivering the official report on the blowout and clean-up effort to Obama in January. The commission went on to fault the three companies for poor communications. It said they failed to share important information – which meant they did not fully appreciate the risks they were taking in the final days of the Deepwater Horizon. But the blame did not stop with the oil industry. The commission said there were huge gaps in monitoring offshore drilling. Oil companies are not even required to report accidents unless they are on the scale of the blowout at BP's Macondo well. Macondo wasn't the black swan. It wasn't a fluke, " a staff member, Nancy Kete, told the commission. "There have been a lot of incidents that have been serious enough to trigger a panel investigation. “ -The Guardian, 2010
Communicating in an Organizational Context Social Context Business Context Surprise! We are people and we have different backgrounds, experiences, and objectives and priorities. Scholastic Context How we interact socially-Introvert (comfortable speaking) Extrovert (too comfortable speaking/monopolizing conversations)? -Manners (conventions of conversation)? -Beliefs (sexism, racism, beliefs within religion)
Communicating in an Organizational Context Scholastic: Social Context “of or concerning schools and education” -What we know and what we are trained for. -Each profession requires that we have knowledge of certain facts and terminology. Business Context Scholastic Context -We communicate with each other based on the assumption that we are all aware of and understand these facts and terminology.
Communicating in an Organizational Context Each member of an organization has specific responsibilities, aims, position -specific knowledge and experience. Social Context Business Context Scholastic Context “the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. ”
To top all of this off… glob·al·i·za·tion ɡlōbələˈzāSHən, ˌɡlōbəˌlīˈzāSHə n/ the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. Social Context Business Context Scholastic Context
Exploring the Communication Process Basic Model
From One Sender to One Receiver 1. Sender has an idea- how he/she communicates the idea and his/her motivation to do so will impact the success of the communication. E. g. If one is unhappy about a work situation- motivation could be to complain or to remedy the situation. 2. The sender encodes the message- expressed in words, images, or both. The encoding of a message will affect how the message is received. Your audience must be considered. 3. The sender produces a message in a medium- letter, text, email, powerpoint etc.
4. How the message is delivered- internet, telephone, tweet. 5. Audience receives message- hearing, picking up a letter, getting a phone call 6. Audience decodes message-Listening, understanding and interpretation 7. Audience responds-most of the time the sender requires more information, input an answer etc. The receiver must remember the message, be motivated to Respond, and must be able to respond. 8. Feedback can be given.
Both Models Are Subject to Barriers Communicatin g
Social Model-Globalized Model
Through Modern Communication Technology Many people do not speak the same language, so even our 7% can be reduced! Colloquialisms. Slang Idioms Misspellings Poor grammar
What Do Employers Expect of You? What you need to be capable of: • organizing ideas • Expressing yourself coherently and persuasively • Constructing narratives • Evaluating data • Listening actively • Using communication technology
Understanding What Employers Expect of You How you Need to accomplish these tasks • Use correct grammar and spelling-See “Why Grammar Counts at Work”-Forbes article • Adapt to a variety of audiences Basics: Getting the message delivered • Manage your time and resources • Be courteous • Communicate ethically • Respect confidentiality • Follow laws and regulations Ethics and Right Conduct
Grammar: Is It Important?
Ethics: The principles of conduct that govern a person or group. Responsible employers establish clear ethical guidelines for their employees to follow. **See Ted talks: The Significance of Ethics and Ethics Education in Daily Life-Edgar Burroughs.
Ethical Dilemmas and Lapses Ethical Dilemma Ethical Lapse Alternatives Illegal Ambiguous Unethical
Making Ethical Choices 1. Have you defined the situation fairly and accurately? (Legal? ) 2. What is your intention in communicating this message? 3. What impact will this message have on the people who receive it, or who might be affected by it? 4. Will the message achieve the greatest possible good while doing the leas possible harm? 5. Will the assumptions you’ve made change over time? That is will a decision that seems ethical now seem unethical in the future? 6. Are you comfortable with your decision? Would you be embarrassed if it were spread across the internet?
Examples of Unethical Communication- The Specifics Exercise: Define the following and give a real world example • Plagiarism • Selective misquoting • Omitting essential information • Misrepresenting numbers • Distorting visuals • Failing to respect privacy or information security
Communicating in a World of Diversity
Recognizing Cultural Differences Context Ethics Social Customs Nonverbal Communication
High and Low Context Cultures High Context culture: People rely less on the explicit content of the message and more on the context of nonverbal actions and environmental setting to convey meaning. Examples: Japan, China, Middle Eastern, and Southern European cultures. Low context Culture People rely more on the specific content of the message and less on circumstances and cues to convey meaning. More of the conveyed meaning is encoded within the message. Examples: Canada, USA, Northern European cultures
Low context cultures: Value information exchange and emphasize task completion High context cultures: Value building relationships and developing harmony **Friction can develop! Do you have any examples? ?
Legal and Ethical Behaviour • Be knowledgeable about different legal systems • Understand high and low context cultures • Respect cultural differences • Withhold judgment
Other Aspects of Cultural Diversity • Nonverbal communication • Age differences • Gender • Religious differences • Ability differences Read pages 10 -17 in your text. Answer questions : Test Your Knowledge and Apply Your knowledge #1 -5
Improving Intercultural Communication • Avoid ethnocentrism • Move beyond stereotypes • Avoid assumptions • Avoid judgments • Recognize your own cultural biases • Be flexible © 2013 Pearson Canada Inc. Business Communication Essentials Chapter 1 - 39
Written Intercultural Skills • Use plain English • Address international correspondence properly • Cite numbers carefully • Avoid slang, idioms, jargon
Written Intercultural Skills (Cont. ) • Be brief • Use short paragraphs • Hire a translator when language is a barrier
Oral Intercultural Skills • Speak clearly • Listen patiently • Speak slowly • Do not talk down • Listen carefully • Be alert to confusion
Using Communication Technology Effectively • Keep technology in perspective: it is an aid to communication, not a replacement • Use tools productively: learn the basic features and functions of the technology your employer uses • Guard again information overload: ensure that your messages are important • Reconnect with people frequently: step out from behind the technology
Real-World Application Do you think that written or spoken messages would be more susceptible to cultural misunderstanding? Why? Discuss with a partner and answer together!
Real-World Application An Ethical Choice Your team has been asked to select the site for a new plant. Just 15 minutes before the presentation to management, you find a possible mistake in the numbers, putting the cost 10% over budget. You don’t have time to recheck all your figures, so you’re tempted to go ahead without mentioning it. Since many projects run over their original estimates, you can probably work the extra cost into the budget later. What should you do? Discuss with a partner and answer together!