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Written communication is transmitted by written words in the form of letters, memos, circulars, bulletins, reports, instruction cards, manuals, magazines, handbooks etc. Written Communication generally moves downward. Upward communication in the written form is generally discouraged, or the workers are reluctant to use it. Dynamic management should encourage it by installing a suitable suggestion system under which workers are allowed to write their grievance and suggestions freely.
Written communication can take place through the following modes:
Letters: Communication though is a very old method. Under this the message is transmitted from the senders to the receiver though a letter. The receiver may give his response though another letter.
Notice: When many people within an organization are to be contacted, notice is one of the best method. It is the most common method of mass communication.
Memo/Memorandum: It is an informal message between members of a company pertaining to routine matters.
Telegram: For contacting people at distant places telegrams can be used. Since it given an impression of emergency to the receiver, immediate response is possible. To convey the matters urgently and to take actions, telegrams are used.
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Telex: It is a device (telegraphic device) which has a facility to type out the messages simultaneously on the senders machine and the Receivers machine. It is a channel for sending as well as receiving messages. Telex messages can be used on a screen in share markets, newspaper offices, airports, railways stations etc.
ADVANTAGES OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION :
Written communication is used to issue specific instructions and orders to the subordinates.
Written communication is the only way out when the message is quite lengthy and it is not possible to convey all the points through oral communication.
Sometimes, written communication are also used to elaborate verbal communication and to keep a record of it. Written communications serves as a reliable record for future reference and can be used in legal proceedings.
Written messages are more carefully formulated than oral communication. That is why, they are more clear and specific.
Written communication is a cheaper means of communication when the parties to communicate are situated at distant places.
It is very difficult to alter the contents of the written message.
Response to written communication is generally well-thought out because the receiver gets sufficient time to understand and evaluate the message.
LIMITATIONS OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION :
Written communication is more expensive for transmitting the short messages. It also takes long time to convey the message.
Once a written message has been dispatched, there is little scope left for making amends for the inaccuracy that may have crept into it.
If the written communication is poorly drafted, it may create misunderstanding and confusion in the mind of the receiver. It may lead to creation of conflicts between the parties to communication.
Written messages give rise to queries for clarification and elaboration which lead to future loss of time an money. Moreover, written channels may be blocked due to bureaucratic procedures in the organization.
Written communication is generally formal in nature. One cannot make use of postures to convey one’s feelings and emotions along with the written message.
CHOICE OF METHOD OF COMMUNICATION
It is difficult to predict which method of communication will be used in a particular organization. In practice, all the three methods of expression are used in varying degrees under different circumstances. Postural communication is frequently used to supplement oral communication. Written communication has been found to be effective in the following situations :
Executives give written instructions where the assignment is important and it is necessary to fix responsibility.
Written communication serves the purpose of a record for future reference.
Workers / Trade unions make use of written communication to communicate with the management formally and to get formal response from the management.
In modern organizations, the use of computer-based technology to communicate is wide spread and becoming increasingly commonplace. The facsimile (fax) machine is now is key piece of equipment for sending messages between locations and use of the copier and electronic mail systems allow information to be circulated more widely and more rapidly than ever before. In fact many innovations including computerized information, processing systems, telecommunication system, inter and intranet have revolutionized the organization of today. As a result managers a can send (and receive) various types of communications to (and from) 1% or a group scattered around the world on their computer terminals and they can do so in their cars or via their notebook computers and cellar phones on the train. Several new industries are developing around information storage, transmission and retrieval that were not even dreamt few years ago.
Organizations can design computer systems that allow designated individuals access to appropriate information from a database. For example, a computerized personnel system can hold information on each employee’s career history, references, performance ratings, pay progression, attendance record, disciplinary action and so forth. Access to the available information can be restricted in various ways. For example, job history, references and previous performance ratings could be available to the department head but not the immediate supervisor of the person. The same principles can be applied to any of the company’s information systems including financial and marketing.
INTERNET AND INTRANET
Internet communication between individuals and business organizations of different cities, states and nations is increasing tremendously. Internet is a web of millions of computer users linked by telephones on thousands of interconnected networks. The reasons for the popularity of internet include :
i)global dissemination, ii)quick and better interaction, iii)effective integration, and iv)facilitation of electronic commerce(e-commerce)
Several companies have also developed companywide intranet systems for efficient internal communication. An intranet system makes available internal E-mail, company policies and directives and enables information sharing throughout the organization. It, thus, paves the way for a knowledge-based organization.
EFFECTIVE WRITING SKILLS
Unified Writing :
Effective writing is always unified. There is a proper development of the topic duly selected. There is no digression in the development of the topic. The position and the stature of the reader is always to be kept in mind.
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Being Senior Manager, HR, of my company. I would need to use clear, concise and modern English in written communication in the business environment. Using a list format, write a set of guidelines including at least twelve items to advice staff members in my organization on how best to communicate effectively :
Use simple sentence structure. Complex sentence structure can complicate what you are trying to say and be easily misunderstood. Keep your sentences concise and to the point. Instead of saying “I would like to schedule a meeting to discuss the pertinent facts of the case at your earliest convenience,” say “Please let me know when we can meet to discuss the case.”
Do not use jargon or language that only you and select group of individuals understand. Your written communication should be accessible to your audience, no matter who you are communicating with. Technical language and jargon should only be used when more simplistic language will not suffice.
Provide specific details whenever possible. Avoiding writing in ambiguous or unclear details. Instead of writing “I have a lot of experience working in this field,” say “I have worked as an engineer for three and a half years.”
Written communication is different from academic or scholarly writing and should be more conversational in nature. As a rule of thumb, write in similar fashion as talk. Read your message aloud to ensure that your writing sounds conversational.
Ideas in Sequence
Try for an average sentence length of 17 words. Introduce no more than one or two ideas per sentence. The average paragraph in a business letter is two sentences long. Long paragraphs often contain more than one idea and can be split so that each idea has its own paragraph.
Avoid Gendered Language
Avoid attaching a masculine or feminine pronoun to your writing. While it is technically sound grammar to use “he” or “his” when the gender is unknown or when referring to a group of people, the language may offend some people. To be on the safe side, do not use a gendered pronoun unless you are sure of the person’s gender you are referencing.
Avoid Passive Language
Choose active verbs instead of passive verbs to add interest to your written communication. Write “I drove to the beach on Saturday,” instead of “When I was driving to the beach on Saturday. “. Using active voice will also allow you to sound more conversational, as we rarely use passive voice in verbal communication.
If you know the person you are writing to, acknowledge this relationship. Instead of using blanket pronouns such as “you,” use the person’s name. Make the information you include in your written communication pertinent to the reader. Depending on the relationship you have with person, begin and end your writing with an appropriate greeting.
Choose the right medium for your written communication. Whether you use email, text messaging, or a letter depends on who you are writing to and what you are writing about. If you have never used text messaging in the work environment, it may not be the best way to correspond with a coworker.
Use humor in moderation, and only when appropriate for the situation. If you are unfamiliar with your reader, avoid making jokes so as not to offend the reader. If you have a good relationship with your reader, feel free to use humor in your written communication. Even if you know the reader well, avoid offensive or controversial humor.
No matter how good at writing you may be, it is critical to proof read your written communication. Check for spelling or grammatical errors in your writing. Make sure that what you have written effectively communicates the intended message.
Write with a Positive Tone
Establishing the right tone in written communications can make the difference between a positive response and a hostile one. To help create a positive tone :Avoid “I.” Instead use “you” as the subject of sentences to get the reader involved.
Use the reader’s name, if the correspondence is addressed to one person.
Replace negative words with positive ones. Instead of saying “Don’t hesitate to call me,” try “Feel free to call me.”
Words with negative connotations include: delay, doubt, difficult, fail, problem. Words with positive connotations include: glad, improvement, service, happy, contribution.
Present ideas as possibilities, not as difficulties to be overcome.
Writing is always a deliberate action with a clear purpode. The purpose of writing is to communicate ideas, facts, impression, analysis, conclusions etc. A writer shares his or her experiences with his or her readers. However, it is true that the writer should know how much reading time he could seek from his reader or reads so that he succeeds in expressing himself. A good writer is that who succeds not only in making the best possible use of his time but also in presenting his or her matter in such a way that reading of which makes the reader willingly, with interest and with no sense of loss or wastage of time, extend the duration of reading thinking and further reading and finally contributing his or her best to the cause of writing.
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