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We are constantly bombarded by it. It may be in the form of spoken or written words, pictures, gestures, symbols and (for an interesting few) telepathic messages from a variety of intriguing sources. Most of the communication that enters our life can be ignored or quickly forgotten. Forgetting the joke heard at the water fountain, last night's sitcom, or your neighbor's complaints about his terrible job are not likely to create any major upheaval in your world. But in the workplace, effective communication is essential to our progress and well being.
Effective communication with employees and customers helps a business to run smoothly and make a profit. The lack of effective communication within the organization can lead to missed or misunderstood directives. Ineffective outside communication can convey the wrong message to the customers, making the communication counter-productive. Honing your business communication skills require work, but once achieved will make act as an asset to the organization.
There are two ways of communicating i.e. oral and written communication. Written communication is also important for instructing employees on certain tasks and projects. . The written instructions may inform the employee whom to contact for certain information. The boss may also indicate which items are most important so the employee can prioritize his tasks. Written communication is taken as the form of legal documents or manuals.
For example, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) outlines health and safety policies and procedures for industrial and commercial businesses. These documents ensure clarity among employees and minimize the chance for any misunderstanding. Employers may also issue dress policy or personal conduct guidelines for employees to better ensure proper behavior. Written warnings are also used to enforce certain policies in the workplace. An employee will likely change his behavior when employers document infractions with letters and he faces possible termination for noncompliance.
Company managers must use written communication in the form of reports or presentations. For example, a marketing research manager will often analyze results from a survey in a report. She may also recommend certain strategies for upper management, based on consumer needs and preferences. Additionally, department directors often create written presentation booklets for employees who attend their meetings. Written presentations are an effective means of providing key information to other departments.
Written communication involves any type of interaction that makes use of the written word. It is one of the two main types of communication, along with oral/spoken communication. Written communication is very common inÂ business situations, so it is important for small business owners and managers to develop effective written communication skills. Some of the various forms of written communication that are used internally for business operations include memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail. Examples of written communication avenues typically pursued with clients, vendors, and other membersÂ of the business community, meanwhile, include electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases.
1. Powerful writing is readable.
I borrowed the notion of readability from the world of typesetting, where it refers to the effort required to make sense of the letters and words on a page. A paragraph set in Times New Roman is very readable; the same paragraph in Edwardian Script is nearly unreadable. In terms of what makes for good writing,Â readability is about the basic ability of a reader to make sense of what is written. A work that's readable is grammatically sound (not necessarily grammaticallyÂ correctÂ - what's important is that grammar not get in the way of the meaning) and stylistically clear, requiring only as much work to understand as is necessary.
2. Powerful writing is focused.
Good writing has a point, a goal that it is intended to achieve. That goal might be to sell something, to convince someone of something, or to explain how to do something, butÂ whatever the point, it informs every line. Anything that doesn't lead the reader towards that goal is stripped away.
3. Powerful writing develops gracefully.
Powerful writing is not just focused on a goal, it leads the readerÂ inescapablyÂ towards that goal.Â That may be through the use of evidence in support of an argument, through the relaying of a narrative describing events occurring over time, or in some other way, but it must be graceful - without gaps of reasoning, unsupported assumptions, missing information, or anything else that would cause a reader to stumble.
4. Powerful writing flows.
Good writing is all of a piece - the various elements that make it up fit together neatly and draw the reader along. Think of how bad joke-tellers tell jokes: "So the priest says - Oh, I forgot to tell you that the horse is gay. Ok, so the priest saysâ€¦" That's the opposite of flow.Â Flow means that everything in a piece of writing is exactly where it belongs, that whatever you need to understand paragraph 4 is present in paragraph 1, 2, or 3, that each part transitions nicely into the next, and that the style and tone remain constant throughout. Think of the way theÂ Gettysburg AddressÂ moves effortlessly from the founding of the United States to the Civil War battlefield on which Lincoln stood.
5. Powerful writing is concrete.
Our society tends to value abstract thinking and generalizations over concrete particularities, but this tends toÂ lead to particularly limp and empty writing. The best writing, even when the subject is an abstraction, grounds its topic in the real world through examples, metaphors and analogies, and storytelling. This is an intensification of the old "show, don't tell" rule - powerful writing doesn't just show, it shows in real-world ways that are easily approachable.
6. Powerful writing is well-suited for its audience.
A good writer knows his or her audience intimately: the language they understand, the beliefs they share, the knowledge they hold. He or she knows what assumptions can be made about the reader, and what assumptions can't be made.Â Good writing isn't boring because the writer knows what will hold his or her audience's interest.Â It is neither too dense nor too simple for the intended reader - it's just right.
7. Powerful writing is compelling.
The best writingÂ demandsÂ attention, whether through the force of its argument, the strength of its language, or the importance of its topic. The reader doesn't want to stop reading - even when they're done.
8. Powerful writing is passionate.
Good writing is about somethingÂ important. Not necessarily something important in the grand scheme of things, but something either the audience already cares about or something the authorÂ makesÂ them care about. AndÂ you can't make an audience care unless youÂ care, deeply, about whatever you're writing about. It's always clear when a writer doesn't care - it's what distinguishes the hacks from the greatest writers - and it's easy enough not to care when the writer so clearly doesn't.
9. 7 C's of communication
Written communication should be complete and adequate as incomplete messages give rise to queries, confusion and lead to delay in decision making. The message should contain all correct facts and figures. It is important to keep in mind while answering any letter that all the queries are answered. The complete message provides following benefits:
It brings desired result without further writing additional messages.
Complete message helps in averting costly lawsuits which may result in due to any important information missing.
It builds goodwill of a company as the customers concern is taken care of well.
Concise means in brief i.e. written communication should convey the message by using fewest possible words without compromising on all other C's. The benefits are as follows:
A concise message saves time and expense for both sender and receiver. A concise message is always easy to understand and the message is not lost in jungle of words.
The important message or idea is highlighted.
Precision means saying exactly what you intend to say. Clarity means saying it in such a way that it will be understood by the person receiving the message. Precision and clarity overlap in many areas and it is possible to be precise without being clear, or vice versa.
One barrier to clarity is vocabulary. While an extensive vocabulary may be impressive to some, it can be a hindrance to getting your point across. If a person is not familiar with the meaning of the words used, the intended message is lost. A person who runs into a building and yells "Conflagration" will not get anywhere near the reaction of someone who yells "Fire." Good communicators know that they must adjust their vocabulary to their audience.
Vague words or phrases, those that have no specific meaning, are a problem in both precision and clarity. The terms old man, long trip and expensive car will mean different things to different people based on factors such as age, economic status and culture. However, 75-year-old man, 2,000-mile-trip and $50,000 car will mean the same to everyone. In the work setting, asking a person to complete a report "as soon as possible" may mean by 10 a.m. tomorrow morning to the boss. To the overworked clerk, however, "as soon as possible" might mean six weeks from now after all her other projects are completed. In communicating expectations to employees, a rule that managers need to follow is, "If you want a specific result, you need to give specific instructions."
At the time of encoding, if the encoder has comprehensive knowledge about the decoder of message, it makes the communication an ease. The encoder should know the status, knowledge and educational background of the decoder.Â Correctness means:
Use the right level of language
Correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation
Accuracy in stating facts and figures
Being definite, vivid and specific rather than vague, obscure and general leads to concreteness of the message. Facts and figures being presented in the message should be specific.
Consideration demands to put oneself in the place of receiverÂ while composing a message. It refers to the use of you attitude, emphases positive pleasant facts, visualizing reader's problems, desires, emotions and his response.
In business, almost everything starts and ends in courtesy.Â Courtesy means not only thinking about receiver but also valuing his feelings.Â Much can be achieved by using polite words and gestures, being appreciative, thoughtful, tactful, and showing respect to the receiver.Â Courtesy builds goodwill.
Effective communication is a part and parcel of any successful organization. A communication should be free from barriers so as to be effective. Communication is a two way process where the message sent by the sender should be interpreted in the same terms by the recipient. Being an HR manager I would like to put down some guidelines which are necessary to be followed in organization for effective communication:
Clarity of Purpose:
The message to be delivered must be clear in the mind of sender. The person to whom it is targeted and the main aim of the message should be clear in the mind of the sender.
The message should not be incomplete. It should be supported by facts and observations. It should be well planned and organized. No assumptions should be made by the receiver.
The message should be concise. It should not include any unnecessary details. It should be short and complete
It is important to know whether the receiver has understood in the same manner by the receiver or not can be judged by the feedback received. The feedback should be timely and in personal form. It should be specific rather than general.
Empathy with listeners is essential for effective verbal communication. The speaker should step into the shoes of the listener and be sensitive to their needs and emotions.
Modify the message according to audience:
The information requirement by different people in the organization differs according to their needs. What is relevant to the middle level management might not be relevant to the top level of management. Use of jargons should be minimized because it might lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretations. The message should be modified according to the needs and requirements of the targeted audience.
Make effective use of Grapevine: Â
The employees and managers should not always discourage grapevine. They should make effective use of grapevine. The managers can use grapevine to deliver formal messages and for identification of issues which are significant for the employees. The managers can get to know the problems faced by the employees and can work.
Use of technical Jargons
Avoid business jargon in written communication. Every industry has & amp; quot; buzz words, but with the globalization of business, these words do not always translate effectively. Keep the message simple and avoid using industry-specific words unless you are sure they are universally understood.
Consider the reader
Write for your intended reader. Business communication is not the time to show off your extensive vocabulary. If you send the reader running for the dictionary, you will not hold his attention and the point of your communication will be lost.
Write as you speak
Think of writing business communications with the same frame of mind as having a conversation with a boss or coworker. Business communication need not be stilted or overly formal. Imagine having the discussion in person and convey that in the communication.
Be a good listener
It is equally important to be a good listener and possessing the ability to speak as this leads to coordination and better understanding of any message. It is obvious that unless someone listens, any effort to communicate will be lost.
Be confident and the body language should to support your confidence. It is important to smile and make eye contact while communicating at live networking events. It is essential to practice introducing yourself to new people to gain confidence.