Effective Business Communication Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

OutlineFive Planning Steps Basic Organizational Plans Beginning and Endings Composing the Message

Objectives: You Should Be Able ToAfter completing this chapter, you will be able to: 1. Identify the categories of communications and explain when they are used. 2. Analyze situations to select the best approach when responding to 3. communications. 4. Apply the direct approach in preparing positive communications. 5. Apply the indirect approach in preparing negative or bad news communications. 6. Apply the persuasive approach in preparing sales letters or other persuasive 7. communications. 8. Develop planning procedures for organizing communications.

Oral and Written CommunicationsOral communication has definite advantages over written communication. Oral communication is more personal, quickly transmitted, provides immediate feedback, can see or listen to the observer's reaction, can answer/ask questions, and smooth out misunderstandings.


Positive tone can be conveyed orally and in writing. Orallypositive words, tone of voice, smile, facial expression, body language, etc. In writingpositive words, tone, content. Be impartial and avoid blame when addressing errors or defending unpopular decisions on behalf of the organization. Plan the message if the news is not good.

Planning is vital to effective communications. Remember to ask:1. What is the purpose? 2. What is requested? 3. What must be included? 4. What response should result? 5. What is the best media to use?

It Is Important To Understand Policies And Procedures So:

Communicate on behalf of the organization; Your personal views become "secondary"; That you are bound by the company policy; That you should never indicate to the customer that you disagree with the policy; That you should never blame another person or department for an error or an unpopular decision; That the organization speaks through you; That your job is to represent company in terms that the receiver can accept; your job is to bring both sides to agreement.

You need to represent your organization in a way that shows the receiver that your organizations position is a fair one. A dilemma arises when personal beliefs conflict with organizational policy, but you must remember that you represent the company and their policies. Effective communication begins by understanding your organizations policies and procedures. You are communicating for the organization, not for yourself.

Five Planning StepsIdentify Your Purpose The four purposes of communication are: 1. to inform 2. to request 3. to persuade 4. to build goodwill1.

You must know why you should write and what should be written . The purpose may be sale , good will , request , inquiry or refusal etc.

Five Planning StepsAnalyze Your Audience It is better for the sender to understand the receiver. You should know his background , qualification , education , position , status in the company , desire , expectations , problems , circumstances and possible reactions to your request. Also he/she is superior , subordinate , laborer , professional or technical person , colleague , single or married , man or woman , young or old , new or long time customer .2.

To better understand the receiver, it may be necessary to research the company, review the letter to which you are responding, do research on the Internet, or look at previous correspondence from the individual. The more you know about how your receiver thinks and feels, the better chance you have of getting your message across.

Know the receiver: Who is the receiver? What is known about the receivers background, knowledge, interests, and experiences? How does the receiver feel about the situation to which you are responding? What does the receiver need or want to hear? What does the receiver expect from you? What objections might you expect from the receiver?

3. Choose Your Ideas It depends upon the type of message . Before working jot down the points to be covered in communication , and then bring them in order of importance and urgency. Communications There are three types of communications: 1. PositiveRoutine/informational; requests or transmits information. This uses the direct approach, can be written in a straightforward manner, and tells the reader what he or she wants to hear. This is the easiest, most pleasant approach. The basic rule in the direct approach is to start with the good news.

2. NegativeGives the receiver bad news; refuses request; uses the indirect approach; challenging; goal is to have the reader understand and accept the message. Presents a challenge as it gives unpleasant, disappointing, or unfavorable information. The basic rule in the indirect approach is to put the bad news in the middle. This assists in establishing a rapport with the receiver; allows you to gradually address the bad news after you have developed some reasons or explanations.

3. PersuasiveReader must be persuaded to do as asked (sales and recommendation letters). Uses the persuasive approach. The challenge of these messages is to create a communication that motivates the receiver to read or listen to the entire message and react positively. The basic rule in the persuasive approach is to mention the action requested at the end of the message.


Collect Your Data

To explain facts and figures , visual aids may be utilized , augmenting the communication. First, analyze all facts related to the message; make notes on what to include; select the best approach. Next, turn the letter plan or informal outline into a letter. When writing a rough draft, concentrate only on content. Two factors that influence planning are: 1. The person to whom you are writing, and 2. Your reason for writing. To accomplish the purpose of the letter: The content must be correct and appropriate. The style must be clear and natural. The tone must build goodwill. Build goodwill by: Emphasizing things the reader wants to hear. Avoiding or subordinating negatives and other ideas unpleasant to the reader. Using friendly words and reflecting a sincere desire to serve.


Organize Your Message

Once the ideas have been jotted down , they should be properly arranged and organized. Failing to organize will fail the objectives of the message. Good organization: Helps the receiver understand the message. Helps the receiver accept the message. Saves the receiver time. Eliminates unnecessary information. Puts information in a logical order. Simplifies the communicator's job. Common organizational problems in communicating are: Taking too long to get to the point. Including irrelevant material. Confusing ideas. Leaving out necessary information

Basic Organizational PlansThe order of ideas for the direct approach is: 1. Beginning: good news/main idea 2. Middle: explanation/details 3. Ending: goodwill/resale or positive statement

Direct ApproachThe order of ideas for the is: 1. Beginning: good news/main idea 2. Middle: explanation/details 3. Ending: goodwill/resale or positive statement

The Direct Approach

Types of Resume Cover Letters 2. Speculative Cover Letters/The Direct Approach When you use the direct approach, you are specifically addressing the employer as someone who has a need which you have the skills to meet. And sometimes you can even target the employer before he or she actually realizes a need exists, or at least before he or she has found time to draft an advert. You realize the need exists and have approached the employer with your ability to fill that need, effectively beating him or her to the punch. In your letter you need to show the employer you've done your homework and realize the need or needs exists. You can find this information in news articles, from personal contacts, in publications, and so on. You can refer to this information at the beginning of your letter. Our cover letter examples will show you how. If you do this, your prospective employer is much more likely to be receptive to considering you for the job. He or she will know that you have done your homework and not simply picked out a company at random. Finally, remember that these are speculative enquiries. Its likely you will get more rejections or no replies than you will invitations for interview but this is normal. Keep going - chances are your letter will find the right person at the right time in some cases.

Sample covering letter for a speculative / direct approach to a company

12 Fairfax Close Stableton Bristol BS12 5RT Kenneth Brown Molson plc 14-24 Cable Street Bristol BS2 4RT 25 July Dear Mr Brown Yesterday's Evening Post reported that you are expanding your sales and servicing activities. This highlighted your potential requirement for additional staff for your new branches. I am currently looking for opportunities to make use of my experience of working in a service centre and would therefore be extremely interested in any potential vacancies that might arise. Over the past ten years I have worked in customer services, initially in retail and most recently for a major plc. This work has included: taking bookings from customers and organising job schedules for service engineers in a service centre; training and supervising a team; setting up and running a customer complaints service; and handling customer account queries. Full details of my skills and experience are contained in my CV, which I have enclosed. I will phone next week to establish whether a meeting would be appropriate. I would very much like to discuss any potential opening with you. Yours sincerely; Sally Jones Sample covering letter - in response to an advertisement

The direct approach

1000% More Effective than Speculative Letters And The ONLY Way To Succeed In The Current Tough Jobs Market The direct approach is a radically different approach and is now the only way to succeed in today's tough job market. You already know there is so much more to getting a new job or career change than waiting for the right advert to appear, because if you wait, it may never appear or somebody else may get there first before you do. However, you can make things happen by applying my direct approach which involves careful research and targeting by putting together a carefully crafted direct approach sales letter. This type of letter is 10x more likely to get a response than any straight speculative letter. You know how some junk mail annoys you, but others you find interesting because it has identified your needs. THIS is what you are going to do to find a new job in The Hidden Job Market. The only way to think of this direct approach is as being a Direct Marketing Exercise to a specifically qualified target audience it is NOT a mail-shot and certainly NOT a speculative letter that some would have you waste your time writing. Lets look at that more closely: Compared to a direct approach,the speculative letter or mail-shot is a waste of time, effort and possible opportunity.

Why The Direct Approach?

Well lets look at what is wrong with a speculative approach first: The speculative letter type of approach aims to cover as many possibilities as you can, so inherently its NOT specific to any particular reader. It also labels you as a job-seeker and usually gets sent straight to the Personnel or HR Department (if they have one and it gets past the waste-basket). Unless you want to work for the Personnel Department (if they have one) thats the last place you want your letter to go. Mail-shots in general usually have less than 2% response rate so to generate some interest, (even before an interview is offered) youd have to spend maybe 300 on postage alone. This approach at best will bring you what they think you should have, NOT necessarily what you want for yourself.

NOT using a speculative letter:And the most important reason for NOT using a speculative letter: Because you try to cover all the possible employers you make it virtually impossible to approach them in any other way. (Oh yes, you already sent your details didnt you?) Go on and read my Hidden Jobs page for when and how you should use the targeted, direct approach to make things happen and find those hidden, unadvertised jobs.

How To Use The Direct Approach?

The Hidden Job Market: With Redundancies and Downsizing On the Increase and Unemployment Rising, The Trick Is to Find Jobs That No-One Else Knows About.

Learn How To Find Hidden Jobs And How You Can Work The Hidden Job Market! Be discriminating - it is not a mail-shot; Each approach must be tailor-made; Your letter must make a business proposition; Only contact the person who can take the decision to employ you; Research the organisation thoroughly; Be businesslike and professional; Do NOT include your CV Before you write your direct approach letter make sure that you: Have a specific reason for writing; Address your letter to a named individual; Make it clear you want a meeting; Are prepared to follow-up quickly once sent; Be persistent they need you. Remember - fail to prepare - prepare to fail The Hidden Job Market: With Redundancies and Downsizing On the Increase and Unemployment Rising, The Trick Is to Find Jobs That No-One Else Knows About.

Indirect Approach 1. 2. 3.



The order of ideas for the indirect approach is: Begin with a "buffer"a cushionbetween the receiver and the bad news Start and end the message with "neutral paragraphsthis ensures a positive beginning and ending The buffer "smoothes the way." Look for something the receiver and you can agree on or look for any good news. The buffer paragraph should pertain to the subject of the message (should not be a time waster); be brief and congenial; maintain neutrality (not indicating either yes or no); and serve as the transition to the explanation. The middle paragraph should present a logical explanation of facts, details, and reasons to justify the negative message; begin with the best reason for the refusal and continue with the other reasons(s); state or imply the negative information or refusal; follow the refusal with another reason/alternative; stress what can be done rather than what cannot be done.

Indirect Approach6.



The ending paragraph (the closing) should offer a counterproposal or alternatives or resell your point of view; be neutral, courteous, and positive; be personalized if possible; avoid restating the refusal. Negative information should be placed immediately following the explanation; stated quickly and explicitly; stated in clear and positive terms. The reader must clearly understand the negative information, but do not restate the refusal in the ending. The emphasis on tone is vitalthe receiver needs to feel that the request has been taken seriously; communication should be tactful and considerate and reflect a sincere interest and respect for the receiver's viewpoi...