Top Management Language 2007(1)

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forms of verbal and non verbal communication in business specific vocabulary adopt and perform appropriate communication attitude


Communication is important to the point that without it an organization cannot operate. Its activities require human beings to interact, react, and communicate. If you can communicate effectively in speaking and writing, you are highly evaluated. Managers and top-level executives are concerned with the need for better communication. Business executives usually rank the ability to communicate in the first place among the personal factors necessary for promotion within management, and business communication ability is considered one of the most useful. Oral communication obviously preceded written communication. The ancient Greek and Roman world depended heavily on oral communication especially in government assemblies and in the law courts. A school of teachers called sophists taught ancients to speak well, to defend one and to speak eloquently, were marks of a learned person. More formal instructors were called teachers of rhetoric and taught ideas: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian. During the Medieval and Renaissance period the oral tradition continued. But writing became more and more important as a permanent record of communication, and authors and books on written communication principles appeared. Desiderius, Erasmus, Richard Sherry, Angel Day are the forerunners of those associated with our modern principles of written communication. Some of today's principles of writing are a mixture of ancient oral and written traditions. Business communication is one offshoot from an earlier world where communicating well was a foundation of learning. Correspondence is essential in establishing and confirming conventions in business activity. Typed or produced on a word processor, it is a mirror of the writer and of the business itself. Therefore what is written and how it is written expresses as much as part of business education as accountancy and economics. On the other hand, information is power. Speed and efficiency in written business communication depend on a great extent on how the organization handles information. As an employee, manager, owner or supervisor, in a rapidly changing business environment you will need to understand to use the technology of today's information age, to create, transmit and store information.


Nowadays thousand of hours are devoted daily to interviews, conferences, memos, report, employee manuals, letters, advertising, articles, bulletins, newsletters and other messages. They require the time of executives and assistants for researching, thinking, planning, organizing, dictating, typing, editing, revising, proofreading, mailing (the written), presenting (the oral), and filing records. That is why it is to be considered the wasteful cost of unclear, incomplete, inaccurate inconsiderate and unduly long or late letters. Poor messages are more expensive because they destroy goodwill, waste time, and alienate the customers. Successful messages help to enhance efficiency, goodwill, safety, productivity, profits and public credibility. Many surveys and articles confirm that effective communication is essential for a successful career and promotion in business. Top, middle and operation managers confirm that business communication skills influence the advancement to executive positions. Like any other worthwhile activity the quality of the individual attitude and preparation affects communication. The personality, the image and culture of a company are the extension of the many personalities and traditions of its employees. Any of them, whether an executive or a new clerk, is responsible for this image, for building the goodwill. Most people can learn to communicate effectively for business and build the goodwill attitude by developing intelligent, sound judgement when choosing ideas and facts for each message. The integrity of the writer, backed up by a valid code of ethics, a reasonable facility with the English language and applied knowledge of the communication process and principles are also important for a successful and effective communication skill. Appearance conveys a non-verbal impression that influences the recipients' attitude toward the message even before they read it. As for written messages, the envelopes overall appearance size, color, weight, postage may impress the receiver as important, junk or routine mail. The letter report or title page communicates nonverbally even before its contents are read. The appearance of the messages stationery and its length, format and typing is meant to lead to a certain attitude and impression of the receiver. The enclosure quantity and attractiveness (charts, graphs, pictures) also give nonverbal impression. Whether when speaking to a person face to face, or to a group in a meeting, personal appearance conveys nonverbal stimuli that influence attitudes, even emotions, towards spoken words. Clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, cosmetics, fingernails, neatness, and stature represent parts of the appearance. They convey opinions regarding occupation, age, sex, nationality, social and economic status, job level and good or poor judgment. Aspects of surroundings that communicate include room size, location, furnishing, machines, architecture, wall decorations, floor (carpeted or bare) lighting, windows and other aspects. The body language also communicates by facial expressions, gestures postures, smell and touch. Sometimes, they are more meaningful than words. They are also important for special occasions, interviews, speeches, etc. The eyes' expression can make the receiver understand hidden emotions anger, annoyance, confusion, enthusiasm, fear, hatred, joy, love, interest, sorrow, surprise, and uncertainty. They can sometimes even


contradict verbal statements sometimes. Direct eye contact is desirable when people have a face-to-face conversation. Eyes that drop or shift away from the listener may show a shy, dishonest or an untrustworthy person. Continual gestures with arms while speaking may reveal nervousness, or they also may distract listeners attention from the spoken words. One's handshake can also show firmness or limpness, promptness attitudes. Legs position can reveal certain nonverbal attitudes for a man sitting with legs stretching on top of this office during an interview, or a standing person shifting weight from one leg to another in a rhythmic motion while humming or pacing back and forth while speaking. Confident executives may have a relaxed posture and yet stand more erect than a timid subordinate. Interested persons may lean forward toward the speaker, while those who are bored or annoyed may slump as well as yawn and repeatedly glance at their watches. Touching people in different ways and places can communicate friendship, love, approval, hatred, anger or other feelings. A kiss on a cheek, pat on the shoulder or slap on the back is prompted by various attitudes and emotions. Various odors and artificial fragrances on human beings can sometimes convey emotions and feelings better than spoken words. Different meanings can also be conveyed by the rate, pitch and volume of the voice. Speaking fast can reveal nervousness, but a soft voice soothes and calms. Even silence can determine serious hard feelings, loss of business or profits. Time is also an important conveyor of nonverbal communication. Being on time for appointments, for work every day, and for deadlines communicates favorable messages in our culture. Human sounds communicate non-verbally such as clearing the throat, sighing, laughing, etc. The ability to communicate and understand the messages is an important business skill that that is to be developed. 1.1. Electronic Technology in Business Communication Information now doubles every six years, causing managers to spend an increasing amount of time receiving, absorbing, creating and distributing information. The abundance of information is called information overload. It is forcing managers to look for ways to reduce the amount of paperwork. They realize that information is an extremely valuable resource only if received in a timely, concise and accurate manner. Thus, control becomes a key factor in the management of information. Using electronic technology is highly recommended because of the advantages it offers: - elimination of monotonous routine tasks - cost effectiveness - greater accessibility of data (information) - the accuracy and quality of output - the ability to forecast outcomes People are interested in work that is satisfying and enjoyable. Routine tasks such as formatting, editing, filing, copying, calculating and mailing mean drudgery to many people. With a word processor or a personal microcomputer most of these tasks can be handled electronically. By pressing one or more special keys, you can convert a draft into a finished text, print it immediately


at high speed or store electronic data for later use. Because of the worldwide competition, all businesses are interested in ways to help employees accomplish more output in less time. In integrated office system computers, word processors telephones, facsimile devices, scanners, printers and copiers linked together accomplish numerous tasks in a semi or fully automated fashion. In such an environment executives can feed information into the system or check the electronic mailbox for messages via a phone line or terminal, whether in or out of the office. The decreasing cost of computers and peripherals (equipment tied to the computer) will continue to make technology a cost-effective tool in the future. 1.2. A New Era of Bright Hopes and Terr