Q1.List the importance of effective communication in the workplace.
Ans:- Effective communication in the workplace means improving employee communication skills. Effective communication in the workplace is the backbone of any business. Without it, an individual could miss out on important opportunities, waste time and cause inconvenience to employees and also customers. But not everyone is a born communicator, and there is always room to improve. That’s why it’s important to train the staff to create effective communication in the workplace.
Effective communication serves the following specific purposes in an organization :
1. Greater Awareness of Organizational Goals and Teamwork – When there is open communication between superiors, co-workers and subordinates, there is smooth flow of information regarding the goals of the organization. Coordination between the different departments in particular, leads to greater motivation to work together towards achieving a common organizational goal, rather than working in isolation.
2. Better Employer-employee Relationships – By listening to employees, showing empathy and giving them the freedom to express their opinions without fear of being repressed, a manager can create a climate of openness that leads to better work relationships. Employees will then feel more comfortable in approaching their superiors and discussing any matter with them.
3. Problem-solving – Effective communication can help resolve conflicts between co-workers, work related and performance related problems. Face–to-face
communication is especially suited for achieving this task, since it is one to one and highly personalized in nature.
4. Improved Performance – Effective communication by managers at the time of appraising the performance of their employees can point out areas for improvement. A constructive review of performance, through which a manager gives positive feedback and counsels the employee, instead of criticizing him for poor performance, can motivate the employee to perform better.
5. Stronger Link between Managers and the External Environment – Apart from internal communication within the organization, effective communication by managers with external audiences such as customers, government, bankers, media and suppliers leads to a better rapport with them.A manager will be able to understand the needs of his customers, be aware of the presence of quality suppliers of material, of government regulations and of the expectations of the community at large, only through proper communication.
Q.2 Explain the different aspects of non verbal communication
Ans. The different aspects of non-verbal Communications are:
1. Kinesics- This is the most often studied and Important area of non-verbal communication and refers to body movements of any kind. Different body movements can express inner states of emotion. • Facial Expressions can convey feelings of surprise, happiness, anger and sadness. • Eye Movements, such as wide open pupils express feelings of surprise, excitement or even fear. • Gesture, such as movement of the hands while giving a lecture or presentation indicates a high level of involvement in what you are saying. • Head Movements like nodding the head can convey interest, appreciation, agreement or understanding. • Body Shape and Posture- Body shape is not within one’s control but can be stereotyped to convey certain meanings. • Physical Appearance- Our outward appearance, including the way we dress and the jewelery and make-up that we wear can convey an impression of formality or informality.
2. Proxemics- Proxemics is derived from the word “proximity” or closeness and is the communication term for personal space and distance. The space and distance we choose to keep from people is also part of non-verbal communication. Each of us has our own inner and outer circles, which differ for different people.
3. Time language- This refers to the meaning or importance attached to time and varies between different people. One person may value time more than another. Similarly, time language also varies across cultures.
4. Paralanguage- Para means “like” or “similar to”, therefore paralanguage means “like language”. Of all the forms of non-verbal communication. It refers to the tone of voice with which something is said. The tone of voice includes the pitch, the pace the emphasis on words and the volume and can convey different moods and emotions, as mentioned earlier in this unit.
5. Physical Context- This refers to the physical environment or surroundings within which we communicate and includes two aspects-
a. Color and layout
➢ Colors are known for their symbolic meaning and have associations with different feelings. ➢ Layout in a work environment refers to the size of an office, or the arrangement of furniture.
➢ Design refers to the type of chairs, desks or carpeting. All these can convey status, formality or informality.
Q.3 Write short notes on
(a) Upward communication
(b) Downward communication
(c) Horizontal communication
Upward Communication:-This may be defined as information that flows from subordinates to superiors. Some of the reasons for upward communication include discussing work related problems, giving suggestions for improvement and sharing feelings about the job and co-workers. This type of communication has both benefits and disadvantages. One of the biggest benefits is problem-solving. Once a subordinate has brought a problem to his superior’s notice, chances are that the problem will not recur, since the subordinate learns from his superior how to tackle it the next time. Thus, his ability to solve new problems and therefore his managerial ability, improves. Another benefit that could arise from upward communication is that valuable ideas and suggestions may sometimes come from lower level employees. Therefore organizations should encourage this kind of communication.
A third benefit is that employees learn to accept the decisions of management and thereby work as a team. The biggest problem associated with this type of communication is that it may lead to “handing down” of decisions by superiors. When subordinates frequently seek the superior’s guidance, the latter may adopt an authoritarian approach and merely give instructions, disregarding the subordinate’s opinion completely.
Downward Communication – This may be defined as information that flows from superiors to subordinates. The most common reasons for downward communication are for giving job instructions, explaining company rules, policies and procedures and giving feedback regarding job performance. A number of studies have indicated that regular downward communication in the form of feedback given to employees is the most important factor affecting job satisfaction. Therefore organizations today are trying to encourage more of this type of communication.
There are both benefits and disadvantages associated with this type of communication. Downward communication that provides regular feedback will be beneficial if the feedback or review of performance is constructive. A constructive review is one where a manager “counsels” an employee, or advises him on how to improve his performance. On the other hand, a destructive review can destroy employee morale and confidence. Regular downward communication also creates a climate of transparency or openness, where information is passed on through official channels, rather than through rumors.
Thirdly, downward communication boosts employee morale, since it indicates that management is involved in their progress.
The problems with this type of communication are the danger of doing destructive reviews, as mentioned, and that of “message overload.” This means that superiors many sometimes burden their subordinates with too many instructions, leading to confusion.
Horizontal Communication – This type of communication is also known as “lateral” communication. It may be defined as communication that takes place between co-workers in the same department, or in different departments, with different areas of responsibility. For example, Managers in productions and Junior officer Productions in the productions department, or Marketing Managers and Finance Managers. The reasons for this type of communication are for coordination of tasks, sharing of informationregarding goals of the organization, resolving interpersonal or work related problems and building rapport.
The biggest potential benefit of horizontal communication is the sense of teamwork that is created. Regular communication of this type ensures that all co-workers work together towards achieving a common goal in the overall interest of the organization. The biggest potential problem is that conflicts such as ego clashes are bound to arise, when co-workers at the same level communicate on a regular basis.
Q4.Explain the different barriers to listening. B)List the differences between discriminative listening and comprehension listening.
Ans:-Listening is not easy & there are a number of obstacles that stand in the way of effective listening, both within & outside the workplace. These barriers are categorized as follows
1. PHYSIOLOGICAL BARRIERS :
Some people may have genuine hearing problems or deficiencies that prevent them from listening properly. Oncedetected, they can generally be treated. Other people may have difficulty in processing information or memory related problems which make them poorlisteners. Another physiological barrier is rapid thought. Listeners have theability to process information at the rate of approximately 500 words perminute, whereas speakers talk at around 125 words per minute. Sincelisteners are left with a lot of spare time, their attention may not be focused onwhat the speaker is saying, but may wander elsewhere.
2. PHYSICAL BARRIERS :
These refer to distractions in the environment such as the sound of an air conditioner, cigarette smoke or an overheated room,which interface with listeing process. They could also be in the form ofinformation overload.
3. ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS :
Pre-occupation with personal or work related problems can make it difficult to focus one’s attention completely on what a speaker is saying, even if what is being said is of prime importance. Another common attitudinal barrier is egocentrism or the belief that you are more knowledgeable than the speaker & that you have
nothing new to learn from his ideas. People with this kind of closed minded attitude make very poor listeners.
4. WRONG ASSUMPTIONS :
The success of communication depends on both the sender & the receiver, It is wrong to assume that communication is the sole responsibility of the sender or the speaker & those listeners have no role to play. Such an assumption can be a bog barrier to listening. Another wrong assumption is to think that listening is a passive activity, in which a listener merely absorbs the thoughts of the speaker. Yet another barrier of this type is to assume that speakers are more powerful than listeners. Speakers are seen as being in command of things, whereas listeners are seen to be weak & lacking authority.
5. CULTURAL BARRIERS :
Accents can be barriers to listening, since they interfere with the ability to understand the meaning of words that are pronounced differently. The problem of different accents arises not only between cultures but also within a culture. Another type of cultural barrier is differing cultural values. The importance attached to listening & speaking differs in western & oriental cultures. Generally, Orientals regard listening &silence as another a virtue whereas westerners attach greater importance to speaking. Therefore this would interfere with the listening process when two people from these two different cultures communicate.
6. GENDER BARRIERS :
Communication research has shown that gender can be a barrier to listening. Studies have revealed that men & women listen very differently & for different purposes. Women are more likely to listen for the emotions behinda speaker’s words, while men listen more for the facts & the content.
7. LACK OF TRAINING :
Listening is not an inborn skill. People are not born good listeners. They have to develop the art of listening through practice &training. Lack of training in listening skills is an important barrier to listening.
8. BAD LISTENING HABITS :
Most people are very average listeners who have developed poor listening habits that are hard to shed & that act as barriers to listening. Another habit is to avoid difficult listening & to tune off deliberately, if the subject is too technical or difficult to understand. Sometimes, the subject itself may be dismissed as uninteresting because the listener does not want to listen.
B) DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN DISCRIMINATIVE LISTENING & COMPREHENSION LISTENING.
1. DISCRIMINATIVE LISTENING : This is the most basic type of listening, where by the difference between the sounds is identified. Unless the differences between the sounds are identified, the meaning expressed by such differences cannot be grasped. Once we learn to distinguish between sounds in our own language, we are able to do the same in other languages. One reason why people belonging to one country find it difficult to speak the language of another country is that they find the sounds similar & cannot understand the subtle differences.
2. COMPREHENSION LISTENING : Once we have learnt to discriminate between the different sounds, the next step is to try to comprehend the meaning of these sounds. In order to do this, we require a dictionary of words, along with the rules of grammar & syntax. Apart from the verbal communication, we also need to understand the meaning conveyed by the speaker’s nonverbal behaviour. This can be achieved by closely observing various aspects of the speaker’s body language & tone of voice.
Q5. Discuss the principles of business writing
ANS:-PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS WRITING
The language, style and tone of business writing is very different from general writing. Therefore, we will examine these aspects in some detail.
Tone of voice or paralanguage in an important factor of non-verbal communication. It was pointed out that the spoken words, however perfect, can convey a negative message, if the tone of voice is not consistent with what is said. Tone is equally important in conveying
written messages, particularly business related messages. In written communication, tone refers to the way a statement sounds, which in turn, depends on the choice of words. A sentence or statement may be grammatically perfect, but may convey a negative message, if the choice of words is wrong.
There are certain aspects of tone in written communication.
―”You failed to meet the sales target”
The above statement has a negative tone, since it emphasizes what could not be achieved. The same idea could be expressed in a more positive tone, by emphasizing what could have been done instead. ASPECT 2.
―”With a little extra effort, you could have achieved the target” The example shows that even a negative idea can be expressed in positive language through the use of appropriate words. The tone of business communication should also be confident. You should avoid language that makes you sound unsure of yourself.
―”I hope you will agree that my qualifications match your job profile” Beginning the sentence with ―I hope‖ creates the impression that you lack confidence in yourself. It might be better to say ―On reviewing my bio data, you will find that my qualifications match your job needs in the following respects..
While it is important to be self assured, avoid sounding over confident & pompous.
Another aspect of tone is to sound courteous & sincere. This builds goodwill & good relations & increases the likelihood of a message achieving its objective. Avoid statements such as following
―”You sent your complaint to the wrong department. You should have sent it to the shipping department” This sounds very discourteous & rude when responding to a customer complain. Instead, it might be better to say ― We have sent your complaint to the concerned department, which will be contacting you shortly.
2. EMPHASIS & SUBORDINATION
A business writer can be compared to an artist or a musician. Just like an artist or a musician tries to make certain elements stand out, so too does the business writer. An important principle of business writing is to emphasise important ideas and to downplay unimportant ideas, so as to make the reader understand what you consider to be significant. Generally, pleasant and important thoughts are emphasised, while unpleasant and insignificant thoughts are subordinated or de-emphasised.
Several techniques for emphasis may be used by the business writer: • Place the idea in the first paragraph or in the last paragraph, in order to get attention. • Put the word that you wish to emphasise first or last in the sentence. Example : Success comes through sincere efforts.
Failure will result without them. OR, The event was a success ,Without your efforts, it would have been a failure.
Use the active voice to emphasise the doer of the action and the passive voice to emphasise the receiver of the action.
3. WRITE AT AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF READABILITY
A third very important rule of business writing is to tailor your writing to your audience and to make it simple enough for even a layperson to read and understand. As pointed out in an earlier section, readability is determined by the length of words and sentences.
Q6.Explain the advantages of oral communication with the help of suitable
Ans: Oral communication has some advantages compare to written communication. These includes its personal quality, high interactivity, possibility of making immediate contact, instantaneous feedback and control over the receiver’s attention.
Oral communication was also classified into oral face-to-face communication and oral non face-to-face communication. While face-to-face meetings are more effective than non face-to-face communication in most ways, they are expensive and impractical sometimes, due to the distance factor. Thanks to technology, meetings today can take place without being face-to-face, through teleconferencing. Teleconferencing allows participants at distant locations to speak and sometimes to see each other. Apart from the high cost and
the difficulty in setting it up, teleconferencing has the same advantages as oral face-to-face communication.
➢ Many multi-national corporations and large Indian organizations also use this facility extensively.
➢ Several retailers like Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, make use of teleconferencing to keep their US headquarters in touch with their store managers worldwide.
➢ Telephone communication , another form of non face-to-face communication, has the biggest advantage of being able to contact a receiver who would be impossible to reach in person.