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Old 28-07-2011, 10:08 AM
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Exclamation Business communication


1. COMMUNICATION

You have impressions about people around you. The man who delivers the gas cylinder, to the sales person or a market survey person who comes at knocking at your door seeking your time, or the officials at various points of interaction – be it the local telecom shop who enables your mobile phone, or the person who collects the bill. We are all communicating all the time, and forming impressions about the individuals and through them the organization.



1.1 WHY IS COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT?

Communication has been called the life-blood of an organization. Without it, little would be achieved. Until machines or robots take over from us entirely at work, therefore, we will need to communicate with each other in order to do our individual jobs. Even then we would need humans to be programming them. In a sense, then, communicating is sharing.

We also communicate with each other because using each other as a resource is the most effective way of running any organization. It has taken managements many years to recognize that people who do the day-to-day tasks in a company are likely to know more about that work than anyone else. Involving them, and hearing what they have to say, is therefore crucial.

More importantly, communicating with people is recognizing their worth as human beings. In a business setting, this means that we value people not merely as 'role people' but as 'whole people'. It is in everyone's interests that we all develop and make use of our varied skills, interests, and Insights. Everyone, including the company, ultimately benefits.

The quality of communication in an organization will affect staff motivation and job satisfaction, their sense of commitment and energy, and their performance and productivity. Staff will react to the 'climate' in the organization - and the main contributing factor to this climate is managers' values and styles.

A corporate philosophy that believes in openness, and in using all the human potential within its metaphorical four walls rests on, and must by definition be sustained by, good communications - upward, downward, and horizontal. Everyone must be involved and must be encouraged not only to communicate in all directions, but also to listen and be prepared to receive feedback.

1.2 WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?

Communication is about conveying 'messages' to others: it is both a 'process' (how do I communicate) and a 'content' (what do I communicate), though in fact they are often inseparable.

Two definitions encapsulate the simplest notions of communication:
1. Communication is social interaction through messages.
The word 'interaction' focuses on a vital ingredient: the opportunity for feedback, without which there is no real communication.

Only by checking back, asking for clarification, and feeding back one's own interpretations and understanding, are we truly communicating (see Figure 20.1); the alternative is a monologue. This 'Interaction' involves three elements: the' use of language (our prime, but not sole means of communicating with one another), our behaviour, and other symbols (e.g. status symbols that also communicate).

The 'message' is the content: that is, what we are trying to convey, and what we inadvertently convey.

2. Communication is about creating shared meaning and understanding.
By communicating - interacting - we are creating an opportunity to share our view of something with others and to hear about their views. We are building a common understanding.

It gives us the opportunity to ensure that our words in particular, but also our behaviour, are not misunderstood or misinterpreted, as can so easily happen.
For example, a shrug of the shoulders, or the use of a word such as 'responsibility', can be open to many interpretations.





1.3 WHY COMMUNICATION IS NOT SIMPLE
No organization is a gathering of homogeneous people. It is a mix of employees with different backgrounds and different levels of education. They bring to work different abilities and aspirations.

Their past experiences differ, as do their present needs. Each performs a different job - exciting and demanding, or mundane and routine. Each plays a different role in the company, and views events and information from a different perspective and angle.

Each will therefore require slightly different information/communication, in different forms and at different times. One of a manager's main jobs is to understand and cater for these differences.

1.4 YOUR JOB IS ABOUT COMMUNICATING

It is by talking and listening that managers get most of their work done.
You have to talk most of the time, and mostly face to face. Communicating is a vital part of anybody’s job. You are in fact, at the hub of a communication network.

Each contact made by you requires a differing form of communication. What you say to your colleagues, superiors, the language in which it is couched, where and how it is conveyed, will differ from what you say to subordinates or to other colleagues. The nuances are endless.

In order to perform the variety of roles that are required, you need various communication skills:
  • Can you express yourselves clearly;
  • Can you mix well with people
  • Are you a good listener
  • Are you supportive, persuasive; above all, to be fair and open, and to be prepared to talk to everyone around you.
  • Are you able to manage the complex web of communications that surrounds you


1.5 MANAGING YOUR COMMUNICATIONS?

Communicating encompasses how we relate and interact, and how we behave and speak. It concerns what we say and to whom, how we say it, and how we convey it. This includes what 'form' we use - the spoken or written word - and what 'medium' we use - a meeting or a memo.

When you read a newspaper, internet or watch televisions news, they follow a system of series of unstated 'questions' that they ask themselves when writing an everyday story with the right ingredients. These are: who, why, where, when, what - commonly known as the five Ws.

These same five Ws apply to all communications. If you, as a manager, bear them in mind, no matter what communication you are involved with, you will have a useful set of guidelines.

There is; however, a sixth question to remember: how. Do I, for instance, communicate with my staff at a meeting, or by means of a memo? REMEMBER -- ‘the medium is the message’, or at least an important part of it. And what does my language and behaviour communicate?

In everyday life the six questions are interlinked and inseparable: who you are communicating with determines what you will communicate, how and possibly even where.

1.5.1 Who you are communicating with?
In everyday life, a conversation with our grandmother or our child will differ from one with a friend in the office, club, or other places. The same is true in an organization. The 'whos' in organizations will vary on a number of dimensions:

Who are they?
What is their position in the organization? Are they senior managers, supervisors, clerks or secretaries? This will begin to tell us about their needs, their interests, their level of knowledge, the questions they may ask us, the detail we need to give them, the language to use with them. In other words, every bit of organizational information has to be 'translated' to suit their needs, to be made relevant to them in their work or their position.

What is their role?
Are they from sales, production, personnel, research, finance, advertising?
Again, their needs will vary and will be geared to their specific roles, activities, and perspective - for example, to produce more, save money, or ensure good working conditions.

Are they all from your own department?
Then at least they probably all speak the same or similar internal language or jargon. But that is still no guarantee that they will be interested in the same detail or angle. How many different 'whos' are you communicating with at anyone particular time (e.g. at a meeting or when writing a report)? lf many, you need to tell your story in different ways - while ensuring it is still the same story. You may even have to run several separate meetings, or prepare additional separate written pieces. Your awareness of people's differing needs, and being prepared to cater for them, is a powerful message to those you communicate with.

1.5.2 Why are we communicating?
'Why?' is a vague question, not precise enough to elicit specific information.
A more fruitful way is to ask: What has 'prompted' the need to communicate, and what 'outcome' am I seeking? In organizations, any communication has a final purpose or 'outcome'. Something has to be done, or achieved (e.g. a particular task has to be performed, to ensure delivery of an item). That outcome has itself usually been 'prompted' by something happening - or not, as the case may be. To continue our simple example, delays are being caused in another department.

Thus 'why we communicate' has two parts to it: a prompt, and a required outcome. Between them, the prompt and the outcome tell us what the 'task' of our communication is. It may be to teach, persuade, suggest, inform, motivate, establish good rapport with, and so on.

Knowing what our task is, we can then decide 'how' best to go about it, that is, what medium to use: a memo, a training session, a pep talk, or greater involvement in the work of the department (see Figure 20.4).

We should also remember that when we communicate with someone in our organization on a work issue, the main outcome is an organizational one.
Managers who observe this point are more likely to be fair in their interactions with others than managers who 'personalize' these organizational relationships.

This is not to deny that we often have 'hidden agendas' when we communicate.
The attractive man in the marketing department may be able to help me with my task, but I may also be interested in getting to know him better for other reasons! Nothing wrong in that

But I need to bear in mind that the organizational outcome is the one that dictates our communication, even when the marketing man has abandoned me for someone else.

1.5.3 Where will you communicate?
Where will you be communicating: in a one-to-one encounter, in a lecture hall, in your room, in the office, factory, outside, at a meeting?
Will the encounter be formal or informal?
Will the other party to the interaction take notice of your 'communication'?
Will they be prepared or caught unawares?

The answers to these questions will have implications not only for 'what' you can communicate, but also 'how' you communicate it. A personal reprimand on the shop floor, or by memo, is less likely to achieve the desired effect than a face-to-face meeting in a quiet room. The 'task' gives us clues about where we can best communicate.

1.5.4 When will you communicate?
Rumour and the grapevine travel with an amazing speed and efficiency - with implications for managers. Get there first, or at least respond to them fast and honestly. We come back to management style and philosophy.

Not having time is used as a frequent excuse for not communicating. Yet not communicating is itself a powerful form of communication. It conveys messages about how unimportant the person not being communicated with is, how undervalued and mistrusted, and how important and scarce the information is ('information is power').

It also sends messages about the degree of commitment there is in the organization to 'open communication', in spite of all the protestations in corporate mission statements and board pronouncements.

1.5.5 How shall I communicate?
Put simply, 'You can't not communicate'. Virtually everything we do when in the company of others communicates something to them. So, considering the five questions posed in the preceding sections, and creating the most appropriate 'communication', is a considerable step in the direction of good communications.

But there is obviously more to it than that. There are two further elements you have to consider: what 'medium' to use; and what impression you yourself give to others.

1.6 COMMUNICATIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

While Communication is the giving and receiving of feedback between individuals and/or groups for the purpose of exchanging information. Business communication is the giving and receiving of feedback between individuals and/or groups for the purpose of exchanging information and altering or enhancing performance.

1.7 TYPES OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

There are four categories of Business Communication, as follows:
1. Job or task-related Without it, individual jobs and tasks would not get done.
2. Organizational/work-related Relevant, but not immediately vital, and the result of a cross-fertilization of ideas, which sparks off thoughts, and leads to developments or changes.
3. lntegrational involving people in the larger 'whole' of an organization, its values, vision and sense of purpose.
It adds a perspective and meaning to their work, and gives them a greater sense of commitment.
4. Housekeeping Less job-, and more people- and place-related: who has moved where, who has joined, how the canteen is being renovated, an office party.

Be clear about which category any particular communication falls into, for each of these four should be conveyed by different means. It is a strange (but authentic) organization that one day used a memo to communicate the introduction of a new computer system which would revolutionize everyone's work, and the next week used the same medium to ask employees not to throw orange peel into wastepaper bins.

Returning to the four categories:
The first type would involve face-to-face communication, or possibly memo.
The second would occur at meetings, and through other two-way communications (e.g. suggestions schemes), or focused and thought provoking articles in a company newspaper.
The third possibly through the well-written and thoughtful articles in a company newspaper but, crucially, backed up by everyday attitudes and behaviour, and further enhanced through training and other face to-face communications.
The last by notice board, or in a section in the company newspaper

By thinking about, and carefully deciding, what to communicate and to whom - provided you have assessed your recipient and his or her interests correctly - you are conveying your own understanding and sensitivity to your listener/recipient.

1.8 WHAT MEDIUM TO USE?
There are a number of different way of communicating, as follows:

Orally One-to-one;
Small groups; committees; larger meetings; telephone; training sessions
Writing
Letter; memo; note; report; research study; notice board; text on a computer screen.
Visually
Using a variety of visual materials when writing or speaking (e.g. charts, diagrams, photographs, and film or video)

You can thus vary your communication.
But you need to ask a number of questions.
  • How important is the information?
  • Which is the best or most appropriate means for the task in hand?
  • Should the recipient be given the opportunity to respond, or ask questions?
  • Can the information you want to convey be sufficiently simplified and clarified to be passed on by the written word?
  • Or is it more important or complex and therefore better conveyed orally, giving your recipients the chance to ask for clarification?

It is not possible in a short space to discuss which medium is most appropriate for each occasion. But there is one simple test which will help: ask yourself which you would prefer yourself, if you were in the position of being a listener/receiver of the item you are planning to 'communicate'.

If you have questions to ask, then the medium you need to use is a two-way, face-to-face one, rather than a written one.

The catch, however, is that as a manager you are likely to be more comfortable with the written word than some of the other people with whom you deal and communicate. Your own preference in this case should be carefully considered.
Is your audience as literate as you?

lf you opt for a face-to-face setting, you still have to decide whether a larger, more formal meeting is best, or a small discussion group. And that depends on whether the issue in hand is one which would benefit from a discussion, or whether it merely involves you imparting information.

The importance and the intention
The importance of the communication will to a large extent dictate the medium. The 'intention' or task will also dictate the medium. It is not possible, for instance, to motivate individuals by writing to them. The issue is too complex, needing insights into what motivates them, and why they are demotivated. You can only find this out by having some form of two-way communication.

The 'channel'
Do you wish to communicate something to everyone?
Will you do this by meeting people Individually, or in a group?
Or will you inform representatives, who then pass on the information?
And if you choose the latter, will the information get distorted en route?
And will it matter?


2.1 Communicating with them

You cannot blame someone for not knowing what you haven’t told them, and you cannot blame someone for perceiving what you have told them in a way that you did not mean to convey.

We acquire Information designed to persuade, to modify or accept, educate, we integrate attitudes. If the recipient gets all the information, but doesn’t get the message, who is a fault, because communication, contrary to popular belief, is not an easy accomplishment using easily acquired common skills.

We don’t really know very much about what happens to an idea as it travels from one’s lips to another’s ears, from one’s actions to another’s eyes, and from one’s pen to another’s senses. Yet we all have the need and the urge to Communicate. We are, In fact, always communicating whether we want to or not, like it or not, good or bad.

Your friendliness, your attitude, your understanding and intelligence, are usually apparent to others at least, apparently apparent whether your communication written or spoken, unwritten or unspoken, People will get to know you.

2.2 HOW PEOPLE DISCOVER YOU
They will discover you in four basic ways:

1. How you look, the way you dress and comb your hair; how you keep your nails; your personal hygiene: how you dress and how you maintain your wardrobe; your personal grooming in general and, as art extension of how you look, how your workplace or space looks neat and orderly, sloppy and disorganized, or a little bit of each,

2. How you act, the way you respond to various people various situations and circumstances, i.e., your superiors, your peers, your subordinates, your friends, your relatives, acquaintances, et al; your actions, your attitudes your habits and even your manners how you eat, how you sit, how you stand and even how you walk.

3. How you speak what you say and how you say it and, more important what they think you’re saying and how they think you’ll saying it and what they think you mean; one-on-one, within or to group, at a meeting, over the telephone; your voice tone, inflection pronunciation and the words you choose, spell Y-O-U.

4. How you write letters, notes memos, essays, compositions, reports.

How you write is perhaps the most important of the four ways that people get to know about you. Unlike how you look ore’ or speak the written word is a record, evidence, in someone’s else’s file. It can be read and reread. It can be studied. It can be, factually thrown back In your face.

If you change your looks, you look great! Lose some weight?
your old look will soon be forgotten. If you improve your manners, your social graces or the tone of your voice, it will soon be having always been what is now perceived as that flew, improved you.

But your writing stays on and on in that letter file, memo book, or as a bundle of letters lied together with ribbon testimony to your writing ability be it for style, grammar, or content.

How you write is just about as important as what you write.
It’s a benchmark of your intelligence. The way we write and talk to each other how we sound, the words we use, the tenor of our written communications can make or ‘break our careers and our interactions and interrelationships with them.

Our peers superiors, and subordinates: our clients patients, customers; our suppliers, merchants, service people our publics.

If each of us could communicate perfectly; if we could understand each other perfectly: If each of us were in the perfect mindset to accept each message as we receive it; if each of us were free of prejudices, predispositions proclivities, and predilections, there would be few problems In our world. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Consequently, we must continually try to understand the various aspects and nuances of communication, the basic process-of communicating, and the inherent dangers in the transmission and reception of messages.

Before we tackle the four areas of your communication looks actions, speaking, and writing all of which impact forcefully upon your overall image as a person and through that of your organization, let us think about communications In general.

The principles and techniques of communication are relatively constant, but their application changes depending on the focus and the targeted recipient,

Just about every minute of every day we are communicating In one way or another. We are speaking or listening. We read and we write. We are seeing or being seen. We are acting or reacting. We are sending or receiving messages.

Communication is a powerful tool that can stimulate emotions. Even silence or Inaction is communicating. They are forms of communication we can easily avoid. The kin of silence. no comment,” can also be avoided. “No comment” is indeed a comment. Avery dangerous comment is like giving someone a blank check. He or she will speculate or Imply or generate doubt.

You should have no one sully your ideas or thoughts because they did not know them, or because they misunderstood them, or misinterpreted them. We must strive to transfer the picture in our head to their head effectively.

2.3 The Transmission of Ideas

Communication is the transmission of an Idea from one person or group to another person or group by various means of transmission.

How do we transfer an idea, a thought, an emotion, a feeling, from one head into another? Let me see of I can get this idea from my head into yours in such a way that the result will be an identical picture in each of our minds. The originator of the idea, or his/her agent, wants to communicate the information to others.

The idea can take the form of a new dress or hairdo, the acquisition of a new skill, the formulation of a new method, the explanation of an actual or perceived error, or thousands of other ideas, concepts, beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, opinions, Impressions, notions, vagaries, or fantasies.

How will the idea be communicated? Will the sender wear the new outfit, describe it vocally, or write about it? She, or he, might do all three.

Whether it is by memo, letter, or other ‘written missive; a telephone call, personal visit, or shouting across a backyard fence; a newspaper story or an advertisement, a brochure, a slide presentation, or a video cassette; the sender is sending his message to the receiver so that the receiver will interpret what he has seen, heard, or read. In such away that the picture formed in his head is a precise duplicate of the picture formed in the sender’s head.

That is easier said than done.

Multiple receivers of the same message may get slightly different or radically different perceptions of the same message, depending on the state of the receiver’s P-factor, and on the relationship of the sender and the receiver.

If the sender and receiver share a common experience, a common background or friendship, it becomes easier to communicate, and communication gets closer to, but still doesn’t reach, perfection.

No matter what medium you choose to communicate your ideas, thoughts, or concepts; no matter to which of your receiver’s senses you want to appeal, there are three things you must know and I! consider before you draft and package your message for transmission.

Consider these road .blocks to effective communicating.

2.4 Twelve “Roadblocks” To communication
2.4.1. CensorshIp;
2.4.2. Absence of a clear purpose;
2.4.3. Audience not clearly defined;
2.4.4. Faulty language selection;
2.4.5. Conflict of message and action;
2.4.6. Lack of semantic knowledge;
2.4.7. Faulty arrangement;
2.4.8. Choosing the wrong channel;
2.4.9. Unattractive packaging;
2.4.10. Bad timing;
2.4.11. Lack of useful Information
2.4.12. Incorrect premises or assumptions.

Let us examine my viewpoint of each as they might pertain to your business communication, both as a sender and as a receiver of Information.

2.4.1. Censorship

Natural censorship exists when distance, language barriers, or mental capacity isolate your from their information or they from your messages. This can be a physical distance, froth the second floor to the penthouse, or across the country to the home office; a language barrier that is merely a result of scientific or “lnsider” jargon: a mental capacity that may be just an Inability to read a financial statement or a technical report; or a combination of one or more of these obstacles.
Each can be surmounted by education yours or theirs.

(Artificial censorship occurs when someone stops or alters someone else’s message.’) Regarding one’s personal communications this could occur when one’s actions are controlled (you will not partake of alcoholic beverages with lunch and return to the office), or one’s looks are regulated (required dress is a dark blue suit, white shirt and subbued color/patterned tie), or one’s words are restrained (if you cannot say good things about this company you should not be working here). These three examples might seem to be exceptions but they are the rule in three American corporations.

If you cannot send the message you wish to send; if you cannot modify your message to conform to authority while still transmitting your thoughts; you have to reconcile yourself to the situation, or move to another school, neighborood, company, etc., which will1 afford you the total freedom you desire.

Surely, If you had suddenly developed a pechant for loud, showy, uninhibited clothes, after wearing conservative three-piece suits for many years, it might not be unexpected or unreasonable for your employer, a staid investment banking firm, to exert censorship of your message.

2.4.2. Absence of a clear purpose

Whether your message Is being sent In writing, or by your actions, or appearance, or your voice, you should have a clear purpose for sending it. Are you performing to get a positive response? Are you changing your performance to change a neutral or negative response into one that Is positive? Are you attempting to educateexplaining, clarifying, Justifying your performance to neutralize or make positive a negative response?

The purpose of your message might involve a facet of your job performance, a business / workplace relationship, a personal, relationship, or a combination of several of these purposes.

Your purpose may be as simple as showing your genuine concern for another (better communicated than kept to yourself), as normal as letting others know you have a master’s degree (by hanging it on your office wall), or as complex as explaining to a group of friends that you can only get two complimentary tickets to a production that your school Is staging.

The Important thing to remember— If the purpose of your message is not clear in your mind, chances are it won’t be clear to them either,

2.4.3. Audience not clearly defined

You had better know, even picture, your receiver or receivers correctly, because this obstacle can get laier and larger, almost insurmountable, in direct proportion to that knowledge. The less you know about your receiver’s personality, character, likes and dislikes, Interests, needs wants, concerns, the more trouble you can get Into. The bottom line — Define your audience (he / she or them), before you compose, package, or send your message.

2.4.4. Faulty language selection

After clearly defining our audience we choose the wrong words or looks or actions to transmit our message, we have failed. Not the obvious speaking English to a foreigner who doesn’t, wearing loud sports clothes to the office, or being the life of the party when there Is no party but the subtle, almost Imperceptible misses, such as words, Images, and sounds that put different pictures in the receiver’s head than the one in the sender’s head.

Think carefully about your receiver’s ability to understand words, or actions, and what words and what actions. Would you deliver the same worded message about nuclear energy to a group of fourth graders as you would to high school seniors? Would you engage a rock group for a senior citizens’ dance? I remember reading about a kindergarten teacher’s method for reminding herself everyday about her charges. She had a small sign on her desk — Think Small.”

These are simple examples. Most of yours are more complex and require more thought before you speak or write or act. Do it!

2.4.5. Conflict of message and action

If your message says you are a kind, considerate, feeling, human being, but you kick the dog as you leave the building, and burn rubber getting out of the parking lot, then your message, it goes without saying, will not be credible or believed when received by the same audience.

“Actions speak louder than words,” may be a bromidic saying or an old adage, but action is a strong means of communication, and does indeed carry more weight than words when there Is a conflict between them. If you don’t believe that, try to convince your boss you’re working hard when he can see you’re hardly working.

In any case, you cannot transmit different messages, in different mediums of communication, to the same receivers. IL Is inconsistent, unbelievable, and confusing. You wouldn’t do it on purpose. No one would do it on purpose. Don’t do it without thinking. Guard against it.

2.4.6. Lack of semantic language

Carefully... carefully... select the right word so the meaning, connotation, or shading can not be misunderstood. Some argue that there are really no exact synonyms; that there can be no exact equivalence of meanings In the total range of contents in which a word may be used, i.e., we accompany our peers, follow our leader, escort someone who needs protection, and chaperone those who require supervision. When in doubt consult a dictionary, or better yet, a thesaurus.

If you can’t find a substitute for a questionable word that may possibly transmit the wrong picture, be misinterpreted or misperceived, use a substitute term or phrase. Spell it out If you have to, but do transmit your message as close as possible to the original — the one in your head. You want to communicate with the receivers of your message; you do not want to offend, confuse, disturb, or rile them.

2.4.7. Faulty arrangement


When you do not arrange words, or sentences, or phrases in the proper sequence, you can create problems. Don’t bury your idea In a torrent of verbosity (unless that is the purpose of your message). Don’t place the emphasis In the wrong place. Don’t make your thoughts difficult to follow logically from one premise to another. Be careful of such juxtapositions as: “Are you fully aware of the boredom prevalent in our organization? I’ll be stopping by next week to talk to you.”

2.4.8 Choosing the wrong channel

Each means of communication at your disposal has strengths and weaknesses. At any given time, In any given circumstance, one may be more appropriate than another. Only you can decide, in any given situation, which method will be more effective for the delivery of your message. Is a letter more appropriate or effective than a short note? If you would rather not have a written record of your thoughts or opinions, would a telephone call suffice? How about one-on-one conversation?

2.4.9. Unattractive packaging

To write a better letter, essay, report,. or memo; to Improve your manners and social graces; to dress and groom yourself for success; and to speak more, effectively get yourself an expert. There are many available at your local public library.

2.4.10. Bad timing

You know your receiver or receivers, what you want to transmit to him or her or them and why. You have prepared and packaged your message carefully. You’ve checked it and rechecked it and rewrote it, or rehearsed it, until it is perfect. You have chosen your channel or medium carefully and skillfully. But your message falls flat on its face. It could be bad timing.

When it comes to timing you do the best you can. After that you take your chances along with the rest of us.

2.4.11. Lack of useful Information


We are bombarded with messages every day by mail, telephone,.
In person, television, radio, and newspapers so much so that we become selective, sometimes overly selective, we learn to tune out; in our heads, tv and radio commercials; scan newspaper stories and advertisements; speed read our mail (especially what many cat “junk mail; and we can listen on the telephone with half an ear— UNLESS something In the message grabs our attention almost immediately because It addresses our Interests, says it will help us attain our goals, or promises us a benefit If we just listen to and assimilate the message. . .

Just because you are excited and enthusiastic about your idea, you cannot assume that they will be, too. It is safer to assume that they will lack the same excitement or enthusiasm unless you can win the contest for their attention.

Experienced and skilled advertising copywriters address themselves to their consumers and communicate with them by providing useful Information. So should you.

2.4.12. Incorrect premises or assumptions

You must try to keep your receiver from making assumptions. You must try to keep the viewer from forming a negative opinion when he or she first meets you... when he hears you speak. When he reads your writing you try to keep him from scanning the first paragraph or two, forming a negative Impression, and then reading the rest (If he reads it at all) with prejudice permeating his mind. This will be easier to do If you’ve done your homework so you can act from strength knowledge is strength — Instead of having to read solely by intuition.
Mind you, acting intuitively is fine. If you are blessed with comprehension without the effort of reasoning — and much of intuition is a result of our inner computer spitting out the experiences, mistakes, successes, goofs, failures, gems, and errors that we have programmed into It.

Just think of the potential of your image when you have to interact with that special person if you can combine your intuition with adequate research and good communication skills.



3.1 Ten Psychological Considerations

Ah! If communicating with them were so simple! You can avoid each of the twelve “roadblocks” to communication, even having the luck to avoid “bad hung.” And then you only have to contend with psychological factors. Here are ten of them.

Ten psychological considerations involved in communications:

3.1.1. The spread of rumors is directly related to audience predispositions; rumors tend to be heard by people to whom they are congenial: they are changed into more personally satisfactory forms; and they are best countered by the circulation of objective information that is not explicitly tied to the rumor itself. This may be countered, not with denial, but by the circulation of objective Information the truth with, If necessary, a coat of varnish that is not explicitly tied to the rumor itself.

3.1.2. People are especially likely to seek out congenial Information on a controversial matter just after corning to a decision on that matter.

We are people, and people like to reinforce their beliefs. If you can agree with his or her decision on a controversial matter, do so. lfyou cannot, it may pay you to keep quiet, or, at least, know what you are getting Into.

In noncontroversial matters you have the opportunity to engage In a little friendly debate, a way for you to project your personality and learn a little more about his. If you must disagree In the course of your work performance, a little tact and diplomacy can go a long way.

The point is, if you are fully aware of this psychological aspect, you can use it to your advantage.

3.1.3. People Interested in a topic tend to follow it in the medium that gives it the fullest and most faithful treatment. If you are the topic, and the medium is small talk around the water cooler or In the company cafeteria, that is where it will be nurtured or quashed, depending on your response. If it’s a rumor, again you can use the truth of objective Information that indirectly refutes it.

If it is the truth, and negative, you have the option of educating to neutralize the negative, or even turn It into a positive response, or you have the option of changing the performance (even If it is only changing the visible aspect) so that it is no longer the subject of negative talk.

3.1.4. Anticipating subsequent use Increases retention, even of uncongenial material.

If you hear a good argument for or against a position you take, and foresee a future debate with a colleague, you will remember these bits of data. You may want to buttress what you are saying with a statistic or two that could be valuable for your receiver to remember along with what you have been saying. This approach can strengthen your position.

3.1.5. Strong appeals to fear are less effective than minimal appeals to fear.

A strong threat may cause you to balk, or to submit without changing your attitude. A mild threat may cause you to rethink your whole situation and decide to change your opinion or conduct of your own accord. Now reread his statement and change you to them and your to their and make it twice as applicable. It works both ways — a strong threat by you, or to you.

3.1.6. Presenting only the favored side of an argument is more effective than presenting both sides in persuading less educated audiences and in reinforcing the already persuaded. Presenting both sides is more effective with the better educated and the opposition and is more effective as innoculation against subsequent propaganda. Simply put, it is again knowing your receiver or recievers.

That will tell you whether to present both sides or only the favored side of an argument. The reverse of this coin is —what is being presented to you? The answer in either case is important to your and your organizations image.

3.1.7. The higher the education, the greater the reliance on print: the lower the education, the greater the reliance on radio and television.

Many people prefer to get it in writing. If it’s an important message for an important target, research will reveal the best way to package your message. If it is not important to get every edge” you can get, then you can trust your intuitive judgment.

3.1.8. People tend to misperceive and misinterpret persuasive communications In accordance with their own predispositions, by evading the message or by distorting it in a favorable direction.

(Witness the stated skepticism of intelligent smokers against the findings of cancer specialists. Note how grade-school children will misquote their teacher if they can turn this teacher’s remark into a more favorable suggestion.

The teacher tells the children: Don’t do your homework at all if you are going to turn it this messy!” The children tell their parents that the teacher says they don’t have to do any homework.

The tendency or Inclination for people to... believe or not believe, understand or not understand, agree or disagree in advance to hearing arguments for or against Why? Research It in them use it or guard against it... but, above all, be aware of predisposition (or the other five P’s) in any person who can affect your welfare.

3.1.9. In cases where the audience approves of the communicator, but disapproves of his conclusions, it tends to disassociate the source from the content.

You must always be careful in “it’s your word against mine” situations. Do your homework if you are to be an adversary if you want an edge. Or If you just want to be careful In building and maintaining your P.P.R

3.1.10 Arousing audience predispositions in favor of the intended. message early In a communication will Increase the likelihood that the message will be accepted and decrease the chances of later attrition.

This explains why speeches, letters, and articles should get off to a good start. If you alienate an audience at the outset, or leave them with the impression that you don’t know the topic, it is virtually impossible to reroute their thinking.

None of your audiences the receiver(s) of your message has a perfectly clear, objective mind. Rather, it is cluttered with the sum of all his or her or their experiences. This clutter can present stumbling blocks to our effectively communicating with them,

And there are other factors which can hinder the seemingly simple processes of transmitting your messages to them — the six P’s.

3.2 Consider The Six P’s




In communications; please consider what I call the Six P’s that will Impact on the reception of your messages as they enter the minds of your receiver(s).

3.2.1 Predisposition is the tendency or Inclination to thaw conclusions, to be influenced by previous experience, knowledge, or familiarity, even to the point of prejudice or bias for or against something or someone, before the facts are known.

It is a tendency to hear what we want to hear, see what we want to see, believe what we want to believe.
Many times, in fad, people will make up their minds and then look for evidence to support their position or beliefs.
His experience with the legal profession predisposed him to endorse (or not endorse) the candidate.

3.2.2. Proclivity Is the natural Inclination of people for some thing, some one, or some performance, While it is a natural inclination, it can be nurtured or used. She has a proclivity for Wouldn’t you like to know?

3.2.3. Perception Is a tendency to see what we would like to see. It is therefore what people think they see, hear, understand, conclude, recognize, distinguish and discern. More important to be aware of What he or she perecives to be your Image is your Image to him or her.

3.2.4. Predilection Is a person’s preference, partiality, fondness, or desire for some thing, or some one, or some performance or action. He had a prediliction for tail, blond women— which you should know if you’re a petite brunette.

3.2.5. Preconception is an idea or opinion formed or conceived in advance of acquiring full information.

3.2.6. Prejudice is a judgment or opinion, often unfavorable, formed without good reason, often on Insufficient and subjective knowledge, of people, situations, or issues. No examples are necessary. If the public Is an Important one, seek the knowledge. You can use a person’s natural inclinations, correct a misconception, provide a better example, educate, even change a perception.


Perception can Impact greatly on our, communications on the reception of our messages. Awareness is the key. The following fundamentals may help you to understand how and why others perceive your messages as they do; they may help you to understand others Just a little bit better,

3.3 Fifteen Fundaments of Perception




1. Your perception is a highly subjective matter. So Is his.
2. Your perception Is highly selective. So Is hers.
3. Perception is the characteristic that accounts for Individual differences. And Individuals add up to them.
4. Neither you nor he will see things exactly in the same way, or in the same exact way.
5. Your or his or her perception is your or his or her interpretation of some excitation of one of your senses a stimulus.
6. People (we and they) tend to fill in the gaps to complete 14 something that appears to be Incomplete.
7. Each person thinks, feels, and sees something based on each of their individual experiences.
8. People gain new perceptions only through new experiences.
9. How he or she perceives another person depends in large part by what he or she expects to see In that person.
1O.You or he will see things differently at different times and in different situations and circumstances.
11. His or her or your self-Image will depend a lot on what he or she or you see/sees.
12. You people will tend to simplify things you do not understand others are often barriers to effectively communicating with each other.
13. Your (his or her) emotional reaction to the actions of others are often barriers to effectively communicating with each other.
14. People, many times, see things, not the way they are, but as they want them to be.
15. You have learned to see things as you do. So did they.

All of the standards, rules, and principles, and the like, are merely guides whose prime purpose is to make you aware of the difficulties we encounter as we try to communicate. And awareness is the foundation tort of effective communication.

Communication is basic to our everyday existence. Recognition of the power of effective communication is power in itself. It has been so since even before Plato wrote in his Dialogs:

What is there greater than the word which persuades the judges on the courts, or the Senators in the Council, or the citizens in the assembly, or at any other political meeting? If you have the power of uttering this word, you will have the physician your slave, and the trainer your slave, and the money maker of whom you talk will be found to gather treasures, not for himself, but for you who are able to speak and to persuade the multitude.”

Last edited by usmanstar; 28-07-2011 at 10:27 AM.
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