Business Communication Assignment Submitted By: Ajit Kumar K (F-214) Amit Gupta (Ph. D 10/03) Manoranjan Kumar (F-179) Indushree Gokak (F-106) Sumedha Agarwal (Ph. D 10/01) Nishant Verma(F-182) Ajit Kumar K (F-214) Amit Gupta (Ph. D 10/03) Manoranjan Kumar (F-179) Indushree Gokak (F-106) Sumedha Agarwal (Ph. D 10/01) Nishant Verma(F-182) Table of Contents 7 C’s of effective business communication2 Report9 Negotiations10 Barriers to Communication15 Persuasive letters20 Compare and contrast the eastern and western communication styles26 Corporate Communication31 7 C’s of effective business communication . Completeness – The communication must be complete. It should convey all facts required by the audience. The sender of the message must take into consideration the receiver’s mind set and convey the message accordingly. The sender should answer all the questions and with facts and figures and when desirable, go for extra details. Complete communication not only develops but also enhances and enhances the reputation of an organization. Moreover, they are cost saving as no crucial information is missing and no additional cost is incurred in conveying extra message if the communication is complete.
A complete communication always gives additional information wherever required. It leaves no questions in the mind of receiver. Complete communication helps in better decision-making by the audience/ readers/ receivers of message as they get all desired and crucial information. It is a very effective tool to persuade the audience. For Example- Due to lack of completeness a distributor, when replying to a dealers letter, answered only four of seven questions because the original questions were unnumbered and somewhat buried in five long paragraphs, the respondent apparently overlooked or disregarded three of them.
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The reply, incomplete and unfriendly, caused the distributer to lose the business and goodwill of a potential customer. Bad Example Hi John, I wanted to write you a quick note about Daniel, who’s working in your department. He’s a great asset, and I’d like to talk to you more about him when you have time. Best, Skip What is this email about? Well, we’re not sure. First, if there are multiple Daniels in John’s department, John won’t know who Skip is talking about. Next, what is Daniel doing, specifically, that’s so great? We don’t know that either. It’s so vague that John will definitely have to write back for more information.
Last, what is the purpose of this email? Does Skip simply want to have an idle chat about Daniel, or is there some more specific goal here? There’s no sense of purpose to this message, so it’s a bit confusing. Good Example Let’s see how we could change this email to make it clear. Hi John, I wanted to write you a quick note about Daniel Kedar, who’s working in your department. In recent weeks, he’s helped the IT department through several pressing deadlines on his own time. We’ve got a tough upgrade project due to run over the next three months, and his knowledge and skills would prove invaluable.
Could we please have his help with this work? I’d appreciate speaking with you about this. When is it best to call you to discuss this further? Best wishes, Skip This second message is much clearer, because the reader has the information he needs to take action. Checklist Always Remember the five W’s : Who? What? When? Where? Why? While responding to a letter. Try to answer all questions, i. e. not only the stated question but also the implied question. Give extra information when desirable so that completeness of communication is not compromised. 2. Conciseness – Conciseness means wordiness, i. e. ommunicating what you want to convey in least possible words without forgoing the other C’s of communication. Conciseness is a necessity for effective communication. Concise communication is both time-saving as well as cost-saving. It underlines and highlights the main message as it avoids using excessive and needless words. Concise communication provides short and essential message in limited words to the audience and is more appealing and comprehensible to the audience. It is also non-repetitive in nature. Bad Example Hi Matt, I wanted to touch base with you about the email marketing campaign we kind of sketched out last Thursday.
I really think that our target market is definitely going to want to see the company’s philanthropic efforts. I think that could make a big impact, and it would stay in their minds longer than a sales pitch. For instance, if we talk about the company’s efforts to become sustainable, as well as the charity work we’re doing in local schools, then the people that we want to attract are going to remember our message longer. The impact will just be greater. What do you think? Jessica This email is too long! There’s repetition, and there’s plenty of “filler” taking up space. Good Example When we take out the filler words:
Hi Matt, I wanted to quickly discuss the email marketing campaign that we analyzed last Thursday. Our target market will want to know about the company’s philanthropic efforts, especially our goals to become sustainable and help local schools. This would make a far greater impact, and it would stay in their minds longer than a traditional sales pitch. What do you think? Jessica 3. Consideration – Consideration implies “stepping into the shoes of others”. Effective communication must take the audience into consideration, i. e, the audience’s view points, background, mind-set, education level, etc.
Make an attempt to envisage your audience, their requirements, emotions as well as problems. Ensure that the self-respect of the audience is maintained and their emotions are not at harm. Modify your words in message to suit the audience’s needs while making your message complete. Emphasize on “you” approach as this helps in connecting with the audience. Empathize with the audience and exhibit interest in the audience. This will stimulate a positive reaction from the audience. Show optimism towards your audience. Emphasize on “what is possible” rather than “what is impossible”.
Lay stress on positive words such as jovial, committed, thanks, warm, healthy, help, etc. Example: We-attitude: I am delighted to announce you that we will be extending our hours to make shopping more convenient. You-attitude: You will be able to shop in evenings with the extended hours. 4. Clarity – Clarity implies emphasizing on a specific message or goal at a time, rather than trying to achieve too much at once. Clarity in communication makes understanding easier. It shows complete clarity of thoughts, ideas and enhances the meaning of message. Clear message makes use of exact, appropriate and concrete words. Bad Example Hi John,
I wanted to write you a quick note about Daniel, who’s working in your department. He’s a great asset, and I’d like to talk to you more about him when you have time. Best, Skip What is this email about? Well, we’re not sure. First, if there are multiple Daniels in John’s department, John won’t know who Skip is talking about. Next, what is Daniel doing, specifically, that’s so great? We don’t know that either. It’s so vague that John will definitely have to write back for more information. Last, what is the purpose of this email? Does Skip simply want to have an idle chat about Daniel, or is there some more specific goal here?
There’s no sense of purpose to this message, so it’s a bit confusing. Good Example Let’s see how we could change this email to make it clear. Hi John, I wanted to write you a quick note about Daniel Kedar, who’s working in your department. In recent weeks, he’s helped the IT department through several pressing deadlines on his own time. We’ve got a tough upgrade project due to run over the next three months, and his knowledge and skills would prove invaluable. Could we please have his help with this work? I’d appreciate speaking with you about this. When is it best to call you to discuss this further? Best wishes,
Skip This second message is much clearer, because the reader has the information he needs to take action. 5. Concreteness – Concrete communication implies being particular and clear rather than fuzzy and general. Concreteness strengthens the confidence. Concrete message is supported with specific facts and figures. Concrete messages are not misinterpreted as it makes use of words that are clear and that build the reputation of an individual or an organization. Bad Example Consider this advertising copy: The Lunchbox Wizard will save you time every day. A statement like this probably won’t sell many of these products.
There’s no passion, no vivid detail, nothing that creates emotion, and nothing that tells people in the audience why they should care. This message isn’t concrete enough to make a difference. Good Example How much time do you spend every day packing your kids’ lunches? No more! Just take a complete Lunchbox Wizard from your refrigerator each day to give your kids a healthy lunch AND have more time to play or read with them! This copy is better because there are vivid images. The audience can picture spending quality time with their kids – and what parent could argue with that?
And mentioning that the product is stored in the refrigerator explains how the idea is practical. The message has me alive through these details. 6. Courtesy – Courtesy in message implies the message should show the sender’s expression as well as should respect the receiver. The sender of the message should be sincerely polite, judicious, reflective and enthusiastic. Courtesy implies taking into consideration both viewpoints as well as feelings of the receiver of the message. A Courteous message is positive and focused at the audience. It makes use of terms showing respect for the receiver of message and is not at all biased.
Bad Example Jeff, I wanted to let you know that I don’t appreciate how your team always monopolizes the discussion at our weekly meetings. I have a lot of projects, and I really need time to get my team’s progress discussed as well. So far, thanks to your department, I haven’t been able to do that. Can you make sure they make time for me and my team next week? Thanks, Phil Well, that’s hardly courteous! Messages like this can potentially start office wide fights. And this email does nothing but create bad feelings, and lower productivity and morale. A little bit of courtesy even in difficult situations can go a long way.
Good Example Hi Jeff, I wanted to write you a quick note to ask a favor. During our weekly meetings, your team does an excellent job of highlighting their progress. But this uses some of the time available for my team to highlight theirs. I’d really appreciate it if you could give my team a little extra time each week to fully cover their progress reports. Thanks so much, and please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you! Best, Phil What a difference! This email is courteous and friendly, and it has little chance of spreading bad feelings around the office. 7.
Correctness – Correctness in communication implies that there are no grammatical errors in communication. The message is exact, correct and well-timed. If the communication is correct, it boosts up the confidence level. Correct message has greater impact on the audience/ readers. It implies checking for the precision and accurateness of facts and figures used in the message. It makes use of appropriate and correct language in the message. Bad Example Hi Daniel, Thanks so much for meeting me at lunch today! I enjoyed our conservation, and I’m looking forward to moving ahead on our project.
I’m sure that the two-weak deadline won’t be an issue. Thanks again, and I’ll speak to you soon! Best, Jack Miller There are two errors in this letter; the first error is that the writer accidentally typed conservation instead of conversation. This common error can happen when you’re typing too fast. The other error is using weak instead of week. Again, spell checkers won’t catch word errors like this, which is why it’s so important to proofread everything! Report A report is an objective, impartial and planned presentation of facts to one or more persons for s significant business purpose.
Reports can be of many kinds like Functional Reports, Subject Matter Report, a Formal Report, Frequent Report, etc. There is no prescribed format of report suitable for all the occasions but generally, the main components of a standard report are: 1. Introduction 2. Main Body 3. Termination Introduction Part The main ingredients of introductory part of report are Purpose, Authorization, Sources, Scope, Definitions, Background, Limits, Brief mention of results, List of topics to be discussed. We should omit the title “Introduction”, if the report’s introductory elements are to be stated in one or two short paragraphs at the beginning.
Main Body This is the longest part of the report and should be carefully presented. It contains various details like Elaboration on the problem, Methodology, Data and Analysis, Results and Findings. The main precautions which should be kept in mind in this part are: a) Present all relevant facts accurately and impartially b) Organize your report by the inductive plan or deductive plan c) Emphasize important ideas by showing details, placing them in prominent positions and using stylish means such as capitalization, underscoring, boldface, italics, more space and repetition d) Include visual aids like graphs, tables and pictures ) Use headings to guide the reader through the report f) Use topic sentences for most paragraphs and use an introductory paragraph at the beginning of major section that contains two or more subdivisions g) Apply 7 C’s of effective communication. Termination Section It is basically the summary of your findings and usually contains the conclusion of the report. It may also include your personal recommendations, future plan of actions and propositions. But one point of caution is that it should include any new material. Negotiations
Negotiation is defined as a discussion among individuals to reach to a conclusion acceptable to one and all. It is a process where people rather than fighting among themselves sit together, evaluate the pros and cons and then come out with an alternative which would be a win win situation for all. Sam wanted to purchase a mobile handset, he tried his level best to buy it at the lowest possible rate and the shopkeeper also ensured that he could earn his profits as well. Thus the negotiation benefited Sam who didn’t have to shell out loads of money and the shopkeeper was also satisfied because even he earned his profits.
Negotiation helps in reducing conflicts and disputes among each other. Negotiation is essential in every walk of life for a peaceful and stress free living. Models of negotiation:| | 1. Win Win Model – In this model, each and every individual involved in negotiation wins. Nobody is at loss in this model and everyone is benefited out of the negotiation. This is the most accepted model of negotiation. Let us understand it with the help of an example: Daniel wanted to buy a laptop but it was an expensive model. He went to the outlet and negotiated with the shopkeeper to lower the price.
Initially the shopkeeper was reluctant but after several rounds of discussions and persuasion, he quoted a price best suited to him as well as Daniel. Daniel was extremely satisfied as he could now purchase the laptop without burning a hole in his pocket. The negotiation also benefited the store owner as he could earn his profits and also gained a loyal customer who would come again in future. 2. Win Lose Model – In this model one party wins and the other party loses. In such a model, after several rounds of discussions and negotiations, one party benefits while the party remains dissatisfied.
Please refer to the above example once again where Daniel wanted to buy a laptop. In this example, both Daniel and the store owner were benefited out of the deal. Let us suppose Daniel could not even afford the price quoted by the storeowner and requests him to further lower the price. If the store owner further lowers the price, he would not be able to earn his profits but Daniel would be very happy. Thus after the negotiation, Daniel would be satisfied but the shopkeeper wouldn’t. In a win lose model, both the two parties are not satisfied, only one of the two walks away with the benefit. 3.
Lose Lose Model – As the name suggests, in this model, the outcome of negotiation is zero. No party is benefited out of this model. Had Daniel not purchased the laptop after several rounds of negotiation, neither he nor the store owner would have got anything out of the deal. Daniel would return empty handed and the store owner would obviously not earn anything. In this model, generally the two parties are not willing to accept each other’s views and are reluctant to compromise. No discussions help. Let us understand the above three models with an example from the corporate world. Mike got selected with a multinational firm of repute.
He was called to negotiate his salary with Sara- the HR Head of the organization. Case 1 – Sara quoted a salary to Mike, but Mike was not too pleased with the figure. He insisted Sara to raise his salary to the best extent possible. After discussions Sara came out with a figure acceptable to Mike and she immediately released his offer letter. Mike got his dream job and Sara could manage to offer Mike a salary well within the company’s budgets – A Win win Situation (Both the parties gained) Case 2 – Sara with her excellent negotiation skills managed to convince Mike at a little lower salary than he quoted.
Mike also wanted to grab the opportunity as it was his dream job and he was eyeing it for quite some time now. He had to accept the offer at a little lower salary than expected. Thus in this negotiation, Mike was not completely satisfied but Sara was – A win lose negotiation Case 3 – Mike declined the offer as the salary quoted by Sara did not meet his expectations. Sara tried her level best to negotiate with Mike, but of no use. -A lose lose model of negotiation. Nobody neither Mike nor Sara gained anything out of this negotiation. 4.
RADPAC Model of Negotiation RADPAC Model of Negotiation is a widely used model of negotiation in corporate world. Let us understand it in detail Every alphabet in this model signifies something: R – Rapport A – Analysis D – Debate P – Propose A – Agreement C – Close R – Rapport: As the name suggests, it signifies the relation between parties involved in negotiation. The parties involved in negotiation ideally should be comfortable with each other and share a good rapport with each other. A – Analysis: One party must understand the second party well.
It is important that the individual understand each other’s needs and interest. The shopkeeper must understand the customer’s needs and pocket, in the same way the customer mustn’t ignore the shopkeeper’s profits as well. People must listen to each other attentively. D – Debate: Nothing can be achieved without discussions. This round includes discussing issues among the parties involved in negotiation. The pros and cons of an idea are evaluated in this round. People debate with each other and each one tries to convince the other. One must not lose his temper in this round but remain calm and composed.
P – Propose: Each individual proposes his best idea in this round. Each one tries his level best to come up with the best possible idea and reach to a conclusion acceptable by all. A – Agreement: Individuals come to a conclusion at this stage and agree to the best possible alternative. C – Close: The negotiation is complete and individuals return back satisfied. Let us again consider Mike and Sara’s example to understand RADPAC Model R – Rapport between Mike and Sara. They must be comfortable with each other and should not start the negotiation right away.
They must first break the ice. The discussions must start with a warm smile and greetings. A – Both Mike and Sara would try their level best to understand each other’s needs. Mike’s need is to grab the opportunity while Sara wants to hire an employee for the organization. D – The various rounds of discussions between Mike and Sara. Mike and Sara would debate with each other trying to get what they want. P – Mike would propose the best possible salary he can work on while Sara would also discuss the maximum salary her company can offer.
A – Both Mike and Sara would agree to each other, where both of them would compromise to their best possible extent. C – The negotiation is complete and probably the next course of action is decided, like in this case the next step would be generation of the offer letter and its acceptance. Other negotiation styles Individuals can often have strong dispositions towards numerous styles; the style used during a negotiation depends on the context and the interests of the other party, among other factors. In addition, styles can change over time. 1.
Accommodating: Individuals who enjoy solving the other party’s problems and preserving personal relationships. Accommodators are sensitive to the emotional states, body language, and verbal signals of the other parties. They can, however, feel taken advantage of in situations when the other party places little emphasis on the relationship. 2. Avoiding: Individuals who do not like to negotiate and don’t do it unless warranted. When negotiating, avoiders tend to defer and dodge the confrontational aspects of negotiating; however, they may be perceived as tactful and diplomatic. . Collaborating: Individuals who enjoy negotiations that involve solving tough problems in creative ways. Collaborators are good at using negotiations to understand the concerns and interests of the other parties. They can, however, create problems by transforming simple situations into more complex ones. 4. Competing: Individuals who enjoy negotiations because they present an opportunity to win something. Competitive negotiators have strong instincts for all aspects of negotiating and are often strategic.
Because their style can dominate the bargaining process, competitive negotiators often neglect the importance of relationships. 5. Compromising: Individuals who are eager to close the deal by doing what is fair and equal for all parties involved in the negotiation. Compromisers can be useful when there is limited time to complete the deal; however, compromisers often unnecessarily rush the negotiation process and make concessions too quickly Barriers to Communication Barriers in communication arise due to the fact that no people are exactly alike in the world.
They differ mentally, physically or emotionally. Apart from human differences there are cultural, social and environmental differences which may act as barriers to communication. Each person’s mind is a unique filter. Communication barriers are more pronounced when the communication filters are sharply different. Communication barriers can be at every stage of communication process. Encoding Barriers: The process of selecting and organizing symbols to represent a message requires skill and knowledge. Barriers listed below can interfere with an effective message. 1.
Lack of Sensitivity to Receiver: A breakdown in communication may result when a message is not adapted to its receiver. Recognizing the receiver’s needs, status, knowledge of the subject, and language skills assists the sender in preparing a successful message. If a customer is angry, for example, an effective response may be just to listen to the person vent for a while. 2. Lack of Basic Communication Skills: The receiver is less likely to understand the message if the sender has trouble choosing the precise words needed and arranging those words in a grammatically-correct sentence. . Insufficient Knowledge of the Subject: If the sender lacks specific information about something, the receiver will likely receive an unclear or mixed message. For example, if someone is shopping for an item such as a computer, and experienced how some salespeople can explain complicated terms and ideas in a simple way. Others cannot. 4. Information Overload: If one receives a message with too much information, he/she may tend to put up a barrier because the amount of information is coming so fast that they might have difficulty comfortably interpreting that information.
For example, while selling an item with twenty-five terrific features, salesman generally picks two or three important features to emphasize instead of overwhelming customer’s receiver with an information avalanche, which they can’t really process. 5. Emotional Interference: An emotional individual may not be able to communicate well. If someone is angry, hostile, resentful, joyful, or fearful, that person may be too preoccupied with emotions to receive the intended message. If you don’t like someone, for example, you may have trouble “hearing” them. Transmitting Barriers:
Things that get in the way of message transmission are called “noises. ” Communication may be difficult because of noise and some of these problems: 1. Physical Distractions: A bad cellular phone line or a noisy restaurant can destroy communication. If an E-mail message or letter is not formatted properly, or if it contains grammatical and spelling errors, the receiver may not be able to concentrate on the message because the physical appearance of the letter or E-mail is sloppy and unprofessional. 2. Conflicting Messages: Messages that cause a conflict in perception for the receiver may result in incomplete communication.
For example, if a person constantly uses jargon or slang to communicate with someone from another country who has never heard such expressions, mixed messages are sure to result. Another example of conflicting messages might be if a supervisor requests a report immediately without giving the report writer enough time to gather the proper information. Now report writer has an inner conflict between emphasizing on speed in writing the report, or accuracy in gathering the data. 3. Channel Barriers: If the sender chooses an inappropriate channel of communication, communication may cease.
Detailed instructions presented over the telephone, for example, may be frustrating for both communicators. If you are on a computer technical support help line discussing a problem, it would be helpful for you to be sitting in front of a computer, as opposed to taking notes from the support staff and then returning to your computer station. 4. Long Communication Chain: The longer the communication chain, the greater the chance for error. If a message is passed through too many receivers, the message often becomes distorted.
If a person starts a message at one end of a communication chain of ten people, for example, the message that eventually returns is usually liberally altered. Decoding Barriers: The communication cycle may break down at the receiving end for some of these reasons: 1. Lack of Interest: If a message reaches a reader who is not interested in the message, the reader may read the message hurriedly or listen to the message carelessly. Miscommunication may result in both cases. 2. Lack of Knowledge: If a receiver is unable to understand a message filled with technical information, communication will break down.
Unless a computer user knows something about the Windows environment, for example, the user may have difficulty organizing files if given technical instructions. 3. Lack of Communication Skills: Those who have weak reading and listening skills make ineffective receivers. On the other hand, those who have a good professional vocabulary and who concentrate on listening, have less trouble hearing and interpreting good communication. Many people tune out who is talking and mentally rehearse what they are going to say in return. 4.
Emotional Distractions: If emotions interfere with the creation and transmission of a message, they can also disrupt reception. If you receive a report from your supervisor regarding proposed changes in work procedures and you do not particularly like your supervisor, you may have trouble even reading the report objectively. You may read, not objectively, but to find fault. You may misinterpret words and read negative impressions between the lines. Consequently, you are likely to misunderstand part or all of the report. Responding to Barriers: The communication cycle may be broken if feedback is unsuccessful. 1.
No Provision for Feedback: Since communication is a two-way process, the sender must search for a means of getting a response from the receiver. If a team leader does not permit any interruptions or questions while discussing projects, he may find that team members may not completely understand what they are to do. Face-to-face oral communication is considered the best type of communication since feedback can be both verbal and nonverbal. When two communicators are separated, care must be taken to ask for meaningful feedback. 2. Inadequate Feedback: Delayed or judgmental feedback can interfere with good communication.
If your supervisor gives you instructions in long, compound-complex sentences without giving you a chance to speak, you may pretend to understand the instructions just so you can leave the stress of the conversation. Because you may have not fully understood the intended instructions, your performance may suffer. Facilitators to Communication Each barrier to communication can be turned into facilitator by removing them along with some technique to facilitate communication. Encoding facilitator: Encoder can facilitate communication by keeping in mind the following 1.
Sensitivity to receiver: Encoder should adapt the message to its receiver. Recognizing receiver’s needs, status, knowledge of subject and language skills facilitate communication. 2. Basic Communication skills: Encoder should have clear idea in choosing correct words and arrangement of words in grammatically correct sentence. 3. Sufficient knowledge of subject: Encoder need to have specific information so that receiver can have clear message. 4. Correct level of information: Information should be balanced, not too much or not too less. So that, receiver correctly interpret the message/information. 5.
Non-interference of emotions: Message should be given in emotionally neutral tone so that message is not emotionally laden by encoder. Transmitting facilitator: Ensure that communication is happening in a noise free environment with correct channel of communication and straightforward message. A short communication chain can also act as a facilitator to communication. Decoding facilitators: At the receiver’s end there are following facilitators 1. Interest: Interest of receiver act as a facilitator at decoder’s end. 2. Knowledge: Knowledge level can be facilitator if encoder’s level of knowledge is sufficient to understand message. . Positive Emotion: Receiver’s positive emotional state is a facilitator to communication. Responding Facilitator: Feedback is necessary and act as a facilitator to communication when adequate feedback is given. Body Language: Body language is a strong non-verbal facilitator to communication. Body languages include facial expressions, gestures and postures. Facial expressions: Eyes and face can facilitate communication by conveying emotions – joy, interest, love, sorrow, surprise, anger, fear, enthusiasm and other emotions. Direct eye contact facilitates communication by building trust.
Gestures and Posture: Gestures and postures facilitate communication. Firm handshake shows confidence and promptness and open communication. To show interest listener lean forward towards the speaker, that act as facilitator. When listener shows interest speaker is encouraged and enthused to communicate. Touch can also act as facilitator by conveying friendship, love, anger and other feelings. But, they should be used in context of culture where person is communicating. Some culture sees touch as positive and friendly but in some culture touch can be considered offensive. Persuasive letters
PURPOSE: In a persuasive letter, the writer expresses an opinion about a relevant issue. People write persuasive letters to convince others to think a certain way and/or take an action. Persuasive writing is a type of writing where your main goal is to persuade or convince someone to do something that you want them to do. A form of persuasive writing is a letter written to someone telling him or her a complaint that you have. In order to write a persuasive letter you need to have reasons why the person should do what you are suggesting. You also need reasons why your idea might not be the greatest.
So you basically have reasons from your perspective and from someone who thinks the opposite of you. The difference between negative and positive persuasive letters is the intent. Negative persuasive letters may be a complaint about the lack of service or maintenance or shoddy quality of a product. A positive persuasive letter could be a letter asking a voter to donate to the campaign for the political party of the writer. Both need almost the same structure and elements and characteristics. AUDIENCE: Persuasive letters are written daily to a variety of audiences, including businesses, government officials, parents, and school personnel.
They call for actions which range from voting for or against proposed legislation to replacing a defective product with a new one. While similar to editorials and letters to the editor, persuasive letters differ in that they address a more specific audience than the general readership of a publication. CHARACTERISTICS A good persuasive letter should include most of the following characteristics: * Addresses the appropriate audience (reader), one with the authority to take the action the writer desires * Engages the reader in the first paragraph * Expresses the situation clearly and succinctly Indicates a thorough knowledge of the situation and evidence of deliberation * Acknowledges and addresses the reader’s anticipated point of view * Provides specific details to support the writer’s opinion * Develops ideas through a logical sequence of information * States clearly the outcome the writer desires with suggestions for implementation * Leaves the reader with a vision of why the action desired would be beneficial * Follows business or friendly letter format, depending on the audience STEPS FOR WRITING A PERSUASIVE LETTER
Step 1 – Choose your model in accordance to the situation The letter must target succinctly the situation, current issue, problem, etc which the writer addresses. The writer must be able to translate his opinion into words onto the letter and then substantiate it with proof as is available. He should decide pre-hand the techniques which he may use the persuade the writer, the layout of the text and the arrangement of the information. Care must be taken not to lose track of the situation at hand and the tone of the letter must be carefully decided through the correct words and phrases.
He must also decide on the options for action which the reader will have. Step 2 – State the desired outcome In one sentence, state your opinion on the subject and the outcome you desire. It should not be very outlandish for the reader. Step 3 – Determine and analyze the appropriate audience Writing the letter to the right person is a key factor in achieving the outcome you desire. Letters written to the wrong person often end up in trashcans with no action taken. To help determine the appropriate audience, we should decide who has the right authority and power to take the action we have decided to full effect.
The letter must target only that particular audience so as not to lose it efficacy. Once the audience is identified, we must supplant our discussion with more information regarding the subject. If the reader is well-informed, care must be taken so as to not repeat the same information. What will be the reader’s view point at that particular moment, is also valuable and we must take care not to object him directly. We should carefully choose an approach, find what values or beliefs the reader holds in importance and target those to get his/her attention. Step 4 – Plan the supporting details and information
To determine the kinds of information you might use to develop your ideas and accomplish your tasks, we should select those facts, statistics, examples, or illustrations which will help the reader see the importance of changing his or her position. We should make the reader feel uncomfortable in his present position and negate his counter-arguments and objections. These details must force the reader to action. In a negative letter, it could be a harsh rebuke (though not abusive), whereas in a positive letter it could be an urging asking the reader to attain greater heights by comparison with peers.
Step 5 – Comprehensive Research Often persuasive letters lack substance. Student writers tell how they feel about an issue or situation and what they would like to see done, but they fail to persuade anyone else to share their point of view. In order for persuasive writing to be successful, you need to do the necessary research. You need to find facts and illustrations to support your argument. Also look for ways to address potential concerns/resistance of your reader. This information might come from: 1. Personal experience 2. Other situations or examples from the past or present 3.
Statistical information from surveys or personal interviews 4. Other primary or secondary research Step 6 – Organize to conquer Student writers have a tendency to present information without ever considering the needs of their reader. In order to change someone’s opinion and/or influence that person to take some action, the writer, must keep the reader in mind. Before drafting, you need to consider different ways of presenting your case and then develop a plan. Begin to organize the details you have gathered by using a combination of the following approaches: 1. LOGIC: Consider the following approaches: Analogy – a situation familiar to the reader is compared with one the writer wants to focus on (example: mandatory AIDS testing is compared with McCarthyism or the Salem witch trials) * Cause-and-effect relationships – one event is proven to be the cause of another * Facts, example, and illustrations – used to support or explain a given situation or idea * Judgments or opinions – used to support ideas that cannot be proven 2. EMOTIONAL APPEAL: Help the reader become personally involved in the argument by appealing to one or more of the following: * Physiological needs such as food, drink, and shelter Psychological needs such as the need to be loved or to be attractive, accepted, or successful * Emotions such as love, hate, guilt, loyalty, pride, self-esteem 3. CREDIBILITY: You can achieve credibility by: * Treating the reader as an equal * Avoiding illogical thinking * Using only subtle emotional appeal * Showing a clear understanding of the topic You also need to consider whether you will present your points in order of most important to least important or least important to most important. Step 8 – Development of draft 1. First paragraph Attention getting device- Rhetorical question – a question posed for emphasis of a point, not for the purpose of getting an answer * Imagery – the words or phrases a writer selects to create a certain picture in the reader’s mind. Imagery is usually based on sensory details. * Anecdote – a short story told to illustrate a point * Startling fact or statistic – a fact or statistic that will shock the reader * Quotation – use words of a well-known individual 2. Background Information The background information must be written and structured keeping in consideration what the reader wants to read and what can change his stance. . Thesis Statement- a statement of the purpose, intent, or main idea of writing. Example: FMS should increase graduation requirements from twenty-two credits to twenty-four credits. 4. Body Paragraphs Present the two, three, or even four arguments supporting the thesis statement and acknowledge the strongest opposing point of view and present counter-arguments. Present your arguments using logical appeal and emotional appeals. * Logical appeal is a combination of valid reasons and evidence like facts, statistics, anecdotes, examples, expert opinion. Emotional appeals – appealing to basic feelings within the audience: sense of belonging, security, love, pity, etc. 5. Conclusion Summarize all the points and leave the reader with a call to action. Compare and contrast the eastern and western communication styles Business practices are shaped by deeply-held cultural attitudes toward work, power, trust, wealth—and communication. Communication is fundamental in business, because business is a collaborative activity. Goods and services are created and exchanged through the close coordination of many persons, sometimes within a single village, and sometimes across global distances.
Coordination of this kind requires intense communication. Complex product specifications and production schedules must be mutually understood, and intricate deals between trading partners must be negotiated. Communication styles vary enormously around the world, and these contribute to a staggering variety of business styles. Probably the single most useful concept for understanding cultural differences in business communication is distinction of low-context and high-context cultures. It explains much about how negotiation proceeds, how agreements are specified, and how workers are managed.
High and Low Context Communication In high-context communication, the message cannot be understood without a great deal of background information. Low-context communication spells out more of the information explicitly in the message. Western cultures rely more heavily on low-context communication. These include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States, and Europe. The rest of the world tends toward high-context communication. Low-context communication is becoming common in high-context cultures, due to Western influences and a desire to accommodate travellers.
One of the examples of a low-context culture is the proliferation of signs and written instructions. The smallest town in the United States carefully labels every street with a street sign and numbers the buildings consecutively. Yet very few streets in the huge city of Tokyo are labelled or even have names, and building numbers are non-existent or arranged in random order. The United States and Japan are the world’s most extreme cases of low-context and high-context cultures. Regulating Behaviour In a low-context culture, behaviour norms are often communicated by putting them in writing them.
A New York City manager transmits behaviour norms through employee manuals. Employees are expected to consult these sources for whether they are entitled to a holiday. They follow prescribed procedures for filing a request, which is granted according to company policy. Managers don’t feel comfortable in exercising personal judgment that they may have to defend. Employees in Bogota will more likely approach the boss. They will explain how important it is to attend a niece’s wedding in Miami or grandfather’s funeral. The request is ultimately granted by the boss on the basis of personal decision.
Rules that are not personally enforced may be seen as non-binding. The company may not want employees to use company cars for personal business, but a failure to monitor vehicle use may be interpreted as granting them permission. Contracts Western contracts are marvels of thoroughness. A simple transaction of renting a bicycle for a day may require three pages of fine print to spell out how to deal with every possible contingency. After signing the contract, there is no flexibility in the terms unless both parties agree to renegotiate.
If a party fails to deliver, the legal system is expected to enforce compliance. In high-context society contracts, it is not necessary to write everything because mutual understanding and a handshake suffice. A written contract may be more of a memorandum of understanding than a binding legal document. There is also room for adjustment as the situation develops. The parties are more likely to rely on a pre-existing trust relationship for compliance than a legal system. Managers may draw up contracts to please their Western business partners, but they may alter the terms the day after the document is signed.
Negotiation and Decision Making In low-context cultures, meetings provide an occasion for the company to consider pros and cons and perhaps even arrive at a decision on the spot. In high-context cultures, deliberation and decision-making tend to take place behind the scenes and at upper levels. A meeting might be an occasion to announce and explain the decision. In high-context communication, the object of bargaining is to arrive at a price with as little information exchange as possible. A Westerner believes that the price should be dictated by the logic of the market.
If there is no well-defined market price, a price below my maximum and above the seller’s minimum must be arrived at. Low-context Western commerce reveals an equilibrated market price on a price tag or web site. Negotiation may discover a price on the seller and I can agree, allowing mutually beneficial trade to proceed. Relationship-based and Rule-based Cultures Behaviour in relationship-based culture relies on high-context communication, is regulated through close supervision by authority figures and requires that authority be respected. Behaviour in rule-based culture relies on low-context communication and is based on respect for rules.
People respect the rules for their own sake, while rules in relationship-based cultures derive their authority from the persons who lay them down. Rule-based cultures are frank because of a confidence that rules have objective validity and serve as a basis for resolving disputes. Relationship-based cultures fall back on courtesy and face saving. Family and friendship ties provide a sense of security in relationship-based societies because these institutions provide a refuge in difficult times. Because social control does not rely totally on personal relationships, these tend to weaken, and people seek security and predictability elsewhere.
Rule-based peoples turn to the system around them for security than to family and friends. Transparency The issue of transparency comes in finance and investment. Western-style investment places a premium on publicly available information. All rely on strongly rule-based activities and are possible only in rule-based cultures. Investment in a relationship-based society occurs through pre-existing trust relationships. The phenomenal growth of the Chinese economy in recent decades has been fuelled largely through family-based investment and financial statements are of secondary importance.
Transparency-based investing is not necessarily superior. Both systems can generate spectacular success, as witnessed by Western economies on one side and the explosive growth of the Chinese and Korean economies on the other. Transparency-based finance has the efficiencies but it tends to be unstable because it is prone to massive movements of capital and relies on fragile public institutions to implement its rule-based structure. Relationship-based finance requires slow cultivation of trust, but it can be remarkably stable in the presence of institutional turmoil. Marketing and Advertising
Western networking involves approaching strangers at a trade fair or cocktail party, and the relationship rarely develops beyond a casual acquaintance. Networking in a relationship-based business works through pre-established connections to build trust relationships. It can be very effective for consumer marketing as well, even in the West, when movies become popular through “word of mouth. ” Mass consumer marketing relies on low-context communication and is unnatural for relationship-based cultures. People in these cultures traditionally prefer to take advice from someone they trust than from advertisements.
High-context cultures are more alert to symbolic meaning than Western European and North American cultures, which are sensitive to visual impressions. Certain colours may be chosen in a Western advertisement to give it the right kind of look, while in much of Asia colours powerfully symbolize abstract qualities—red for happiness and marriage, white for mourning, blue for immortality etc. Communication Style European Americans use a linear style. Africans and people of Latin, Arab, and Asian cultures use a circular or contextual discussion style.
The strength of a linear style may be in efficient, short-term task completion, while its limit is in developing inclusive relationship. The strength of a contextual style is its facilitation of team building and consensual creativity, while its limit is that it is slow. European and African Americans tend to be rather direct in their style of confrontation, compared with the indirectness of many Asians and Hispanics. People socialized in the more indirect style tend to seek third-person intermediaries for conducting difficult discussions.
Northern Europeans tend to be direct about intellectual topics but relatively indirect about relational matters. U. S. Americans are more indirect on intellectual topics. But those same Americans may be quick to state to his or her face how much they like a new acquaintance. Self-Construal, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Verbal Aggression Eastern cultures, which possess interdependent self-construal, seem to be permissive of direct verbal aggression compared with Western cultures. Hostility strategies were associated with cultures possessing a high degree of uncertainty avoidance (Korea) as opposed to cultures possessing a low egree of uncertainty avoidance (US Americans). Eastern cultures have a lower tolerance for “uncertainty and ambiguity, which expresses itself in higher levels of anxiety and energy release and less tolerance for groups with deviant ideas and behaviour. ” People from Eastern cultures tend to display their emotions more than those from Western cultures. Furthermore, though US Americans have been found to be more argumentative and assertive than Koreans, Koreans were found to be more aggressive in their communication than US Americans.
Therefore, it is possible that despite their need to be indirect, members of the Korean culture could be more likely to resort to using verbal aggression than the US American culture. Corporate Communication Corporate communication is the message issued by a corporate organization to it internal or external stakeholders. Internal stakeholders include employees and shareholders, while external stakeholders include agencies, channel partners, media, government, other industries, institutes and general public. The communication has to be coherent and credible meaning that the same message should be sent to all the stakeholders.
Corporate communication helps organization to explain its mission, vision and values to stakeholders. Corporate communications is the tool used in an organization to effectively reach desired audiences. Organizations use corporate communications to strategically communicate their: 1) Corporate culture (the overall environment) 2) Corporate identity (how others outside of the organization should view them) 3) Corporate philosophy (what’s their stance on issues) Corporate communications is also about managing perceptions and creating timely dissemination of information.
So another sub area under Corporate communications is media relations. It is important to build on-going relationships with the media so when you need to get your message out, by press releases, media conferences or any other event they’d be more inclined to alert your desired external audiences Types of corporate communications: 1) Management Communication – Communication between management and its internal and external audiences. 2) Marketing Communication – This consists of product advertising, direct mail, personal selling and sponsorship activities. ) Organization Communication – This is from specialists in public relations, public affairs, investor relations, environmental communications and corporate advertising. Key tasks of Corporate Communication 1) Corporate branding – to flesh out the profile of the company endorsing the brand 2) To minimize discrepancies between the company’s desired identity and brand features 3) To delegate tasks 4) To formulate and execute effective procedures to make decisions on communication matters 5) To mobilize internal and external support for corporate objectives 6) To coordinate with international business firms
Body language Body language is a form of non-verbal communication, consisting of body posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye movements etc. According to psychologists, 70 percent of human communication happens through body language and only 30 percent is through words. Body language provides cues about a person’s attitude and state of mind. It provides indications of boredom, aggression, pleasure, happiness, intoxication etc. Some common body language expressions and their interpretations The study of body movements and expressions is known as kinesics.
Research has shown that humans use body language when communicating because it seems to ease the mental effort when communication is difficult. 1. Crossing arms across the chest – This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. If the situation is amicable, it can indicate that person is thinking deeply about the matter being discussed. If situation is confrontational, it may mean that the person is expressing opposition, especially if the person is leaning away from the speaker. 2.
Eye Contact – Consistent eye contact can mean that the person is thinking positively of what the speaker is saying. Lack of eye contact can indicate negativity. People with anxiety disorders are often unable to make eye contact without discomfort. If the person is looking at you but is making arms across chest signal, the eye contact could indicate that something is bothering him and he wants to talk you about it. In other scenario, if a person is making direct eye contact, but is fiddling with something, it could indicate that his attention is elsewhere.
If a person looks from one eye to another and then to forehead, this may indicate that he is taking an authoritative position. If the person’s eye movements are from one eye to another and then to lips, this could indicate romantic feelings. 3. Averted gaze, scratching the chin or touching the ear – This happens when a person is not convinced by what someone is saying. 4. Head tilting to one side, eyes looking straight but unfocused – This indicates boredom. 5. Touching the face – This could indicate deceit or act of withholding information or lying.