Means of Communication

Choosing the Right Method for the Message

Channels for business communication include meetings, letters, print, radio, television, telephone, word of mouth, and the Internet.

Learning Objectives

Define the various communication channels available for packaging and delivering business messaging.

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Each communication channel has a variety of specific methods. The Internet, for example, could entail a web-based advertising campaign, a social media advertising campaign, or a website.
  • It is important to choose the right method for the message. A company-wide email detailing the holiday hours is acceptable, but a company-wide email listing terminations is not acceptable.
  • Consider the audience and their reaction to the message. If a message may invite a lot of questions, a face-to-face meeting will be more beneficial than an email. For example, a message about employee benefits could cause employees to have questions, so this type of message is best presented in a group meeting that allows for a question-and-answer session.

Key Terms

  • communication: an instance of information transfer; a conversation or discourse
  • word of mouth: Verbal means of passing of information.

Choosing the Right Method for the Message

Business communication encompasses various channels of communication, including meetings, letters, memos, print (publications), radio, television, telephone, word of mouth, and the Internet.

Specific Methods

Within those channels is a variety of specific methods. The Internet, for example, could entail a web-based advertising campaign, a social media advertising campaign, or a website.

Other methods of communication include:

  1. Meeting – This is a personal, interactive exchange often succeeded by a written follow-up.
  2. Letter – This is a formal method of communication typically suited for important messages such as proposals, inquiries, agreements, and recommendations.
  3. Video conference – These allow people in different locations to hold interactive meetings and interviews in real time.
  4. Telephone conference – These enable participants in different locations to share information.
  5. E-mail – This is a instantaneous medium for formal notices and updates, as well as informal exchanges.
  6. Report – This is the official documentation of the activities of any department or organization.
  7. Presentation – This method usually comprises a formal proposal, update, recommendation, or report involving audiovisual material, slideshows, and statistics.
  8. Web-based communication – This method is typically suited for leaving contact information (such as address and phone number) or for sharing transaction details (such as order confirmation).
  9. Forum This method allows members to post information publicly and efficiently in a centralized location.

With the variety of methods available, it is important to choose the right method for the message. A company-wide email detailing the holiday hours is acceptable, but a company-wide email listing terminations is not acceptable.

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Choosing the right method for the message.: A company wide email detailing the holiday hours is acceptable, but a company wide email listing terminations is not acceptable.

When choosing the medium, consider the audience and their reaction to the message. For example, if the message is about employee benefits, the audience most likely will have questions, so this message is best presented in a group meeting that would allow for a question and answer session.

Minimizing Risk of Miscommunication

Miscommunication happens when there is a disconnect between what is being said and what is heard.

Learning Objectives

List the six leading causes of miscommunication in businesses

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • There are six things that cause miscommunication: complex messages, withheld information, hierarchy, silos, lack of trust, and language barriers.
  • In business, a miscommunication can lead to costly errors or deadly mistakes.
  • When it comes to effective communication, there are certain barriers that every organization faces, such as message overload, which can occur when a person receives too many messages at the same time.

Key Terms

  • hierarchy: Any group of objects ranked so that every one but the topmost is subordinate to a specified one above it.
  • miscommunication: an interaction between two parties in which information is not communicated as desired

Miscommunication Defined

Miscommunication happens when there is a disconnect between what is being said and what is heard. In business, a miscommunication can lead to costly errors or deadly mistakes.

Reasons for Miscommunication

Here are six things that cause miscommunication:

  1. Complex messages: The use of complex technical terms can result in miscommunication. Use clear and concise messages that are easy to understand.
  2. Withholding information: For many organizations, important information can be kept confidential due to company policies. Make sure that needed information is readily available and accessible.
  3. Hierarchy: Management must keep employees well-informed and encourage feedback.
  4. Silos: Hierarchy in an organization is essential but it can also reduce the flow of communication. It is therefore essential to increase departmental interaction and coordination.
  5. Lack of trust: Competition between employees and managers leads to a lack of trust. Share information, communicate openly and honestly, and involve others in decisions.
  6. Language barriers: Due to globalization, messages must be effective when conveyed to a culturally diverse audience.

Minimizing the Risk of Miscommunication

When it comes to effective communication, there are certain barriers that every organization faces, such as message overload, which can occur when a person receives too many messages at the same time.

Message complexity can also result in a confused audience. There are several ways to ensure your message is received and understood. When creating the message, read the draft several times and look for confusing statements or awkward wording. After doing that, edit the message for content to ensure there is a clear focus or main idea. Lastly, edit for grammar and misspelled words.

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Miscommunication: Complex language often leads to miscommunication.