In order to learn Business Communication one must first understand Communication itself. Communication is defined as an exchange of information, knowledge, ideas etc between two individuals using a common set of symbols. Communication is also defined in other ways: Communicaton is the process of sending and receiving messages -- sometimes through spoken and written words and sometimes thrrough non-verbal means such as facial expression, gestures and voice qualities.
The communication model consists of 5 components:
The stimulus is an event that occurs to create the need for the individual to communicate. The filter is the unique perception of reality of the communicator -- his set of values, culture, emotions at that moment, personality, knowledge, socio-economic status and a host of other variables. The message is the information communicated - the content of it and the medium is the channel through which it is sent and received. The destination is the receiver/s of the message.
According to Marshall Macluhan -- "The medium is the message". He says that the medium you use to convey the message determines the form of the message and also becomes a part of it.
If you were to invite a business acquantaince to dinner, what medium would you choose -- the phone of course. You would call. When you do, the message is a voice message, it is a conversation. If you were to write an a email, it would be a written message, a permanent record. Hence it is medium which identifies the form of the message and becomes the message itself.
Communication can be oral or written. Written communication in a business context are typically email, website, memos, letters, instructions, reports and proposals. Communication can also be formal or informal. Informal communication in an office is often referred to as Grapevine. Communication can move vertically i.e up and down the organizational hierarchy or horizontally (among peers).
Overcoming information anxiety: Richard Wurman believes that the more choices one makes the more the anxiety of having made the wrong one. This he calls Information Anxiety. Consider this: the total amount of information produced worldwide each year is 1.5 exabytes (one exabyte is 1 followed by 18 zeroes). If all this info was stored on floppies it would stack 2 million miles high! Do you we need all this information? Definitely not! Nobody knows it all. The first step in overcoming information anxiety is to accept that there is much you wouldn't understand. Let your igonorance be an inspiration to learn, not something to conceal.
Wurman recommends practising standing in front of a mirror and saying " Could you repeat that" or " I am not sure I understand what you are talking about" instead of just nodding and pretending you understood what you have not.
By seperating what you need to know from what you merely think you should be knowing eases the anxiety. Minimise watching and reading what you don't need. Do what Wurman says : "Most information is useless; give yourself permission to dismiss it".
Happy communicating !!
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