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Business Communications - Module One Notes

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BUSI 1020U
William Thurber

Module One: Building Effective Messages January 16 2012 Business Communications Why do we communicate? - We communicate because of our innate need to make meaning. - We communicate to identify and express ourselves, to get work done, to gain recognition, and to make our lives meaningful. - We communicate most successfully when: o We take the time to consider consciously what results we want o Adapt to our message content, tone and style to meet the needs of our audience, so we can achieve those results. How is Business Communication Different? - Business Communication uses specific formatting and style conventions to get the job done. - Time is money, your audience primary need is to get the message, clearly and completely, the first time. An example of a typical business communication. - Demand is increasing for those workers who can understand the information generated by computer systems, apply models to problems, deal effectively with customers and other members of a team, speak and write clearly, and make informed and independent judgments. - Author Daniel Pink claims that the global economy has moved us from the information age to the Conceptual Age, wherein high-level communications skills such as conceptualizing, big picture thinking, and synthesizing are most valued. What does Business Communication Accomplish? - Business Communications (oral, nonverbal, and written) go to both internal and external audiences. - Internal audiences  other people in the same organization: subordinates, superiors and peers. - External Audience  people outside the organization: customers, suppliers, unions, stockholders, potential employees, government agencies, the press & the public. What Communication skills are integral to business success? - Listening, reading, speaking, writing and working in groups are integral to doing business successfully. - Networking with others (inside and outside) your workplace are crucial to develop positive relationships, and to your personal and professional growth. - Business, government & not-for-profit organizations depend on written messages. - People in organizations produce written documents for the record, to inform, request or persuade. How much will I really have to write? - You will have to write a lot. - Businesses today expect their junior engineers to manage projects and write reports. - International literacy surveys constantly find a “clear link” between literacy and employement, with “Document literacy” proficiency (the ability to read and write well) corresponding most strongly to higher employment rates and higher salaries. - Form letter  prewritten fill-in-the-blanks letter designed to fit only routine situations. The greater your professional responsibilities, the more frequently you’ll face situations that demand creative thinking and writing situations. Poor Writing is Costly - Takes more time to read and interpret - Requires more time for revision. - Confuses and irritates the reader - Delays action while the reader requests more information, or tries to figure out the meaning. - Damages business relationships. How much does Correspondence cost? - Business Correspondence is very expensive, and even more costly when it doesn’t work. - Canadian communications expert and professional speaker Helen Wilkie maintains that written correspondence – emails, letters, reports, memos is an “integral part of doing business.” - When writing isn’t clear, complete, and correct, you and your organization pay in wasted time, wasted effort and lost c
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