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Chapter 12

BUSI 1020U Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Business Communication, Connotation


School
UOIT
Department
Business
Course Code
BUSI 1020U
Professor
William Thurber
Chapter
12

Page:
of 2
Textbook Note
Module 12 Communicating with Positive Emphasis
Module Summary
Beware of hidden negatives: words not negative in themselves that become negative in
context.
The best business communication tone is businesslike but not stiff, friendly not phoney,
confident but not arrogant, polite but not grovelling.
oUse courtesy titles for people outside your organization whom you don't know
well.
oBe aware of the power implications of the words you use.
oWhen the stakes are low, be straightforward.
oWhen you must give bad news, consider hedging your statement.
Don't apologize if the error is small and if you are correcting the mistake.
o Don't apologize if you are not at fault. If the delay is long, or the problem large, it
is good you-attitude to ask your reader whether he/she wants to make different
arrangements.
When you do apologize, do it early, briefly, and sincerely.
oHowever, apologies may have legal implications, so some organizations prefer
that their employees do not apologize to customers or the public.
Key Notes
How Do I Create Positive Emphasis?
oThe following five techniques de – emphasize negative information;
1. Avoid negative words and words with negative connotations.
2. Focus on what the reader can do rather than on limitations.
3. Justify negative information by giving a reason or linking it to a reader
benefit
4. Omit the negative if it is unimportant
5. Put the negative information in the middle and present it compactly
oConnotation means an associated meaning for a word, not the literal meaning.
For example, if you think of the word “dog,” you may think of caring
and loyalty if you like dogs, but if you are afraid of dogs, the
connotation is negative.
Why Do I Need to Think About Tone, Politeness, and Power?
oThe desirable tone for business writing is businesslike but not stiff, friendly but
not phoney, confident but not arrogant, polite but not grovelling. The following
guidelines will help you achieve the tone you want:
oUse courtesy titles for people outside your organization whom you don't know
well.
Canadian organizations use first names for everyone, whatever
their age or rank. But many people don't like being called by their
first names by people they don't know or by someone much
younger.
Textbook Note
When you talk or write to people outside your organization, use
first names only if you've established a personal relationship.
If you don't know someone well, use a courtesy title:
Dear Mr. Reynolds:
Dear Ms. Lee:
oBe aware of the power implications of the words you use. “Thank you for your co-
operation” is generous coming from a superior to a subordinate; it's not
appropriate in a message to your superior.
What’s the Best Way to Apologize?
oWhen you are at fault, you build goodwill by admitting that fact promptly.
o However, apologizing to customers is tricky territory.
o If you are in an entry position, ask your manager/supervisor how to deal with a
situation where you feel an apology is needed.
oEven people in senior management positions may have to consult legal counsel in
high-risk situations.