According to Newstrom and Keith Davis-
“Business Communication is a multi-dimensional, dynamic and interactive process that involves the effective transmission of facts, ideas, thoughts and systematic understanding of scientific theories and practical aspects.”
Business Communication always has specialized content, specific audience, specific purpose, specific time and specific place.
Features of Business Communication
To communicate effectively in the business world is not an easy job. A good communicator should posses the following characteristics
In business communication whatever one has to say should be very brief, to the point, concise. Undue explanations and very lengthy sentences should not be used but message should be conveyed in fewest possible words. A brief message saves time and expense for both sender and receiver. Conciseness in business communication can be achieved by observing the following suggestions
- Avoid wordy expressions-wordy
- Avoid unnecessary repetition
- Organise your message properly
- Include only relevant material
Next important feature of business communication is clarity. Chinese Philosopher Confucius rightly remarked ‘In language clarity is everything’. To ensure clarity the message should be presented in a very simple manner. One should use accurate, simple and familiar words and short sentences. ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of the message should be clear in the mind.
As far as possible; information should be conveyed to others in a very simple and direct manner. To attain simplicity in writing; simple words and short sentences should be used. Complex sentences should be avoided. Simplicity addresses variety of readers and increases readability and utility of any business communication.
(iv)Logical Development of Ideas
The purpose of business communication is to communicate information in such a manner that everyone can comprehend it properly. This goal can be achieved to a great extent by proper sequence and logical development of ideas in a paragraph. A single idea must be conveyed in a paragraph. The hotchpotch of ideas in the same paragraph decreases the readability.
Consideration refers to the receiver. What we are going to convey should be understandable from the receiver’s point of view. While selecting subject matter and medium of communication, receiver’s emotions, sentiments, needs and interests should be kept in mind. To indicate consideration, the sender should focus on ‘you’ instead of T and ‘we’ and constantly ask himself what he would feel if he were in place of receiver.
It is the essential requirement of effective business communication. To bring concreteness in communication, the following guidelines should be followed:
- Use visual aids like graph, charts, tables and diagrams
- Use specific facts and figures
- Use active voice
It is very important to maintain accuracy in business communication. Inaccurate expressions may hamper the effect of business communication. Accuracy in terms of information, facts, figures, grammar, usage of words, spellings, punctuation marks needs to be maintained by an efficient communicator.
Objectivity is an another key factor to effective communication. Following are the ten keys to objectivity:
(a)Use appropriate passive constructions
(b)Use active forms sparingly.
(c)Avoid personal pronouns and expressions.
(d)Use factual words.
(e)Use formal words.
(f)Avoid colloquial and ambiguous words.
(g)Use appropriate scientific and exposition techniques.
(h)Use appropriate Jargons (Not too much)
(i)Use standard sentence structure with lots of variation in the kinds of sentences.
(j) Avoid conversational tone as it does not sound formal.
These suggestions make business writing more concrete, vivid, lucid and easy to understand.
The constant practice with above mentioned features will gain the communicator more mastery and as one gains more mastery; the communication will be highly effective.
Importance of Business Communication
The importance of business communication is better understood from the following points
(i)Helps to present the knowledge related to business world effectively
Business communication helps the managers to present and receive technical and professional information effectively. In this modern world when flow of information is very fast it becomes all the more important to communicate effectively and efficiently.
(ii)Best medium for technological advancement
Success in the modern world depends on the rapid changes in the technology. Only an effective system of communication can help to bring the latest technology.
(iii)Important means of interaction
Modern society is based on a wide platform. The whole world has become a global market. To unite the world, a continuous interaction among various components is needed. Communication is one of the important means of interaction.
(iv)Handles competition properly
Modern world is highly competitive in nature. To meet the challenges of competition we must have the adequate information of the competitors. It is only possible with the help of effective communication.
(v)Motivates scientists and researchers
An effective communication system guides the technocrats, engineers, scientists and researchers to present their ideas, views, decisions, suggestions, and feelings in order to achieve individual as well as social and organisational objectives.
(vi)Unified Individual Activities
Business communication helps in unifying the activities of individual as a work team by facilitating the managerial function of leadership, Motivation, Training and Development etc.
Distinction between Business and General/Literary Communication
Professional communication is different from the general communication in several characteristic features like purpose, nature, scope, content, language and in style. Let us now observe individually how these features make business communication different from general communication.
The purpose of business communication is to infirm, to instruct, to stimulate, to motivate, to explain and to persuade but on the other hand general communication aims at amusement.
The nature of business communication is scientific and specific while general communication is literary.
The scope of technical communication is limited. It relates to particular business, trade, industry, technology and science. But the scope of general communication is wider and relates to every aspect of life.
As far as kinds of business communication is concerned, it includes reports, letters, proposals, scientific papers, notices, memos, etc., while general communication is categorized into various genres-prose, poetry, drama, novel and short story.
All the professional, scientific documents, drafts, papers, reports, letters, notices, memos, proposals, advertisements etc. fall under the category of business communication while the content of general communication includes, poems, short stories, dramas, novels and books on different subjects of general interests. Content of business communication is specific; with specific purpose and specific audience.
The Language of business communication is marked with conciseness, clarity,
concreteness, simplicity while that of general communication is verbose, extravagant and pompous.
As far as style is concerned, both business and general communications are poles apart. Simplicity, clarity, brevity, objectivity, utility are the watchwords of business communication, while that of general communication is poetic, ornamental, bombastic and elegant.