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Business Communication

Q.1 Describe any situation in your experience where the communication went wrong.
Analyze the situation by pointing out the type of barrier to communication and suggest
how to overcome this barrier.

Ans. 1 Situation where Communication was a failure to me:-

As an Associate Manager, I was a sender for a communication and intended to be received by

my executives.

I have sent the following communication to my executives through a notice and displayed on the
notice board.

“Coming second Saturday to complete our targets for the month a review meeting is arranged
and all should attend. If any executive is not able to attend should find out the contents of the
meeting from their peers without fail”.

But any communication went wrong and out of 10 executive, only three executives have
extended at 4:00 pm who checked in with me at the time of the meeting.

Following were the barriers of communication which stood in the way of my communication:

The “Channel” I have chosen did not ensure the receipt of the communication by “Receiver”.

• The communication lacked the “Chronological context”. The second Saturday being a
non working day.
• The communication has created a “Psychological noise” by no mentioning correct time
of the meeting and confusion has been created.
• The “Social context” also is one of the cause for the failure of the communication as I
have not taken all my executive in to confident by giving any advance information or a
intention of the meeting earlier.

Lesson learnt in order to overcome these barriers of communication:

• My communication was unclear by not giving exact time of meeting.

• The media I have used is the placing the notice on the notice board, instead had
obtained their signatures by asking their availability or feedback my communication
would not have failed.
• I have chosen a wrong day a holiday though the task was a routine one.
• I could have maintained good relations with my executives for success of my

Q.2 Describe any two aspects of non verbal communication and give examples of how
each of them could be used to convey positive messages at the workplace.

Ans. 2 Non-verbal communication:

Non-verbal communication refers to the messages we give and receive through body language
and facial expressions Non-verbal messages often convey more meaning than the spoken word
as we saw illustrated on the pie chart above.

The Tone of voice used can tell us a lot about another person. Words can mean many different
things, depending on the way they are said. We are able to tell if a person is angry, happy or
nervous by. Their tone of voice

The gestures that people use also convey meanings, for example:

These are some simple gestures that are not always understood and misunderstandings do
occur because of these gestures. It is important to understand that gestures mean different
things in different cultures. Sometimes gestures can be rude in one culture, but okay in another.
In Australia, most people think pointing is a little bit rude and pointing at a person is very rude.

The following two examples of Non-verbal communication are culturally specific.

Q.3 Which types of listening would be required the most at the workplace? Explain with
suitable examples.

Ans 3. Types of listening:

Here are six types of listening, starting with basic discrimination of sounds and ending in deep

Discriminative listening:
Discriminative listening is the most basic type of listening, whereby the difference between
difference sounds is identified. If you cannot hear differences, then you cannot make sense of
the meaning that is expressed by such differences. We learn to discriminate between sounds
within our own language early, and later are unable to discriminate between the phonemes of
other languages. This is one reason why a person from one country finds it difficult to speak
another language perfectly, as they are unable distinguish the subtle sounds that are required in
that language.

Likewise, a person who cannot hear the subtleties of emotional variation in another person’s
voice will be less likely to be able to discern the emotions the other person is experiencing.

Listening is a visual as well as auditory act, as we communicate much through body language.
We thus also need to be able to discriminate between muscle and skeletal movements that
signify different meanings.

Biased listening:

Biased listening happens when the person hears only what they want to hear, typically
misinterpreting what the other person says based on the stereotypes and other biases that they
have. Such biased listening is often very evaluative in nature.

Evaluative listening:
In evaluative listening, or critical listening, we make judgments about what the other person is
saying. We seek to assess the truth of what is being said. We also judge what they say against
our values, assessing them as good or bad, worthy or unworthy.

Evaluative listening is particularly pertinent when the other person is trying to persuade us,
perhaps to change our behavior and maybe even to change our beliefs. Within this, we also
discriminate between subtleties of language and comprehend the inner meaning of what is said.
Typically also we weigh up the pros and cons of an argument, determining whether it makes
sense logically as well as whether it is helpful to us. Evaluative listening is also called critical,
judgmental or interpretive listening.

Appreciative listening:
In appreciative listening, we seek certain information which will appreciate, for example that
which helps meet our needs and goals. We use appreciative listening when we are listening to
good music, poetry or may be even the stirring words of a great leader.

Empathetic listening:
When we listen empathetically, we go beyond sympathy to seek a truer understand how others
are feeling. This requires excellent discrimination and close attention to the nuances of
emotional signals. When we are being truly empathetic, we actually feel what they are feeling.

In order to get others to expose these deep parts of themselves to us, we also need to
demonstrate our empathy in our demeanor towards them, asking sensitively and in a way that
encourages self-disclosure.

Therapeutic listening:
In therapeutic listening, the listener has a purpose of not only empathizing with the speaker but
also to use this deep connection in order to help the speaker understand, change or develop in
some way. This not only happens when you go to see a therapist but also in many social
situations, where friends and family seek to both diagnose problems from listening and also to
help the speaker cure themselves, perhaps by some cathartic process. This also happens in
work situations, where managers, HR people, trainers and coaches seek to help employees
learn and develop.

Relationship listening:
Sometimes the most important factor in listening is in order to develop or sustain a relationship.
This is why lovers talk for hours and attend closely to what each other has to say when the
same words from someone else would seem to be rather boring.
Relationship listening is also important in areas such as negotiation and sales, where it is
helpful if the other person likes you and trusts you.

False listening:
False listening occurs where a person is pretending to listen but is not hearing anything that is
being said. They may nod, smile and grunt in all the right places, but do not actually take in
anything that is said. This is a skill that may be finely honed by people who do a lot of
inconsequential listening, such as politicians and royalty. Their goal with their audience is to
make a good impression in very short space of time before they move on, never to talk to that
person again. It is also something practiced by couples, particularly where one side does most
of the talking. However, the need for relationship here can lead to this being spotted (‘You’re not
listening again!’) and consequent conflict.

Initial listening:
Sometimes when we listen we hear the first few words and then start to think about what we
want to say in return. We then look for a point at which we can interrupt. We are also not
listening then as we are spending more time rehearsing what we are going to say about their
initial point.

Q.4 Imagine that you have to make a presentation on your MBA project to a group of your
professors and industry experts. Prepare the following – a) A general statement of
purpose b) A specific statement of purpose c) The key idea d) A brief audience analysis
e) Delivery style

Ans 4. The main aim of this presentation is to inform new students of SMU MBA program with
Edunxt web portal recently launched by Sikkim Manipal University.

Introduce students about the flexibility of Edunxt portal, by high lighting the salient features of
this portal that it is an online class room for the students from which they can access to a wide
variety of activities like e-boos, SLMs, Quizzes etc anytime anywhere by just simply logging in.

Key Idea:

Sikkim Manipal University has launched first time in the History of Distance Education in India,
the virtual classroom through Edunxt.

Within the Edunxt portal, after logging in, a student can access study materials in the form of an
e-workbook with value-added components, attempt quizzes related to his study curriculum
interactively, ask questions in the Discussion groups related to his subject of study and will get
the reply also either from the LC faculties or the SMU core faculties just sitting in the comfort of
his own drawing room. The portal is for bridging the gap between the students and the SMU
Head-quarter faculties, for transferring the knowledge of the core-faculties directly to all
students, for increasing the interaction between the LC faculties as well as core-faculties and
above all for imparting quality education in a more productive way.

Audience Analysis:

Making a good presentation alone is not enough. It also has to be tailored to your listeners, in
such a way that they understand and appreciate it.

The group size of the students is 45 and nearly 50% of the students are new to internet.

So the presentation should be more focused towards those persons in educating them about
the advantages of Edunxt and how to use it without any difficulty. Explain the user friendliness
of the web portal.

As the group size is large more time can be devoted for question and answers for making it
more interactive.
Also nearly 10 participants are not very good at English, hence the presentation could be had at
a slower speed so that they can understand the point of discussion.

There are around 5 participants who have used the Edunxt portal for the first time. We could
take an opportunity to request them to share their opinion on this portal.

Delivery Style:

The delivery style of the presentation could be Speaking from Notes – because this is generally
the most effective style of delivery. I write down the main ideas in point form on index cards and
then referring to these cards merely as a trigger while speaking, I can deliver the presentation. If
the main ideas are put down briefly on the cards, I can eleaborate on these ideas in my own
words and speak for nay length of time. The presentation is likely to be more effective, since it
comes across as natural and permits eye contacts with the audience.

Q.5 In your opinion, does the success of a meeting depend more on the chairperson or
the participants? Justify your answer.
Ans 5. Everyone at the meeting is responsible for its success. Some people have key roles to
play including:

• The Chairperson is responsible for ensuring that meetings are run effectively and
efficiently. The chair must consider both the task functions of the group, i.e., the
actions and decisions that are critical to achieve, and the maintenance functions
– the relationships, welfare and harmony of the group. Both functions are
important and will affect the organization’s success. The chair has the lead role in
planning, preparing, implementing and evaluating meetings and is responsible for
starting and ending on time and involving members in the decisions and

• The Secretary helps the chair and is responsible for the legal record of decisions
and group memory. The secretary ensures the meeting minutes are prepared,
adopted and kept in a format that is available to the membership.

• Committee chairs are responsible for researching issues and bringing options
and recommendations to the meeting for decision.

• Members should come to the meeting prepared, be on time, keep their

discussion focused, and participate in the decision making. Side conversations
should be held until the end of the meeting or social time as they can be very

Q.6 How do memos differ from other written communication channels? Give examples of
two business situations that would require either an informational or a persuasive memo.

Ans 6 Memorandums, or memos for short, are used in business for internal communication
between members of a department, between different departments, and between branches
around the country or, in today’s global economy, around the world
The Significance and Advantages of Business Memos

Since most organizations are quite large and diversified, memos provide an effective means of
internal communication. In fact, according to Kenneth Zimmer, Professor Emeritus of the School
of Business and Economics at California State University, and Sue C. Camp, Associate
Professor of Business Administration at Gardner-Webb College, they account for more than
50% of all written communications within any business organization (p. 301).

This form of inter-organizational correspondence offers several advantages:

• It is inexpensive since it's usually transmitted via e-mail or on inexpensive paper.

• It is convenient because not only is it easy to prepare and fast to transmit but also
requires little time to read.
• It provides a written record for both the recipient and the sender, which helps clarifies
information and, therefore, prevents misunderstandings.

The Purpose of Business Memos According to Zimmer and Camp, memos serve a variety of
purposes within a business and are used to accomplish the following:

• Request information, action, or reactions.

• Communicate company procedures, policies, and instructions.
• Transmit data.
• Advise members or forthcoming information.
• Remind members of upcoming meetings, reports, etc.
• Promote good will, for example, by congratulating a member for a job well done or a

Organization of a Business Memo Since memos are usually quite brief, they must be
effectively organized to transmit the necessary information as directly and as clearly as
possible. Therefore, they consist of three key elements:

• The statement of purpose: This is the subject line or introduction, which informs the
recipient of the intended objective, for example, "As per the August 3 meeting, the
projected cost of implementing an employee wellness program warrants additional
• The main point or message: In this section, the sender provides information and/or
clarification to ensure that the recipient understands the purpose of the memo, for
example, "Please provide a cost breakdown of alternatives for an employee wellness
program, specifically the cost of an on-site fully equipped exercise room compared to a
company-subsidized gym membership program."
• Statement of future action: This portion either requests additional information or provides
further instructions, for example, "The cost breakdown is to be presented at a scheduled
meeting on Thursday, August 10, at 10:00 A.M., after which company representatives
will reach a decision regarding which alternative will be implemented."