Forms of Business Communication

Defining and having corporate objectives provides two major benefits. First, you will be more efficient because you will no longer waste time writing or presenting material unless you have a clear reason for doing so. Second, you will be more effective because formulating objectives precisely will help you communicate more clearly. The time needed to define the objectives will obviously vary: routine matters may take matter of seconds; more complex matters may take much longer.

The purpose of all business communication is to further corporate objectives of the company or the organization. Time at workplace is generally too short and valuable to waste on communications which do not achieve this goal.

Types of business communication

Communication in General
Basically, the word communication refers to the exchange of information and ideas between two individuals or business organizations about their needs, aspirations, or perceptions, in words, action or symbols, provided the content must mean the same for the receiver and sender. Communications can be of a local or international flavor, in spoken or alternative modes, and depend on conformist or unconventional signals in non-linguistic or linguist forms.

History of Communication
Centuries ago, a phonetic alphabet form of communication existed among the ancient Greeks, followed by several books based on the principle of written communication; this was the cornerstone of the first library of the Greeks. Similarly, communication became a hassle in the old communist China, not only within the various branches of the exhaustive government, but also in the interaction between the Chinese people and the government, consequent to which China launched its postal services. However, after the advent of the printing press and paper, communication became much simpler. The principle of communication today still follows a blend of the age old traditions of written and oral forms.

Business Communication
In business, communication is a channel that helps in promoting a service, product or the organization, with the sole intention of closing a sale. Businesses use a variety of media for communication, including the radio, outdoor ads, television, the print, the Internet and even the spoken word by word of mouth. Advanced Communication skills have achieved an exalted status in business etiquette and interpersonal skills, and employees and managers in every organization hone their communication skills for a better mutual understanding and engagement, not only for internal purposes, but for stakeholders outside as well. Providentially, the business environment offers a variety of communication modes for the senders and receivers of messages to satisfy their communication needs.

What is a Business Organization?
An organization represents a people’s group who share similar interests and goals. A bank would be an excellent example of this arrangement. You could also refer to it as a pact in society between individuals or groups that found activities and relationships on a social, religious political or commercial platform.

Why Business Communication is Important
Some of the results of effective communication (both sender and receiver must understand the communication) are that it helps the companies to keep the company healthy, maximizes its profits, and not only keeps its employees engaged and in a happy disposition, but also helps them to sufficiently focus on their job for achieving the company’s goals.
Communication is an organization’s corner stone, and an organization would cease to exist without it. Its main functions are to exchange information and options, drawing up proposals, plans, and agreements, implementing decisions, forwarding orders or fulfilling them and in general, carry out sales. Organizational activity is the bloodstream of an organization, and all activities end when communication falters.

There are two types of business communication in an organization, which come under “Vertical Communication”

1. Internal Communication
2. External Communication

Internal Communication

All communication that has to do with internal matters and interaction between staff and employees in varied forms is called “Internal Communication.” And it serves as an excellent medium to address all concerns of employees, thereby enhancing goodwill, job satisfaction, productivity and safety aspects. It also serves to increase turnover and profits.

Under Internal Communication, you have

Upward Communication
This represents the information flow from lower down in the hierarchy to those in higher positions, thus preventing the organization to experience a vacuum in terms of not only the proper receipt of information, but also solutions to other problems that the company may face.. Undoubtedly, communication is a two-sided sword, but for it to work efficiently, information must originate at the bottom, and move upwards. The benefits of upward communication to the staff include the exchange of ideas and information, heightened staff enthusiasm, job satisfaction and the provision of feedback.

Downward Communication
The flow of information and instructions from the top levels of the organization to its lowest levels, detailing the mission and the policies, is normally referred to as downward communication. These may be in the form of specific instructions or guidelines to complete a full project. However, you must start establishing the procedure only after the upward communication has been successfully instituted. This information flow can be used to pass on important matters and instructions, announce decisions and promote mutual discussions, cooperation, and morale, enhance efficiency and obtain feedback.

Horizontal/Lateral Communication
When people with the same rank in the organization communicate with each other and collaborate in the search of a common goal, it is called horizontal communication. Assigned work is best completed when employees at the same level, cooperate. This kind of communication helps solve problems by enhanced teamwork, boosting efficiency, completing tasks and building goodwill.

External Communication
External communication refers to communication by company supervisors with agencies outside the company, for example, with customers and vendors. This kind of communication and useful interaction can lead to operational efficiency, market credibility, goodwill, corporate image, customer satisfaction, organizational goals, leading to performance, increased sales volumes, followed by a strong profit showing. Most of this external work is done by marketing departments who target markets in pursuit of a larger share of business and the purchase executives who are always sourcing better quality inputs at lower prices.

Some of the other facets of communication are enumerated below:

Face-To-Face Communication
Still the oldest, but the most effective mode of communication is the face-to-face type that requires the physical presence of both parties involved, removing any vestiges of ambiguity and making absolutely 100 % certain that matters have been mutually understood. Once this is achieved, further discussions can be held at any time without inhibitions. You can also make your pitch in a manner that will directly convey your feelings, passion and commitments to an individual or at a group meeting. Most experts opine that this is the best form indeed to make an impression the vital points pertaining to your company your audience.

Phones
The phone is a more personal form of communication than the email, and can add a personal touch to messages of complex nature that need the clarity of a phone call to explain some intricacy involved that cannot be put into a message. Its great advantage is that you can reach people with clarity, all round the globe when you want to confirm your associate’s accurate understanding of your message.

Verbal

Verbal communication includes direct face-to-face meetings, meetings, video conferencing and telephoning and may well be an excellent communication mode by reading the inferences you make out of the non-verbal or verbal responses of a message. Additionally, it puts the message receivers at ease to pose questions to the sender and obtain his feedback, thus saving on response time and decision making. Of course, with the increased use of the verbal communication, you can see problems like language, social and cultural barriers and time difference in the different Eco zones cropping up often. You have to overcome these hassles to make a meaningful and useful message sans the least bit of confusion and complexity.

Written Form of Communication

Several forms of communication including formal letters, posters, business memos, bulletin boards and other diverse forms of communication form part of the written form of communication. This is a good choice for those wanting to convey the same message in writing to several people at different locations. They can send also technical messages with images and charts to make it easy for the recipients to analyze and comprehend. Another advantage of a written message is its paper trail that necessitates the recipient to receive and acknowledge it. Such messages are also created for purposes of a record of corrections or for legal purposes.

Electronic Form of Communication

The continuous evolution of technology has had a profound effect on the way business communications are conducted these days, including web conferencing, email, social networking, text messaging, chat and online organizational websites. Most companies resort to electronic messaging to communicate quickly with multiple recipients outside like stakeholders who can include employees, creditors, shareholders, unions, suppliers and the community in general, at low cost. Different forms of electronic communication are used by organizations to communicate with or send messages not only to diverse demographic clusters, but also individuals and organizations in the international arena.

• Communication by Email

Today, e-mail takes precedence over most communication modes, for its predominantly cheap, fast and good features, giving it an edge over others in communication with the remotest parts of the globe, in a manner that both the sender and receiver find convenient. Though it may appear less personal than a face-to-face meeting or even a phone call, e-mail gives you the opportunity to send documents, pictures or videos at the flick of a mouse, with the same credibility as faxing it or delivering by hand. However, one must take utmost care to write the mail clearly to avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding between the sender and multiple recipients, which could forge a weak point in this mode of transmission.

• Web Conferencing

Web Seminars, Webcasts, general web conferencing and web meetings on a peer level are some of the activities that the Internet facilitates under a general umbrella of collaborative online services called web conferencing, especially on IP/TCP connections. Such a mode of communication permits one sender to send information to a cluster of destination computers simultaneously (Multicast communication) using the IP multicast in the Internet layer or send communication on a real time point to point basis using an IP protocol with a serial interface for communication between two computers. Web conferencing applications can include lectures, training, presentations and the like between computers that are web connected.

Social Networking Services

This is an ideal web based platform facilitating the sharing of social relations among likeminded people with similar interests. The participants in this platform create a public profile and a user list, share information and interact with each other on this social network, using the e-mail and instant messaging services like Facebook, Twitter, and mobile messaging like WhatsApp etc. Social networking sites are diversified and include facile tools for communication, like mobile connectivity, blogging and video /photo sharing.

Text Messaging

Sending concise electronic messages from one mobile phone to another or using a portable device connected to a phone networking system is usually referred to as texting or text messaging. The original SMS or the short message service has now evolved into the MMS or the messages that contain sound, video and images. The one who sends a message is called a Texter. This service is called Text in North America, SMS, in Europe and MMS in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. You can also interact with automated systems or for participate in competitions using text messages. Direct text messaging is also useful to Service providers to send out information about bill payment, offers and the like.

An Online Website

An online website is a set of web pages served by a single web domain. Most people get hosting from a minimum of one web server that you access through the Internet or a private local area network using an address of the Internet called the URL or the Uniform Resource Locator. In other words, the term, “World Wide Web” refers to all public websites as a whole.

Web pages, or, in other words, its building blocks represent plain text documents with formatting instructions using the XHTML or HTML languages, and you can access them using the highly encrypted HTTP Secure or the HTTP, also known as the Hypertext Transfer Protocol

Online Chats

A real time text message sent over the Internet as short text messages, quickly responded to by the recipient, is another form of electronic mode of communication called Online Chat. This form of communication alludes to .a spoken conversation, except that it is through the computer. You must understand that this communication must not be confused with online text based communication forms like the e-mail and forums. Both point-to-point and multicast communications are served by online Chat, which can also be useful in web conferencing.

Online Chat Rooms are a form of synchronous or asynchronous conferencing, which can allude to online interaction and real time online chats on online forums with total strangers as well as with challenging social environments (Graphic) People use a chat room primarily for sharing text information with other user groups, unlike the instant messaging mode that mostly facilitates only a one to one interaction. Chat rooms facilitate interaction on a diverse range of subjects and share use of new advanced technological evolution for using webcam and file sharing.

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