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GBU100 Professional Business Communications of Cultural Audiences

Question 

You identify and explore several different channels and aspects of business communication from a range of sources. You should describe how language affects meaning, how different types of language are appropriate to different (cultural) audiences, and identify the barriers to effective communication and how they might be overcome. The use of jargon, euphemisms and Management-speak' in a business context should be critiqued. 

Answer

The word communication is originated from a Latin term ‘Communicare’ that means to share or to impart. In an organization, communication plays an important role. Through effective communication the members of the organization like managers, staff members, owners, suppliers and customers, can interact with one another. In an organization many departments are present and the department members have to coordinate with each other because all members work to achieve a common goal. Growth and efficiency in the business cannot be achieved without good communication (Bovee, 2010). The given essay will demonstrate types of communication channels, aspects of business communication, relation between language and meaning, different types of languages for different cultural audience, barriers of business communication, ways to overcome barriers and criticism on the use of euphemisms, management speak and jargon in business environment.

There are different types of communication channels and mainly the communication channels are divided into two categories like formal and informal channel. Some examples of communication channels are mobile technology, video conferencing, circulars, memoranda, fax machines, electronic bulletin board and so on. As business expands the activities, the managers cannot rely upon face to face communication only to pass messages. Several types of comm


unication channels can be used in the organization and the managers should select the most appropriate channel in order to achieve objectives. Major communication channels are described in the paragraph in detail.Formal communication channel is used to transmit information related to policies, procedures, newsletters, reports and orders. In formal communication channel the information is passed through predefined channels (Berger & Iyengar, 2013). Formal communication channel is used for official communication. It is more reliable form of communication but takes time and the time increases where number of levels increase in the organization structure. Formal communication channel uses written communication method and the flow of information is systematic. For example the manager will pass order to next lower level managers and they will pass the information to next lower level. Whereas in informal communication channel informal communication network exits in which information can be flowed in every direction. Informal communication channels include oral communication. The reliability is comparatively lesser but the speed is faster than formal communication channels. The managers use both formal and informal communication channels to establish a fine balance in an organization. Team work, different training programs and quality circles where chain of command is not required come under the type of informal communication channels (Danaher & Rossiter, 2011).

There are some important aspects of business communication which are explained in this paragraph. Effective business communication helps organization to get growth. The points that should be considered in business communication are, audience centered, proper style and tone, match between message and medium, straight forward, two way communication and responsive. Effective business communication requires that the communicator should keep in mind audience needs, limitations and motivations. The manager who generally seems busy because he manages multiple activities in an organization and if a subordinate wants to communicate with the manager then he or she should tell only important points to the him so that the manager can concentrate on the points (Schoop, Köhne & Ostertag, 2010). The culture and interest level of audience also affect business communication. In communication the communicator should maintain right balance between conversation style and tone. The communicator should use relaxed language and the words should be chosen with proper care. Communication tone should be sincere and polite. The communicator should select the communication medium according to the message. Messages can be transmitted by mails, phone calls, memos, reports and meetings but appropriate medium should be selected for the message. When a communicator needs quick response he can use phone call method where he can make direct contact with the person. The business communication should be easy to understand, error free and fact based. The communicator should use simple English words and should avoid acronyms, jargons and clichés. Effective business communication should be responsive as well. The members who are the part of communication should respond properly with empathy (Guffey & Loewy, 2012). Communication mainly occurs between two or more than two persons. One person passes message and another person gives feedback on the message.

The language tone gives impact on the meaning. One case where an employee showed poor performance in a month, first way the manager adopted is, he called the employee and scolded him badly by using harsh language words and told that he want to see improved performance from the next month, second method he adopted is, he called the employee and used positive words and told him that he should focus to improve his performance from next month. In the case the motive of the manager was same but he used different language tone. One tone was positive and other was negative. Positive tone will give positive meaning to employee whereas negative tone will give negative meaning (Tange, & Lauring, 2009). Today managers are using positive language words to manage operations and employees in an organization. Negative language can create stress, depression, anger, demotivation in employees and high employee’s turnover situation in an organization. Same sentence can give different meanings and pauses, voice pitch, emphasis on different words and punches play important role to give different meanings. In the world multiple languages exist. Some words are used commonly in different languages but give different meaning in each language. That is the reason in an organization English language is mainly used to avoid the problems related to meaning (Fann Thomas, 2007).

Different types of language should be used to communicate with different cultural audiences. One of the most obvious challenge the communicator faces when he has to communicate with audience who are from different cultural background. The most important part of any culture is the language. Different cultures share different values, beliefs and behaviors. People learn specific language from the culture they come from. Two different cultures use two different languages. There are multiple countries in the world and each country follows different culture. The language in one country is different from other countries. Some languages are Spanish, Russian, English, Hindi and French that are originated from different cultures. To communicate with specific cultural audience specific language should be used (Hooker, 2008).

There are several barriers to effective business communication that are mentioned here. Some communication barriers are semantic barriers, emotional barriers, personal barriers and organizational barriers. Semantic barriers are related symbols, words and signs. Semantic barriers create misunderstanding between sender and receiver. Semantic barriers include technical jargons, unclear assumptions, faulty translations, denotations and connotations, and badly expressed message. The words in the message should be selected with care because same word might have different meanings. Emotional barriers create mental walls and the barriers can be related love, frustration, joy, disappointment, lack of attention,distrust, anger and sadness. Sometimes person’s emotions may stop him to discuss certain topics.  Personal barriers are directly connected with persons who participate in communication. The factors included in personal barriers are attitude, behavior, life experiences that give impact on the ability of a person. Organizational barriers are related to the organization’s policies, organization structure, facilities and rules and regulations. These are some major barriers of communication. Some other barriers are language barrier, cultural barrier, perceptual barrier and timing barrier (Tsai, 2009).

To overcome the barriers, some methods can be used such as there should be clarity in thoughts. The sender should understand the behavior, culture, nature and religion of audience before communicating. If a person is going for high profile meeting then he should take advice from experts to get ideas. The speaker should use simple and polite tone and technical words should be avoided in communication. The speaker should put efforts to make the communication interactive and should take feedback from audience. Through feedback the listeners also involve themselves in the conversation. The speaker should use appropriate body language. The audience would get bored if the speaker gives too much unnecessary information so the speaker should speak in straight forward manner (Van Riel & Fombrun, 2007).  

Some people use technical words and complex words to create impression but these words actually create confusion because many people are not familiar with these words. Jargons, euphemisms and management speak are used for same meaning. Some of most used business jargon words are kudos, ninth inning, marinate, herding cats, deep dive, scuttlebutt, upshot, whitewater change, zombie project, think outside the box, career-limiting move, etc. Unfortunately most business jargon words are unclear in meaning still business persons use them but every person cannot understand the meaning of words properly. These words should not be used and the organization’s members should avoid these words for communication (Adorno, 2013).

Effective business communication is important for business success. Good communication helps to build good relationship among members of the organization. Communication means not only passing the messages but also includes sending, receiving, speaking and listening (Sen, 2007). The given essay presented major communication channels like formal communication channel and informal communication channels, features of business communication, impact of language on meaning, use of different languages for different cultural audience, barriers of business communication like semantic barriers, emotional barriers, personal barriers and organizational barriers, some methods for overcoming barriers and also showed criticism for use of jargon words in business context.

References

Adorno, T. (2013). The jargon of authenticity. Routledge.

Berger, J., & Iyengar, R. (2013). Communication channels and word of mouth: How the medium shapes the message. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(3), 567-579.

Bovee, C. L. (2010). Business Communication Today, 10/e. Pearson Education India.

Danaher, P. J., & Rossiter, J. R. (2011).Comparing perceptions of marketing communication channels. European Journal of Marketing, 45(1/2), 6-42.

Fann Thomas, G. (2007). How can we make our research more relevant? Bridging the gap between workplace changes and business communication research. The Journal of Business Communication (1973), 44(3), 283-296.

Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, D. (2012). Essentials of business communication. Cengage Learning.

Hooker, J. (2008). Cultural differences in business communication. The handbook of intercultural discourse and communication, 389-407.

Schoop, M., Köhne, F., & Ostertag, K. (2010). Communication quality in business negotiations. Group Decision and Negotiation, 19(2), 193-209.

Sen, L. (2007). Communication skills. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd..

Tange, H., & Lauring, J. (2009). Language management and social interaction within the multilingual workplace. Journal of Communication Management, 13(3), 218-232.

Tsai, M. K. (2009). Improving communication barriers for on-site information flow: An exploratory study. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 23(3), 323-331.

Van Riel, C. B., & Fombrun, C. J. (2007). Essentials of corporate communication: Implementing practices for effective reputation management. Routledge.

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