Unit 222: Communication in a business environment
1.1 Explain why different communication methods are used in the business environment.
The three main methods of communication used in a business environment are…
• Face to face (Verbal and Body language included)
Different methods of communication are used depending on the different circumstances, the reasoning behind this is that certain methods will be more effective in terms of cost, time, impact and appropriateness.
Face to Face
An example of face to face communication in a business environment is an office meeting/ conference that doesn’t include any sort of technology. It is important in a face to face communication that you keep a professional posture, maintain eye contact, choose your words well, be audible and finally you must listen. Doing these makes you seem much more professional and should make the meeting more effective and successful. The advantages of face to face communication are that by reading one’s body language it adds value, builds relationships and creates greater understanding. Also face to face communication seems to be the most professional, productive and efficient too. Lastly, in my opinion during face to face communication it is easier to convey a point and importance and to show instructions to others. The disadvantages of face to face communications in a business environment is that if it’s a large company, arranging times to meet can get very difficult especially if the company is based across different cities and even different countries. Another disadvantage is that sometimes it’s better to give people some time to consider and get back to you, other means of communication would be better in this situation because you wouldn’t want to put pressure on the audience whoever they may be.
There are many different examples of electronic communications for example email, instant messages, voicemail, teleconferences (Skype) and faxes. Electronic communications’ benefits all depends on whether whoever’s using it knows it strengths and weaknesses. Effective electronic communications have a clear meaning for example for email, it begins with a subject, this should be a meaningful which is direct and to the point. The advantages of electronic communications are that it has a speedy transmission, it also has a wide coverage and is cheap too. Another advantage of electronic communication is that there isn’t the pressure of an instant reply like there is with face to face. Finally, this type of communication has benefited larger companies through eliminating time and distance barriers while communicating. The disadvantages of electrical communication are that it has a high starting cost for development and because of this some countries are dependent on others for sharing their global network as they cannot afford it. Another disadvantage of this communication method is that due to a fault in the system, data may not be transferred or received which causes a delay.
Written communications involves any type of written word. Examples of written communications are reports, mail, contract and employee manuals, these all being as a hard copy. Even though email and online communications have become a lot more common in recent years, many still prefer these as a hard copy. The advantages of written communications are that it’s easy to preserve and it’s an easy presentation of a complex matter. Another advantage is that’s a permanent record and can be used in the future as a reference. On the other hand, the disadvantages of written communications are that it’s expensive considering paper, pen, ink and postage. Also, another disadvantage is that it’s less personal and finally there’s obviously a lack of instant and short replies.
1.2 Describe the communication requirements of different audiences.
If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your communication with different audiences, you should be aware of the different approaches. You should consider which means of communication is most effective too. The factors you should take into consideration are age, gender, ethnicity and special needs. An example of this would be that younger people would have a shorter attention span compares to older people. Another example would be that older people would have worse eye sight, so you should make writing bigger or speak louder if it was verbal. You should also adapt your approach depending on who you may be talking to, depending if you were speaking to a customer, colleague. They’re many examples of this, like a joke in an office with customers would seem to be inappropriate, where on the other hand would be appropriate when chatting to colleagues.
1.3 Explain the importance of using the correct grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling and conventions in business communications.
Using the correct grammar in business communications is so important because without it you cannot ensure that you will be fully understood. The reason for this is because grammatical errors can be difficult to read which leads to misunderstanding. By writing and speaking with the correct grammar you will be communicating more effectively, and the audience will understand more precisely.
Using the correct sentence structure is important in business communications. The correct sentence structure would be using a variety of sentence types. The reasoning behind this is to emphasise all the different points and to make it sound more interesting, rather than saying the same thing over again. When using the correct sentence structure, it allows you to be correctly interpreted.
Correct punctuation is necessary in business communications. The reason behind this is that, it can change the meaning of a sentence completely. In business communications it is vital that you are understood by the audience, so you should be using the correct punctuation marks. Marked bellow…
(1) Comma ,
(2) Full Stop or Period.
(3) Semicolon ;
(5) Question Mark?
(6) Exclamation Mark!
(7) Dash and Parentheses (-)
(8) Hyphen –
(9) Inverted Commas or Quotation Marks ” ”
The ability to be able to spell correctly is very important and useful. Spelling is very important in business communications for many different reasons. Firstly, your spelling is like a first impression, and it keeps a good reputation. Another reason is that it makes your communications more effective and it prevents misunderstanding.
1.4 Explain the importance of using appropriate body language and tone of voice when communicating