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Business Communication - I Solved Question Papers: Nov' 2015


2015 (November)
COMMERCE
The figures in the margin indicate full marks for the questions
(NEW COURSE)
Full Marks: 80
1. Select the right alternative: 1x4=4
  1. Ability to communicate effectively
  1. Is inborn.
  2. Can be developed.
  3. Cannot be developed.
  1. Interaction among members of the same organization is called
  1. Formal communication.
  2. Internal communication.
  3. External communication.
  1. Multinational corporation with global operations employ people from
  1. Western countries.
  2. Developed countries.
  3. Different countries.
  1. To excel in Group Discussion, it is important to develop
  1. Listening skills.
  2. Interactive skills.
  3. Speaking skills.
2. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’: 1x4=4
  1. Encoding is the process of interpreting the message. False, Decoding
  2. Advertising, media interaction and public relation fall mainly within the domain of corporate communication.  True
  3. Every presentation normally ends with a question and answer session. True
  4. The physical presence but mental absence can be defined as active listening. False, Passive
3. Write answers to the following questions in about 100 words each: 4x4=16
  1. Account for the importance of audience analysis with reference to the communication process.
  2. How can grapevine be effectively used?
  3. State briefly the skills needed to make presentations effective.
  4. What are the factors that have added cross-cultural dimension to business communication?
4. (a) Distinguish between communication and effective communication. In what ways can communicate be made effective? 5+6=11
Ans: Communication: The term communication is derived from a Latin word „communis‟ which means common. This means establishing a common ground. Now whatever is common is shared by all. But what is that which is shared by all in communication? It is fact, ideas, understanding, opinions, information etc.
In the words of Newman, Summer & Warren, “communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, and opinions by two or more persons.”
According to Keith Davis, “Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another.”
Communication should not be interpreted as merely sending or receiving messages. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding. It is a two way process and is complete only when there is some response from the receiver of information.
Communication becomes effective when the receiver understands the meaning of the message as the sender intends. All communication attempts may not be effective. Certain barriers and problems may cause communication failure. When information is received timely, exact meaning of the message is understood and proper feedback is given, communication becomes effective. Consequently, to make an effective communication, the following qualities of communication are needed:
1. Timely receiving.
2. Understanding exact meaning of the message.
3. Proper feedback is given by the receiver to the sender.
R.W. Griffin mentioned about Effective Communication, "Effective communication is the process of sending a message in such a way that the message received is as close in meaning as possible to the message intended."
The difference between communication and effective communication is that even though both are forms of sending information from one person to another effective communication is making sure the specifics are explained and given in the message. A sender can verify that communication was effective by acting out or responding the exact way the message intended. 
How Communication is made effective?
Communication becomes effective when the receiver understands the meaning of the message as the sender intends. To make communication effective, the following rules should be involved:
1. Specific Purpose: The sender must be clear about the specific purpose that he wants to communicate to the receiver.
2. Study the Listener: The sender must study the interest and attitude of the receiver to make communication effective more.
3.  Organization of Idea or Thought: The communicator must make up a plan about how he is going to communicate. He must organize his thoughts and ideas in advance.
4. Proper Transmission of Message: The message must be transmitted in such a way that it is accepted by the listener or reader with interest.
5. Personal Touch: The personal element is the keynote of communication. Sender's sincerity & sympathy influence the listener a lot. 
6. Mutual Understanding: A mutual understanding should be established between the sender and receiver of the message.
7. Awareness of the Need for Effective Communication: The sender and receiver of communication must be aware to make communication meaningful.


8. Provision for Feedback: When message is sent to the receiver, there must be a feedback to the sender. Two way communications creates the best possible feedback.
9. Selection of a Good Channel: The sender of message must select an effective and formal channel to communicate with the receiver.
10. Active Listening: This provides proper feedback to the sender to complete the communication process.
Or
(b) What do you mean by a communication model? Explain the SMCR model of communication developed by David Berlo. 4+7=11
Ans: Communication Models: Communication models are systematic representations of the process which helps in understanding how communication works can be done. Models show the process metaphorically and in symbols. They form general perspectives on communication by breaking communication from complex to simple and keeps the components in order. Communication models can sometimes encourage traditional thinking and stereotyping but can also omit some major aspects of human communication. Methods and channels of communication to be used and the purpose of communication, must be considered before choosing a specific communication model. Models are used by business companies and other firms to foster their communication, explore their options and to evaluate their own situations. It is also used to understand how the receivers will interpret the message.


David Berlo Model of Communication:
While the Aristotle model of communication puts the speaker in the central position and suggests that the speaker is the one who drives the entire communication, the Berlo’s model of communication takes into account the emotional aspect of the message. Berlo’s model of communication operates on the SMCR model.
a) S – Source: The source in other words also called the sender is the one from whom the thought originates. He is the one who transfers the information to the receiver after carefully putting his thoughts into words. It is done with the help of communication skills, Attitude, Knowledge, Social System and Culture.
Communication Skills: An individual must possess excellent communication skills to make his communication effective and create an impact among the listeners. The speaker must know where to take pauses, where to repeat the sentences, how to speak a particular sentence, how to pronounce a word and so on.
Attitude: It is rightly said that if one has the right attitude, the whole world is at his feet. There is actually no stopping for the person if he has the right attitude. A person might be a very good speaker but if he doesn’t have the right attitude, he would never emerge as a winner.
Knowledge: Here knowledge is not related to the educational qualification of the speaker or the number of degrees he has in his portfolio. Knowledge is actually the clarity of the information which the speaker wants to convey to the second party. One must be thorough in what he is speaking with complete in-depth knowledge of the subject.
Culture: Culture refers to the cultural background of the community or the listeners where the speaker is communicating or delivering his speech.
b) M – Message: When an individual converts his thoughts into words, a message is created. The process is also called as Encoding. Any message further comprises of the following elements:
Content: One cannot show his grey matter to others to let him know what he is thinking. A thought has to be put into words and content has to be prepared. Content is actually the matter or the script of the conversation. It is in simpler words, the backbone of any communication.
Element: It has been observed that speech alone cannot bring a difference in the communication. Keep on constantly speaking and the listeners will definitely lose interest after some time. The speech must be coupled with lots of hand movements, gestures, postures, facial expressions, body movements to capture the attention of the listeners and make the speech impressive. Hand movements, gestures, postures, facial expressions, body movements, gestures all come under the elements of the message.
Treatment: Treatment is actually the way one treats his message and is conveys to the listeners. One must understand the importance of the message and must know how to handle it.
Structure: A message cannot be expressed in one go. It has to be properly structured in order to convey the message in the most desired form.
Code: Enter a wrong code and the locks will never open. Enter a wrong password, you will not be able to open your email account. In the same way the code has to be correct in the communication.
c) C - Channel: Channel actually refers to the medium how the information flows from the sender to the receiver.
How does one know what the other person is speaking ? - Through Hearing.
How does one know whether the pasta he has ordered is made in white sauce or not ? - Through Tasting.
How does one know that there is a diversion ahead or it’s a no parking zone? - Through Seeing. How will an individual come to know that the food is fresh or stale ? How do we find out the fragrance of a perfume ? – Through Smelling.
How will you find out whether the milk is hot or not ? - Through Touching.
All the five senses are the channels which help human beings to communicate with each other.
d) R – Receiver: When the message reaches the receiver, he tries to understand what the listener actually wants to convey and then responds accordingly. This is also called as decoding. The receiver should be on the same platform as the speaker for smooth flow of information and better understanding of the message. He should possess good communication skills to understand what the speaker is trying to convey. He should have the right attitude to understand the message in a positive way. His knowledge should also be at par with the listener and must know about the subject. He should also be from the same social and cultural background just like the speaker.
There are several loopholes in the Berlo’s model of communication. According to the berlo’s model of communication, the speaker and the listener must be on a common ground for smooth conversion which is sometimes not practical in the real scenario.
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5. (a) Explain briefly the various forms of internal and external corporate communication. 5+6=11
Ans: Meaning of Corporate Communication
Corporate communication is broadly defined as a corporation's attempt to inform the public, including all its consumers, private investors and the media. Corporate communication represents the very voice with which corporate institutions interact with the outside world and is inclusive of communications regarding investor relations, government relations, labor relations and employee development. Corporate communications is the process of facilitating information and knowledge exchanges with internal and key external groups and individuals that have a direct relationship with an enterprise. It is concerned with internal communications management from the standpoint of sharing knowledge and decisions from the enterprise with employees, suppliers, investors and partners.
In the words of William Scott,” Administrative communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting actions which will accomplish organizational goals‖.”
Corporate communication is mainly divided into two parts:
a) Internal Communication
b) External Communication
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION :  It refers to the exchange of information and ideas within an organization. As employee, you are in a position to observe things that your supervisors and co-workers cannot see: a customer’s first reaction to a product display , a supplier’s brief hesitation before agreeing to a delivery date or a slowdown in the flow of customers. Managers and co-workers need these little gems of information in order to do their jobs. Internal communication helps employees do their jobs , develop a clear sense of the organization’s mission and identify and react quickly to potential problems. To maintain a healthy flow of information within the organization , effective communicators use both formal and informal channels.
EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION: The external communication network links the organization with the outside world of customers , suppliers , competitors , and investors , journalists , and community representatives. Sometimes this external communication is carefully orchestrated – especially during a crisis. At other times it occurs informally as part of routine business operations.
Internal and External communication are further divided into two parts:
  1. Formal Communication
  2. Informal Communication
Formal Communication: Communication takes place through the formal channels of the organization structure along the lines of authority established by the management is called Formal Communication. It is that route of communication which is institutionally determined and is associated with status or position of the receiver and sender. The formal channels are deliberately related to ensure that accurate information flows smoothly and timely. Such communications are generally in writing and may take any of the forms; policy; manuals: procedures and rule books; memoranda; official meetings; reports, etc.
Informal Communication: Communication arising out of all those channels of communication that fall outside the formal channels is known as informal communication. Informal communication does not flow lines of authority as is the case of formal communication. It arises due to the personal needs of the members of an organization. At times, in informal communication, it is difficult to fix responsibility about accuracy of information. Such communication is usually oral and may be covered even by simple glance, gesture or smile or silence.
Informal communication is known as grapevine. Grapevine arises because of the desire of the people to communicate without following the formal channel of communication. It follows no setlines, nor any definite rules, but spreads like grapevine, in any direction anywhere.
Channel of communication/Communication Networks
A channel means a path or a way. Thus a channel of communication is the path or way through which information is transmitted throughout the organization. It is the route through which the message flows from the sender to the receiver.  Human beings in an organization are inter-related to each other. They are related both formally as well as informally. These relationships are maintained by means of communication. Therefore there exists in an organization two channels of communication: -
1. Formal channel of communication
2. Informal channel of communication
Various forms of Formal channel of communication
Formal Channel of Communication are classified into following forms:
1. Downward communication: Communication that flows from the top level of the organization to the bottom level along with the scalar chain is known as downward communication. Example for such type of communication are orders, instructions, rules, policies, programs and directives etc. it specifies the extent of the subordinates authority and their responsibility.
2. Upward Communication: Upward communication is just the opposite of downward communication. In this communication system, the message is transmitted from the bottom of the organization upward to the top of the organization through the middle managers along with the line. Usually this includes workers grievances, suggestions and reactions. This communication system was not appreciated by the superiors. But it has assured importance in modern times and is considered to be a main source of motivating employees.
3. Horizontal communication: The flow of information between departments or people of equal level in an organizational structure may be termed as horizontal or lateral communication. The two departments may be under the same superior or may have different heads. Such communication may be written or oral. The main object of lateral communication is to co-ordinate the efforts of different departments or persons.
4. Diagonal communication: Diagonal communication is between people who are neither in the same department nor on the same level of organizational structure. It cuts across departmental lines. It generally takes place when members cannot communicate effectively through other channels.  
These upward, downward, horizontal or diagonal communications may be oral, written, informal or gestural.
Various forms of Informal channel of communication
Keith Davis has identified four different networks for transmitting information via the grapevine:-
1. Single Strand Chain: In single strand chain one person communicate with only one person. In this the first person tells something to the 2nd, the 2nd to the 3rd person, the 3rd to 4th person and so on till the message is communicated to all.


2. Gossip Chain: In gossip chain one person communicates with many persons. As soon as a person gets some interesting non jog related information he conveys the same to every other person.
3. Probability chain: In probability chain communication takes place between many persons. There information is conveyed from one person to another irrespective of the fact that they are related to each other or not whether formally or informally. In this the information passes at random.
4. Cluster Chain: In cluster chain one person communicates with many other persons but selectively. In this one person may convey information to 4 or 5 persons whom he knows very well and can trust out of these 4-5 persons one or two may again pass on the information. As the number grows larger and larger and information staler, it gradually dies out. This is knows as cluster chain because one person while conveying message may from cluster.
Or
(b) Enumerate briefly any four barriers to communication. Suggest six ways to overcome communication barriers.  4+7=11
Ans: Barriers of Communication:
Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another, anything that obstructs the free flow of communication is referred to us Barrier of communication. E.g. Problem in encoding and decoding, wrong or defective communication channel, noise in the channel etc. Barrier may arise at any of the following level:
  1. Sender oriented,
  2. Receiver oriented
Sender-oriented barriers could be voluntary or involuntary. At any cost, efforts should be made on the part of the sender to identify and remove them. As the sender is the originator of communication, he should be extremely careful not to erect barriers. If his interaction gives rise to or indicates that there are barriers, the communication comes to a grinding halt. Some of the barriers that are sender-oriented are as follows:
Receiver can also have some barriers in the course of the interaction. Although his role in the initial phase is passive, he becomes active when he starts assimilating and absorbing the information. He is equally to blame if the situation goes awry and communication comes to a stop, or there is miscommunication. Some of the barriers emanating from the side of the receiver are as follows:
Types of Barriers in communication: The barriers to communication in an organization may be broadly categorized into following groups:
1. Physical barriers (RECEIVER’S ORIENTED)
2. Socio- psychological or personal barriers (RECEIVER’S ORIENTED)
3. Organizational barriers (SENDER’S ORIENTED)
4. Semantic barriers (SENDER’S ORIENTED)
5. Mechanical barriers (SENDER’S ORIENTED)
However, such a classification does not suggest that these are mutually exclusive. Rather, it is helpful in understanding the nature of communication barriers.
1. Physical Barriers: There are the environmental factors that also obstruct or reduces the sending and receiving of communication, such as physical distance distracting noises and other interferences difficulty arises in communicating a message, when the physical distance increases:-
Noise: Noise is first and foremost barrier to effective communication. Noise may be caused by machines, equipment, communication device, disturbances in the time of transmission etc. noise also encompasses many other factors such as the sender may use ambiguous or confusing signal. The receiver may misinterpret the message. Thus communication is likely to be spoilt due to noise.
Time and distance: Time and distance also acts as a barrier in smooth flow of communication. Distance between the sender and receiver acts as a hurdle. Although this barrier can be overcome by technology but still in case of breakdown, this exists. Different timing of shifts at workplace also act as barriers in imparting on vital information.
2. Socio-psychological or personal Barriers: There are certain socio psychological factors which restrict the free flow of communication. They are the attitude and opinions, status consciousness, ones relations with fellow workers, seniors, and junior’s etc. family background. These restrict participative communication:
I. Motives, attitudes, judgments, emotions, and social values of people from the part of the personal barriers. Psychological distance is also developed with this.
II. Individual Differences: There are differences in the motives, attitudes and sentiments of the people. So this causes problems in encoding and decoding other’s sentiments, attitudes and motives.
III. Differences in interest: The interest of people also differs. A problem may be important for one person but may not carry weight for another. The ideas, question, attitudes, feelings etc of other party may represent an obstacle to one’s own personal goal.
IV. Division of People: Communication is ideas and viewpoint also gets affected by the division of people into classes, castes and communities.
V. Difference of viewpoints: Communication suffers when there are differences in view point of the different people.
VI. Lack of planning: Good communication never happens but has to be planned. When people take it lightly and communicate without planning it turns into miscommunication or mal communication.
VII. Cultural barriers: Due to difference in the cultural background the same word, phrases, symbols, actions etc. may mean different to different group of people. Mis understanding may take place due to this.
3. Organizational Barriers: Organisational barriers arise due to defects in the organization structure and the communication system of an organization:
I. Hierarchical distance: Downward communication promotes hierarchical distance. The chances of information being filtered are more at this structure, because there are several layers. Information received from the top may not reach at bottom in the same shape. The information gets coloured which brings hierarchical distance.
II. Diversion: Diversion of information is also one of the causes which brings barrier to communication process. For example sometimes a manager diverts the information meant for one person or group to another.
III. Colouring: Information are also coloured by the manager intentionally with a view to twist the situation in their favour. For example, an office may quote his subordinate wrongly, to spoil his career or his chance of promotion or his image in the eyes of the boss.
IV. Status barriers: Status is a barrier of communication in a formal organization. Organizational interaction and communication are influenced by the status and the expectations.
V. Goal conflicts: Goal conflict acts as communication reducers. Different goal lead to bifurcation of interest. Due to this communication suffers.
4. Semantic Barriers: Semantic means the relationships of signs of their reference. Semantic barrier arises from the disadvantages of the symbolic system. Symbols have got number of meaning and one has to choose any one of them according to the requirement of communication. Symbol or the language is the most important tool of communication which has to be used very carefully:-
I. Words with different meaning: Some words convey more than one meaning. When the receiver assigns a different meaning to a word than what the sender intended, there occurs miscommunication.
II. Denotation and connotation: Words have two types of meaning = Denotation and connotation. Denotation is the literal meaning of the words connotation are the suggestive meaning of the words. Connotation is the suggestive meanings of the words. Connotation may be positive or negative.
III. Offensive style of communication: Badly expressed messages lose their impact. Offensive style of communication leads to communication breakdown causing loss of time and money.
IV. Wrong assumptions: Communication should not be based on assumption as it may lead to wrong interpretation. All possible efforts should be made to clarify assumptions.
V. Selective perception: many a time the message is decoded by the receiver in a way which may be selective. In other words most of the receivers protect their own interest and expectations leading to a particular type of feedback which becomes a communication problem.
5. Mechanical Barriers: Mechanical barriers include inadequate arrangement for transmission of news, facts and figures. Example poor office layout and defective procedure and the use of wrong media led to poor communication.
I. Information overload: Excess of communication is called information overload. Brevity is the soul of communication. The receiver cannot comprehend and absorb beyond his mental capacity. His mind will remain closed for the excess part of the communication. Therefore one should be brief and to the point.
II. Loss of transmission: When messages are transmitted from person to person they are filtered. In other words they are diluted and distorted on the way. In oral communication about 30% of the information is lost in each transmission.
Steps to overcome the barriers of communication in an organization
In order to remove barriers to communication an open door communication policy should be prepared and followed by managers at all levels. The superiors in the organization must create an atmosphere of confidence and trust in the organization so that the credibility gap may be narrowed down. Major efforts in this direction are:
  1. Two-way communication: The organization’s communication policy should provide for a two-way traffic in communication upwards and downwards. It brings two minds closer and improves understanding between the two parties the sender and the receiver. There should be no communication gap.
  2. Strengthening Communication Network: The communication network should be strengthened to make communication effective. For this purpose the procedure of communication should be simplified, layers in downward communication should be reduced to the minimum possible. Decentralization and delegation of authority should be encouraged to make information communication more efficient.
  3. Promoting Participative Approach: The management should promote the participative approach in management. The subordinates should be invited to participate in the decision making process. It should seek cooperation from the subordinates and reduce communication barriers.
  4. Appropriate Language: In communication certain symbols are used. Such symbols may be in the form of words, pictures and actions. If words are used, the language should be simple and easily comprehensible to the subordinates. Technical and multi-syllable words should, as far as possible be avoided. The sender must use the language with which the receiver is familiar.
  5. Credibility in Communication: One criterion of effective communication is credibility. The subordinates obey the orders of their superior because they have demonstrated through their actions that they are trustworthy. They must practice whatever they say. The superior must also maintain his trust worthiness. If the superior is trusted by the subordinates, communication will be effective.
  6. Good Listening: A communicator must be a good listener too. A good manager gives his subordinates a chance to speak freely and express their feelings well before him. The manager also gets some useful information for further communication and can also have a better understanding of the subordinates needs, demands etc.
  7. Selecting on Effective Communication Channel: To be effective the communication should be sent to the receiver through an effective channel. By effective channel mean that the message reaches its destination in time to the right person and without any distortion, filtering or omission.
  8. Preventing Predictable Decision Making Errors: Predictable errors in decision making are preventable errors. And a few simple techniques can help in clear of the most common wrong turns in decision making.
6. (a) What are the ten commandments of good speaking? Discuss any two in detail. 4+7=11
Or
(b) What are the objectives of Group Discussion? Assess the importance of group discussion as part of selection process. 4+7=11
Ans: Group Discussion
Group Discussion is an important tool in the selection process. It is mostly used for selecting candidates for management posts. Here, the candidates are divided into small groups. Each group contains six to eight candidates. Each group is given a topic for discussion. They are also given a time limit for discussing this topic. The topic may be a general or current topic. For e.g. "Leaders are born, not made". Each participant has to give his or her views about this topic. The selectors observe the full discussion. After the time limit is over, the best candidate from the group is selected. The same process is followed for other groups.
Group discussion is mostly unstructured. That is, every single step is not planned in advance. Each candidate is not given a time limit for speaking. Similarly, the order of speaking, that is, who will speak first and who will speak last is not fixed in advance. The candidates have to decide how to conduct the group discussion. The selectors see how the group takes shape, and who contributes most to it. They also judge the knowledge of each candidate, time management, leadership quality, behaviour, etc.
Purposes/Objectives of group discussion:
Group discussion actually detail the area of approach to a problem or topic. A fruitful group discussion should include the following objectives:
1. Suggestions: Advice and ideas, together with suggestions, they form the core heart of a group discussion. It is through these tools that a meaningful and practically implementable solution can be reached. Intermingling of these suggestions give rise to a new ones, creating a space for best possible output.
2. Wide approach: Group discussion helps to provide wide approach to any matter under consideration, as it include members from a large number of different sections of a particular business organisation. The beauty of entire process is in the area of span it can give to a problem’s redressal.
3. Decision Making: Group discussion should be able to justify itself as a tool for rational evaluation of a problem and thereon reach to a suitable decisions, based on erstwhile suggestions made by the members. It also makes it easier for the leader to able to take even the toughest of decision with an ease, because by group discussion he can know what is supported by other members of the organisation.
4. Exchange of ideas: Group discussion should also be able to tap the working of every mind, engaged in the process, by the exchange of ideas put forth.
5. Productive activity: Group discussion is always supposed to be a productive activity in a business concern. It always a method which helps to procure the best possible decision for a concern.
Why are Group Discussions used as a part of the selection process? 
Nowadays, be it any stream or field, interaction skills are highly valued. By means of group discussions recruiters judge candidates capabilities in and out. Group discussions have become an integral step of evaluation for process of recruitment and admissions. These discussions are aimed at appraising various aspects of personality like confidence, communication skill, patience, etc. At the same time Group discussions are also important to evaluate one’s command on the given topic. 
Group Discussions measure certain attributes of the candidates that are otherwise difficult to identify and time consuming to assess. A number of people who can communicate their ideas well and discuss effectively with others in a one-to-one situation become tongue-tied in a group situation. They will just not be able to present their ideas or discuss their ideas with the other members of the group. A Group Discussion will identify people who have such group communication skills and people who do not possess such group communication skills.
In today's context, the organizations are interested in team players rather than individual contributors. During the Group Discussion, the panel essentially evaluates the candidate's potential to be a leader and also his/her ability to work in teams. Most organizations today are very clear about the skills and knowledge that they look for in a candidate while screening. This was not the case a couple of years ago. Group Discussion has been a part of the Selection process for admission into most of the top Business Schools  Earlier, some of the Pharmaceutical Companies like Ranbaxy, Glaxo, Cipla, Lupin, etc used to conduct Group Discussions as a part of their Screening Process for Selection of candidates as Medical Representatives. Most of the other companies also used to conduct GD while selecting candidates for marketing related Posts. Today, almost every company, (including TCS, SATYAM, WIPRO, INFOSYS, INFOTECH, ORACLE, CTS, CANBAY, POLARIS, etc) both IT and non-IT has GD as part of their Selection Process. 


The skills that are usually assessed in a Group Discussion are: 
• Communication Skills 
• Interpersonal Skills 
• Leadership Skills 
• Motivational Skills 
• Team Building Skills 
• Tolerance to Ambiguity 
• Divergent Thinking 
• Listening skills 
• Presentation Skills 
• Analytical / Logical skills,
So, it's important to assess candidate’s current strengths in all these areas and accordingly put efforts to strengthen their weaknesses.
7. (a) What is the importance of listening skills in a business organization? How are those skills useful in dealing with customer complaint? 4+7=11
Ans: Listening is an essential part of spoken communication. Speaking and listening go together and oral communication can not be effective without proper listening. Poor listening defeats the very purpose of spoken words. Listening is a deliberate effort and is much more than hearing. It requires getting the full meaning of what is being said.
Listening effectively takes skill, self-motivation, and practice. Effective listening means concentrating on what the speaker says rather than on how it is said. Lack of attention and respectful listening can be costly - leading to mistakes, poor service, misaligned goals, wasted time and lack of teamwork.
IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING
  1. It helps us to understand the people and the world around us.
  2. In our society, listening is essential to the development and survival of the individual.
  3. Relationships depends more on listening skills than on speaking skills.
  4. A good listener is always in a better position to deal with his problems and relationships.
  5. It helps a person to grow in his career.
  6. It keeps a person well informed
  7. It helps an organization to meet its objectives.
  8. Being listened to spells the difference between feeling accepted and feeing isolated.
  9. A good listener rarely involves himself in controversies and misunderstanding.
  10. Listening skills are critical to effective leadership.
  11. Good listeners are often the best speakers because they have taken the time to find out what people are truly interested in.
Importance of listening in dealing with customer service
Everyone who has ever worked in a customer service capacity knows that we won’t always have the ability or resources to solve every customer problem we encounter. What we can do each and every time we speak with a customer is offer them our attention, by listening to their needs in an engaged manner and responding appropriately. Listening forms the foundation of any effective customer service interaction, and it is one of the most powerful tools available for turning a negative experience into a positive one. Research has shown that both participants in a conversation feel better when they perceive the other party is engaged in active listening, meaning that it has the potential to increase satisfaction for both customers and employees. Here are a few ways that listening is important to customer service:
Empathy Begins with Active Listening: The absence of empathy is a prominent cause of service failure plaguing many organizations. When customers don’t believe that a representative is truly engaged in trying to understand their problem, they’re much more likely to walk away. When customer service professionals assume they know what a customer is feeling instead of listening for the language and cues that can truly signal the customer’s underlying emotions, empathy is impossible to achieve.
Listen as Customers Tell Us How to Resolve Their Issue: Many times, when a customer is explaining what went wrong and what they expect, service employees can read between the lines of the conversation and determine exactly what it will take to “wow” them and win them back. We just need to remember that the first step in customer service listening is to stop speaking.
Listening Keeps the Focus on the Customer Experience: Customer service conversations shouldn’t be about us, our skills, our organizations, or our products; they should always be about the customer’s experience. Committing our full attention throughout the conversation keeps the focus squarely on the customer and ensures that the interaction proceeds with their needs as the primary driver.
Reduce Instances of Miscommunication: Miscommunication breeds frustration and what may seem like a harmless error to us could be the last straw for a customer who feels like nothing is going their way. Proactively listening to our customer before taking action allows us to gather all of the information we need to help prevent miscommunication and the resulting service issues that come from not understanding what the customer is trying to tell us.
Listening Is an Improvement Mechanism: One of the most powerful ways to improve the performance of our teams is to train our team members to not only listen carefully but to document what they’ve learned from their conversations with customers.  Our customers are our best source for details about our successes and failures and often it is the unscripted, unstructured feedback data that provides the best insights into the experience we are providing.
Or
(b) What are the reasons behind miscommunication? Suggest some ways to overcome miscommunication.  4+7=11
8. (a) What are the stages in writing a business letter? What are the essential qualities of a good business letter? 6+6=12
Ans: Components or Stages of a Business Letter
The components of a letter constitute the different parts of a letter. The following parts usually constitute the structure of a business letter.
1. Heading: The heading which is also known as „head address‟ or “letter head” contains information relating to the name of the organization and its address. It is usually given at the top centre or top right side of the paper. Following information’s are provided in the heading.  The firm’s name, address, trade mark, telephone number, telexes number, Ethics-mail address etc.
2. Reference Number: The number which the receiver refers in all future correspondence is called reference number. It is usually printed below the date line or on the same line where the date is written to the right margin. The purpose of reference number is to enable replies to be linked with the previous correspondence and to send replies to these letters to the proper official or department.
3. Date: The date consists of day, month and year. The date finds its place either at the starting of left margin or at the closing of the right margin as the style adopted. Date enables quick references in future and helps in prompt action and orderly filing.
4. Inside address: The inside address contains the name and address of the organization or the individual to whom the letter is written. It is written below the reference time starting from the left margin. The inside address makes a record on the copy which helps in identification for filling purpose.
5. Attention line: Attention line is placed below the attention time and above the salutations and is underlined. It indicates the name of those for whom the letter is meant.
6. Salutation: Salutation means to greet the addressee. It is the complementary greeting with which the writer begins his letter. it is written below the inside address or attention line leaving some space. It starts from the left side margin. It may or may not end with comma depending upon the style of the letter.
7. Subject line: Subject line tells what the correspondence is about. It is placed just below the salutation line. It usually begins at the left margin and may also begin from the centre. It may contain apart from the subject any specific identification material i.e. date of previous letter, invoice number etc.
8. Body of the letter: It is that part of the letter which contains the message to be converged. It is the most important part of the letter and usually consists of three to four paragraphs.  
The first (or the opening paragraph) begins the letter and builds up a relationship with the reader.
The second paragraph contains the proper subject matter. It is the main paragraph of the letter.
The third paragraph is an extension of the second paragraph.
The fourth (or the closing paragraph) brings the letter to an end. It must be natural and logical must be final and complete.
Closing with an important statement, a question, an offer or a request leaves the door open for further communication.
9. Formal Close: It is also known as subscription. It is merely a polite way of ending a letter. It is written below the last paragraph of the body of the letter, either at the left side or at the right side, depending on the style of letter. The subscription should be corresponding to the salutation.
10. Signature block/slot: Signature is the assent of the writer to the subject matter of the letter and is a practical necessity. It is usually hand written and contains the writers name, status, department, firm etc. Signature is put just below the complementary close.
11. Enclosures: Sometimes some documents like price list catalogue etc are attached with the letter. Enclosure mentions the documents which are enclosed or attached with the letter. The enclosures usually find their place at the bottom left margin.
12. Postscript: It is commonly known as is something written after the letter is closed. It is usually done when the writer forgets to put in some information or message in the main part. It should be very precise and to the point.
13. ‘CC’ or Carbon Copy notation: When copies of the letter are meant to be sent to more than one person it is mentioned under “CC” or carbon copy notation.
14. Reference initial: When typed initials are put it refers to reference initials. These are useful for office checking. They are typed adjacent to the left margin.
Essentials for a good Business Letter
Business letters are an important part of any business or profession. They are written to different persons with different motives. Letter writing is basically an art. The writer can cultivate a good style of writing various business letters by a constant and regular practice. Below are mentioned some of the important features which should be closely followed by a letter writer:
  1. Clarity: A letter must have clarity. The purpose of communication should be made clear. Whether it is to inform, invite, reiterate, emphasize, remind, announce, seek participation or clarity and correct the earlier message, the purpose should clearly be stated. Lack of clarity affects the intended purpose of the letter. A letter writer should be conscious and exercise due care.
  2. Impact: The letter should create the necessary impact. Behind every letter there is an objective and the letter should have a clear purpose. The purpose of writing a letter is not just to reach out to the customer. Every letter has an intended impact which must be felt.
  3. To create the desired impact, it is often necessary to lay emphasis. Emphasis can be laid in many ways. It can be done by proper positioning—placing them in an important position. It can be done by repetition.
  4. Relevant Information: The letter should provide the relevant details forming part of the message. Facts, figures, illustrations and other such information, which are accurate and reliable, as well as relevant to the context of the communication, should be incorporated in the letter.
  5. Brevity: Any good communication—oral or written—should necessarily incorporate this essential feature. Brevity is a very important attribute for any business letter. For everyone connected with business, time is of essence.
  6. The time that one can allot for reading business letters is certainly limited. The receiver does not have unlimited time to spare towards reading and re-reading the letter and drawing out the message in its entirety.
  7. Simplicity: Simplicity is the hallmark of any good communication. Simplicity refers to the ease of understanding. Simple writing is the opposite of complex and involved writing. The art of simple writing is mastered through conscious effort and practice. A letter written in a simple, easy, informal style using easily understood words catches the attention, and makes an impact.
  8. Timeliness: Business letters, to be effective, should have proper timing. Letters should be written and dispatched on time. Some messages have a sense of urgency. They call for action, which is ‘immediate’ or ‘urgent’, or within a given time frame. Letters which carry such messages should reflect the associated urgency.
  9. Language: Language is an extremely important facet of business communication. First and foremost, it is necessary to ensure that the language used is appropriate, i.e., the language with which the reader is at ease. Apart from English and Hindi, various regional languages are in common use in businesses in different parts of the country. Public sector organizations such as banks follow the three-language formula.
  10. Appeal: A good letter should appeal to the reader’s sensibilities. It should go beyond the message it conveys and make a good impression. It should have elegance, which means taste, beauty and decency.
  11. Style: Style refers to the manner of writing. It constitutes the collective characteristics of the writing or impression or way of presenting things. Each person has an individual style. The writing style, to create an impact, again needs conscious effort, on an ongoing basis.
  12. Positive Approach: A good business letter, in the ultimate analysis, is that which has a positive approach. It creates a friendly atmosphere. It avoids negative feelings. One must be in a proper frame of mind to write a really good letter.
Or
(b) What is a memo? For what purposes are memo used? You are the Managing Director of ABC Limited. Draft a memo to the Customer Relations Officer for not attending to a customer complaint. 6+6=12
Ans: Office Memorandum or Memo or Memorandum
Memorandum is popularly known as memo. The literal meaning of the word memorandum is a note to assist the memory. Memos are the written internal communication means for exchanging information relating to day-to-day functions within the organizations.
According to Lesikar and pettit, “Memorandum is a form of letters written inside the business”.
According to Stewart and Clark, “Memos are used to communicate with other employees, regardless of where the employees may be located in the same organization.”
According to S. Taylor, “Memo is a written communication form one person to another (or a group of people) within the same organization.”
So, memorandum or memos are an internal short note or letter in which information exchanged among superiors and subordinates or same potion of employees in the organizational structure.
Advantages of office memo
We know memorandum serves various purposes. It is a common means of writer, communication within the organization. The main advantages of memos are discussed below:
  1. Time saving: We can see that may organizations use printed memo. As it is usually printed, it takes less time to draft it.
  2. Less formality: No formality is necessary in drafting a memo, usually inside address, salutation and complimentary closing is omitted in it.
  3. Maintenance good relationship: It can help to maintain the good relationship among the boss and subordinates, because the bossing attitude is absent here.
  4. Low cost: The cost of communication through a memo is less than those of others.
  5. References: Memo is a written document. So, it can be used for future references.
  6. Inform the decisions and actions: The main objective of memo is to inform the decisions and actions. For this purpose, it should be written by the higher authority.
  7. Request the decisions and actions: The objective of memo is to request the decisions and actions. For this objective, it may be drafted by the sub-ordinate.
  8. Provide information: Another important objective of the memo is to provide information form one level to another within the business.
  9. Remain someone of action: Memo is also written to remind someone of action, if requires.
  10. Others: Issuing orders and instructions, providing response, providing suggestions, presenting informal report, solving problems.
(OLD COURSE)
Full Marks: 80
Pass Marks: 32
1. Select the right alternative: 1x4=4
  1. Communication network in any organization is
  1. Internal and external.
  2. Verbal and written.
  3. Oral and non-verbal.
  1. Interactive meetings can be held through videoconferencing by a group of people and individuals in
  1. Same location.
  2. Distant location.
  3. Different locations.
  1. Sales presentations are designed and delivered with a view to
  1. Inform about the products.
  2. Build goodwill.
  3. Persuade the prospective buyers.
  1. Multinational corporation with global operations employ people from
  1. Western countries.
  2. Developed countries.
  3. Different countries.
2. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’: 1x4=4
  1. Upward and downward flows of messages constitute vertical communication. True
  2. Body language is not effective in presentation. False
  3. Listening is a significant part of any communication process. True
  4. Modern business operations and organizations are not confined to local limits. True
3. Write answers to the following questions in about 100 words each: 4x4=16
  1. Distinguish between oral communication and written communication.
  2. How can grapevine be effectively used?
  3. What is videoconferencing?
  4. Why do organizations conduct surveys?
4. (a) What are the advantages and disadvantages of written communication? 14
Or
(b) What are the types of business communication? How can there be better communication in an organization? 7+7=14
5. (a) What is vertical communication? Explain its characteristics and advantages. 7+7=14
Or
(b) What is corporate communication? Explain its themes. 7+7=14
6. (a) What is presentation? What is sales presentation? What are the various types of presentations? 2+2+10=14
Or
(b) What is meant by communication barriers? Explain psychological and organizational barriers to communication. 4+10=14
Barriers of Communication:
Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another, anything that obstructs the free flow of communication is referred to us Barrier of communication. E.g. Problem in encoding and decoding, wrong or defective communication channel, noise in the channel etc. Barrier may arise at any of the following level:
  1. Sender oriented,
  2. Receiver oriented
Sender-oriented barriers could be voluntary or involuntary. At any cost, efforts should be made on the part of the sender to identify and remove them. As the sender is the originator of communication, he should be extremely careful not to erect barriers. If his interaction gives rise to or indicates that there are barriers, the communication comes to a grinding halt. Some of the barriers that are sender-oriented are as follows:
Receiver can also have some barriers in the course of the interaction. Although his role in the initial phase is passive, he becomes active when he starts assimilating and absorbing the information. He is equally to blame if the situation goes awry and communication comes to a stop, or there is miscommunication. Some of the barriers emanating from the side of the receiver are as follows:
Types of Barriers in communication: The barriers to communication in an organization may be broadly categorized into following groups:
1. Physical barriers (RECEIVER’S ORIENTED)
2. Socio- psychological or personal barriers (RECEIVER’S ORIENTED)
3. Organizational barriers (SENDER’S ORIENTED)
4. Semantic barriers (SENDER’S ORIENTED)
5. Mechanical barriers (SENDER’S ORIENTED)
However, such a classification does not suggest that these are mutually exclusive. Rather, it is helpful in understanding the nature of communication barriers.
1. Physical Barriers: There are the environmental factors that also obstruct or reduces the sending and receiving of communication, such as physical distance distracting noises and other interferences difficulty arises in communicating a message, when the physical distance increases:-
Noise: Noise is first and foremost barrier to effective communication. Noise may be caused by machines, equipment, communication device, disturbances in the time of transmission etc. noise also encompasses many other factors such as the sender may use ambiguous or confusing signal. The receiver may misinterpret the message. Thus communication is likely to be spoilt due to noise.
Time and distance: Time and distance also acts as a barrier in smooth flow of communication. Distance between the sender and receiver acts as a hurdle. Although this barrier can be overcome by technology but still in case of breakdown, this exists. Different timing of shifts at workplace also act as barriers in imparting on vital information.
2. Socio-psychological or personal Barriers: There are certain socio psychological factors which restrict the free flow of communication. They are the attitude and opinions, status consciousness, ones relations with fellow workers, seniors, and junior’s etc. family background. These restrict participative communication:
I. Motives, attitudes, judgments, emotions, and social values of people from the part of the personal barriers. Psychological distance is also developed with this.
II. Individual Differences: There are differences in the motives, attitudes and sentiments of the people. So this causes problems in encoding and decoding other’s sentiments, attitudes and motives.
III. Differences in interest: The interest of people also differs. A problem may be important for one person but may not carry weight for another. The ideas, question, attitudes, feelings etc of other party may represent an obstacle to one’s own personal goal.
IV. Division of People: Communication is ideas and viewpoint also gets affected by the division of people into classes, castes and communities.
V. Difference of viewpoints: Communication suffers when there are differences in view point of the different people.
VI. Lack of planning: Good communication never happens but has to be planned. When people take it lightly and communicate without planning it turns into miscommunication or mal communication.
VII. Cultural barriers: Due to difference in the cultural background the same word, phrases, symbols, actions etc. may mean different to different group of people. Mis understanding may take place due to this.
3. Organizational Barriers: Organisational barriers arise due to defects in the organization structure and the communication system of an organization:
I. Hierarchical distance: Downward communication promotes hierarchical distance. The chances of information being filtered are more at this structure, because there are several layers. Information received from the top may not reach at bottom in the same shape. The information gets coloured which brings hierarchical distance.
II. Diversion: Diversion of information is also one of the causes which brings barrier to communication process. For example sometimes a manager diverts the information meant for one person or group to another.
III. Colouring: Information are also coloured by the manager intentionally with a view to twist the situation in their favour. For example, an office may quote his subordinate wrongly, to spoil his career or his chance of promotion or his image in the eyes of the boss.
IV. Status barriers: Status is a barrier of communication in a formal organization. Organizational interaction and communication are influenced by the status and the expectations.
V. Goal conflicts: Goal conflict acts as communication reducers. Different goal lead to bifurcation of interest. Due to this communication suffers.
4. Semantic Barriers: Semantic means the relationships of signs of their reference. Semantic barrier arises from the disadvantages of the symbolic system. Symbols have got number of meaning and one has to choose any one of them according to the requirement of communication. Symbol or the language is the most important tool of communication which has to be used very carefully:-
I. Words with different meaning: Some words convey more than one meaning. When the receiver assigns a different meaning to a word than what the sender intended, there occurs miscommunication.
II. Denotation and connotation: Words have two types of meaning = Denotation and connotation. Denotation is the literal meaning of the words connotation are the suggestive meaning of the words. Connotation is the suggestive meanings of the words. Connotation may be positive or negative.
III. Offensive style of communication: Badly expressed messages lose their impact. Offensive style of communication leads to communication breakdown causing loss of time and money.
IV. Wrong assumptions: Communication should not be based on assumption as it may lead to wrong interpretation. All possible efforts should be made to clarify assumptions.
V. Selective perception: many a time the message is decoded by the receiver in a way which may be selective. In other words most of the receivers protect their own interest and expectations leading to a particular type of feedback which becomes a communication problem.
5. Mechanical Barriers: Mechanical barriers include inadequate arrangement for transmission of news, facts and figures. Example poor office layout and defective procedure and the use of wrong media led to poor communication.
I. Information overload: Excess of communication is called information overload. Brevity is the soul of communication. The receiver cannot comprehend and absorb beyond his mental capacity. His mind will remain closed for the excess part of the communication. Therefore one should be brief and to the point.
II. Loss of transmission: When messages are transmitted from person to person they are filtered. In other words they are diluted and distorted on the way. In oral communication about 30% of the information is lost in each transmission.
Steps to overcome the barriers of communication in an organization
In order to remove barriers to communication an open door communication policy should be prepared and followed by managers at all levels. The superiors in the organization must create an atmosphere of confidence and trust in the organization so that the credibility gap may be narrowed down. Major efforts in this direction are:
  1. Two-way communication: The organization’s communication policy should provide for a two-way traffic in communication upwards and downwards. It brings two minds closer and improves understanding between the two parties the sender and the receiver. There should be no communication gap.
  2. Strengthening Communication Network: The communication network should be strengthened to make communication effective. For this purpose the procedure of communication should be simplified, layers in downward communication should be reduced to the minimum possible. Decentralization and delegation of authority should be encouraged to make information communication more efficient.
  3. Promoting Participative Approach: The management should promote the participative approach in management. The subordinates should be invited to participate in the decision making process. It should seek cooperation from the subordinates and reduce communication barriers.
  4. Appropriate Language: In communication certain symbols are used. Such symbols may be in the form of words, pictures and actions. If words are used, the language should be simple and easily comprehensible to the subordinates. Technical and multi-syllable words should, as far as possible be avoided. The sender must use the language with which the receiver is familiar.
  5. Credibility in Communication: One criterion of effective communication is credibility. The subordinates obey the orders of their superior because they have demonstrated through their actions that they are trustworthy. They must practice whatever they say. The superior must also maintain his trust worthiness. If the superior is trusted by the subordinates, communication will be effective.
  6. Good Listening: A communicator must be a good listener too. A good manager gives his subordinates a chance to speak freely and express their feelings well before him. The manager also gets some useful information for further communication and can also have a better understanding of the subordinates needs, demands etc.
  7. Selecting on Effective Communication Channel: To be effective the communication should be sent to the receiver through an effective channel. By effective channel mean that the message reaches its destination in time to the right person and without any distortion, filtering or omission.
  8. Preventing Predictable Decision Making Errors: Predictable errors in decision making are preventable errors. And a few simple techniques can help in clear of the most common wrong turns in decision making.
7. (a) What is Kinesics? What is Proxemics? “Verbal communication is more important than nonverbal communication.” Discuss. 2+2+10=14
Or
(b) Describe the various types of listening. How can listening be improved? 4+10=14

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