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Business Communication - I Solved Question Papers: Nov' 2016


Dibrugarh University Question Papers
2016 (November)
COMMERCE
(General/Speciality)
Course: 101
(Business Communication - I)
Time: 3 hours
The figures in the margin indicate full marks for the questions
(NEW COURSE)
Full Marks: 80
1. Select the right alternatives of the following: 1x4=4
  1. Encoding is the process in which
  1. The sender writes down the message in Morse code.
  2. The sender converts the ideas into a message.
  3. The receiver writes the message in brief.
  1. Mental turbulence refers to
  1. Inability to understand.
  2. Confusion in the mind of the receiver.
  3. Confusion in the mind of the sender.
  1. Seminars are a popular instance of ____ forum in modern-day business world.
  1. Interactive.
  2. Non-interactive.
  3. Experimental.
  1. The choice of the strategy for writing a sales letter is contingent upon
  1. The product.
  2. The market segment.
  3. Both the product and the market segment.
2. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ of the following: 1x4=4
  1. Shannon and Weaver were the first two scholars to propose a simple model of communication comprising a sender, a receiver and a message. True
  2. A major barrier to the communication process is the tendency to evaluate on the part of the receiver.   True
  3. A main purpose of a seminar is to share knowledge and to get the view-points of equally well-informed persons.  True
  4. A memo is used for both internal and external communication in business organizations.  False, Memo used for internal communication only and business letter used for external communication.
3. Write answer to each of the following questions in about 100 words: 4x4=16
a) Explain briefly the nature of business communication.
Ans: Nature or Characteristics of communication
An analysis of various definitions of communication revel the nature or characteristics of communication which are as follows:-
  1. Communication involves at least two persons: Communication involves at least two persons the sender and the receiver. The sender sends the messages and is known as the communicator. The receiver receives the message and is known as communicate.
  2. Communication is a two way process: Communication is essentially a two way process. It does not merely means sending and receiving messages. It is not complete unless and until the message has been understood by the receiver in the same sense.
  3. Purpose of communication: This basic purpose of communication is to create an understanding. The receiver should understand the message sent and should response accordingly.
  4. Form of communication: Communication may take several form e.g. order, instruction, report, queries etc. it may be verbal or written. It may be formal or informal.
  5. Scope of communication: communication pervades all human relationship. It is essential in all type of organizational and at all levels of management.
  6. Communication is a dynamic process: Communication is influenced by the mood and thinking of the sender and receiver. The way a message is accepted depends upon the fact that which of the fine sensory organs of the receiver is active at that time.
b) Define ‘corporate communication’ and list its features.
Ans: 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‖.”
The various characteristics of corporate communication are mentioned below:
1. Formal Communication: Most of the corporate communications are formal in nature. Orders, instructions, information, suggestions, etc. are sent, maintaining formal procedure in a systematic way. If has to pass through several organisational stages.
2. Informal Communication: The size and structure of a corporate organisation being large and complex, informal communication or grapevine communication among different groups of employees takes place side by side with formal communication.
3. Internal and External Communication: Exchange of information with a large number of people within and outside the business is required in corporate communication. Internal communication with the managers and employees, and external communication with the customers, vendors, distributors, competitors, investors, government offices, etc. are made.
4. Oral and Written Communication: While oral communication is used for closer and internal communication with the employees, written communication is made with the outsiders and distant people.
c) What qualities of a candidate are evaluated through group discussions?
Ans: 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. 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.
d) Differentiate between business letters and personal letters.
Ans: The following are the difference between business letter and personal letter
Points of Difference
Business Letter
Personal Letter
1.Topics
Business letter is written for business purposes.
Personal letter addresses Personal affairs or activities.
2.Usage
It is universally used.
It is personally used.
3.Rules
Certain rules are followed to draft such letter
There is no rule to draft such letter
4.Structure
Here various structures are maintained
No structure is maintained to write such letter
5.Size
It is generally concise and complete
It is generally large in size.
6.Method
Such letter uses direct and persuasive Method.
Such letter uses the only direct method.
4. (a) What is audience analysis? How can the message be adapted to the needs and interests of the audience?  4+10=14
Ans: AUDIENCE ANALYSIS: To send out a meaningful communication, the sender needs to know the audience or audiences he is dealing with. Otherwise one lands with a situation where one has spoken but not told. If it is a buyer’s market, with a choice of products to the consumer, the need to know the audience is even more urgent.
Modern management researchers have identified five types of audiences:
  1. Primary audience: This is the audience that will decide the fate of your communication – to act on it or not to act on it. The housewife who selects the washing soap is the primary audience to a soap ad.
  2. Secondary audience: These are the people who comment on the message and implement the decision once it is taken. The husband who buys the soap from the market is the secondary audience.
  3. Initial audience: This is the person or persons who are the first to receive the message and then pass it on to someone else to deal with. The general manager may be the one to receive and address a complaint to the sales manager. He is, then the initial audience.
  4. “Gatekeeper” audience: These are the people who have the power to stop the message before it reaches the addressee. The secretary to chairman is a gatekeeper audience.
  5. “Watch dog” audience: This includes all alert by standers who see a message conveyed and, if necessary, react favorably or otherwise. Woman activists, as a watch dog audience, may object to some posters.
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Now one can see that the communication must pass through the filter or screen reach where it is meant to, convey the correct sense, be acted upon, and withstand the scrutiny of the alert.
The importance of audience analysis: If you have been sending messages for a large number of people, then you probably know that “many men, many minds”. Some like an emotional appeal, some an intellectual or scientific. That is why advertisement of a food product says: “Taste may be the reason, vitamins the excuse – or vice versa.” This is a clever device to attract all kind of consumers.


Knowing your audience
To know an audience is to know what motivates the members of it. In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Antony has to speak to the Romans after Caesar’s murder. The Romans at that time dislike the dead king. Antony has to gain sympathy for Caesar and create antipathy for the killers. He starts by befriending the listeners. He then makes an ironical remark about how people forget the good in others (here Caesar), and partially praises the murderers! He does not want to shock the listeners. He then shows how good a friend Caesar was to Antony …… and eventually shows how generous Caesar was to the citizens of Rome. Antony manages to reverse the mob opinion against the murderers and gets the Romans to hunt for them.
This is a masterpiece of persuasive communication based on common human psychology. A businessman may manipulate minds much the same way. He starts with an appeal to the values which the audience likes even if he has to create new values.
The audience may like the virtue of economy (limited spending), yet the businessman may play on human psychology to sell luxury goods that simplify life and make it comfortable. He appeals to a value (comfort) which is often deeper than the value of saving money.
Two-wheeler makers compete with each other by emphasizing different values in their target audience: the riding joy, the speed and acceleration, the fuel efficiency, the prestige of owning the number one product, and so on. The audience mood changes from one to the other as it receives different messages. So, after the businessman has made a study of what moves the audience, he adapts his message to it.
Audience analysis guides you to:
  1. Protecting the receiver’s ago.
  2. Blending logic and emotion with suitable images of each.
  3. A choice of appealing arguments, facts and figures.
  4. Underlining the positive in your message.
You may organize the message this way:
  1. Be direct except to give bad news (e.g. declining dividends).
  2. Outline the message.
  3. Use headings and subheadings as you go.
As for the style of the message:
  1. Make the language easy at every level – words, sentences, quotes.
  2. Avoid being defensive or rude.
  3. Remove negativity.
  4. Use the languages with which the audience is at ease – conversational and familiar.
Advice on visuals:
  1. Use charts, models, photos etc.
  2. Get the visuals designed by graphic experts.
  3. Use appealing colour combinations.
In the case of a mixed audience, it is best to give priority to (i) Those that will decide to act or not to act on the message. (ii) The ones who will screen it. A film is made to suit the common taste of the public and the censor board.
Or


(b) Differentiate between linear model and cyclical model of communication. Explain, with the help of a diagram, different elements of Shannon and Weaver model of communication. 4+10=14
Ans: Linear Model: In linear model, communication is considered one way process where sender is the only one who sends message and receiver doesn't give feedback or response. The message signal is encoded and transmitted through channel in presence of noise. The sender is more prominent in linear model of communication. Linear model was founded by Shannon and Weaver which was later adapted by David Berlo into his own model known as SMCR (Source, Message, Channel, Receiver) Model of Communication. Linear model is applied in mass communication like television, radio, etc. This model is not applicable in general human communication as general human communication has to have feedback and responses.
Criticisms of Linear Model
  1. The model assumes that communication has a particular beginning and an end, so it is not continuous.
  2. There is no concept of feedback which makes it inapplicable to direct human communication and only applicable to mass communication like newspaper, television, etc. There is no way to know if the communication was effective or not.
  3. Human communication is mostly circular rather than linear as audience is also an active participant.
  4. Communication may not happen in turns and more than one message can be sent at the same time.
  5. The sender must have the ability to encode and the receiver must have the ability to decode.
  6. The model has become less relevant to electronic communication and internet where it’s not clear who is the sender and who is the receiver.
Cyclical or Transactional model: Cyclical or Transactional model of communication is the exchange of messages between sender and receiver where each take turns to send or receive messages. Here, both sender and receiver are known as communicators and their role reverses each time in the communication process as both processes of sending and receiving occurs at the same time. The communicators can be humans or machines but humans are taken as communicators in this article to analyze general communication between humans. The model is mostly used for interpersonal communication and is also called circular model of communication.
Criticisms of Transactional Model
  1. Without verbal response, the sender can not be sure that the receiver got the message as intended. Feedback is an important component in the communication process, especially in interpersonal communication as it gives a space to clarify misunderstandings.
  2. The transactional model gives the opportunity for a lot of noise because the communication is simultaneous. For example, when many people are talking at the same time in a meeting, the objective of the meeting will not be fulfilled.
Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication
In 1948, Shannon was an American mathematician, Electronic engineer and Weaver was an American scientist both of them join together to write an article in “Bell System Technical Journal” called “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” and also called as “Shannon-Weaver model of communication”. This model is specially designed to develop the effective communication between sender and receiver. Also they find factors which affecting the communication process called “Noise”. At first the model was developed to improve the Technical communication. Later it’s widely applied in the field of Communication.
The model deals with various concepts like Information source, transmitter, Noise, channel, message, receiver, channel, information destination, encode and decode.
Sender : The originator of message or the information source selects desire message.
Encoder : The transmitter which converts the message into signals. The sender’s messages converted into signals like waves or Binary data which is compactable to transmit the messages through cables or satellites. For example: In telephone the voice is converted into wave signals and it transmits through cables
Decoder : The reception place of the signal which converts signals into message. The receiver converts those binary data or waves into message which is comfortable and understandable for receiver. Otherwise receiver can’t receive the exact message and it will affect the effective communication between sender and receiver.
Receiver : The destination of the message from sender. Based on the decoded message the receiver gives their feed back to sender. If the message distracted by noise it will affect the communication flow between sender and receiver.
Noise:  The messages are transferred from encoder to decoder through channel. During this process the messages may distracted or affected by physical noise like horn sounds, thunder and crowd noise or encoded signals may distract in the channel during the transmission process which affect the communication flow or the receiver may not receive the correct message. The model is clearly deals with external noises only which affect the messages or signals from external sources. For example: If there is any problems occur in network which directly affect the mobile phone communication or distract the messages
Practical Example of  Shannon-Weaver model of communication :
Thomson made call to his assistant “come here I want to see you”.  During his call, noise appeared (transmission error) and his assistant received “I want” only. Again Assistant asked Thomson (feedback) “what do you want Thomson”.
Sender       :   Thomson
Encoder     :   Telephone (Thomson)
Channel     :   Cable
Noise          :   Distraction in voice
Reception  :   Telephone (Assistant)
Receiver     :   Assistant.
Due to transmission error or noise, Assistant can’t able to understand Thomson’s messages.
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5. (a) Identify the formal channels of internal corporate communication. Describe each of them briefly. 2+12=14
Ans: 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.
Or
(b) What do you mean by ‘receiver-oriented’ barriers to communication? Point out the causes of receiver-oriented barriers. 3+11=14
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) Distinguish between individual presentation and group presentation. Write a note on individual presentations with reference to strategy, structure, support and speech. 4+10=14
Ans: In Individual type of presentation, there is only one speaker who expresses his views on a given topic to an audience. Individual presentations allow a person to completely control the thoughts, ideas and methods of presenting without outside influence if they choose. An individual presentation is based solely on one person's thoughts, time, and effort.
A group presentation is supposed to be a subject matter with content that is agreed upon by all of the members present. A group presentation needs to incorporate the thoughts and opinions of the people in that group. This allows for more viewpoints and can lead to an overall improved and effective presentation. While individual presentations allow someone to work at their own leisure and pace, group projects require a sacrifice of time and increased effort to meet outside of class and possibly at crazy times. Group projects usually offer less flexibility and can be much harder to accomplish things if too many people are running in too many different directions.
Or
(b) Describe the listening process in detail. How can you be a good listener? 8+6=14
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.
LISTENING –PROCESS
Listening is a seven stage process of:
  1. Hearing
  2. Selecting
  3. Attending
  4. Understanding
  5. Evaluating
  6. Remembering
  7. and responding actively with feedback
This process can be summarized in to four steps. The Four Steps of Listening are:
  1. Hearing is the first step in the process. At this stage, Listener has to pay attention to make sure that he heard the message.
  2. The second step is interpretation. Failure to interpret the speaker's words correctly frequently leads to misunderstanding. People sometimes interpret words differently because of varying experience, knowledge, vocabulary, culture, background, and attitudes.
  3. A good speaker uses tone of voice, facial expressions, and mannerisms to help make the message clear to the listener. During the third step, evaluation, Listener has to decide what to do with the information he has received. The judgments make in the evaluation stage are a crucial part of the listening process.
  4. The final step is to respond. This is a verbal or visual response that lets the speaker know whether Listener has gotten the message and what his reaction is.
Guidelines for effective Listening
Listening is very important aspect of communication. Around 20% of overall communication is listening. Therefore, one should strive for adopting good listening habit. There are following guidelines for good listening:
(1) Preparation before listening.
(2) Listening to understand, not to refute.
(3) Focusing the attention.
(4) Concentration on context.
(5) Taking notes.
(6) Curbing the impulse to interrupt.
(7) Asking questions.
(8) Summary & evaluation.
The details of each point are as follows:
1. Preparation before listening: As already mentioned that listening plays important role in communication. So one should prepare himself before starting listening. In preparation, there are following guidelines:
(i) Stop talking: Human brain can perform one activity efficiently at a time, so during listening there should be no talking by the listener.
(ii) Remove distraction: Noisy fan, traffic noise, entrance of unauthorized persons may interrupt the listening process. All these barriers should be removed.
(iii) Good environmental conditions: There should not be extraordinary cold or warm environment and ventilations should be proper.
2. Listening to understand, not to refute: There could be many topics to which the listener has reservations. Apart form these reservations, the listener should try his best to understand the message.
3. Focusing the attention: There may be many objects on which the listener should construct a mental outline of where the speaker is going in his speech.
4. Concentration on context: The listener should keep in mind the background and theme of speech. This thing enables him to absorb the material quickly and efficiently.
5. Taking notes: Listener should keep on taking notes. Hence, he should jot down ideas rather than sentences. In this way, he/she could make the message safe for a long time.
6. Curbing the impulse to interrupt: One should avoid interrupting the speech until the speaker invites questions. This habit puts the speaker and listener both at ease.
7. Asking questions: Asking right question on right time is quite different form interruption. Listener should have an idea to know right time to ask questions.
8. Summary & evaluation: The listener should summarize and speech but not during listening process.


7. (a) What are the essential components of a memo? Assume that you are the Senior Branch Manager of Life Insurance Corporation of India, Dibrugarh and draft a memo requesting all the employees of the branch to attend the farewell ceremony of Mr. B. Saikia, Assistant Administrative Officer, to be held at 2 p.m. on December 1, 2016 at the Conference Hall. 4+10=14
Ans: There are usually three main parts to a memo:1. The heading 2. The subject and date 3. The message.
1. The Heading: The heading of a memorandum is usually printed. It contains the name of the organization and ‘To’ and ‘From’ sections. Make sure you address the reader by this or her correct name and job title. Be specific and concise in your subject line. In section ‘To’, a courtesy title – Miss, Mrs., Mr., Dr. is often included. But in section ‘From’ the write does not use a courtesy title. 
2. The subject and Date: The subject is a brief statement telling what the memo is about. The subject line is not a complete sentence but rather a concise phrase which indicates some specific information. The date of writing memo is also important to take action in time.
3. The message: Message is the main body of a memo. The message contains the following matters:
(a) Introduction: The message represents the main idea in the first paragraph. it is called the background of the information.
(b) Details: In the second paragraph you should write details about information to support the introduction. It should be logical and separate into paragraph.
(c) Response: It is called the action statement. In this paragraph you should state: action you want to reader to take, Action you will take, Action that you are requested to take, Dead line etc.
Or
(b) What do you mean by a ‘request letter’? Imagine you are Mr. P. K. Baruah, OIL Colony, Duliajan and you lost of a cheque No. 833712 dated October 27, 2016 for Rs. 25,000/- drawn in favour of Mr. C. K. Hazarika. Now draft a letter requesting the Senior Branch Manager, State Bank of India, Duliajan to stop payment of the cheque and debit the incidental charge to your savings bank account no. 3425850491553.
Ans:
(OLD COURSE)
Full Marks: 80
Pass Marks: 32
1. Selected the right alternatives of the following: 1x4=4
  1. Message is the ____ idea transmitted by the sender.
  1. Raw.
  2. Structured.
  3. Encoded.
  1. A management consultant makes a presentation on
  1. The impact of global recession in a business seminar.
  2. Organizational restructuring to a large business organization.
  3. The business strategy plan to the top management of a company.
  1. ____ denotes astonishment.
  1. Monotonous voice.
  2. Ascending tone.
  3. Evasive eye.
  1. During a group discussion, the candidates are subjected to
  1. Observation.
  2. Evaluation.
  3. Both observation and evaluation.
2. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ of the following: 1x4=4
  1. The importance and nature of communication in a business organization depend on the nature and expanse of business. True
  2. Diagonal communication can give rise to gossip, grapevine and rumour. True
  3. Preparing a speech involves two steps, viz., audience analysis and collection of relevant materials. False
  4. Paralanguage refers to the vocally produced sound that is a direct form of linguistic communication. True
3. Write answer to each of the following questions in about 100 words: 4x4=16
  1. List four merits of oral communication.
  2. Identify and briefly explain the media of external corporate communication.
  3. Distinguish between a speech and presentation.
  4. “Cultural differences and complexity to business communication”. Explain.
4. (a) What do you mean by communication? Describe the process of communication. 2+8=10
Or
(b) Explain the basic forms of communication. Give six examples of written forms of communication. 7+3
5. (a) Identify the formal channels of corporate communication and explain each of them briefly. 3+8=11
Or
(b) Identify and list the sender-oriented barriers to communication. What strategies would a communicator adapt for overcoming these barriers? 6+5=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 skills are necessary to make an effective presentation? Give two examples of how presentations are made in business. 6+4=10
Or
(b) Describe various kinds of speech. Do you agree with the assumption that a strong ending or conclusion is essential for an effective speech? Give reasons in support of your answer. 6+4=10
7. (a) List various types of listening. Which type of listening is most desirable and why? 4+10=14
Or
(b) What is non-verbal language? Explain any three common indicator of non-verbal language. 2+12=14
8. (a) How is an e-mail structured? Describe the procedure to be followed for sending an e-mail message. 4+7
Or
(b) What do you understand by international communication? Discuss the importance of cross-cultural diversities in international communication. 3+8=11


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