Communication Styles and the Business Communication Process
Consider a recent interpersonal conversation you had in a business setting.
Create a 1,050-word analysis in which you:
o Discuss the content of the conversation. What was communicated in the conversation, and who were the communicators?
o Explain which style best describes the method of communication you and the other person used throughout the conversation.
o Explain why you selected those styles and how the conversation would have been different if you had used each of the different styles of communication.
o Explain each style and how the conversation would have been affected due to the differences and did the business setting affect your style of communication.
o Discuss in what ways the business setting affected the communication process.
Communication refers to an endless process of conveying and receiving messages. For it to be effective, the sender must decipher how appropriate the information or message is being received. By using various styles and forms of communication, the sender has the ability change the delivery of their information to ensure that the receiver correctly understands or decodes the message (Barnlund, 2008). Within the business set up, communication takes shape in various forms. Precisely, businesses may strive to communicate to a large population through the media by using a well-designed television commercial or print in the newspaper. Equally, business communication may focus on workmates to transmit information that foster the frequent work day. As such, this paper applies communication styles to a discussion I recently experienced to accurately understand my communication styles and how it is viewed by others. Moreover, it describes elements of the transactional communication process and how the said process can be applied within the business environment.
Content of the Conversation and the Communicators
Recently, I engaged in an interpersonal communication with a workmate concerning the productivity and effectiveness of Information Technology team. The discussion was on the factors that cause a decline in the quality of Information Technology services within the IT laboratory. In particular, we focused on the challenges experienced and they included delay in synthesizing each complaint, weak Wi-Fi signal, as well as challenges with communication with the IT laboratory management.
Besides myself, the communicators included one of the group members, and the laboratory assistant. I and Hanna, one of the group members, started the discussion before we were joined by other members. Sadly, all the communicators were unhappy because of tendency of the top management to address several complaints that we had. The conversion also encompassed sorting out the root causes of the problems or complainants raised and solutions to each challenge.
The Style Describing the Communication Style Used During the Conversation
There are several styles of communication. Generally, these styles of communication entail a combination of masked or clear and direct or indirect. Given that all the communicators were of the same level, the communication was clear and direct. Clear and direct communication as, contended by Stuart and Sarow (2007), is a form of communication that is relatively simple and a common form of communication. This style of communication is majorly used when the information to be conveyed is less important, plain and stated directly to the parties involved. Given that IT lab assistant was equally involved in the discussion, the communication was direct. Moreover, the involvement of IT lab assistant made the complaints to be directly clearly to the members of the Information Technology.
Essentially, clear and direct communication style was selected for this conversation since there was no senior member who the complaints were being addressed to. Moreover, the issues involved in the discussion were neither political nor sensitive and thus there was need to discuss them openly, clearly and in plain tone.
How the Conversation Would have been Different had each Communication Style been used
Within the business environment, many communication styles can be used for interpersonal communication. One of these styles include clear and direct communication style. Clear and direct communication as posited by De Vries, Bakker-Pieper, and Oostenveld (2010) uses a succinct message conveyed indirectly to the listener or receiver. However, although the message is aimed at the targeted individuals with the hope of that the recipient will read understand the implied meanings that are hidden in the message. The discussion could have been held with the IT lab assistant regarding ways in which the workers are affected when they are challenges with software or information technology. However, the major challenge with this communication style is low chances that the receiver may not understand that the information is intended to them.
The next communication style is masked and direct. Masked and direct communication, as stated by Barnlund (2008), is a communication style in which the information to be conveyed is unclear but is communicated directly to the receiver. This communication style could have influenced our conversation in different ways. Precisely, while communicating and discussing with the IT lab assistant, this communication style could have enabled the communicators inform the IT lab assistant that IT solutions should be availed to them and that there should be no delay since the current business environment is quite competitive and any delay in solving workers’ challenges would lead to decline in performance or lack of business progress.
Masked and indirect is the last communication style that could have yielded a different result had it been used in the conversation. This communication style takes place where the content of the information to be conveyed and the receiver is unclear. With respect to the conversation we held, this style could have been used to discuss the challenges experienced in the IT department that cause delay, and challenges that hinder the performance of the organization. Generally, the conversation could have been general without delving into how the IT flaws may be detrimental to the organization and workers in particular.
How the Business Setting Influence the Communication Style
Stuart and Sarow (2007) argued that business setting, if not the major determinant, is a critical factor that influences the style of communication. Intuitively, the hierarchy level of communication, long term effects of the content and words communicated, the legal action that can be pursued based on the message being conveyed and the time of communication in addition to numerous business aspects influence the scope and style of communication. Generally, a lenient organization hardly bothers the communication style but a sensitive or disciplined one ensures that nothing inappropriate is communicated and that nothing is conveyed in undesirable way.
Effects of Business Setting on the Communication Process
The major concept of transactional communication model is that individuals are similarly engaging in conveying the message and receiving the responses from the other party. Transactional communication process as posited by Stuart and Sarow (2007) depends on the tone, number of senders, medium, level and number of receivers used, as well as, the frequency and nature of feedback received. In the business setting, technology is a major medium used and therefore the communication or conservation tends to be effective, repeatable, recordable or re-accessible. As such, the quality of communication increases as the communication medium that the business uses increases. Secondly, business setting comprises of hierarchy structure that according to Barnlund (2008) influences the communication process because it either promotes effective communication or hinders free expression and flow of ideas.
Barnlund, D. C. (2008). A transactional model of communication. Communication theory, 2, 47-57.
De Vries, R. E., Bakker-Pieper, A., & Oostenveld, W. (2010). Leadership= communication? The relations of leaders’ communication styles with leadership styles, knowledge sharing and leadership outcomes. Journal of business and psychology, 25(3), 367-380.
Stuart, B., & Sarow, M. (2007). Integrated Business Communication in a Global Marketplace. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.