Management Consulting/Bussiness Communication

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Question
Dear Sir,

Please help me with the answer for the following questions:

I found some answers from you, but unable to find for the following questions:
Q1. (A) Why has our economic growth not yielded fuller satisfaction?
     
      (B) How is the second type of letter of application better then the first?


Q5. (A) What do you understand by the term ‘semantic gap’? Give examples to illustrate your answer.
      
      (B) Describe the characteristic features of a business letter. In what respect does it differ from other type of letter?

Q6. (A) What are the various type of barriers to communication in a professional
organization? How can these be removed?
         
         (B) What are the principles of business correspondence? Explain the significance of each by giving suitable examples.
      
(C) What do you understand by ‘ Open punctuation’? How does it differ from ‘mixed punctuation’ and ‘closed punctuation’?       

Regards,
Kaushik

Answer
Q1 a) Why has our economic growth not yielded fuller satisfaction?
 
THE ECONOMIC  GROWTH  NOT  YIELDED  FULLER
SATISFACTION FOR  A  NUMBER  OF  REASONS.

-it  was business  services focused.
-it  was partly  industrial  focused.
HENCE  IT  WAS URBAN  FOCUSED.

The  urban  population  is  only  about  35% of the
total  population.

WHEREAS   THE MAJORITY  OF  THE  POPULATION
-nearly  65%  lived  in  the  countryside.

-here  the agriculture  did not  show  any  significant  improvement,
it  was  almost  stagnant  for  the  last  decade.
The  income  growth  in  the  country  areas was
almost  neglible.

-the agriculture  was  also   affected  by the  
vagaries  of  monsoon and  the  climate  change  impact.

The  government  of  the  day, had no fresh initiatives
to improve  the  situation.

The private  sector  did not  take  any  special
marketing  iniatives  to  market  their  products.

DUE  TO ALL  THESE  FACTORS,
THE  ECONOMIC  GROWTH  DID  NOT  REACH
ALL   THE  POPULATION.

HENCE  DID NOT  YIELD  THE  FULL  SATISFACTION.
#############################################
Q2 b) How is the second type of letter of application better then the first?

THE  SECOND  TYPE OF  APPLICATION  IS  BETTER
IS  DUE

-you  gain  a  better  understand  of  the  requirements.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to  tailor  the  application.

-based  on  the  understanding, you are able  to  focus
on the  key  elements  required.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to position
the  application better.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to  fit  the
application  to  the  job  position.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to  narrow
the  gap--between the  application and  the  job  position.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to  satisfy
the  need  of the organization

etc
##########################################
Q5  a) What do you understand by the term ‘semantic gap’? Give examples to illustrate your answer.
 
The semantic gap characterizes the difference between two descriptions of an object by different linguistic representations, for instance languages or symbols. In computer science, the concept is relevant whenever ordinary human activities, observations, and tasks are transferred into a computational representation.
More precisely the gap means the difference between ambiguous formulation of contextual knowledge in a powerful language and its sound, reproducible and computational representation in a  FORMAL  LANGUAGE.
Examples
Document Retrieval
A simple example can be formulated as a series of increasingly difficult natural  language  queries to locate a target document that may or may not exist locally on a known computer system.
Example queries:
1   1) Locate any file in the known directory "/usr/local/funny".
2   2) Locate any file where the word "funny" appears in the filename.
3   3) Locate any text file    where the word "funny" or the substring "humor" appears in the text.
4   4) Locate any  mp3 file where either "funny", "comic" or "humor" appears in the metadata.
5   5) Locate any file of any type related to humor.
6   6) Locate any image that is likely to make my grandmother laugh.
The progressive difficulty of these queries is represented by the increasing degree of abstraction from the types and semantics defined the system architecture (directories and files on a known computer) to the types and semantics that occupy the realm of ordinary human discourse (subjects such as "humor" and entities such as "my grandmother"). Moreover, this disparity of realms is further complicated by  leaky abstractions , such as is common in the case of query 4), where the target document may exist, but may not encapsulate the "metadata" in a manner expected by the user, nor the designer of the query processing system

##########################################
Q5 b) Describe the characteristic features of a business letter. In what respect does it differ from other type of letter?

THE CHARACTERISTICS  OF   A  BUSINESS  LETTER.

1.brief content.
2.concise  in size.
3.relevant  information  for  the target  audience.

4.easily  understood.
5.reading fits the audience mind.
6.appropriate  sentence length.

7.easy  to  draw  attention of  the  reader.
8.easy  to interpret  rightly.
9.well thoughtout  contents.

10.it must  have  the  right flow.
11.seek  a   feedback.
12.well proof  read.

13.well edited.
14.no  grammatical  error.
15.no spelling error.

============================================
THE CHARACTERISTICS  OF   ''other''   LETTERS.

1.OFTEN   unstructured  content.
2.often  unwieldy in size.
3.all  sorts  of information  for  the target  audience.

4.sometime  not-so-easily  understood.
5.reading may not  fit  the audience mind.
6.often  inappropriate  sentence length.

7.often  not  so easy  to  draw  attention of  the  reader.
8.often  not  so easy  to interpret  rightly.
9.varieties of    contents.

10.it may  have  the  right flow.
11.often  not  seeking   a   feedback.
12.often  not well proof  read.

13.often  not  edited.
14.often full of   grammatical  error.
15.often no spelling check.

 ##########################################
Q6 a) What are the various types of barriers to communication in a professional organization?


Various barriers to effective communication and how to overcome them to make communication more effective.

Communication is one of the basic functions of management in any organization and its importance can hardly be overemphasized. It is a process of transmitting information, ideas, thoughts, opinions and plans between various parts of an organization.
You cannot have human relations without communication. However, good and effective communication is required not only for good human relations but also for good and successful business.
You can use softwares like business writing software for writing effective business communication, which is required at various levels and for various aspects in an organization such as -
Importance of communication for manager and employee relations:

Effective communication of information and decision is an essential component for management-employee relations. The manager cannot get the work done from employees unless they are communicated effectively of what he wants to be done? He should also be sure of some basic facts such as how to communicate and what results can be expected from that communication. Most of management problems arise because of lack of effective communication. Chances of misunderstanding and misrepresentation can be minimized with proper communication system.
For motivation and employee morale:

Communication is also a basic tool for motivation, which can improve morale of the employees in an organization. Inappropriate or faulty communication among employees or between manager and his subordinates is the major cause of conflict and low morale at work. Manager should clarify to employees about what is to be done, how well are they doing and what can be done for better performance to improve their motivation. He can prepare a written statement, clearly outlining the relationship between company objectives and personal objectives and integrating the interest of the two.
For increase productivity:

With effective communication, you can maintain a good human relation in the organization and by encouraging ideas or suggestions from employees or workers and implementing them whenever possible, you can also increase production at low cost.
For employees:

It is through the communication that employees submit their work reports, comments, grievances and suggestions to their seniors or management. Organization should have effective and speedy communication policy and procedures to avoid delays, misunderstandings, confusion or distortions of facts and to establish harmony among all the concerned people and departments.
Importance of written communication:

Communication may be made through oral or written. In oral communication, listeners can make out what speakers is trying to say, but in written communication, text matter in the message is a reflection of your thinking. So, written communication or message should be clear, purposeful and concise with correct words, to avoid any misinterpretation of your message. Written communications provides a permanent record for future use and it also gives an opportunity to employees to put up their comments or suggestions in writing.
================================================
Barriers to Effective Communication
There are a wide number of sources of noise or interference that can enter into the communication process. This can occur when people now each other very well and should understand the sources of error. In a work setting, it is even more common since interactions involve people who not only don't have years of experience with each other, but communication is complicated by the complex and often conflictual relationships that exist at work. In a work setting, the following suggests a number of sources of noise:
1   Language: The choice of words or language in which a sender encodes a message will influence the quality of communication. Because language is a symbolic representation of a phenomenon, room for interpreation and distortion of the meaning exists. In the above example, the Boss uses language (this is the third day you've missed) that is likely to convey far more than objective information. To Terry it conveys indifference to her medical problems. Note that the same words will be interpreted different by each different person. Meaning has to be given to words and many factors affect how an individual will attribute meaning to particular words. It is important to note that no two people will attribute the exact same meaning to the same words.
2   defensiveness, distorted perceptions, guilt, project, transference, distortions from the past
3   misreading of body language, tone and other non-verbal forms of communication (see section below)
4   noisy transmission (unreliable messages, inconsistency)
5   receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues
6   power struggles
7   self-fulfilling assupmtions
8   language-different levels of meaning
9   managers hesitation to be candid
10   assumptions-eg. assuming others see situation same as you, has same feelings as you
11   distrusted source, erroneous translation, value judgment, state of mind of two people
12   Perceptual Biases: People attend to stimuli in the environment in very different ways. We each have shortcuts that we use to organize data. Invariably, these shortcuts introduce some biases into communication. Some of these shortcuts include stereotyping, projection, and self-fulfilling prophecies. Stereotyping is one of the most common. This is when we assume that the other person has certain characteristics based on the group to which they belong without validating that they in fact have these characteristics.
13   Interpersonal Relationships: How we perceive communication is affected by the past experience with the individual. Percpetion is also affected by the organizational relationship two people have. For example, communication from a superior may be perceived differently than that from a subordinate or peer
14   Cultural Differences: Effective communication requires deciphering the basic values, motives, aspirations, and assumptions that operate across geographical lines. Given some dramatic differences across cultures in approaches to such areas as time, space, and privacy, the opportunities for mis-communication while we are in cross-cultural situations are plentiful.
===============================================
TO  OVERCOME   BARRIERS   AND   TO  BE EFFECTIVE  COMMUNICATION  IN  BUSINESS
Face-to-face meetings can result in awkward pauses and initial shyness for those who are not brimming with confidence. To help you over this hurdle, you can approach the meeting fully prepared and well armed if you have a look at the following factors.
In order to get your message across, think about what you are trying to achieve during the dialogue:
1   What information do you wish to convey?
2   What do you want the other person to do as a result?
Organise yourself beforehand. Jot down notes about your major points. Be positive and keep the message simple.
Clarity is Paramount for Effective Communication
What is communication? In short, it's signalling. The transmission, by speaking, writing or gestures, of information which evokes understanding.
That's simple enough, isn't it? Straightforward in theory but in practice it's fraught with dangers - particularly if you have high expectations from these important business connections.
Communication is not just speaking, writing or gesticulating. It's more than the transmission of information. Something else has to occur for the communication to be complete. The other party in the communication process has to engage their brain and receive the message.
There are some points to remember when considering the various methods of communication and some hazards to be aware of when dealing with business relationships:
1   Only 7% of the impact you make comes from the words you speak.
2   The rest is visual - your appearance, the sound of your voice and your body language.
3   You can break that 7% further down into sections:
4   the type of words you use
5   the sort of sentences you use
6   how you phrase them.
Voicing Your Thoughts
Pay attention to your voice. Tone, inflection, volume and pitch are all areas to consider. Most people don't need to develop their speaking voice, but there are many who do not understand how to use it effectively.
The simplest way is to compare the voice to a piece of music - it is the voice that is the instrument of
interpretation of the spoken word.
Those who have had some training in public speaking sometimes use mnemonics as memory joggers for optimum vocal effect. One simple example is R S V P P P:
1   Rhythm
2   Speed
3   Voice
4   Pitch
5   Pause
6   Projection.
----------------------------------------
Key Techniques  FOR  OVERCOMING   BARRIERS  IN  COMMUNICATION
Focus the discussion on the information needed
Judy, I've noticed in the past month that you've fallen behind on keeping the project schedule current. I'd like to figure out with you what we both can do to get it back on track.

Use open-ended questions to expand the discussion
You've always kept the schedule up to the minute-until about a month ago. Why the change?

Use closed ended questions to prompt for specifics
"What projects are you working on that take time away from your work on this project (warning: closed ended questions are often disguised as open ended as in "Are you going to have trouble finishing this project?)

Encourage dialogue through eye contact and expression
This involves nodding in agreeemnt, smiling, leaning toward the speaker, making statements that acknowledge the speaker is being heard.
State your understanding of what you are hearing
This can be done by restating briefly what the other person is saying but don't make fun of it

"So it sounds like these phone calls have ended up taking a lot more time than you or Jay expected; you think the three of us should talk about priorities; is this your position?"

Summarize the key points;
try to get some agreement on the next steps and show appreciation for the effort made so far. "So let's call Jay right now and set up a time when we can meet and iron this out; keeping the schedule updated is a high priority and I'd like to get this settled by Wednesday.
========================================
THE  BARRIERS  CAN  ALSO BE  OVERCOME  WITH
Characteristics of Effective Feedback
Effective Feedback has most of the following characteristics:
1   descriptive (not evaluative)(avoids defensiveness.) By describing one's own reactions, it leaves the individual fee to use it or not to use it as he sees fit..
2   avoid accusations; present data if necessary
3   describe your own reactions or feelings; describe objective consequences that have or will occur; focus on behavior and your own reaction, not on other individual or his or her attributes
4   suggest more acceptable alternative; be prepared to discuss additional alternatives; focus on alternatives
5   specific rather than general.
6   focused on behavior not the person. It is important that we refer to what a person does rather than to what we think he is. Thus we might say that a person "talked more than anyone else in this meeting" rather than that he is a "loud-mouth."
7   It takes into account the needs of both the receiver and giver of feedback. It should be given to help, not to hurt. We too often give feedback because it makes us feel better or gives us a psychological advantage.
8   It is directed toward behavior which the receiver can do something about. A person gets frustrated when reminded of some shortcoming over which he has no control.
9   It is solicited rather than imposed. Feedback is most useful when the receiver himself has formulated the kind of question which those observing him can answer or when he actively seeks feedback.
10   Feedback is useful when well-timed (soon after the behavior-depending, of course, on the person's readiness to hear it, support available from others, and so forth). Excellent feedback presented at an inappropriate time may do more harm than good.
11   sharing of information, rather than giving advice allows a person to decide for himself, in accordance with his own goals and needs. When we give advice we tell him what to do, and to some degree take away his freedom to do decide for himself.
12   It involves the amount of information the receiver can use rather than the amount we would like to give. To overload a person with feedback is to reduce the possibility that he may be able to use what he receives effectively. When we give more than can be used, we are more often than not satisfying some need of our own rather than helping the other person.
13   It concerns what is said and done, or how, not why. The "why" involves assumptions regarding motive or intent and this tends to alienate the person generate resentment, suspicion, and distrust. If we are uncertain of his motives or intent, this uncertainty itself is feedback, however, and should be revealed.
14   It is checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is to have the receiver try to rephrase the feedback. No matter what the intent, feedback is often threatening and thus subject to considerable distortion or misinterpretation.
15   It is checked to determine degree of agreement from others. Such "consensual validation" is of value to both the sender and receiver.
16   It is followed by attention to the consequences of the feedback. The supervisor needs to become acutely aware of the effects of his feedback.
17   It is an important step toward authenticity. Constructive feedback opens the way to a relationship which is built on trust, honest, and genuine concern and mutual growth.
Part of the feedback process involves understanding and predicting how the other person will react. Or in the case of our receiving feedback, we need to understand ways that we respond to feedback, especially threatening feedback.
People often react negatively to threatening feedback. This reaction can take a number of forms including:
1   selective reception and selective perception
2   doubting motive of the giver
3   denying validity of the data
4   rationalizing
5   attack the giver of the data
Following the guidelines to effective feedback can go a long way to limit these kinds of reactions but we need to be conscious of them nonetheless and be ready to react appropriately.
When we are on the receiving end of feedback we should be careful to avoid these pitfalls. Try to keep these points in mind.
1   try not to be defensive
2   check on possible misunderstanding ("Let me restate what I am hearing")
3   gather information from other sources
4   don't overreact
5   ask for clarification

#################################################
 
 Q6 b) What are the principles of business correspondence? Explain the significance of each by giving examples.
 
Business Correspondence
Basic principles.



While writing a business letter, you should be:
1.CLEAR
2.CONCISE
3.CORRECT
4.COURTEOUS
5.CONVERSATIONAL
6.CONVINCING
7.COMPLETE




BASIC RULES OF BUSINESS WRITING
1]Put your reader first
1   put yourself in the reader´s shoes
2   the better picture you have about your reader, the better you can direct your writing
*while presenting
→ right tone
→ appropriate language
→ right amount of details …
etc.



2) Get the right tone to your business letter
1   write as you would talk on paper
2   no slang, bad grammar or poor English
3   aim for a conversational style
4   three styles of writing: formal, neutral and informal
3) Keep your letter to the point
1   the clearer you are in your own mind → the better your letter (→ plan).




4) Write in plain English
--good writing = effortless reading and understanding
--clear and concise → keeps to the facts
--the style of letter (formal/neutral/informal) influences the language used
e.g. active vs. passive voice
long vs. short sentences
complex vs. simple words,
foreign origin words
abbreviations etc.




5) Write a strong opening
--gain your reader’s attention

6]Put the most important information first
--do not make your first paragraph refer to known information → don’t waste your reader’s time
7) Writing a strong close
--if the letter starts poorly, it finishes poorly
--should motivate/invite the reader to write again




Layout of a business letter
1.Layout (format)
visual organisation of a business letter
makes the first and more important impression on the reader

2.Fully blocked style
all the lines and paragraphs - left-hand margin,
only the date is usually put on the right-hand side
details relating to the layout may vary according to the means of communication:
e-mail, fax etc.
#######################################################
Q6 c) What do you understand by ‘Open punctuation’? How does it differ from ‘mixed punctuation’ and ‘closed punctuation’?
 
 
Open, closed, and standard punctuation are all methods of punctuating a business letter. Although any of the styles can be used, closed is seldom used here in the US

In an Open Punctuation Style letter there is...

* No punctuation at end of lines in the inside address
* No punctuation following salutation and complimentary closing

Mixed Punctuation Style Features (This is usually the standard used in the USA)

* No punctuation at the end of lines in the inside address
* A colon follows the salutation
* A comma follows the complimentary closing

In Closed Punctuation Style

* A period follows the date and the last word of the identification line
* A colon follows the salutation
* A comma follows all lines in the inside address except: the last one before the postal code, the complimentary closing, the company name, and the identification line.
##########################################
Q1 a) Why has our economic growth not yielded fuller satisfaction?
 
THE ECONOMIC  GROWTH  NOT  YIELDED  FULLER
SATISFACTION FOR  A  NUMBER  OF  REASONS.

-it  was business  services focused.
-it  was partly  industrial  focused.
HENCE  IT  WAS URBAN  FOCUSED.

The  urban  population  is  only  about  35% of the
total  population.

WHEREAS   THE MAJORITY  OF  THE  POPULATION
-nearly  65%  lived  in  the  countryside.

-here  the agriculture  did not  show  any  significant  improvement,
it  was  almost  stagnant  for  the  last  decade.
The  income  growth  in  the  country  areas was
almost  neglible.

-the agriculture  was  also   affected  by the  
vagaries  of  monsoon and  the  climate  change  impact.

The  government  of  the  day, had no fresh initiatives
to improve  the  situation.

The private  sector  did not  take  any  special
marketing  iniatives  to  market  their  products.

DUE  TO ALL  THESE  FACTORS,
THE  ECONOMIC  GROWTH  DID  NOT  REACH
ALL   THE  POPULATION.

HENCE  DID NOT  YIELD  THE  FULL  SATISFACTION.
#############################################
Q2 b) How is the second type of letter of application better then the first?

THE  SECOND  TYPE OF  APPLICATION  IS  BETTER
IS  DUE

-you  gain  a  better  understand  of  the  requirements.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to  tailor  the  application.

-based  on  the  understanding, you are able  to  focus
on the  key  elements  required.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to position
the  application better.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to  fit  the
application  to  the  job  position.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to  narrow
the  gap--between the  application and  the  job  position.

-based on the  understanding, you  are  able  to  satisfy
the  need  of the organization

etc
##########################################  

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