BBA Business Communication Study Material Verbal Communication : Most Important Business Communication Notes Study Material for Material Verbal communication Chapter.
After Studying This Chapter You Are Able to Understand:- Introduction, Formal vs Informal Oral Communication, Advantages of Oral Communication, Disadvantages of Oral Communication, Listening, SILENCE AS COMMUNICATION.
- Speech comes before writing. Hence there is more oral communication than written.
- There is more informal oral communication than formal oral communication.
- There are various types of formal oral communication like face-to-face talking, oral presentations, interviews etc.
- Oral communication has certain distinct advantages over written communication like immediate feedback, quickness of transmission etc.
- Oral communication also has certain disadvantages like waste of time, lack of retention, lack of legal validity, etc.
- Listening is very important to make oral communication effective.
- One has to make serious effort to become a good listener.
- Silence also communication in different ways.
Man is the only species gifted with language. And the use of language is primarily in speech. Writing comes afterwards. That is why we are taking up oral communication before its written counterpart. In any organization, as in everyday life, both formally and informally, we communicate more orally than in writing. It is primarily oral communication that builds up human relationships. It is the use of the gift or speech, or talking, that brings the members of a family, neighbor and friends, and likewise, colleagues in an organization together. Without oral communication any organization will become just lifeless. Its importance, therefore, cannot be overemphasized.
In a business organization there are ample opportunities for both formal and informal oral communication, but, in fact, a lot more time is spent in informal oral communication. The simple reason is that all communication is essentially conversational in nature and has a social purpose. Whenever people get together there is bound to be face-to-face communication in which they will share all sorts of ideas, feelings, etc. the origin of the grapevine lies here. The importance of the grapevine has been discussed earlier.
Another very frequently used type of informal oral communication is called ‘phatic communication’ generally; it is not regarded as important. But the fact is that it is very vital in establishing relationships. For example, by making comments on the weather or putting questions about the health of the family one ‘breaks the ice’ and gets into a dialogue with the person before him. It is just a ritualized way of speaking in which what is said is not as important as the fact that it is said at all. This kind of dialogue generates warmth in relationship with friends or colleagues and promotes further communication by maintaining contact with the listener.
Side by side with, and in addition to, the informal oral communication, various kinds of formal oral communication take place in an organization. Very often people in business have to make formal presentations before a group that may be large or small. At other times they have to participate in meetings and group discussions. Time to time they have to appear for or conduct interview. Most of the letters and reports are largely dictated. All these are formal kinds of oral communication. In this way we see that both formal and informal types of oral communication thrive together.
Oral communication is the most frequently used means of sending message because it has certain distinct advantages. Some of these advantages are given below:
- The greatest advantage of oral communication is that it provides immediate feedback and clarification. People listening to the speaker can ask questions, make comments, add to the information provided and so on. Both the speaker and the listener/listeners by turn can enter into a kind of short dialogue and make the whole communication event purposeful.
- Oral communication builds up a healthy climate in the organization by bringing the superior and the subordinate together. This gives the subordinate a feeling of importance and the superior a better understanding of his mind. Informal or planned meetings can greatly contribute to the understanding of problems/issues in which they become partners.
- Oral communication is a time-saving device. While a letter, dictated and typed, entered in the diary, put in the envelope and carried to the person addressed will take a long time, oral transmission of the message makes the communication immediately effective. That is why many skillful managers cut down on paper work and save time by calling up their juniors or walking up to their superiors.
- Oral communication is the most effective tool of persuasion as it lends a personal touch to the whole business. Resolving a conflict will not be possible in the absence of oral communication. Unless a manager/supervisor ‘talks’ to the workers in a persuasive tone, the conflict will remain there. No exchange of letters can achieve what a meeting can.
- In continuation of the previous point we can see that oral communication is very effective in interacting with groups. The speaker can immediately understand the group’s reaction and arrive at a satisfactory conclusion by putting his views across and exchanging points.
- Oral communication is also very economical, both in terms of money and time. It saves the money spent on stationery in organizations in which the managers insist on every instruction, every message in writing.
- Oral communication provides ample scope to the sender of the message to make himself clear by suitably changing his words, voice, tone, pitch, etc. on the other hand, the words once written cannot be changed. In other words, the message once transmitted in written from cannot be retracted. Oral communication on the other hand, has the advantage of on-the-spot adaptation/withdrawal/improvement.
Oral communication also has some disadvantages as discussed below:
- Oral communication does not always save time and money. Quite often meetings go on without any results or agreements achieved. Such meetings can be very tiring and wasteful.
- Oral communication in itself is not always effective. There are certain conditions that must be necessarily fulfilled in order to make it effective. It depends mainly on the attitude of the sender and the receiver of the message.
- Human memory being what it is, oral message cannot be retained for a long time. It means that they must be acted upon immediately. They cannot be found in record books and we cannot refer back to them. This is a serious limitation of oral communication.
- In the absence of a taped or written record, oral messages do not have any legal validity.
- Oral messages also can lead to misunderstanding if the speaker has not carefully organized his thought or the listener misses the message on account of his inattentiveness.
- Much depends upon the length of the message. If it is long it is not suitable for oral transmission. There are chances of something vital getting dropped or misconstrued.
- It is difficult to assign responsibility for anything going amiss or any mistake by omission or commission in oral communication.
No oral communication can be effective without proper listening on the part of the receiver of the message. In chapter 4 we have discussed how a tactful manager can very positively handle the grapevine or informal channel of communication by ‘empathic’ listening. Here, in this section, we are going to focus on making oral communication effective by improving listening.
Poor listening may defeat the very purpose of oral communication. It has been found by authorities on the subject that generally people retain only about one fourth of what they hear after two days. In this way listening becomes the weakest link in oral communication.