Every organization, whether for profit or non-profit, involves the performances of individuals and groups to play a role in how they function. It is imperative that leaders comprehend who these groups are before identifying how they transmit messages with each other. In his book, Management Communication, Baack (2012) identifies two important groups that engage in business communication with a firm: (a) the publics and (b) the stakeholders. The publics consist of the groups that have contact with the organization like the media, for example, who expose a company’s progress or shortcomings without being affected in any manner other than reporting. Stakeholders on the other hand, consist of the publics with vested interest in the firm (Baack, 2012). This group consists of both internal stakeholders (employees, unions and shareholders) and external stakeholders (suppliers, customers, government, educational institutions, special-interest groups, and the community).
The internal stakeholders are motivated for the firm to succeed with respect to stability, growth, and profits. For example, staff members want to feel secure in their positions and shareholders want their stock to grow in value. In the meantime, the organization’s external stakeholders have different interests. Customers, for instance, want quality products; suppliers want to continue selling their materials; and the government wants to make sure the firm is not engaged in illegal conduct.
To transmit messages to both the publics and stakeholders effective Business Communication channels are required. These channels consist of anything from an individual who fills out a form, to an internal report on technology changes, or a company’s trade secrets. In addition, messages can be transmitted in written form like letters, memos, reports, proposals, and contracts. It also includes forms of verbal transmissions like face-to-face dialogue, meetings, presentations, speeches, and news conferences. All of these examples exhibit the wide variety of business communication channels.
Furthermore, communicating in a business environment is much different than communicating in private arena. For example, in my business life eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers, I examine some of the obstacles that can create distractions and barriers like technological innovations such as smartphones. For instance, have you ever tried to have a meaningful conversation with someone and they begin to message someone else while you chat? Needless to say this kind of interference or noise, can disrupt the message being delivered, let alone have a profound effect on the relationship with the individual you are trying to have a conversation with. People tend to get away with that kind of behavior in a private setting with friends, but risk to lose their job if they display the same behavior during a meeting with colleagues or supervisors in the workplace. This is one of many reasons why the development of excellent communication skills is important for Business Communication.
On Friday we will take a closer look at Management Communication and examine more clearly the differences between communication with respect to business and management. Until then … keep the doors of communication open!
Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right. – Phil McGraw, PhD.
Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.