Business Communication

Communication is the way in which human thoughts and feelings move one person’s mind to another. Communication skills are among the most important used in business environment. Increasing person’s knowledge, skills and abilities regarding communication will be vital in a professional development. Regardless of knowledge and technical skills from other areas, the ability to communication will strongly affect:

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. All your working relationships

. How others perceive you – personally and professionally

. How others perceive your work

In this essay, I would like to discuss three communication theories as including as Aristotle Rhetoric model, Berlo’s S-M-C-R model and Shannon and Weaver model. On the other hand, their relevance with my current workplace will be discussed. Some examples from my own experience of the workplace will be provided. And one of the communication theories will cover an explanation of the process of communication. A section on how self concept, perception, and culture, influence the communication process also will be included.

Aristotle Rhetoric:

Aristotle Rhetoric theory that is a persuasive rhetorical skill and it emphasised the role of the listener as key to communication. For of the three elements in speech-making-speaker (sender), subject (context), and person addressed (receiver) that it is the last one, the hearer who determines the speech’s end and object. The hearer must be either a judge, with a decision to make about things past or future, or an observer. Communication exists to affect the giving of decisions. The orator must not only try to make the argument of his speech demonstrative and worthy of belief. The orator must also make his own character look right and put his listeners, who are to decide, in the right frame of mind. (SBG online notes)

For example, I used to worked in the conference department of REGYES Hotel CHCH for four years and the duty manager should inform some working information to staff every time before conference start. The manager used rhetorical skill during a short speech. She used to stir up audience with confident emotion all the time by some body language and facial expression. Finally, the concise working requirement will be delivered to me clearly.

Berlo’s S-M-C-R Model:

David Berlo’s model (1960) is similar to Aristotle’s model. In this case, Berlo provides greater insight into the factors within the sender and receiver, as including as their skills in communicating, their knowledge of the subject, their culture and their attitudes towards themselves, towards the content and towards the other person or people involved in the exchange.

Berlo’s model is heavy emphasis on the relationship between the source and receiver. The way both parties (source/receiver) encode and decode the message will depend on their communication skills such as speaking, writing, listening and reading.

The importance of communication skills of Berlo’s model will affect our ability to analyse our own purpose and intentions, our ability to say something when we communicate. In addition, it affects our ability to encode messages which say what we intend our communication skills, our facility for handling, the language code, affect our ability to encode thoughts that we have. We certainly have experienced times when we feel frustration because we can’t find the words to express what we want to say. Note that finding the right word is not simply a matter of finding one which expresses what we want to say to our satisfaction. It also has to mean the same thing to the receiver.

It considers the source, message, channel, and receiver, as well as the importance of the psychological view in the communication model. Berlo’s model is broken down into four areas with each area containing essential elements. (SBG online notes; Berlo, D. 1960)

The explanation of the process of Berlo’s model will be provided as below with the example of conference department of RGYES Hotel CHCH where I have been working for.

Source: the source encodes the message to be delivered. In this case the source is the duty manager who wish to communicate to the conference staff the importance of how serving guest in the coming event.

Communication skills, social-culture system, attitude, and amount of knowledge all affect both the source and receiver in the communication process. Communication skills allow us to encode and decode our ideas or thoughts. Different cultures or social systems communicate differently, the determine word choices and meanings associated with certain words or gestures. Attitude plays a significant role in the being presented, be it attitude toward self, receiver, or subject matter and of course one’s knowledge or lack thereof will affect the communication process.

Message: the message is the product of the source or encoder. In this case the message is to inform the staff how serving guest of using great working performance in the coming conference event. There are three factors included in the message such as code, content, and treatment.

The message is the meaning of something, as of a word or words, or work of art. The code of the message may be language, music, art, dance, or body gestures. In deciding which code to use the source must also chose the element of code. The elements of the code employed by the example of conference department of RGYES Hotel CHCH would be the English language using nontechnical terms. The treatment of the message is the arrangement of the code and content, the structure of the information given and which parts of the messages are emphasized.

Channel: the channel is the model of encoding and decoding the message. The five senses are used as channels of communication such as seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting.

Berlo’s model describes the elements of the channel of communication as the vehicles which transport the message. He uses the analogy of a person sending a package to someone across the river using a dock, boat and water as the channels of transportation. In communication the channel contains encoding and decoding devices. These devices may come in the form of sound waves for speech and light waves for visuals.

Receiver: the receiver may be the most important link in the communication process according to Berlo. In this case the receiver would be the staffs who attend the working shift. The elements found in the receiver are the same as those found in the sender such as communication skills, knowledge, social-culture system, and attitudes.

As noted in the Source, the elements affect both the source and receiver in the communication process. The receiver in this model would then become the source, encoding information via feedback to the original source which had now become the receiver. (Underwood, 2003)

For example, the duty manager sent message to every worker intended to distribute the serving table. She showed nice attitude and good knowledge of hospitality that in order to satisfy everyone regarding the working distribution. She was acting the role as a sender. For distribution of serving table,s he used to drawn some simply diagrams. The diagram was including as the number of tables with the name who ordered for serving. As the reason as I am only one who is not native person in our work team, she always considered and was asking me some questions such as: Can you understand Xiaojing? Would you like to do that? Can you explain to me about your task? If I could not understand something,s he would explain to me again with good attitude. On the other hand, she required everyone focusing on the blackboard where she was drawing the diagram. Therefore, the two devices of seeing and hearing will be the channel. The communication would be finished until clearly understand to everyone who could be acted as receiver.

Shannon and Weaver model:


The Shannon and Weaver model of communication was produced by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver in the 1940s. It is very similar to Aristotle’s, although this model was developed to consider engineering and mathematical issues related to efficiency in communications. This model contains the source, message, channel and receiver but not address the sociological nor psychological aspects of communication. It primarily describes the technology of communication. It does, however, address the “noise” concept which includes anything that interferes with the signal. Noise may be static or distortion and may include semantic noise which would include different meanings people associate with words, note, gestures, and other body language.

Information source (sender): the information source chooses desired message among a set of possible message which can be mixture of any form of written or spoken, image or sound. In this case the information source is the duty manager who wish to communicate to the conference staff the importance of how serving guest in the coming event.

Transmitter (encoder): the transmitter changes the message into the signal, also known as encoder.

Message: the message is the thing which is sent and received and all communication is about. In this case the message is to inform the staff how serving guest of using great working performance in the coming conference event. There are three factors included in the message such as code, content, and treatment.

Channel: the channel is the path that message passed through from the transmitter to the receiver.

Receiver (decoder): the receiver is the reverse transmitter which changes the signal back into the message, also known as decoder. In this case the receiver would be the staffs who attend the working shift.

Destination: the destination is the target place of the transmitted message. In this case the destination would be the workplace of conference in the RYGES Hotel CHCH.

Noise: the noise is any unwanted additions to the transmitted signal which cause distortion or error in transmission. The noise can be any physical noise such as horn sounds, thunder, rain, and so on. (Underwood, 2003 and SBG online notes)

For example, sometimes the physical noise could be bothered speech of duty manager. Such as some guest came to our meeting room who did not know the conference room where should go. Or some physical noise came from kitchen nearby. She would be stopped the talking until the noise gone. In addition, we would mention her topic where she stopped on sometimes. Finally, everyone would perform their own work properly in the conference room.

Self-concept, perception and culture are all important as the reason as it influences the communication process and it has an impact on the flow of communication as well.

Self-concept is defined as a set of relatively stable perceptions that each of us holds about ourselves. Self-concept is our beliefs about who we are as an individual and the role we play in society. The way we communicate with the world around us serves as reflection of those beliefs. By changing the way we communicate, we not only improve the way we are seen by others, but also change the way we view ourselves.

Self-esteem is evaluations of our self-worth. It is an element of the self-concept.

One’s self-concept shapes perceptions of self and others and influences communication with others. Self-concept reflects everything one thinks and feels about oneself. It also is shaped by our experiences.

Steps to change your communicative self-concept:

1. Think about how you view yourself. Consider what your strengths may be, and where you can improve. Think about the kind of person you want to be, and how you would like to display those qualities.

2. Compare these ideas with the way the people you interact with, may view you. This insight can be gained by thinking about the ways people react to you. Think about whether people treat you with respect, disdain, indifference, or reverence. These reactors are a reflection of their conceptualization of you as an individual.

The definition of perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

The ways in which our perceptions can influence how we communicate an idea or message fall into three categories. These categories are how perceptions of physical elements influence communication, environment elements influence communication and learned elements influence communication. The different perception that people have about each of these elements will have an impact on the way in which they can formulate and portray their ideas. Additionally, the way in which another participant in the conversation can understand and give feedback on the message is influenced by their own perception about the world.

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