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Business Paper Needed

Business Paper Needed

I need a paper 5 -6 paper by Sunday at 3 PM. The writer must be able to meet strict deadlines.

The professor is strict on proper formatting  

The paper will be written using Chapter 3

The student will use the textbook to write a paper about

· The importance of business writing

· The components of communication.

· How to develop interpersonal communication skills.

· The importance of listening.

· Types of business meetings

· How to plan and facilitate them.

· Types of written business communications

· When they should be used. 

The paper must follow APA style guidelines, and be between five and six pages long, plus a title page and reference page (not included in the page count). In-text citations must be properly formatted for outside sources, which at minimum will include the textbook. This paper will be due at the end of the third session.

Course Syllabus

Jump to Today

BUSI 2093 ON

Business Communications

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an overview of practical communication for business. This course focuses on planning business communications and executing business communications via various media, including emails, memos, letters, proposals, reports, oral presentations, and the web, utilizing correct English usage, punctuation, mechanics, word choice, sentence structure, and the rules of APA style.                                   

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Required Materials

Newman, A. (2017). Business  communication: In person, in print, online (10th ed.). Cengage Learning. ISBN: 978-1-305-50064-8

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) ISBN: 978-1433832161

Accreditation

Southern Wesleyan University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA  30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Southern Wesleyan University.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration are expected to:

· Business Communication: Become effective in both oral and written communication.

· Teamwork and Collaboration: Demonstrate leadership in effective collaboration, interacting and contributing as a team member to meet stated goals.

· Social and Corporate Responsibility: Exercise the ability to articulate the impact of corporate social responsibility for business and society.

· Ethics and Christian Servant Leadership: Model a clear perception of business ethics based on Christian principles and utilize leadership skills that reflect Christian servant leadership principles.

· Problem-Solving and Decision Making: Apply critical thinking skills to identify and solve problems using various analytical tools and technology.

Course Learning Outcomes

CLO#1

Explain the importance of written and oral communication.

CLO#2

Apply rhetorical and audience-based theory to create effective documents and presentations.

CLO#3

Demonstrate the proper use of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, word choice, sentence structure, and proofreading skills required for effective business communications.

CLO#4

Communicating via the optimal medium for the audience, persuasively proposing solutions and defending conclusions, and exercising cultural awareness in communications.

CLO#5

Synthesize coursework into a team project and oral presentation.

CLO#6

Assess communications, exercising problem-solving skills to revise.

This course focuses on planning and executing business communications via various media, including emails, memos, letters, proposals, reports, oral presentations, and the web, utilizing correct English usage, punctuation, mechanics, word choice, sentence structure, and the rules of APA style. 

Course Learning Assignments and Assessments

Grading

Individual Writing Assignments

 40%

Learning Team Assignment

 30%

Exams

 30%

Total

100%

 

Individual Writing Assignments – 40%

Communication Paper – 10%

The student will use the textbook to write a paper about the importance of business writing, the components of communication; how to develop interpersonal communication skills; the importance of listening; types of business meetings and how to plan and facilitate them; types of written business communications and when they should be used.  The paper must follow APA style guidelines, and be between five and six pages long, plus a title page and reference page (not included in the page count). In-text citations must be properly formatted for outside sources, which at minimum will include the textbook. This paper will be due at the end of the third session.

Final Communication Paper – 20%

The paper submitted in week three will be edited to include additional support for each section, including a Christian worldview of business communication with scriptural support. The student will review comments in the first paper ( instructionsLinks to an external site. for reviewing annotations in your papers) and correct any issues highlighted by the instructor. Using proper English grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA formatting, each student will revise their first paper and add additional support beyond the information in the textbook. At least four business books, academic journals, and articles from business magazines must be used. The paper will be six to eight pages long, not including the title page and references. This paper will be due at the end of the sixth session.

Effective Resume and Letter of Application – 10%

Each student will select a job ad from any source: their own company, a company’s website, Linkedin, Indeed, etc. The student will create a resume and cover letter (letter of application) for the chosen job ad. The resume and cover letter should reflect that the student has read and understood pages 388-411 from Newman (2017) and be error free. The resume and cover letter will be submitted at the end of the fifth session.

Weekly Exams – 30%

APA Assessment – 5% (Week 1)

Grammar Exam – 5% (Week 2)

Mid-term Exam -  20% (Week 4)

Learning Team Assignment – 30%

This learning team assignment requires familiarity with Microsoft Teams for collaboration. Review the  Microsoft Teams articleLinks to an external site.  and  sign inLinks to an external site.  to Teams using your SWU login. Notify your instructor immediately if you have issues. Accessing Teams to contribute to your team is required. It is not an option. 

The members of your team are on staff in the corporate communications department of a women's retail fashion chain. Your team has been tasked with the strategy and implementation of customer and internal communication. The corporate communications director has asked your team to write a memo and create a meeting agenda for a pay change to all sales associates. The team will also determine how to respond to all customer complaints and compliments. The team will collaborate each week.

The results of the team collaboration will be:

· a memo to sales associates regarding the new compensation structure

· a meeting agenda for the store managers to use in their meetings with sales associates

· a list of customer complaints and compliments and the team's suggested responses to each

· a two-page business proposal letter to the human resources director proposing the idea of a communication training session for sales associates

· a presentation on customer communication that will be delivered to all sales associates. The team will record the training session by the end of session seven. This final assignment will be submitted at the end of the seventh session, but there will be checkpoints every week.

GRADE EQUIVALENCY TABLE

All grades are reported in a system of eleven letter grades designated as “A” through “F” with appropriate plus and minus additions reflecting the following scheme:

Percentage

Value

Letter

Grade

Numeric Value for GPA

93-100

   A

4.0

90-92

   A-

3.7

86-89

   B+

3.4

83-85

   B

3.0

80-82

   B-

2.7

76-79

   C+

2.4

73-75

   C

2.0

70-72

   C-

1.7

65-69

   D+

1.4

60-64

   D

1.0

<60

   F

0.0

Course Policies

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is a key to success in the course. Please refer to the Attendance Policy outlined in the Catalog for full details of the SWU policy on attendance.

Online attendance is based on completion of at least one designated assignment by the due date/time posted within the course site for each session.  Online activities may include lecture, assignments, readings, discussion forums, and assessments (e.g. quizzes, tests).

Late Assignment Policy

Assignments

Meeting assigned due dates is critical for demonstrating progress and ensuring appropriate time for instructor feedback on assignments. Students are expected to submit their assignments on or before the due date. Assignments are due by midnight on the days specified. Students can expect a 20% reduction of their grade for each day an assignment is late. Students who submit assignments more than four days late will receive a grade of zero on the assignment.

In the case of extenuating circumstances (such as hospitalization, childbirth, major accident, injury or bereavement), it is the responsibility of students to contact the instructor as soon as practicable. The instructor may waive the late penalty if the circumstances are justified.

Students must submit final course assignments no later than the last day of the term. No assignments are accepted after the last day of the term.

Communication

The course site (Canvas) and SWU email are the primary tools for class communication, assignments, handouts, etc. All participants must have access to the course site and SWU e-mail and are expected to access them on a daily basis.

While it is important to maintain good communication with the instructor, Internet connectivity problems and home computer problems are not considered adequate excuses for missing assigned class work.

Technology Requirements

To be successful in this course, all participants are expected to ensure their technology equipment meets the  recommendationsLinks to an external site. provided by SWU’s Technology Services.

Students requiring technical support related to their courses or other SWU-provided technologies should send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 864.644.5050.

Academic Honesty

Honesty in all matters – including honesty in academic endeavors – is a valued principle at Southern Wesleyan University. It is the expectation of the university that all those joining the academic program will act with integrity in all matters.

No forms of academic dishonesty will be tolerated. Students are encouraged to help each other maintain these high standards. All academic dishonesty should be reported to the faculty directly. Faculty, upon evidence of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, or misuse of another’s intellectual property), either by voluntary confession, report of another student, or on the basis of work submitted, must follow the procedure outlined in the Catalog (under  Academic Honesty). This includes but is not limited to a zero for the work involved, 10% course grade reduction, or a failing grade for the course. Unresolved cases may be appealed using the Appeal Process outlined in the Catalog (under  Academic Honesty).

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Southern Wesleyan University provides a variety of services for students with documented learning disabilities on a case-by-case basis. To qualify for services, students must contact SWU's Student Success Manager to begin the process of requesting accommodations. Contact Cindy Trimmier-Lee in the Student Success Center on the main floor in the library,  [email protected] , or 864-644-5137, for more information.

Course Syllabus

Jump to Today

BUSI 2093 ON

Business Communications

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an overview of practical communication for business. This course focuses on planning business communications and executing business communications via various media, including emails, memos, letters, proposals, reports, oral presentations, and the web, utilizing correct English usage, punctuation, mechanics, word choice, sentence structure, and the rules of APA style.                                   

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Required Materials

Newman, A. (2017). Business  communication: In person, in print, online (10th ed.). Cengage Learning. ISBN: 978-1-305-50064-8

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) ISBN: 978-1433832161

Accreditation

Southern Wesleyan University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA  30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Southern Wesleyan University.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration are expected to:

· Business Communication: Become effective in both oral and written communication.

· Teamwork and Collaboration: Demonstrate leadership in effective collaboration, interacting and contributing as a team member to meet stated goals.

· Social and Corporate Responsibility: Exercise the ability to articulate the impact of corporate social responsibility for business and society.

· Ethics and Christian Servant Leadership: Model a clear perception of business ethics based on Christian principles and utilize leadership skills that reflect Christian servant leadership principles.

· Problem-Solving and Decision Making: Apply critical thinking skills to identify and solve problems using various analytical tools and technology.

Course Learning Outcomes

CLO#1

Explain the importance of written and oral communication.

CLO#2

Apply rhetorical and audience-based theory to create effective documents and presentations.

CLO#3

Demonstrate the proper use of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, word choice, sentence structure, and proofreading skills required for effective business communications.

CLO#4

Communicating via the optimal medium for the audience, persuasively proposing solutions and defending conclusions, and exercising cultural awareness in communications.

CLO#5

Synthesize coursework into a team project and oral presentation.

CLO#6

Assess communications, exercising problem-solving skills to revise.

This course focuses on planning and executing business communications via various media, including emails, memos, letters, proposals, reports, oral presentations, and the web, utilizing correct English usage, punctuation, mechanics, word choice, sentence structure, and the rules of APA style. 

Course Learning Assignments and Assessments

Grading

Individual Writing Assignments

 40%

Learning Team Assignment

 30%

Exams

 30%

Total

100%

 

Individual Writing Assignments – 40%

Communication Paper – 10%

The student will use the textbook to write a paper about the importance of business writing, the components of communication; how to develop interpersonal communication skills; the importance of listening; types of business meetings and how to plan and facilitate them; types of written business communications and when they should be used.  The paper must follow APA style guidelines, and be between five and six pages long, plus a title page and reference page (not included in the page count). In-text citations must be properly formatted for outside sources, which at minimum will include the textbook. This paper will be due at the end of the third session.

Final Communication Paper – 20%

The paper submitted in week three will be edited to include additional support for each section, including a Christian worldview of business communication with scriptural support. The student will review comments in the first paper ( instructionsLinks to an external site. for reviewing annotations in your papers) and correct any issues highlighted by the instructor. Using proper English grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA formatting, each student will revise their first paper and add additional support beyond the information in the textbook. At least four business books, academic journals, and articles from business magazines must be used. The paper will be six to eight pages long, not including the title page and references. This paper will be due at the end of the sixth session.

Effective Resume and Letter of Application – 10%

Each student will select a job ad from any source: their own company, a company’s website, Linkedin, Indeed, etc. The student will create a resume and cover letter (letter of application) for the chosen job ad. The resume and cover letter should reflect that the student has read and understood pages 388-411 from Newman (2017) and be error free. The resume and cover letter will be submitted at the end of the fifth session.

Weekly Exams – 30%

APA Assessment – 5% (Week 1)

Grammar Exam – 5% (Week 2)

Mid-term Exam -  20% (Week 4)

Learning Team Assignment – 30%

This learning team assignment requires familiarity with Microsoft Teams for collaboration. Review the  Microsoft Teams articleLinks to an external site.  and  sign inLinks to an external site.  to Teams using your SWU login. Notify your instructor immediately if you have issues. Accessing Teams to contribute to your team is required. It is not an option. 

The members of your team are on staff in the corporate communications department of a women's retail fashion chain. Your team has been tasked with the strategy and implementation of customer and internal communication. The corporate communications director has asked your team to write a memo and create a meeting agenda for a pay change to all sales associates. The team will also determine how to respond to all customer complaints and compliments. The team will collaborate each week.

The results of the team collaboration will be:

· a memo to sales associates regarding the new compensation structure

· a meeting agenda for the store managers to use in their meetings with sales associates

· a list of customer complaints and compliments and the team's suggested responses to each

· a two-page business proposal letter to the human resources director proposing the idea of a communication training session for sales associates

· a presentation on customer communication that will be delivered to all sales associates. The team will record the training session by the end of session seven. This final assignment will be submitted at the end of the seventh session, but there will be checkpoints every week.

GRADE EQUIVALENCY TABLE

All grades are reported in a system of eleven letter grades designated as “A” through “F” with appropriate plus and minus additions reflecting the following scheme:

Percentage

Value

Letter

Grade

Numeric Value for GPA

93-100

   A

4.0

90-92

   A-

3.7

86-89

   B+

3.4

83-85

   B

3.0

80-82

   B-

2.7

76-79

   C+

2.4

73-75

   C

2.0

70-72

   C-

1.7

65-69

   D+

1.4

60-64

   D

1.0

<60

   F

0.0

Course Policies

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is a key to success in the course. Please refer to the Attendance Policy outlined in the Catalog for full details of the SWU policy on attendance.

Online attendance is based on completion of at least one designated assignment by the due date/time posted within the course site for each session.  Online activities may include lecture, assignments, readings, discussion forums, and assessments (e.g. quizzes, tests).

Late Assignment Policy

Assignments

Meeting assigned due dates is critical for demonstrating progress and ensuring appropriate time for instructor feedback on assignments. Students are expected to submit their assignments on or before the due date. Assignments are due by midnight on the days specified. Students can expect a 20% reduction of their grade for each day an assignment is late. Students who submit assignments more than four days late will receive a grade of zero on the assignment.

In the case of extenuating circumstances (such as hospitalization, childbirth, major accident, injury or bereavement), it is the responsibility of students to contact the instructor as soon as practicable. The instructor may waive the late penalty if the circumstances are justified.

Students must submit final course assignments no later than the last day of the term. No assignments are accepted after the last day of the term.

Communication

The course site (Canvas) and SWU email are the primary tools for class communication, assignments, handouts, etc. All participants must have access to the course site and SWU e-mail and are expected to access them on a daily basis.

While it is important to maintain good communication with the instructor, Internet connectivity problems and home computer problems are not considered adequate excuses for missing assigned class work.

Technology Requirements

To be successful in this course, all participants are expected to ensure their technology equipment meets the  recommendationsLinks to an external site. provided by SWU’s Technology Services.

Students requiring technical support related to their courses or other SWU-provided technologies should send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 864.644.5050.

Academic Honesty

Honesty in all matters – including honesty in academic endeavors – is a valued principle at Southern Wesleyan University. It is the expectation of the university that all those joining the academic program will act with integrity in all matters.

No forms of academic dishonesty will be tolerated. Students are encouraged to help each other maintain these high standards. All academic dishonesty should be reported to the faculty directly. Faculty, upon evidence of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, or misuse of another’s intellectual property), either by voluntary confession, report of another student, or on the basis of work submitted, must follow the procedure outlined in the Catalog (under  Academic Honesty). This includes but is not limited to a zero for the work involved, 10% course grade reduction, or a failing grade for the course. Unresolved cases may be appealed using the Appeal Process outlined in the Catalog (under  Academic Honesty).

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Southern Wesleyan University provides a variety of services for students with documented learning disabilities on a case-by-case basis. To qualify for services, students must contact SWU's Student Success Manager to begin the process of requesting accommodations. Contact Cindy Trimmier-Lee in the Student Success Center on the main floor in the library,  [email protected] , or 864-644-5137, for more information.

,

Ch 3

Chapter 3. Interpersonal Communication Skills

Learning Objectives

After you have finished this chapter, you should be able to

LO1

Explain the meaning and importance of nonverbal messages.

LO2

Listen and show empathy in business situations.

LO3

Use social media to build business relationships.

LO4

Use voice technologies and texting effectively in business situations.

LO5

Plan, facilitate, and participate in business meetings.

“ I would never call someone I worked with. It would always be a video call.”

– Justin Forman , Google, Account Executive

Introduction

Video Conferencing at Google

As you might expect, Google employees use Google tools. For meetings, videoconferencing is most popular because employees can see each other.

Justin Forman, an account executive, participates in video meetings in Hangouts as often as he meets with people in person. He prefers video to phone calls: “I would never call someone I worked with. It would always be a video call. You pick up a lot of cues seeing someone rather than just listening to them.” With Forman’s back-to-back meeting schedule, video is the easiest way to meet with people in other locations. His office is in New York City, but Google headquarters is in Mountain View, CA, and his manager works in Chicago. In one day, Forman had an in-person meeting at his office, called a client in Boston, participated on a video call with two colleagues at his office, visited a client about a half-hour away, and participated on another video call with the San Francisco office.

COURTESY OF AMY NEWMAN

Justin Forman on a video call at Google in New York City.

Unlike more formal videoconferencing, Google video calls can be quick and spontaneous. At some point during an email conversation, an employee may suggest getting on a “VC” to resolve an issue more quickly.

Google executives also hold weekly all-hands meetings that employees can watch from anywhere in the world via Livestream. Employees submit questions for other employees to rate. The most highly rated questions are answered by an executive on the call.

According to Forman, video calls save Google travel time and money—and may improve relationships and decision making.

Chapter 3. Interpersonal Communication Skills

Learning Objectives

After you have finished this chapter, you should be able to

LO1

Explain the meaning and importance of nonverbal messages.

LO2

Listen and show empathy in business situations.

LO3

Use social media to build business relationships.

LO4

Use voice technologies and texting effectively in business situations.

LO5

Plan, facilitate, and participate in business meetings.

“ I would never call someone I worked with. It would always be a video call.”

– Justin Forman , Google, Account Executive

Introduction

Video Conferencing at Google

As you might expect, Google employees use Google tools. For meetings, videoconferencing is most popular because employees can see each other.

Justin Forman, an account executive, participates in video meetings in Hangouts as often as he meets with people in person. He prefers video to phone calls: “I would never call someone I worked with. It would always be a video call. You pick up a lot of cues seeing someone rather than just listening to them.” With Forman’s back-to-back meeting schedule, video is the easiest way to meet with people in other locations. His office is in New York City, but Google headquarters is in Mountain View, CA, and his manager works in Chicago. In one day, Forman had an in-person meeting at his office, called a client in Boston, participated on a video call with two colleagues at his office, visited a client about a half-hour away, and participated on another video call with the San Francisco office.

3-2. Listening and Empathy

LO2

Listen and show empathy in business situations.

Across continents or across a conference table, effective communication requires both sending and receiving messages. Whether you are making a formal presentation to 500 people or speaking with one person over lunch, listening is essential to understanding.

Listening involves much more than just hearing. You can hear and not listen (just as you can listen and not understand). Hearing is a passive process, whereas listening is an active process. When you perceive a sound, you’re merely aware of it; you don’t necessarily comprehend it. When you listen, you interpret and assign meaning to the sound.

When your car is operating normally, even though you hear the sound of the engine as you’re driving, you’re barely aware of it; you tune it out. But the minute the engine begins to make a strange sound—not necessarily louder or harsher, but just different—you tune back in, listening intently to determine the problem. You heard the normal hum of the engine but listened to the strange noise.

When you have felt truly understood? How did someone show empathy towards you, and how did it make you feel?

Beyond listening is showing empathy, understanding and sharing another’s feelings. You can listen to an employee’s stress about workload, but can you really see the situation from his or her perspective—feel what he or she feels? Does the interaction bring up your own stress? With this level of communication, you’ll more fully help the employee without judging him or her.

Empathy is different from sympathy, which is simply understanding and providing comfort. Dr. Brené Brown, who researches shame, describes empathy as “feeling with people.” Brown says that “empathy is a vulnerable choice because, in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.” When we take risks to be more vulnerable with others, we allow them to be more open with us.

3-1b. Physical Appearance

Our culture places great value on physical appearance. Television, magazines, and the Internet are filled with advertisements for personal-care products, and the ads typically feature attractive product users. Attractive people tend to be seen as more intelligent, more likable, and more persuasive than unattractive people. In addition, people perceived as attractive earn more money.

AMC/EVERETT COLLECTION

What does the body language convey in this Mad Men scene?

Your appearance is particularly important for making a good first impression. Although you can’t change all of your physical features, make choices that enhance your professional image in the business environment, such as using clothing, jewelry, and hairstyle to emphasize your strong points.

3-1c. Voice Qualities

No one speaks in a monotone. To illustrate, read the following sentence aloud, each time emphasizing the italicized word. Note how the meaning changes with each reading.

Allison missed the donor meeting. (Answers the question, “Who missed the meeting?”)

Allison missed the donor meeting. (Emphasizes that Allison wasn’t at the meeting.)

Allison missed the donor meeting. (Clarifies which meeting Allison missed.)

Voice qualities such as volume, speed, pitch, tone, and accent carry both intentional and unintentional messages. For example, when you are nervous, you tend to speak faster and at a higher pitch. People who speak too softly risk being interrupted or ignored, whereas people who speak too loudly are often seen as being pushy or insecure.

A significant number of voice qualities are universal across all human cultures. One study showed that “vocalizations communicating the so-called ‘basic emotions’ (anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise)” were recognized across two very different cultures. Around the world, adults use higher-pitched voices when speaking to children, when greeting others, and during courtship.

3-1c. Voice Qualities

No one speaks in a monotone. To illustrate, read the following sentence aloud, each time emphasizing the italicized word. Note how the meaning changes with each reading.

Allison missed the donor meeting. (Answers the question, “Who missed the meeting?”)

Allison missed the donor meeting. (Emphasizes that Allison wasn’t at the meeting.)

Allison missed the donor meeting. (Clarifies which meeting Allison missed.)

Voice qualities such as volume, speed, pitch, tone, and accent carry both intentional and unintentional messages. For example, when you are nervous, you tend to speak faster and at a higher pitch. People who speak too softly risk being interrupted or ignored, whereas people who speak too loudly are often seen as being pushy or insecure.

A significant number of voice qualities are universal across all human cultures. One study showed that “vocalizations communicating the so-called ‘basic emotions’ (anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise)” were recognized across two very different cultures. Around the world, adults use higher-pitched voices when speaking to children, when greeting others, and during courtship.

3-1e. Touch

How comfortable are you with touching in a work environment? Do you tend to want physical contact, or do you avoid it?

Touch is the first sense we develop, acquired even before birth. Some touches, such as those made by a physician during an examination, are purely physical; others, such as a handshake, are a friendly sign of willingness to communicate; and still others indicate intimacy.

The importance of touching behavior varies widely by culture. One international study found that in typical social exchanges, people from San Juan, Puerto Rico, touched an average of 180 times an hour; those in Paris touched 110 times per hour; those in Gainesville, Florida, touched 2 times per hour; and those in London touched not at all.

Details

LEE JIN-MAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Microsoft founder Bill Gates was criticized when he kept one hand in his pocket while meeting South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Because of litigation in the United States, touching in the office has become an issue for many companies. Although handshakes are certainly appropriate, in most companies—depending on the organizational culture—any other touching is frowned upon.

3-1f. Space and Territory

When you are on a crowded elevator, you probably look down, up, or straight ahead—anything to avoid looking at the other people. Most people in the U.S. culture are uncomfortable in such close proximity to strangers. In Chapter 2, we discussed cultural differences regarding space; now let’s look more closely at how Americans use space to interact with others (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Personal Spaces for Social Interaction

JOSHUA HODGE PHOTOGRAPHY/PIXDELUXE/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Competent communicators recognize their own personal space needs and the needs of others. Look for cues from others, such as people backing away or moving their chairs, to determine whether they prefer more or less space. Try to accommodate differences to make people feel comfortable.

COURTESY OF AMY NEWMAN

Justin Forman on a video call at Google in New York City.

Unlike more formal videoconferencing, Google video calls can be quick and spontaneous. At some point during an email conversation, an employee may suggest getting on a “VC” to resolve an issue more quickly.

Google executives also hold weekly all-hands meetings that employees can watch from anywhere in the world via Livestream. Employees submit questions for other employees to rate. The most highly rated questions are answered by an executive on the call.

According to Forman, video calls save Google travel time and money—and may improve relationships and decision making.

3-2. Listening and Empathy

LO2

Listen and show empathy in business situations.

Across continents or across a conference table, effective communication requires both sending and receiving messages. Whether you are making a formal presentation to 500 people or speaking with one person over lunch, listening is essential to understanding.

Listening involves much more than just hearing. You can hear and not listen (just as you can listen and not understand). Hearing is a passive process, whereas listening is an active process. When you perceive a sound, you’re merely aware of it; you don’t necessarily comprehend it. When you listen, you interpret and assign meaning to the sound.

When your car is operating normally, even though you hear the sound of the engine as you’re driving, you’re barely aware of it; you tune it out. But the minute the engine begins to make a strange sound—not necessarily louder or harsher, but just different—you tune back in, listening intently to determine the problem. You heard the normal hum of the engine but listened to the strange noise.

When you have felt truly understood? How did someone show empathy towards you, and how did it make you feel?

Beyond listening is showing empathy, understanding and sharing another’s feelings. You can listen to an employee’s stress about workload, but can you really see the situation from his or her perspective—feel what he or she feels? Does the interaction bring up your own stress? With this level of communication, you’ll more fully help the employee without judging him or her.

Empathy is different from sympathy, which is simply understanding and providing comfort. Dr. Brené Brown, who researches shame, describes empathy as “feeling with people.” Brown says that “empathy is a vulnerable choice because, in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.” When we take risks to be more vulnerable with others, we allow them to be more open with us.

3-1f. Space and Territory

When you are on a crowded elevator, you probably look down, up, or straight ahead—anything to avoid looking at the other people. Most people in the U.S. culture are uncomfortable in such close proximity to strangers. In Chapter 2, we discussed cultural differences regarding space; now let’s look more closely at how Americans use space to interact with others (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Personal Spaces for Social Interaction

JOSHUA HODGE PHOTOGRAPHY/PIXDELUXE/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Competent communicators recognize their own personal space needs and the needs of others. Look for cues from others, such as people backing away or moving their chairs, to determine whether they prefer more or less space. Try to accommodate differences to make people feel comfortable.

3-2b. The Problem of Poor Listening Skills

Although listening is the communication skill we use the most, it is probably the least developed of the four verbal communication skills (writing, reading, speaking, and listening). Why are we such poor listeners? First, most people have simply not been taught how to listen well. When you think back to your early years in school, chances are you spent time on reading, writing, and perhaps speaking, but few students receive formal training in listening. Second, we can think about four times faster than we can speak. When listening to others, our minds begin to wander, and we lose our ability to concentrate on what is being said.

Still, poor listening skills are not as readily apparent as poor speaking or writing skills. It’s easy to spot a poor speaker or writer but much more difficult to spot a poor listener because a poor listener can fake attention—and may not even know this is a weakness.

3-2c. Keys to Better Listening

The good news is that you can improve your listening skills. To listen more effectively, give the speaker your undivided attention, stay open-minded, avoid interrupting, and involve yourself in the communication.

Give the Speaker Your Undivided Attention

It’s easy to get distracted. During a business presentation, the audience may tune the speaker out and let their minds wander. During a job interview, the recruiter may take phone calls. Or, during class, you may doodle or think about an upcoming exam.

In a work environment, some distractions are easier than others to eliminate. A messy office, with lots of toys to play with, can diffuse your focus when you’re listening on the phone. This is within your control. But in a cubicle or open environment, you can’t control all of the noise and diversions around you. Your coworker may be typing loudly, talking on the phone, or clipping his toenails (true story!). Your best bet is to use your proficient communication skills to explain how the behavior is affecting your work and politely request a change.

Details

RONDA CHURCHILL/BLOOMBERG /GETTY IMAGES

This Zappos employee may have trouble listening because of all of the distractions in her work space.

Mental distractions are even more difficult to eliminate. But with practice and effort, you can discipline yourself to postpone thinking about how tired you are or how much you’re looking forward to a social event. Temporarily banishing competing thoughts will allow you to give the speaker your undivided attention.

Try to focus on the content of the message. Although a speaker’s nonverbal communication, such as dress and body language, can be distracting, don’t let unimportant factors prevent you from listening openly. Delivery skills can steal our attention—sometimes more than they should. If someone is nervous or speaks too softly, challenge yourself to listen beyond these surface issues. Almost always, what is said is more important than how it is said.

Also, avoid dismissing a topic simply because it’s uninteresting or not presented in an exciting way. “Boring” does not mean unimportant. Information that’s boring or difficult to follow may prove to be useful and well worth your effort to give it your full attention.

Stay Open-Minded

Regardless of whom you’re listening to or what the topic is, keep your emotions in check. Listen objectively and empathetically. Be willing to accept new information and new points of view, regardless of whether they mesh with your existing beliefs. Concentrate on the content of the message rather than on its source.

Consider the conversations in Figure 4. In the first conversation, the manager believes she knows the right answer. She doesn’t allow the employee to explain his situation.

Figure 4 Two Conversations: Listening with an Open Mind

In the second conversation, the manager refrains from jumping to conclusions too quickly and solving the problem for the employee. Listening openly gives the manager more information from which to evaluate the situation. Sure, it takes a little longer, but in the future, the employee may walk through this type of thinking on his own—and ultimately solve problems more independently.

Don’t Interrupt

Perhaps because of time pressures, we sometimes get impatient. As soon as we’ve figured out what a person is going to say, we tend to interrupt to finish the speaker’s sentence, particularly when he or she speaks slowly. Or, as soon as we can think of a counterargument, we tend to rush right in—regardless of whether the speaker has finished or even paused for a breath.

Interruptions have many negative consequences. First, they are rude. Second, instead of speeding up the exchange, interruptions may drag it out because they interfere with the speaker’s train of thought, causing backtracking. But the most serious negative consequence is the message an interruption sends: “I have the right to interrupt you because what I have to say is more important than what you have to say.” Of course, this hinders effective communication.

Don’t confuse listening with simply waiting to speak. Even if you’re too polite to interrupt, if you’re constantly planning what you’ll say next, you can hardly listen attentively to what the other person is saying.

Americans tend to have low tolerance for silence. But waiting a moment or two after someone has finished before you respond has several positive effects—especially in an emotional exchange. It gives the person speaking a chance to elaborate, which could draw out further insights. It also helps create a quieter, calmer, more respectful atmosphere, one that is more conducive to solving the problem.

Involve Yourself

As we have said, hearing is passive, whereas listening is active. You should be doing something while the other person is speaking. Follow these suggestions to be a more active listener:

Jot down notes, translating what you hear into writing. Keep your notes brief and focus on the main ideas; don’t become so busy writing that you miss the message.

Listen for what you need. Constantly ask yourself, “How does this point affect me? How can I use this information to perform my job more effectively?” Personalizing the information will help you concentrate more easily—even if the topic is difficult to follow or if the speaker has annoying mannerisms.

Maintain eye contact, nod in agreement, lean forward, and use encouraging phrases such as, “Uh huh” or “I see.”

Respond by Paraphrasing or Reflecting

Consider three levels of responding, each with increasing involvement (Figure 5). To repeat what someone says feels like parroting; it demonstrates that you are hearing but not necessarily listening. Paraphrasing is better: this approach shows that you are interpreting the message and restating it in your own words. Often, reflecting is best: you are telling the person that you hear, understand, and care about the underlying message.

Figure 5 Three Levels of Responding

Reflecting is particularly appropriate if you see someone visibly upset (and may be inappropriate for other interactions). Conveying your understanding of the content and the emotions without judgment may open up the discussion and encourage the person to talk more about what’s happening and how you can help solve the issue. You may find it easier to empathize with someone once you identify emotions in this way.

Notice how true empathy sounds in a conversation between a manager and employee (Figure 6). This is a difficult interaction because the manager thinks the work can be done, but she can still see the situation from the employee’s point of view. What’s important is to reserve judgment and genuinely, physically feel what the employee feels. Telling people to “relax” or “calm down” usually has the opposite effect. At the same time, empathy doesn’t always mean agreement. During this interaction, the manager uses empathy to defuse the situation and help the employee solve the problem.

Figure 6 Listening with Empathy

When have you had a difficult time showing empathy towards another person? What got in the way of understanding and sharing his or her feelings?

Many of the principles for effective listening apply to online interactions, which we’ll discuss next.

3-2c. Keys to Better Listening

The good news is that you can improve your listening skills. To listen more effectively, give the speaker your undivided attention, stay open-minded, avoid interrupting, and involve yourself in the communication.

Give the Speaker Your Undivided Attention

It’s easy to get distracted. During a business presentation, the audience may tune the speaker out and let their minds wander. During a job interview, the recruiter may take phone calls. Or, during class, you may doodle or think about an upcoming exam.

In a work environment, some distractions are easier than others to eliminate. A messy office, with lots of toys to play with, can diffuse your focus when you’re listening on the phone. This is within your control. But in a cubicle or open environment, you can’t control all of the noise and diversions around you. Your coworker may be typing loudly, talking on the phone, or clipping his toenails (true story!). Your best bet is to use your proficient communication skills to explain how the behavior is affecting your work and politely request a change.

Details

RONDA CHURCHILL/BLOOMBERG /GETTY IMAGES

This Zappos employee may have trouble listening because of all of the distractions in her work space.

Mental distractions are even more difficult to eliminate. But with practice and effort, you can discipline yourself to postpone thinking about how tired you are or how much you’re looking forward to a social event. Temporarily banishing competing thoughts will allow you to give the speaker your undivided attention.

Try to focus on the content of the message. Although a speaker’s nonverbal communication, such as dress and body language, can be distracting, don’t let unimportant factors prevent you from listening openly. Delivery skills can steal our attention—sometimes more than they should. If someone is nervous or speaks too softly, challenge yourself to listen beyond these surface issues. Almost always, what is said is more important than how it is said.

Also, avoid dismissing a topic simply because it’s uninteresting or not presented in an exciting way. “Boring” does not mean unimportant. Information that’s boring or difficult to follow may prove to be useful and well worth your effort to give it your full attention.

Stay Open-Minded

Regardless of whom you’re listening to or what the topic is, keep your emotions in check. Listen objectively and empathetically. Be willing to accept new information and new points of view, regardless of whether they mesh with your existing beliefs. Concentrate on the content of the message rather than on its source.

Consider the conversations in Figure 4. In the first conversation, the manager believes she knows the right answer. She doesn’t allow the employee to explain his situation.

Figure 4 Two Conversations: Listening with an Open Mind

In the second conversation, the manager refrains from jumping to conclusions too quickly and solving the problem for the employee. Listening openly gives the manager more information from which to evaluate the situation. Sure, it takes a little longer, but in the future, the employee may walk through this type of thinking on his own—and ultimately solve problems more independently.

Don’t Interrupt

Perhaps because of time pressures, we sometimes get impatient. As soon as we’ve figured out what a person is going to say, we tend to interrupt to finish the speaker’s sentence, particularly when he or she speaks slowly. Or, as soon as we can think of a counterargument, we tend to rush right in—regardless of whether the speaker has finished or even paused for a breath.

Interruptions have many negative consequences. First, they are rude. Second, instead of speeding up the exchange, interruptions may drag it out because they interfere with the speaker’s train of thought, causing backtracking. But the most serious negative consequence is the message an interruption sends: “I have the right to interrupt you because what I have to say is more important than what you have to say.” Of course, this hinders effective communication.

Don’t confuse listening with simply waiting to speak. Even if you’re too polite to interrupt, if you’re constantly planning what you’ll say next, you can hardly listen attentively to what the other person is saying.

Americans tend to have low tolerance for silence. But waiting a moment or two after someone has finished before you respond has several positive effects—especially in an emotional exchange. It gives the person speaking a chance to elaborate, which could draw out further insights. It also helps create a quieter, calmer, more respectful atmosphere, one that is more conducive to solving the problem.

Involve Yourself

As we have said, hearing is passive, whereas listening is active. You should be doing something while the other person is speaking. Follow these suggestions to be a more active listener:

Jot down notes, translating what you hear into writing. Keep your notes brief and focus on the main ideas; don’t become so busy writing that you miss the message.

Listen for what you need. Constantly ask yourself, “How does this point affect me? How can I use this information to perform my job more effectively?” Personalizing the information will help you concentrate more easily—even if the topic is difficult to follow or if the speaker has annoying mannerisms.

Maintain eye contact, nod in agreement, lean forward, and use encouraging phrases such as, “Uh huh” or “I see.”

Respond by Paraphrasing or Reflecting

Consider three levels of responding, each with increasing involvement (Figure 5). To repeat what someone says feels like parroting; it demonstrates that you are hearing but not necessarily listening. Paraphrasing is better: this approach shows that you are interpreting the message and restating it in your own words. Often, reflecting is best: you are telling the person that you hear, understand, and care about the underlying message.

Figure 5 Three Levels of Responding

Reflecting is particularly appropriate if you see someone visibly upset (and may be inappropriate for other interactions). Conveying your understanding of the content and the emotions without judgment may open up the discussion and encourage the person to talk more about what’s happening and how you can help solve the issue. You may find it easier to empathize with someone once you identify emotions in this way.

Notice how true empathy sounds in a conversation between a manager and employee (Figure 6). This is a difficult interaction because the manager thinks the work can be done, but she can still see the situation from the employee’s point of view. What’s important is to reserve judgment and genuinely, physically feel what the employee feels. Telling people to “relax” or “calm down” usually has the opposite effect. At the same time, empathy doesn’t always mean agreement. During this interaction, the manager uses empathy to defuse the situation and help the employee solve the problem.

Figure 6 Listening with Empathy

When have you had a difficult time showing empathy towards another person? What got in the way of understanding and sharing his or her feelings?

Many of the principles for effective listening apply to online interactions, which we’ll discuss next.

3-2c. Keys to Better Listening

The good news is that you can improve your listening skills. To listen more effectively, give the speaker your undivided attention, stay open-minded, avoid interrupting, and involve yourself in the communication.

Give the Speaker Your Undivided Attention

It’s easy to get distracted. During a business presentation, the audience may tune the speaker out and let their minds wander. During a job interview, the recruiter may take phone calls. Or, during class, you may doodle or think about an upcoming exam.

In a work environment, some distractions are easier than others to eliminate. A messy office, with lots of toys to play with, can diffuse your focus when you’re listening on the phone. This is within your control. But in a cubicle or open environment, you can’t control all of the noise and diversions around you. Your coworker may be typing loudly, talking on the phone, or clipping his toenails (true story!). Your best bet is to use your proficient communication skills to explain how the behavior is affecting your work and politely request a change.

Details

RONDA CHURCHILL/BLOOMBERG /GETTY IMAGES

This Zappos employee may have trouble listening because of all of the distractions in her work space.

Mental distractions are even more difficult to eliminate. But with practice and effort, you can discipline yourself to postpone thinking about how tired you are or how much you’re looking forward to a social event. Temporarily banishing competing thoughts will allow you to give the speaker your undivided attention.

Try to focus on the content of the message. Although a speaker’s nonverbal communication, such as dress and body language, can be distracting, don’t let unimportant factors prevent you from listening openly. Delivery skills can steal our attention—sometimes more than they should. If someone is nervous or speaks too softly, challenge yourself to listen beyond these surface issues. Almost always, what is said is more important than how it is said.

Also, avoid dismissing a topic simply because it’s uninteresting or not presented in an exciting way. “Boring” does not mean unimportant. Information that’s boring or difficult to follow may prove to be useful and well worth your effort to give it your full attention.

Stay Open-Minded

Regardless of whom you’re listening to or what the topic is, keep your emotions in check. Listen objectively and empathetically. Be willing to accept new information and new points of view, regardless of whether they mesh with your existing beliefs. Concentrate on the content of the message rather than on its source.

Consider the conversations in Figure 4. In the first conversation, the manager believes she knows the right answer. She doesn’t allow the employee to explain his situation.

Figure 4 Two Conversations: Listening with an Open Mind

In the second conversation, the manager refrains from jumping to conclusions too quickly and solving the problem for the employee. Listening openly gives the manager more information from which to evaluate the situation. Sure, it takes a little longer, but in the future, the employee may walk through this type of thinking on his own—and ultimately solve problems more independently.

Don’t Interrupt

Perhaps because of time pressures, we sometimes get impatient. As soon as we’ve figured out what a person is going to say, we tend to interrupt to finish the speaker’s sentence, particularly when he or she speaks slowly. Or, as soon as we can think of a counterargument, we tend to rush right in—regardless of whether the speaker has finished or even paused for a breath.

Interruptions have many negative consequences. First, they are rude. Second, instead of speeding up the exchange, interruptions may drag it out because they interfere with the speaker’s train of thought, causing backtracking. But the most serious negative consequence is the message an interruption sends: “I have the right to interrupt you because what I have to say is more important than what you have to say.” Of course, this hinders effective communication.

Don’t confuse listening with simply waiting to speak. Even if you’re too polite to interrupt, if you’re constantly planning what you’ll say next, you can hardly listen attentively to what the other person is saying.

Americans tend to have low tolerance for silence. But waiting a moment or two after someone has finished before you respond has several positive effects—especially in an emotional exchange. It gives the person speaking a chance to elaborate, which could draw out further insights. It also helps create a quieter, calmer, more respectful atmosphere, one that is more conducive to solving the problem.

Involve Yourself

As we have said, hearing is passive, whereas listening is active. You should be doing something while the other person is speaking. Follow these suggestions to be a more active listener:

Jot down notes, translating what you hear into writing. Keep your notes brief and focus on the main ideas; don’t become so busy writing that you miss the message.

Listen for what you need. Constantly ask yourself, “How does this point affect me? How can I use this information to perform my job more effectively?” Personalizing the information will help you concentrate more easily—even if the topic is difficult to follow or if the speaker has annoying mannerisms.

Maintain eye contact, nod in agreement, lean forward, and use encouraging phrases such as, “Uh huh” or “I see.”

3-3. Social Media for Building Business Relationships

LO3

Use social media to build business relationships.

Ask anyone responsible for social media for a company, and he or she will likely say the same thing: it’s all about the “conversation.” Building meaningful relationships with customers and employees online requires good interpersonal communication, particularly listening.

3-3a. Engaging Customers Online

Listening is the first objective described in Groundswell, a book about capitalizing on social technologies. According to Forrester Research, which provided the foundation for the book, listening is “learning from what your customers are saying. It’s tapping into that conversation. They’re talking about your company. If you can listen, the information flows back in the other direction.” ,

A Gallup study found that few people are influenced by companies’ social media presence alone. Instead of chasing fans and followers, companies should focus on building relationships with existing customers to convert them to brand advocates. To do this, Gallup suggests that companies be authentic and responsive.

American Airlines understands this and prides itself on responding to every tweet in a conversational way. When the company’s social media teams brainstormed words for their Twitter responses, they came up with “genuine,” “authentic,” “transparent,” “savvy,” “clear,” “professional,” and “warm”—never “scripted.”

Individuals and small businesses owners who hire ghostwriters miss the point of authenticity in social media relationships. George Takei, 1960s Star Trek cast member, learned this lesson when one of his writers admitted that he was paid $10 per joke posted on Takei’s Facebook page. With 4.1 million likes, Takei’s page is a mix of cartoons, memes, and other lighthearted commentary. Takei called the controversy “hoo-ha,” and the writer apologized and seemed to regret the exposure. But at least some fans felt deceived, thinking that the posts were all written by Takei himself.

When customers have a complaint, they want a response. In a recent study of 1,300 consumers who tweeted a complaint about a product, service, or brand, only 29% heard back from the company. This is consistent with another study, which found that only 46% of the biggest brands sent one or more @replies each day, although they were all active on Twitter. Both studies point to bad news for companies wanting to increase sales: in response to another survey, 64% of Twitter users said they would be more likely to purchase from a company that responded to their question.

When companies do respond, they got high marks from consumers, as shown in Figure 7. When asked, “How did you feel when the company contacted you as a result of your tweet?” 83% said, “I loved it” or “I liked it,” and 74% were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the response. This is good news for companies that do take the time to respond to complaining tweeters.

Figure 7 Consumers Appreciate When Companies Respond

Source: www.maritzresearch.com/~/media/Files/MaritzResearch/e24/ExecutiveSummaryTwitterPoll.ashx

Several companies have tried using social media to inspire conversations about their brands, but many have backfired. McDonald’s Twitter campaign, #McDStories, intended to provoke heartfelt stories about the burgers and fries, but people wrote negative comments about the food and working conditions.

How companies handle these unexpected responses is critical to restoring brand image. When U.K. upscale supermarket Waitrose asked people to tweet reasons they shop at the store, snarky comments included “because I hate poor people” and “So people know I’m filthy rich and therefore automatically better than they are.” This wasn’t exactly what Waitrose had in mind, but the company’s response was gracious, good natured—and authentic (Figure 8).

Figure 8 Waitrose’s Response to Negative Tweets

COURTESY OF TWITTER, INC

Another way companies engage customers online is to offer online chat, a nice service for customers browsing a website. But consider the following entertaining exchange with a telephone system company. If companies don’t handle online chat well, they may be better off sticking with a toll-free number.

Customer All I want to be able to do is call in and out of the building.

Customer Hello?

Customer Is anybody there?

Nicole You’re local provider will be able to assist you.

Customer So you can’t answer my question?

Customer (You spelled “you’re” incorrectly, by the way. It’s “your.” Just so you know, for the future.)

3-4. Voice and Text Messaging

LO4

Use voice technologies and texting effectively in business situations.

Voice technologies and text messaging are good choices for interpersonal communication at work. A richer medium than email, the telephone allows you to convey and hear tone of voice, one of the cues for interpreting messages. But the telephone—and certainly text messaging—is not nearly as rich as face-to-face communication, which includes nonverbal cues such as gestures and body language. Without these cues, voice tone and etiquette are critical to ensure understanding and demonstrate professionalism.

Being comfortable with voice and text technologies are important signals of your credibility. Voice mail is falling out of favor and was discontinued at Coca-Cola’s headquarters because of declining use. And many companies have replaced office phones with cell phones. Still, you may find the phone and texting the best way to reach someone, particularly for a quick answer. Follow the suggestions in Figures 10 and 11 to present yourself well using these technologies.

Figure 10 Tips for Using a Phone for Business

HEMERA TECHNOLOGIES/PHOTOOBJECTS.NET/JUPITER IMAGES

Figure 11 Tips for Texting at Work

SIMON DENSON/ALAMY

3-5. Business Meetings

LO5

Plan, facilitate, and participate in business meetings.

Meetings in organizations take many forms and serve many purposes. Whether in person or through technology, people meet to share information about the business, provide team progress updates, solicit and provide input, solve problems, make decisions—and start, maintain, and sometimes end relationships.

Unfortunately, many meetings are unnecessary and poorly run. Seventy-five percent of employees who attend meetings say they could be more effective. The cartoon in Figure 12 shows what a joke meetings have become in many organizations.

Figure 12 Meeting Humor

NEVENA RADONJA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Meetings can work well. After choosing an appropriate meeting format, an effective communicator plans, facilitates and participates in, and follows up a meeting.

3-5a. Determining the Meeting Format

Choosing an appropriate format for your meeting is an important part of good meeting planning. In some cases, logistics, such as people working in different locations and time zones, will drive how you meet. In other cases, your meeting purpose, for example, trying to close a deal, will determine how you meet. Your company also will have standard practices, and people within the company will have personal preferences. All of these factors—and research about effective meetings—will help you decide on a structure for your meeting.

The Case for Face-to-Face

With all of the technology available, most people prefer face-to-face meetings. A global Kelly Services study found that between 74% and 82% of employees prefer face-to-face communication with their colleagues and coworkers. A Harvard Business Review group study of 2,300 managers from North America, Asia, and Europe found that more than 50% of managers preferred face-to-face communication—even if it means traveling—for the following purposes:

Meeting new (94%) or existing clients (69%) to sell business

Negotiating contracts (82%)

Interviewing senior staff for key appointments (81%)

Understanding and listening to important customers (69%)

Identifying growth opportunities (55%)

Building relationships/managing geographically dispersed teams (55%)

Initiating discussions with merger and acquisition targets (52%)

Only 20% of managers in this study agreed with the statement, “You can achieve the same results with virtual meetings as you can with in-person meetings.”

Clearly, some of the most important business dealings are handled in person. This makes sense, considering what we discussed in Chapter 1: face-to-face is the richest medium and the best choice for interpersonal communication. Plus, face-to-face communication is strongly preferred over other forms of communication by three generations of workers and employees in Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America (Figure 13).

Figure 13 Preferences for Communicating with Colleagues

COURTESY OF KELLY SERVICES

And yet, managers are using new technologies for meetings and expect to do so more in the future. The Harvard Business Review group study also found that most managers anticipate participating in more or the same number of teleconferences or audio conferences and videoconferences, but in-person meetings that require travel will decrease or stay the same. Budget restrictions on travel are expected to push meeting technologies as a more popular choice in the future.

Considering Alternatives

Although the best choice for many situations, face-to-face meetings are not always practical or ideal for all business purposes. Figure 14 compares the best and worst of face-to-face and virtual meetings (conference calls, online meetings, and videoconferences).

Figure 14 Comparison of Four Meeting Formats

Alexander Raths/iStockphoto.com; Tetra Images/getty images; Andresr/iStockphoto.com; Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images

Some companies use virtual, three-dimensional environments, such as Second Life, for meetings. Although broad adoption has been slow, Second Life is far less expensive than in-person meetings and provides a simulated environment for companies to test new ideas. IBM, for example, held one conference that saved the company $320,000 in travel expenses and lost productivity. Other companies, such as CIGNA and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, have used Second Life for training and disaster planning. The technology isn’t for everyone, but with proper planning and for the right purpose, Second Life presents a viable alternative to the traditional meeting.

3-5b. Planning the Meeting

Even without technology and travel expenses, meetings are expensive. You can download the Meeting Cost Counter to see the total expense of a meeting measured by salary and time (www.effectivemeetings.com/diversions/meetingclock.asp). Managers must make sure they get their money’s worth from a meeting, and that requires careful planning: identifying the purpose and determining whether a meeting is necessary, deciding who should attend, preparing an agenda, and planning the logistics.

Identify Your Purpose

The first step is always to identify your purpose. The more specific you can be, the better results you will get. A purpose such as “to discuss how to make our marketing staff more effective” is vague and doesn’t identify a clear outcome. These purpose statements are clearer and more specific:

To decide whether to implement a new rewards program for the marketing staff

To finalize the work schedule for July

To prioritize candidates for the IT analyst position

Determine whether a Meeting Is Necessary

Sometimes meetings are not the most efficient means of communication. For one-way communication that doesn’t require input or feedback, such as a monthly status update, perhaps sending an email or posting a podcast on the intranet is best. Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to use the weekly staff meeting of ten people to hold a long discussion involving only one or two of the members. A phone call or smaller meeting would accomplish that task more quickly and less expensively.

Sit-down meetings are particularly difficult for technology workers, who need blocks of time for programming and other work. At GitHub, a start-up that stores computer code, almost no face-to-face meetings take place. At Grouper, a blind-dating company, employees attend a daily morning meeting that lasts only ten minutes, and people are required to stand.

Decide who Should Attend

Have you invited someone to a meeting because you felt obligated or didn’t want to hurt his or her feelings? Have you been invited to a meeting at which you felt you didn’t belong? How did each situation affect how you felt and how the meeting ran?

Everyone you invite to your meeting should have a specific reason for attending. Ideally, you will include only those people who can contribute to the meeting. Who will make the decision? Who will contribute ideas? Who can provide background information? On the one hand, you want to include all who can contribute to solving the problem; on the other hand, you want to keep the meeting to a manageable number of people. For videoconferences, who is invited is even more important: each connection to a location costs money.

Meeting invitations—like wedding invitations—can cause friction. You may want to keep your meeting small but feel obligated to include someone. Of course, you want to avoid hurt feelings, but you should balance this with your goal: to run an efficient, productive meeting. Speaking with someone ahead of time about whether he or she needs to attend or involving your manager in the decision may be useful.

On the other hand, getting everyone to agree on the same goal can be challenging, but avoid excluding people just to prevent conflict. Instead, speak separately with decision makers and cynics ahead of time to help rally their support during the meeting.

Prepare an Agenda

With your purpose and participants set, you need to decide what topics the meeting will cover and in what order. This list of topics, or agenda, will accomplish two things: it will help you prepare for the meeting, and it will help you run the meeting by keeping everyone focused on the schedule.

Knowing what topics will be discussed will also help participants plan for the meeting by reviewing background information, bringing documentation, and preparing questions. You also may assign topics for participants to lead (with their permission, of course). By doing this, you’ll engage more people in the meeting and share some of the responsibility.

Send the agenda before the meeting is scheduled, so people know what to expect and have enough time to prepare. Ideally, you would send the agenda with a calendar invitation that automatically schedules a time when everyone is available. If you schedule the meeting far in advance, you may want to send a reminder a day or two before the date. The sample email in Figure 15, to the team who will select a new IT analyst, encourages people to come to the meeting ready to contribute.

Figure 15 Sample Email to Prepare for a Meeting

The more specific the agenda you can provide, the better. Figure 16 is an example of a detailed agenda.

Figure 16 Sample Detailed Agenda

Notice that this agenda isn’t set for one hour. Although one hour is often the default time, some meetings need more or less time and should be scheduled accordingly. People may be more likely to stick with the agenda if the times are not typical. Also, most of the work will be done outside the meeting. The short time frames keep people focused on why they are meeting: to make a decision.

Arrange Logistics

Coordinating a meeting—whether face-to-face or virtual—requires thoughtful preparation. Figure 17 offers suggestions to get your meeting off to a good start.

Figure 17 Logistics for a Well-Planned Meeting

FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS

VIRTUAL MEETINGS

Schedule a room. Choose a room large enough for people to feel comfortable, and include the location in your meeting invitation.

Prepare the main meeting room. If you have several people in one location, use the face-to-face meeting guidelines.

Send an online meeting invitation. Use your company’s calendar system or a program such as Doodle (www.doodle.com) to schedule meetings easily.

Send instructions with your meeting invitation. Include detailed instructions for using the technology, and encourage people to log on early.

Check the seating arrangement. Make sure you have enough chairs, and place them to facilitate interaction (facing each other as much as possible).

Practice using the technology. Call a colleague in another room to adjust sound, lighting, and camera positioning. Practice navigating the system seamlessly.

Check the technology. Practice using whatever technology you’ll need during the meeting. Make sure everything works properly.

Bring all contact numbers. Have technical support and all participants’ emails and phone numbers with you just in case.

Send materials in advance. Help people prepare for the meeting by sending your agenda and perhaps handouts or slides ahead of time.

Log on five to ten minutes early. Greet people as they enter, and make sure they can see and hear.

Welcome people. Greet people as they join the meeting, and introduce people who do not know each other.

Have a backup plan. For a videoconference, bring a speakerphone in case the system fails. For an online meeting, prepare to email materials in case participants can’t see them.

3-5c. Facilitating the Meeting

After all of the planning, a manager’s job is to facilitate the meeting, making sure that goals are met through clear organization and active participation.

Follow the Agenda

Within the first few minutes, you’ll set the stage for the meeting. Starting on time tells people you’re serious about the topic, value their time, and expect them to be prompt for future meetings. Depending on the organizational culture and people, you may spend a few minutes socializing, but don’t let this go on too long. The most efficient meetings get down to business on time and save socialization for just before and a few minutes after the meeting.

Use the agenda as your guide throughout the meeting. Keep track of time and refer to the schedule periodically. Bring copies or display the agenda so that everyone can see the progress you’re making. Be respectful of people’s time and end when you plan to. People often have back-to-back meetings and need to get somewhere else quickly.

Encourage Participation and Facilitate Discussion

Several strategies will help you keep the meeting focused and productive:

State the purpose of the meeting and review the agenda upfront.

Example: “Thank you, everyone, for coming on time. I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback on the three candidates for the IT analyst position. By the end of the meeting, we’ll know which candidate will receive an offer—and we may identify a backup candidate. Here are copies of the agenda. I’d like to start by reviewing the job qualifications, and then we’ll review each candidate before we agree on our top choice.”

Manage time efficiently but tactfully.

Example: “Kelly, I’m getting concerned about time. Maybe we should move on to Candidate 2 at this point.”

Example: “It sounds like we’re not 100% clear where this position will be located. Why don’t I check with HR and follow up with you separately, so we can continue discussing Candidate 3’s qualifications?”

Be flexible to avoid cutting off valuable discussion.

Example: “We’re running a little behind schedule, but I think this discussion is important. Do you want to schedule time for tomorrow, so we can talk more about this?”

Encourage participation from everyone.

Example (before the meeting): “David, I’m really looking forward to hearing whether you think these candidates have the technical skills for the job.”

Example (during the meeting): “Eun, what did you think about Candidate 2’s interpersonal skills?”

Summarize the meeting and next steps.

Example: “So, it sounds like we all agree to extend an offer to Candidate 2. If she doesn’t accept, then we’ll start a new search. I’ll call her today and will let you know by email what she says. Thanks for a productive meeting, everyone.”

Participate in the Meeting

Meetings rely on good facilitation and participation. As a meeting participant, follow the guidelines in Figure 18 to be perceived as a professional who is engaged in the conversation—for both face-to-face and virtual meetings.

Figure 18 Guidelines for Meeting Participants

ALL MEETINGS

VIRTUAL MEETINGS

Arrive on time and prepared.

Don’t bring food.

Turn off your smartphone.

Introduce yourself to new people.

Avoid side conversations.

Participate fully.

Don’t interrupt others.

Stick to relevant topics.

Stay focused and engaged.

Support others’ comments.

Disagree respectfully.

Practice with the technology ahead of time to make sure the system works on your computer.

Avoid loud plaid or striped clothing, which can look distorted on video.

Log on a minute or two before the meeting start time.

Minimize background noises such as shuffling papers or tapping on the desk.

Mute your phone when you’re not speaking.

Avoid multitasking—you may miss an important point or a question directed to you!

Allow a little extra time before you speak, so you don’t overlap others’ comments.

State your name when you speak (for teleconference calls without video).

Speak and act naturally—no need to talk loudly or exaggerate your gestures.

During some meeting situations, you may use your smartphone. You may find a text or IM useful to get a quick answer during a meeting—multicommunicating, as we discussed earlier. But you should do this only if your organizational culture allows it. If you are unsure, you might consider asking permission first.

Conference calls are particularly challenging. For example, mute buttons prevent embarrassing situations such as 15 people hearing you flush the toilet (another true story!). A popular video, “A Conference Call in Real Life,” pokes fun at conference calls: people entering late, talking over each other, getting cut off, and so on (bit.ly/1mL5gTn).

A study reported in Harvard Business Review tells us that people aren’t always listening during conference calls (Figure 19). In addition to doing other work or sending an email, 40% of people surveyed admitted to dropping off a call while people assumed they were still connected, and 27% said that have fallen asleep on calls.

Figure 19 What People Do on Conference Calls

Follow up after the Meeting

Regular or informal meetings may only require a short email as a follow-up to what was decided. Formal meetings or meetings where controversial ideas were discussed may require a more formal summary.

Minutes are an official record of the meeting; they summarize what was discussed, what decisions were made, and what actions participants will take. Generally, they should emphasize what was decided at the meeting, not what was said by the members.

Figure 20 is an example of meeting minutes—sent by email—for a development committee at a not-for-profit organization. To keep this simple, the writer added minutes in blue type to the agenda. From reading these, you can tell that this group of people meets regularly. Sending minutes within 24 hours shows meeting participants that their contributions are valued. Minutes may be sent by email or posted to an intranet or wiki.

Figure 20 Sample Meeting Minutes

With good planning, strong facilitation, and timely follow-up, you might hold meetings that people want to attend.

3-5c. Facilitating the Meeting

After all of the planning, a manager’s job is to facilitate the meeting, making sure that goals are met through clear organization and active participation.

Follow the Agenda

Within the first few minutes, you’ll set the stage for the meeting. Starting on time tells people you’re serious about the topic, value their time, and expect them to be prompt for future meetings. Depending on the organizational culture and people, you may spend a few minutes socializing, but don’t let this go on too long. The most efficient meetings get down to business on time and save socialization for just before and a few minutes after the meeting.

Use the agenda as your guide throughout the meeting. Keep track of time and refer to the schedule periodically. Bring copies or display the agenda so that everyone can see the progress you’re making. Be respectful of people’s time and end when you plan to. People often have back-to-back meetings and need to get somewhere else quickly.

Encourage Participation and Facilitate Discussion

Several strategies will help you keep the meeting focused and productive:

State the purpose of the meeting and review the agenda upfront.

Example: “Thank you, everyone, for coming on time. I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback on the three candidates for the IT analyst position. By the end of the meeting, we’ll know which candidate will receive an offer—and we may identify a backup candidate. Here are copies of the agenda. I’d like to start by reviewing the job qualifications, and then we’ll review each candidate before we agree on our top choice.”

Manage time efficiently but tactfully.

Example: “Kelly, I’m getting concerned about time. Maybe we should move on to Candidate 2 at this point.”

Example: “It sounds like we’re not 100% clear where this position will be located. Why don’t I check with HR and follow up with you separately, so we can continue discussing Candidate 3’s qualifications?”

Be flexible to avoid cutting off valuable discussion.

Example: “We’re running a little behind schedule, but I think this discussion is important. Do you want to schedule time for tomorrow, so we can talk more about this?”

Encourage participation from everyone.

Example (before the meeting): “David, I’m really looking forward to hearing whether you think these candidates have the technical skills for the job.”

Example (during the meeting): “Eun, what did you think about Candidate 2’s interpersonal skills?”

Summarize the meeting and next steps.

Example: “So, it sounds like we all agree to extend an offer to Candidate 2. If she doesn’t accept, then we’ll start a new search. I’ll call her today and will let you know by email what she says. Thanks for a productive meeting, everyone.”

Participate in the Meeting

Meetings rely on good facilitation and participation. As a meeting participant, follow the guidelines in Figure 18 to be perceived as a professional who is engaged in the conversation—for both face-to-face and virtual meetings.

Figure 18 Guidelines for Meeting Participants

ALL MEETINGS

VIRTUAL MEETINGS

Arrive on time and prepared.

Don’t bring food.

Turn off your smartphone.

Introduce yourself to new people.

Avoid side conversations.

Participate fully.

Don’t interrupt others.

Stick to relevant topics.

Stay focused and engaged.

Support others’ comments.

Disagree respectfully.

Practice with the technology ahead of time to make sure the system works on your computer.

Avoid loud plaid or striped clothing, which can look distorted on video.

Log on a minute or two before the meeting start time.

Minimize background noises such as shuffling papers or tapping on the desk.

Mute your phone when you’re not speaking.

Avoid multitasking—you may miss an important point or a question directed to you!

Allow a little extra time before you speak, so you don’t overlap others’ comments.

State your name when you speak (for teleconference calls without video).

Speak and act naturally—no need to talk loudly or exaggerate your gestures.

During some meeting situations, you may use your smartphone. You may find a text or IM useful to get a quick answer during a meeting—multicommunicating, as we discussed earlier. But you should do this only if your organizational culture allows it. If you are unsure, you might consider asking permission first.

Conference calls are particularly challenging. For example, mute buttons prevent embarrassing situations such as 15 people hearing you flush the toilet (another true story!). A popular video, “A Conference Call in Real Life,” pokes fun at conference calls: people entering late, talking over each other, getting cut off, and so on (bit.ly/1mL5gTn).

A study reported in Harvard Business Review tells us that people aren’t always listening during conference calls (Figure 19). In addition to doing other work or sending an email, 40% of people surveyed admitted to dropping off a call while people assumed they were still connected, and 27% said that have fallen asleep on calls.

Figure 19 What People Do on Conference Calls

Follow up after the Meeting

Regular or informal meetings may only require a short email as a follow-up to what was decided. Formal meetings or meetings where controversial ideas were discussed may require a more formal summary.

Minutes are an official record of the meeting; they summarize what was discussed, what decisions were made, and what actions participants will take. Generally, they should emphasize what was decided at the meeting, not what was said by the members.

Figure 20 is an example of meeting minutes—sent by email—for a development committee at a not-for-profit organization. To keep this simple, the writer added minutes in blue type to the agenda. From reading these, you can tell that this group of people meets regularly. Sending minutes within 24 hours shows meeting participants that their contributions are valued. Minutes may be sent by email or posted to an intranet or wiki.

Figure 20 Sample Meeting Minutes

With good planning, strong facilitation, and timely follow-up, you might hold meetings that people want to attend.

3-5c. Facilitating the Meeting

After all of the planning, a manager’s job is to facilitate the meeting, making sure that goals are met through clear organization and active participation.

Follow the Agenda

Within the first few minutes, you’ll set the stage for the meeting. Starting on time tells people you’re serious about the topic, value their time, and expect them to be prompt for future meetings. Depending on the organizational culture and people, you may spend a few minutes socializing, but don’t let this go on too long. The most efficient meetings get down to business on time and save socialization for just before and a few minutes after the meeting.

Use the agenda as your guide throughout the meeting. Keep track of time and refer to the schedule periodically. Bring copies or display the agenda so that everyone can see the progress you’re making. Be respectful of people’s time and end when you plan to. People often have back-to-back meetings and need to get somewhere else quickly.

Encourage Participation and Facilitate Discussion

Several strategies will help you keep the meeting focused and productive:

State the purpose of the meeting and review the agenda upfront.

Example: “Thank you, everyone, for coming on time. I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback on the three candidates for the IT analyst position. By the end of the meeting, we’ll know which candidate will receive an offer—and we may identify a backup candidate. Here are copies of the agenda. I’d like to start by reviewing the job qualifications, and then we’ll review each candidate before we agree on our top choice.”

Manage time efficiently but tactfully.

Example: “Kelly, I’m getting concerned about time. Maybe we should move on to Candidate 2 at this point.”

Example: “It sounds like we’re not 100% clear where this position will be located. Why don’t I check with HR and follow up with you separately, so we can continue discussing Candidate 3’s qualifications?”

Be flexible to avoid cutting off valuable discussion.

Example: “We’re running a little behind schedule, but I think this discussion is important. Do you want to schedule time for tomorrow, so we can talk more about this?”

Encourage participation from everyone.

Example (before the meeting): “David, I’m really looking forward to hearing whether you think these candidates have the technical skills for the job.”

Example (during the meeting): “Eun, what did you think about Candidate 2’s interpersonal skills?”

Summarize the meeting and next steps.

Example: “So, it sounds like we all agree to extend an offer to Candidate 2. If she doesn’t accept, then we’ll start a new search. I’ll call her today and will let you know by email what she says. Thanks for a productive meeting, everyone.”

Participate in the Meeting

Meetings rely on good facilitation and participation. As a meeting participant, follow the guidelines in Figure 18 to be perceived as a professional who is engaged in the conversation—for both face-to-face and virtual meetings.

Figure 18 Guidelines for Meeting Participants

ALL MEETINGS

VIRTUAL MEETINGS

Arrive on time and prepared.

Don’t bring food.

Turn off your smartphone.

Introduce yourself to new people.

Avoid side conversations.

Participate fully.

Don’t interrupt others.

Stick to relevant topics.

Stay focused and engaged.

Support others’ comments.

Disagree respectfully.

Practice with the technology ahead of time to make sure the system works on your computer.

Avoid loud plaid or striped clothing, which can look distorted on video.

Log on a minute or two before the meeting start time.

Minimize background noises such as shuffling papers or tapping on the desk.

Mute your phone when you’re not speaking.

Avoid multitasking—you may miss an important point or a question directed to you!

Allow a little extra time before you speak, so you don’t overlap others’ comments.

State your name when you speak (for teleconference calls without video).

Speak and act naturally—no need to talk loudly or exaggerate your gestures.

During some meeting situations, you may use your smartphone. You may find a text or IM useful to get a quick answer during a meeting—multicommunicating, as we discussed earlier. But you should do this only if your organizational culture allows it. If you are unsure, you might consider asking permission first.

Conference calls are particularly challenging. For example, mute buttons prevent embarrassing situations such as 15 people hearing you flush the toilet (another true story!). A popular video, “A Conference Call in Real Life,” pokes fun at conference calls: people entering late, talking over each other, getting cut off, and so on (bit.ly/1mL5gTn).

A study reported in Harvard Business Review tells us that people aren’t always listening during conference calls (Figure 19). In addition to doing other work or sending an email, 40% of people surveyed admitted to dropping off a call while people assumed they were still connected, and 27% said that have fallen asleep on calls.

Figure 19 What People Do on Conference Calls

Follow up after the Meeting

Regular or informal meetings may only require a short email as a follow-up to what was decided. Formal meetings or meetings where controversial ideas were discussed may require a more formal summary.

Minutes are an official record of the meeting; they summarize what was discussed, what decisions were made, and what actions participants will take. Generally, they should emphasize what was decided at the meeting, not what was said by the members.

Figure 20 is an example of meeting minutes—sent by email—for a development committee at a not-for-profit organization. To keep this simple, the writer added minutes in blue type to the agenda. From reading these, you can tell that this group of people meets regularly. Sending minutes within 24 hours shows meeting participants that their contributions are valued. Minutes may be sent by email or posted to an intranet or wiki.

Figure 20 Sample Meeting Minutes

With good planning, strong facilitation, and timely follow-up, you might hold meetings that people want to attend.

Summary

LO1

Explain the meaning and importance of nonverbal messages.

Nonverbal communication includes body movement, physical appearance, voice qualities, time, touch, and space and territory. Cultures differ greatly in terms of how they interpret nonverbal behavior.

LO2

Listen and show empathy in business situations.

Listening has many positive benefits for business but is the least developed verbal communication skill. Empathy is important to understand another person’s feelings, which may differ from your own. Whether listening to a formal presentation or conversing with one or two people, you can learn to listen more effectively by giving the speaker your undivided attention, staying open-minded about the speaker and the topic, avoiding interrupting the speaker, and involving yourself actively in the communication.

LO3

Use social media to build business relationships.

Like listening in person, listening online is important to build business relationships. Companies that truly engage customers and employees through social media develop stronger connections with these audiences and receive more valuable feedback. When companies offer online channels for customers, they must respond—or prepare to lose credibility.

LO4

Use voice technologies and texting effectively in business situations.

Use the telephone for richer communication that requires more cues for understanding and text messaging for short messages. How you present yourself on the phone and while texting will demonstrate your professionalism.

LO5

Plan, facilitate, and participate in business meetings.

Planning a business meeting requires determining your purpose, deciding whether a meeting is necessary, and identifying what format is most appropriate. You must then decide who should attend, prepare your agenda, and arrange logistics. When facilitating and participating in a meeting, follow the agenda and encourage and contribute to discussion. Follow up the meeting with detailed minutes that summarize discussion, decisions, and actions.