Factors Influencing the Meaning of Business Communication
Communication is the exchange of facts, ideas, wishes and attitudes between or among persons. This exchange becomes fruitful when the receiver understands the meaning of message in the way sender encoded. However, several factors distort the meaning of a message in business. Some of these reasons are discussed below:
Functional relationship between sender and receiver: Functional relationship between sender and receiver significantly affects the meaning of communication in business. If sender and receiver belong to different functional departments or areas, the receiver may not understand the sender’s message. For example, the finance manager may not clearly understand the message of product design manager; quality control manager may not understand the message of accountants.
Positional difference: If sender and receiver hold different positions in the hierarchy, communication between them may fail. For example, superiors usually pay less attention to any message of their subordinates.
Group affiliation: Differences in group-affiliation also affects communication in business. If sender and receiver belong to different formal or informal groups, communication between them may become less effective. For example, communication between trade union leaders and managers may fail simply because of their hostile attitude to each other. Similarly, informal group relationship based on religion, gender, region, age etc. can affect business communication.
Educational difference: Difference in formal educational level of sender and receiver also influence the stunning of communication. If they have similar educational qualifications, communication will be effective. Because they are likely to hold similar persecution, understanding, feeling, thinking, view etc.
Past experience: Experience of previous communication strongly determines the effectiveness of further communication between the same sender and receiver. If either of the party has bitter experience, further communication between them is likely to be ineffective.
Emotional difference: Emotions and feelings of the parties involved in communication significantly affect the meaning of communication. For example, physicians are usually less emotional to patient than those of the relatives of the patients.
Difference in heredity: If there exists any difference in the heredity of sender and receiver, communication between them may be disrupted. Because of such difference, receiver may show either negligence or disinterest to sender’s message.
Misunderstanding of words: Communication in business also fails when people assign different meanings to same word. Such misunderstanding happens when technical words or jargons are used. Moreover, people may intentionally misinterpret the inner meaning of words.
Cultural diversity: When people from different cultural background communicate, misunderstanding and wrong interpretation of words may occur. For example, a manager tells that his superior will receive a document within ‘fortnight’. However, the superior understands that he will receive it in ‘forth night’ as the word ‘fortnight’ is unknown to him.