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Because learning changes everything. ®
Chapter 1
Establishing
Credibility
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
Learning Objectives
1.
2.
3.
4.
© McGraw Hill
Explain the importance of establishing
credibility for business communications.
Describe how competence, caring, and
character affect your credibility as a
communicator.
Define and explain business ethics, corporate
values, and personal values.
Explain the FAIR approach to ethical business
communications.
Why Does This Matter?
Credibility

Your reputation for being trustworthy.

The degree to which others believe or trust in you.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Trust in the Post-Trust
Era
1
What should you do when communicating?

Operate from a position of trust or credibility.

Gain trust or credibility from colleagues, clients,
customers, and other contacts.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Trust in the Post-Trust
Era
2
The Public

Increasingly views companies with less trust.
Companies

Also have a deficit of trust.

Employees often do not trust their own business leaders.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 1.1 A Look at Trust in Various
Professions
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Source: Gallup, Inc.
The Role of Trust in the Post-Trust
Era
3
Post-Trust Era

The public overwhelmingly views businesses as
operating against the public’s best interests.

Most employees view their leaders and colleagues with
skepticism.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 1.2 The Three Components of
Credibility
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Competence in
Establishing Credibility
1
Competence


The knowledge and skills needed to:

Accomplish business tasks.

Approach business problems.

Get a job done.
Most people will judge your competence based on your
track record of success and achievement.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Competence in
Establishing Credibility
2
How Do You Establish Competence?

Through study, observation, and practice and real-world
business experiences.

In the ways you communicate with others.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Competence in
Establishing Credibility
3
Focus on Action
Emphasis on Results
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Caring in Establishing
Credibility
1
Caring

Understanding the interests of others.

Cultivating a sense of community.

Giving to others and showing generosity.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Caring in Establishing
Credibility
2
Understanding the Interests of Others

To gain credibility, show that you care for the needs of
others.

Connect with others to gain trust.
© McGraw Hill

Understand others’ needs, wants, opinions, feelings, and
aspirations.

Develop an other-orientation.
The Role of Caring in Establishing
Credibility
3
The Importance of a Sense of Community and
Teamwork

Effective corporate business leaders recognize this.

Communicate using a “we” and “you” orientation.

© McGraw Hill
Engenders trust and helps you find mutually beneficial solutions.
The Role of Caring in Establishing
Credibility
4
Giving to Others and Showing Generosity

Companies with higher percentages of givers have higher
profitability, higher productivity, higher customer
satisfaction, and lower turnover.

Being a giver opens up opportunities.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Character in Establishing
Credibility
1
Character

Staying true to commitments made to stakeholders.

Adhering to high moral and ethical values.

Central to creating trust.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 1.3 What Determines Trust in
Individuals in the Workplace?
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit.
The Role of Character in Establishing
Credibility
2
Business Ethics

The commonly accepted beliefs and principles in the
business community for acceptable behavior.

Adhering to laws.

Safeguarding confidential or proprietary information.

Avoiding conflicts of interest and misuse of company assets.

Refraining from accepting or providing inappropriate gifts,
gratuities, and entertainment.

© McGraw Hill
Transparency is important in corporate communications.
The Role of Character in Establishing
Credibility
3
Trust-building behaviors include:

Extending trust.

Sharing information.

Telling it straight.

Providing opportunities.

Admitting mistakes.

Setting a good example by following rules.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Character in Establishing
Credibility
4
Corporate and Personal Values

Corporate values:


Stated and lived values of a company.
Personal values:

© McGraw Hill
Values that individuals prioritize and adhere to.
The Role of Character in Establishing
Credibility
5
Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics

© McGraw Hill
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires publicly traded
companies to have a code of ethics available to all
employees and to ensure that it is enacted.
The Role of Character in Establishing
Credibility
6
Open and Honest Communication
1. Avoid open and honest communication of business
problems, employees doom a business to poor financial
performance.
2. Dishonesty is among the primary reasons for lower
employee morale.
3. Dishonesty can be reason for dismissal.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Character in Establishing
Credibility
7
A Stakeholder View of Accountability

Implies an obligation to meet the needs and wants of
others.

Involves an enlarged vision of those affected by your
business activities.

Takes a stakeholder view that includes all groups in
society affected by your business.
© McGraw Hill
The Role of Character in Establishing
Credibility
8
Fairness in Business Communications

The FAIR test helps you examine how well you have:

Provided the facts.

Granted access to your motives, reasoning, and information.

Examined impacts on stakeholders.

Shown respect.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 1.4
The FAIR Test of
Ethical
Business
Communication
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
How You Can Improve Your
Communication Skills
Establishing credibility will help you build high-trust
relationships and communicate more effectively.
This textbook is designed to help you improve your
communication skills.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 1.5
Overview
of Book
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Business Communication: Developing
Leaders for a Networked World, 4e
Chapter 1
Because learning changes everything.
www.mheducation.com
© McGraw Hill
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
®
Because learning changes everything. ®
Chapter 2
Interpersonal
Communication
and Emotional
Intelligence
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
Learning Objectives
1
1.
Describe the interpersonal communication process
and barriers to effective communication.
2.
Explain how emotional hijacking can hinder effective
interpersonal communication.
3.
Explain how self-awareness impacts the
communication process.
4.
Describe how self-management impacts the
communication process.
5.
Explain and evaluate the process of active listening.
© McGraw Hill
Learning Objectives
2
6.
Describe and demonstrate effective questions for
enhancing listening and learning.
7.
Explain strategies to sight-read the nonverbal
communication of others.
8.
Identify common communication preferences based
on motivational values.
9.
Explain how extroversion-introversion impacts
interpersonal communication.
10.
Explain the role of civility in effective interpersonal
communication and the common types of incivility in
the workplace.
© McGraw Hill
Understanding the Interpersonal
Communication Process
1
Interpersonal Communication Process

Sending and receiving verbal and nonverbal messages
between two or more people.

The exchange of simultaneous and mutual messages to
share and negotiate meaning between those involved.

Meaning

Encoding

Decoding
© McGraw Hill
Figure 2.1 The Interpersonal
Communication Process
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Understanding the Interpersonal
Communication Process
2
One goal of interpersonal communication is to arrive
at shared meaning.

The people involved in interpersonal communication
attain the same understanding about ideas, thoughts, and
feelings.
© McGraw Hill
Understanding the Interpersonal
Communication Process
3
Physical noise
Physiological noise
Semantic noise
Psychological noise
© McGraw Hill
Understanding the Interpersonal
Communication Process
4
Physical Noise
Physiological Noise


Internal noise.

Ex., illness, hearing
problems, and memory
loss.

External noise that
makes a message
difficult to hear or
otherwise receive.
Ex., loud sounds.
© McGraw Hill
Understanding the Interpersonal
Communication Process
5
Semantic Noise
Psychological Noise

Communicators apply
different meanings to the
same words or phrases.


Especially when strong
emotions are involved.
© McGraw Hill
Interference due to
attitudes, ideas, and
emotions experienced
during an interpersonal
interaction.
Understanding the Interpersonal
Communication Process
6
Filter of Lifetime Experiences

Accumulation of knowledge, values, expectations, and
attitudes based on prior personal experiences.

© McGraw Hill
The more shared experiences, the easier communication is.
Emotional Hijacking
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Understanding and managing emotions to serve goals.

Empathizing and effectively handling relationships with
others.

Single best predictor of workplace performance.
Emotional Hijacking

A situation in which emotions control our behavior
causing us to react without thinking.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 2.3
Emotional
Hijacking
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Domains of Emotional Intelligence
© McGraw Hill
Self-awareness
Self-management
Empathy
Relationship
management
Self-Awareness
Self-Awareness

The foundation for emotional intelligence.

Involves accurately understanding your emotions as they
occur and how they affect you.

Particularly important for stressful and unpleasant
situations.

© McGraw Hill
Triggers.
Table 2.1 Low versus High Self-Awareness Thoughts
1
Low SelfAwareness
Thoughts
Jeff: Latisha needs to learn
how to trust people. She’s
not being fair to me and she
needs to understand the
constraints I’m facing.
Jeff ignores and deflects
his feelings to focus on
what he perceives as
Latisha’s misperceptions.
High SelfAwareness
Thoughts
Jeff: I’m bothered that she
doesn’t trust my motives.
Typically, I feel disrespected
when others don’t trust my
motives. Sometimes, I lash
out in these circumstances.
Jeff recognizes that he
feels distrusted and
disrespected by what
Latisha said. He also
recognizes that he often
says things he later
regrets in these
situations.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.1 Low versus High Self-Awareness Thoughts
2
Low SelfAwareness
Thoughts
Latisha: This is ridiculous.
Jeff promised me that I’d be
working on family-friendly
HR policies. How can he go
back on his word so
quickly?
Latisha overreacts to
Jeff’s words and actions
because she is not
aware of how past
disappointments are
affecting how she is
judging Jeff.
High SelfAwareness
Thoughts
Latisha: I feel afraid and
confused. Jeff doesn’t seem
to care if I have challenging
work. I’ve felt this way
before at other jobs. I
wonder how my past
experiences are impacting
how I’m judging Jeff.
Latisha notices that how
she feels about Jeff is
affected by previous,
similar events. She
knows she should be
careful not to let those
events make her rush to
judgment.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.2 Emotional Intelligence Dimensions, Related
Impacts on Interpersonal Communication, and
Strategies for Improvement
1
EQ Dimension
Impact on Interpersonal Communication
Self-awareness
Low self-awareness
Unaware of own emotional states and related impacts on
communication.
Unaware of triggers that lead to emotional hijacking and
making judgmental, rash, or unfair comments.
Unaware of strengths and weaknesses of own
communication abilities.
High self-awareness
Aware of own emotional states and related impacts on
communication.
Aware of triggers and related tendencies to say the wrong
thing.
Aware of strongest communication skills.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.2 Emotional Intelligence Dimensions, Related
Impacts on Interpersonal Communication, and
Strategies for Improvement
2
EQ Dimension
Impact on Interpersonal Communication
Self-management Low self-management
Unable to control impulses.
Frequently vent frustrations without a constructive work purpose.
Spend a higher percentage of work conversations on small talk,
gossip, and non-work-related issues.
React defensively and with a me-first attitude when threats are
perceived.
High self-management
Control emotional impulses that are not aligned with work and
relationship goals.
Discuss frustrations in the context of solving problems and improving
relationships.
Spend a higher percentage of work conversations on work-related
topics with a focus on solutions.
When threats are perceived, seek to de-escalate interpersonal
tensions and resolve issues at hand.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.2 Emotional Intelligence Dimensions, Related
Impacts on Interpersonal Communication, and
Strategies for Improvement
3
EQ Dimension
Impact on Interpersonal Communication
Empathy
Low empathy
Fail to listen carefully to others.
Direct conversations to topics that are important to self.
Avoid volunteering to help others with their work assignments.
Engage in a me-first approach to work with colleagues.
High empathy
Attempt to understand the feelings, perspectives, and needs
of others.
Direct conversations to topics that focus on the needs of
others and self.
Volunteer advice or help to others as appropriate.
Show a sincere interest in others: their efforts, their ideas, and
their successes.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.2 Emotional Intelligence Dimensions, Related
Impacts on Interpersonal Communication, and
Strategies for Improvement
4
EQ Dimension
Impact on Interpersonal Communication
Relationship
management
Low relationship management
Focus exclusively on the task at hand without paying attention to
rapport-building.
Remain silent to avoid discussions about differences of opinions, or
attempt to silence the dissenting opinions of others.
Provide indirect and vague feedback and ideas to others.
Disregard feedback and constructive criticism.
Discourage dissent.
Respond to others only when it’s convenient.
High relationship management
Build rapport with others to focus on collaboration.
Speak out constructively about differences of opinion.
Provide direct and constructive feedback to others.
Accept and even welcome feedback and constructive criticism.
Encourage contrarian views.
Respond to others when it’s convenient for them.
© McGraw Hill
Self-Management
What Is Self-Management?

Ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible
and to direct your behavior positively.

Involves the discipline to hold off on current urges to meet
long-term intentions.

Involves responding productively and creatively to
negative feelings.

© McGraw Hill
Mitigating information.
Table 2.3 Low versus High Self-Management Thoughts
and the Use of Mitigating Information
1
Low SelfManagement
Thoughts
Jeff: If Latisha is going to
treat me like I’m the bad
guy, then maybe I should
just turn her over to
someone else so I don’t
have to worry about her.
Jeff assumes the worst
about Latisha’s comments,
thus allowing his frustration
with her to grow. He
considers an action that is
extreme.
High SelfManagement
Thoughts
Jeff: Latisha is probably
reacting this way because
she cares so much about
family-friendly policies,
which helps the
employees of this
company. She is eager to
contribute.
Jeff assumes a positive
explanation for Latisha’s
actions (mitigating
information), thus shortcircuiting his feelings from
frustration and perhaps
moderating anger.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.3 Low versus High Self-Management Thoughts
and the Use of Mitigating Information
2
Latisha: There’s no way I can
This thought process reflects
Low SelfManagement change anything. Jeff will assign pessimism. Latisha neither
me to another project and that’s thinks of other options
Thoughts
High SelfManagement
Thoughts
© McGraw Hill
that. I’m stuck in another deadend internship.
available to her for working on
parental leave policies nor
assumes that other work tasks
will provide her with rewarding
challenges.
Latisha: I want to express to Jeff my
desire to work on a meaningful
project. We can discuss how my
approach to employee-friendly
policies and quality-of-life issues
could be applied to another project.
And we could discuss how I can still
spend some time working on better
parental leave policies in a way that
does not require cash commitments
during this budget crunch.
This thought process reflects
optimism. Latisha considers
how she can approach Jeff
and constructively discuss
options that are good for her
and the company.
Empathy
Developing Empathy

Empathy is the “ability to accurately pick up on emotions
in other people and understand what is really going on
with them.”

Listening.

Sight-reading nonverbal communication.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.4
Most
Important
Skills for
Managers
© McGraw Hill
Skills
Category
1. Oral communication
Communication
2. Listening skills
Communication
3. Adaptability
Teamwork
4. Written communication
Communication
5. Presentation skills
Communication
6. Value opinions of others
Teamwork
7. Integrity
Leadership
8. Follow a leader
Teamwork
9. Drive
Leadership
10. Cross-cultural sensitivity
Teamwork
11. Quantitative analysis
Technical
12. Qualitative analysis
Technical
13. Innovation and creativity
Leadership
14. Core business knowledge
Technical
15. Ability to inspire others
Leadership
Source: Graduate Management Admission Council. (2017). Corporate recruiters survey report 2017. Reston, VA: GMAC
Active Listening
What Is Active Listening?

“A person’s willingness and ability to hear and understand.”
Active Listening Components

Paying attention.

Holding judgment.

Reflecting.

Clarifying.

Summarizing.

Sharing.
© McGraw Hill
Active Listening
1
Paying Attention

Involves devoting your whole attention to others and
allowing them enough comfort and time to express
themselves completely.

As others speak to you, try to understand everything they
say from their perspective.

Requires active nonverbal communication.
© McGraw Hill
Active Listening
2
Holding Judgment

People will share their ideas and feelings with you only if
they feel safe.

Particularly important in tense and emotionally charged
situations.

Demonstrate a learner mind-set rather than a judger
mind-set.
© McGraw Hill
Holding Judgment
1
Learner Mind-Set

You show eagerness to hear others’ ideas and
perspectives and listen with an open mind.

You do not have your mind made up before listening fully.
© McGraw Hill
Holding Judgment
2
Judger Mind-Set

People have their minds made up before listening
carefully to others’ ideas, perspective, and experiences.

Judgers view disagreement rigidly, with little possibility of
finding common ground.
© McGraw Hill
Holding Judgment
3
Learner Statements

Be willing to hear different opinions.
Judger Statements

Closed off to hearing people out.

Shut down honest conversations.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.5 Judger Statements vs. Learner
Statements
1
Judger
Statements
Lisa: You’re basing your
conclusions on just a few
people you’ve talked to. Why
aren’t you concerned about
finding out more about the
costs?
This statement implies Jeff is not
concerned about costs and isn’t
open to learning more. This will
likely lead to defensiveness.
Learner
Statements
Lisa: I don’t know much
about continuous feedback
systems. What have you
learned from the people
you’ve talked to?
This statement is neutral and
shows a desire to learn about
Jeff’s experiences and thoughts.
This positions Lisa well to ask
tough questions later on in a
constructive manner.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.5 Judger Statements vs. Learner
Statements
2
Judger
Statements
Jeff: I spend a lot of time talking to
HR directors and know which ones
are best at helping their employees
stay engaged and productive. Don’t
you think HR professionals would
know more about this than people
with a finance background?
This statement begins
with an I’m right, you’re
wrong message. It
directly calls into question
the competence of the
listener. Many listeners
would become defensive.
Learner
Statements
Jeff: I’ve learned several things
from HR directors about continuous
feedback systems….I need to learn
more about the financial
implications. Based on what I’ve
told you, what are your thoughts
about the cost-effectiveness?
This statement reflects a
learning stance and
shows a cooperative
approach moving
forward.
© McGraw Hill
Reflecting
Thinking about the ideas and emotions of others.
To make sure you really understand others, you
should frequently paraphrase what you’re hearing.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.6 Reflecting Statements
Types of Effective
Reflecting
Statements
Examples
It sounds to me like…
Lisa: It sounds to me like you think we should replace
annual performance reviews with continuous
performance reviews because continuous reviews
improve employee performance and morale.
So, you’re not happy
with…
Jeff: So, you’re not happy with this transition unless we
carefully evaluate all of the costs, is that right?
Is it fair to say that you
think…
Lisa: Is it fair to say that you think we should make this
change even if we don’t know all the costs?
Let me make sure I
understand…
Jeff: Let me make sure I understand your view. Are you
saying that we can understand the costs better by…?
© McGraw Hill
Clarifying
Making sure you have a clear understanding of what
others mean.
Double-checking that you understand the
perspectives of others and asking them to elaborate
and qualify their thoughts.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.7 Clarifying Statements
Types of Effective
Clarifying
Statements
Example
What are your
thoughts on…?
Lisa: What are your thoughts on considering other ways of
conducting annual reviews more effectively?
Could you repeat
that?
Jeff: Could you repeat what you just said about evaluating
the costs of continuous reviews?
I’m not sure I
understand…
Lisa: I’m not sure I understand why the problems with our
current annual review process mean that we should move
away from annual reviews. Do you know of companies that
are using annual reviews more effectively than we are?
Could you explain
how…?
Jeff: Could you explain how you would calculate the costs
of a continuous review system?
What might be your
role in…?
Lisa: What roles will Steve and Lisa have in helping us
understand what employees think of the current review
process?
© McGraw Hill
Summarizing and Sharing
Summarizing

Restate major themes so that you can make sense of the
big issues from the perspective of the other person.

Active listening also involves sharing your own
perspectives and feelings.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.8 Summarizing Statements
Types of Effective
Summarizing
Statements
Example
So, your main
concern is…
Jeff: So, your two main concerns are that moving to a
continuous review process will be costly and impractical.
The software and time needed in the process will cost far
more than what we invest in an annual review process.
Also, it may be difficult to get all employees to participate
often in this process. Is that right?
It sounds like your
key points are…
Lisa: It sounds like you have a few key points. Continuous
feedback systems improve morale and performance at
each of the companies you’ve learned about. Also, your
contacts at these companies think evaluating the costs of
the software is easy, but evaluating the costs of time
invested by employees is not possible. Is that correct?
© McGraw Hill
Recognizing Barriers to Effective
Listening
Barriers

Lack of time.

Lack of patience and attention span.

Image of leadership.

Communication technology.

Fear of bad news or uncomfortable information.

Defending.

Me too statements.

Giving advice.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 2.4 Defensive and Nondefensive
Replies
The Defensive Reply (Judgmental Stance):
Actually, I know a lot about how performance
review systems affect employees. In fact, I’m
in a far better position to evaluate whether
new systems make financial sense.
Original Statement:
I spend a lot of time
talking to HR
directors and know
which ones are best
at helping their
employees stay
engaged and
productive. Don’t you
think HR
professionals would
know more about
this than people with
a finance
background?
© McGraw Hill
What the
Listener Hears
(Decodes): You
don’t know
what you’re
talking about.
The Nondefensive Reply (Learning Stance):
I think you’re right that we need to pay
attention to what other HR directors have
learned. Have they told you about the costs of
these performance review systems?
Or
I want to know how we can determine the
costs of transitioning to a continuous review
system. What have you learned from HR
directors you know about evaluating these
costs?
Asking the Right Questions
A crucial skill is the ability to ask the right questions.
Good questions reflect the learner mind-set, and
poor questions reflect a judger mind-set.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.9 Questions That Reflect the
Judger Mind-Set and the Learner Mind-Set
Judger Mind-Set
Learner Mind-Set
How come this doesn’t work?
How is this useful or beneficial?
Who is responsible for this mess?
What can we do about this?
Why can’t you get it right?
Going forward, what can we learn
from this?
Can’t you try a better approach?
What are you trying to accomplish?
Why don’t you focus on helping
customers?
How will customers react?
Are you sure this approach will
really meet your goals and
objectives?
How well does this approach meet
your goals and objectives?
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.10 Types of Effective Questions
Types of
Questions
Rapportbuilding
1
Examples
• How was your trip to the human resources
conference?
• What did you learn about at the last Chamber of
Commerce event?
These questions, when asked sincerely, provide an
opportunity for asker and listener to bond through
understanding one another. They also break the ice for a
substantive conversation about the business issues at
hand.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.10 Types of Effective Questions
Types of
Questions
Funnel
2
Examples
• So, how do you think we should go about researching what
our employees think about performance reviews?
• How do you think we can capture the employees’
perspectives about continuous review systems?
• What types of survey questions will help us understand their
thoughts about continuous review systems?
• Could you give me a word-by-word example of how you’d
capture that in a survey question?
These questions progressively break down a problem into
manageable pieces, starting with a large, open-ended question
and moving to increasingly specific and tactical questions. Once
broken into smaller pieces, the asker and listener are more likely
to achieve shared meaning and move toward finding solutions.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.10 Types of Effective Questions
Types of
Questions
Probing
3
Examples
• How often do you receive complaints about the annual
performance review process?
• What concerns do supervisors have?
• What ideas do employees have for making the review
process fairer?
• Do you ever hear supervisors or employees talk about how to
make the process more goal-oriented?
• Other than the frequency of reviews, what are some other
explanations for why employees make these complaints?
These iterations of questions about the causes, consequences,
and scope of group guest complaints attempt to look at the
problem from every angle. This approach is effective at
identifying root causes and best solutions.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.10 Types of Effective Questions
Types of
Questions
Solutionoriented
4
Examples
• How can we find out which software vendors offer the
most attractive performance review features?
• What are your ideas for ensuring that employees
provide continuous feedback to one another?
• What are some best practices in making performance
reviews candid and honest, yet also rewarding and
productive?
These questions form the basis for identifying options
about how to move forward. Ideally, solution-oriented
questions are open, we-oriented, and offer help to others.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.11 Types of Counterproductive
Questions
1
Types of
Questions
Leading
Examples
• Would you agree that employee engagement and
productivity should be our priorities?
• I’m sure you think it’s a good idea to keep costs under
control, right?
These questions are meant to lead the listener to agree
with or adopt the perspective of the asker. Many listeners
will resent feeling pressured into the views of others.
Also, this approach will not lead to a learning
conversation.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.11 Types of Counterproductive
Questions
2
Types of
Questions
Disguised
Statements
Examples
• Why do you insist on focusing on costs instead of
benefits?
• Don’t you think you’re jumping to conclusions by paying
attention to the opinions of only a few of your close
contacts?
These are not real questions. They are statements that
say you are close-minded on this issue. This flaw-finding
approach will cause many listeners to become defensive
and/or avoid sharing their real thoughts. Many listeners
will view disguised statements as underhanded and
manipulative, since they are often attempts to get the
listeners to acknowledge their own faults.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.11 Types of Counterproductive
Questions
3
Types of
Questions
Crossexamination
Examples
• Just now, you said annual reviews don’t work because
they don’t happen often enough. Yet, last week, you
said the real reason our annual reviews fail is not
because of how often they occur, but because they
don’t involve setting goals. So, what’s the real reason
annual reviews don’t work?
This cross-examination question will put most listeners on
the defensive. It may score points for the asker, but it will
move the conversation away from learning and toward a
battle of messages.
© McGraw Hill
Perspective-Getting and Note-Taking
Approach

In the body of your notes, write their comments and
points of view.

In the margins of your notes, write your reactions, your
ideas, and your questions.

Document shortly after the end of your conversation.
© McGraw Hill
Avoiding the Traps of Empathy
Givers

Frequently help others out in the workplace, sometimes at
the expense of their individual performance.

Three potential barriers to performance associated with
empathy:

Timidity.

Availability.

Emotional concern for others.
© McGraw Hill
Sight-Reading Nonverbal Communication
and Building Rapport
Learning to Sight-Read

Consciously practice each day.

Pay attention to congruence.

Sight-read in clusters, not in isolation.

Sight-read in context.
© McGraw Hill
Nonverbal Signals
Eyes
Smiles and Nods
Hands and Arms
Touch
© McGraw Hill
Left: Caia Images/Glow Images ; Right: Image Source/Getty Images
Relationship Management
Relationship Management

Using your awareness of emotions and those of others to
manage interactions successfully.

Adapting communication to the preferred styles of others
and ensuring civility in the workplace.
© McGraw Hill
Differences in Communication
Preferences Based on Motivational Values
Relationship Awareness Theory

Nurturing (identified as blue in this model).

Directing (identified as red).

Autonomizing (identified as green).
Motivational Value System (MVS)

Blend of these primary motives and refers to the
frequency with which these values guide their actions.
© McGraw Hill
Motivational Value Systems
1
Blue MVS

Most often guided by motives to protect others, help
others grow, and act in the best interests of others.
Red MVS

© McGraw Hill
Most often guided by concerns about organizing people,
time, money, and other resources to accomplish results.
Motivational Value Systems
2
Green MVS

Most often concerned about making sure business
activities have been thought out carefully and the right
processes are put into place to accomplish things.
Hubs

Professionals who are guided almost equally by all
three of these MVSs.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.12 Motivational Value Systems
1
Blues (Altruistic and Nurturing)
Primary concerns
Protection, growth, and welfare of others
Preferred work environment
Open, friendly, helpful, considerate; being needed and
appreciated; ensuring others reach their potential
People feel best when…
Helping others in a way that benefits them
People feel most rewarded when…
Being a warm and friendly person who is deserving of
appreciation for giving help
People want to avoid being
perceived as…
Selfish, cold, unfeeling
Triggers of conflict
When others compete and take advantage; are cold
and unfriendly; are slow to recognize helpful efforts on
their behalf
Overdone strengths
Trusting, gullible; devoted, subservient; caring,
submissive
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.12 Motivational Value Systems
2
Reds (Assertive and Directing)
Primary concerns
Task accomplishment; use of time, money, and any
other resources to achieve desired results
Preferred work environment
Fast-moving, competitive, creative, progressive,
innovative, verbally stimulating; potential for personal
advancement and development
People feel best when…
Providing leadership and direction to others
People feel most rewarded
when…
Acting with strength and ambition, achieving excellence,
and leading and directing others
People want to avoid being
perceived as…
Gullible, indecisive, unable to act
Triggers of conflict
When others are too forgiving and don’t fight back; don’t
provide clear expectations about rewards
Overdone strengths
Confident, arrogant; persuasive, abrasive; competitive,
combative
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.12 Motivational Value Systems
3
Greens (Analytical and Autonomizing)
Primary concerns
Assurance that things have been properly thought out;
meaningful order being established; self-reliance and selfdependence
Preferred work environment
Clarity, logic, precision, efficiency, organization; focus on
self-reliance and effective use of resources; time to explore
options
People feel best when…
Pursuing their own interests without needing to rely on
others
People feel most rewarded
when…
Working with others in a fair, clear, logical, and rational
manner
People want to avoid being
perceived as…
Overly emotional, exploitive of others
Triggers of conflict
When others don’t take issues seriously; push their help on
them; do not weigh all the facts when making a decision
Overdone strengths
Fair, unfeeling; analytical, nit-picking; methodical, rigid
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.12 Motivational Value Systems
4
Hubs (Flexible and Cohering)
Primary concerns
Flexibility; welfare of the group; sense of belonging in the
group
Preferred work
environment
Friendly, flexible, social, fun; consensus-building; encouraging
interaction
People feel best when…
Coordinating efforts with others in a common undertaking
People feel most rewarded
when…
Being a good team member who can be loyal, direct when
necessary, and knows when to follow rules
People want to avoid being
perceived as…
Subservient to others, domineering, isolated
Triggers of conflict
When others are not willing to consider alternatives; insist on
one way of doing things; restrict ability to stay flexible and
open to options
Overdone strengths
Flexible, wishy-washy; option-oriented, indecisive; tolerant,
uncaring
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.13 Words and Phrases that Resonate with
Professionals of Various MVSs
MVS
Verbs
Nouns
Modifiers
Phrases
Blues
Feel, appreciate,
care, help, thank,
include, support
Satisfaction, wellbeing, people,
cooperation
Thoughtful, loyal,
sincere, respectful,
maybe
Serve everyone’s best
interests, look out for
everyone
Reds
Compete, win,
lead, challenge,
dominate
Achievement, results,
success, performance,
goals, advantage
Challenging,
rewarding, passionate,
definitely, quickly
Make it happen, take
charge, go for it
Greens
Think, analyze,
evaluate, identify,
organize
Process, principles,
standard, schedules,
accountability, details
Fair, careful, accurate,
objective, correct,
efficient, risky
Take our time, get it
right, make sure it’s
fair
Hubs
Brainstorm,
decide together,
play, experiment,
meet
Options, flexibility,
teamwork, fun,
consensus,
compromise
Balanced, open,
flexible, friendly,
inclusive, committed
Let’s work together,
let’s try this out
© McGraw Hill
Figure 2.5 A Conversation between a Hub and a Green
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 2.6 A Conversation between a Red and a Blue
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Differences in Communication Preferences
Based on Extroversion-Introversion
Introverts

Tend to get much of their stimulation and energy from
their own thoughts, feelings, and moods.
Extroverts
• Tend to get much of their stimulation and energy from
external sources such as social interaction.
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.14 Strengths of Introverted and
Extroverted Professionals
1
Strengths of Introverted Professionals
Asking thoughtful and important questions
Listening to the ideas of others
Giving people space to innovate
Developing insights to deal with uncertain situations
Improving the listening environment in meetings
Networking among close-knit professional groups
Making lasting impressions in social tasks that require persistence
Taking time to reflect carefully
Providing objective analysis and advice
Excelling in situations requiring discipline
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.14 Strengths of Introverted and
Extroverted Professionals
2
Strengths of Extroverted Professionals
Stating views directly and charismatically
Gaining the support of others
Organizing people to innovate
Inspiring confidence in uncertain situations
Driving important conversations at meetings
Networking at large social events with potential clients and other
contacts
Making strong first impressions that often lead to future partnerships
Acting quickly to gain advantages
Acting pragmatically in the absence of reliable information
Excelling in competitive situations
© McGraw Hill
Table 2.15 Working Effectively with
Introverts and Extroverts
1
Introverts can work more effectively with extroverts by …










© McGraw Hill
Making sure their extroverted colleagues have enough time to
interact with team members.
Engaging in small talk and light topics during conversations.
Speaking up more quickly than feels natural.
Offering personal information more often.
Expressing their preference to respond to questions later on.
Giving them more opportunities to interact with others.
Shortening their emails.
Telling people they’re shy or uncomfortable speaking up; requesting
that others ask or call on them to speak up.
Appreciating extroverts for their many strengths.
Teaming up with extroverts to complement one another’s strengths.
Table 2.15 Working Effectively with
Introverts and Extroverts
2
Extroverts can work more effectively with introverts by …










© McGraw Hill
Making sure their introverted colleagues have enough time to
prepare for presentations or meetings.
Allowing conversations to have fewer and more in-depth topics.
Pausing more often and allowing longer periods of silence.
Spending less time talking about personal interests.
Expressing their preference to discuss things immediately.
Giving them more opportunities to be alone and recharge.
Lengthening their emails.
Telling people they have a hard time not sharing their views;
requesting that others signal them when they’re talking too much.
Appreciating introverts for their many strengths.
Teaming up with introverts to complement one another’s strengths.
Maintaining Civility and Avoiding
Gossip
Incivility in Society and the Workplace

A recent survey showed that incivility is common in the
workplace.

Especially common in retail stores.

Many employees who are targets of incivility lose work
time or leave their jobs.
© McGraw Hill
Common Types of Incivility in the
Workplace
Ignoring others
Treating others without courtesy
Disrespecting the efforts of others
Disrespecting the privacy of others
Disrespecting the dignity and worth of others
© McGraw Hill
Maintaining Civil Communications
1. Slow down and be present in life.
2. Listen to the voice of empathy.
3. Keep a positive attitude.
4. Respect others and grant them plenty of validation.
5. Disagree graciously and refrain from arguing.
6. Get to know people around you.
7. Pay attention to small things.
8. Ask, don’t tell.
© McGraw Hill
Business Communication: Developing
Leaders for a Networked World, 4e
Chapter 2
Because learning changes everything.
www.mheducation.com
© McGraw Hill
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
®
Because learning changes everything. ®
Chapter 3
Team
Communication
and Difficult
Conversations
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
Learning Objectives
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
© McGraw Hill
Explain the principles of team communication
in high-performing teams.
Describe and demonstrate approaches to
planning, running, and following up on
meetings.
Explain the principles of effective virtual team
communication.
Describe strategies for effective group writing.
Explain basic principles for handling difficult
conversations.
Principles of Effective Team
Communication
1
Basic Principles
1.
Focus on performance.
2.
Go through four stages to reach high performance.
3.
Build a work culture around values, norms and goals.
4.
Meet often.
5.
Focus on psychological safety and ensure all voices are heard.
6.
Recognize and actively seek to avoid groupthink.
7.
Embrace diversity.
8.
Solve problems and generate creative solutions.
9.
Provide positive feedback and evaluate performance often.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 3.1 Stages of Development in HighPerformance Teams
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Source: Adapted from Wheelan, S. A. (1999). Creating effective teams: A guide for members and leaders.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, which examines hundreds of scholarly studies on teamwork.
Stages of Development in HighPerformance Teams
Forming
Storming
• Team members focus on
gaining acceptance and
avoiding conflict.
• Team members open up
with their competing ideas
about how the team
should approach work.
Norming
Performing
• The team arrives at a
work plan, including roles,
goals, and
accountabilities.
• The team operates
efficiently toward
accomplishing its goals.
© McGraw Hill
Principles of Effective Team
Communication
2
Team Culture

Shared perceptions and commitment to collective values,
norms, roles, responsibilities, and goals.

Typically during the norming stage.
Team Charter

Provides direction to the team.

Includes purpose or mission statements, values, goals,
team member roles, tasks, ground rules, communication
protocol, meeting protocol, decision-making rules, conflict
resolution, and feedback mechanisms.
© McGraw Hill
Principles of Effective Team
Communication
3
Symptoms of Groupthink

Collective rationalization.

Moral high ground.

Self-censorship.

Illusion of unanimity.
© McGraw Hill
Principles of Effective Team
Communication
4
Symptoms of Groupthink (continued)

Peer pressure.

Illusion of invulnerability.

Complacency.

Mindguards.

Stereotyping.
© McGraw Hill
Embracing Differing Viewpoints
Inherent Diversity
Acquired Diversity
• Involves traits such as
age, gender, ethnicity,
and sexual orientation.
• Involves traits you acquire
through experience, such
as customer service
experience, retail
experience, or
engineering experience.
© McGraw Hill
Behaviors that Drive Diversity
1. Making sure everyone is heard.
2. Making it safe to let team members express
novel ideas.
3. Giving team members decision-making authority.
4. Sharing credit.
5. Giving useful feedback.
6. Putting feedback into action.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 3.4 The Strengths Deployment Inventory
Triangle Displaying Motivational Value Systems
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Principles of Effective Team
Communication
5
Divergence
Convergence


Working independently
can increase the number
of ideas and solutions
generated.
© McGraw Hill
Evaluating the proposed
ideas and solutions and
narrowing them to a
small set of feasible
solutions to address the
problem.
Developing Quick Trust and Working
in Short-Term Teams
Ways to Develop Trust

Get to know each other.

Self-disclosure.

Hold an effective launch meeting.

Commit to working together and separately.

Set up a deliverable schedule and evaluate performance
regularly.
© McGraw Hill
Managing Meetings
1
Planning for Meetings: Essential Questions

What is the purpose of the meeting? What outcomes do I
expect?

Who should attend?

When should the meeting be scheduled?

What roles and responsibilities should people at the
meeting have?
© McGraw Hill
Managing Meetings
2
Planning for Meetings: Essential Questions (continued)

What will be the agenda?

What materials should I distribute prior to the meeting?

When and how should I invite others?

What logistical issues do I need to take care of (reserving
rooms, getting equipment, printing materials)?
© McGraw Hill
Figure 3.6 Least Productive Parts of
the Workday
Access the text alternative for slide images
© McGraw Hill
Source: Adapted from Perrotte, K. (2018, August 18). Accountemps survey: Employee output is weakest late in the day. Retrieved from
Types of Meetings
Coordination
Meetings
Problem-Solving
Meetings
• Primarily focus on
discussing roles, goals,
and accountabilities.
• Typically involve
brainstorming about how
to address and solve a
particular work problem.
© McGraw Hill
Creating and Distributing the Agenda
Agenda Components
• Agenda items.
• Time frames.
• Goals/expected
outcomes.
• Roles.
• Materials needed.
© McGraw Hill
Running Effective Meetings
Create tradition, culture, and variety.
Set expectations and follow the agenda.
Encourage participation and expression of ideas.

Use a facilitator.
Build consensus and a plan of action.
Closing the meeting.
Dealing with difficult people.
© McGraw Hill
Following Up After Meetings
Meeting Follow-up/Minutes
Components
• Date and time.
• Team members present.
• Meeting roles.
• Key decisions.
• Key discussion points (optional).
• Open issues (optional).
• Action items and deadlines.
© McGraw Hill
Working in Virtual Teams
1
Virtual Teams

Generally consist of team members located at various
offices (including home offices) and rely almost entirely
on virtual technologies to work with one another.
© McGraw Hill
Working in Virtual Teams
2
Focus on building trust at each stage of your virtual
team.
Meet in person if possible.
Get to know one another.
Use collaborative technologies.
Choose an active team leader.
© McGraw Hill
Table 3.1 Maintaining Trust over the Life
of a Virtual Team Project
1
Stage of
Project
Elements of
Trust
Key Actions to Foster Trust
Forming
Competence
Asking and responding to questions about one another’s
professional accomplishments, strengths, and
weaknesses.
Forming
Caring
Showing interest in teammates.
Expressing a desire to work with teammates.
Forming
Character
Making commitments to high team performance.
Discussing shared values for a team charter.
Norming
Competence
Demonstrating strong performance in early deliverables.
Preparing well for initial meetings.
Norming
Caring
Sharing information, offering to help teammates, and
staying accessible to teammates.
Responding promptly to the requests of teammates.
© McGraw Hill
Table 3.1 Maintaining Trust over the Life of
a Virtual Team Project
2
Stage of
Project
Elements of
Trust
Key Actions to Foster Trust
Norming
Character
Living up to commitments in the team charter.
Performing
Competence
Completing all tasks with excellence.
Performing
Caring
Encouraging and supporting teammates to
compete tasks near final deadlines when the
pressure is highest.
Performing
Character
Ensuring all team outcomes are fair to team
members and stakeholders.
© McGraw Hill
Running Effective Virtual Meetings
Tips to make the meeting more productive:

Start the meeting with social chat.

Start with a contentious question.

Ask “what do you think about” questions.

Make sure each team member is involved.

Articulate views precisely.

Take minutes in real time.

Focus on your teammates and avoid multitasking.

Use video when possible.
© McGraw Hill
Group Writing
Tips for effective group writing:

Start right away.

Work together at the planning stage.

Make sure your roles and contributions are fair.

Stay flexible and open.

Meet in real time consistently and ensure the writing
reflects the views of the group.

Discuss how you will edit the document together.

Consider a single group member to polish the final
version and ensure a consistent voice.
© McGraw Hill
Managing Difficult Conversations
1
Difficult conversations often center on
disagreements, conflict, and bad news.
Many people prefer to avoid difficult conversations
because they want to avoid hurting the feelings of
others or want to avoid conflict.
© McGraw Hill
Managing Difficult Conversations
Principles of Difficult
Conversations
• Embrace difficult conversations.
• Assume the best in others.
• Adopt a learning stance.
• Stay calm/overcome noise.
• Find common ground.
• Disagree diplomatically.
• Avoid exaggeration and either/or
approaches.
© McGraw Hill
2
Components of Difficult
Conversations
Steps
1. Start well/declare your intent.
2. Listen to their story.
3. Tell your story.
4. Create a shared story.
© McGraw Hill
How to Disagree Diplomatically
Disagreeing Well

Validating others means that you recognize their
perspectives and feelings as credible or legitimate. It
does not necessarily mean that you agree.

I-statements begin with phrases such as I think, I feel, or
I believe.

© McGraw Hill
Soften comments to sound more conciliatory and flexible and
less blaming and accusatory.
Business Communication: Developing
Leaders for a Networked World, 4e
Chapter 3
Because learning changes everything.
www.mheducation.com
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
®
Because learning changes everything. ®
Chapter 4
Global
Communication
and Diversity
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
Learning Objectives
1.
Describe characteristics of cultural intelligence, its
importance for global business leaders, and
approaches to developing it.
2.
Explain the major cultural dimensions and related
communication practices.
3.
Name and describe key categories of business
etiquette in the intercultural communication process.
4.
Identify how generational, gender, and other aspects
of diversity affect workplace communication.
© McGraw Hill
Developing Cultural Intelligence
Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

A measure of your ability to work with and adapt to
members of other cultures.

Can be developed and improved over time.
Culture

Shared values, norms, rules, and behaviors of an
identifiable group of people who share a common history
and communication system.

There are many types of culture, such as national,
organizational, and team.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.2 Cultural Intelligence in the
Workplace
Characteristics of High Cultural Intelligence
Respect, recognize, and appreciate cultural differences.
Possess curiosity about and interest in other cultures.
Avoid inappropriate stereotypes.
Adjust conceptions of time and show patience.
Manage language differences to achieve shared meaning.
Understand cultural dimensions.
Establish trust and show empathy across cultures.
Approach cross-cultural work relationships with a learner mind-set.
Build a co-culture of cooperation and innovation.
© McGraw Hill
Respect, Recognize, and Appreciate
Cultural Differences
Cultural Intelligence

Built on attitudes of respect and recognition of other
cultures.

Viewing other cultures as holding legitimate and valid
views of and approaches to managing business and
workplace relationships.
Diversity

Presence of many cultural groups.

Leads to better decision making.
© McGraw Hill
Be Curious about Other Cultures
Study abroad.
Learn a language.
Develop friendships with
international students on
your campus.
Take an interest in culture
and routinely learn about it.
© McGraw Hill
Avoid Inappropriate Stereotypes
Projected Cognitive
Similarity
Outgroup
Homogeneity Effect
• Tendency to assume
others have the same
norms and values as your
own cultural group.
• Tendency to think
members of other groups
are all the same.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.3 Perceptions That Members of
Various Cultures Have about Americans
Percentage of Respondents Who Associate Americans with Various Traits
Country
Optimistic Hardworking
Tolerant
Arrogant
Greedy
Canada
65
76
39
55
57
China
45
39
29
60
49
France
72
81
42
58
43
Germany
74
60
52
48
45
Greece
78
73
37
72
68
India
50
56
42
42
36
Italy
77
70
51
47
21
Japan
70
26
59
50
45
Sweden
80
57
38
52
55
UK
71
75
39
64
56
© McGraw Hill
Source: Pew Research Center Global Trends & Attitudes.
Adjust Your Conceptions of Time
Culture Impacts Conceptions of Time

People high in CQ show patience.

Cultures differ in priorities as related to time.
© McGraw Hill
Manage Language Differences
Working with Non-Native English Speakers

Avoid quickly judging that others have limited
communication proficiency.

Articulate clearly and slow down.

Avoid slang and jargon.

Give others time to express themselves.

Use interpreters as necessary.
© McGraw Hill
Understanding Cultural Dimensions
GLOBE Group’s Cultural
Dimensions
© McGraw Hill
1.
Individualism and collectivism
2.
Egalitarianism and hierarchy
3.
Performance orientation
4.
Future orientation
5.
Assertiveness
6.
Humane orientation
7.
Uncertainty avoidance
8.
Gender egalitarianism
Individualism and Collectivism
Individualism
Collectivism


A mind-set that prioritizes
interdependence more
highly than independence.

Emphasizes group goals
over individual goals.

Values obligation more
than choice.


A mind-set that prioritizes
independence more
highly than
interdependence.
Emphasizes individual
goals over group goals.
Values choice more than
obligation.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.2
Individualism
and Collectivism
across Cultures
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.4 Communication Practices in HighIndividualist and High-Collectivist Cultures
High Individualism
High Collectivism
Discuss individual rewards and goals
Discuss group rewards and goals
Emphasize opportunities and choices
Emphasize duties and obligations
Spend less time in group decision
making
Spend more time in group decision
making
Socialize infrequently with colleagues
outside of work
Socialize frequently with colleagues
outside of work
Network in loosely tied and temporary
social networks
Network in tightly knit and permanent
social networks
Communicate directly to efficiently deal
with work tasks and outcomes
Communicate indirectly to preserve
harmony in work relationships
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.3
Individualism
and Collectivism
within
Companies
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.4 Variety in Individualist and Collectivist
Norms in the United States, Japan, and China
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Egalitarianism and Hierarchy
Egalitarian Cultures
Hierarchical Cultures
• People tend to distribute
and share power evenly,
minimize status
differences, and minimize
special privileges and
opportunities for people
just because they have
higher authority.

People expect power
differences, follow
leaders without
questioning them, and
feel comfortable with
leaders receiving special
privileges and
opportunities.

Power tends to be
concentrated at the top.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.5
Hierarchy and
Egalitarianism
across
Cultures
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.5 Communication Practices in
Egalitarian and Hierarchical Cultures
Egalitarianism
Hierarchy
Decision making is more decentralized.
Decision making is more centralized.
Protocol based on status is less
important and is reserved for unusually
formal business situations.
Protocol (use of titles, seating
arrangements) based on status is
extremely important.
Subordinates speak more openly with
leaders even during disagreements.
Subordinates defer to leaders during
disagreements.
Subordinates do not take responsibility
for the mistakes of leaders.
Subordinates take blame for and save
face for leaders at all times.
Leaders are approached directly.
Leaders are approached through
intermediaries.
© McGraw Hill
Performance and Future Orientation
Performance Orientation
Future Orientation
• The extent to which a
community encourages
and rewards innovation,
high standards, and
performance
improvement.

© McGraw Hill
The degree to which
cultures are willing to
sacrifice current wants to
achieve future needs.
Figure 4.6
Performance
Orientation
across
Cultures
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.6 Communication in High Performance
and Low Performance Orientation Societies
High Performance Orientation
Low Performance Orientation
Emphasize results more than
relationships
Emphasize relationships more than
results
Prioritize measurable goals and
objectives in meetings and
communications
Discuss goals and objectives casually
without mechanisms for measuring
them
View feedback as essential to
improvement
View feedback as judgmental and
uncomfortable
Explicitly talk about financial incentives
De-emphasize financial incentives;
consider this motivation inappropriate
Value statements of individual
accountability
Value expressions of loyalty and
sympathy
Expect urgency in communications and
emphasize deadlines
Show a relaxed view of time and view
overemphasis on deadlines as pushy
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.7
Time
Orientation
across
Cultures
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.7 Communication Practices in High and
Low Future Orientation Cultures
High Future Orientation
Low Future Orientation
Emphasize control and planning for the
future
Emphasize controlling current business
problems
Focus more on intrinsic motivation
Focus more on extrinsic motivation
Frequently discuss long-term strategies
as part of business communications
Rarely discuss long-term strategies as
part of communications
Use flexible and adaptive language
Use inflexible and firm language
Often mention long-term rewards and
incentives
Often mention short-term rewards and
incentives
Appreciate visionary approaches to
business problems
Prioritize proven and routine
approaches to problems
© McGraw Hill
Assertiveness and Humane Orientation
Assertiveness
Humane Orientation


The level of confrontation
and directness that is
considered appropriate
and productive.
© McGraw Hill
Degree to which an
organization or society
encourages and rewards
individuals for being fair,
altruistic, friendly,
generous, caring, and
kind.
Figure 4.8
Assertiveness
across
Cultures
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.8 Communication Practices in High- and
Low-Assertiveness Cultures
High-Assertiveness Cultures
Low-Assertiveness Cultures
Emphasize direct and unambiguous
language
Emphasize indirect and subtle language
Uncomfortable with silence and speak
up quickly to fill the silence
View silence as communicative and
respectful
Prioritize resolving issues over showing
respect to others
Prioritize showing respect over
resolving issues
Typically express more emotion
Typically express less emotion
Use tough, even dominant, language
Use tender and pleasant language
Stress equality and use competitive
language
Stress equality and use cooperative
language
Value unrestrained expression of
thoughts and feelings
Value measured and disciplined
expression of thoughts and feelings
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.9
Humane
Orientation
across
Cultures
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.9 Communication Styles in High and
Low Humane Orientation Cultures
High Humane Orientation
Low Humane Orientation
Express greetings, welcome,
concern, and appreciation in most
interactions
Express greetings and welcome in
formal interactions
Consider taking time to talk about
feelings as critical
Consider taking time to talk about
feelings as inefficient
Volunteer to help others
Help others when asked
Smile and display other nonverbal
signs of welcome frequently
Smile and display other nonverbal
signs of welcome infrequently
© McGraw Hill
Uncertainty Avoidance and Gender
Egalitarianism
Uncertainty Avoidance
Gender Egalitarianism


How cultures socialize
members to feel in
uncertain, novel,
surprising, or
extraordinary situations.
© McGraw Hill
The division of roles
between men and
women in society.
Figure 4.10
Uncertainty
Avoidance
across
Cultures
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.10 Communication Styles in High
and Low Uncertainty Avoidance Cultures
High Uncertainty Avoidance
Low Uncertainty Avoidance
Document agreements in legal
contracts
Rely on the word of others they trust
rather than contractual arrangements
Expect orderly communication: keep
meticulous records, document
conclusions drawn in meetings
Expect casual communication: less
concerned with documentation and
maintenance of meeting records
Refer to formalized policies,
procedures, and rules as basis for
decision making
Feel unbound by formalized policies,
procedures, and rules when discussing
work decisions with others
Verify with written communication
Verify with oral communication
Prefer formality in the majority of
interpersonal business interactions
Expect informality in most interpersonal
business interactions
© McGraw Hill
Table 4.11 Communication Practices in High and
Low Gender-Egalitarianism Cultures
High Gender Egalitarianism
Low Gender Egalitarianism
Provide equal professional
opportunities to men and women
Provide more professional leadership
opportunities to men
Expect men and women to have
the same communication and
management styles
Expect men and women to
communicate in distinct masculine
and feminine ways
Avoid protocol that draws
attention to gender
Prefer protocol that draws attention to
gender
© McGraw Hill
Building and Maintaining CrossCultural Work Relationships
Establish trust and show empathy.
Adopt a learner mind-set.
Build a co-culture of cooperation and innovation.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.11
Perceptions of
Trust across
Cultures
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Learning the Etiquette of Another
Culture
Following the rules of etiquette in other cultures can
gain favorable first impressions and show respect.
There are rules for everything, including appropriate
versus taboo topics of conversation, conversation
style, punctuality and meetings, dining, touching and
proximity, business dress, and gift giving.
© McGraw Hill
Generation, Gender, and Other Group
Identities
Working across Generations

Traditionalists (Silent Generation)

Boomers (Baby Boomers)

Gen X

Gen Y (Millennials, Digital Natives)

Gen Z (Post-Millennials)
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.12 Five Generations in the American
Workforce
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Source: Richard Fry, “Millennials Surpass Gen Xers as the Largest Generation in the U.S. Labor Force,” Pew Research Center website, May 11,
2015, available at 1c.
Tips for Working with Different
Generations
Focus on individuals and their
professional goals.
Recognize the similarities across
generations.
Pay attention to preferred
approaches to communicating.
Observe appropriate formality and
attire.
© McGraw Hill
Gender and Communication Patterns
Differences still exist in the way men and women
communicate.

Women tend to be more relationship oriented,
collaborative, and interconnected in thinking.

Men tend to be more independent, competitive, and linear
in thinking.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 4.13 Gender in Individualist and
Collectivist Societies
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Source: Chart created by author based on dozens of research studies that demonstrate women tend to exhibit more collectivist, relational attitudes
Tips for Communicating across
Genders
Notice when professionals use
speech patterns for task-based
versus relationship-based reasons.
Purposefully and consciously adopt
your own style.
Do your part to overcome biases.
© McGraw Hill
Displaying Cultural Intelligence with Other Groups
and Appreciating Other Forms of Diversity
1
Types of cultural groups include:

People from certain regions.

People from urban, suburban, or rural areas.

Ethnic groups.

Occupational groups.

Companies.
© McGraw Hill
Displaying Cultural Intelligence with Other Groups
and Appreciating Other Forms of Diversity
2
Diversity

Gen Yers and Gen Zers are the most sensitive to issues
of diversity.

More focus on:

Neurodiversity.

Physical disabilities.

Mental illness.
© McGraw Hill
Business Communication: Developing
Leaders for a Networked World, 4e
Chapter 4
Because learning changes everything.
www.mheducation.com
© McGraw Hill
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
®
Because learning changes everything. ®
Chapter 5
Creating Effective
Business
Messages
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
Learning Objectives
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
© McGraw Hill
Explain the goals of effective business
messages and the process for creating them.
Identify the needs of your audience in the AIM
planning process
Gather the right information and refine
business ideas in the AIM planning process.
Develop your primary message and key points
in the AIM planning process.
Explain and apply positive and other-oriented
tone in business messages.
The Process for Creating Business
Messages
1
Process Steps

Plan.

Write.

Review.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 5.1 The Stages and Goals of Effective
Message Creation
PLAN: Get the content right.
• Understand your audience.
• Gather the right information.
• Develop your message.
WRITE: Get the delivery right.
• Set the right tone.
• Apply a clear and concise style.
• Focus on navigational design.
REVIEW: Double-check everything.
• Get feedback.
• Ensure your message is fair.
• Make sure to proofread.
© McGraw Hill
The Process for Creating Business
Messages
2
Business writers tend to move back and forth
between stages.
Expert writers are more likely to:

Analyze the needs of the audience.

Generate the best ideas to tackle a problem.

Identify the primary message and key points before
starting a formal draft of a business message.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 5.2 Time Spent by Poor, Average, and Expert
Writers Developing a Complete Business Message
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Source: Pressley, M., & McCormick, C. B. (1995). Advanced educational psychology for educators, researchers, and policymakers. New York: HarperCollins.
The AIM Planning Process for
Effective Business Messages
Focus on Three Areas

Audience analysis.

Information gathering.

Message development.
© McGraw Hill
Audience Analysis
Components
• Identify reader benefits
and constraints.
Think about the needs,
priorities, and values of
audience members.
• Consider reader values
and priorities.
• Estimate personal
credibility.
• Anticipate reactions.
• Consider secondary
audiences.
© McGraw Hill
Identifying Reader Benefits and
Constraints
For many messages, this is the single most
important planning step.
Your readers respond when you provide them with
something that they value.
© McGraw Hill
Considering Reader Values and Priorities
Values
Priorities
• Enduring beliefs and
ideals that individuals
hold.
• Involves ranking or
assigning importance to
things, such as projects,
goals, and tasks.
© McGraw Hill
Estimating Your Credibility
Audiences must judge you as credible.
Many entry-level professionals have relatively low
professional credibility because they are viewed as
the newcomers.
© McGraw Hill
Gaining Credibility
Set up a time to talk with your boss.
Ask your boss if you can take on any
higher-responsibility projects.
Make sure you fit in with the corporate
culture in terms of professional dress
and communication style.
Attend a lot of meetings to get to know
as many colleagues as possible.
Create a professional blog about a
niche area.
© McGraw Hill
Anticipating Reactions
Tips

Envision how others will respond to your message.

Imagine how your readers will think, feel, and act as they
read it.

Think about what you want to achieve in terms of
workplace relationships.
© McGraw Hill
Keeping Secondary Audiences in
Mind
Tips

Individuals other than primary recipient will view your
messages.

Modify them accordingly.
© McGraw Hill
Information Gathering
1
Components
• Identify the business problems.
• Analyze the business problems.
• Clarify objectives.
© McGraw Hill
Information Gathering
2
Excellent Business Thinkers

Clearly and precisely identify and articulate key questions
and problems.

Gather information from a variety of sources.

Make well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.

Remain open to alternatives to approaching and
reasoning about the business problem.

Are skilled at communicating with others to figure out and
solve complex problems.
© McGraw Hill
Identifying and Analyzing the
Business Problem(s)
Facts
Conclusions
• Statements that can be
relied on with a fair
amount of certainty and
can be observed
objectively.
• Statements that are
reasoned or deduced
based on facts.
© McGraw Hill
Positions
• Stances that you take
based on a set of
conclusions.
Message Development
Framing the primary message:

What is the primary message?

What simple, vivid statement (15 words or fewer)
captures the essence of your message?
Setting up the logic of your message:

What are your supporting points?

What do you want to explicitly ask your readers to do
(call to action)?

How will you order the logic of your message?
© McGraw Hill
Setting Up the Message Framework
Most business arguments employ a direct or
deductive approach.

They begin by stating the primary message.

Then they lay out the supporting reasons and conclude
with a call to action.
In some cases, such as delivering bad news, an
indirect or inductive approach is helpful.

This approach provides supporting reasons first followed
by the primary message.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 5.4a Typical Deductive Framework for a
Business Argument and Related Paragraph
Structure
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 5.4b Typical Deductive Framework for a
Business Argument and Related Paragraph
Structure
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.1 Avoiding Unsupported
Generalizations
Less
Effective
Eastmond has a turnover problem.
Without any supporting facts,
this broad generalization will
be viewed skeptically by
many readers.
More
Effective
Eastmond faces an employee
turnover problem. Employee
turnover is at 23 percent compared
to rates of between 10 to 15
percent at similar tech firms in our
area.
This statement provides
statistics to support the
conclusion. The comparative
data shows this is a problem.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.2a Avoiding Faulty Cause-Effect
Claims
Less
Effective
Lisa Johnson’s calculations show that
Eastmond will definitely save at least $900
thousand over the next five years by
introducing PPL.
This statement assumes that
a PPP policy will result in a
definite result: at least
$900,000 in savings. The
certainty of this claim would
raise skepticism among
many readers, especially
without data.
More
Effective
Lisa Johnson projected the financial
impacts of a 20-week PPL policy.
Considering increased productivity gains
due to higher employee engagement,
savings from reduced turnover, and higher
employee costs to cover for employees on
PPL, we anticipate saving over $900
thousand over the next five years (see
Lisa’s attached estimate for assumptions
and other details).
This statement provides
facts, assumptions, and
calculations to make a
confident estimate. The
statements are carefully
crafted to avoid stating
absolute outcomes. As a
result, the statement will be
perceived much more
credibly
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.2b Avoiding Faulty Cause-Effect
Claims
Less
Effective
Last year five promising earlycareer professionals turned down
job offers. If we had PPL, they
would have joined Eastmond.
This statement states a
cause that is nearly
impossible to demonstrate
convincingly, especially
without additional information.
More
Effective
Last year five promising earlycareer professionals turned down
job offers. Two of them told us
they were disappointed there
wasn’t any PPL. This leads us to
believe we are losing some earlycareer professionals because we
don’t offer PPL.
This statement does not
attribute the lack of PPL as
the single cause of turneddown job offers. It provides
more specific details about
the lack of PPL as a concern
for two of the individuals. The
language is measured and
objective.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.3 Avoiding Weak Analogies
Less
Effective
Organizations such as Netflix and the
Gates Foundation have given a full
year of PPL and dramatically
increased employee retention.
Therefore, we should adopt a 52week PPL model to ensure we
increase retention.
This statement is a weaker
analogy because it compares a
smaller organization, Eastmond,
with large organizations that can
take a different approach in terms
of personnel, resources, and
program options. Readers in
smaller organizations would
consider this a weak analogy.
More
Effective
We found that the most generous
PPL policies among small tech firms
range from roughly 8 to 24 weeks.
Therefore, in her estimate, Lisa
assumed that Eastmond will gain the
most employee retention benefits by
offering 20-week PPL to new parents.
This statement is a stronger
analogy because it refers to
similar-sized organizations with
similar resources and constraints.
Readers are far more likely to
consider this a credible analogy.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.4 Avoiding Either/Or Logic
Less
Effective
Without providing PPL,
employees will continue to
suffer from low morale.
This logic is either/or: without a
PPL, employees will have low
morale; with PPL, they will have
high morale.
More
Effective
One way to reduce turnover
is offering more employeefriendly benefits such as
PPL.
This statement does not imply that
a PPL policy is the only option for
reducing turnover. Readers will
perceive this statement as confident
but grounded and measured.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.5 Avoiding Slanting the Facts
Less
Effective
Employee turnover at Eastmond is
at 23 percent compared to as low
as 10 percent at similar tech firms
in our area.
This statement leaves out
the top of the range to imply
the separation between
Eastmond and competing
firms is even more dramatic
than often is the case.
More
Effective
Employee turnover at Eastmond is
at 23 percent compared to rates of
between 10 to 15 percent at
similar tech firms in our area.
This statement provides the
top of the range and thus
provides complete
information.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.6 Avoiding Exaggeration
Less
Effective
Providing PPL to our new
parents would completely
change our work environment
for the better, allowing us to
reach levels of performance
previously unimagined.
Many readers would view this
statement with skepticism since
the language seems
exaggerated and unbelievable.
This would lead some readers to
call into question the credibility
of the writer and the entire
message.
More
Effective
Providing PPL options could
significantly improve employee
satisfaction, an issue that our
company president is
particularly interested in.
This statement projects
confidence but does not contain
exaggerated, unrealistic, or
overly ambitious language.
© McGraw Hill
Setting the Tone of the Message
Tone
• Overall evaluation the
reader perceives the
writer to have toward the
reader and the message
content.
© McGraw Hill
Principles for Setting
the Right Tone
• Demonstrate positivity.
• Show concern for
others.
Positivity
A positive attitude results in:

Better work performance

More creativity.

More motivation to excel.

More helpfulness between co-workers.

More influence on clients and customers.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.7a Displaying a Can-Do, Confident
Attitude
Less
Effective
Let me know if you want me This statement is weak—it
to keep working on the
expresses little enthusiasm or
implementation plan.
passion for pursuing this
project.
More
Effective
I look forward to putting
together a detailed
implementation plan.
© McGraw Hill
This statement is strong. It
expresses an enthusiasm for
putting together a successful
plan.
Table 5.7b Displaying a Can-Do, Confident
Attitude
Less
Effective
Based on the information I have access to,
and if everything goes according to Lisa’s
analysis, I think that a PPL policy might
increase profitability at Eastmond.
This statement is qualified
with too many weak
words—based on … , if,
think, might. Collectively,
these words display a
lack of confidence in the
program.
More
Effective
Using conservative assumptions, Lisa
Johnson projected the financial impacts of a
20-week PPL policy. Considering increased
productivity gains due to higher employee
engagement, savings from reduced turnover,
and higher employee costs to cover
employees on PPL, we anticipate saving over
$900 thousand over the next five years.
This statement expresses
confidence that the
program will be profitable
based on well-developed
estimates. It does not
seem exaggerated.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.8a Focusing on Positive Traits
Less
Effective
A PPL policy is not just a
perk for the few new
parents in the
organization.
More
Effective
A PPL policy shows that
This sentence effectively
Eastmond is an employee- frames the positive impacts of
friendly organization.
a PPL policy. It is a strategic
statement.
© McGraw Hill
Without any additional
elaboration, this sentence
does not provide any positive
information about a PPL policy.
Table 5.8b Focusing on Positive Traits
Less
Effective
A PPL policy does require
significant expenses.
Without any follow-up
sentences, this statement falls
short of what it could
accomplish with positive
phrasing.
More
Effective
A PPL policy would be an
asset to our company,
bringing in a strong return
on investment.
This positive statement
effectively frames the PPL
policy as an asset.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.9a Using Diplomatic, Constructive
Terms
Less
Effective
I would like to present my
argument for why we should
immediately implement a PPL
policy.
The term argument
unnecessarily implies
contention and difference
of opinion.
More
Effective
Thank you for the opportunity
to share my analysis of how a
paid parental leave (PPL)
policy can impact Eastmond
Networking.
This statement prefaces
the goal of the
communication with a
compliment, which is a
show of solidarity.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.9b Using Diplomatic, Constructive
Terms
Less
Effective
Your characterization of the
PPL policy as a perk is
inaccurate since the it
program would actually save
the company money.
The phrase your
characterization
immediately creates a meversus-you tone.
More
Effective
The PPL policy would feel
like a perk to employees,
which could boost morale.
Yet, unlike most perks, it
would actually save us
money.
By stating the perception of
the PPL policy being a perk
in neutral terms, the
statement would not be
perceived as confrontational
or divisive.
© McGraw Hill
Concern for Others
Avoid relying too heavily on the I-Voice.
Respect the time and autonomy of your readers.
Give credit to others.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.10a Using You-Voice, We-Voice,
Impersonal Voice, and I-Voice Appropriately
You-Voice
Appropriate Situations
Examples
Use when focus is solely
on the reader. It is
particularly well suited to
describing how products and
services benefit customers,
clients, and colleagues.
Effective: You will receive
regular updates about how
to use PPL and related
services to meet your family
needs.
Avoid when pointing out the
mistakes of others or when
the statement may be
presumptuous.
© McGraw Hill
Effective: You may be
interested in Lisa’s cash
flow analysis. She found
that a 20-week PPL policy
would save over $900,000
over five years.
Table 5.10b Using You-Voice, We-Voice,
Impersonal Voice, and I-Voice Appropriately
We-Voice
© McGraw Hill
Appropriate Situations
Examples
Use when focus is on
shared efforts,
interests, and problems.
It is particularly well
suited to messages within
a company (i.e., work
team).
Effective: Were we to offer
PPL, we could actively promote
this benefit to potential hires.
Effective: We could further
discuss the estimates for how a
PPL policy could impact
Eastmond.
Table 5.10c Using You-Voice, We-Voice,
Impersonal Voice, and I-Voice Appropriately
Appropriate Situations
Impersonal Use when rational and
neutral analysis is
Voice
expected. It is well suited
for explaining business
ideas, plans, and reports.
Examples
Effective: A PPL policy can
increase employee
engagement and satisfaction,
reduce turnover, and attract
top talent.
Effective: Creating and
implementing a PPL policy will
require several steps.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.10d Using You-Voice, We-Voice,
Impersonal Voice, and I-Voice Appropriately
I-Voice
© McGraw Hill
Appropriate Situations
Examples
Use with nonthreatening
verbs (i.e., think, feel) when
there is bad news, difference
of opinion, or even blame
involved. It is well suited for
situations that could result in
personal disappointments.
Used most often in oral
communication.
Effective: I think right now is
not the right time to focus on
creating a PPL policy.
Effective: I think your ideas
about a PPL policy make a lot of
sense, but the company is not in
a position to make the initial
investments to get it started.
Table 5.11a Ineffective Use of I-Voice
Less
Effective
I would like to know as soon as possible
when you could meet. I want to go over
the estimates with you to show you how
strong the case is for pursuing this option.
Also, I have developed a timeline for
writing the implementation plan that I want
to show you right away.
The repeated use of
I-voice may be
perceived as selfcentered,
inconsiderate, or
pushy.
More
Effective
Please let me know when there is a
convenient time to meet. We could further
discuss the estimates for how a PPL
policy program could impact Eastmond.
Also, if you think we should pursue this
initiative, we could discuss the timeline for
developing an implementation plan.
The repeated use of
we-voice will likely be
perceived as teamoriented and flexible.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.11b Ineffective Use of I-Voice
Less
Effective
I’ve set up the PPL program with extensive
pregnancy information, healthcare options
for newborns, and advice to bond with your
new child. I’m especially proud of the wealth
of information that I compiled for you about
bonding with a new child. In my experience,
the longer a parent can be with a new child,
the better. I’ve made sure that you can take
a full 20 weeks to bond with your child.
The repeated use
of I-voice may
come off as selfabsorbed or
insincere.
More
Effective
The PPL program provides you with
extensive pregnancy information, healthcare
options for your new child, and advice to
bond with your child. You have a full 20
weeks of paid leave time to bond with
your child.
The repeated use
of you-voice
frames everything
in terms of reader
benefits.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.12a Showing Respect for Time and
Autonomy
Less
Effective
Call me as soon as you
get out of your meeting.
This abrupt and demanding
sentence would sound bossy to
some people.
More
Effective
Please give me a call
when it’s convenient.
Using the courteous term please
and focusing on the message
recipient’s convenience (rather
than your own) shows respect.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.12b Showing Respect for Time and
Autonomy
Less
Effective
We need to meet before Monday to go
over the proposal. Have your
administrative assistant set up a time for
us and get back to me as soon as you
know a time.
These sentences will be
interpreted as overly
demanding to some
readers. In written form,
these statements can
easily be misinterpreted.
More
Effective
I think discussing the proposal with you
before Monday would give us a chance
to include your ideas in the proposal
before we submit it on Wednesday. I’m
available anytime before noon on
Thursday or Friday. Is there a time that
works for you? We could meet at your
office, talk by phone, or meet online.
These statements focus
on achieving results
together by a deadline
while still respecting the
time of the message
recipient.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.13a Giving Credit to Others
Less
Effective
The PPL policy could result in a
significant return on investment
for Eastmond.
This statement implies
that the writer is
responsible for this
analysis.
More
Effective
Lisa also helped me understand
how a PPL policy could result in a
significant return on investment
for Eastmond.
This statement implies
that Lisa was
instrumental in the
analysis.
© McGraw Hill
Table 5.13b Giving Credit to Others
Less
Effective
I gave Lisa information about
PPL policies so she could plug
the numbers in and see what it
meant for Eastmond. As I
anticipated, the estimate showed
that Eastmond would save about
$900,000 over six years.
These statements give
credit to Lisa yet imply
that the real analysis
was conducted by the
writer.
More
Effective
Lisa Johnson estimates a 20week PPL policy would save
about $900,000 over the next
five years.
This sentence gives full
credit to Lisa for her
time-consuming,
thorough, and insightful
work.
© McGraw Hill
Sending the Right Meta Messages
1
Meta Messages

The overall but often underlying messages people take
away from a communication or group of communications.

A combination of content, tone, and other signals.
© McGraw Hill
Sending the Right Meta Messages
2
Mixed signals occur when the content of a message
conflicts with its tone, nonverbal communication, or
other signals.
Sending mixed signals is not only confusing, but it
also frequently results in negative meta messages.
© McGraw Hill
Business Communication: Developing
Leaders for a Networked World, 4e
Chapter 5
Because learning changes everything.
www.mheducation.com
© McGraw Hill
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
®
Because learning changes everything. ®
Chapter 6
Improving
Readability with
Style and Design
© 2021 McGraw Hill. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom.
No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw Hill.
Learning Objectives
1.
2.
3.
© McGraw Hill
Describe and apply the following principles of
writing style that improve ease of reading:
completeness, conciseness, and natural
processing.
Explain and use navigational design to
improve ease of reading.
Describe and apply the components of the
reviewing stage, including a FAIR test,
proofreading, and feedback.
Improving Ease of Reading with
Completeness
Basic Strategies

Provide all relevant information.

Be accurate.

Be specific.
© McGraw Hill
Provide All Relevant Information
Plan, write, and review your message strategically.
Include only information necessary for the purpose
of your message.
© McGraw Hill
Be Accurate
Accuracy strongly impacts your readers’ perceptions
of your credibility.
One inaccurate statement can:

Lead readers to dismiss your entire message.

Lower their trust in your future communications.
© McGraw Hill
Table 6.1a Being Accurate
Less
Effective
Those who are food insecure
are generally in low-income
(under $300000 per year)
households, but that’s not
always the case.
A typo (300000) implies
an income level that is ten
times too high. It’s an
obvious mistake that will
detract from the credibility
of the message.
More
Effective
Those who are food insecure
are generally in low-income
(under $30,000 per year)
households, but that’s not
always the case.
The revised version
contains the corrected
figure.
© McGraw Hill
Table 6.1b Being Accurate
Less
Effective
The average social ambassador
increased donations by $2,312 –
that’s enough to help a foodinsecure family of four eat
nutritious meals for nearly four
weeks!
Incorrect word (weeks
rather than months)
leads to one of the
figures dramatically
underestimating the
impact.
More
Effective
The average social ambassador
increased donations by $2,312 –
that’s enough to help a foodinsecure family of four eat
nutritious meals for nearly four
months!
The revised version
contains the corrected
phrase to show the
true impact.
© McGraw Hill
Be Specific
The more specific you are, the more likely your
readers are to have their questions answered.
If you are not specific, your readers may become
impatient and begin scanning and skimming for the
information they want.
© McGraw Hill
Table 6.2a Being Specific
Less
Effective
With very little time commitment,
you can dramatically improve the
lives of kids and their families in
our community.
The phrase very little
time commitment is not
specific.
More
Effective
In just one to two hours per week,
you can dramatically improve the
lives of kids and their families in
our community.
The phrase one to two
hours per week is
specific and avoids
ambiguity.
© McGraw Hill
Table 6.2b Being Specific
Less
Effective
Across the board, every metric has
All these terms are
skyrocketed. Donations increased so
vague.
much that we could serve many more
families. On top of that, volunteer hours
increased and we were able to receive far
more clothing donations.
More
Effective
Since we started the social ambassadors
program in 2018, cash donations have
increased 32%; food donations, 18%;
book donations, 42%; clothing donations,
55%; and volunteer hours, 155%.
© McGraw Hill
By stating specific
figures for increases
in donations, the
impacts are not open
to interpretation.
Improving Ease of Reading with
Conciseness
Omitting needless words so that readers can rapidly
process your main ideas.

Say as much as you can in as few words as possible.
Strategies include:
• Controlling paragraph length.
• Using shorter sentences.
• Avoiding redundancy.
• Avoiding empty phrases.
• Avoiding wordy phrases.
© McGraw Hill
Control Paragraph Length
Long paragraphs can signal disorganization and
disrespect for the reader’s time.

Typically, paragraphs should contain 40 to 80 words.

For routine messages, paragraphs as short as 20 to 30
words are common and appropriate.
Don’t place more than one main idea in a
paragraph.
© McGraw Hill
Table 6.3a Controlling Paragraph Length
Less
Effective
© McGraw Hill
A lot of people wonder exactly what we do. That’s a fair
question. In an effort to support people in need, we provide
food in a well-balanced and nutritious manner. We have an
on-site food pantry and a food pantry truck to provide delivery.
We also serve hot meals on-site for breakfast, lunch, and
dinner. The food bank bestows our clients with bountiful and
sustainable food. In 2019, we served 2,152 households, 5,327
children were served, another 986 senior citizens were
served, and altogether we served 23,887 meals! Our food
bank is also a dietary guidance organization. Generally,
impoverished families simply don’t have the wherewithal to
procure healthy foods. We have done research that shows 83
percent of the people we serve usually purchase inexpensive
and unhealthy foods. As a result, many of our clients need
more education about proper dietary needs. We also provide
clothing assistance and give away books. We have supported
thousands of members of the community get back on their
feet. The charity watchdog group Charity Navigator has given
us a perfect rating for the past five years because of our
ability to serve our community with the resources we receive.
This
paragraph
contains 195
words. It also
contains
excessive
numerical
figures.
Table 6.3b Controlling Paragraph Length
More
Effective
We provide well-balanced, nutritious foods to anyone in need. We have
an on-site food pantry and a food pantry truck to provide delivery. We
also serve hot meals on-site for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We ensure
all clients receive dairy products, fresh produce, meats, and breads.
Impact 2019
Households served 2,152
Children served 5,327
Seniors served 986
Meals served 23,887
We also provide dietary guidance. Many low-income families can’t
consistently afford healthy foods. Our research shows that 83 percent of
our clients usually purchase inexpensive and unhealthy foods. As a
result, many of our clients need more education about proper dietary
needs. We also provide clothing assistance and give away books.
We have supported thousands of members of the community get back
on their feet. The charity watchdog group Charity Navigator has given us
a perfect rating for the past five years because of excellent use of
donations to support our clients.
© McGraw Hill
This
paragraph
contains the
same
information
but has been
edited for
conciseness
and divided
into three
paragraphs
(46, 51, and
41 words) and
a table for
numerical
information.
Use Short Sentences in Most Cases
Allows your readers to comprehend your ideas more
easily.

For routine messages, aim for average sentence length of
15 or fewer words.

For more analytical and complex business messages,
you may have an average sentence length of 20 or fewer
words.
© McGraw Hill
Figure 6.2 Comprehension Rate and
Sentence Length
Access the text alternative for slide images.
© McGraw Hill
Source: Figure adapted from Wylie, A. (2009, January 14). How to make your copy more readable: Make sentences shorter. Comprehension. Retrievedfrom
Table 6.4a Using Short Sentences
Less
Effective
Experts examine food insecurity in
many ways, and their definitions
generally coalesce around the idea
that people not only consistently don’t
have enough money for food but it’s
also not healthy food they eat.
This sentence
contains 34 words.
More
Effective
Generally, food insecurity means
people don’t have enough money to
consistently eat enough healthy food.
This sentence
contains the same
ideas in just 15
words.
© McGraw Hill
Table 6.4b Using Short Sentences
Less
Effective
More than ever, we’ve started to serve the
senior citizen community, with nearly 15
percent of our clients who are retired
without enough income for regular,
nutritious meals and who often face extra
challenges with diseases such as diabetes
and high-blood pressure and who need
dietary guidance as a result.
This sentence
contains 50 words.
More
Effective
Increasingly, seniors need support as well.
Nearly 15 percent of our clients are retired
without enough income for regular,
nutritious meals. Many of these seniors
require nutritional guidance as they face
extra challenges with diseases such as
diabetes and high-blood pressure.
The less effective
sentence has been
split into three
sentences with 7,
15, and 20 words,
respectively.
© McGraw Hill
Avoid Redundancy
Reduce word count.
Avoid words or phrases that repeat the same
meaning.
© McGraw Hill
Table 6.5a Avoiding Redundancy
Less
Effective
To help you succeed, we provide
you with many resources so you
can complete your role effectively.
This sentence has 17
words. “To help you
reach your succeed”
and “so you can
complete your role
effectively” are
redundant phrases.
More
Effective
To help you succeed, we
provide you with many
resources.
This sentence has 10
words. It…
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