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Unformatted text preview: This document is attributed to Scott McLean About the Author Scott McLean is the Shadle-Edgecombe Endowed Faculty Chair at Arizona Western College. He
serves as the professor of speech communication with an emphasis in business communication for a
combined campus partnership with the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University–
Scott is the author of The Basics of Speech Communication and The Basics of Interpersonal
Communication, both currently published by Allyn & Bacon. Beyond his classroom experience, Scott regularly serves as a communications advisor to the industry.
He has extensive experience and publications in the areas of health communication, safe and healthy
work environments, and organizational and crisis communication. He has served as an evaluator for
the United States National Institutes of Health’s Small Business and Innovative Research (SBIR)
program since 1995. He served as an evaluator of educational programs for the Ministerio de
Hacienda de Chile. His development of the Tenio Natural Reserve in Southern Chile has brought
together people from around the world to preserve and restore indigenous flora and fauna. Their
collective effort will serve for generations to come.
Scott studied at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and at Washington State University’s
Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. He and his family divide their time between the
United States and Puerto Montt, Chile. Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 1 of 780 Acknowledgments I would like to say thank you to Jeff Shelstad for answering my e-mail after I heard about Flat World
Knowledge on National Public Radio. To say Flat World Knowledge’s model just makes sense is an
understatement. I am honored to be a part of it all.
Jenn Yee has been an excellent project manager. When I needed feedback she made sure it was
available, and when I needed space to create, she helped facilitate it. Writing can be a solitary activity
but she made the journey positive and productive.
Elsa Peterson, you are wonderful. Your sharp eye for detail, consistent dedication to the text, and
quick turnarounds on requests were invaluable to this project. I have never worked with a better
developmental editor. Dan Obuchowski also offered valuable insight into the construction industry
and practices that lends real-world credibility to this text.
To my reviewers in the field, I appreciate all the specific feedback that contributed to clear
improvements in the text.
• Brenda Jolivette Jones, San Jacinto College - Central Campus ([email protected]) • Christina McCale, Regis University ([email protected]) • Billie Miller, Ph.D., Cosumnes River College ([email protected]) • Joyce Ezrow, Anne Arundel Community College ([email protected]) • Sally Lederer, U of M Carlson School of Management ([email protected]) • Greg Larson, Salt Lake Community College ([email protected]) • Gayla Jurevich, Fresno City College ([email protected]) • Laura Newton, Florida State University ([email protected]) • Judy Grace, Arizona State University ([email protected]) • Rita Rud, Purdue University ([email protected]) • Edna Boroski, Trident Technical College ([email protected]) Your words of encouragement and constructive criticism have made this effort worthwhile.
Finally, to Lisa, my life partner, you are amazing. You were a draft recruit on this project and quickly
learned the formatting requirements in short order. You are a valuable part of this team. Your
relentless editing serves as a clear example of Strunk’s axiom: “Omit needless words.” This text is the
better for it. Writing with you, like life, gets better with each year.
Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 2 of 780 Scott McLean
Puerto Montt, Chile Dedications For Lisa and our children, Mackenzie, John, and Katherine Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 3 of 780 Preface Business Communication for Success (BCS) provides a comprehensive, integrated approach to the study and application of written and oral business communication to serve both student and
This series features chapters with the following elements:
• Learning Objectives • Introductory Exercises • Clear expectations, relevant background, and important theories • Practical, real-world examples • Key Takeaways or quick internal summaries • Key terms that are easily identified • In-chapter assignments • Postchapter assessments linked to objectives and skills acquisition Each chapter is self-contained, allowing for mix-and-match flexibility and custom or course-specific
design. Each chapter focuses on clear objectives and skill demonstrations that can be easily linked to
your syllabus and state or federal requirements. Supported by internal and external assessments,
each chapter features time-saving and learning-enhancement support for instructors and students.
BCS is designed to help students identify important information, reinforce for retention, and demonstrate mastery with a clear outcome product.
The text has three content categories:
1. Foundations 2. Process and products
3. Contexts The first three chapters form the core foundation for the study of oral and written business
communication. The next sequence of chapters focus on the process of writing, then oral
performance with an emphasis on results. The final sequence focuses on contexts where business
communication occurs, from interpersonal to intercultural, from groups to leadership.
In each of the process and product chapter sequences, the chapters follow a natural flow, from
prewriting to revision, from preparation for a presentation to performance. Each sequence comes
Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 4 of 780 together in a concluding chapter that focuses on action—where we apply the skills and techniques of
written or oral communication in business, from writing a letter to presenting a sales speech. These
performances not only serve to reinforce real-world applications but also may serve as course
assessments. All chapters are compartmentalized into sections so you can choose what you want to
use and eliminate the rest, and here the beauty of Flat World Knowledge rings true—you can adapt
and integrate content from other texts or your own work to truly make it fit your course and student
needs. Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 5 of 780 Chapter 1 Effective Business Communication Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure
you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
Robert J. McCloskey, former State Department spokesman Getting Started I N T R O D U C T O R Y E X E R C I S E S 1. Write five words that express what you want to do and where you want to be a year from now. Take those five words and write a paragraph that clearly articulates your responses to both “what” and “where.” 2. Think of five words that express what you want to do and where you want to be five years from now. Share your five words with your classmates and listen to their responses. What patterns do you observe in the responses? Write a paragraph that addresses at least one observation. Communication is an activity, skill, and art that incorporates lessons learned across a
wide spectrum of human knowledge. Perhaps the most time-honored form of
communication is storytelling. We’ve told each other stories for ages to help make sense
of our world, anticipate the future, and certainly to entertain ourselves. The art of
storytelling draws on your understanding of yourself, your message, and how you
communicate it to an audience that is simultaneously communicating back to you. Your
anticipation, reaction, and adaptation to the process will determine how successfully
you are able to communicate. You were not born knowing how to write or even how to
talk—but in the process of growing up, you have undoubtedly learned how to tell, and
how not tell, a story out loud and in writing.
Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 6 of 780 You didn’t learn to text in a day and didn’t learn all the codes—from LOL (laugh out
loud) to BRB (be right back)—right away. In the same way, learning to communicate
well requires you to read and study how others have expressed themselves, then adapt
what you have learned to your present task—whether it is texting a brief message to a
friend, presenting your qualifications in a job interview, or writing a business report.
You come to this text with skills and an understanding that will provide a valuable
foundation as we explore the communication process.
Effective communication takes preparation, practice, and persistence. There are many
ways to learn communication skills; the school of experience, or “hard knocks,” is one of
them. But in the business environment, a “knock” (or lesson learned) may come at the
expense of your credibility through a blown presentation to a client. The classroom
environment, with a compilation of information and resources such as a text, can offer
you a trial run where you get to try out new ideas and skills before you have to use them
to communicate effectively to make a sale or form a new partnership. Listening to
yourself, or perhaps the comments of others, may help you reflect on new ways to
present, or perceive, thoughts, ideas and concepts. The net result is your growth;
ultimately your ability to communicate in business will improve, opening more doors
than you might anticipate.
As you learn the material in this text, each part will contribute to the whole. The degree
to which you attend to each part will ultimately help give you the skills, confidence, and
preparation to use communication in furthering your career.
Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 7 of 780 1.1 Why Is It Important to Communicate Well? L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S 1. Recognize the importance of communication in gaining a better understanding of yourself and others. 2. Explain how communication skills help you solve problems, learn new things, and build your career. Communication is key to your success—in relationships, in the workplace, as a citizen of
your country, and across your lifetime. Your ability to communicate comes from
experience, and experience can be an effective teacher, but this text and the related
business communication course will offer you a wealth of experiences gathered from
professional speakers across their lifetimes. You can learn from the lessons they’ve
learned and be a more effective communicator right out of the gate.
Business communication can be thought of as a problem solving activity in which
individuals may address the following questions:
• What is the situation? • What are some possible communication strategies? • What is the best course of action? • What is the best way to design the chosen message? • What is the best way to deliver the message?
In this book, we will examine this problem solving process and help you learn to apply it
in the kinds of situations you are likely to encounter over the course of your career. Communication Influences Your Thinking about Yourself and Others We all share a fundamental drive to communicate. Communication can be defined as
the process of understanding and sharing meaning.  You share meaning in what you
say and how you say it, both in oral and written forms. If you could not communicate,
what would life be like? A series of never-ending frustrations? Not being able to ask for
what you need or even to understand the needs of others? Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 8 of 780 Being unable to communicate might even mean losing a part of yourself, for you
communicate your self-concept—your sense of self and awareness of who you are—in
many ways. Do you like to write? Do you find it easy to make a phone call to a stranger
or to speak to a room full of people? Perhaps someone told you that you don’t speak
clearly or your grammar needs improvement. Does that make you more or less likely to
want to communicate? For some, it may be a positive challenge, while for others it may
be discouraging. But in all cases, your ability to communicate is central to your selfconcept.
Take a look at your clothes. What are the brands you are wearing? What do you think
they say about you? Do you feel that certain styles of shoes, jewelry, tattoos, music, or
even automobiles express who you are? Part of your self-concept may be that you
express yourself through texting, or through writing longer documents like essays and
research papers, or through the way you speak.
On the other side of the coin, your communications skills help you to understand
others—not just their words, but also their tone of voice, their nonverbal gestures, or the
format of their written documents provide you with clues about who they are and what
their values and priorities may be. Active listening and reading are also part of being a
successful communicator. Communication Influences How You Learn When you were an infant, you learned to talk over a period of many months. When you
got older, you didn’t learn to ride a bike, drive a car, or even text a message on your cell
phone in one brief moment. You need to begin the process of improving your speaking
and writing with the frame of mind that it will require effort, persistence, and selfcorrection.
You learn to speak in public by first having conversations, then by answering questions
and expressing your opinions in class, and finally by preparing and delivering a “standup” speech. Similarly, you learn to write by first learning to read, then by writing and
learning to think critically. Your speaking and writing are reflections of your thoughts,
experience, and education. Part of that combination is your level of experience listening
Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 9 of 780 to other speakers, reading documents and styles of writing, and studying formats similar
to what you aim to produce.
As you study business communication, you may receive suggestions for improvement
and clarification from speakers and writers more experienced than yourself. Take their
suggestions as challenges to improve; don’t give up when your first speech or first draft
does not communicate the message you intend. Stick with it until you get it right. Your
success in communicating is a skill that applies to almost every field of work, and it
makes a difference in your relationships with others.
Remember, luck is simply a combination of preparation and timing. You want to be
prepared to communicate well when given the opportunity. Each time you do a good
job, your success will bring more success. Communication Represents You and Your Employer You want to make a good first impression on your friends and family, instructors, and
employer. They all want you to convey a positive image, as it reflects on them. In your
career, you will represent your business or company in spoken and written form. Your
professionalism and attention to detail will reflect positively on you and set you up for
In both oral and written situations, you will benefit from having the ability to
communicate clearly. These are skills you will use for the rest of your life. Positive
improvements in these skills will have a positive impact on your relationships, your
prospects for employment, and your ability to make a difference in the world. Communication Skills Are Desired by Business and Industry Oral and written communication proficiencies are consistently ranked in the top ten
desirable skills by employer surveys year after year. In fact, high-powered business
executives sometimes hire consultants to coach them in sharpening their
communication skills. According to the National Association of Colleges and
Employers,  the following are the top five personal qualities or skills potential
1. Communication skills (verbal and written)
Attributed to: Scott McLean Saylor link: Page 10 of 780 2. Strong work ethic
3. Teamwork skills (works well with others, group communication)
5. Analytical skills
Knowing this, you can see that one way for you to be successful and increase your
promotion potential is to increase your abilities to speak and write effectively. In September 2004, the National Commission on Writing for America’s Families,
Schools, and Colleges published a study on 120 human resource directors
titled Writing: A Ticket to Work…Or a Ticket Out, A Surv...
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- Fall '12
- Scott McLean