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Meaning and Purpose of Group Discussion from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Friday, August 3, 2012

Group Discussion is a forum where people sit together, discuss a topic with the common objective of finding a solution for a problem. The members are expected to arrive at a common consensus. While discussing, it is important that the intention of the members is to facilitate the exchange of views.

You should be aware that in a GD, all the members of the group will participate and you have to listen to the views of the other members of the group. It is a discussion and the speaker will be “interrupted” by the other members of the group while speaking.

At this point, the speaker should modify what he says, based on the points that other members of the group make while the discussion is in progress. He has to continually keep evaluating the solution. Also, each participant tries to “grab” the chance to speak or to focus the attention of the group on himself/herself.

You might wonder, “Why should I participate in a GD? What is the purpose of GD?” Well, Group Discussions are arranged in order to measure certain traits of the participants, which are otherwise difficult to identify and time consuming to assess. It is common that a number of people who can communicate their ideas well and discuss effectively with others in a one-to-one situation become tongue-tied in a group situation. They will just not be able to present their ideas or discuss their ideas with the other members of the group. A group discussion will identify people who have such skills and people who do not.

It is very necessary for potential candidates to have such group communication skills. The course work at most premier institutes requires group projects to be undertaken. A candidate without the ability to communicate the ideas effectively in a group situation will be misfit in such an environment.

The chapter of Group Discussion (GD) has been taken from Business Communication book of Sikkim Manipal University of MBA.

Components and Purpose of a Memo from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Components of Memo:

Header: This should appear at the top of a memo. This compact block of information contains.

a) Date: Remember to write the date in words (such as 12th February, 2012

b) Name of the receiver (s): In general, the title such as Professor or Mr. is omitted. However, it is left to your discretion to follow the style that your organization prefers. You should not use a salutation (such as Dear) or a closing (such as sincerely).

c) Name of the sender (s): Write your initials after your name on the “From” line.

d) Subject of the memo: Be specific when you write the subject. You should not be too vague (e. g. Purchase). This example is unclear because it could be a purchase of anything.

e) C. C.: It is the abbreviation for Carbon Copy. Though it is an obsolete term, it is still used to mean that a copy of the memo will go to the person mentioned.

f) B. C. C.: It means Blind Carbon Copy: This copy goes to a person, who may not be directly involved. But he knows what is going on. The people mentioned in the cc list will not see the names mentioned in the bcc list.

Purpose of Memo: This states the reason for writing the memo. If you answer the questions who, when, what, where and why, then your purpose is fulfilled. For example – The purpose of this memo is to request the purchase of Specimen Jars for our lab at M. G. Road for the month of January 2011.

The chapter of components and purpose of memo has been taken from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA (MB0023) in the sequel of memo and language of a memo and how to participate in meetings.

Memo and Language of a Memo from MB0023 of SMU MBA Business Communication

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The term ‘memo’ comes from the Latin word ‘memorandum’ which means “a thing which must be remembered”. The plural form is memoranda. The document that you use to communicate within the organization is called as memorandum. It has to stay within the organization. So, it is also called ‘inter office memorandum.’ When you need to convey information and decisions or to make short requests with the members of your department, upper management, employees at another branch in another city, etc., the best way to do is to write a memo. The exception to this is if you are preparing a document for a reader several levels above you or for a formal situation. One colleague can write a memo to another; except for memos which concern disciplinary action. Only officers authorized to issue them can issue memos concerning disciplinary action.

Language of Memo:

Before you learn the format of the memo, it is very important that you learn the correct language that you should use in a memo to achieve its purpose.

Concise: A memo is always short. It is apt for a memo to be two pages; after which a memo starts to turn into a report. Keep the paragraphs short; limit each paragraph to five lines or less.

Personal: Use words like I, you, and we. It’s a lot more human to say, “I would like you to do this.” Use active voice to get the action done.

Simple language: Let your language be lucid, and easy to understand. You should not make emotional statements in a memo. Plain and direct statements of facts are made to achieve all that is required.

Avoid confusing words: While writing a memo, try to use the right words at the right place. Whe you have to use simple root words, don’t complicate them by using fancy suffixes like ‘tion’, ‘ance’, ‘ent’, ‘ment’, ‘ize’, and ‘ility.’

The chapter of Memo and language of Memo has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA in the sequel of how to participate in meetings.

How to Participate in Meetings from Business Communication of SMU MBA

Monday, December 26, 2011

It is very important that one attend meetings. There is a mixed feeling about attending meetings among people. Some members are happy to just attend the team meetings. It is as though they are physically present in the meetings without contributing anything constructive.

Meetings are only way of passing time for them. Others feel as though their opinions aren’t valued. They have a lot to contribute but go unnoticed. There are still others who just can’t get a word in. Unequal participation reduces the outcomes of the meeting and can be frustrating for all the participants.

Any meeting to be successful needs careful attention of honing of communication skills. The success or failure of a meeting can be attributed to the way it is conducted as well as the way how people have participated in its proceedings.

If people make the effort to attend a meeting, it is in everyone’s interest to have thoughtful contributions from all. For the success of a meeting, the participants should follow certain regimen. They are –

  • Arrive on time
  • Be prepared to discuss the agenda items
  • Keep their contributions relevant to the subject under discussion
  • Present their ideas clearly
  • Listen carefully and with an open mind to points raised by others encourage good ideas from others
  • Keep their interests in check

Some participants are responsible for the failure of the meetings. The outcome of the meetings is reduced because of their typical character. They could be compulsive talkers, never contribute, digress or carry on private conversations while the others are busy discussing important issues.

The chapter of participating in meetings has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA. Meetings decide the future of any projects. So, to make it effective there should be a deep understanding about the participating in meetings. You need to understand above mentioned topic to make yourself best. It is the sequel of How to Prepare Minutes chapter.

How to Prepare Minutes from Business Communication Book of SMU MBA

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Practice note taking exercises well to master the skill. When writing minutes, keep the following key points in mind:

  1. They are key points only
  2. They are a summary except motions, which are verbatim
  3. They must be entirely accurate – what was said, not how you interpreted what was said or what you would have preferred was said. Your point of view should not be given here, whether you agree/do not with the speaker’s statement.
  4. Keep a record of every motion and vote; who said what and who moved and passed motions
  5. Use simple, short words and use simple sentence construction
  6. Use consistent grammar and use past tense eg. It was concluded, the matter was
  7. If something is important and you are unsure what was said or who said it, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification

As soon as the meeting has concluded, begin to work on the minutes. The notes taken during the meeting act as a memory prompt and will be more reliable if the meeting is fresh in the secretary / minute taker’s mind.

The minutes that are taken down during the meeting must be transcribed into the style that was previously followed. It is best to keep the minutes in the same style as they were recorded in the previous meetings. There are three basic styles of minutes:

  1. Report – this is a full record of all discussions that includes the names of all speakers, movers and seconders of any motions, written in a narrative style.
  2. Minutes of Narration – these include some of the discussions that took place and important details. This style of minutes is considered a legal document.
  3. Minutes of Resolution – these are limited to the recording of the actual words of all resolutions that were passed. Movers and seconders are not recorded. Each resolution that is made commences with the phase, ‘resolved that’.

The chapter has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA in the sequence of Styles of Meetings, Agenda of Meeting and Minutes of Meeting.

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