Audience Strategy

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AUDIENCE STRATEGY FOR ALL PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION WHY IS STRATEGY IN BUSINESS COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT TO YOU? While this particular career-management resource tool, at first, may seem to you unrelated to your “getting the job done,” in fact, the following information ultimately will make the tasks of the job search easier and more effective and will help boost your self-confidence. Communication is the use of language to inform, to persuade, or to change someone. Using an intelligent audience strategy is the key to successful communication, whether in job-search documents, in academic papers, or on-the-job writing and professional presentations. Howard Gardner, author of Leading Minds, says that effective communication is the key to leadership. According to the book, The Guru Guide, CEOs overwhelming say that in managing change “you can never do enough to get your message across to your people.” This translates into employers saying that excellent communication skills are the number one priority on their list of qualifications for a successful candidate. Perhaps, this skill is so highly ranked because we know that communication is the most difficult of all human interactions. In a typical exchange in both formal and informal business interactions, more often than not the message is garbled on both sides: • The speaker, intent on making a point, does not plan or design the message specifically so that the particular audience will absorb the content and act deliberately. • And, generally, the receiver does not listen or read to understand the content of the message but, rather, stays internally focused on personal agendas. You can take control over this seemingly impossible process by learning communication strategy, techniques, and tools. The idea behind an audience-strategy approach is simple: always focus your message on the needs and goals of your audience. The idea may be simple, but the process is complex. Your objective is to inform, to persuade, or to change your audience, all the while helping them be in control of the decision, results, or problem-solution. WHY DO WE ALL HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME COMMUNICATING? Why do we find being honest, clear, and genuine so difficult? HOW DO INFANTILE NEEDS AND SOCIALIZATION AFFECT US TODAY?

COM Job Search Manual – Business Communication: Audience Strategy

As newborns, we instinctively know how to connect directly with our feelings: we are hungry, tired, wet, lonely, or bored, so we cry. And our caregivers come running. As we become toddlers, our parents begin the process of socialization, taming our selfish spirit, so that we may get along with others in our family and community. As children, we hit the object of our anger or scream when we are frustrated, and these outbursts reflect our real feelings. Our parents’ responsibility is to tame us and move us from the insatiable, “Me, me. I want. I need,” to our adopting a worldview which shares the planet in some harmony with others. We are willing to give up the autonomy and selfishness of infancy because humans desire affection and recognition, first from parents and family, then from teachers, peers, and colleagues. Society reinforces over and over that the more something is at stake and stressful, whether in social or business relationships, the more careful, controlled, and civilized we must become. We learn that to become a functioning member of society that we must filter our feelings through a private censor; as we do so, the straight line between our inner feelings and our outward behaviors eventually is detoured or disconnected. We become experts at selfdeception, both in understanding ourselves and in our dealings with the external public. We become poor communicators because we are detached from how we really feel and what we really mean. We are civilized and socially acceptable but incapable of delivering an honest, straightforward message. WHAT MOTIVATES US AT WORK? We have been taught that feelings do...
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