Communication Theory

Published 13 Oct 2017

In Virginia Yonkers’ article entitled ‘The Business Communication Model for Teaching Foreign Business Language’, the author revealed that language in a business plays a significant role because it connects the individual to the business, which then connects to the practices and the culture in the business environment. Traditional methods of business language teaching usually contain themes that link language and practices with those of oral and written skills (Yonkers 72). There are role plays, videos, self-evaluation activities, as well as communication simulations that encourage the learners to incorporate the language within the specified basis or theme. However, this would be impossible to achieve without the use of theoretical devices that improve communication within and between the learners.

One of the business language devices that are used is the so-called ‘ladder of inference’. It came from the theory that an individual’s step-by-step mental process incorporates what assumptions to make or which actions come up out of the processing within the particular internal and external environments. Starting with what is stated in the ‘business communication model’ wherein a sender encodes a message that is being encoded by a receiver, the encoding and transmitting of the message passes a communicative filter (with or without distortions) through the use of verbal and non-verbal languages (Yonkers 74-75). What the sender encodes depends on which level the context of the message is in the ladder of inference, which may be one of the following: first is the encoding of message or data; second is the selection of particular message or data; third is the assumptions out of a particular message or data; fourth is the drawing out of conclusions; fifth is the adoption of beliefs out of the conclusions; sixth and last is the execution of actions based on the beliefs (Ladder of Inference Model, 2001). Before learning to understand the encoding of messages, though, it is important that the sender understands accurately his/her own self.

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Another very effective psychological tool, which is usually used in the development of business communication language, is the use of the Johari window. It is a tool devised by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955, as they designed grids where four quadrants lay, which would help individuals understand better their own selves (Johari window, 2008).

The Johari window is designed to classify certain adjectives under one of the four quadrants that are the following: (1) the arena or traits that are known to self and the others; (2) the facade or traits that are known to self but unknown to others; (3) the blind spot or traits that are unknown to self but known to others; and (4) the unknown or traits that are unknown both to self and the others (Johari window, 2008). In developing the mental and psychological processes in business language, theoretical devices carry the basic tools apt for progress.

In Fritz Heider’s attribution theory, he claimed that there are certain internal and external factors that influence our actions and decisions over a specific place and time; and that behavior is an independent and uncontrollable entity that results out of a certain factual event, action, or environment (Attribution Theory, 2008). Yet for writer Virginia Yonkers, actions and decision-which initially control language in businesses-can be changed, improved, magnified, or developed. Certain theoretical devices may be used in encouraging a more effective transmission of language and communication, with the individual incorporating the self, so that the mental and psychological processes may work properly to influence negotiations and problems in the business. That is, amidst the inconsistencies.

Works Cited

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