Communication has always played an important role in human’s life. According to Means (2009) the main purpose of communication is “to obtain and share information” (Means, 2009, p.6). This definition explains why communication is one of the major tools in the development of various fields. People share ideas and work out new strategies to improve their lives. There can be no surprise that communication is referred to as “inherent to the conduct of business and businesses” (Forsyth and Kay, 2008, p.3).
Of course, in the modern age of information the success of business depends on the effective communication strategies between a company and a customer, an employee and an employer, a company and a partner. Fortunately, people have understood the importance of communication long ago and have developed numerous effective patterns and techniques. By all means, the study of new possible ways to improve business communication never stops.
Many people become successful in business due to exploiting the most effective communication strategies. Of course, some can talk about the art of communication since there are individuals who feel what strategy to use in this or that situation, however, it is more relevant to regard business communication as a science which provides various effective options to reach numerous business objectives.
To begin with, it is possible to note that many people admit that one can be and should be taught to be a successful communicator. For instance, Guffey et al. (2009) points out that the abilities to communicate effectively are not “inborn” and to become “an effective communicator” it is essential to have “meaningful feedback” (Guffey et al., 2009, p.4). This feedback is the entire scope of knowledge of the nature of communication formed on the basis of numerous surveys, researches and business experiences.
People have worked out lots of effective patterns of external, internal and personal business communication. Nowadays students are taught useful skills in different kinds of communication: verbal and non-verbal. Thus, more and more people become successful communicators facing new challenges.
These obtained skills become essential since modern business has changed their management styles from “command and control” to “coordination and cultivation” which, in its turn, has brought new “greater communication challenges” (Guffey et al., 2009, p.5).
Nowadays every employee has to reveal progressive skills in various types of communication. Fortunately, many people have access to the necessary information about business communication due to the availability of helpful literature on this subject.
Guffey and Almonte (2009) stress that many companies pay special attention to training their employees in terms of developing effective communication skills and this results in successful development of these companies. On balance, it is possible to admit that business communication is a science which is extremely helpful in the real life since many people learn how to act on various occasions.
It is necessary to admit that some people do refer to business communication as an art. For instance, Stuart et al. (2007) point out that “communication is more an art than a science” (Stuart et al., 2007, p.20). However, at the same time they provide comprehensive information about effective communication strategies giving definite classifications to various processes.
This complete clearness of business communication processes proves that it is a science which can be explained, classified and developed, but not an art which can be only inborn ability to create something. For instance, Stuart et al. (2007) consider the common classification analyzing such major communication “components” as the sender, the receiver, channel, “noise, feedback, context and simultaneous and continuous actions” (Stuart et al., 2007, p.20).
Many scholars suggest other levels of classification, for instance, dividing business communication into three groups: external, internal and personal. Of course, these classifications serve to understand the nature of communication and accumulate the most effective techniques to meet various needs. Thus, deep understanding of strategies and techniques which are already classified enables many people to improve their communication skills.
It is much easier to find the necessary information which can help individual improve particular skills when there is a strict and comprehensive stratification. This can be a good argument proving that business communication is a science rather than an art since in communication there is a definite structure, particular rules which can be followed and specific results will be achieved.
Of course, any art is deprived of this unbiased nature. However, it will be wrong to claim that there are no gaps in business communication study since the rapid development of society requires new techniques. However, this fact only contributes to the statement that communication is a science since there are lots of new discoveries in this field.
Admittedly, being a science, business communication presupposes further study and discovery of possible effective strategies. A lot of latest researches suggest new techniques and methods in verbal and non-verbal communication. For instance, the use of technology is highly disputable nowadays.
One of such communication tools is internal communication and e-mailing, to be more precise, which has gained a large popularity in business communication and even has become a “management tool” (Ghisini & Blenstrup, 2008, p.74). Thus, Ghisini and Blenstrup provide numerous effective patterns and even rules to follow to become a successful business communicator. For example, they reveal the necessary techniques to improve writing skills.
Of course, apart from using technology conventional patterns are also discussed. Thus, many scholars suggest effective techniques in arranging meeting and conferences, i.e. developing speaking skills, writing various letters and reports, i.e. improving writing skills, sending e-mails and messages. There is a lot of information revealing the peculiarities of writing this or that type of message.
People can be taught to run a successful presentation. In fact, business communication nowadays presupposes that people can reach the purpose of their communication due to the use of effective patterns. The only thing is necessary to decide what the purpose is and choose the right technique. Of course, numerous workbooks, trainings and workshops can teach individuals to make the right choice.
Apparently, communication was an art of sophisticated people few centuries ago when there was no haste and people could practice within their lifetime. At that period several individuals needed such sophisticated skills and could use them. Aristocrats and clergymen had an opportunity to influence different processes and tried to develop their communication strategies to reach their aims.
Basically, there was no need in collecting all the scope of knowledge on communication. However, industrialization and the era of Information have changed the priorities. At present every employee is expected to have the necessary knowledge of the major principles and strategies in business communication.
To become successful, people should have the basic skills in verbal and non-verbal communication. Of course, people have no time to develop their communicative skills based on their own experience. The rapid changes of the modern world bring the necessity to use existing effective methods. Admittedly, business communication is very challenging, especially in the modern world of information and globalization.
Business communicators have to cope with various new objectives. It is not enough just to reveal some message to your audience, it is essential to understand what the audience is expecting from you, what people want to hear from a communicator. Thus, it becomes more difficult to feel what communication patterns can be necessary in different situations. It is more effective to exploit the experience of many successful businesses which are analyzed and revealed.
So, the necessity in effective communication strategies has led to the development of a science which is preoccupied with various means, techniques and methods in communication. People collect the vast knowledge about possible patterns, analyze it and arrange it in numerous books, trainings, workshops. So, people learn how to make their communication effective.
On balance, it is possible to admit that business communication is a science not an art. Communication is researched, classified, taught and learnt. Besides, as opposed to an art, business communication should not necessarily be a kind of inborn ability.
Moreover, it is necessary to point out that even gifted communicators often need some feedback from different sources to develop their communicative skills since the world is changing too rapidly and it becomes quite difficult to fit the modified situation. Thus, numerous findings and novice strategies develop the necessary skills in communicators.
Forsyth, P., Kay, F. (2008). The Art of Successful Business Communication. London, UK: IET.
Ghisini, E., Blendstrup, A. (2008). Communicating the American Way: A Guide to Business Communications in the U.S. Silicon Valley: Happy About.
Guffey, M.E., Almonte, R. (2009). Essentials of Business Communication. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Guffey, M.E., Rogin, P., Phodes, K. (2009). Business Communication: Process and Product. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Means, T.L. (2009). Business Communications. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Stuart, B.E., Sarow, M.S., Stuart, L. (2007). Integrated Business Communication in a Global Marketplace. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons.