The Power

What is Power?

When it comes to understanding people and building the basis for any communication and especially persuasive communication to be able to make deals, sales, build sustainable relationship, present,  – all is rooted in your power to influence people around you. Mastering Strategic Business Communication is mastering your power. 

Your social power comes from various sources and you may even be unaware of your influence:

  • Reward Power
  • Coercive Power
  • Referent Power
  • Legitimate Power
  • Expert Power
  • Informational Power

We aim developing each of those as we aim making YOU powerful.  

So why is it important to communicate well? 

We are all social animals and we share a fundamental drive to communicate. 

Communication influences your thinking about yourself and others. Communication influences how you learn. 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. Communication represents you and your employer. Communication skills are desired by business and industry.

Defining Communication

The root of the word “communication” in Latin is communicare, which means to share, or to make common. Communication is defined as the process of understanding and sharing meaning. In order to better understand the communication process, we can break it down into a series of eight essential components:

1. Source 

2. Message 

3. Channel 

4. Receiver 

5. Feedback 

6. Environment 

7. Context 

8. Interference

Understanding Key Terms

  • Sources of Power
  • Coercive Power
  • Referent Power
  • Reward Power
  • Informational Power
  • Legitimate Power
  • Expert Power
  • Measures of Strength of Influence
  • Communication
  • Globalisation
  • Diversity
  • Competitive Insights
  • Customer Needs
  • Organisational Structures (tall, flatter, flexible)
  • Corporate Culture
  • Audience-centred approach
  • Business etiquette (respect, courtesy, common sense)
  • Constructive feedback
  • Destructive feedback
  • Communication process
  • Encoding & Decoding
  • Unethical communication (plagiarism, selective misquoting, misinterpreting, distorting)
  • Ethical dilemmas (stakeholders)
  • Ethical lapses (business pressures)
  • Legal communication
  • Technology implications
  • Egalitarian

Sample Case Assignment

Dear Teams,

I’m glad to have a chance to present this very interesting opportunity to you. 

This is to inform you about Joe Stern – a well known businessman and an investor to frontier markets like Georgia – who spent a week in Tbilisi and among other meetings and in pursuit of some investment opportunities met with University management as well. 

His idea is to invest around US$10,000 per each project run by students, – without any preference to particular industry, as he is still unsure as to which industries he will prefer in the future. Being a generous angel investor and after few nights of Georgian cuisine and wine tastings he is eager to risk these “smaller” amounts to understand the country better and invest in various businesses of students’ choice.

The business school had to hastily prepare the group lists without having a chance to discuss group members and in fact the investor desire was to have a random selection rather than a specialized group. He has left a proper PoA for the funds to be allocated to relevant groups according to the initial business ideas submitted. I was entitled by the school to meet with the pre-defined groups and take notes and allocate funds. Please kindly note though that according to Mr. Stern’s instructions, I’d need only the following to start:

  • Your Idea –  Your group needs to meet and discuss various ideas. You will then select one idea to be presented to the Investor. No need to write anything at this stage. Just be prepared to formulate your idea for the next class. 

As you will be thinking about the idea, do not worry much of the details at this stage. You will have the chance to refine later on, but please do make it clear and all team members agree on it. 

…And… Yes. This is a fiction, a case study only, but something like this may happen in reality too… This assignment (and course overall) is not about making business plans or projects – it is all about you communicating better. So we will not dig into finance or marketing in too much details. It will be all about presenting your thoughts and proposals in a clear and structured manner – as per modern business requirements.