The Shannon -Weaver model of communication was the first to express that communication in the broadest sense of the term is the transmission of information, irrespective of the nature of the transmitter and receiver of the information and of the signal and code.
In communication, the main roles are played by the sender of the message, the communicator, and the receiver, who receives the message. The content and meaning of the communication is the message. The sender transforms this message into a signal, which reaches the receiver through the information channel. The operation of the transmitter often involves the encoding process. Similarly, the receiver performs the decoding. The communicator transmits the message in some kind of code and the receiver decodes it.
For communication to take place, it is essential that the messages are mutually intelligible to the participants in the process, that they understand the sign systems, symbols and codes used. Communication can only continue in a shared code. The behaviour of the receiver must respond to the signals of the code used within a short time.
A characteristic feature of the transmission process is that things are added to the signal which the communicator did not intend to produce. This noise often originates in the channel of communication. The way in which the message reaches the receiver is the channel of communication. Although not strictly related to the communication model, the communication environment or situation should be mentioned. This includes any external factor or relationship between the communicating parties that has or may have an impact on the communication.
From our point of view, the three most important aspects of communication are.
Training exercise: The task is to conduct a negotiation based on predefined role cards, where the roles are to represent opposing interests. Based on the role cards, it is not clear which strategy they will have to adopt and they will work on the problem based on their individual characteristics. A good solution is to get to know each other’s needs in detail and then it is possible to achieve a win-win outcome. The exercise is known as “Orange Farm” or “Ostrich Eggs” among the general negotiation training exercises.
After the exercise, participants collect their experiences:
The observations are collected by the group on flipchart paper and used later in the discussion and to justify the theories in practice.
Tools for the exercise: Printed role cards. Flip-Chart, Post-it – 4 colors, Blue Tech, Markers
Meetings and negotiation
Although each party has its own interests, the meeting is ideally friendly. At the same time, it is important to keep the meeting professional and polite. A cooperative, positive tone is more likely to lead to a mutually satisfactory outcome and even a working relationship that works well in the long term.
Business negotiation is a specialised communication process, a science according to some, an art according to others. But most experts agree that the skills needed to negotiate can be developed. This is important because the success of a company depends to a large extent on how effectively it handles such situations.
Negotiation is a negotiation between two or more parties within a set framework, without which the operation and management of a company is unthinkable.
It can take many forms, depending on the objective, but a common feature is that the parties want to assert their own positions in the process, and to do so they need to use a range of persuasive techniques and strategies. Ideally, both parties win in the negotiation, but the one that has been more successful in representing its own interests is usually better off. To become a true master of business communication, it takes practice and it is important to be aware of your own soft skills.
Preparation for negotiation should not be overdone. The more energy you put into this step, the better position you will be in during a meeting. For example, it is important to thoroughly research the other party, their previous agreements, the company’s objectives, credo, products and services. It’s also a good idea to think about the dynamics of the deal beforehand:
It is advisable to play out in your mind the likely course of the meeting, with particular emphasis on the possible reactions of the negotiating partner.
As long as the objectives of the negotiation are not fully clear, it is not worthwhile to enter into it. Part of the preparation is also an overview of exactly what you expect from the meeting, what outcome you expect, what you cannot give in to, and areas where you can make concessions if the move is made. All these will be important benchmarks to take into account during the meeting.
It seems essential that participants listen to what each other has to say, but in reality this is often where the process derails. If one is only concerned with what one is saying, it is easy to find oneself not understanding the other person’s train of thought. Listening attentively also makes it easier to gain the trust of the person you are talking to, which is not a minor consideration when, for example, negotiating a deal or laying the foundations for cooperation. Asking clarifying questions, summarising what you have heard from time to time, not only helps you, but also reassures the other person of your sincere interest.