People who are well-versed in English can also have some trouble communicating in English because, many times, there is a disconnect between the listener and the speaker. And the information of the message is lost along the way of expressing the ideas. 

 

Some probable ways in which miscommunication can happen are :

 

  • The speaker may not be communicating themselves. 
  • The speaker might be using a language in which the listener is not familiar.
  • The listener does not understand the message of the speaker. 
  • The listener might not be paying adequate attention to the speaker.

Both as a speaker and as a listener, there are some ways to prevent miscommunication. It will help if you remember the following communication rules while using English or any other language in general. 

 

The Important Rules of Communication

In any language, there are these important points to remember when you’re communicating with someone.

 

1. Say what you mean. Expressing some ideas might be difficult for you; however, it is essential to speak meaningfully and clearly to prevent miscommunication. Thus have a clear point of view.

 

2. Remember to ask questions. Since communication is a two-way process, both parties should be clear in their stance and point of view. To make sure your listener is engaged (interested in what you have to say) and understanding you, ask questions.

 

3. Listening is equally important. Listening is often underrated and denied equal importance. It is essential to hear the point of view of the other person before commenting. 

 

Following all three of these rules will make you excellent at communicating in English (and probably in your native language as well).

 

If you are a beginner in English, you might have difficulty following these rules because of the language barrier. These tips will help you be in a better state and, with practice, will help you become a better person. 

 

Word Choice

A word is the most specific part of any language. It is vital to have correct diction or word choice while communicating essential ideas to another person. Word choice or diction means choosing the appropriate message to deliver the message in the most meaningful way. Many factors determine or compel a person for a word choice. Hence diction is an integral part of communication.

 

The choice of words is the style of expression. Choosing the right words will help you seamlessly communicate your ideas.

 

Importance of Word Choice

Word choice or diction is important. What is even more important is choosing the right word. While speaking or writing, one must use the most appropriate word. One must learn the importance of correct word choice.

 

Thus the correct word choice and kind words are important. Below is the list of kind words and phrases you should use in a business environment and the words you should avoid. The list is provided by Lumen1(Lumen 2019). 

 

Bias-Free Writing 

Why does the topic of bias-free writing follow a page about hidden meaning? Business writers work to be clear and direct in meaning. Drawing attention to details about race, age, country of origin, disability, and gender in the workplace might cause conscious or unconscious bias.

Let’s look at some examples and ways to fix them. A simple rule for bias-free writing is to consider whether personal details need to be included to get the point across.

Avoid

Try

Franklin is the new African-American accountant.

Franklin is the new accountant.

For someone nearing retirement, she caught on to that new software quickly.

She caught on to that new software quickly.

Abdul has some of the highest call centre ratings, even though his Saudi accent is strong.

Abdul has some of the highest call centre ratings.

John is one of our most active employees, even though he must use a wheelchair.

John is one of our most active employees.

Did the cleaning woman bring new trash bags?

Did the cleaner bring new trash bags?

Do we have enough manpower to finish this project?

Do we have enough workforce to finish this project?

__________________________

Avoiding Gender Bias

Writing in a non-sexist way requires the ability to recognize sexism in the first place. The next hurdle is to figure out a way to eliminate any inherent sexism without disrupting the piece’s flow. Here are a few techniques to help avoid bias.

 

Gendered Nouns

The first way to avoid gender bias in your writing is to use gender-neutral words when referring individuals in various positions:

 

Avoid

Try

businessman, businesswoman

business executive

chairman, chairwoman

chairperson

the common man

the average person

salesman, saleswoman

salesperson, sales clerk, marketer

 

Gendered Pronouns

The next thing to be aware of is your use of gendered pronouns. While some still use he as a generic pronoun, this shows a strong bias towards male individuals. Instead, you can use “he or she” (” his or her,” etc.) as the pronoun for a generic noun:

 

Avoid

Try

Every employee should file his report by the end of the day.

Every employee should file his or her report by the end of the day.

When filing the report, each employee should make sure he included yesterday’s data.

When filing the report, each employee should make sure he or she included yesterday’s data.

Using “he or she” is an okay solution, but it can get clunky in large doses: “Every employee should check with his or her supervisor that his or her report was properly filed.” Additionally, many individuals neither identify themselves as male nor female and instead use “they” as a singular pronoun to refer to themselves. Thus, using “he or she” is often not the best solution. The best solution is often to rephrase the sentence to have a plural subject instead of a singular subject.

 

Avoid

Try

Every employee should file his report by the end of the day.

All employees should file their reports by the end of the day.

When filing the report, each employee should make sure he or she included yesterday’s data.

When filing the report, employees should make sure they included yesterday’s data.

Any author knows that his first draft of a piece won’t be good.

All authors know that their first drafts won’t be good.

Avoiding Race and Ethnicity Bias

When speaking about a racial or ethnic group, deciding which term to use can be tricky because the ascribed meaning to particular terms and labels can frequently change. When choosing between terms to refer to a group, it is best to ask a group member what they prefer.

As a general rule in a business setting, do not mention a person’s race or ethnicity unless directly relevant to the situation.

Avoiding Disability Bias

As a general rule, avoid using labelled nouns when talking about people with disabilities. Try to use emotionally neutral expressions rather than ones that assign a role, such as a victim.

 

Avoid

Try

the disabled 

the people with disabilities

the schizophrenic

the person diagnosed with schizophrenia

an AIDS victim

a person with AIDS

a person suffering from epilepsy

a person with epilepsy

Cliché

Clichés that we use in everyday conversation (green with envy, face the music, add insult to injury, etc.) can make your writing sound boring. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a cliché as “a trite phrase or expression; a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation; something (such as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace.

Slang

Avoid slang or idiomatic expressions in formal business writing or academic writing. Slang and colloquial expressions make your writing sound informal and less credible. They can also make it harder for non-native English speakers to understand you.

 

Avoid

Try

That cart did not work anymore. It was all jacked up.

That cart did not work anymore. It had a broken wheel and bent frame.

She was dead after all that overtime last weekend.

She was exhausted after all that overtime last week.

 

 

Euphemisms and Doublespeak

Euphemisms are words or phrases used to talk about unpleasant or taboo topics in a more polite way. For example, instead of saying that you are leaving a meeting to urinate, you might say that you are “going to the restroom.” If you are talking about a person who just died, you might say that the person has “passed away.”

Doublespeak is a more deliberate form of euphemism that disguises the meaning of words so that the idea the words represent seems less unpleasant. For example, the act of terminating employment for many people at once may be referred to in doublespeak as downsizing or right-sizing, or a government dropping bombs might say it is servicing the target. Doublespeak language is usually used in bureaucracies and politics and should be avoided whenever possible. In business writing (and all writing), you should avoid using doublespeak.

In business writing, your purpose should not be to hide meaning but to communicate clearly.

 

Avoid

Try

The department is being right-sized. There is a meeting for the entire staff next Friday.

There will be layoffs in that department. There is a meeting for the entire staff next Friday.

The month-end income statement showed a negative cash flow.

The month-end income statement showed a loss.

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-businesscommunicationmgrs/chapter/word-choice-and-tone/

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