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INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

business

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INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

Linguistic communication




at individual level / society dependent upon the process of communication

The concept of communication involved in many scientific fields

telecommunications

sociology

psychology

semiotics

economics

physiology of the nervous system

linguistics etc.

aim and direction of approach complexity of the concept

communication: certain data (thoughts, ideas, knowledge, errors, emotions, experience etc) are transmitted in various situations

a certain quantity of information is conveyed from one person to another, from one system to another.(cf. Ayer 1955)

Definitions:

very technical descriptions exchange of information taking place between two systems (as in the case of telecommunication)

philosophic perceptions

(Communication is) “the totality of procedures by which a brain affects another brain”

[not only oral and written communication, but also communication achieved by music, painting, theatre, ballet etc.]

human communication = a social event

a relationship between at least two persons who convey information to each other

the relationship is facilitated basically by language

C. Cherry: A group of people, a society culture, I would define as “people in communication”

language polarity two main processes involved – transmission and reception

sender encoding choosing among certain alternatives

receiver decoding involves selection, on the basis of both linguistic and extralinguistic signs

channel the material and psychological link between the two partners, enabling them to establish and maintain communication (Jakobson, 1960:353)

natural channels (when the receiver is a person)

artificial/technical channels (whose receiver is a machine)

Certain means to avoid the deterioration of the message, to repair it when damaged, or to re-establish the “connection” when this has been broken.


Linguistic communication six main factors/elements

The code principle/code model the oldest theory of communication (Fig.1).

From Aristotle to modern semiotics, communication has been conceived as a process of encoding and decoding messages.

the cybernetic concept of communication revised systematically

The inferential model proposed and developed by Sperber-Wilson (1986: 21-60)

Sperber and Wilson:

communicative intention

co-operation principle are essential to communication

Communication continuous changing of the interlocutors’ cognitive universe

requires anticipation of the communicative intention and co-operation in negotiating the meaning.

Communication in business

“communicative intention”

“co-operation principle”

Investigating the partner’s cognitive universe

adapting yours to it

co-operation = major objective in any business communicative act (communicate effectively)

Business communication

The need for effective communication has been recognised for centuries. In parallel with the increase of commerce, people started paying more and more attention to some other activities related to it. Preoccupation for business communication led, for instance, to the introduction of business administration and letter writing as formal university courses in Florence (Italy) in the early 15th century. Over the years, developing adequate oral and written communication skills has become a major objective of any training course in business. Today, rarely can you read an advertisement for jobs in business for which “good communication skills” is not mentioned as a professional requirement.

What is business communication?

The specificity of business communication derives from the nature of the situation in which communication is performed. Thus, any communicative act established and performed in a business situation may be described as business communication.

Since business situations are extremely varied, effective business communicators should have the ability to select promptly, from a large range of communication skills, the ones that will prove to be the most adequate for a particular situation and will serve their interests best.

Effective business communicators - to select those communication skills that will prove the most adequate for a particular situation and will serve their interests best.

Recent studies necessity to organise training courses for developing

communication skills

critical-thinking skills

to cope with:

high technology

competitive world

demands of the modern economy

written & oral communication skills

v         advocacy

v         elocution

v         oral response

v         preparing formal reports

v         writing business plans

v         planning and writing strategies

changing people's attitude towards acquiring these abilities

communication = innate ability?

Good communicators' strengths:

they know what to communicate

how to communicate to different people in different ways

a system of measuring their performance (how much they have progressed)

Business schools should teach both formal and informal skills

Specific language functions:

explaining

analysing

making tactful refusals  communication expertise

persuading

making complaints

criticising tactfully

Needed to work consciously on these skills

to acquire a set of abilities associated with

high performance in business communication

ability to express oneself

ability to use analytical/conceptual skills

ability to write and speak creatively

ability to empathise with the partner (social self)


Exploiting the language functions

The abilities on which communication expertise is based on may be easier and better developed if business people learn how to exploit the elements of the communicative act and the functions related to them.

Emotive function ability to express oneself – induce a certain reaction; selection of vocabulary/structures/registers, etc)

Conative function correct level of approach; to get the partner involved; use of vocatives/ polite forms of address/titles)

Emotive + referential function ability to speak & write creatively; adequate reference to the business context = proof of increased creativity)

Phatic function empathy with the partner/ adapting to the partner

Phatic communication/ Rapport adequate use of those verbal and non verbal elements in order to create the atmosphere of sociability/ communion necessary to the development of co-operative relationships (business meetings & negotiations)

Oral and written communication

nature of the channel

Oral communication

Written communication

roles of speaker & listener

reversible

(biunivocal relationship)

irreversible

(univocal relationship)

open to linguistic varieties

(regional, social varieties, dialectal items etc)

restrictive

(standard language)

negotiation of meaning

(both partners contribute to the building of the meaning; 'I mean', 'What do you mean by?', 'what I mean is …')

once the message has been sent, the writer cannot change the meaning

(cannot work out on it)

the processing of information = spontaneous

face-to-face communication

(less elaborate, sometimes, faulty; repetitions; starts & re-starts; hesitations; fillers; redundant elements; non-verbal = paraverbal elements, violation of rules, feedback, more informal, etc)

careful elaboration of the message; observance of rules

(complex syntax, reduced repetition, precise, concrete vocabulary, lack of immediate feedback, more formal)

interactional + transactional

Tends to establish and maintain relationship, to create a certain social atmosphere)

predominantly transactional

(orientation towards conveying factual information)

Business communication strategy – based on the following elements

the problem

the objectives

the reader/writer

the order

the format

The problem assess the circumstances imposing the necessity to communicate (speak/write)

Particular setting/background

Factors:

internal external

strengths state of competition

weaknesses technological level

(of various people/depts) customers' attitude

The objectives

General objectives

to inform

to get approval

to get information

to persuade

to give instructions

to make complaints

to notify

to make adjustments

to make proposals

to congratulate

Specific objectives

to give details

to support the general objective

Successful communicators:

only one major objective for each piece of communication

make the message clear taken into account promptly

followed by immediate action

not clear objectives lead to misinterpretation

ineffective communication

additional action/waste of time

The audience (reader/writer)

Action oriented towards the audience

do whatever necessary to help the audience

sensitive to the audience's needs

try to anticipate their reactions

adapt their communication to the type of the audience

Categories of audience

I.            general public

expert audience

layperson

II.         primary (decision makers; action takers, etc)

secondary (people affected by the decision taken)

The order of presentation

The way in which selected information & data are arranged to achieve the objectives

In business letters 3 levels where order becomes relevant

the overall message

the paragraph

the sentence

The overall message: can be arranged

directly – most important ideas at the beginning of the message

indirectly – main objective at the end of the message

Arrangement depends on:

type of message

objective

relationship with the partner

The paragraph - arranged such a way as to emphasize a particular point

direct the reader's attention to the main point

Topic sentence = the sentence carrying the core information;

all the other sentences will be related to it

A well-written paragraph should be;

coherent (it follows a definite plan)

developed (all sentences explain the main point)

unified (all sentences should be relevant to the main point)

The sentences: selection + combination of words

to achieve emphasis

to direct the reader's attention

Examples:

Decision-making is essential in managerial activity.

Managerial activity includes decision-making.

Presentation of ideas: certain patterns

simple complex

familiar unfamiliar

known unknown

most important least important

cause effect

chronological

The format – refers to the type of communication

oral presentation

memo

letter

note

fax

SPEAKING IN BUSINESS

Effective speaking – one of the most powerful skill you can possess

The great human connector
Effective oral communication = vital in building

confidence

trust

commitment bet. organisations/people

Business executives make speeches for:

all types of occasions

all types of audience

Most – within the organisations

Necessary: to begin performing before you reach that point.

THE ORAL PRESENTATION

First condition – to understand the why of the communication

  • What am I expected to achieve by delivering this speech?
  • Do I want action? Feedback? Sympathy? Support? Sales? Sharing of ideas?

Without the why of the communication

  • first impulse: to develop the message
  • concentration on the what step (more than on the results you want to attain)
  • message may fail in meeting its purpose

Objectives

Most messages delivered in business have one of the three objectives:

to inform

to persuade

to celebrate

Inform

purpose of message

  • to present: facts/ issues/ events

various presentations

instructions

training

Persuade

purpose of message

  • to motivate
  • to persuade
  • to think /act in accordance with the speaker

Situations:

to sell products & services

to support ideas/strategies

to motivate listeners to change behaviours

Celebrate – recognize/ acknowledge

a person

an event

an occasion

an organisational theme

purpose of message

  • to inspire; to entertain

commencement awards

retirement addresses

achievement awards

founder's day speeches

other congratulatory speeches

Understanding the Listener

  • needs
  • interests
  • level of experience

Useful questions:

Are they clients/ potential clients/ colleague/ strangers/ supervisors/ subordinates?

Are they similar in age and background or widely varied?

What do they want to hear from me?

What questions will they want answered?

What is their political, social, economic, cultural background?

Will they be friendly or hostile?

How many will be listening to me?

Your chances of success depend on your perception of the audience.

Getting feedback

not all presentations need feedback (to celebrate an event, to acknowledge a merit, to recognize an achievement)

Feedback can be obtained:

informally

formally

by chatting with the listeners after the presentation (reactions, comments will show you if and how well they understood the message)

questions & answers sessions

(plan carefully so as not to lose control of the meeting)

Suggestions for maintaining control

      • Anticipate your listeners' questions
      • Prepare additional materials for the Q&A session: statistics, figures, supporting documents. Convince the audience of your preparedness
      • For technical questions, ask specialists in relevant departments to take part at the meeting and provide the data needed;
      • If you don't know the answer, say so;
        • offer to send an answer
        • say you have to study the point more
      • Come with a list of questions as back up
        • The question I am most often asked is…
        • Last week someone asked me….
      • If the listeners react negatively, be ready to shift gears when it is necessary to obtain a desired result
      • If the audience is large, repeat the questions for all to hear

Methods of Delivery

Reading from a prepared manuscript

Delivering from memory

Delivering extemporaneously relying on brief notes or clue cards.

Reading from a prepared manuscript

Purpose: to deliver an exact, structured message

Examples: keynote speeches

speeches with long-range effect (government officials)

sometimes, scripts are approved prior to presentation

and made available to the members of the press

Delivering from memory

memorizing the presentation word-for-word

Possible problems:

may forget a line or sentence

may lose their place in the speech

Extemporaneous presentation – most popular, most desirable

materials are organised either in outline form or on note cards;

allows to monitor the audience’s reactions, to slow down, to elaborate on different points;

encourage the audience’s involvement;

contributes to building trust, confidence and commitment

The PMM Concept

Three basic components:

Person – individual making the oral presentation

Message – the presentation itself

Media – the presentation aids

The basis for the strategy for communicating orally

The PERSON

Every society has an unwritten standard by which its citizens are measured.

Professional image

implies capacity to determine what constitutes that standard in your society.

Necessary: to analyse yourself objectivelly in terms of:

profession

educational background

intelligence level

status (leader or follower)

Nonverbal elements used as standards for determining success

good grooming

appropriate dress

natural manners  silent communicators

effective body language

a pleasing voice

good eye contact

an authoritative presence

of what we believe about one another is based on our observation & interpretation of nonverbal signals.

Most people will judge you by:

your self-confidence

your personality 

your determination

your self-control

Natural Manners

Stress = natural part of public speaking

Audience may detect how confident you are by observing your mannerism.

Annoying habits:

knuckle rapping

fist clenching

nail biting

foot tapping

coin jingling

During oral presentations, it is wrong to:

v     fold your arms across your chest

v     lean against the wall/lectern other object

v     folding your hands behind you

v     placing your hands in your pockets

Natural, self-confident manners - recommended

Professional speaker's stance:

standing straight (arms/hands hanging loosely at your sides)

feet firmly planted and spread naturally

Body Language

For effectiveness – natural gestures to emphasize a point.

Key word = natural

The Voice

Good voice quality provides an effective presentation.

For feedback :  

a tape recorder

a friend

a member of the family

Eye Contact

the most prominent feature of your face;

use them to make contact with the audience;

try not to single out a particular person, but make eye contact with many people in the audience;

begin by looking ahead, rotate slowly from side to side, making eye contact with a number of different people;

lock eyes for a few seconds, but never long enough to complete more than 8-10 words;

let your eyes do some of the talking;

Presence

Visual presence:

  • by integrating nonverbal elements into a professional image
  • positive visual image

Appropriate Attire

good grooming

appropriate dress

WOMEN

tailored clothing only (no frills, ruffles, straps or plunging necklines)

suits and blazers in plain, neutral colours

scarves for colour accents

skirts that are pleated, straight, or dirndl, with no extreme slits

basic dark pumps with medium or low heels

stud earrings; gold or pearl necklaces; avoid dangling bracelets

MEN

dark or grey suits; navy blazers and grey trousers

dress shirts in solid colours, mostly white, pale blue, or yellow

variety of ties in muted colours but in contrast to the suit . calf-length hose in dark colours to match suits

black or brown 1-inch belt

loafers, wingtips, or laceup shoes

avoid flashy cuff links, rings, or neck chains

The MESSAGE

3 basic parts:

the Takeoff gains the audience’s attention

introduces the theme

the Convincing Evidence data /facts /info. (used to support the claim)

the Windup closes the message

a summary of key elements

The Takeoff – sets the stage for the audience’s response

Reasons for being present:

Some participants desire information

Other participants are required to attend

Necessary: impact at the very first

Techniques for achieving effective beginning

Startling information

Humour

The Unusual

Suspence

The Message Core ('We are here to discuss the parking problems on the university campus')

Courteous Beginning – always effective

express your appreciation for the honour of speaking and then congratulate the listeners on any accomplishment relevant to the speech topic

Convincing Evidence – middle section of your presentation

Begin this section with:

concepts that are familiar to your audience ( esp. for controversial subjects)

gradually introduce more complex concepts

group important elements in logical sequence

support ideas with cases & incidents

use illustrations & examples

give your presentation the necessary depth but avoid boring, irrelevant details

The Windup

v     restate the central theme

v     summarize the evidence

v     propose some type of action

v     do not introduce new evidence

The MEDIA – any aids used to enhance an oral presentation

Varieties of media

Transparencies

Slides

The chalkboard/whiteboard

Flipcharts

Handouts

The MEDIA – any aids used to enhance an oral presentation

Varieties of media

Transparencies

effective

inexpensive

Slides  a really professional look

great impact on the audience

where quality, simplicity and mobility are demanded

The chalkboard/whiteboard

beforehand, write on note cards what you intend to present on the board, so as to avoid making mistakes



do not write pertinent information on the board beforehand: will divert the audience's attention to the board.

Flipcharts

v     you can write information on one sheet at a time

v     you can write information ahead of time and then flip the sheets as you discuss

v     esp. useful for small group presentations

Handouts – a useful way of complementing your presentation

  • should be distributed at the end of the speech (audience free to concentrate on yr. presentation)
  • what you want the audience to do with your handouts

to take home some ideas

a summary of the presentation (key points)

to take some action

feedback (provide a checklist; easy for them to respond)

Business negotiations (I)

A business contract = result of discussions related to the future transaction

A business negotiation:

an organised process of communication

between two (or more) partners

they try to come to a mutually profitable agreement

to achieve their individual goals

Characteristics:

the parties have their own distinct, even conflictual interests

the need to negotiate to achieve their individual goals

co-ordinate their actions

to resolve a conflict

it presupposes some common interests of the parties involved

achievement mutual satisfaction and profit;

negotiation is based on communication

information through language verbal, written and non-verbal messages

harmonizing of interests into a joint project

negotiation various forms to comply with the multitude of domains

The negotiating process predictable

prepared in advance

analysis of the context

anticipating the development of the negotiating process (by simulations, round tables and conferences)

establishing the negotiating team (specialists + good communicators)

drawing up a written plan for the negotiation

A business negotiation a specific type of verbal communication

Conditions (a discourse = a negotiation)

interrelated goals

negotiation = a strategic interaction (modified goals)

Negotiation stages

relationship building

agreeing procedure

exchanging information

questioning

generating options

bidding

bargaining

settling and concluding

Types of negotiations:

win-win (cooperative) negotiations (mutual interests prevail over differences)

win-lose (conflictual) negotiations (gaining the most possible/ winning at all costs) a winner and a loser

Negotiating strategies:

I.

problem solving

contending

yielding

inaction

Problem solving = based on the idea of reconciliating the parties' goals

Problem solving tactics:

increasing available resources

compensation

concession on low priority issues

minimising the costs of concessions

creating new mutually beneficial options

Outcomes

more likely to last (mutually beneficial)

able to improve the parties’ relationships

highly integrative potential

reasonably high aspirations

Parties firm about their goals

flexible regarding the means used to reach those goals

Contending/contention = one party tries to persuade the other party to agree to a solution that favours the former’s interests

Contentious tactics:

inflated demands

irrevocable commitments

persuation

threats

Contending conflict

an opening strategy replaced by problem solving at a later stage

positional strategy

poor results rather low-level compromises

Yielding = partners reduce their aspirations /goals

an effective way to close negotiations

a successful problem solving approach

Outcomes depressing if both parties use a yielding strategy

Inaction = used to increase time pressure on the other party

II.

two main communication strategies

cooperative (integrative) strategies

competitive strategies

The cooperative (integrative) strategy

building potentially long-term business relationships

focussing on mutual gain and multiple goals

Cooperative negotiators

understanding the positions of all the parties involved

effective listening minimizing misunderstandings

maximizing goals

prepared to make concessions

share information in order to achieve agreement

the agreement may not resolve all the differences, but may avoid deadlocks

The cooperative tactics

offering information/concessions/ promises or commitments/ conciliation

providing clarification

facilitating discussion

summarizing arguments

expressing agreement with the opponent’s assistance and approval

Cooperative tactics “win-win” outcomes

The competitive (distributive) strategy

tends to maximize a participant’s position at the expense of the opponent

“distributive” (a gain on one side equals a loss on the other side; limited benefits are redistributed through bargaining)

information given only for self service (eliciting maximum information from the opponent)

based on a “win-lose” principle

Competitive negotiators:

resort to deceptive or diversionary manueuvers

Competitive tactics include:

challenging

disagreeing to or rejecting the opponent’s position

changing the topic to refocus the discussion to one’s advantage

asking for concessions

accusing the opponent of negligence and/or bad faith

requesting information

making threats and demands

issuing ultimatums

making personal attacks against the opponent

advancing arguments against the opponent

Some other sources (Magureanu, 2002: 89) indicate: the collaborative strategy

optimizing results

Asssumption:

negotiators can work together to reach agreement

sharing information

exploring the interests of both parties

judging settlements by agreed tests and criteria

Negotiators should:

be aware of the specificity of each stage

use their own linguistic potential with maximum of profit

Each negotiation stage selective and combinatory abilities

Business negotiations (II)

Relationship building

greater chance of success

more comfortable acting within a normal, friendly relationship

free of additional stress more inclined towards compromise and agreement

This stage includes:

exchange of greetings

identifying the participants clearly by name

shaking hand with the members of the other team

invitation for having a cup of coffee or some refreshments

exchanging information about the job and the company

A sort of ritual: socialising, small talk  or phatic communication

the phatic function of language

setting in of a relaxed atmosphere favourable to the development of the negotiation

Linguistically

the use of the greeting and introduction phrases

may vary slightly (first/ second meeting; one in a series of meetings)

Introducing yourself

I’m Mary Smith from Ing Bank.

My name is David Fay. I’m the Sales Manager at “Flamingo Computers”.

Introducing other people:

I’d like you to meet my colleague, Joe Dutson. He’s our new Marketing Manager.

Let me introduce my colleague, Jane Hughes. She’s our Finance Manager.

This is Dan Winthrop, head of R&D Department

Sometimes you have to check other people’s identity:

Excuse me. Are you Bill Snake from “Tropikana Drinks”? 

Greetings:

Greeting

Reply

Type of meeting

How do you do?

How do you do?

First meeting

(I’m) pleased to meet you.

Very pleased to meet you.

First meeting

It’s good/nice to see you again.

(It’s) good/nice to see you again, too.

How are you?

Very well, thanks. And you?

The necessity to keep the conversation moving and show interest in what the other side has to say (O’Connor, Pilbeam, Scott-Barret, 1992)

by repeating key words, adding comments, asking related questions, according to the following patterns

Question

Answer + Extra information/Comments

That’s right.Unfortunately, I stay here only one day. Tomorrow I’ll have to leave for Italy.

This is your first visit to Romania, isn’t it?

Extra information/Comments

Reaction + Comment/Question

That’s a pity. There are so many interesting places to visit.

Unfortunately, I stay here only one day. Tomorrow I’ll have to leave for Italy.

by developing conventional dialogues (small talk) on topics like weather, business trips, artistic events, customs and traditions, profession etc.

Agreeing procedures introducing the objectives and agreeing on them with the other party

Negotiators

should agree on the procedure:

I think we should establish the overall procedure.

Could we agree on the overall procedure?

objectives have to be stated clearly:

(general objectives)

Our main objective is to ……

What we’d like to achieve/get from this meeting is ……

(specific objectives)

Something else we’d like to achieve is ……

Another objective we have in view is ……

We’d also like to talk about ……

Agreement on the procedure

checked by various questions:

Do you agree on this?

Is that OK with you?

Does that seem acceptable to you?

Does that fit in with your objectives?

within a question - answer pattern

Q: Could we agree on the order in which we will discuss these issues?

A: Yes, of course./Yes, indeed./ Sure/ Certainly.

in a more developed structure: suggestion + asking for agreement response

We could analize the equipment first and then the costs estimation.Does that sound OK?

Yes, that’s fine.

Exchanging information to make needs and interests clear to the other

direct statements

avoid any source of ambiguity

We assume that you would like to help us.

We think that you are the right company to discuss this matter with.

It’s possible that we might be interested in increasing .

We are interested in increasing … .

We think that it would probably be suitable to …

We’d like to …… .

Working together for solving this problem could, I’m positive, be beneficial to both companies

I think we could help you.

Questioning

clarifies the situation

brings additional information

choice between factual answers and non-comital answers:

Question

Factual answer

Non-commital answer

Approximately how much concrete do you need for this work?

About 1,000 tonnes.

That depends on some other elements.

How important is this delivery to you?

It’s really our top priority.

Actually, it isn’t important at all.

Well, it’s something we can’t afford to ignore.

Generating options a very resourceful stage

suggestions can be made and analysed

intention of introducing and discussing options:

the idea of generating options

It seems to me that there are a number of ways we could solve this problem.

There seem to be several possibilities for working more closely together.

hinting to the process of generating options

I suggest that we list the options and then examine them one by one.

Should we brainstorm the options before we discuss any in detail?

putting forward options

I would suggest that …

How about delivering/ paying …

Have you considered the idea of …

We could also …

suggesting analysing the options

I think we should look at each proposal in turn.

Why don’t we go through each of them in more detail.

Cooperative climate reactions to other people’s evaluations:

I think the strongest point in this case is … . So I’d say this is a very attactive option. Absolutely / Surely/ I totally agree with you.

Bidding and bargaining

the most active parts of a negotiation

proposals made are discussed, accepted, altered or rejected

proposal reason for making that proposal is stated first (it lowers the risk of potential objections)

pattern: “reason + proposal”:

Since our company is expanding into international markets, our proposal is to intensify language training.

Initial proposal followed by/ faced with other proposals:

Alternatively, we could hire bilingual staff

Expressing proposals: various patterns:

We propose that we should improve the transportation system.

We propose that we improve the transportation system.

Our proposal is to improve the transportation system.

Additional or alternative proposals may be put forward as follows:

Alternatively, we could …… .

Maybe a better solution would be to …… .

It could be a good idea to …… .

Perhaps, we could also …… .

Making proposals and reacting to them

understanding of what the other side is proposing

by focusing on the other party's interests

on the details of the proposal

Interaction patterns:

Text Box: asking for clarification of interests + confirming/correcting and expanding

So, if I’m right/ if I understand it well/ if I understand you correctly/ if I’m not mistaken, you want to ……

Exactly. Moreover, we could …… .

You mean a large order then?

When you say preferential delivery, do you mean the product will be delivered to us only?

2) Reacting to proposals and reasons shows how sympathetic or reserved someone is to the point presented:

proposal

sympathetic reaction

We propose that we should launch it first on the Assian market

That’s certainly a good idea.

proposal

reservations

Maybe a better idea would be to launch it on the Russian market.

I’m not sure about that

reason

sympathetic reaction

Our Asian market will react to it promptly, which is a clear advantage

I see what you mean.

reason

reservations

They usually support us even if there is a completely new product.

I appreciate that. However, we have to consider……

I take your point about the target consumer, but …… .

3) Offers adequate response

plain rejection (to be softened with “I’m afraid”) unconditional acceptance

a) rejection

I’m afraid that wouldn’t improve our work conditions.

I’m afraid, we couldn’t accept that.

b) rejection + alternative offer

We couldn’t possibly cover 30% of the loss in the first six months, but we would be prepared to do it at the end of the year.

c) acceptance + condition

Provided that you paid on monthly instalments, we would extend the maintainance period.

d) unconditional acceptance

That would be acceptable.

4) Making concessions

to move towards an agreement:

a.

We would be prepared to … if you changed

We’ll agree to … if you change

b.

We couldn’t supply … unless there was

We’ll be able to deliver … if there is

c.

If you were prepared to … I might be able to…

If you accept… I may be able to…

a, b, c

right side: still include conditions

left side: the offer/acceptance much firmer; negotiators are moving towards an agreement

Settling and concluding to summarise

agreements reached

responsibilities assigned

introducing a summary

I’d like to summarise our agreements/decisions/conclusions made so far.

Now, let’s summarise what we have already agreed upon.

Perhaps I could just sum up what we have already agreed on …

agreements and responsibilities

We’ve/You’ve agreed to…

As we have agreed, we’ll be responsible for the maintaining works.

We have decided that you’ll take care of the distribution channels.

We have already agreed that we will deal with all the orders coming from the local clients.

identifying the areas/points which have not been agreed on:

There are some points that haven’t been discussed/agreed upon.

There are some outstanding points.

The question of differred payment remains to be clarified.

identifying action to be taken:

You’ll get information about…

By our next meeting you’ll have worked out the new sales strategy.

We’ll set up a meeting…

further comments

Is there anything else you’ll like to add?

Have I covered everything?






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