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Communication at work.

Communication At Work, a publication from the Mortgage Bankers Association of America's (MBA's) basic skills series, is targeted to individuals who could benefit from improved communication skills or who have communication skill deficiencies that diminish their effectiveness on the job.

The segment of our workforce that needs better communication skills is large; therefore, Communication At Work should be considered as required stock for any firm's resource or training center. In addition, any employee asking, "What does it take to excel?" or whose speaking, listening, or writing skills are retarding their development and advancement should consider reading the book.

The publication was conceived and designed for use as an in-class textbook with the objectives of teaching communication skills, relating those skills to the business environment, and thereby, helping the reader obtain employment. Parenthetically, this is a most laudable goal. In 18 years of schooling, I was never once presented with course material that either told me what to learn or indicated how I might use the knowledge I gained to earn a living.

Communication At Work opens with an introductory section on the communication process and preparing to communicate. It closes with a cumulative section on job seeking. Sandwiched in between is equal coverage on the topics of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The book covers a lot of ground with discussions running from spelling to report-writing and from casual conversations to formal business presentations. The coverage is not excessive because it aims for only moderate depth of each subject area.

Communication At Work does not try to mold a Shakepeare or a Demosthenes, but merely someone who can cope successfully with daily life in a contemporary office environment. With this objective in mind, the book succeeds admirably, and it does so in content, practical applications and methodology. Each chapter begins with a crisp list of learning objectives, and each ends with a summary, review questions and reinforcing activities. The learning objectives are a useful road map. The summaries are brief and accurate. The review questions are thoughtful and well-conceived, although of limited value to the solitary reader.

The author does an excellent job of balancing coverage of the four communication skills and selectively deciding what to leave out. For example, in the speaking section, the mechanics of group discussion and problem-solving are covered in detail (Chapter 9), but peripherals like training presentations and award presentations are thankfully omitted. Similarly, report-writing is precisely defined and the procedure thoroughly explained and illustrated with good examples. Expository, critical, didactic, persuasive, confessional writing are relegated to history, precisely as the Nintendo generation would wish. Reading is correctly and concisely presented as how to wring the most out of a document in the least amount of time. I was pleased, however, to see the author make the bold assertion that reading can also be a recreational event.

My only criticism of the book is the occasional slipshod evidence of inferior proofreading. Overall, Communication At Work is a fine, balanced primer on the crucial skill of communication. It can be of real value to members of the workforce willing to profit by it.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Mortgage Bankers Association of America
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Hubbard, Andy
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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