Communication is the transfer of information from the sender to the receiver with the information being understood by both the sender and the receiver.
Role of communication
Communication is needed to:
- To establish and disseminate goals of an organisation
- To develop plans for their achievement
- To organise human and other resources in the most effective and efficient way
- To select, develop and appraise members of the organisation
- To lead, direct and motivate people
- To control performance.
Sender of the message: Communication begins with the sender who has a thought or and idea which is then encoded in a way that can be understood by both the sender and the receiver.
Transmission of message: The information is transmitted over a channel that links the sender with the receiver. The message may be oral, written or visual.
Receiver of the message: The receiver has to be ready for the message so that it can be decoded. Accurate communication can only occur when both the sender and the receiver attach the same meaning to the message.
Feedback by the receiver: Communication isn’t always complete if there is no feedback from the receiver. This ensures that the message has been received or well understood.
Methods of communication
Written Communication: This includes letters, memos, reports, notices, faxes and e-mails.
- Provides records and references
- Message can be carefully drafted and directed to large audience through mass mailing.
- It promotes uniformity in policy and procedures.
- It may create mountains of papers.
- May be poorly expressed by ineffective writers.
- May provide no immediate feedback.
- It may long time to receive and properly understood.
Oral Communication : This includes one to one conversations, interviews, appraisal sessions, group meetings or team briefings.
- It allows two way communication and feedback.
- It encourages motivation.
- It is fast and feedback can be received instantly.
- The message can be reinforced with the proper use of body language.
- Body language of both the sender and receiver may have a negative impact.
- It may be unsuitable for information which is technical in nature.
Visual Communication: This usually includes diagrams, pictures, charts and pictorial representation of the message.
- Easy to understand and retain the information.
- May be more interesting than simple written communication.
- It is not always clear and the may be misinterpreted by the receiver.
- No feedback
Formal communication: This is recognised and approved by business (e.g. formal emails, official meetings, reports)
Informal communication: Information is sent and received casually (e.g. employee talking during lunch break)
One way communication: Communication that does not allow for a response
Two-way communication: Communication where the receiver sends feedback to the sender about the topic.
Advantages of two way communications
- Receiver can tell the sender that they have understood the information/instruction
- Chance to ask for more information
- Allows the receiver to contribute ideas
Barriers to communication
Barriers to effective communication mean the reasons for a breakdown in communication. These breakdowns may be for arising due to:
Problem with the sender
- The sender may use to technical language or may use ‘jargons’ which are difficult to understand.
- The sender may speak too quickly which makes it difficult to interpret what he is saying.
- The sender initiates a wrong message.
- The message send by the sender may be too long and due to this the main point to be emphasized may get lost.
- The sender may have a wrong opinion or perception of the receiver and may not put effort to put across the message in an effective way.
Problem with the medium
- The message may be lost while transmitting.
- Using an inappropriate medium may result in the less effective communication.
- A longer channel of communication will result in distortion of the message and it may lose its original meaning.
- There is lots of physical disturbances in channel of communication used. Problem with the receiver.
- The receiver might not be paying attention and thus the message may lose its impact.
- In many cases, the sender might not be trusted by the receiver and may not act in the intended way.
- The receiver may not have the necessary skills to understand the message.
Problem with the feedback :This may be missing or distorted.
Steps to overcoming barriers to communication
- Message should be as brief as possible and to the point.
- Main points of the message should be highlighted.
- Language used should be understood by the receiver.
- Avoid using technical jargons.
- Use of appropriate facial expression while delivering verbal messages.
- Select appropriate channel for communication.
- Medium used should be free from distortions such as telephone failure etc.
- Use the shortest possible channel in order to avoid distortion.
- Feedback should be asked from the receiver.
- Trust between the sender and receiver is an important requirement.
- Receiver should pay attention to the message received.