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Concept of Communication, Meaning and Significance of Good Communication Notes – CSEET

Concept of Communication, Meaning and Significance of Good Communication Notes – CSEET

Concept of Communication

The word ‘communicate’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘Communis’, which means to ‘share’. Communication is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behaviour. It is the expression of facts, opinions, ideas or feelings. A number of definitions have been given to the term “ Communication”. A few important ones are:

“Communication in its simplest form of conveying of information from one person to another” – Hudson

“Communication is the transfer of information from one person to another whether or not it elicits confidence”-Koontz and O’Donell

“Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons. ” -George Terry

“Communication is the sum of all things, one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It is a bridge of meaning. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding. ”- Allen Louis

Communication is an essential condition of our existence and the most important activity of human beings. Communication is a two way process. There must be at least two persons to allow the completion of the process. One takes up the role of a sender the other that of the receiver. Webster’s dictionary states that “communication is the act of exchanging information and understanding from one person to another”. For communication to be successful, the exchange of ideas and information must result in imparting and understanding its intended meaning. Its purpose is to effect desired changes in the behaviour of the receiver of the message. Thus communication is the transfer of information from one person to another person. Its goal is to have the receiver understand the message as it was intended. Whether we communicate through writing or speaking, language continues to play an important role. The increasing use of telephone, mobile, recording devices, such as dictaphone, answering machines, live broadcasting and telecasting, and video conferencing have nowadays, shifted the focus from writing to speaking.

Business Communication

When one communicates to transact some commercial activity, that is, providing goods or services, with the intention of generating profits, it is termed as business communication. According to Scott, “administrative communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting action which will accomplish organization goals”. The importance of communication to an organization, all the more so to a business organization, cannot be over emphasized. It links not only the various components of the organization but also its internal world with the external world. In order be proficient in business communication, it becomes imperative to acquire skills of effective writing and speaking. In fact, lack of these may result in loss of business opportunities. Therefore, curriculums of most business schools the world over cover the subject of business communication extensively. It is also common for the prestigious companies to insist upon excellent communication skills as a requirement at the time of recruitment.

Features of Communication

(1)   Communication is essentially a two-way process. The success or the failure of communication is decided by the feedback we get. Hence, feedback is essential to communication.

(2)   Communication is an ongoing process. Communication is essential in all kinds of organizations and at all levels of management. No manager can be effective in his role unless he is able to communicate. Professional and result oriented organizations are always looking for managers who can communicate persuasively and competently.

(3)   Communication consists not only of facts but ideas and emotions too. Communication is much more than words. The tone and facial expressions often carry a greater meaning than words. We can communicate a lot through signs, symbols and gestures. For example, a victory sign made by two fingers communicates better than words.

(4)   Communication is a dynamic process. It incorporates the changing shape of the participants and the environment.

(5)   Communication is a goal-oriented process. Communication can be effective if both the sender and the receiver are aware of the goal of communication and there is congruence of their goals.

(6)   Communication is an inter-disciplinary science. Knowledge derived from several sciences is used in communication. Anthropology (study of body language), Psychology (study of persuasion, perception and attitudes), Sociology and Political science (study of voting behaviour) have provided insights to make communication effective.

Importance of Communication

Effective communication has always been essential for success in business. In recent times, communication has become all the more essential due to the following reasons:

(i)    Increase in Size : Business firms have grown tremendously in scale of operations. A large business firm today employs thousands of people and has operations in different parts of the world. An efficient system of communication is required to carry out its activities across successfully.

(ii)   Growing Specialization : Narrow division of work results in different activities being handled by different departments. Sound communication is essential for ensuring mutual cooperation and understanding among different departments without which no organization can function smoothly. If, for example, there is no communication between production and sales departments, the sales department might book such orders that the production department fails to supply.

(iii)   Cut-throat Competition : Liberalization and globalization have resulted in severe competition among public sector, private sector and foreign banks. Persuasive communication in the form of advertisements, personal contacts and publicity becomes essential to survive in the race of competition.

(iv)  Trade Union Movement : In organisations, employee’s unions are very strong and powerful.

Management must consult union leaders on several matters. Regular exchange of information and ideas between managers and union officials helps them to maintain healthy relations with one another.

(v)   Human Relations : Effective communication between management and employees is necessary to develop mutual trust and confidence. Participation of employees in the decision-making process and other activities helps to develop among them a sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization.

(vi)  Public Relations : Society expects a sense of responsibility from managers. Business has to keep the Government, distributors, suppliers, investors and other sections of society well-informed about its contribution to society. Public relations help business to improve its image in society, and big enterprises employee professional experts for this purpose.

(vii) Personal Asset : Communication skill is essential for success in every job. Managers are required to deliver speeches, write documents and conduct interviews. Teachers, advocates, journalists, receptionists need high degree of communication skill. The ability to communicate effectively is equally essential for promotion in career.

Communication Process

The communication process consists of a series of steps by which a sender reaches a receiver with a message. It involves six steps:

(1)   Develop an Idea : It is an idea or thought which the sender wishes to transmit. This is the key step. Unless there is a worthwhile message to communicate all further steps are rendered useless.

(2)   Encode : In this, the idea is encoded with suitable words, charts, or symbols for transmission. At this point, the sender determines the method of transmission.

(3)   Transmit : The finally developed message is transmitted by the method chosen. Senders also choose certain channels and communicate with careful timing, but they try to keep their communication channels free of barriers.

(4)   Receive : Clear reception of message is a condition precedent to its effective interpretation, storage and use. In an interpersonal mode, it would involve attentive listening too.

(5)   Decode : Step five is to decode the message so that it can be understood. The sender wants the receiver to understand the message exactly as intended. But, due to different perceptions of two different people, the receiver sometimes does not understand exactly what the sender intends. Hence, the sender must before land assess the abilities of the receiver to make the communication happen.

(6)   Feedback : Feedback is the receiver’s response to the sender’s message. Feedback enables the sender to know whether or not his massage has been received and interpreted correctly. The exchange of information through feedback can be very helpful in improving the communication process.

(7)   Noise : Most of the time communication failure is caused by noise. Noise is distracting and interferes with the communication process. If the channel medium we are relying upon is faulty the message may be at times encoded wrongly. Sometimes distortion in sound or a speech defect also hampers the process of effective communication. Besides noise, sometimes sender’s attitudes, personal prejudices, certain assumptions, frame of mind or use of wrong tone interfere with the communication process. Similarly, on the other end the receiver’s background, prejudices, his ability to understand the message as intended, influence the effective communication. Apart from these factors speech defects, distracting body language, illegible hardwiring, etc. bring about the failure of communication.


Principles for Effective Communication

As the key to efficient business lies partly in communicating effectively, we must therefore make a conscious effort to master it. Effective communication depends mainly on three things: “understandable messages, credibility of the sender, and how the message is affecting the received Effective communication can be achieved by having a thorough knowledge of the communication process in an organisation. And also being aware of the various barriers that exist and taking relevant steps to overcome the same while keeping in focus the objective of the communication, whom it is meant for and under what circumstances it is being made.

The Seven C’s of Effective Communication

  • Clarity of expression,
  • Completeness of information,
  • Conciseness of message,
  • Concreteness in presentation,
  • Courtesy towards recipient,
  • Correctness of facts, and
  • Consideration for receiver.
  1. Principle of Clarity

A communication should be clear so the recipient can understand what the sender really wants to communicate. The sender always desires how the recipient interprets the particular meaning while using the exact same meaning. For this, the sender ought to help to make the particular meaning free of ambiguity and also vagueness. The following tips are offered for making meaning clear:

  • Picking out the brief, acquainted and also effortless words and phrases.
  • Picking out conversational words and phrases rather than poetic types.
  • Constructing successful paragraphs and also grammatical construction.
  • Supplying illustrations, cases along with visual supports while appealing.
  • Staying away from techie words and phrases and also jargon’s.
  1. Principle of Completeness

The communication must be complete. It should convey all facts required by the audience.

The sender of the message must take into consideration the receiver’s mind set and convey the message accordingly. A complete communication has following features:

  • Complete communication develops and enhances reputation of an organization.
  • Moreover, they are cost saving as no crucial information is missing and no additional cost is incurred in conveying extra message if the communication is complete.
  • A complete communication always gives additional information wherever required. It leaves no questions in the mind of receiver.
  • Complete communication helps in better decision-making by the audience/readers/ receivers of message as they get all desired and crucial information.
  • It persuades the audience.
  1. Principle of Conciseness

Conciseness means wordiness, i.e, communicating what you want to convey in least possible words without forgoing the other C’s of communication. Conciseness is a necessity for effective communication. Concise communication has following features:

  • It is both time-saving as well as cost-saving.
  • It underlines and highlights the main message as it avoids using excessive and needless words.
  • Concise communication provides short and essential message in limited words to the audience.
  • Concise message is more appealing and comprehensible to the audience.
  • Concise message is non-repetitive in nature.
  1. Principle of Concreteness

Concrete communication implies being particular and clear rather than fuzzy and general. Concreteness strengthens the confidence. Concrete message has following features:

  • It is supported with specific facts and figures.
  • It makes use of words that are clear and that build the reputation.
  • Concrete messages are not misinterpreted.
  1. Principle of Courtesy

Courtesy in message implies the message should show the sender’s expression as well as should respect the receiver. The sender of the message should be sincerely polite, judicious, reflective and enthusiastic. Courteous message has following features:

  • Courtesy implies taking into consideration both viewpoints as well as feelings of the receiver of the message.
  • Courteous message is positive and focused at the audience.
  • It makes use of terms showing respect for the receiver of message.
  • It is not at all biased.
  1. Principle of Correctness

Correctness in communication implies that there are no grammatical errors in communication. Correct communication has following features:

  • The message is exact, correct and well-timed.
  • If the communication is correct, it boosts up the confidence level.
  • Correct message has greater impact on the audience/readers.
  • It checks for the precision and accurateness of facts and figures used in the message.
  • It makes use of appropriate and correct language in the message.
  1. Consideration for Receiver

Consideration implies “stepping into the shoes of others”. Effective communication must take the audience into consideration, i.e, the audience’s view points, background, mind-set, education level, etc. Make an attempt to envisage your audience, their requirements, emotions as well as problems. Ensure that the self-respect of the audience is maintained and their emotions are not at harm. Modify your words in message to suit the audience’s needs while making your message complete. Features of considerate communication are as follows:

  • Emphasize on “you” approach.
  • Empathize with the audience and exhibit interest in the audience. This will stimulate a positive reaction from the audience.
  • Show optimism towards your audience. Emphasize on “what is possible” rather than “what is impossible”. Lay stress on positive words such as jovial, committed, thanks, warm, healthy, help, etc.

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