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Communication is the act of transmit information, ideas, and opinion to one or more people. If this is right, then it is most essential to be able to communicate by listening and responding with others, communicating in personal relationships, and also to communicate in teams and groups. The communication is considered effective when it achieves the desired reaction or response from the receiver.
Communication is a part of daily life and something we do in all situations, such as school, work, or just simply talking to someone you meet in the supermarket. The way we speak is a learned style. As children we learn from watching our parents and other adults communicate. As an adult we can learn to develop the way we communicate by observing others who communicate successfully, learning new skills, and practicing those skills. Simply stated, communication is a two way process of exchanging ideas or information between human beings.
1.2 Types of Communication
1.2.1 Types of Communication Based on Communication Channels
Based on the channels used for communicating, the process of communication can be broadly classified as verbal communication and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication includes written and oral communication whereas the non-verbal communication includes body language, facial expressions and visuals diagrams or pictures used for communication.
ï¿½ Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is further divided into written and oral communication. The oral communication refers to the spoken words in the communication process. Oral communication can either be face-to-face communication or a conversation over the phone or on the voice chat over the Internet. Spoken conversations or dialogs are influenced by voice modulation, pitch, volume and even the speed and clarity of speaking. The other type of verbal communication is written communication. Written communication can be either via snail mail, or email. The effectiveness of written communication depends on the style of writing, vocabulary used, grammar, clarity and precision of language.
ï¿½ Nonverbal Communication
Non-verbal communication includes the overall body language of the person who is speaking, which will include the body posture, the hand gestures, and overall body movements. The facial expressions also play a major role while communication since the expressions on a personï¿½s face say a lot about his/her mood. On the other hand gestures like a handshake, a smile or a hug can independently convey emotions. Non verbal communication can also be in the form of pictorial representations, signboards, or even photographs, sketches and paintings.
1.2.2 Types of Communication Based on Style and Purpose
Based on the style of communication, there can be two broad categories of communication, which are formal and informal communication that have their own set of characteristic features.
ï¿½ Formal Communication
Formal communication includes all the instances where communication has to occur in a set formal format. Typically this can include all sorts of business communication or corporate communication. The style of communication in this form is very formal and official. Official conferences, meetings and written memos and corporate letters are used for communication. Formal communication can also occur between two strangers when they meet for the first time. Hence formal communication is straightforward, official and always precise and has a stringent and rigid tone to it.
ï¿½ Informal Communication
Informal communication includes instances of free uncontrolled communication between people who share a casual rapport with each other. Informal communication requires two people to have a similar wavelength and hence occurs between friends and family. Informal communication does not have any rigid regulations and guidelines.
1.3 The Communication Process
A Communication Process is a set of steps that are taken every time formal communications are undertaken in an organization. Communication is both an interaction and a transaction in which two participants of the communication process exchange ideas and information and influence each other in the process. By using the Communication Process, you can make sure that no miscommunication occurs. As part of the Communication Process, you can also receive feedback on the communications which have taken place to date and ensure that future communications are improved.
As such there are three steps involved in the communication process. It is the origin of a thought or an idea by a sender which is properly planned and then passed on to the receiver in a manner in which it can be properly understood. The source or sender initiates the process of communication. The source has to be clear about the purpose of the communication, and should also know who is the intended receiver or audience. Communication begins when the sender comes across a thought or an idea. The sender then encodes it in a way in which it can be understood by the receiving channel members.
Encoding is not simply translation or to put forward an idea, but includes additions, deletions and simplifications in the line of thought and conversion and the same in the form of a message to be transferred further down the line. It also may include technical details such as encoding the message in a programmed language as an input for computer.
There needs to be a link between the sender of the message and receiver of the message. These links or mediums may be written or oral. The messages are transmitted through a letter, a telegram, telephone, computer and many more. Sometimes, more than one link also may be used for the transmission of messages.
The message has to reach the receiver in a form in which it is clear. The message received has to be decoded. It is to be converted into the original thought or idea. Accurate communication can occur only when both, the sender and the receiver attach similar meanings to the symbols that compose the message. The crux is in the message being understood. The emphasis is not simply in the transfer of the message but such a transfer where facts remain intact and the real message does not get distorted.
It is necessary to receive a message with an open mind because if the information is contrary to the value system of the individual, a closed mind will normally not accept it. To verify the effectiveness of communication, feedback is necessary. Whether or not a message has been clearly transmitted and understood can be confirmed by feedback. Feedback helps in analyzing whether the objective has been achieved or not. There are certain essential elements in the process:
? The SENDER is the person keen of passing on the message.
? The RECEIVER to whom the message is to be accepted.
? The MEDIUM is used to convey the message.
? The message, which is sent, has to be ENCODED
? The encoded message has to be DECODED by the receiver
? The FEEDBACK is the response of the receiver.