Let's throw some light upon what Communication is all about: According to Allen, - "Communication is the sum of all the things, one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of others. It is the bridge of meaning. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding."
IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:
Effective communication is important because one needs to express his ideas clearly and needs to be understood very clearly while communicating. The receiver should understand the message in the same perception as intended by the sender of the message. This is what we call an effective communication. Interestingly though, there are other facets to effective communication when it comes to written communication, popularly known as 'Seven C's of Effective Communication'.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION IN AN ORGANISATION:
Communication is the key to motivation, it helps in informing and illuminating the employees about the task to be carried out, the manner they should be performing their task, and how to improve their performance if it is not up to the mark.
An Effective Communication is the best source of information to the members of organization for decision-making process as it helps identifying and evaluate alternative course of actions.
Communication also plays a fundamental role in altering an individual's attitude, i.e., a well informed individual will have better attitude than a less-informed individual. Organizational magazines, journals, meetings and various other forms of oral and written communication help in moulding employee's attitudes.
Communication also helps in socializing. In today's life the only presence of another individual fosters communication. Human is a social animal and survival without communication is neither possible nor fruitful.
Communication also assists in controlling process in a big way. It helps controlling organizational member's behavior in various ways. It is the art of getting work done. There are various levels of hierarchy, certain principles and guidelines that employees must follow in an organization. They must comply with organizational policies, perform their roles efficiently and communicate any work problem and grievance to their superiors. Thus, communication helps in controlling function of management.
TYPES OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION:
In Order to perfect the art of written communication, we have a helping hand known as the 'Seven C's Of Communication' - The principles advocated by Francis J. Bergin. These principles provide guidelines for choice of content, style of presentation, how much is too much etc. Let's take tour of the same.
'THE SEVEN C's OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATON'
For transmitting effective communication written or oral messages, certain principles must be followed. These principles advocated by Francis J. Bergin. Bergin provides guidelines for choice of content and style of presentation adapted to the purpose the receiver of the message. They are also called as "Seven Cs" of communication. They are:
Every communication must be complete and adequate. Incomplete messages keep the receiver guessing, creates misunderstanding and delay actions. Every person should, therefore, be provided with all the required facts and figures. For example, when the factory supervisor instructs workers to produce, he must specify the exact size, shape, quality and cost of the product. Any assumptions behind the message should also be clarified. While answering a letter, all the questions raised in the letter must be replied.
A complete message offers the following benefits:
Complete messages are more likely to bring the desired results without the expense of additional messages.
They can do a better job of building goodwill. Messages that contain information the receiver needs show concern for others.
Complete messages can help advert costly lawsuit that may result if information is missing.
Communication that seems inconsequential can be surprisingly important if the information they contain is complete and effective.
It is advised that while answering a letter one should make sure that all the questions are answered.
The message is not complete, if it fails to answer questions like :
What is the meeting about?
When is it? and Where?
In business communication, you should be brief and able to say whatever you have to say in fewest possible words without sacrificing the other C qualities. A concise message is complete without being wordy. Conciseness is desired because of the following benefits:
A concise message saves time and expense for both sender and receiver.
Conciseness contributes to emphasis; by eliminating unnecessary words, you let important ideas stand out.
When combined with a "YOU-VIEW", concise message are inherently more interesting to recipients as they avoid unnecessary information.
There is no hard and fast rule for the length of a letter. A two page letter seems short, while a ten line letter may seem all too long depending upon the event and situation.
The message should be put in simple terms to ensure clarity. Words must mean the same thing to receiver as they do the sender. Complex issues must be compressed in to themes, slogans or stereotypes that have simplicity and clarity. In order to ensure clarity in oral communications, you should use accurate and familiar words with proper intonation, stresses and pauses. Thoughts should be clear and well organized.
The important considerations in attaining clarity are as follows:
Choose precise, concrete and familiar simple words.
Construct effective sentences and paragraphs.
In short, simple and short words are more effective than pompous and heady words.
Using the 'K-I-S-S' Method - Keep It Short and Simple!
If the message does not help recognizes who actually the person is?
It may be possible to have many people with same name in an organisation.
What great work he/she has done? When?
And what he/she is expected to do now?
It is not a clear message.
The term correctness, as applied to business messages means right level of language and accuracy of facts, figures and words. If the information is not correctly conveyed, the sender will lose credibility. Transmission of incorrect information to superior will vitiate decision making process. Transmission of incorrect messages, grammatical errors should also be avoided. All the messages must be transmitted and responded to at the most appropriate time. Outdated information is useless. Since communication is an expensive process, transmitting outdated information involves wastage of time, money and human resources. The principle of correct timing also stipulates that you communicate your message at a time when it is likely to prove most effective.
Concreteness of messages is an essential requirement of effective communication. It means being specific, definite, and vivid rather than vague and general. In oral communication, we can't draw tables, diagrams, or graphs to make our statement vivid, but we can precise words to convey the correct messages and support it by relevant facts and figures. If the message is specific, there would be increased likelihood that the
message is interpreted by the receiver as intended by sender. For sending concrete messages, the following guidelines should be followed:
Use concrete expressions.
Use specific facts and figures.
Put action in your verbs.
Choose vivid, image-building words.
Facts lend credibility to our communication since it is not possible to refute them. Concrete expressions create visual images that are easy to register. So instead of vague, generalized statements, definite facts should be given.
The statements with no passion, no vivid detail, having nothing that creates emotion and nothing that tells people in the audience why they should care does not work well.
Consideration means preparing the message with the receiver in mind. In order to communicate effectively, the sender should think and look from the receiver's angle. He should adopt a humane approach and understand the emotions and sentiments of the receiver. The socio-psychological background of the receiver must be understood. The golden rule "First understand than be understood" should be followed. It should be noted that consideration underlies the other 6 Cs of the communication. Four special ways to indicate considerations are as follows:
Focus on "You" instead of "I" and "We".
Show audience benefit or interest in the receiver.
Emphasis positive, pleasant facts.
Show empathy. Ask how you would feel if you were to receive this message.
Consideration also requires emphasizing positive and pleasant facts. To say "no", "sorry","regret","disagree" should not be used in direct and straight forward manner.
Courtesy stems from a sincere you-attitude. It is not merely politeness with mechanical insertions of "please" and "thank you", although applying socially accepted manners is a form of courtesy. Rather it is politeness that grows out of respect and concern for others.
In business discussions, you should say things with force and assertiveness without being rude. The following guidelines should be observed to ensure courtesy:
Thank generously for a favour. When someone does a favour to us, acknowledge it promptly and thank the person.
Apologize for an omission. If you had committed a mistake, express regret promptly and sincerely.
Avoid irritating expressions. Words and expressions having negative connotation should not be used in the message.
Use of non-discriminatory expressions that reflect equal treatment of people regardless of gender, race, ethics, origin and physical features.
Below mentioned are some useful guidelines to advice staff members in the organization on how to best communicate effectively:
Take sufficient time to effectively communicate.
Care. Learn to be empathic.
Be honest and sincere.
One of the cruelest things one can do to another person is to not acknowledge that person.
Develop a sense of belonging when interacting with others. Be welcoming and inclusive.
Regularly, in your daily life, interact with persons whose culture, race, ethnicity and other identifiers and important characteristics are different than your own.
Welcome persons with disabilities. Person with a disability is the preferred manner of speech, versus disabled person. Place the person before the disability.
Spend quality time with persons whose backgrounds are different than yours.
Set an example by being welcoming and inclusive to everyone.
Learn to pronounce names correctly. Make a concerted effort to do so and to remember names.