Communication Skills

‘Communication is imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium’.

‘Communication is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of ideas, feelings, intentions, attitudes, expectations, perceptions or commands, as by speech, gestures, writings and behavior’. When we talk about the communication, we have to know the origin of the word ‘Communication’. It has been derived from Latin word ‘Communis’, which means to make ‘common’.

Many scholars have described Communication in their own words.
“Communication is an exchange of ideas, facts or emotions by two or more people”.
– Newman and Summer

Communication is exchange and sharing of thoughts, ideas, and views with other person in an understandable manner. When we talk about Human Beings, we consider them superior than any other living creature, which is because of the ability to communicate verbally in an understandable manner. Objective of communication is to have people understand what we are trying to convey.

Communication and Globalization:
In the Global World, communication in an understandable manner is the most important. But sometimes, even though two people have the same language, communication problem arises because of the cultural, traditional or ethical differences. Poor communication leads to poor relationship in personal and poor performance in professional. With globalization, society has become more connected across the boundaries and communicating across the cultural boundaries has gained increasing prominence.

When we talk about business which is complex in nature, without communication is not possible. Globalization, which means the interconnections of the people globally, was not possible if there would have been no communication.After due research it has been found that most of the managerial time, say 75% is spent on the communication.

Have we ever thought of business without communication? Impossible it seems! Functioning of any organization, be it the planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, marketing and overall success is dependent on the communication. Managing the business without the communication is not possible. Therefore, it has been seen that image of any organization in this Global World is totally dependent upon the quality of communication. In the country like India, which is so vast, out of total time spent on communication, 64% is on communicating in English against 27% spent on speaking Hindi and 9% is spent on other regional languages.

Types of Communication:
People communicate with each other on the basis of the message and the content to be sent and on the basis of the person, whom we send the message. So communication channel and the style of communicating affect the communication. There are several communication channels available. Communication channels are also termed as ‘Communication media’ and ‘Transmission Media’.

Based on the communication channel, Communication has been divided into following parts:
1. Verbal Communication
2. Non-Verbal Communication

  1. Verbal Communication:
    Words carry our ideas and thoughts to others. It refers to that form of communication in which message is transferred verbally. Here, communication is done by word of mouth or by writing.

Verbal Communication is further divided into following:
• Oral Communication
• Written communication

In oral communication, spoken words are used. It may include face-to- face, lectures, radio, voice over internet and television. Oral communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking.

In written communication, signs and symbols are used in the form of printed or hand written. Policies, letters, memos, manuals, notices and announcements are all messages that work well for this channel. Written communication is permanent, which is quite unlike the oral communication. Written communication can be kept for the future references. Written communication can be prepared in advance to the delivery of the speech. We see, oral messages can’t be erased, once said. But written messages can be erased.

  1. Non-Verbal Communication:
    Non-verbal communication is ‘Communication without the words’. It refers to all external stimuli other than the spoken and written words. Study of this particular branch has been named as ‘Kinesics’.

Non-verbal communication consists of many aspects like use of voice, touch, distance, posture, gesture, facial expression, physical environments/appearance and even the eye contact.

Even speech contains nonverbal elements known as para language, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, and other features such as rhythm, intonation, and stress. Written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the physical layout of a page. However, much of the study of nonverbal communication has focused on interaction between individuals, where it can be classified into three principal areas: environmental conditions where communication takes place, physical characteristics of the communicators, and behaviors of communicators during interaction.

Nonverbal communication involves the processes of encoding and decoding. Encoding is the act of generating the information such as facial expressions, gestures, and postures. Decoding is the interpretation of information from received sensations from previous experiences.

Learning is not dependent on verbal communication; rather, it is nonverbal communication which serves as a primary means of not only organizing interpersonal interactions, but conveying cultural values, and children learn how to participate in this system from a young age.

Barriers to Communication
‘Any hurdles or difficulties that get in the way of clear communication!’
When we use the word ‘Communication’, it is the two way business. When we say the communication is successful, that means, there has to be the proper feedback of whatever has been conveyed.

Barriers prevent the achievement of the desired result. If the person is quite skilled in respect of writing, listening, even then he needs to be aware of the barriers to effective communication. He should know how to avoid them and also overcome them, otherwise that can lead to the failure of interpersonal communication. It can cause confusion and misunderstanding and can lead the message to confusion, misunderstanding and distortion. To have the successful communication, it should be free from all the barriers. Barriers can be physical, linguistic, cultural, psychological, and mechanical in nature. And these barriers are seen in every aspect of the life.

Few Common Barriers to Effective Communication are:

  • Physical Barrier: Physical barrier can appear because of competing stimulus, Environment stress, subjective stress and ignorance. Loud noise, traffic noise, high or low temperature, humidity, bad ventilation, ill health, hearing problems or speech difficulties, improper gesture & posture, mental or physical stress, consumption of drugs and other strains can act as physical barrier in communication.
    • Linguistic Barrier: It is the difficulty in understanding unfamiliar accents. Difference in culture, more than one meaning of a particular symbols which are understood differently by the communicator and communicate, leads to misinterpretation.
    • Cultural Barrier: The norms of social interaction vary greatly in different cultures, as do the way in which emotions are expressed. For example, the concept of personal space varies between cultures and between different social settings.
    • Psychological Barrier: People possess different frames of references; have different vision and perception to see the things at different situations. Therefore the barrier starts existing in the communication. Some psychological barriers are: misunderstanding created from unjust assumptions, emotional insecurity, remarks or criticism passed even though the communication is not completed, impatience, close-mindedness, apathetic listening, fear, defensiveness, insincerity, misinterpretation, lack of attention etc.
    • The use of Jargon: Over-complicated, unfamiliar and/or technical terms can raise to communication barrier.
    • Expectations and Prejudice: People often hear what they expect to hear rather than what is actually said and jump to incorrect conclusions, which may lead to false assumptions or stereotyping.
    • Mechanical Barrier: Disturbance due to the physical transmission of the message. Mechanical barriers may be due to the poor working condition of telephone, improper printed matter, too small and improper font on any reading material, improper handwriting, disturbance in the television telecast, unwanted noise from the electronic or mechanical products or appliances.

Effective Communication

Communication is a two process of transmitting the ideas. Message should be clearly conveyed by the sender and easily understood by the receiver. While communicating, knowledge level communicatee has to be kept into the consideration. To make the communication more effective, following points are kept in mind:

Principle of Clarity: The communicator should be clear what message he wants to send the communicatee.
2. Principle of Objective: The communicator should be clear about the objective behind sending the particular message.
3. Principle of Understanding The Communicatee: Communicator should know the knowledge level of the communicatee about the certain topic/ message. Communicatee should be competent enough to understand the message and send the due feedback.
4. Clear Message: The message should be constructed in a clear, logical and understandable manner with proper care and thought that it should be understood by the receiver.
5. Principle of Completeness: The Message should be detailed properly and should not be left incomplete. That may lead to the incomplete communication and may not be understood by the receiver.
6. Selection of Media: Depending upon the importance and urgency of the message, the source of sending the message can be selected. It should safe, cost effective and not much delaying.
7. Principle of Feedback: Feedback or response is the most important to get the communication completed successfully. The communicatee should be capable enough to respond the sender with due reaction/ solution or feedback. Therefore feedback completes the communication.

Mangesh Wankhade



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