Unit 1 – Introduction to Communication Skills Class Notes

Definition

Communication is the process of exchanging information, usually through a common system of symbols.

It takes a wide variety of forms

  • from two people having a face to face conversation to hand signals to messages sent over the global telecommunication networks.
  • Common forms of communication include speaking, writing, gesturing and broadcasting.
  • Therefore, communication means to inform, tell, show, or spread information.
  • When a person communicates, he/ She establishes a common ground of understanding.
  • In the organisational context, it brings about a unity of purpose, interest and effort

Communication can also be defined in the following ways:

  • The process by which information and feelings are shared by people through an exchange of verbal and non-verbal messages.
  • The successful transmission of information through a common system of symbols, signs, behaviour, speech, writing or signals.
  • The creation of shared understanding through interaction between two or more agents.

Nature and scope of communication

Communication is essential in every part of our human life. The scope of communication is wide and pervasive. Human beings are somehow engaged in communication from cradle to grave. No one can pass even a day without communication.

The scope of communication are given as follows:

  • Communication in personal life: Communication is closely related to every part of human life. We depend on communication for doing our various activities from dawn to dusk. Nobody can pass his/her daily life without the application of communication. It is an important part and parcel of our personal life. Everybody needs to communicate with different people and organizations daily.
  • Communication in social life: Humans are social beings and everybody in the society are related to each other. Business communication has played the vital role in this social freedom of human beings. The presence of communication helps the people to share their sorrows, happiness etc. We are living in an integrated society because we are on the human civilization. In social life, people need to develop social bondage. Communication helps us in creating and strengthening this social bondage.
  • Communication in the state affairs: The life of a state cannot run without the flow of communication. Business communication plays a vital role for different ministries, departments, divisions and offices of the state in performing the activities. The government maintains the functions of the state by the different modes of communication. Without communication, the state neither can administer its various wings nor can maintain relationships with the other part of the world. The whole world has turned into a global village due to revolutionary change in communication.
  • Communication in business: In this modern age, we cannot think of business without communication. Communication is the lifeblood of business. It provides necessary information in formulating business plans and policies. Communication is directly related to the production of goods and services, purchasing and selling, warehousing, distribution and other business activities.
  • Communication in management: Management is the means of achieving organizational goals. The effective communication with the various internal and external parties leads to efficiency and effectiveness of management. The level of management like planning, organizing, recruiting, leading, motivation, coordination, and control depend on sound communication method. Every function of management depends on communication.
  • Communication in industrial relations: Industrial relation refers to the management of labour relations in the industry or in an organization. The good industrial relation means the relationship of owner and employee. It is necessary to bring success in business. Employees are the mainspring of an organization and their cooperation is must to operate business activities. Free flow of information lessens doubt, confusion and controversies between workers and management. As a result, the harmonious relationship develops in the organization.
  • Communication in international affairs: The communication is not merely confined within the national boundary, in this age of globalization. All the countries are exchanging their cultural, economic, social, political, educational, technological affairs with each other. Various regional and international organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank, NAFTA, SAFTA, ASEAN, SAARC, EU etc have been formed which facilitate cooperation and communication among countries.
  • Communication in religion: Communication is also present in spreading and circulating various religious doctrines. Prophets and saints have preached the verses of almighty to their followers. Even now, many religious thinkers are performing the duty of preaching and circulating religious verses.

Miscommunication

  • Organizational structure: All organizations, irrespective of their size, have their own communication techniques and each nurtures its own communication climate
  • Difference in Status: When people belonging to different hierarchical positions communicate with each other, there is a possibility of miscommunication.
  • Lack of trust: Establishing credibility or building trust among subordinates or with colleagues is a difficult task.
  • Closed communication climate: An organization’s communication climate is based on its management style.
  • Incorrect choice of Medium: Choosing an inappropriate communication medium can distort the image and block the intended meaning.
  • Information overload: Too much information is bad because it reduces the audience’s ability to concentrate on the most important part of the message.
  • Message complexity: There are two significant reasons for any message to become complex in a business setting – one, the difficult nature of the message and the other, the difficulty in understanding it.
  • Message competition: Invariably, most of the business messages compete for the full and undivided attention of their receivers.
  • Unethical communication: Relationships within and outside the organization depend on trust and fairness. It does not mean that the organizations should not be tactful.
  • Physical Distractions: Communication barriers are often physical: bad connections, poor sound quality, illegible copy etc.

Kinds of communication

Intrapersonal communication

  • Communication within oneself
  • Can create from external stimuli or thoughts
  • We are both sender and receiver – one who gives and receives the same person
  • The traditional way of communication doesn’t take place.
  • Components of traditional way of communication: Sender -> encoding -> message (Channel) <- decoding <- receiver — feedback — noise
  • Problem-solving techniques:
  • Helps us to solve many problems
  • Examples: meditation, imagination, day-dreaming, contemplation
  • We clarify with ourselves – ideas, concepts, questions, thoughts, knowledge, understanding and relationships
  • Helps and builds in character formation
  • A person gets in touch with conscious and subconscious
  • Not a commonly used level of communication

Inter-personal communication

  • Most-used level of communication
  • Require two people
  • Formal and informal
  • Sender and receiver
  • Message of channel
  • Interview, Counseling, Face-to-face
  • Involves two persons and strictly two persons
  • Sharing of knowledge, ideas, views and opinion with another person
  • Helps in clarifying doubts and raising the opinion
  • A communication used by common people in the general platform

Group communication

  • Involves 3 or more than people
  • Small group – 3-20; medium group – 21-50; large group – 51-100
  • Even up to 300 can be treated as a group
  • Ideal for marketing or business related communication
  • Information sharing
  • Even ideas can be clarified
  • Products – income & expenditure
  • Generates various ideas
  • Various techniques of problem-solving
  • Effective in publicity
  • Helps in effective employee communication
  • Can be classroom, conference and seminars

Mass communication

Mass Communication involves communication with the mass audiences and hence the name Mass Communication. When we are thinking, it is intra-personal communication, when there is a face-to-face conversation between two people it is interpersonal communication, college lecture or speech would be an example of group communication, but there is another level of communication when we read newspapers, magazines, listen to Radio or watch TV. This would be called ‘Mass communication’ as the message is reached to the masses through different media.

Meaning Of Mass Communication

Mass Communication is defined as ‘ any mechanical device that multiples messages and takes it to a large number of people simultaneously’. Face to face conversation is called interpersonal communication, a college lecture or a public speech will be examples of group communication, when we are involved in the thinking process, it is intra-personal communication. In addition to all these types of communication, we also indulge in yet another level of communication when we read newspapers, magazines or books, listen to the radio or watch TV. As the message is communicated to a very large number of people or to a mass of people, it is called Mass communication.

Elements Of Mass Communication

We require a sender, a message, a channel and a receiver for communication to occur. Further, there is feedback, which is the response or reaction of the receiver, which comes back to the sender through the same or some other channel. Another element, which plays an important role in communication, is noise or the disturbances.

It is observed that the term mass communication must have at least five aspects:

  • Large audience
  • Fairly undifferentiated audience composition
  • Some form of message reproduction
  • Rapid distribution and delivery
  • Low cost to the consumers

Characteristics of verbal and non-verbal communication

References

  • https://www.kullabs.com/classes/subjects/units/lessons/notes/note-detail/5975
  • http://open.lib.umn.edu/principlesmanagement/chapter/12-5-different-types-of-communication/