Hello Friends !!! I am Lokesh Dhakar from quickstudyhelper.com. In today’s post, we are going to read depth details about ‘Communication Skills, Method, Elements, and Factor Affecting Perspectives of Communication’. If you want to know about communication skills then read this article.
Communication means the exchange of ideas and information through speech, writing, gestures, or some other means. Communication is an essential human activity. In our daily lives, we need to communicate with others for one purpose or the other. A teacher communicates with students to share knowledge and information. An author communicates his ideas, wisdom, views, and experiences by writing a book for readers. A manager of a company or business communicates policies or instructions with employees through a notice or circular. Communication plays a vital role in every sphere of human activity.
Various Methods of Communication
Having good communication skills means being able to put our point of view in a clear, effective, and unambiguous manner. It helps us not only within our organization but also helps us build new and profitable relationships with people around us.
Let us learn about the three basic methods of communication that we use to express ourselves—Verbal, Non-Verbal, and Visual.
Verbal communication is a type of communication in which we pass on knowledge and information through speaking or writing. As such there are two means of verbal communication—Oral and Written.
Let us learn about them in this section.
When a message or information is communicated to others by speaking or through word of mouth it is called Oral communication. When we use oral communication we get immediate feedback or response to our message from the listener/s.
In an organization, managers mostly rely on oral communication to interact with the employees and pass on individual messages. Oral communication is convenient, quick, and direct. It allows for the immediate clearing of doubts between the speaker and listener/s.
A major disadvantage, however, of oral Oral Communication communication is that it cannot be preserved for future reference as no records are maintained for such a communication.
Tips for effective oral communication:
- Think of what you are saying as your words will have an impact on the listener/s.
- Be calm and composed. Be mindful of your tone and mood while communicating.
- Do not show negative body language while speaking as this also gets conveyed.
- Repeat what you are communicating if you feel there is a scope for doubt.
- Be a good listener. Listen intently with undivided attention when others speak.
- Seek clarification if you have any doubts and repeat the clarification.
- Do not interrupt the other person as this will disrupt his/her train of thought.
- Be open to constructive criticism and suggestions.
Interpersonal skills are the skills we use when engaged in face-to-face communication with one or more people.
When the message or information is passed to others in the written form then communication is said to be written communication. Written communication is very effective when we want to convey the same message to a large group of people. Examples of written communication are emails, letters, memos, circulars, newspapers, etc. One major advantage of the written communication is that it can be preserved for future reference.
A good communicator must have good writing skills. Some things to keep in mind to do this are:
- Keep your reader or the receiver of your communication in mind while drafting the message.
- Use simple and precise words.
- Avoid using difficult and flowery language.
- Keep the message brief. Use short precise paragraphs.
- Give facts to support your viewpoint in the message.
- Add a summary of your message at the end.
- Give appropriate captions for graphical elements wherever required.
- Before sending a written message, check your grammar and spellings.
- Re-read and check if the communication aptly expresses the information you wish to convey.
Non Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication takes place without speaking or writing any word, simply through facial expressions, touch, one’s posture, eye contact, body language, and hand gestures.
Non-verbal communication is used in situations where verbal communication is not possible or not required. Examples of such communication are a thumbs up, a thumbs down, winking, shrugging shoulders, and other gestures that we use in our daily life as a part of non-verbal communication.
Do’s and Don’ts in Non-Verbal Communication:
It is said, “Actions speak louder than words.” Therefore, between verbal and non-verbal communication, the latter speaks louder. For example, if during an interview with a prospective employee you are speaking words that depict your confidence, however, your body language portrays a lack of confidence, the interviewer will pick up on the latter. He/she will think that you are being hypocritical in your communication. For effective communication, your verbal and body language should both convey the same thing.
A few common body language mistakes that you must avoid are being outlined here:
- Do not rub your hands, clasp them or fidget with them while communicating. This indicates that you are nervous.
- Do not keep your arms crossed. Instead, keep your arms open and away from your body throughout. This communicates a sense of warmth and trust.
- Do not keep looking here and there while communicating. Make brief eye contact with the person/s you are communicating with. This shows that you are confident.
- Keep a good posture. This portrays a confident attitude. A bad body posture conveys a careless attitude that may render your communication ineffective.
- Do not make annoying body movements like moving your arms and legs quickly, pacing, etc. Such actions have a negative effect on people.
- Do not fidget with your hands and feet or change your position while sitting or standing. Instead, stand or sit firmly, be aware of yourself and make calculated moves. This conveys confidence.
Visual communication refers to communication through pictorial or visual representation of information. In visual communication, information is in the form of visual elements that can be seen and read by the receiver. The proverb “A picture is worth a thousand words” underlines the power of visual communication. Often visual communication is more powerful than verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. Signboards, maps, pictures, displays, charts, graphs, television programs, hoardings, banners, etc. are a few examples of visual communication.
Elements of the Communication Cycle
We communicate to express our ideas, feelings, attitude, purposes, etc. Using various means of communication, we describe events and objects in the world and beyond it. Communication is used to express our feelings, emotions, ideas, and thoughts with others. Human civilization has advanced greatly throughout history due to the various means of communication. In the 21st century, it is advancing at a tremendous rate due to the modern means of communication. Communication is the means using which human communities have developed throughout history.
- What exactly is communication?
- What is being communicated?
- Who is the target of the communication?
Let us learn.
Meaning of Communication
Communication is a complex process. Different scholars have defined communication differently, depending on their context. Simply put communication can be defined “as the process by which a message is transmitted from a source to a receiver.” Here, the message can be anything from a thought, a feeling, an experience, an opinion, a suggestion, a piece of information, etc. Communication can also be defined, “as a process of exchanging or sharing ideas, thoughts, feelings, experiences, information, etc. among people.”
Examples of Communication are of a teacher teaching students in a class, a father talking to his son, a secretary writing an email to the director of another company, etc
Remember: Communication is a two-way process between the sender/s of a communique’ and its receiver/s. Taking notice of the verbal and non-verbal signals of yourself and of others is, therefore, essential for effective communication.
Purpose and Functions of Communication
Human beings live in society. They have to, therefore, communicate with each other. The primary purpose of such communication is to effect a change in someone’s action in the overall interest of a community, society at large, or an enterprise.
Communication enables us to understand others and to make ourselves understood by them. Without communication, we cannot live or work together in an organized manner. Communication is the glue that binds people together in a community, society, or organization.
Some essential functions performed by communication are given here:
- Communication makes social interactions possible by strengthening old relationships and building new ones.
- Communication makes it possible for us to engage in business and trade. In this context, it allows us to convey to others things like what we want to buy, sell, etc.
- Communication allows us to express and share ideas, experiences, opinions, feelings, and knowledge, etc. with others.
- Communication helps to mobilize people to work together for social and political development. Communication enables the exchange of values and cultures to enable people from diverse backgrounds to live in peace and harmony.
Benefits of Effective Communication Skills
We know that communication plays an extremely vital role in human life, be it at home, at school, at the workplace, or in society at large. Effective communication skills are essential to make a lasting impression.
By developing effective communication skills, we can ensure that we interact with others in a more constructive and productive manner. In this way, the place of communication can become a positive and thriving environment.
Then, we can receive many benefits, some of which are being outlined here.
- Enhances your ability to learn: Good communication skills help you absorb information.
- Helps you express yourself better: Effective communication helps you to express your • thoughts and ideas in a clear, concise and meaningful manner to be better understand.
- Helps develop trust and build your confidence: They minimize distrust between people and promote mutual understanding. This builds trust and confidence.
- Helps to build relationships: Good communication skills helps build good relationships be they through face-to-face or over technology conversations.
- Helps in better decision making: If information is communicated effectively, it enables people to make well-considered decisions, thus improving the decision-making process.
- Enhances Managerial skills: Effective communication is the backbone of effective management. When clear, correct and timely information is communicated, it helps in the management of situations more efficiently.
- Helps to boost Morale: Effective internal communication between people boosts the morale of the people and helps them to work efficiently.
- Increases one’s Value: Communication skills give a person the ability to listen carefully, speak clearly and put others at ease. This increases one’s value.
- Other Benefits: The timely delivery of correct information ensures better planning, staffing, placement, etc. in an organization and in society at large.
Characteristics of Communication
Communication has certain characteristic features. Here we will understand the characteristics in more detail.
- Communication process involves at least two people: Communication involves at least two people, a sender and a receiver. Sender is the person who sends the communication and issues the message and the person who -eceives the message is the receiver.
- Communication must have a Message: Every communication has a message for example, content of a letter, speech, order, instructions, suggestion, etc. If there is no message there is no communication.
- Communication may be Written, Oral or Gestural: Communication includes everything that may be used to convey a message from one person to another. Sometimes non-verbal means of communication such as the movement of lips, the waving of hands, etc. are used to convey more meaning than spoken or written words.
- Communication is a two-way Process: Communication involves both the information communicated as well as its understanding. Communication is not complete unless the receiver has understood the message properly and his response is known to the sender.
- Primary Purpose of Communication—To Generate a Response: A good communicator motivates people to give a response by drafting an effective message and by communicating it at a proper time so that it is understood.
- Communication may be Formal or Informal: Formal communication follows the formal or official channel provided in the organization or social structure. Informal communication flows from informal channels in society or an organization through inter-personal contact.
- Continuity: Communication is an endlessly ongoing process of information-sharing between individuals and groups at different levels.
- It is an Integral Part of the Process of Exchange: Exchange of ideas, feelings, emotions, knowledge and inforrnation between two or more people is an integral part of communication.
The Elements of Communication Cycle
Communication is a two-way process in which information is transmitted from a sender to a receiver. In this process, both the sender and receiver can respond to each other. This leads to a cyclic process known as the communication cycle.
Communication is a well-defined and systematic process of sharing information. The communication process begins with the sender who wants to transmit an idea, opinion, or other information to the receiver and ends with the receiver’s feedback to the sender.
The various elements of the communication cycle and what role these elements play in the communication cycle are explained here:
- Communicator or Sender: The sender, also known as the communicator, is a person who wants to convey an idea or concept to others.
- Message or Idea: The message or idea is the information that the sender wants to convey to the receiver. The— sender, first formulates a clear idea that he wants to convey.
- Encoding of Message: Encoding refers to the way the sender chooses to compose the message by selecting the appropriate words, symbols or gestures which he/she thinks will be understood by the receiver. Then the sender encodes the message in the form of a letter, email, etc. This process is known as encoding of the message.
- Selection of Communication Channel: The channel or the mediurn/media through which the message will be sent is selected, be it a face-to-face conversation, a telephone call, an e-mail, a letter, a radio or television program, etc.
- Message sent to Receiver: The message is sent through the selected media to the receiver or the person/s to whom the sender intends to send the message to.
- Decoding of Message: The message is then decoded by the receiver. Decoding refers to how the receiver interprets and understands the message.
- Communication: In case the message has been understood by the receiver it is termed as a communication. If the communication is effective, it brings the desired changes in the receiver.
- Noise: If the message is not received or not understood by the receiver, it is noise. Noise is a distorted messaged due to the different perceptions, language barriers, interruptions, etc. between the sender and receiver.
- Miscommunication: In case the message is not understood by the receiver, it is termed as a miscommunication. This does not bring any change in the actions or behaviour of the receiver.
Factors Affecting Perspectives of Communication
Communication is a process that is constantly taking place everywhere around us through verbal, non-verbal and visual methods of communication. Today we have many tools and technologies that help us to communicate with people near and far with a simple a click of a button. In this session we will learn about the modern means of communication that are available for the dissemination of information and the factors that affect our perspectives of communication.
Means of Oral Communication
We have learnt that when communication takes place through word of mouth, it is known as oral or voice-based communication.
The following are some important devices for this:
Telephone: The telephone is the most popular means of voice-based communication between individuals. It is extensively used by individuals, businesses, governments, etc. Mobile phones are a modern wireless variant of the traditional wire based phones. They give unhindered connectivity to the people while on the move.
Symbolic communication uses certain signs and symbols to communicate a message. For example, traffic lights convey a definite meaning to people travelling on the road, which help to control the movement of traffic. Deaf and blind people use special types of signs and gesture-based languages for the purpose of communication. Such communication is called symbolic communication.
Means of Written Communication
We have learnt earlier that when communication takes place through written words it is known as the written communication.
The following are some important ways to effect such communication:
Postal services: This is the oldest means of communicating written messages. Through this, written messages and documents are physically transferred from one place to another.
Letters: Letters are the conventional means of formal communication between people in society, govemments, organizations. etc. Throughout history and even today people use letters to share information, issue orders, give instructions and guidelines within an institution or organization or between two or more institutions and organizations. Letters are also used for informal communication.
Telex: Telex is an international system of communicating through a telephone line to communicate written messages, news or display train and flight schedules .
Fax (Facsimile): Fax machines provide a way to communicate lengthy messages over long distances in the same format as the original message. It works through telephone line.
E-mail: E-mail is an internet-based service that allows people to communicate a written message electronically anywhere across the word in a few seconds. Most people, institutions and organizations use emails to communicate with each other.
Websites: Websites are internet-pages that communicate information in the written form through the World Wide Web (www). The www is the largest global library of information.
Printed Pages: Written pages can he communicated in print form through newspapers, magazines, leaflets, brochures, hooks, etc.
Perspective in Communication
Our perspective refers to our approach or point of view about something. Different social scientists have studied human communication from different perspectives or approaches. Understanding some perspectives of communication will help us understand communication better.
Technical perspective: The technical perspective sees communication as a linear process communicated through channels. Here the emphasis is on the transmission of the intended message with less attention given to the outcome or effect of the message on the receiver. The communication is said to be effective or successful if its outcome is received from the receiver; otherwise it is not successful. This is termed as breakdown in communication.
Psychological perspective: Theories of communication developed from psychological perspective state that messages are filtered primarily through individuals, not through channels as stated in the technical approach. This perspective assumes that one person’s outward behavior affects the cognition or behavior of another. Such influences contribute to the messages sent and the feedback received. The target is to arrive at a consistent communication between the sender and the receiver, thereby reducing uncertainties in the messages’ meaning.
Pragmatic perspective: According to the pragmatic perspective, communication consists of a system of interlocking, independent, behaviors that become a pattern over time. It argues that the act of communication is much like playing a game: with the sender-receiver becoming partners when they decide to communicate; talking is like a move or a turn, where the speaker and listener alternate their roles.
Social constructionist perspective: The social constructions perspective states that we never experience the world directly. We take significant parts of it, process them and connect them to other things we know, then respond to them in ways our society or culture sees significant. Most of what we know and believe about the world comes through communication. Culture itself is a web of interconnected acts of communication.
Factors that Affect our Perspective of Communication
There are certain factors that affect and shape our perceptive about the messages communicated to us. Let us learn about these.
Visual Perception: Visual perception is the ability to see, organize and interpret our environment. Every individual is a unique being. They differ in the way they view the world and perceive different events around them. Different images transmit varying messages that individuals receive and evaluate according to their mental makeup, cultural upbringing and sense of propriety.
Language: Language is one of the fundamental tools of human communication. Through language the sender aims to communicate information about the environment and what they perceive of it. However, different human languages have different ways to package and process the same information. People speaking different languages may perceive the same information differently.
Prejudice: Prejudice refers to the attitudes and feelings—whether positive or negative and whether conscious or non-conscious—that people have about members of other groups. Our prejudices have a profound effect on the way we communicate with others and interpret the messages we receive from them. If we have a prejudice that people belonging to a particular group are generally dishonest, we will view every communication from them with suspicion. The success of communication between us and these people will be slim.
Feelings: Our feelings or emotions can be put in four main categories—joyful, affectionate, hostile and sad. Showing inappropriate emotions during a communication can have a bad impression on other people. It may even permanently damage our relationship with them. If we display positive emotions, it will generally have a positive effect in the communication process.
Past Experiences: Our past experiences and the events that have occurred in the past have a profound influence on our senses and thought process. This affects our responses to various communication stimuli. Our past experiences and responses are instrumental in shaping our future course of action.
Environment: Environmental contexts refer to the physical location where the communication is taking place and when that communication takes place. Environmental contexts can have negative or positive effects on interpersonal communication. For example, a conversation outside on a park bench during a windy day will face challenges, while a conversation in a quiet room on a sofa will be more effective. Therefore, the environment like the location, temperature, weather or time of day may affect a communication and present different challenges to or support effective communication.
I hope you have liked this article and you have learned a lot about Communication Skills, Method, Elements, and Factor Affecting Perspectives of Communication. If you have any questions you can comment.
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