Communication is an indispensable element in human relationships. Humans interact with one another through communication. The term ‘communication’ is derived from the Latin word ‘communis‘, which means common. Therefore, communication is defined as an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions to create mutual understanding. It is the sum of all things one person does in order to create understanding in the minds of others.
Features/Nature of Communication
The features of communication are as follows:
- Communication is a social process as two or more people are involved in it and they exchange ideas, information and knowledge.
- Communication is a pervasive function. Communication is required in all functions of management. It is required in planning for the communication of information. Organising requires communication to transfer information about tasks, authority and responsibility. Selection, training, appraisal, etc., require the interchange of facts and ideas with the employees. Thus, communication is a universal element in the management process.
- Communication is a continuous process. Organisations cannot exist without communication. It is like the circulation of blood in organisations, as they need to exchange ideas, facts, information, etc.
- The main aim of communication is to create understanding between sender and receiver.
- Communication is a two-way process as the sender sends the information and the receiver receives it. The receiver understands the information and gives feedback.
Importance of Communication
The importance of communication are as follows:
- Acts as a basis of coordination: An organisation has many departments, divisions, sub-divisions, etc., and in order to coordinate the activities of all the departments, communication is essential. Communication helps in the coordination of various activities and provides for the exchange of information, ideas, facts, etc.
- Helps in smooth working of an enterprise: Communication is the basis of the existence of an organisation from its birth. Communication is necessary for the smooth working of an organisation. Any new change in the organisation can also be introduced easily with the help of communication. All the organisational interactions are dependent on communication and if communication stops, all the organised actions will come to an end.
- Acts as a basis of decision making: Communication provides the managers with information and ideas for sound planning and decision making. It enables a manager to analyse the problems and gather information for making sound decisions. Through communication, decisions can be passed to those who are involved in executing them.
- Increases managerial efficiency: For quick and effective performance of managerial functions, communication is essential. Managers convey goals, instructions, allocate jobs and responsibilities and evaluate performances with the help of communication. Thus, because of communication entire organisation is lubricated and works with full efficiency.
- Promotes cooperation and industrial peace: Cooperation and industrial peace are promoted because of communication by developing understanding between superiors and subordinates. Any misunderstanding or misconception can be easily removed with communication. As communication is a two-way process, an atmosphere of trust and understanding is maintained in the organisation.
- Establishes effective leadership: Effective communication is needed for guiding, inspiring and motivating employees in an organisation. Leaders need to communicate their ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc., and this can be possible only when there is an effective communication system in an organisation. Communication is also needed to know the feelings, responses, problems, grievances and suggestions of the followers.
- Boosts morale and provides motivation: Motivation and morale of the employees largely depend on the effectiveness of the communication system. Communication helps in keeping the employees informed about plans, policies, procedures, etc., and with such information, employees get a sense of belongingness. Good communication develops the confidence and trust of workers and enables leaders to motivate, influence and satisfy their subordinates.
- Helps in training and development: Communication plays a vital role in the training and development of employees at every level of management. The degree of learning in a training depends not only on the contents of the training and development programme but also on how the knowledge and skills are being transmitted.
- Helps to maintain public relations: An organisation has to deal with both the internal and external world, which includes customers, investors, trade unions, government, etc. Organisations are required to maintain healthy and cordial relations with everyone. It must always strive to convince the public that its actions are in interests of society.
Aspects of Effective Communication
There are three important aspects of Effective Communication
1. Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication is exactly what it sounds like – communicating without speaking. When you make use of your gestures, facial expressions and even physical appearance while communicating your message you are making use of nonverbal communication. Would you trust a shabbily dressed surgeon if they were to operate you? You might not realize but when you are communicating you are actually doing more nonverbal communication than verbal
2. Paralingual Communication
Paralingual Communication is all about the tone and pitch of your voice when you are communicating. If you sound upset while communicating a really good news, the audience is bound to be confused. If you observe carefully you use paralingual communication all the time
Responding is basically another word for feedback. But feedback might actually go deeper than that. Asking questions to better understand what was told to you is also feedback. Feedback is actually the best way to let people know that you are listening to them. When you give a lot of feedback to someone who is speaking, you are actively listening. Active listening is basically taking into consideration everything that the speaker says and does and also asking question when you don’t understand. Active listening is thus an important part of effective communication