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Nature, Process and Types of Communication – BCR Notes CA Foundation
Meaning of Communication:
The word communication has been derived from the Latin ‘Communicare, which means “to share”. Communication may, therefore, be defined as the process of sharing (exchanging) information, ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions between two or more persons.
Process of Communication:
The communication process consists of the following elements:
→ Sender : Sender is the person who initiates the process of communication. The sender may be a speaker, a writer, an actor, a painter, etc.
→ Encoding: The process of converting the message into words, symbols, pictures, etc. is called encoding
Message: Message means whatever is to be communicated. It is the heart of communication process
→ Channel: The medium through which the message is sent is called channel. It may be a speech, a letter, an e-mail, SMS, gesture, sound, etc.
→ Receiver : The person to whom the message is sent is the receiver. The receiver may be a listener, a reader or a viewer.
→ Feed back : The reaction or response to the message is called feedback
→ Noise : Any disturbance, hurdle or barrier to communication is the notice
Types of Communication:
Communication is of several types and may be classified as follows:
1. Verbal Communication:
In verbal communication words and language are used to convey the message. Verbal communication is of two types:
(a) Oral communication:
It means communication through spoken words. It may be face- to-face (lecture, seminar, conference, meeting, informal conversation, chit-chat, gossip, or telephone). Clear voice and tone are necessary for effective oral communication. Speaking at too fast/slow speed or two high/low volume impairs oral communication:
(b) Written communication:
Communication via SMS, e-mail, letter, brochure, hand book, report is written communication. Such communication is essential in case of formal business interactions (memo, proposal, press release, contract, etc.) and legal documentation. Grammar, vocabulary, writing style, etc. determine the effectiveness of written communication.
Verbal communication is the easiest and fastest form of communication. Even then it constitutes a very small part (about 7 per cent) of all human interactions.
2. Non-Verbal Communication: Communication without using words is called non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication may take the following forms:
(a) Body Language:
Communication through facial expressions, gestures, stance, touch . and other physical signs is called body language. For example, leaning forward may indicate interest and acceptance whereas leaning backward may mean rejection and lack of interest. Body language (Example – smile, frown, clenching of hands etc. can transmit emotions which cannot be expressed through words. Body language constitutes a major part (about 55 per cent) of all communication.
Pitch, tone, quality, etc. of voice is known as paralanguage. The way one speaks, rather than words, reveal the intent of the speaker. Paralanguage constitutes about 38 per cent of all communications.
Music, dancing, painting sculpture and other forms of art serve as means of communication. These convey the feelings and thoughts of artists.
Dress and grooming create the first impression. In offices, there is a dress code. Formal dress for men may consist of shirt, trouser, coat and leather shoes. For women, it may consist of saree, suit, shirt, trouser or skirt.
Symbols may relate to religion, status, ego, etc. These convey the special meaning. For example, the number of stars on the shirt of a police officer reveal his/ her status.
3. Visual Communication: In visual communication, signs, drawing, graphic design, colour, illustration and other visual aids are used to convey the message. For example, colours are used to control traffic. Visuals such as graphs, pie chart, flow chart, etc. convey considerable information in a clear and concise manner. These are a powerful medium and are an essential part of official presentations.
4. Audio-Visual Communication: Use of voice and visuals together is called audio-visual communication. Radio is an audio medium while television and films are audio-visual media of communication. Combination of spoken words and pictures is a very powerful form of combination.
5. Formal Communication: Communication through the organisational hierarchy (chain of command) and in accordance with the policies, rules and conventions of the organization is called formal communication. It can be both oral and written.
Formal communication can be in the following patterns:
(a) Vertical communication : Flow of information downwards and upwards in the organization is called vertical communication. Managers pass down orders and instructions to their subordinates for implementation. Subordinates transmit reports, suggestions, grievances and requests to their superiors.
(b) Horizontal communication : Communication between individuals/departments at the same level of authority is known as horizontal communication. For example, heads of production and marketing departments hold a meeting to discuss quality and price of a product.
(c) Diagonal Communication : This type of communication takes place between employees working in different departments and at different levels of authority. Such cross functional communication reduces the chances of distortion or misrepresentation. For example, the marketing manager may directly ask a factory manager about the cost and quality of output.
6. Informal Communication: When two or more employees in an organization exchange views without following the official rules and procedures it is called informal communication or grapevine.
It is unofficial, friendly and casual. It is based on common interests and attitudes. It helps to satisfy social needs of employees and to build relationships. For example, during the lunch break, employees working in different departments of an organization may discuss new leave rules.
Networks of Communication:
The pattern used to share information is known as communication network. Members of an organisation use various types of communication flows as per their needs. In some organizations there are prescribed networks for communication. Main types of communication networks are given below:
1. Vertical Network: This network is used for communication between a superior and a subordinate. It is a two-way communication in which immediate-feedback can be available
2. Circuit Network : When two employees at the same level of authority communicate with each other, it is a circuit network.
3. Chain Network: In this network, communication flows through the chain of command. The message flows from the chief executive downward to different levels of employees. In the following, diagram A gives command to B, C, D, E, F and G working at different levels in the hierarchy. In chain network
Communication gets delayed as it has to pass through several layers. Communication may be distorted due to filtering at various levels.
4. Wheel: In this network, a single authority gives orders and instructions to all the employees around him. They also report directly to him. This network may be efficient for a small organization provided the central authority is competent. But in a large organization all decisions cannot be taken by one person.
5. Star Network : In this network members of an organization communicate through multiple channels. They exchange information with each other freely without any obstacle. Star network encourages group communication and teamwork in the organization.