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Lecturer ( Humanities)

Meaning :- Communication is such a vital part of each of us that it contributes heavily to
the success or failure of every human activity.
The word communication has been derived from the Latin word Communis which
means common. Besides commonality communication involves the concept of transfer,
meaning and information. The word communication is difficult to define. It is used as a
process which involves various elements through which two or more persons share
meanings among themselves. However Communication is the process by which
information is transmitted between individuals or organizations so that an understanding
response results.
According to F.E.X. Dance, Communication is defined as the process by which
people seek to share meaning by the transmission of symbolic messages. Another very
simple definition has been provided by W.H. Newman & C.F. Summer :
Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more
persons. Hence the main purpose of communication is the transmission of some
information, ideas, feelings etc, which is the subject-matter of communication. The
purpose is to inform, to bring round a certain point of view, or to elicit action. So two
parties are involved: the sender of the subject-matter & the receiver. Another important
aspect is that there is an element of understanding in communication. Thus
communication involves something more than mere transmission, the correct
interpretation & understanding of the message is important. Feed back is an essential
aspect of communication.
Thus, the communication situation is said to exist when:
(a) There is a person desirous of passing on some information.
(b) There is another person to whom the information is to be transmitted.
(c) The receiver partly/wholly understands the message passed on to him.
(d) The receiver responds to the message i.e. there is some kind of feedback.
The communication situation can not exist in the absence of any of these
components. Communication is aptly described as the life blood of business.

Communication has been defined as a process. The process gets started as soon as
we decide to convey a fact, an idea, an emotion or an opinion to others. The transmission
of the senders idea to the receiver & the receivers feedback or reaction to the sender
constitute the communication cycle. The main steps of this process/ cycle are:

: the information or ideas the sender wants to give the receiver.

: letter, fax, phone call, e-mail etc.
: the actual message that is sent.
: the information the receiver gets.
: the receivers response to the message.
: the possibility of misunderstanding at any step.

The person who stars the communication is called the Sender/Source. The
matter he communicates is the Message. This message is Encoded into a set of
symbols & transmitted to the other person called Receiver through appropriate
medium/channel. The receiver receives the message, Decodes it and gives a suitable
response called feedback.
Process of Communication


Communication is a process the main components of which are sender, message,

channel, receiver, and response.
Road sign, railway sign, traffic lights, (non-linguistic symbols) telegraphic codes.

SENDER: Sender is the person who intends to make contact with the objective of
passing the message to other person.
MESSAGE: It is the subject matter of the communication which is intended to be passed
to the receiver from the sender. The message may be in the form of suggestions, orders,
idea, opinions, views, feelings.
ENCODING: Since the subject-matter of communication is abstract & intangible, its
transmission requires the use of certain symbols such as words, pictures, gesture. This
process of converting the message in to communication symbols in known as encoding.
CHANNEL: The message encoded into symbols is transmitted by the sender through a
channel like written form, personal contact, phone call etc.
RECEIVER: Receiver is the person to whom the symbols are transmitted.
DECODING: Decoding is the reverse of encoding. The receiver receives the subject
matter of communication in the form of communication, symbols, in which the sender
has encoded his messages. The receiver decodes these symbols into message.
FEEDBACK: It is necessary to ensure that the receiver has received the message &
understood it in the same sense as the sender intended. While giving feedback the
receiver assumes the role of the sender & the sender becomes the receiver.
It is essential to have a common frame, of reference for any kind of
communication. In the absence of co-operation between the receiver & the sender,
communication will break down & result in miscommunication.

Communication is the life blood of business. No business can develop in the
absence of effective internal & external communication.
Effective internal communication is considered important for the following
1. Business has grown in size: Large business houses have a number of branches
within the country and even abroad. For its healthy and even growth, it is
important to maintain and keep an up-to-date knowledge about the various
activities carried out at these branches at central organization. This calls for an
effective and efficient network of communication.
2. Business activities have become extremely complex: This being an age of
specialization, planning, production, sales, promotion, advertising, financing etc.
are handled by different departments. If these departments do not communicate
with one another as well as with the management, their will be no coordination
among them.
3. Effective communication promotes a spirit of understanding and
cooperation: If there exists effective communication between the management
and the employees, it helps to build an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence.
This mutual understanding is beneficial for both the parties. The management gets
better returns and the employees get job satisfaction which in turn develops a
sense of belonging and loyalty.
External communication includes communication with the Govt. agencies and
department on the hand and distributors, retailers, individual customers and general
public on the order.
1. Government agencies and departments: Business organizations are required to
deal with licensing authorities, foreign trade offices. Bank and other financial
institutions. Frequently they find themselves in tricky situations that can be
handled only through tactful negotiations and negotiation is nothing but
2. Distributors, Retailers etc.: Modern business is a highly competitive
phenomenon. Marketing research has revealed that the organization that can
communicate better can also sell better. Sales are promoted through persuasion
and persuasion is another aspect of communication.


Some areas like personnel, public relations, marketing, sales etc. call for exceptional
communication skills. Editors, writers, teachers, advocates also need a highly developed
ability to communicate. Executive are also expected to have excellent communication
skills in order to project a favourable image of their organization. Thus the ability of
communicate effectively has become an important job requirement.
The ability to communicate has been listed as the most essential requisite for
Thus possessing communication skill is an important qualification at the time of
both appointment and promotion.
An effective communication system is one which achieves it objectives. The
ultimate objective of communication is to bring desired behaviour. The various elements
of communication are clarity, adequacy, timing and integrity.
1. Clarity: The communication process must ensure clarity of communication,
avoiding unnecessary seeking and clarifications. Thus the communications must
be expressed in a language and transmitted in a way that will be comprehended by
the receiver.
2. Adequacy: The process of communication must ensure that all the message
needed by various individuals in an organization for effective discharged of duties
must flow-up to them and further that this flow must be adequate.
3. Timing: The utility of any message is affected by its timeliness. Thus the process
of communication should not only ensure that the message reaches the receivers,
but should also ensure that it reaches him when required.
4. Integrity: Effective communication is not an end in itself, rather it is a means to
get some ends. The immediate objective is to get response, but the ultimate
objective may be to get change in response from the receiver. Thus
communication to be effective should be persuasive and convincing.
Thus we may conclude that the communication system is effective if;

Adequate communication flows to different points in an organization.

The message received is very close to the message sent.
The message elicits the required response.
the communication results in building a trusting relationship between the
source and the target.


1. Clarity in idea: The communicator should be sure and clear about what he wants
to communicate.
2. Purpose of communication: Every communication has some purpose, the basic







purpose being to get some response.

Empathy in communication: Empathy in communication means being sensitive
towards the receivers needs, feelings, and perceptions, i.e. projecting oneself into
the view point of the other person. This way much of the misunderstanding is
Two-way communication: Communication is a two-way traffic and this must be
realized in communication. It involves a continuous dialogue between sender and
Appropriate language: The subject matter of communication is transmitted by
encoding in the form of words, gestures etc. i.e. the language used should be
understandable by the receiver.
Supporting words with action: It is said that action speaks louder than words.
While communicating the sender might use actions to emphasize a point. This
enhances understanding.
Credibility in communication: One aspect of communication is credibility and
believability. A subordinate follows an order, if the superior demonstrate
competence through his ability/worth. Thus he maintains trust and credibility.
Good listening: A communicator must be a good listener too. By this he is not
only giving a chance for others to speak but also gathers useful information for
further communication. Ten points which may be observed while listening have
been given by Newstrom and Davis: Stop talking, put the talker at ease, show the
talker that you want to listen to, remove distractions, emphasize with the talker, be
patient, hold your temper, go easy on arguments and criticism, ask questions, stop

The main purpose of all communication in an organization is the general welfare
of the organization. Effective communication is needed at all stages in order to ensure
this welfare. Communication can be used for any of the following objectives:
1. Information: One of the most important objectives of communication is to pas or
receive information about facts or circumstances. It can be done through
spoken/written media or through signs. Managers need complete, accurate & precise
information to plan & organize.
Executives need information to plan and organize, employees need it to execute
their job satisfactorily.
Information can be collected from external & internal sources. An information
must be from a reliable source, accurate complete & recent.
2. Advice: Giving advice is another important objective of communication. Information
is always factual & objectives. But advice is likely to the subjective & it is given to
influence ones opinion or behaviour.
Advice flows horizontally or downwards. Experts advice from outside flows
horizontally & the supervisory staff advises the junior employees.
Effective advice should be:
1 Both man oriented & work oriented.
2 Should not make the worker feel inferior.
3 Should be given in the workers interest.
4 Should be given in a right tone, to promote better understanding.
5 It can become a two-way channel of communication, where by it brings
out excellent suggestions for improvement of the organizations
Counselling is similar to giving advice. It is objective & impersonal. Counselling
is offered without any personnel interest & is professional. It is eagerly sought &
means psychological handling of problems whether domestic, personal or official.
3. Order: Order is an authoritative communication. It is a directive to do something, to
modify or alter the course of something. Downwards flow of communication is
dominated by orders.
Types of Orders:
Order may be written or oral. Oral orders are required for jobs that are to be done
immediately. Written orders are usually given where it is to be kept as record.
General of Specific: Orders related to one particular activity, are specific. If there are a

number of activities having operational similarities, general orders may be issued to cover
all of them.
Procedural and Operational: Procedural orders specify procedures to be adopted. They
are general by nature. Operational orders are more closely related to the job in hand. They
specify how a particular job is to be done.
Mandatory & Discretionary orders: Mandatory orders have to be obeyed.
Discretionary orders are usually in the nature of recommendations.
Characteristics of an effective order:
i. Orders must be clear & complete.
ii. It Should be capable to being executed.
iii. It should be given in a friendly way.
Instruction is a particular type of order, where the person is not only given an
order but also some guidance on how to do it. All instructions are implied orders, but all
orders cannot be instructions.
4. Suggestion: Suggestion enjoys one great advantage over other means of
communication like advice or order. Advice comes from an expert; order comes from
a higher authority, both of which makes the recipient conscious of his inferiority.
Accepting a suggestion is all ones discretion, hence suggestions are always welcome
for it is not obligatory to accept them. Suggestions can be voluntary a anonymous and
can be submitted through suggestion box. It flows both horizontally and vertically
upwards. Employees should be encouraged to give suggestions.
5. Persuasion: It may be defined as an effort to influence the attitudes, feelings or
beliefs of others, or to influence, actions based on those attitudes, feelings or beliefs.
Persuasion is an important objective of communication. e.g. buyers often have to be
persuaded to buy a particular article available with the seller, than that of which he
had actually thought.
We can persuade others if1 We ourselves are convinced.
2 Do not impose oneself on the receiver.
3 If the other person is docile and flexible, he will be easily persuaded, but if
he is headstrong and self opinionated try to meet him halfway.
4 Try to look at the issue from the other persons point of view.
6. Education: Education is a very conscious process of communication. it involves both
teaching and learning. The main purpose here is to widen knowledge as well as to
improve skills. It is carried on at 3 levels: (a) at the management level. (b) at the
employees level. (c) at the level of the out side public.
Both the management and the employees have to keep abreast to the latest
innovations. In other words, they have to be educated managers can be educated
through books, lecture, seminars, case studies etc., whereas the employees attend such

as program of education called reorientation. They can be educated through

demonstrations, bulletins, talks etc.
7. Warning: If employees do not abide the norms of the organization or violate the rules
and regulations, it becomes necessary to warn them. Warning is a forceful means of
communication for it demands immediate action. But to retain its effectiveness, it
should be used sparingly.
While issuing warnings some points are to be kept in mind.
1. Some warnings like No smoking, No Talking etc. are general warnings which
are not aimed at any particular persons. They can be given in the form of notices.
2. Warnings are generally meant for particular person, so before reprimanding, it is
necessary to ascertain the truth of the charges. Reprimand should never spring
from personnel prejudices.
3. It should never be administer to a person in the presence of others, because it is
4. The cause of the persons undesirable behaviour, for which hes being warned
should be investigated.
5. The main of giving a warning should be the betterment of an organization.
8. Raising Morale: Moral stands for mental health. It is the sum of several qualities like
courage, fortitude, resolution & confidence. High morale and efficient performance
go and in hand.
9. Motivation: Motivation energizes and activates a person and channelises his behaviour
towards the attainment of desired goals. Motivation and behaviour are interrelated.
Motivation can be achieved through1

Monetary incentives.
Making the workers participate in the decision making process.
Making achievement goals very specific.
Giving security and very congenial environment.

Each business house is concerned with two types of communication Internal &
Externally it has to communicate with other Business houses, Banks, Govt.
Offices, Press, Customers and General public.
Internal communication deals in transmitting information within the organization.
Internal communication is again divided into formal/official and informal
Formal communication may move vertically or horizontally. Vertical
communication flow downwards (superiors to subordinates) or upwards (subordinates to
superiors). Horizontal communication flows between employees of equal status or
comparable positions. When a number of people, irrespective of status, sit down and
confer with one another to arrive at a decision acceptable to all, it is called consensus.
Apart from these formal channels, there exists an informal channel, called
grapevine, an integral part of communication system. Rumors that are all the time
spreading in any organization follow the grapevine.
Difference between Formal and Informal Communication.
1. It is based on formal organizational
2. The channels of communication are
3. It is rigid as deviations are not
4. Speed of message is slow because
of formalization.
5. Chances of message distortion are
6. It is treated as authentic.

1. It emerges out of social inter actions among
the people
2. Channels of communication
3. It is quite flexible because nothing is
4. Message travels faster.
5. Message are often distorted.
6. It is not authentic even if the message is

Downward communication flows from a superior to a subordinate. Orders,
Individual Instruction, Policy Statements, Job-Sheets, Circulars etc., fall under downward
The main objective is
1. To give specific directives about the job being entrusted to a subordinate.
2. To explain policies and organization procedures.
3. to apprise the subordinate of their performance.
4. To give the subordinates information about the rationale of their job.
Downward communication maybe both oral & written. Letters, policies, circulars,
manuals etc. can be used. But this communication is dominated by oral means.

1. Under communication and Over Communication: Downward communication

is often marred by Over communication or Under communication i.e. a superior
may either talk too little or too much about a job. Under communication involves
incomplete instruction, which inevitably leads to unsatisfactory performance.
Over communication, on the other hand leads to leakage of confidential
information or the message gets lost in the irrelevant details.
2. Delay: the lines of communication here being very long, transmitting
informations to the lowest worker is a time-consuming process. By the time the
information reaches the lowest level, much delay is caused or its significance is
3. Loss of information: Unless the communication is fully written, it is not
transmitted entirely. A part of it is, almost certain to be lost.
4. Distortion: In long lines of communication information is not only lost but also
distorted. When a piece of information passes from one individual to another, it
loses a little of its authenticity.
5. Build in resistance: This communication enjoys too much authoritarianism. The
subordinates do not get a chance to participate in the decision making process and
have to accept others decision, policies etc. which they resent. To make it
 The managers should be well informed of the objectives, activities and
achievements of their organization.
 Managers should be clear about how much to communicate. These should
neither be communication gap, not over communication, nor under
 No over concentration of authority at the highest level. Some authority
should be delegated to lower levels to shorten the line of communication.
 Information must be passed on to the correct person.
If the managers transmit the information down the line of authority, then they also
have to receive information from levels below them.
Its importance is:
1. Providing Feedback: The management is able to understand whether the
instructions given have been properly interpreted & followed. Valuable
information on what the employees think of the organization & its policies is also
2. Outlet for pent-up emotions : it gives an opportunity for the employees to vent
their emotions, problems, grievances etc.

3. Constructive suggestions: Superiors get useful suggestions, which promotes the

welfare of an organization & proves beneficial.
4. Easier introduction of new schemes: Since the employees feel themselves as
part of the decision making process, it helps the organization to introduce new
schemes & the employees take extra pains to make it a success.
5. Greater harmony & cohesion: This communication acts as a kind of lubricant. It
makes the atmosphere congenial & creates harmony & cohesion between the
management and employees.
Channels of upward communication are:
 Superiors keep an open-door policy.
 Complaints & suggestion boxes are installed at convenient places.
 Social gatherings are frequently arranged.
 Direct correspondence is initiated either by employees or managers.
 Reports may be asked to submit at regular intervals regarding progress of
 Workers are encouraged to seek counseling to solve their problems.
Though there is a lot of utility and importance of upward communication, it is not
easy to have a smooth flow. Upward communication suffers from a number of
1. Employees are reluctant to express themselves.
2. Employees fear that their criticism may be interpreted as a sign of their personal
3. There is greater possibility to distortion in upward communication, because
superiors lose their cool if they are confronted with criticism or unpleasant facts.
Hence information is suitably edited and distorted before passing on.
4. Sometimes, workers become too bold and bypass their just superiors. Here the
bypassed superiors feel insulated and relation strain & work suffers.
To make upward communication effective.
 Superiors should take initiative to get close to the subordinates &
communicate freely.
 Distortion by editing can be avoided if the lines of communication are
 All upward communication should be properly analyzed. There should be
prompt redressal of legitimate grievances.

Communication between departments or people on the same level of an
organization may be termed as horizontal communication/lateral communication.
Horizontal communication is most effectively carried on through oral means.
Face-to-face exchange of view or a brief conversation over telephone is very convenient
for horizontal communication. Periodical meetings among the department heads are also
used for oral communication. Among written means, letters, memos and reports are most
frequently used.
The concept of consensus is quite familiar in the political sphere. Here,
unanimously a group of people arrive at a common conclusion/decision. Consensus does
not imply unanimity, for perfect unanimity is just impossible. Unanimous decisions helps
to project a good image of the organization.
The process of consensus involves consultation. The views of a number of people
are listened carefully and the one on which large number of people agree is accepted.
1 The decisions taken thus are easily accepted. It is often used to bring about an
agreement between the management and the trade unions.
2 Consensus projects an image of harmony and unity in the organization.
3 Unnecessary and undesirable conflicts & splits are avoided.
4 Reduces disputes.
1 One very obvious disadvantage of the consensus is that a member is forced to
subscribe to a view he does not hold. Dissent is (always) often stifled in the name
of consensus.
2 Often consensus may degenerate into a process of mutual accommodation.
3 Often consensus, after consultation with the subordinates, may project a false
image of the management. The subordinates may sometimes assume airs, & may
lose respect for the superiors.

Apart from the formal channels of communication there operates in every
organization an informal channels of communication, called the grapevine. It follows no
set lines, nor any definite rules, but spreads like the grapevine, in any direction, anywhere
and very fast. Informal communication is the method by which people carry on social,
non-programmed activity within the formal boundaries of the system.
Here the people at different levels talk to each others regarding appointments,
promotions or even domestic affairs. Information on most of these matters is supposed to
be secret, but somebody or the other whispers it into other persons ears & thus the secret
is known to everybody.
Keith Davis rightly points out that grapevine is more a product of the situation
than it is of the person. It is basically a channel of horizontal communication. here the
basic types are gossip & remour.
According to Prof. Keith Davis, the informal channel of communication is
classified into four basic types: Single strand, Gossip, Probability & Cluster.
Important of Grapevine:
1. Safety Valve: It acts as a safety valve for the pent-up emotions of the
2. Organizational Solidarity & Cohesion: Existence of grapevine proves that the
workers are interested in their associates. The very fact that they talk among
themselves helps to promote organizational solidarity & cohesion. If properly
used, it my raise the morale of the workers.
3. Supplement to other channels: Every information cannot be transmitted through
the official channels. Hence if some information is to be transmitted, unsuitable
through official channel, then it can be transmitted through grapevine.
4. Quick Transmission: Grapevine helps in quick transmission of information.
Rumours, they say, spread like wild fire.
5. Feedback: The grapevine provides feedback to the management. They come to
know what the subordinate think of the organization & its activities.
Demerits of Grapevine:
1. Distortion: One of the major drawback of this channel is that it may spread
baseless and distorted news which may prove harmful to the employees.
2. Incomplete Information: The information through grapevine is usually
incomplete, hence there are more chances of misunderstanding &
3. Damaging Swiftness: The swiftness with which the grapevine transmits
information may be damaging.

To use the grapevine effectively, the managers should

(a) keep an eye on the rumour-mongers, and keep them well informed so that harmful
rumours do not reach the employees.
(b) It should be used primarily for feedback.
(c) The management should immediately use the official channel to contradict the
rumours promptly.
(d) To involve the workers in the decision making process, hence the rumour
mongers will be frustrated.

These days communication is possible through a vast variety of media. For
communication to be effective, the communicator has to be very careful in the choice of
media. Broadly speaking, media available are classified into five groups:
Written communication.
(ii) Oral communication.
Visual communication.
(iv) Audiovisual communication.
(v) Electronic/Computer-based communication.
Written Communication: Includes letters, circulars, memos, telegrams, reports,
minutes, manuals etc.
Oral communication: Includes fact-to-face communication, telephonic conversation,
radio broadcasts, interviews, group discussion, meetings, conference, seminars, speeches,
announcements etc.
Visual communication: Encompasses gesture & facial expressions, tables, charts,
graphs, diagram, posters etc. slides, film strips etc.
Audiovisual communication: Includes television, cinema, films etc.
Computer/Electronic communication: Includes E-mail, Voice-mail, Cellular phones,
Fax, Word processing, DTP, Teleprinter, Facsimile, Telewriting, Teleconferencing, Ecommerce.
Written communication:
1. It is accurate and precise. Since its authenticity can be challenged, the
communication has to be accurate and factual.
2. It can be repeatedly erred to. The message can be read and reread, until one has
properly understood it.
3. It is a permanent record and can prove useful for future references.
4. It is a legal document.
5. It facilitates the assignation of responsibilities, because if an order is given orally
then it is difficult to ascertain whether the mistake has been committed at the
communicators end or the receivers end.
6. It has a wide access. It can reach a large number of people simultaneously.

1. It is time consuming. It may take days to reach its destination & to get the
receivers views too.
2. It is costly, not just bcoz of postage, expenses, but bcoz a number of letters can
be sent out from an organization.
3. Quick clarification is not possible. If the receiver has any doubt, then he has to
write a query & wait for the reply, but this is not the case in oral communication.
quick clarification is possible.

1. Oral communication saves time. It is the easiest one and to an extent it saved the
expenses involved in decoding the idea in to words.
2. Speech is a more powerful means of persuasion & control.
3. With help of variations in tone, pitch etc., the speaker can convey shaded &
4. The speaker can get immediate feedback & accordingly he can mould and adjust
his message.
5. It helps to promote friendly relations between the parties communication with
each other, since oral communication is mostly carried out in an informal manner.
6. Oral communication is extremely useful while communicating with groups at
assemblies, meetings etc.
1. Oral communication is not possible if the communicator & the receiver are far
removed from each other, and no mechanical devices are available.
2. Lengthy messages are not suitable for oral transmission, for something of vital
importance is likely to be missed.
3. Oral messages can not be retained for a long time and they can not be referred
back to again in the future.
4. Oral messages do not have any legal validity unless recorded.
5. Oral messages offer a great opportunity for clarification, but there are also great
chances of misunderstanding.
6. here responsibility of mistakes, cannot be specifically assigned.
Essential of effective oral communication.
1. Clear pronunciation and correct pronunciation is necessary. Oral message are
often misunderstanding because the speaker does not talk distinctly.
2. Brevity: Oral communication tends to suffer from over communication, as people
take pleasure in talking and the message gets lost in distraction.
3. Precision can make oral communication very effective.
4. Conviction is what one says in very essential. Lack of conviction causes lack of
confidence, due to which the receiver is not impressed wit the message.
Conviction comes from sincerity of approach, careful thinking and planning.
5. Logical sequence: The various ideas contained in a message are to arranged in
their logical sequence. Jumbled ideas creates confusion.
6. Appropriate word choice: It is important to be careful in the choice of words,

because words have different meanings for different people.

7. Avoid hackneyed phrases & clichs: Speakers often grope for words while
conversing, e.g. what I mean, I see, etc. This interrupts the flow of speech and
impede grasping of meaning.
8. Natural voice: Cultivate pleasing voice and speak clearly and distinctly. Some
speakers deliberately adopt style to appear more sophisticated.
9. Finding the right register: An efficient communicator senses distinction &
adjust his speech according to the needs of his listener. This is what is finding the
right register.
According to Frances J Bergin, a person engaged in oral communication must
remember 7 Cs
(i)candid (ii) clear (iii) complete (iv) concise (v) concrete (vi) correct (vii) courteous.
Face-to-face communication:
Face-to-face communication may appear to be identical to oral communication for e.g.
telephonic conversation is oral, but not face-to-face communication.
1. Facial expressions & gestures help to communicate better. Thus the
communication is almost perfect.
2. It is particularly suitable for discussion, for there is immediate feedback from the
listener. Face-to-face provides the speaker with a much better opportunity for
1. Difficult to practice in large sized organization, particularly if their various
units/departments are situated at different places.
2. It is very difficult to get a message across to large gatherings. Even though the
speaker is addressing them face-to-face, the vital personal touch is missing. In the
absence of a satisfactory feedback, the speech lapses into a monologue.
3. A limitation which face-to-face communication shares with oral communication is
that its effectiveness is closely linked with the listeners attentiveness.

Facial expression and gestures, printed pictures, posters, slides, film strips etc. fall
under visual communication. Mime is an old art under which ideas & emotions are
communicated through facial expressions & gestures. It is suitable to communicate
elementary & simple ideas. Communication through visuals is very effective because it is
sure and instantaneous. For e.g. a lighted cigarette with a cross mark on it signify No
Smoking, two pieces of bone, put crosswise with a skull placed in between signify
Danger. Here no words are uttered no signs made, & yet the message gets across. It can
be effectively used in combination with other media.

Audio-Visual communication that makes use of telecasts, short films on the
cinema screen and video tapes is a powerful medium of communication. it is a
combination of a sight & sound. It may make use of written words too. Information
transmitted through this means is retained much longer than through may other means.
This communication is found most suitable for mass publicity, mass propaganda
& mass education.


Computer technology has dramatically changed the landscape of business
communication today. It is fast shortening the barriers of time and space & the concept of
our world turning into a small global village.
The Fax, Voice-mail, E-mail, Cellular phones, Telephone answering machines,
Video conferencing etc. are some of the computer based communication. Routine work in
business offices are now been taken over by machines. The result of this is that entire lot
of work has been made easy, as a result there has been an enormous increase in
Advantages of Computer Technology:
1. Quickest means to communications: Computer technology has reduced the time
to formulate as well as send a message. Word processor has made the formulation
easy, & E-mail has made the transmission easy.
2. Space no longer a barrier to communication: Message can now be sent fast to
any place provided it is accessible through the network.
3. Video conferencing can replace personal meetings: Executives can hold
conferences without undertaking long journeys that may prove expensive in terms
of time & money.
4. Better means of keeping permanent record of valuable & bulky data:
Information stored in files becomes difficult to manage over the years. This
information can now be stored digitally on CD-ROMs, Optical discs, tapes &

other storage media.

5. Word wide web as a publishing platform: World wide web is a hyper-media it
supports Audio, Video, Graphics, Text.
1. Uncertain legal validity: Written communication is a permanent record of
proceedings & is accepted as a legal document in the court of law. No such
sanctity has been assigned to computer records.
2. Fear of undesirable leakage: Easy accessibility of information on network can
sometimes become the biggest liability of this channel.
3. The virus malady: Sometimes some undesirable viruses get into important data
files & corrupt them. Retrieving correct data then becomes difficult.
We not only communicate through words, sings & signals alone, but silence also
helps in communication. Silence is more eloquent than words is a meaningful adage.
Disapproval, anger, resentment, lack of interest, fear, respect etc. can be effectively
communicated through silence.
A slight pause before an important point creates suspense (raises anticipation &
the audience listens to attentively) that something important has been said.

Communication is the process of transmitting information. A lack of
understanding about what really transpires in a communication exchange is a major
barrier to good communication.
Miscommunication can originate at three levels: At the level of the transmitter, of
the medium and of the receiver.


While properly chosen medium can add to the effectiveness of a communication,
an unsuitable medium can act as a barrier. So each communication must be transmitted
through an appropriate medium.

Noise: Noise is quite often a barrier to communication. Noise here can be loud noise of
machines, blaring, physical interferences like illegible handwriting smudged copies, poor
telephone connections etc.
Time & distance: Time & distance act as a barrier to the smooth flow of communication.
Use of telephones along with computer technology has made communication very fast &
has overcome the space barrier. However mechanical breakdown render these facilities
ineffective. Here, the distance between the receiver & transmitter becomes a might
barrier. There is also a kind of communication gap between person working in different
shifts. Faulty seating arrangement in a room can also become a barrier in effective
These barriers just need a little care to overcome.

Interpretation of words: Most communication is carried on through words & words are
capable of communicating a variety of meanings. It is quite possible that the receiver &
transmitter might assign different meanings to the same word. This may lead to
Some words carry different nuances shades & flavors to the transmitter & the
DENOTATIONS & CONNOTATIONS: Words have 2 types of meanings:
1. Denotative: Literal meaning of word. It informs & names objects without
indicating any negative or positive qualities. e.g. book, table, meeting.
2. Connotative: It arouses qualitative judgments & personal reactions. e.g. honest
competent, cheap, sincere etc.
But there are some words which have favorable & unfavorable connotations
according to the contexts for e.g. the word,
(i) Cheap: They gives us the cheap stuff.
(ii) At this shop, they sell things cheap. In the first sentence the word cheap
denotes quality & in the second it denotes prices. Hence the first e.g. in
unfavorable & the 2nd is connotation.
To minimize semantic barriers we should use familiar words, clarify the shades &
nuances & as far as possible use words with positive connotations.
The reality of an object, a person or an event is different to different people.
Reality is not a fixed concept; it is complex, infinite and continually changing. Besides,
each human being has limited sensory perceptions & a unique mental filter. No two
persons perceive reality in identical manner. This may sometimes lead to
Abstracting: It is defined as a process of focusing attention on some details & omitting
others. This poses a great barrier to communication, for details which look important to
one persons may look insignificant to others. We dont make allowances for these
difference & misunderstanding arises.
Remember that one can pick up different details, so become accommodating.
Slanting: It is giving a particular bias to reality. It is in a way similar to allness. Here we
know only a part & are ignorant of the rest, but we think that we know the whole.
To overcome this, we should try to be objective in our observations &
assessments, & try to avoid the mistake of judging the whole by what might be only a

Inferring: It means coming at a decision from observation. Hence a wrong inference can
be a barrier to communication. So while drawing inferences, we should distinguish
between facts & assumption & make sure that our inferences are based on verifiable facts.

1. Attitudes & Opinions: Personal attitudes & opinions often act as barrier to
effective communication. If an information disagrees with our views, we dont
accept it & react unfavourably. e.g. A change in policy of an organization proves
advantageous to an employee, he welcome it, if not, he consider it a whim of the
2. Emotion: Emotional state of mind plays an important role in the act of
communication. if the sender is perplexed, worried, excited, afraid, nervous, his
thinking will be blurred or he will not be able to organize his message properly. It
is extremely important that emotions are not allowed to impede the smooth flow
of communication.
3. Closed mind: A person with a closed mind is very difficult to communicate with.
He is a man with deeply ingrained prejudices. He is not prepared to reconsider his
opinions. Such a persons is not open to conviction & persuasion.
4. Status consciousness: It exists in every organization and is one of the major
barriers to communication. subordinates are afraid to communicate upward any
unpleasant information. They are either too conscious of their status or are afraid.
Status conscious superior think that consulting their juniors would be
compromising their dignity.
5. Source of communication: If the receiver has a suspicion or prejudices about the
source of communication, there is likely to be barrier to communication. People
tend to react according to their attitude to the source of facts than to the facts
6. Inattentiveness: People often become inattentive while receiving a message,
particularly if the message contains a new idea, for the adult human mind usually
resists change. It also threatens security and stability.
7. Faulty transmission: A message is never communicated from one person to
another wholly or entirely. This is true to the case of oral messages. In the process
of translation, interpretation, simplification etc. a part of the message gets lost or
8. Poor retention: Poor retention of communication also acts as a barrier. Studies
show that employees retain only about 50% of the information communicated to
them. The rest is lost. Poor retention may lead to imperfect responses, which
further hampers the communication process. Oral messages in particular are lost
due to poor human retention.
9. Unsolicited communication: This communication has to face stronger barriers
than solicited communication. We are unresponsive if the communication is
10. Differing background: No 2 persons have similar background. Even siblings
differ in genetic inheritance. Background plays a significant role in interpreting a
message. E.g., aprof. Talking about his rock climbing experience. Students who
have experience will appreciate the talk whereas others will find it uninteresting.

According to Frances J. Bergin, the 7Cs communication are:
(i) Clarity (ii) Completeness (iii) Conciseness (iv) Consideration (v) Courtesy (vi)
Correctness (vii) Candid
(A) Clarity of through: The communication cycle begins with generation of an idea in
the mind of the transmitter. A great deal of clarity is needed at this point.
The communication must be clear about three points:
(i) Objective of communication.
(ii) Whats to be communicated.
Medium suitable for communication.
(B) Clarity of expression: The receiver learns about the idea in the transmitters mind
through the coded messages. If encoding is faulty, message may be misinterpreted.
So, one should be careful while encoding the message. The following points deserves
(i) Use simple words: Simple & short words are more effective than pompous &
heavy words.
Pompous words (avoid them)
Simple words (use)
(ii) Use single words:
Long phrases
At all times
At the present time
Subsequent to
Will you be kind enough

Single words(use)

(iii) Use verbs for nouns: It brings simplicity & clarity

Nouns (avoid)
Verbs (use)
come to a conclusion
take into consideration

(iv) Avoid double entry:

Double entry (avoid them)
Previous experience
Absolutely complete
My personal opinion

Simple (use)
My opinion

In business communication completeness of facts is absolutely necessary. Incomplete
communication irritates the reader, as it baffles him. You should organize your message
in such a way that the receiver has no doubts about anything.
For completeness:
1 Make sure that you have answered all the questions.
2 Check for the Five W questions- who, what, where, when and why.
It helps to make your message complete.
A readers time is invaluable: He should not feel that his time is being wasted. Be as
brief as possible. Brevity in expression wins the attention.
For conciseness:
1 Include only relevant facts.
2 Avoid repetition. It includes monotony or irritation.
3 Avoid trite & wordy expressions (verbosity) e.g.
Nearby (use)
In close proximity to (avoid)
Enclosed herewith please find
Enclosed is
1 Organize your message well: use simple & short words & make your message

It implies respect for the readers point of view. We must avoid Is & Wes We must.
(1) Adopt the you-attitude: A letter will be effective & be replied to, if we
write it from the readers point of view. e.g.,
I want to express my sincere
Thanks for the good words

Thank for your kind words (use)

(2) Avoid gender bias: Take timely precautions, since todays business world
is no longer dominated by men alone.
(3) Emphasis positive pleasant facts: We should not have a negative
beginning. A positive approach convinces the reader of our helplessness.
Try to negative words like: fear, mistake, disagree, damage etc.
instead prefer
Phase, thank you, welcome, appreciate, courtesy, cheerful, satisfactory etc.


(4) Impart integrity to your message: Write only what you sincerely feel to
be correct.
In business we must create friendship, & friendliness is inseparable from courtesy. The
following points helps to promote courtesy:
(i) Answer/acknowledge the letters promptly
(ii) Omit irritating/ offensive expressions: Avoid expression which are
provocative & negative
e.g. you neglected/ignored
we disagree with you/we do not believe
(iii) Apologies sincerely for an omission/thank generously for a favour: If you
have failed to do anything express your regret promptly & sincerely. If
some one does a favour, acknowledge it promptly.
Courtesy in various types of communication:
In horizontal communication use empathy (how you would feel if you were in somebody
elses situation).
In upward communication keep the message brief and complete, but not fawning.
Superiors respect efficiency than flattery.
In downward communication, be brief, clear & courteous. Dont critical, rude or

(1) Give correct facts: Transmit correct facts in correct language.
(2) Send your message at the correct time: All message must be transmitted &
responded at the most appropriate time. Outdated information is useless.
(3) Send your message in the correct style: One must adapt the message to the
needs of the receiver. We must keep in mind the educational background,
the vocabulary, specialized knowledge etc. of the receiver.