Communication Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding.

This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Use of these processes is developmental and transfers to all areas of life: home, school, community, work, and beyond. It is through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur. Types of Communication Communication can occur via various processes and methods and depending on the channel used and the style of communication there can be various types of communication. Types of Communication Based on Communication Channels Based on the channels used for communicating, the process of communication can be broadly classified as verbal communication and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication includes written and oral communication whereas the non-verbal communication includes body language, facial expressions and visuals diagrams or pictures used for communication.
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Verbal Communication Verbal communication is further divided into written and oral communication. The oral communication refers to the spoken words in the communication process. Oral communication can either be face-to-face communication or a conversation over the phone or on the voice chat over the Internet. Spoken conversations or dialogs are influenced by voice modulation, pitch, volume and even the speed and clarity of speaking. The other type of verbal communication is written communication. Written communication can be either via snail mail, or email. The effectiveness of written communication depends on the style of writing, vocabulary used, grammar, clarity and precision of language.

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Nonverbal Communication Non-verbal communication includes the overall body language of the person who is speaking, which will include the body posture, the hand gestures, and overall body movements. The facial expressions also play a major role while communication since the expressions on a person¶s face say a lot about his/her mood. On the other hand gestures like a handshake, a smile or a hug can independently convey emotions. Non verbal communication can also be in the form of pictorial representations, signboards, or even photographs, sketches and paintings.

Types of Communication Based on Style and Purpose Based on the style of communication, there can be two broad categories of communication, which are formal and informal communication that have their own set of characteristic features.
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Formal Communication Formal communication includes all the instances where communication has to occur in a set formal format. Typically this can include all sorts of business communication or corporate communication. The style of communication in this form is very formal and official. Official conferences, meetings and written memos and corporate letters are used for communication. Formal communication can also occur between two strangers when they meet for the first time. Hence formal communication is straightforward, official and always precise and has a stringent and rigid tone to it. Informal Communication Informal communication includes instances of free unrestrained communication between people who share a casual rapport with each other. Informal communication requires two people to have a similar wavelength and hence occurs between friends and family. Informal communication does not have any rigid rules and guidelines. Informal conversations need not necessarily have boundaries of time, place or even subjects for that matter since we all know that friendly chats with our loved ones can simply go on and on.

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Barriers to Effective Communication

1. Physical Barriers ± Following are the physical barriers: (a) The Competing Stimulus: It becomes very difficult to pass on the message orally, if another confirmation giving information simultaneously within hearing distance, sometimes-loud music or traffic noise creates barrier in the communication process. (b) Environmental Stress: A strong light puts hindrance in case of visual communication. Because of undesired strain on the eyes of the communicatee, message is not received properly. A high temperature, humidity, bad ventilation etc. contribute in the sending and receiving of message. (c) Subjective Stress: Due to sleeplessness, ill health, consumption of drugs, mental strain etc. communicator can not interpret the message in desired manner. (d) Ignorance of Media: User should be well conversant with media that is adopted for conveying the message. The use of a media with which the receiver is not familiar would turn the media itself into a barrier. For example, the uses of visual media like maps and charts to instruct workers, who have not been familiar with maps and charts, would switch off their attention for lack of knowledge of the media. 2. Psychological Barrier: Every person has his own way to look at the world, at people, at events and situations. A way of thinking of a person many times takes a shape of strong base of

communication. No two persons possess accurately similar frames of reference. Following are the psychological barriers ± (a) Unjust Assumptions: It creates a lot of misunderstanding. A manager, for example, incorrectly assumes that the subordinates understand the technical terms he adopts to give the instructions. (b) Barrier of Allies: Certain people think that they know everything about a subject. Usually they are not prepared to accept that they could be mistaken. Many make the generalized statements like women can not become superior to men or insincerity is the base of business. An attitude of allness is an outcome of biased approach. (c) Snap Reactions: Some listeners tend to pass remarks or criticize the communicator even though his communication is not completed. Hurried interpretations are not needed. Audience needs to be patient enough to let the communicator finish his speech. (d) Apathetic Listener: One who is psychologically dead and indifferent to speaker? Receiver¶s apathy is an intolerable condition, when the communicator tries to carry out effective communication. (e) Sophisticated Role: The receiver is not willing to learn from the communicator. That means he is unteachable. In such situations the communicator should try to create right impact. (f) Defensiveness: Man always tries to justify himself. He thinks that admitting the mistake means a loss of face. Therefore, he tends to rationalize the mistake that he commits. This type of attitude of the communicatee is a great hindrance in the effective communication. (g) Fear: A fear gives rise to slow and narrow thinking. It is clearly destructive to communication. So the primary objective must be to eliminate fear. 3. Linguistic and Cultural Barriers: Language is perhaps the greatest barrier in communication area. A language is ambiguous by nature. The words of a language are mere symbols and they rarely represent only one meaning. These symbols are understood differently by the communicator and communicate. Ultimately this results into misinterpretation. The words possess objective and subjective meaning. It should be kept in mind that the words carry numerous associations depending upon the political and cultural situation. 4. Mechanical Barriers: Mechanical barriers include any disturbances, which interfere with the fidelity of the physical transmission of the message. A telephone in poor working condition creates mechanical barrier. In mass communication, mechanical barriers also include smeared ink in the printed matter, a rolling screen on TV, a type too small to be read in the newspaper. A good business communication requires the communicator to try and ensure that the message is received properly by the communication. Mechanical devices used for the communication need frequent checking and proper maintenance.