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Factors facilitating communication

1.Conceptual clarity : The starting point of every communication is the

existence of an idea or a concept. It is this concept that gets translated into a
message and gets transmitted to the receiver. Conceptual clarity is thus a very
important factor that facilitates communication.

Whatever be the method adopted, the communication must be clear about what
the sender wants to convey. They have to give proper shape to their thoughts
and should develop the idea meaningfully.

If one is not clear about one’s thoughts and ideas, the message formulation also
gets affected. Communication is all about transmission of information and ideas
that seek to translate thoughts into action. Improperly conceived ideas translate
into poor messages.

Well-conceived and well-organized thoughts make for a good beginning of the

communication process. This also explains why conceptual skills are given
much importance in modern day business?


The process of communication is both oral and written. People, however, speak
and understand different languages. For both oral and written communication,
language becomes the vehicle of thought.

Therefore, the sender should ensure that the message reaches the receiver in a
language that he/she can understand. As long as the sender and the receiver of
the communication speak, write, read and understand the same language, there
is direct communication.

If not, the communicator will have to resort to translation through an

intermediary. The intermediary may be an interpreter or a translator. If the
translation or the interpretation is not done properly, the message received
would be different from what the communicator intended.

In written communication, the literacy level of the recipient assumes

significance. In verbal communication too, the depth of understanding of the
spoken language makes a difference.
If there are vast differences between the sender and the receiver in terms of
mastery over the language and if the sender does not take cognizance of them
while sending the message, communication gets affected.

Every language has its own vocabulary and the quality of communication is
influenced by the word power of both the parties. When the knowledge and
level of understanding of the speaker/communicator and the listener/receiver
varies significantly, it results in difference in the wavelength.

This leads to overhead transmission, i.e., the message goes beyond the
comprehension level of the receiver. An example of this is the usage of
technical jargon and specialized words or phrases in addressing people who are
not familiar with the subject.

3. Moods and Receptivity:

Communication becomes purposeful when the communicator shows enthusiasm

and the Receiver shows receptivity. Both of them are influenced by the moods.
The mood of the communicator and the mood of the listener thus affect the
process of communication.

The mood of the person refers to the person’s state of mind or the inclination
and willingness to send or receive the communication. If any one of the parties
is disinclined, the purpose of communication will not be achieved.

These factors are particularly relevant when the message to be communicated is

something important, somewhat complex and not of a routine nature. Moods
apart, the level of fatigue has also to be reckoned with.

A tired speaker, an overworked writer and a bored listener cannot do justice to

the process of communication, however good their intentions may be. Smooth
communicators make efforts to ensure that the conditions are right.

4. Timeliness:

Most messages have a time value. Action can follow only if the communication
reaches in time. This is pertinent to individuals as well as to business. For
example, an invitation card received after the event is of no use.

Similarly, an intimation or notice received after the meeting is over does not
serve any purpose and also shows the sender in poor light. Timeliness,
therefore, is an important factor affecting communication.
Proper choice of the mode of communication—courier, telex, fax, telephone and
e-mail assumes importance as it helps in achieving timeliness in

As seen in the earlier chapter, a host of physical, psychological, cultural and

mechanical factors affect communication. They can be either facilitators or
barriers to communication.

These include power of expression, clarity, coherence, attentiveness, distance,

voice or sound levels, relationship and hierarchy, type and quality of the modes
of communication and the skill involved in using them.

In an organizational context, the prevailing organizational climate and the

communication policy are also important factors affecting communication.
Especially when it comes to communicating with the media, several
organizations and institutions specifically designate spokespersons and others
are discouraged from speaking to the press or media.

Any policy that encourages confidentiality, withholding of information,

suppression of facts and other such controls would naturally hinder the free flow
of communication.

5. Respectful Communication :

Respect is the foundation of effective communication especially in the

classroom. Teachers and students demonstrate respectful communication in the
following ways :

(a) Use of tone that is honest and tactful, choosing words that are appropriate
to the situation and non-inflammatory.
(b) When taking on a listening role, make eye contact and focus on the
speaker. Speak in turn, never interrupt the speaker. Teacher who model
respect with their students have more respectful classroom overall
because students learn how to communicate respectfully and see its

6. Repetition of message in different ways :

While most communication in a classroom starts verbally, many students don’t

take in what they hear the first time. Effective communication requires using
different techniques in communication. When you want to make a point,
consider what visual tools can help you in additional to your verbal
communication. For example : if you are discussing rules of conduct, have
charts handy with graphics to help students to remember. In a lecture situation,
offer handouts that outline the points you are making. Give the student
something to that reflects the ideas you are communicating. Repeat yourself at
least twice verbally and offer something for students to look at, hold, or do that
will also reinforce your message.

7. check for understanding :

A teacher should always check for understanding. The simple question, “do you
understand ?”, will not result in much information, as most students will either
nod or sit passively. Students can write down one sentence that summarizes
what they think the lesson or lecture was about, or they can write a question
they have about the lesson. In a one on one conversation, a teacher should ask
the students to repeat the main point or outcome of the conversation.

8. Non-verbal communication :

Everyone communicates non-verbally through facial expression and gestures.

Effective communication in the classroom requires careful use of these verbal
cues. Gestures and animated facial expression give weight and enthusiasm to
what a teacher has to say. Students who see a teacher actively engage in what he
is teaching will be much more engaged themselves.

Common Barriers to Effective Communication:

The use of jargon. Over-complicated, unfamiliar and/or technical terms.

Emotional barriers and taboos. Some people may find it difficult to express
their emotions and some topics may be completely 'off-limits' or taboo. Taboo
or difficult topics may include, but are not limited to, politics, religion,
disabilities (mental and physical), sexuality and sex, racism and any opinion
that may be seen as unpopular.

Lack of attention, interest, distractions, or irrelevance to the receiver. (See

our page Barriers to Effective Listening for more information).

Differences in perception and viewpoint.

Physical disabilities such as hearing problems or speech difficulties.

Physical barriers to non-verbal communication. Not being able to see the
non-verbal cues, gestures, posture and general body language can make
communication less effective. Phone calls, text messages and other
communication methods that rely on technology are often less effective than
face-to-face communication.

Language differences and the difficulty in understanding unfamiliar


Expectations and prejudices which may lead to false assumptions or

stereotyping. People often hear what they expect to hear rather than what is
actually said and jump to incorrect conclusions. Our page The Ladder of
Inference explains this in more detail.

Cultural differences. The norms of social interaction vary greatly in different

cultures, as do the way in which emotions are expressed. For example, the
concept of personal space varies between cultures and between different social
settings. See our page on Intercultural Awareness for more information.

A skilled communicator must be aware of these barriers and try to reduce

their impact by continually checking understanding and by offering
appropriate feedback.

Teachers have an increasingly difficult job trying to communicate

effectively to classrooms that are growing in size and may contain students
who come from varied backgrounds. Some common barriers to effective
communication in the classroom are listening barriers, perception barriers
and oral barriers. Learning to recognize and overcome these barriers is
essential in effective classroom communication.

Listening Barriers

Effective listening is one of the most important factors in classroom

communication. Take the time to listen to what the other person is saying.
When someone is speaking, you should not be thinking of your next response.
Negative emotions may occur when certain words or body language is used. A
teacher must also take care to keep emotional reactions to a minimum and focus
on what the speaker is saying. Outside noise such as telephones or construction
noise can sometimes make listening difficult. This outside noise should be
minimized in the classroom.
Perception Barriers

Perception may be a barrier to effective communication in the classroom.

Different people may receive and hear the same message but interpret it
differently. Paying attention to detail is also important. Important aspects can be
missed by not covering a subject in depth. A teacher should also learn to focus
on both positive and negative aspects of a conversation. By having a distorted
focus, a teacher may only focus on the negative aspects of a conversation.

Oral Barriers

Communication barriers in the classroom may exist if oral communication is

not clear. Communication only occurs when the listener hears and understands
your message in the way you meant for it to be received. Some problems in oral
communications include using words with ambiguous meanings. The teacher
must make sure the students clearly understand the meanings of words. Another
problem in oral communications is using generalizations and stereotypes.
Classroom communication should be specific to the topic and without bias. A
teacher must also take caution not to make a premature conclusion before she
has all the facts about a topic or situation. Finally, a teacher must overcome any
lack of self-confidence and deliver the message with assertiveness and clarity.

Factors that enhance effective communication

 Active listening

 Simplicity

 Straight forwardness

 Feedback

 Speaking clearly/articulation

 Knowledge of the receiver / audience

 Speed and sequence of speech

 Relationship between the sender and the receiver

 Command of subject (mastery of subjects matter)

 Commanding attention
Barriers to effective communication
 Poor listening habits

 Inadequate knowledge of the subject

 Biases and stereotypes

 Lack of interest on the subject

 Personal opinions

 Interruptions

 Religious and cultural difference

 Language barrier

 Poor timing

 Guilt

 Status