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Sanjay Kumar, Currently Associate Professor of

English at JK Lakshmipat University (JKLU), Jaipur

Pushp Lata, Currently Head, Department of Languages,

BITS, Pilani

Oxford University Press 2011

Chapter: 1

Fundamentals of Communication

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Definition Process Important Features Importance Purpose of Professional Communication Differences between General and Professional Communication Types Flow of Communication in an Organization Informal Network - Grapevine Communication Barriers - Types and Measures

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Communication essentially means the transfer of ideas, feelings, plans, messages, or information from one person to another. It is effective only when it gets the desired action or response. Communication is a network of interaction where the sender and receiver keep changing their roles. Communication is a dynamic process, the main components of which are sender, message, channel, receiver, and response.

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Sometimes there occurs a hindrance in the communication process; this hindrance is called noise.

Noise can be defined as an unplanned interference in the communication environment, the one that causes hindrance to the transmission of the message.

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Sender and receiver keep changing their roles


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Types (Parties involved)


Means, Kinds, Manners, Forms

Intrapersonal Mass Interpersonal Extrapersonal

Vertical Horizontal



Linguistic Paralinguistic Non-verbal Extralinguistic Vocal Cues






Haptics (Touch)




Seminar Meetings

GD Interview





Professional Presentation

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Importance of Communication

Business has grown in size

Business activity has become complex

Business has become competitive Workers are organized through trade union Promotes a spirit of understanding and cooperation

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Purpose of Professional Communication

Advising Counseling Giving Orders Providing Instructions Marketing Persuasion Giving Warnings

Raising Morale Staffing Projecting Image Preparing Advertisements Making Decisions Getting Feedback

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Differences between General and Professional Communication

General Communication

Professional Communication

Content: Contains general message Nature: Informal in style and approach Structure: No set pattern of communication Method: Mostly oral Audience: Not always for a specific audience Language: Does not normally involve the use of technical vocabulary or graphics, etc.

Content: Contains a formal and professional message Nature: Mostly formal and objective Structure: Follows a set pattern such as sequence of elements in a report Method: Both oral and written Audience: Always for a specific audience, e.g., customers, banks, etc. Language: Frequently involves jargon, graphics, etc. for achieving professional purposes

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How much time do you spend on the following?

Informal note Memos Letters Circulars and notices Press releases Reports Handbooks Manuals

Unplanned exchanges
Meetings Brainstorming Telephone Interviews Formal presentations Discussion groups Seminars

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Different Types of Communication Flow

Horizontal Vertical o Upward o Downward Crosswise Spiral

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Flow of Communication in an Organization

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Informal Network
Communication in an organization travels through powerful informal networks: grapevine Rapid Multi-directional A measure of public opinion An outlet for anxieties May be used to resolve conflicts Often, it is not accurate: incomplete, distorted Responsibility who takes it???!!

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Informal Networks

Single strand, Gossip, Cluster, etc. Gossip has stickiness factor May effectively be used to reach tipping point Not ignoring grapevine proves to be very useful Threatening the possible sources will not help

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Barriers to Communication
Definition: When you convey your message to someone or a group of people and the message is not received clearly and unambiguously, it is known as barrier to communication. Thus, the message received is not as the message sent. Barriers to effective communication could cause roadblocks in your professional and personal life and it could be one of the major hurdles in achieving your professional goals.

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Further Discussed

Measures to rectify communication failure Types of communication barriers Tips for Effective Communication

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Steps to Rectify Communication Failure


Identify the problem

Find out its cause



Select and apply the best alternative

Follow up religiously


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Types of Communication Barriers

Based on the Nature of Barriers

Barriers of psychological nature Barriers arising due to emotional reactions, negative attitudes, and wrong timing of messages Barriers originating from the communication networks established by organizations

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Verbal Barriers

Lack of proper planning Selection of a wrong variety of language Badly encoded or wrongly decoded messages Semantic gap Differences in perceptions Variation in language Wrong inferences Categorical thinking

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Non-verbal Barriers

Raising eyebrows Bulging eyes Keeping your hands or thumbs constantly in the pockets of your trousers Awkward gestures Flashing eyes Rolling eyes Quick movements Very slow movement Avoiding eye contact

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Listening Barriers

Making the speaker feel as though he/she is wasting the listeners time Being distracted by something that is not part of the ongoing communication Getting ahead of the speaker and completing his/her thoughts Topping the speakers story with ones own set of examples Forgetting what is being discussed Asking too many questions for the sake of probing Note: These barriers are elaborately discussed in the chapter entitled Developing Effective Listening Skills.

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Miscellaneous Barriers

Premature evaluation of message Information overload Distrust, threat, and fear Less time for orientation and for adjustment to change Emotional reaction Rigidity in attitudes

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Some Remedies

Send the data only to the people who require them Emphasize the major ideas Delete unwanted ideas Maintain transparency in policy matters Ensure clarity in message and look for a genuine feedback Understand others emotions Understand other cultures and language variations and use the appropriate variety in the given context

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Some Remedies

Make sure that information overload does not affect the communication environment adversely. Maintain openness and acknowledge that people have different perceptions and views regarding one thing. Encourage innovative ideas and views so that people should not unnecessarily live in fears. Listen attentively to others Speak with clarity and conviction

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Thank you !!!

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