Sunday, October 21, 2007

Forms of Communication

# One way Communication and Two Communication
# Verbal Communication and Non Verbal Communication.
# Formal Communication and Informal Communication.
# Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Communication
# Group Communication
# Public Communication
# Mass Communication

# One way Communication and Two Communication- One way communication is characterized by absence of feed back from the receiver to the sender. Here role of the sender and the receiver are isolated not interdependent. The sender conveys the message and the receiver has to make out meaning of his own and there is no scope for check back.
Two ways communication involves active feed back from the receiver to the sender to ensure that the receiver has understood the same message which the sender intended to convey, this form of communication being more interactive and interpersonal, allows better mutual understanding.

# Verbal Communication and Non Verbal Communication.
Verbal communication requires the use of words, vocabulary, numbers and symbols and is organized in sentences using language. Mastering linguistic skill is not reserved for the selected few but is a skill that each and every one should develop to improve relationships and interactions.
Everyone's brain is forever having thoughts and they are primarily with words. Words spoken, listened to or written affect your life as well as others. They have the power to create emotions and move people to take action. When verbal communication is delivered accurately and clearly, you activate the mind and encourage creativity.
You create your reality with your senses, the eyes, ears and feelings and words and symbols are used to create the meanings. This is why you are encouraged to read and watch informative materials, listen to motivational audio programs and attend classes or seminars that relate to your line of work or objectives. Positive and uplifting spoken or written messages motivate and inspire.
You can do the same to inspire others. Motivation comes from within each individual but you can become the source and when your are able to affect their thinking, you can help them improve their lives.

How to improve verbal communication to help yourself and others.
Using positive words to challenge limiting beliefs.
Verbal communication includes phrasing your words clearly and positively. Your words and the explanations you give affect thoughts and determine emotions.
Verbal communication that includes questions helps you challenge beliefs. According to Michael Hall, a belief is a thought to which you have said "yes", and you have affirmed by saying, "I believe this". It takes questions worded specifically before you can fully agree.
Your customers, children or partners agreeing and saying "Yes" to your suggestions and opinions indicate that you were able to influence and change their beliefs and thoughts from your spoken or written persuasion.
Telling or reading a story.
One of the ways to let others understand your message is by telling a story, reading a quote or telling a joke. Verbal communication through stories carries power to induce the person to relate to what you are saying or suggesting. A joke usually helps people relax more and is opened to listen to you.
The way you deliver the story can affect the thinking, emotions and behavior of the listeners. He is able to imagine the experience and will reproduce a response. A story narrated with eloquent can give hope to people who are in dire need for encouragement.
Asking the right questions.
Questioning yourself or others with precise words allow for answers. It make a difference if you were to ask a "why" or a "how" question. The former gives you a lot of reasons, understandings and explanations while the later set your brain thinking for a solution, useful information and a strategy.
By asking questions and wording them specifically, you will invite a positive debate and interaction that will benefit all involved. You become a better listener and entice others to do the same. Unnecessary arguments are reduced when you are able to express yourself with great command of your language skills.
Think and prepare before you speak.
Whether you are going to speak in public, talk to your boss, spouse or children, you have to think before you utter those words. Verbal abuse happens when you express yourself without thinking and instead allow your emotions to take over.
You have to project your thoughts first in your mind or in writing before speaking them out. Doing this will enable you to prepare yourself with any objections that may arise. Thinking, preparing and imagining the most desirable outcome in your mind allow you to practice your presentation and getting them right.
Reduce your usage of verbal pauses.
Have you ever listened to how you speak and render your conversations? If you haven't and are unaware, request for someone to do so. How many times did you stop your sentences and added an "ah", "um" or "well"? You can also record your verbal communication and listen back to your style of speaking.
Too many of these will irritate your listeners or is perceived as uneasiness or uncertainty in what you are saying. In order to reduce the unnecessary verbal cues, listen to yourself and become aware of it. Then when you realize it coming, condition yourself to just a silent pause.
Avoid careless language.
Use your phrases with care. Talk and write in ways that allow for accurate description of your experience, thoughts or ideas. Don't expect people to assume and guess what you are trying to say.
Speak with specificity by avoiding words like always, never, every, or all. When you say to your spouse that he is always late when in fact he was late only twice, you are attracting an argument.

Non-verbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is the act of imparting or interchanging thoughts, posture, opinions or information without the use of words, using gestures, sign language, facial expressions and body language instead. Much of the “emotional meaning” we take from other people is found in the person’s facial expressions and tone of voice, comparatively little is taken from what the person actually says

# Formal Communication and Informal Communication.

Formal communication can be defined as, “A presentation or written piece that strictly adheres to rules, conventions, and ceremony, and is free of colloquial expressions.”
It connotes the flow of the data by the lines of authority formally acknowledged in the enterprise and its members are likely to communicate with one another strictly as per channels constituted in the structure. Thus, it is a purposeful effort to influence the flow of communication so as to guarantee that information flows effortlessly, precisely and timely.
It emphasizes the essence of formal channel of communication. The different forms of formal communication include; departmental meetings, conferences, telephone calls, company news bulletins, special interviews and special purpose publications.
The main advantage of formal communication is that the official channels facilitate the habitual and identical information to communicate without claiming much of managerial attention. Essentially, executives and mangers may devote most of their precious time on matters of utmost significance.
But at the same time, the weakness of formal communication should not go unaccounted. Communication through channel of command greatly obstructs free and uninterrupted flow of communication. It is, generally, time consuming, cumbersome and leads to a good deal of distortion.

# Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Communication

Definition of Interpersonal Communication
One way of defining interpersonal communication is to compare it to other forms of communication. In so doing, we would examine how many people are involved, how physically close they are to one another, how many sensory channels are used, and the feedback provided. Interpersonal communication differs from other forms of communication in that there are few participants involved, the interactants are in close physical proximity to each other, there are many sensory channels used, and feedback is immediate. An important point to note about the contextual definition is that it does not take into account the relationship between the interactants.

We have many different relationships with people. Some researchers say that our definition of interpersonal communication must account for these differences. These researchers say that interacting with a sales clerk in a store is different than the relationship we have with our friends and family members. Thus, some researchers have proposed an alternative way of defining interpersonal communication. This is called the developmental view. From this view, interpersonal communication is defined as communication that occurs between people who have known each other for some time. Importantly, these people view each other as unique individuals, not as people who are simply acting out social situations

Four Principles of Interpersonal Communication

These principles underlie the workings in real life of interpersonal communication. They are basic to communication. We can't ignore them
Interpersonal communication is inescapable
We can't not communicate. The very attempt not to communicate communicates something. Through not only words, but through tone of voice and through gesture, posture, facial expression, etc., we constantly communicate to those around us. Through these channels, we constantly receive communication from others. Even when you sleep, you communicate. Remember a basic principle of communication in general: people are not mind readers. Another way to put this is: people judge you by your behavior, not your intent.
Interpersonal communication is irreversible
You can't really take back something once it has been said. The effect must inevitably remain. Despite the instructions from a judge to a jury to "disregard that last statement the witness made," the lawyer knows that it can't help but make an impression on the jury. A Russian proverb says, "Once a word goes out of your mouth, you can never swallow it again."
Interpersonal communication is complicated

No form of communication is simple. Because of the number of variables involved, even simple requests are extremely complex. Theorists note that whenever we communicate there are really at least six "people" involved: 1) who you think you are; 2) who you think the other person is; 30 who you think the other person thinks you are; 4) who the other person thinks /she is; 5) who the other person thinks you are; and 6) who the other person thinks you think s/he is.

We don't actually swap ideas, we swap symbols that stand for ideas. This also complicates communication. Words (symbols) do not have inherent meaning; we simply use them in certain ways, and no two people use the same word exactly alike.
Osmo Wiio gives us some communication maxims similar to Murphy's law (Osmo Wiio, Wiio's Laws--and Some Others (Espoo, Finland: Welin-Goos, 1978):
If communication can fail, it will.
If a message can be understood in different ways, it will be understood in just that way which does the most harm.
There is always somebody who knows better than you what you meant by your message.
The more communication there is, the more difficult it is for communication to succeed.
Interpersonal communication is contextual
In other words, communication does not happen in isolation. There is:
Psychological context, which is who you are and what you bring to the interaction. Your needs, desires, values, personality, etc., all form the psychological context. ("You" here refers to both participants in the interaction.)
Relational context, which concerns your reactions to the other person--the "mix."
Situational context deals with the psycho-social "where" you are communicating. An interaction that takes place in a classroom will be very different from one that takes place in a bar.
Environmental context deals with the physical "where" you are communicating. Furniture, location, noise level, temperature, season, time of day, all are examples of factors in the environmental context.
Cultural context includes all the learned behaviors and rules that affect the interaction. If you come from a culture (foreign or within your own country) where it is considered rude to make long, direct eye contact, you will out of politeness avoid eye contact. If the other person comes from a culture where long, direct eye contact signals trustworthiness, then we have in the cultural context a basis for misunderstanding.

Intrapersonal communication is language use or thought internal to the communicator. Intrapersonal communication is the active internal involvement of the individual in symbolic processing of messages. The individual becomes his or her own sender and receiver, providing feedback to him or herself in an ongoing internal process. It can be useful to envision intrapersonal communication occurring in the mind of the individual in a model which contains a sender, receiver, and feedback loop.
Although successful communication is generally defined as being between two or more individuals, issues concerning the useful nature of communicating with oneself and problems concerning communication with non-sentient entities such as computers have made some argue that this definition is too narrow.
In Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry, Jurgen Ruesch and Gregory Bateson argue that intrapersonal communication is indeed a special case of interpersonal communication, as "dialogue is the foundation for all discourse."
Intrapersonal communication can encompass:
Nocturnal dreaming, including and especially lucid dreaming
Speaking aloud (talking to oneself), reading aloud, repeating what one hears; the additional activities of speaking and hearing (in the third case of hearing again) what one thinks, reads or hears may increase concentration and retention. This is considered normal, and the extent to which it occurs varies from person to person. The time when there should be concern is when talking to oneself occurs outside of socially acceptable situations.[1]
Writing (by hand, or with a wordprocessor, etc.) one's thoughts or observations: the additional activities, on top of thinking, of writing and reading back may again increase self-understanding ("How do I know what I mean until I see what I say?") and concentration. It aids ordering one's thoughts; in addition it produces a record that can be used later again. Copying text to aid memorizing also falls in this category.
Making gestures while thinking: the additional activity, on top of thinking, of body motions, may again increase concentration, assist in problem solving, and assist memory.
Sense-making (see Karl Weick) e.g. interpreting maps, texts, signs, and symbols
Interpreting non-verbal communication (see Albert Mehrabian) e.g. gestures, eye contact
Communication between body parts; e.g. "My stomach is telling me it's time for lunch."
Group Communication
The first important research study of small group communication was performed by social psychologist Robert Bales and published in a series of books and articles in the early and mid 1950s (e.g., Bales, 1950, 1953; Bales & Strodtbbeck, 1951). This research entailed the content analysis of discussions within groups making decisions about "human relations" problems (i.e., vignettes about relationship difficulties within families or organizations). Bales made a series of important discoveries. First, group discussion tends to shift back and forth relatively quickly between the discussion of the group task and discussion relevant to the relationship among the members. He believed that this shifting was the product of an implicit attempt to balance the demands of task completion and group cohesion, under the presumption that conflict generated during task discussion causes stress among members, which must released through positive relational talk. Second, task group discussion shifts from an emphasis on opinion exchange, through an attentiveness to values underlying the decision, to making the decision. This implication that group discussion goes through the same series of stages in the same order for any decision-making group is known as the linear phase model. Third, the most talkative member of a group tends to make between 40 and 50 percent of the comments and the second most talkative member between 25 and 30, no matter the size of the group. As a consequence, large groups tend to be dominated by one or two members to the detriment of the others.
The most influential of these discoveries has been the latter; the linear phase model. The idea that all groups performing a given type of task go through the same series of stages in the same order was replicated through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s; with most finding four phases of discussion. For example, communication researcher B. Aubrey Fisher (1970) showed groups going sequentially through an orientation stage, a conflict stage, a stage in which a decision emerges and a stage in which that decision is reinforced. Much of this research (although not necessarily Fisher's) had two fundamental flaws. First, all group data was combined before analysis, making it impossible to determine whether there were differences among groups in their sequence of discussion. Second, group discussion content was compared across the same number of stages as the researcher hypothesized, such that if the researcher believed there were four stages to discussion, there was no way to find out if there actually were five or more. In the 1980s, communication researcher Marshall Scott Poole (Poole & Roth, 1989) examined a sample of groups without making these errors and noted substantial differences among them in the number and order of stages. He hypothesized that groups finding themselves in some difficulty due to task complexity, an unclear leadership structure or poor cohesion act as if they feel the need to conduct a "complete" discussion and thus are more likely to pass through all stages as the linear phase model implies, whereas groups feeling confident due to task simplicity, a clear leadership structure and cohesion are more likely to skip stages apparently deemed unnecessary.
Another milestone in the study of group discussion content was early 1960s work by communication researchers Thomas Scheidel and Laura Crowell (1964) regarding the process by which groups examine individual proposed solutions to their problem. They concluded that after a proposal is made, groups discuss it in an implied attempt to determine their "comfort level" with it and then drop it in lieu of a different proposal. In a procedure akin to the survival of the fittest, proposals viewed favorably would emerge later in discussion, whereas those viewed unfavorably would not; the authors referred to this process as "spiralling." Although there are serious methodological problems with this work, other studies have led to similar conclusions. For example, in the 1970s, social psychologist L. Richard Hoffman noted that odds of a proposal's acceptance is strongly associated with the arithmetical difference between the number of utterances supporting versus rejecting that proposal. More recent work has shown that groups differ substantially in the extent to which they spiral.

Public Communication
Public communication involves speech by one person to a large group at a time. This is one way communication as the speaker gives speech and the audience listens only.

Mass communication is the term used to describe the academic study of various means by which individuals and entities relay information to large segments of the population all at once through mass media. It is usually understood to relate to newspaper and magazine publishing, radio, television, and film, as they are used both for disseminating news and for advertising. The term 'mass' denotes great volume, range or extent (of people or production) and reception of messages .The important point about 'mass' is not that a given number of individuals receives the products, but rather that the products are available in principle to a plurality of recipients. This is an image associated with some earlier critiques of 'mass culture' and Mass society which generally assumed that the development of mass communication has had a largely negative impact on modern social life, creating a kind of bland and homogeneous culture which entertains individuals without challenging them The aspect of 'communication' refers to the giving and taking of meaning, the transmission and reception of messages. The word 'communication' is really equated with 'transmission', as viewed by the sender, rather than in the fuller meaning, which includes the notions of response, sharing and interaction. Messages are produced by one set of individuals and transmitted to others who are typically situated in settings that are spatially and temporally remote from the original context of production. Therefore, the term 'communication' in this context masks the social and industrial nature of the media, promoting a tendency to think of them as interpersonal communication.

Communication network in organization

Formal and Informal Communication network
This decision consists in selecting formal communications between actors.
Formal communications are easier to enforce, to monitor and to improve.
The institutionalisation of communications, by the implementation of formal communication channels, may contribute to assign a positive value to the communications within the enterprise culture, thereby encouraging people to communicate.
Formal communications are better suited to formal and stable business processes.
Formal communications per se usually increase reliability and traceability. They may also better justify investments which contribute to the improvement of communications in terms of efficiency, reliability, and security.
A strong vertical division of work requires formal communications up and down hierarchical levels of management.
In informal, or unstable processes, formal communications may introduce a lack of flexibility in the processes and prevent the organisation from adapting them or treating special cases.
Formal communications may hit some psychological barriers, and may be not used. Actor capabilities to use formal communications must then be assessed and possibly improved.
Formal communications may put constraints on actors which decrease their efficiency; therefore the actors would have a negative attitude towards using them.


lily said...

This article is a timely help for my sister who is doin HR. Thank you keep posting more...

Rakesh said...

It's really good, You may think to add more about modern forms of communication based on Internet Communication.
Keep writing more...
-Rakesh Sharma, AMEI Jodhpur

SHELLY said...

This is a very good article. It helped me a lot in doing a paper in my MLib. Thanks.
Shelly Bhatnagar

leshmark said...

Communication is very important in life i learnt it while doing my B.Com because apart from studies there was a lot of interaction between the batch and we had to communicate a lot this article is a great treatise on the same telling about all forms of communication and it is very important to communicate well ina team to put forward your ideas and suceed.

mahendar mithan said...

Dear , Where Managerial & Business communication lying ? What is difference between them?