What is Communication?

Introduction of Communication:

Communication involves the exchange of facts, information, ideas, suggestions, orders, and requests, etc. from one person to another.

It plays an important role in any modern office. One of the most important functions of a modern office is to receive information and transmit information, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, etc to various persons or parties.

Such handling or management of information is called ‘communication’ and the device through which such communication is sent or transmitted is called ‘the communication system’.

So communication is the process of passing information from one person to another. According to Newman and Summer, ” Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.”

Features of Communication:

1. It is a continuous process: There is an old saying that ‘no communication, no functioning of the organization ‘. So, communication is a continuous process for the organization throughout its life.

2. It requires at least two parties: Communication requires at least two-person, i.e., the sender of the message and the recipient.

3. It may be oral or written: Communication must convey some message and such a message may either be written or oral.

4. It is a two-way process: Communication involves both information and understanding. Communication cannot be deemed to be complete unless the person to whom the message is sent understands the message clearly and reacts on the same to the sender.’

5. It is always done with a purpose: The primary purpose of communication is to evoke a response from the recipient. Communication itself is a means of motivation. It induces the recipient to respond to the communication.

6. It may be formal or informal: Formal communication comes through formal channels provided in the organization structure of the enterprise.

It is communication by the top executive officer of the company to the other departmental heads without addressing the subordinates.

Informal communication, on the other hand, flows from informal channels which are not provided in the organization structure of the enterprise.

7. It may be internal or external: Internal communication takes place amongst different people within the organization and external communication takes place when the recipient happens to be an outside person.

8. It may be upward or downward: Communication is downward when it flows from the superior to the subordinates and it is upward when it moves from the subordinates to the superior.

Process of Communication:

The process of communication involves the following steps:

1. Message: The communicator or the sender has to conceive an idea in his mind which will form the very basis of the message to be conveyed.

The message may be a fact, an idea, a request or suggestion or order. It is the first step in the process of communication.

2. Sender/Communicator: The actual process of communication begins when the sender takes steps to transmit the message to the recipient.

3. Encoding: Encoding means getting the idea coded into words, symbols, graphs, and drawings or in any other manner understandable to the recipient of the message. Encoding is done by the sender whereby he gives a form and meaning to the message in the form of words or symbols etc.

4. Medium/Channel: It involves the proper selection of the medium or channel through which the message is to be conveyed by the sender. It may be oral or written.

5. Recipient: A communication is deemed to be complete only when it comes to being the knowledge of the person or persons for whom the message is intended to be conveyed.

6. Decoding: It involves translating or interpreting the message by the recipient in his or her own language in order to get the proper meaning of the message.

7. Feedback: It implies the response or reaction of the recipient of the message. If the feedback is favorable then the message is effective.  The communication process will be complete when the recipient sends his feedback to the sender of the message.

Importance of Communication:

The importance of  communications are the following considerations:

I. It helps in providing information: It helps in providing information about the concern’s problems, aims, objectives, plans, programs, and policies, etc.

The concern also gets feedback from the employees about their problems, likes, and dislikes, etc which helps the concern to manage them properly.

2. It helps in proper functioning: Through the process of communication, the employees come to know about their role very well.  The employees thus become aware of what is expected from them by the concern.

So, it motivates them to give better performance to the organization and the functioning of the organization also becomes smooth and efficient.

3. It acts as a tool of supervision: Supervision of the subordinates is made through good communication and personal observation.

The supervisor gets reports of the performances of his subordinates through the communication system. Thus, a good communication system becomes an effective tool for supervision.

4. It helps in quick decision making: Communication helps the management to take quick decisions and enables the implementation of the same without delay. Correct and quick decision making will be possible only if there is a continuous now of information.

5. It helps in maintaining better industrial relations: A good communication network within the organization will help to avoid disputes, conflicts, and grievances of employees and ensure better industrial relations.

6. It develops better understanding: All misunderstandings created for any reason can be cleared and better understanding amongst the employees can be ensured through a good communication system within the organization.

7. It develops managerial skill: It facilitates the managerial people to acquire knowledge and information and share the same with their staff because the communication itself is a learning process. So, it can definitely help in the development of managerial skills.

8. It ensures unity and cooperation: COmmunication aims at unifying, coordinating and combining all the activities and problems Of the organization with the broad objectives of the organization.

9. It is a tool of motivation: Communication is an effective tool for motivating employees and developing their morale.

10. It ensures greater production at lower cost: Through communication, the managerial people get new ideas, suggestions, and views from the employees which may sometimes be helpful in increasing production and reducing cost. Thus, there may be greater production at a lower cost.

11. It helps in developing loyalty amongst employees: Communication makes available the information about the enterprise to the employees and the employees are allowed to share the information.

It helps the employees to develop a sense of belongingness to the concern and encourages them to become more loyal to the organization.

12. It facilitates sound management: A good communication system is, in fact, the foundation of sound management.

A good communication network can ensure better coordination and promote cooperation among the different departments within the organization in order to make management sound and effective.

Modes of Communication:

Some important modes of communication: 

Postal Communication:

Ordinary Post:

I) Post Card: It is the cheapest means of communication through ordinary post. Messages can be written or typed on space provided in the card and some space is reserved for writing the address of the recipient.

It is not suitable for sending messages which are confidential in nature. It is an open card and anybody can read the message.

II) Book Post: Printed matters like an invitation, price quotation, circulars, and greeting card, etc can be sent through book post.

Here the postal charges are less than other letters. If the printed matter is sent within the envelope then the envelope cannot be closed. One end of the envelope should be kept open.

III) Business Reply Card: It comprises of two postcards. One card is used for communicating the message by the sender while the other card is left to be used by the recipient for sending his reply.

The postage is borne by the sender. The basic reason behind the use of such a business reply card is to induce the receiver to send replies promptly at the cost of the sender.

IV) Inland Letters: The message can be written in the inland sheet and folded and closed in the prescribed manner. As compared to the postal envelope, the inland letter is cheaper and it can maintain secrecy.

The message remains covered and it can be read-only by the addressee. However, no enclosure is permitted inside the inland letter.

V) Postal Envelopes: Postal envelopes with the requisite amount of postage affixed thereon are available in the post office.

The sender can write his message on a piece of paper which is then folded properly and put inside the envelope and closed before it is transmitted to the addressee.

Communication under Certificate of Posting:

Postcards, inland letters or envelopes can also be sent under certificate of posting.

The post office on payment of the prescribed charges gives a certificate putting their seal stating that the letter is posted. This certificate serves as evidence of posting of the letter by the sender to the addressee.

1. Registered Post: The letters can also be sent under registered cover. When letters are sent under registered post, the postmaster takes special care in sending the letter to the addressee for which post office charges registration fee and issues a money receipt for the same.

 2. Speed Post: Letters may be sent through speed post to ensure faster delivery of the letters. Here the sender has to pay some extra charge for availing this facility in addition to the usual postal charges.

3. Insurance Cover: The post office does not accept any responsibility for the loss of letters sent even under registered over. When letters are sent underinsured cover the sender has to pay the insurance charges on the basis of the declared value of the envelope.

In the case of insured letters, the post office becomes liable if the letter is lost in transit. It is a particularly suitable mode of sending valuable documents and cheques etc.

4. Telegrams: It is a speedy medium of sending a message to a long distance. The sender has to write the message on a form available in the telegraph office and hand over the same to the receiving clerk along with the prescribed charges.

A money receipt is issued for the charges paid. It is considered suitable when the message is required to be delivered at the earliest.

The message should be preferably brief because the telegram charges are based on the number of words used in the telegram. Moreover, telegrams may be ordinary or urgent. There are facilities for sending greetings telegram also at a nominal cost.

Telecommunication:

The following telecommunication services are also provided by the post and telegraph department and other private agencies:

Telephone: It is the most popular and widely used mode of communication.

It is a fast method of directly talking to the other party sitting at the other ” trunk dialing facilities and international subscribers’ dialing facilities one can easily talk to anyone within the country or to anyone outside the country.

The telephone tariff has b considerably reduced. so, now it has a low-cost communication medium for our people. The telephone has become an essential part of our everyday business.

Teleprinter or Telex: A teleprinter comprises two machines with a standard keyboard which are placed at the two ends for transmission and reception of messages. 

Any message which is typed on one machine automatically and simultaneously gets typed the receiving end and it makes the communication instant and fasts.

The two machines at the two ends are connected by telegraph cables. A teleprinter may be owned or hired for use from the post office. If it is hired, it is called telex.

The telex subscribers also get the same services performed by the teleprinter.

Recent Trends in the Modes of Communications:

1. Fax: Nowadays this facility exists almost everywhere in the world. Fax (Facsimile) device enables transmission of letters, telegrams, documents, bills, etc from the sender’s fax machine to the receiver’s fax machine which is electronically operated and connected by telephones.

The fax machine scans the documents and then converts it into digital language for transmission similar to the original one sent by the other party.

Some of the advantages of these are as under:

(a) It is a modern communication device.
(b) It enables better perusal of the document by the receiver.

(c) It is a speedy mode of communication.

(d) It ensures secrecy.

(e) It facilitates the trans the subject matter in its original form.

(f) Its operation is not at all technical and anybody can operate it.

(g) This fax facility is available round the clock everywhere.

2. Internet: It is a network of computers prevailing all over the world. It comprises several elements such as internet websites on the World Wide Web (www), internet relay chat, bulletin board system and e-mails, etc.

Websites are used for providing general information about the products and services of organizations in such a way that the customers can have access to such information at any time at their own convenience.

Internet relay chats provide an interactive environment for the exchange of information between two parties.

It is useful for the purpose of negotiating a business deal and responding to queries from prospective buyers.

The Bulletin board is useful for sharing public domain information. In fact, e-commerce today has developed all over the world because of the widespread use of internet in our present-day business environment.

3. E-Mail (Electronic Mail): It is an electronic message sent from one computer to another.

The sender writes the message on his computer screen and transmits it in electronic form by connecting his computer with the internet. The message then reaches its destination and lies at the server until the receiver opens his computer and reads the message.

The receiver may save the message on his computer or he may choose to delete the same in case he does not want to keep the same.

It is not necessary for the receiver to operate his computer while the e-mail was sent to him by the other party.

The following are the advantages of the e-mail:

(a) It is the fastest means of communication.

(b) It is less expensive.

(c) It is easy to send and receive.

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