COMMUNICATION EFFECTIVENESS &
Communication is the process of sharing our ideas, thoughts, and
feelings with other people and having those ideas, thoughts, and
feelings understood by the people we are talking with. When we
communicate we speak, listen, and observe.
Communication is the process of transmitting information and
understanding. It is the transference of meaning between individuals
and the means of reaching, understanding and influencing others.
Skill to communicate depends on the capacity of an individual to
convey ideas and feelings to another to evolve a desired response.
In management, communication is a mixture of personal attributes
and organizational aspects.
ROLE OF COMMUNICATION
Helps in fostering motivation
Aids in the function of control
Provides information for making decisions
Coordination among departments
To fill current inner tensions, or needs. The six current needs we each
try to fill are...
– to feel respected by Self and others
– to give or get credible information
– to cause or prevent inner and/or interpersonal change - including
changing or maintaining the emotional distance between us and
– to vent one’s feeling
– to create excitement (reduce numbness or boredom)
ELEMENTS OF COMMUNICATION
Verbal communication – Verbal communication (vocal included)
contributes to 45% of our communication. It involves the use of
language and meaning (either oral or written).
Non-verbal Communication – Non verbal communication is the
conscious and unconscious body movements in communication that
couple with physical and environmental surroundings. Non verbal
communications are those which are not expressed orally or in writing
and includes human elements associated with communication.
Listening & Feedback – Listening which comprises of hearing,
attending, understanding and remembering can facilitate the
effectiveness of communication. Listening can be pleasurable,
discriminative or critical depending on the degree of application of
mind. Listener has to employ the appropriate type of listening
depending on the situation and nature of the message.
The communication process is a simple model that demonstrates
all the factors that can affect communication.
The communication process is the inter-relationship between
several inter-dependent components.
It consists of a whole series of related actions and reactions which
together result in the sharing of meaning.
SENDER ENCODING CHANNEL
ELEMENTS OF COMMUNICATION
Sender – It is the person who intends to make contact with the
objective of passing the message to other persons.
Message – This is the subject matter of the communication which
is intended to be passed to the receiver from the sender.
Encoding – The process of converting the message into
Channel – Message encoded into symbols are transmitted by the
sender through a channel.
Receiver – The person or group to whom the message is
Decoding – The receiver translates the words and symbols used
in the message into idea and interprets it to obtain its meaning.
Feedback – It is the way of judging the effectiveness of the
MODELS OF COMMUNICATION
Intermediary model of communication (sometimes
referred to as the gatekeeper model or two-step flow)
Shannon's (1948) Model of the communication process
An information source.
The message, which is both sent by the information source and
received by the destination.
The signal, which flows through a channel.
A carrier or channel, which is represented by the small unlabeled
box in the middle of the model.
Noise, in the form of secondary signals that obscure or confuse
the signal carried.
A destination. Presumably a person who consumes and
processes the message.
This model, which is frequently depicted in introductory texts in
mass communication, focuses on the important role that
intermediaries often play in the communication process.
There are many intermediary roles associated with communication.
Many of these intermediaries have the ability to decide what
messages others see, the context in which they are seen, and when
they see them.
In extreme variations such gatekeepers are referred as censors.
In case where publications choose some content in preference to
other potential content based on an editorial policy, they are referred
to them as editors (most mass media), moderators (Internet
discussion groups), reviewers (peer-reviewed publications), or
aggregators (clipping services), among other titles .
Delivery workers (a postal delivery worker, for instance) also act as
intermediaries, and have the ability to act as gatekeepers, but are
generally restricted from doing so as a matter of ethics and/or law.
Variations of gatekeeper model are also used in teaching
organizational communication, where gatekeepers, in the form of
bridges and liaisons, have some ability to shape the organization
through their selective sharing of information.
The interactive model elaborates Shannon's model with the
cybernetic concept of feedback often without changing any other
element of Shannon's model.
The key concept associated with this elaboration is that destinations
provide feedback on the messages they receive such that the
information sources can adapt their messages, in real time. This is
an important elaboration, and as generally depicted, a radically
A Transactional Model
This model acknowledges neither creators nor consumers of
messages, preferring to label the people associated with the model
as communicators who both create and consume messages.
This is, in many ways, an excellent model of the face-to-face
interactive process which extends readily to any interactive medium
that provides users with symmetrical interfaces for creation and
consumption of messages, including notes, letters, electronic mail,
and the radio.
It is a distinctly interpersonal model that implies an equality
Forms of Communication
Communication in organizations can be broadly classified into formal
and informal communication.
Formal communication takes place through the system in
organization. In this, hierarchy has a very important role to play and
the parties communicating should adhere to the procedures in the
system. In organizations, formal communication is effected in
upward (subordinate to superior), downward (superior to
subordinate) and horizontal (between same levels) directions.
Informal communication (grapevine) in an organization is very active
and powerful. Nature of communication through this medium is oral
and the speed with which the message is spread through this
network is tremendous.
BARRIERS IN COMMUNICATION PROCESS
Perception and perceptual selection processes
Inconsistent verbal and nonverbal communication.
Technical and in-group language
Task and organization structure requirements
Absence of formal communication channels
A good working definition for effective communication is to share
meaning and understanding between the person sending the
message and the person receiving the message.
The success of an individual in a team depends greatly on the
extent to which he can engage in effective communication.
Effective communication is an essential component of
organizational success at all levels. Numerous employee surveys
have found that many problems in any organization can be traced
back to one primary cause: poor communication.
Faulty communication in organizations can lead to lowered
efficiency and effectiveness at the organizational as well as
individual level. Also most of the interpersonal friction can be traced
to faculty communication.
Good communication is necessary for all organizations as
management functions in organizations are carried out through
Communication is considered effective when it succeeds in evoking
a desired response from the other person.
Communication, to be effective, cannot be a haphazard process. It
has to be planned and executed so that it evokes the desired
Poor communication results in poor performance – When there is
poor communication in an organization, there can be any number of
negative outcomes, including errors, productivity declines, distrust,
lower morale, confusion, absenteeism, and general dissatisfaction.
• Feedback is a verbal or nonverbal process in which a team
member shares his or her feelings or perceptions about another
team member's behavior, action, or words.
• The process of giving and receiving feedback is one of the most
important ways for learning new behaviors and determining the
impact of our behavior on others.
• Feedback is crucial for effective communication – Effective
communication will only come if communicators at all organizational
levels seek out feedback and take appropriate action to ensure that
the intended meaning is passed on to the relevant audience.
• Effective feedback is absolutely essential to organizational
effectiveness; people must know where they are and where to go
next in terms of expectations and goals-yours, their own, and the
• Maintain a high degree of feedback throughout the communication
• Positive question-and-answer approach helps create an atmosphere
in which asking questions is entirely acceptable. In addition, this can
help your employees learn and apply feedback techniques.
• Be aware of the many reasons why people are hesitant to give
feedback. It requires skill, understanding, courage, and respect for
yourself and others.
Factors may get in the way of effective
Fear of the other person's reaction; people can get very defensive
and emotional when confronted with feedback.
The information on which the feedback is based (e.g. performance
appraisal) may be a very flawed process.
Defensiveness, distorted perceptions, guilt, project, transference,
distortions from the past, misreading of body language
Receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring nonverbal cues,
State of mind of two people.
Guidelines for Effective Feedback
Timely: Give feedback as soon as possible. Excellent feedback
presented at an inappropriate time may do more harm than good
Descriptive: Give facts. Focus on the behavior not the person.
Sensitive: When emotions run high, allow a cooling-off period before
Helpful: When feedback is negative, explore alternatives for
improvement so the employee has goals to aim for. Use the
"sandwich technique" by saying one positive statement followed by
the negative feedback and then another compliment.
Improving Communication Effectiveness
Techniques for the Sender
Feedback, perhaps the most important of these, is facilitated by two-
The sender should be aware of the meanings that different receivers
might attach to various words.
The sender should try to maintain credibility. This can be
accomplished by not pretending to be an expert when one is not, by
"doing one's homework" and checking facts, and by otherwise being
as accurate and honest as possible.
The sender should try to be sensitive to the receiver's perspective. A
manager who must tell a subordinate that she has not been
recommended for a promotion should recognize that the
subordinate will be frustrated and unhappy. The content of the
message and its method of delivery should be chosen accordingly.
Techniques for the Receiver
Being a good listener requires that the individual be prepared to
listen, not interrupt the speaker, concentrate on both the words and
the meaning being conveyed, be patient, and ask questions.
Another technique for the receiver is to be sensitive to the sender's
point of view. Suppose that a manager has just received some bad
news that his position is being eliminated next year. Others should
understand that he may be disappointed, angry, or even depressed
for a while. Thus, they might make a special effort not to take too
much offense if he snaps at them, and they might look for signals
that he needs someone to talk to.
Techniques for Both Sender and Receiver
Following up simply involves checking at a later time to be sure that
a message has been received and understood.
Regulating information flow means that the sender or receiver takes
steps to ensure that overload does not occur. For the sender, this
could mean not passing too much information through the system at
one time. For the receiver, it might mean calling attention to the fact
that he is being asked to do too many things at once.
Both parties should also understand the richness associated with
different media. e. g. When a manager is going to lay off a
subordinate temporarily, the message should be delivered in
person. A face-to-face channel of communication gives the manager
an opportunity to explain the situation and answer questions.
Effective Team Communication
Teams are groups of individuals who work together to accomplish a
task/project. Team effectiveness is dependent upon team communication.
The quality of the team's work, to a large extent, depends upon the quality
of the information shared.
The ability of team members to understand and communicate information
enables them to work together collaboratively.
Understanding the components and barriers of communication, as well as
giving and receiving feedback are essential elements of effective team
These tips and guidelines will assist team members in developing open
channels of communication where team members can learn and grow from
each other, thereby becoming more effective in the achievement of their
“It takes two to speak the truth:
one to speak and another to hear"
Communication involves a number of skills and no one is a complete –
effective communicator. Each individual can become a better
communicator by sharpening his skills through learning and