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Good communication skills are necessary in any job, but especially in positions
that involve interactions with clients and company management. You must be
able to clearly, concisely and eloquently convey information and ideas to these
people. This includes all forms of communication, verbal, written or even body
language. The initial impressions you make on people will be determined by
how well you communicate with them.
- Greg P. Tesone, Senior Analyst
Value Nomics SanDiego
For communication to be effective, there has to be both information and
meaning in its content. And meaning requires communication.
- Peter Drucker
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ROLE OF COMMUNICATION
Information sharing – The main purpose of communication is to transmit information to individuals or
groups. These could be in the form of policies and rules, changes and development in the organisation.
Feedback – There is need to provide feedback to employees in their achievements, to the department
on their performance and to the higher management on the fulfillment of goals.It also motivates people
in developing challenging and realistic plans.
Problem solving – Communication between the management and unions on issues like to bring about
negotiation helps, find solutions and consensus.
Assists in decision making – In order to make accurate and appropriate decisions, the manager
needs to obtain information that is available in various channels of communication. The way, decision is
communicated will have an impact upon the outcomes of the organization in terms of co-operation and
support of the people to achieve organisational goals.
Facilitating change – The effectiveness of a change introduced in an organisation depends to a large
extent on the clarity and spontaneity of the communication.
Group building – Communication helps in building relationships. If communication breaks down, the
group may disintegrate.
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Conveying the right message – The main objective of
communication is to convey the right message to the
right person.The message conveyed should be well
understood and accepted by the receiver in the right
Helps in co-ordination of effort - Communication is an
effective tool for co-ordinating activities of different
persons engaged in running a business.Co-ordination
without communication is a remote possibility.
Good industrial relations – Communication develops
good industrial relations as it conveys
feelings, ideas, opinions and viewpoints of different
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Motivating people – If people working in organizations, are not regularly
informed about their management‟s expectations, plans and policies with
respect to their future career and growth, promotion and welfare measures, they
feel frustrated and demotivated. Through various communication
devices, managers declare rewards and incentives to motivate employees.
Performance feedback – Through measures like letters of appreciation or
suggestion, subordinates are given feedback about how well they are performing
and what needs to be done to achieve and exceed standards set by the
Job instruction – Managers need to communicate to their subordinates job
instructions from time to time otherwise it may lead to confusion, wastage and
Emotive function – Communication facilitates the expression of feelings and
satisfaction.It also enables people to express their dissatisfaction and
unhappiness through words or in writing in order to release tension and
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Communication – Latin word „communis‟ means common.
Communication is the sum of all the things, a person does when he
wants to create an understanding in the mind of another. It involves a
systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and
- Allen Louis
Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions, by
two or more persons.
- George Terry
Communication is defined as “ the process of passing information and
understanding from one person to another. It builds bridges of meaning
between people, enabling them to safely cross the rivers of
- Keith Davis
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Effective communication is “purposive interchange,
resulting in workable understanding and agreement
between the sender and receiver of a message”.
-George Vardman in his book Effective Communication of Ideas
Communication may be broadly defined as the
process of meaningful interaction among human
beings. More specifically, it is the process by which
meanings are perceived and understandings are
reached among human beings.
- D.E. McFarland
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CLASSIFICATION OF COMMUNICATION
According to the number of persons to whom the message is addressed –
Intrapersonal communication – Talking to oneself in one‟s own mind.
Eg. Soliloquies or asides in dramatic works.
Interpersonal communication – Exchange of messages between two
persons. Eg. A conversation, dialogue or an interview in which two
persons interact, Letter is an interpersonal communication between the
reader and the person to whom it is written, While reading books an
author communicates interpersonally with his reader.
Group communication –Communication among small or large groups.
Eg. Organisation, club or classroom.
Mass communication – Message is sent to large groups of people. Eg.
Via the medium of Newspaper, radio or television.
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On the basis of the medium employed –
Verbal communication – communicating with words, written or
spoken. Eg. Speaking, listening, writing, reading and thinking.It
may further be classified as Oral or Written Communication.
Non-verbal communication – Wordless message conveyed
through gestures (signs),movements (action language), and
object language (pictures, clothes). This includes using of
pictures, signs, gestures and facial expressions for exchanging
information between persons.
Metacommunication – Speaker‟s choice of words unintentionally
communicates something more than what the actual words
state.For example “I have never seen you so smartly dressed”
could also mean that the regular attire of the listener needed
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PURPOSE OF COMMUNICATION
To inform – Information is power and information needs within
and outside the organization are usually met through
To persuade – To persuade employees to work efficiently, to
persuade customers to buy our product and so on.
To educate – To disseminate knowledge and develop skills and
attitudes among people.
To train – Training is required to achieve proficiency in specific
skills. Instruction, demonstration, practice and discussion during
training require communication to be integral part.
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To motivate – High level of morale and motivation are a must to
ensure high levels of productivity and efficiency, on a sustainable
basis. Communication provides a means to keep these motivation
To integrate – Large business organisations have different
business units, departments and territorial divisions which pursue
different targets.Communication provides the means for an
integrated approach in pursuing organizational goals.
To relate – Good business relations are a must for the continued
success of any business organization. Communication provides
the means for building and nurturing mutually beneficial
To entertain – Communication facilitates social bonding that help
in creating lighter moments and in relieving tension.
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PROCESS OF COMMUNICATION
Elements of the Communication Process – For the communication process to materialize, it is
essential that the basic elements of communication be identified. These elements are :
1. Sender – The person who initiates the communication process is normally referred to as the
sender. He s the person who transmits, spreads or communicates a message and is the one
who conceives and initiates the message with the purpose of
informing/persuading/influencing/changing the attitude, opinion or behaviour of the receiver.
From his personal data bank he selects ideas, encodes and finally transmits them to the
2. Encoding – It is changing the message (from its mental form) into symbols, that is patterns of
words/gestures/pictorial forms or signs(physical or of sounds) of a specific visual/aural
3. Message – It is information, written or spoken, which is to be sent from one person to another.
The most important characteristic of a message as an element of communication is, that is
organised, structured, shaped and selective, in the sense that it is a product of the pre-writing
or pre-speaking stage and exists in the mind of the sender.
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4. Medium/ Channel – This is the vehicle or medium which facilitates the sender to convey the
message to the receiver. The medium of communication can be written, oral, audio-visual or
live projections. Again, the written medium can be in the form of
letters, memos, reports, manuals, notices, circulars, questionnaires, minutes and so on.
5. Decoding – This is the act of translating symbols in communication into their ordinary
interpretation. However, this would consist of meanings of the words (symbols) together with
the tone and the attitude of the sender, as reflected by the structure of the message and the
choice of words used by him (the sender).
6. Receiver – A receiver is the targeted audience of the message. The receiver gets the
message, understands, interprets, and tries to perceive the total meaning of the message as
transmitted by the sender. He receives an encoded message which he attempts to decode.
7. Feedback – This is the top loop that connects the receiver in the communication process with
the sender, who, in turn, acts as a feedback receiver and, thus, gets to know that
communication has been accomplished. It also ensures that the receiver has received the
message and understood it as intended by the sender. This is the most important component
of communication. Effective communication takes place only when there is feedback.
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WORKING OF THE PROCESS OF
One Way Process
The sender, according to his ideas, behaviour patterns and
intention, selects a message.
He then encodes the message.
After encoding the message, he transmits it to the receiver
through a medium – be it oral verbal or non verbal.
As soon as the message reaches the receiver, he decodes it and
gives an internal response to the perceived message. The
response is not in relation to the actual content but rather to the
perceived content of the original message. This completes the
first phase of the communication process.
ONE WAY COMMUNICATION PROCESS
SENDER ENCODING MESSAGE CHANNEL
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Two way process
The one way communication process is
incomplete, as the sender does not come to
know whether his message has been
understood by the receiver or not.The process
will be complete only after the sender receives
feedback from the receiver. In the second
phase, the receiver formulates his
message, encodes it and transmits it to the
original sender – now turned receiver. This
stage is reoffered to as providing feedback and
is most crucial. If, the feedback is in tune with
the original intent of the sender, communication
can proceed without a hitch. Channel Decodin Receive
Ideation Encoding Sender
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EXAMPLE OF TWO WAY COMMUNICATION
An organization‟s policy to be
Ideation circulated among all employees
through news bulletin.
The editor/person who writes the
The content (policy details) and
the words/pictures used to convey
the policy to the employees.
The medium – in this case the
Channel news bulletin.
The audience of the message –
for whom the policy is intended
and who read the bulletin.
Feedback Employee‟s reaction to the policy
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Noise – It may be described as any distortion or hindrance,
preventing transmission of the message from the sender to the
receiver.Noise basically stands for external disturbance in the
physical environment surrounding the act of communication, or
noise in the machine used for communicating the message, such
as telephone or poor printout, or bad handwriting.
Filters – These are mental in nature.They include attitudes,
beliefs, experiences, consciousness of personal status, and the
ability to think clearly. Misunderstandings and different problems
may arise as the sender‟s message passes through the filters of
the receiver, which comprise the sender filters plus others such
as low interest or involvement in the message or distraction and
fatigue causing loss of concentration.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL
COMMUNICATION/ SEVEN C OF
Francis J Bergin advocates that there are seven
Cs to remember in verbal communication.They
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Candidness – In all business transactions, our
view of a matter should be honest, sincere
and fair. We should speak and listen without
prejudice or bias.Our guiding principle should
be fairness to self and to others involved in
the situation. For eg. When we qualify our
observation with the words “My honest
opinion” or “Frankly speaking” we are trying
to be candid, open hearted and sincere.
Candidness, in a way, implies consideration
of the other person‟s interest and his needs
to know things objectively and fairly.
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Clarity – The principle of clarity is most important
in all communications, especially when you are
involved in face to face interaction.It is not
always easy to verbalise ideas accurately on the
spot during conversation, presentation or any
other form of interaction.
To ensure that we express ourselves clearly, we
should use accurate and familiar words with
proper intonation, stresses and pauses. Our
spoken language should consist of simple words
and short sentences. Thoughts should be clear
and well organised. We should know what we
want to say and why.
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Completeness – Clarity is ensured also by
completeness of message. In conversation or
oral presentations, one can miss some parts of
the communication.It is, therefore, essential that
oral presentations, discussions, or dialogues
should be as far as possible, planned and
structured. While striving for
completeness, following guidelines are to be
Provide all necessary information.
Answer all questions asked.
Add something extra, when desirable.
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Conciseness – In business and professional
communications, we should be brief and be
able to say whatever we have to say in
minimum words. We should avoid being
repetitive.To achieve conciseness, following
suggestions are to be observed –
Eliminate wordy expressions.
eg. Wordy : My house is not very far from
Concise : My house is nearby.
Include only relevant material.
Avoid unnecessary repetition.
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Concreteness – Communicating concretely
means being specific, vivid and definite
rather than vague and general.Often it
means using denotative (direct, explicit)
rather than connotative words (ideas
associated with words). The following
guidelines can be used to compose concrete
Use specific facts and figures.
Put action in your verbs.
Choose vivid, image building words.
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Correctness – The message should not contain any
wrong information and should be authentic.Choose
the right level of language.At the time of
encoding, the sender should ensure that his
knowledge about the receiver is comprehensive. If
the sender decides to back up his communication
with facts and figures, there should be accuracy in
stating the same.
At the core of correctness is proper
grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Following are the guidelines for assuring
correctness in the message –
Use the right level of language: formal or informal and
avoid substandard language or words.
Check accuracy of figures, facts and words.
Maintain acceptable writing mechanics.
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Courtesy – In conversational situations, meetings and
group discussions, an effective speaker maintains the
proper decorum of speaking.
Following are the guidelines –
One should say things with force and assertiveness
without being rude.
Courtesy demands that we do not use words that are
insulting or hurtful to the listener.
Respect the other person by listening to him/her patiently.
We should wait for our chance to speak, and when it is
our turn to speak, we should speak with force and clarity.
Our tone should reflect our respect for our listener
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IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION IN
Sense of unity of purpose and commitment to a single organisational goal can
be developed only through the inspiring and persuasive power of
Training and development programmes can be conducted through effective
In order to appraise employees, performance standards must be properly and
In order to increase employee‟s job performance and effectiveness by updating
To promote employees sense of belonging and commitment.
To effect changes smoothly.
To inform and convince employees about decisions and the reasons behind
To develop employees‟ clear understanding of their roles and future growth
opportunities in the organization.
Resolving disputes in organizations , which lead to huge losses of time, money
and good human relations.
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SOME IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF MANAGING
Forecasting and Planning – Communicating the organizations‟
objectives, policies, programmes, procedures and budgetary provisions
to the concerned people.
Organising – Formal and informal relationships within the organization
are developed and maintained through interpersonal communication.
Instructing – Interpersonal exchange of information regarding
products, processes and targets.
Coordinating – Requires excellent communication skills to ensure that all
efforts are directed towards the achievement of a single organizational
Controlling – Competence to receive information and respond quickly.
Checks results and receives feedback.
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COMMUNICATION STRUCTURE IN ORGANIZATION
Channels of communication may be classified into two categories –
Formal Channel of Communication – Means of communication that is formally controlled by
managers or people occupying positions in an organization.This ensures that the information
flows orderly, in a timely and accurate manner.Any information, decision, memo or reminder etc.
will also follow this path.
1. Maintains the authority structure of the organization and becomes easier to fix responsibility of
subordinates for activities carried out by them.
2. Better cooperation and coordination among employees are achieved.
3. Information is more trustworthy and can be easily relied upon.
4. Memos, circulars, instructions and guidelines, agreements, reports etc. form a part of the
formal communication, which facilitate in the smooth functioning of the organization.
5. There is minimal chance of information leak or flow of gossip.
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1. Time consuming. Even a small piece of
information passes through long formal
channels and hence takes a lot of time.
2. Does not allow social and emotional bonds
to be created, in the absence of which
employees do not feel at ease and comfort.
3. Inhibit or stand in the way of free flow of
information between organisation levels.
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Board of Directors
Employees / Shop
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INFORMAL CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATION
Side by side with the formal channel of
communication every organization has an
equally effective channel of communication
namely that is the informal channel. Given
the name „grapevine’ precisely because it
runs in horizontal, vertical and diagonal
directions.It flows around water
coolers, down hallways, through lunch rooms
and wherever people get together in groups.
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Speedy transmission – It transmits information at a remarkably fast
Feedback value – Managers or top bosses of an organization get
feedback regarding their policies, decisions and memos.
Uniting force – Brings together work force in matters of common interest,
and as a result acts as a binding force among the employees.
Creation of ideas – Through sharing of ideas and views, generates more
ideas and expectations that often prove of value to the decision makers.
Good personal relations – Promotes personal relations, and is therefore
important for the success of public relations.
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Cannot be taken seriously – Spreads or transmits information by word of
mouth, it cannot always be taken seriously.
Does not carry complete information – As is often based on guess work
Distorts information – As it is entirely unofficial, informal and
Chances of misinterpretation – As every individual passing the
information may have his/her own perception.
Lack of accountability – Does not allow fixing authority or responsibility
structure and in case of a default, it is not possible to find who was
responsible for the same.
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COMMUNICATION ON THE BASIS OF
Communication is multidimensional or
multidirectional. There are various directions in
which it flows.
• Horizontal or Lateral
• Diagonal or crosswise
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Communication that flows from top to bottom is
known as downward communication. Every
organization has an inbuilt hierarchical
system, and in the first instance, communication
invariably flows downwards.It originated in the
assumption that the people operating at higher
levels have the authority to communicate to
people at the lower levels. Hence this kind of
communication exists especially in
organizations with an authoritarian atmosphere.
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PROBLEMS OF DOWNWARD COMMUNICATION
Information is quite often lost or distorted in the course of its journey
down the chain of command. While issuing instructions or sending
letters, every CEO assumes that what he intends to communicate
invariably reaches the persons it is intended for. But unfortunately it is
not always so.
The downward flow of information is time-consuming.The more the
levels, the more the chances of delay or dilution of information.
Downward communication is likely to be filtered, modified or distorted at
any level since managers decide what should be passed down to their
Sometimes, managers withhold information in order to keep the
employees dependent on them. The net result is that, in the absence of
complete information, employees may feel confused, ill-informed, or
powerless and might fail to carry out their tasks properly.
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Communication that flows from bottom to
top, or which is from lower hierarchical level
to higher level, is called upward
communication. The main function of upward
communication is to supply information to the
upper levels about what is happening at the
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PROBLEMS OF UPWARD COMMUNICATION
As higher-ups do not like to be told anything
against their wishes, hence the piece of
communication may quite often not be allowed
to go up.
It may also be distorted or misrepresented in the
absence of a healthy open door policy.
The employees may feel let down or they may
become shy and reluctant to express
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LATERAL OR HORIZONTAL COMMUNICATION
When communication takes place between two or more persons
who are subordinates working under the same person, or those
who are working at the same level, it is called lateral or horizontal
communication. A good example of this kind of communication is
that between functional managers. They are serving the
organisation in different capacities but their goals are common
and their interaction is necessary to maintain co-ordination.
The best example of lateral communication can be seen in the
interaction of production and marketing departments. Strategies
of marketing cannot be fruitful unless plans are communicated to
the production department. The Marketing Manager has to be in
constant touch with the Production Manager, in order to meet
customer orders as per schedule.
Marketing Manager Production Manager
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DIAGONAL OR CROSSWISE COMMUNICATION
Diagonal or Crosswise communication includes flow of
information among persons at different levels who have
no direct reporting relationships. As an
example, communication between training supervisor and
marketing manager, regarding training of a few
employees of marketing department, is diagonal
communication. This is used to speed up the information
flow, improve understanding, and co-ordinate efforts for
the achievement of organizational objectives.
MARKETING MANAGER TRAINING MANAGER
MARKETING SUPERVISOR TRAINING SUPERVISOR
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Inward Communication includes all the information received by the organization from external
agencies, which may be –
These may be in the form of –
Notices and so on.
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The communication which the organization maintains with the outside world is
called outward communication.The image of the company is contingent upon the
relationship that it maintains with people outside.This communication may be
oral or written.To solicit the help and co-operation of everyone involved in an
external environment, outward communication is a must.
Outward communication may be in the form of –
Telephonic conversations and so on.
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COMMUNICATION IN CRISIS
Crisis communication is sometimes considered
a sub-specialty of the public relations profession
that is designed to protect and defend
an individual, company, or organization facing a
public challenge to its reputation. These
challenges may come in the form of an
investigation from a government agency, a
violation of environmental regulations, or any of
a number of other scenarios involving the
legal, ethical, or financial standing of the entity.
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A large part of crisis communication is the
prevention of situations before they escalate
to full-blown crises," said Steve Honig,
president of The Honig Company, LLC
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Responding quickly, efficiently, effectively and in a
premeditated way are the primary objectives of an
effective crisis communication strategy and/or
solution. Harnassing technology and people to
ensure a rapid and co-ordinated response to a range
of potentially crippling scenarios distinguishes a well
thought out and executed plan from a poorly or ill-
considered one. The inherent lag time in marshalling
responses to a crisis can result in considerable
losses to company revenues, reputation as well as
substantially impacting on costs.
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OBJECTIVES OF CRISIS COMMUNICATION
Effective crisis communication strategies will typically consider achieving
most, if not all, of the following objectives:
Be readily accessible to the news media
Show empathy for the people involved
Allow distributed access
Streamline communication processes
Maintain information security
Ensure uninterrupted audit trails
Deliver high volume communications
Support multi-channel communications
Remove dependencies on paper based processes
By definition a crisis is an unexpected and detrimental situation or event.
Crisis communication can play a significant role by transforming the
unexpected into the anticipated and responding accordingly.