BASIC FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
In an organization several methods, channels and dimensions as used to pass the message form one person to the other. Communication process helps in understanding the way through which a person can convey his message. The success of an institution or organization depends to a large extent on the system of communication. Various types of communication can be classified as follows :
FORMS OF COMMUNICATION ON THE BASIC OF EXPRESSION
The method or way of conveying and exchanging one’s ideas, opinions and emotions is known as communication medium. Keeping in view the objects and utility of the message, different modes are used in conveying the message. The different media used in communication may be classified as follows:
(1) Verbal Communication : Communication through spoken and written words is known as verbal communication . In other words. When message is transmitted by sender to receiver with the help of words spoken or written , it is called as verbal communication. The process of communication involves the use of common set of symbols between the sender and the recipient. Words are most accurate and powerful set of symbols, Therefore most of the communication take place through words. Verbal communica5ion can be to of two types.
(i) Oral Communication : When communication is done by words spoken, it is called oral communication. In this type of communication , exchange of opinions is done through face to face communication or through some mechanical device. Oral communication takes place in different ways such as personal talks, speeches, interviews, seminars, telephone talks etc. In the oral communication , receiver also comes to know the body language of the sender. If the receiver cannot understand the messages, he can also get clarified at once form the sender. Oral communication is speedy, saves time , provide immediate feedback and provides better under- standing by removing doubts and fears.
(ii) Written Communication : Exchange of messages in written or printed form is known as written communication . This type of communication takes place in different ways such us letters, memos, reports, notices, circulars, magazines etc. It need utmost care while preparing the written message. The choice of words should be done carefully in written communication and the words should be such so as to convey a specific meaning. In the modern age, need and impo9rtance of written communication is increasing day by day.
(2) Non – Verbal Communication : Any communications without the use of words is known as non-verbal communication. It is a process of communication in which transmission of messages is done through facial expressions, body posture, eye contact, appearance, silence it. Studies reveal that more than 65% of human communication is done through non-verbal clues. It makes verbal communication complete and more effective. By using non-verbal form of communication, a person can express his feelings to other quickly and economically. Raising eyebrows, lines on the forehead, raising hands, shaking the head, smiling, clapping etc. communicate much more than words. While communicating it should be remembered that the way of speaking is as Important as what you speak. Infact one expert contends that only 7% of as impact of our face to face communication comes from the words we spoke, the other 93% comes form our vocal intonation, facial expressions, posture and appearance. Non- verbal communication can be classified as follows:
(i) Body language or kinesics : The study of message conveyed by body movements is known as body language. Just as language uses symbols to convey message, our body movements convey messages such as rubbing the nose for feeling tense, putting the hand on forehead for distress, raising hand by a traffic policeman to stop the traffic etc. are the examples of body language. Body language helps to complete the verbal communication. Man may play with words but his body movements speaks the truth.
(ii) Sing Language. It is a method in which different signs, pictures, signals, colours are used to convey the message. Signs can be of two types- audio signs and visual signs .
Audio sign include buzzers, electric bells, sirens, hooters etc. which produce different sounds to convey the messages. For example hooting of siren in a factory immediately makes the workers active. Visual signs such as posters, cartoons, pictures, colours etc. are used to convey message for general information and education. People all over the worls recognize what the traffic lights red , yellow and green. The symbols of two crossed bones below a skull means danger and a crossed cigarette means no smoking.
(iii) Para language : In the para language tone of voice , pitch, rhythm, volume, break in sentences etc. are used to convey the message. In para language, we examine the sound of someone speech. Voice tells us so much about the speaker sex, background, education and temperament. Clearer the voice is more effective will be the communication. In the same way, stress on different words changes the meaning of message every time. For example, in a sentence ‘you may go’ if stress is laid on the word go then it shows anger. With the help of para language mental situation of a person can be studied easily.
ON THE BAISC OF DIRECTION
On the basic of direction of flow of communication, is can be classified as under :
(1) Vertical communication : Every organization has a hierarchical line of authority along which runs a communication channel used for transmitting all written and oral messages. When message flow from higher authorities to subordinates or from subordinates to higher authorities along with different levels of organization structure is known as vertical communication. In this type of communication, messages and direction passes along the scalar chain for example, board of director( highest authority of the organization ) passes his orders and direction to the managing director and managing director passes on necessary and relevant information to departmental managers, who in turn, issue instructions to supervisors. Vertical communication can be of two forms :
(i) Downward communication : When message is transmitted from higher authorities to subordinates and lover class of employees, it is known as downward communication. Through this managers provide information to his subordinates regarding the policies , plans and programmers of the enterprise. Orders, bulletin, job-sheets, manuals, guidelines are its main examples. It can be shown as follows :
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(ii) Upward Communication : When message is transmitted from subordinates to higher authorities then it is known as upward communication. This communication system is usually used to communicate the problems grievances, suggestions and reactions of workers to managers. For the success of this system, it is necessary to have open door policy, management workers meetings, participation attitude in the business etc. This system increases the morale and productivity of workers.
(2) Lateral or Horizontal Communication : When communication takes place between two or more persons who are linked to each other by equal status or equality of relationship. The meeting of general managers of various units of the company, communication between territorial sales managers arew the examples of horizontal communication. The main objective of this communication is to establish co-ordination in the business so that works and decisions are fulfilled quickly and efficiently.
(3) Diagonal Communication : The transfer of information among people who are neither in the same department nor on the same level of organizational hierarchy is called diagonal communication. In other words it refers to the interchange of messages among the persons located at different levels of hierarchy and outside the direct chain of command. When the assistant Finance manager communicates with the accounts clerk directly is an example of diagonal communication. Diagonal flow of communication short- circuits the rigid chain of command. Informal meeting. Lunch hour meeting, conference project organization meeting etc. are the main media of this type of communication.
ON THE BASIC OF RELATIONS
Communication on the basic of organizational structure may be classified into two categories formal and informal.
(i) Formal Communication : Formal communication is closely associated with a formal organizational structure.
Under this system, the message flows according to a fixed and prescribed way. It follows the pre- decided procedures., rules and regulation for the transmission of messages. Formal channel fo communication recognizes superior and subordinate positions and relationship. This system ensure flow of information in a planned route smoothly, accurately and timely. Infact, this communication takes place between two positions and not between persons.
(ii) Informal communication : It is not a planned or deliberately created channel of communication. It is free from all formalities. No formal organization chart is followed to convey the messages. It is based on the informal relations of the two persons. Body language is also used in informal communication like to show anger, to smile, remain silent etc. it is most flexible and speedy channel of communication. But his type of communication is difficult to control and often misunderstanding .
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
Oral communication : It is one of the earliest as well as the most widely practiced medium of communication. Oral communication is the form of communication in which messages is transmitted in spoken words. In oral communication, the process is a face to face conversation and mechanical devices can also be used like telephone, internet etc. It may take place different ways such as personal talks, talephonic conversation, seminars, interviews, speeches etc. Oral communication saves time and provide immediate feedback. In a face to face conversation, doubts, clarifications, explanations and questions can be asked and ans3wred at once . In this process of communication the receiver also come to know the body language of the sender .
According to Viley, In the process communication, verbal communication is best one, because along with words, body language is also used in this form of communication with the result that receiver can easily know the feelings of sender.”
Oral communication is speedy, economic, flexible, clear and effective method of communication. But oral communication is or recommended in which formal record is required and when communication is lengthy and distant.
IMPORTANCE AND ADVANTAGES OF ORAL COMMUNICATION
(1) Speedy and simple method : Oral communication is very fast, simple and economical method of communication . It saves the time involved in writing the message and also saves the money spent on stationery in an organization.
(2) Flexibility : Oral communication is characterized with high level of flexibility. The speaker can adjust his message and tone according to the situation. He is also free to modify or withdraw his comments.
(3) Personal touch : Oral communication proves helpful in making healthy climate in the organization by bringing superiors and subordinate closer. Both the siod3s can understand each other cully and clearly. It helps in developing mutual faith and understanding.
(4) Immediate Response : The main advantage of oral communication is that is provid3s immediate response to both the sender and the receiver. Each can ask Question for clarification and doubts can be removed at once . The speaker can easily understand the reaction of the audience.
(5) More effective : Oral communication is more effective in its nature as body language is used along with the words. It can be made even more effective at different times by the feelings of happiness, anger, respect etc .
(6) Secrecy : It is easier to keep oral messages secret because no record of communication generally maintained.
(7) Useful for group discussion : Oral communication proves helpful for communication the groups. There fore, This type of communication is widely used in meeting, seminars and conferences where different people can interact with each other .
(8) Participative management : Oral communication promotes participative management system. All persons concerned with and issue are invited to discuss it and taking appropriate decisions.
DISADVANTAGES OR LIMITATION OF ORAL COMMUNICATION
(1) No-record : Oral communication provide no record for future reference, In the absence of record, oral message have no legal validity.
(2) Presense of both parties : Oral communication becomes possible only when the both parties are present. if receiver is not present, sensity of oral communication is lost.
(3) Poor retention power : The listener cannot retain oral messages in his memory for a long time . The speaker himself may not recall what he actually said .
(4) Unsuitable for lengthy messages : When message is lengthy , then oral communication is not suitable because the chances of its misunderstanding and forgetting are very high. Lengthy message fail to retain listeners attention so the oral communication fail to retain listeners attention so the oral communication fails.
(5) Lack of responsibility : Since oral messages have no documentary proof, it becomes difficult to hold person responsible for mistakes, inaccuracy, untruth in oral communication.
(6) less-effective : Usually, people take less care while speaking in comparison to writing. Therefore, spoken word tends to be less effective than the written words.
(7) Possibilities of mis-understanding : Due to noise and poor expression, oral communication is likely to be misunderstood. The speaker may not be able to make himself quite clear or the listener may be inattentive.
When communication is done through the written words it is termed as written communication. It is one of the best and reliable way of communication. This method is suitable when records are required to be kept in written form . Written communication involves Transmission of messages through letter , notic3s, circulars, memos reports etc. The choice of words should be such as to convey a specific meaning.
A written communication must contain all the necessary facts. It should be complete and concise but this conciseness should not be at the cost of clarity and completeness.
ADVANTAGES OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
(1) Permanent Record : Written communication provides a permanent record for future reference. If any dispute arises, the matter can be solved by the contents of past written materials.
(2) Accuracy : Written messages are prepared with great care and thought as the authenticity of written message can be challenged and verified. Thus it gives clear and correct information to the receiver.
(3) Wide access : Written communication is best suitable in the situations when there is need top send the information to the persons who are distantly placed. Written message have widest possible coverage.
(4) No need for personal contact : In this type of communication, it is not necessary for both parties to be present before each other. Written message is sent to the concerned person by the authorities.
(5) Suitable for lengthy messages : Written communication is very suitable for transmitting the lenthy messages.
(6) Responsibility and Accountability : In this type of communication , it is quite easy to fix the accountability and responsibility. Nobody can shift or avoid his responsibility.
(7) Saves time and money : When message is to be conveyed to different people at different places, written communication is the best one . In such cases, it is most economical and time saving.
(8) Prevent distortion of messages : Written communication reduces the risk of any alteration in the message and thus prevents misunderstanding. It also ensures uniformity in instruction, procedures and other message that require identical action by many persons.
DISADVANTAGES OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
(1) Time consuming : Written communication in more time consuming as time has to be spent in writing and sending the messages. It is very formal and lacks personal interest.
(2) Lack of secrecy : It is difficult to maintain secrecy about a written message as it can be read sometimes even by unauthorized persons.
(3) Expensive : Written communication is an expensive way of communication as expenditure is incurred on ink, paper , typing, remuneration for the person preparing the message and postage charges etc.
(4) Lacks flexibility : Written communication lacks flexibility as clarification and adjustments can but be made at once. As there is no direct discussion between the parties, hence doubts of the receiver may not be clarified.
(5) Less effective : Written communication tends to be formal and there is lack or personal touch. Sender cannot be able to express his felling fully in this type of communication. Therefore, the receive is less receptive.
(6) Not suitable in Emergency : when there is some emergency this system befomes inappropriate in the sense that it will take much time to send written message.
(7) Delayed Feedback : In written communication, the sender of the message can not receive the immediate response of the receiver. He has no opportunity to judge the reaction from the facial expression of the receiver.
(8) Lead to red-tapism : Written communication may lead to red-tapism as it involves many formalities.
It is clear from the above discussion that both the methods have their own advantages as well as disadvantages. There is need to make proper co-ordination between these two communication forms. It is rightly said that , if a manager chooses only one method then he will have to face serious failure.