1.1 Communication- Definition and Meaning

  • Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.
  • Communication is defined as “the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another, it is essentially a bridge of meaning between people. By using the bridge of meaning a person can safely cross the river of misunderstanding.”
  • Latin word- “communism“
  • Sharing information, ideas, attitude and the like with others.
  • Act of getting a sender of the message and a receiver of the message tuned together for a particular message, or a series of messages.
  • Good communication consists of creating understanding of the message.

1.2 Role of Communication

  • Convey information (to inform)
  • Secure understanding
  • Establish acceptance, conduct training,
  • Motivate action, motivating purpose
  • Educate (to educate) (Debates & Discussions)
  • Entertaining (to entertain)
  • Affect (to influence).
  • Socialization (Latin word – ‘Societas’ )
  • Advancing Culture

1.3 Need & Relevance

  • Organisational goals
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Quality (TPS)
  • Innovation (Art Fry)
  • Responsiveness – Process, Product
  • Competitiveness – PSE in India
  • Conflict Management

1.4 Communication Process

1.5 Organizational Communication

  • Organizational communication – the compounded interpersonal communication process across an organization

Communication flows in an organization are:
1. Vertical
2. Horizontal
Grapevine (multidirectional)

1. Vertical Communication

  • The flow of information both up and down the chain of command
  • Formal communication
  • Recognized as official
  • Status and power are not equal among participants in vertical communication

2. Horizontal Communication

  • The flow of information between colleagues and peers
  • Informal communication
  • Does not follow the chain of command
  • Need not be official

Grapevine Communication 

  • Grapevine – the informal vehicle through which messages flow throughout the organization (MBWA)
  • “When the grapevine allows employees to know about a management decision almost before it is made, management must be doing something right and the grapevine can be considered to be constructive.”

Communication Networks 

  • Communication networks – sets of employees who have stable contact through which information is generated and transmitted
  • Two major types of communication networks:

            1. Intra-Organizational & Inter Organizational
2. Customers, Suppliers, Financial Intermediaries and General Public(Tactical Transparency)

1.6 Components Of Communication

  • Source
  • Message
  • Channel
  • Receiver
  • Effect
  • Feedback

These are the 6 elements of communication.

The source is the origin of the idea. Source is  also famously known as sender. He may be an individual or group though ultimately, it is an individual who will act on behalf of the group. The sender conceives the idea, prepares the message, selects the channel of distribution and decides who the receiver will be.

It refers to the content that the sender passes on to the receiver. It is the core of communication. Messages can consist of symbols or words. Transformation of an idea into a message by the sender is known an encoding and converting this message into some meaning by the receiver is known as decoding. The message should be clear so that the receiver understands it.

The channel is the medium through which a message travels from sender to receiver. The channel may be mass media or interpersonal. Selection of channel depends on the message to be conveyed, availability of channel, cost and effectiveness of channel of distribution.

The receiver is the person for whom the message is intended. He is the most important aspect of the communication process which is  a two way process and incomplete without the receiver. Any change or neglect on the part of the receiver will hamper the entire process.

Effect is the change in behaviour of the receiver on receiving the message from the sender. He may ignore the message or store it or dispose it or even send a feedback to the source depending on how the message has an effect on the receiver.

Feedback is the response the receiver gives  to the sender after the element of effect. Feedback can be negative or positive depending on how the message is encoded and decoded by the sender and receiver respectively. Feedback in most cases does not take place. It is an optional element of communication that may or may not happen.

1.7 Oral communication

Oral communication is the process of verbally transmitting information and ideas from one individual or group to another. Oral communication can be either formal or informal. Examples of informal oral communication include:

  • Face-to-face conversations
  • Telephone conversations
  • Discussions that take place at business meetings

More formal types of oral communication include:

  • Presentations at business meetings
  • Classroom lectures
  • Commencement speeches given at a graduation ceremony

1.8 Principles of Effective Oral Communication


  • Before presenting something, there should be proper planning regarding the audience, topics to be delivered, timing and other factors: So, a person must be well-prepared to deliver his speech.

Clear pronunciation

  • To make oral messages meaningful to receivers, words should be clearly and correctly pronounced. There should not be any lack of clarity, otherwise, the communication would be confusing one.
  • Effective oral communication desires that a message should be brief. If the sender took a long time for talking, his message may not get the attention of the receiver.
  • Precision is needed to make oral communication effective. There should not be any confusing words rather message to be delivered should be specific so that there is no misunderstanding.
Natural voice
  • Any sort of unnatural voice may distort the message. Natural voice can do a lot to make oral communication effective.
Logical sequence
  • Ideas should be organized in a sequential way to make the message communicative and attractive. Unorganized ideas do not provide clear sense while a logical sequence of ideas gives clear sense.
Suitable words
  • Words have different meanings to different people in different situations in oral communication, a speaker should use the common, simple and familiar words so that receiver can react to the message without any problem.
  • Courtesy costs nothing but can earn many things. So, a speaker should be courteous while addressing listeners. It helps create a good impression in the mind of listeners regarding the speaker.
Attractive presentation
  • It is another principle to make oral communication effective. A speaker should deliver his speech in a very nice and sweet language so that receiver is attracted to take part in the communication.
Avoiding Emotions
  • Speaker must control his emotions to make oral communication effective. Too much emotion will take the speaker away from the main subject.
  • The speaker must be knowledgeable regarding the portion of the speech where he should give emphasis. Giving emphasis on respective points will help draw the attention of the audience.
Controlling Gesticulation
  • Speaker at many occasions, consciously or unconsciously, gesticulates for expressing his ideas or thoughts. This is a habit and should be avoided. Otherwise, application of such habit may lead to % disinterest of the audience.

1.9 Barriers to Effective Communication

  • External Barriers
  • Organizational Barriers
  • Personal Barriers 

External Barriers 
These may be
A. Semantic Barriers
– relate to different understanding and interpretations of words we use to communicate
B. Emotional or Psychological Barriers
– Premature evaluation
– Loss in transmission and retention
– Distrust of communicator
– Failure to communicate
– Undue reliance on the written word.
– Inattention

Organizational Barriers 
These may be

  • Organizational Policy
  • Organizational rules and regulations
  • Status Relationship
  • Complexity in organizational structure
  • Organizational facilities

Personal Barriers 
These may be
A. Barriers in superiors
– Attitude of superiors
– Fear of challenge to authority
– Insistence on proper channel
– Lack of confidence in subordinates
– Ignoring communication .

B. Barriers regarding subordinates
– Unwillingness to communicate
– Lack of proper incentive

Common Barriers

  • Physical Barriers- Noise, Time, Distance
  • Cultural Barriers
  • Language Barriers
  • Different Comprehension of reality – Wrong Interpretation, Bypassed Instructions, Denotations & Connotations.
  • Emotions
  • Attitude Clash
  • Loss by Transmission
  • Goal Conflicts
  • Offensive style
  • Closed Mind
  • Status Consciousness & Social Stigma
  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • Abstracting
  • Slanting
  • Inferring
  • Vagueness
  •  Objective not clarified
  • Wrong Perception
  • Wrong channel choice
  • Lack of Planning
  • Information Overload
  • Un-clarified Assumptions
  • Selective Perception & Filtering
  • Poor Retention
  • Poor Listening
  • Mistrust
  • Premature Evaluation
  • Bias
  • Halo Effect


  • Listening Skills
  • Positive talk
  • Meaningful
  • Appropriate time & Place


  • Conflict Management-Change direction of conversation
  • Meetings & Discussions- Discuss key issues in an uninterrupted manner towards the desired end.
  • Sell/ Buy- Convince, Persuade
  • Negotiations- Handle objections, Assertive
  • Performance appraisal-Constructive criticism
  • Interview- Probing, Laddering, Hidden Issue questioning
  • Time Management
  • Effective Communication & Relationship building- Reflection & Empathy
  • Presentations – Cues & Clues


  • CONTROLLED RESPONSE-dealing with criticisms

Guidelines for Giving Effective Criticism

  • Give more praise than criticism
  • Criticize immediately
  • Criticism should be performance oriented
  • Give specific and accurate criticism
  • Open on a positive note and close by repeating what action is needed


Practicing Specific Empathy

  • Listen
  • Open up
  • Offer physical affection
  • Focus your attention outwards
  • Withhold judgment
  • Offer help

Building Up one’s Empathy

  • Practicing curiosity about strangers
  • Challenge one’s own prejudice
  • Use one’s imagination
  • Practicing experiential empathy
  • Treating people as being important
  • Practicing loving-kindness meditation

1.14 Organizational and managerial communication

  • Managerial and Organizational Communication focuses on the relationship between communication and human behavior in all organizational contexts (business, government, nonprofit).
  • Organizations are created, maintained, and changed through human communication.
  • Managing interpersonal, group, and organizational communication processes and creating a collaborative environment is essential in today’s turbulent information environment.

1.15 Culture & Diversity in Communication

    The art of business communication has evolved as globalization has set disparate businesses cultures of the world on a collision course. Emerging economies have begun to integrate the business cultures of traditional powerhouse nations into their businesses, and they have been leaving traces of their own culture wherever they go. The impact of cultural diversity on business communication has widespread implications–from corporate boardrooms to employee break-rooms–and small business owners can benefit from gaining an understanding of the eccentricities of all cultures to which they are exposed.

Workplace Communication
According to lecturer and author Stephen Dahl, languages are highly influenced by the unique world views of their indigenous cultures. This means words and expressions themselves can have vastly different meanings and implications for people from different backgrounds. Employees in today’s workplaces must be careful to ensure that their intended messages are understood clearly as they communicate with culturally diverse co-workers. Taboo topics of conversation, biases in spiritual, political or social issues and the nuances of life experience differ between cultures, making it a challenge for co-workers to find a common ground when communicating. Conflict management styles vary dramatically by culture as well, creating possible tensions. Imagine an employee from the Netherlands, where people see arguments as a constructive and necessary part of communication, trying to solve a problem with an employee from Japan, where public disagreement is deeply offensive, and you’ll begin to grasp the types of problems that can arise due to cultural differences.

International Business Communication
In the past, it may have been commonplace for entrepreneurs and corporate managers to develop their own unique communication style for dealing with customers, business partners and suppliers. Today, however, managers must take the time to study the cultural eccentricities of their business counterparts before attempting to make contact with people in other countries or from other subcultures. The Texas oil tycoon, for example, has to understand that grabbing his Chinese partner’s hand in a firm handshake is not a good idea but that a slight bow and smile are the appropriate form of greeting. Verbal communication and body language are more important than ever in international business dealings because innocent hand gestures, mannerisms or even posture can cause a rift between culturally diverse business partners. The diversity of culturally distinct managers has been melding slowly as globalization and Westernization give managers extensive experience in different cultures.

Written Communication
A fundamental shift in the form of written business communications is taking place to accommodate foreign speakers. University business-communication courses now stress simplicity and readability of correspondence over wordiness and technical prowess in writing. Being able to get your message across to all readers has become more important than showcasing a mastery of legalese or the complex language of business research.

1.16 Technology in Communication

Impact of technology

  • Rapid advances in computer technologies for communication provide us with plenty of tools to enhance the ability
  • Use of computer packages for technical communication has its advantages as well as limitations


  • Speed and efficiency
  • Professional appearance and flavor
  • Vividness and greater appeal
  • Plenty of resources for data
  • Lot of facilities for revising, editing and formatting


  • Information overload or difficulty in effective information selection
  • System failures
  • Fatigue and frustration encountered
  • Requirement of a certain level of technical literacy
  • Blurring of official and personal lines in lives

Commonly used tools 

  • Software For Creating Messages
  • Creating a message for technical communication involves

organizing and
writing information

7 Cs of Effective Communication


  • One’s view of a matter should be honest and sincere and fair.
  • The guiding principle should be fairness to self and to others involved in the situation.
  • Phrases like “ my honest opinion” or “ frankly speaking” indicate an attempt to be candid , open hearted and sincere.
  • Clarity implies emphasizing on a specific message or goal at a time, rather than trying to achieve too much at once. Clarity in communication has following features:
  • It makes understanding easier.
  • Complete clarity of thoughts and ideas enhances the meaning of message.
  • Clear message makes use of exact, appropriate and concrete words
  • The message must be complete. It should convey all the facts required by the audience. The sender of the message must take into consideration the receiver and should communicate all the facts and figures related to the message.
  • Conciseness means  communicating what you want to convey in least possible words. Conciseness is a necessity for effective communication. Concise communication has following features:
  • It is both time-saving as well as cost-saving.
  • It underlines and highlights the main message.
  • Concise communication provides short and essential message in limited words to the audience.
  • Concrete communication implies being particular and clear rather than fuzzy and general. Concreteness strengthens the confidence. Concrete message has following features:
  • It is supported with specific facts and figures.
  • It makes use of words that are clear and that build the reputation.
  • Concrete messages are not misinterpreted
  • Correctness in communication implies that there are no grammatical errors in communication. Correct communication has following features:
  • The message is exact, correct and well-timed.
  • If the communication is correct, it boosts up the confidence level.
  • Correct message has greater impact on the audience/ readers.
  • It makes use of appropriate and correct language in the message.
  • Courtesy in message implies the message should show the sender’s expression as well as should respect the receiver. The sender of the message should be sincerely polite, judicious, reflective and enthusiastic. Courteous message has following features:
  • Courtesy implies taking into consideration both viewpoints as well as feelings of the receiver of the message.
  • Courteous message is positive and focused at the audience.
  • It makes use of terms showing respect for the receiver of message.
  •  Consideration implies “stepping into the shoes of others”. Effective communication must take the audience into consideration, i.e, the audience’s view points, background, mind-set, education level, etc. Make an attempt to envisage your audience, their requirements, emotions as well as problems. Ensure that the self-respect of the audience is maintained and their emotions are not at harm.