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COMMUNICATION – ITS SIGNIFICANCE IN 5 STREAMS

Communication – its significance in 5 streams of life is discussed in this article.Communication originates from the Latin word communico or communicare, which means ‘to share’. Despite various definitions from scholars and researchers, communication essentially means the transfer of ideas, feelings, plans, messages and information from one person to another. However, communication is considered effective only when it gets the desired action or response.

“Communication works for those who work at it.”John Powell

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Communication is a process whereby information is encoded, channelled, and sent by a sender to a receiver via a medium.  The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. All forms of communication require a sender, a channel, a message, a receiver and the feedback that effectively winds up the process.  The role of the receiver and sender keeps changing in the entire communication activity. However, there can be hindrance in communication at times such as noise. These barriers can also be physical, emotional, psychological, and social and so on. It is an undesirable human tendency to jump to hasty conclusions, approve or disapprove what is being said or written, and generalize the ideas without being convinced. This tendency often leads to failure in communication because the listeners and readers evaluate the message without fully understanding its real essence.  Proper planning, rightly encoded messages, understanding other cultures, conducive communication environment, that is, an environment devoid of fear and distrust, may help in overcoming these barriers. 

Why communication is important?

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The rapidity with which we have seen our world change is awesome. I believe the number of technological breakthrough we have seen in our lives remain unparalleled by any generation. These are times when you not only learn to accept change very fast; you start to initiate change if you really want giddy heights of success. Communication plays a significant role in every aspect of our life. Our society moves on the wheels of communication. Particularly in the professional world, it is communication and its related skills that decide a person’s career. The better one’s communication skills, the higher are the chances of him/her to touch greater heights of glory.  Actually, nothing happens in the professional world without communication. 

Communication is the act of conveying information from one person to another by using voice( verbally), gesture or body language( non verbally).The ability to convey information successfully and clearly is a fundamental life skill and should not be underestimated. Since communication affects almost all of our life, it is important to enhance the skills of communication. “Words can poison, words can heal. Words start and fight wars, but words make peace. Words lead people to the pinnacle of goodness and words can plunge people to the depth of evil.”- Marguerite Schumann

Communication stems from the act of speech, which plays a huge role, not only at workplace but also in everyday life. Having better communication skills in life makes people want to hear what you have to say and listen for a reason. Good communication can build a background where trust can develop in relationship with others. Communication is a dynamic process that takes place around us all the time. In fact, we spend 70% of our time receiving and sending messages.

According to Mc Farland, “Communication is a 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.” 

Why communication is important in an organization?

Communication facilitates the flow of information and understanding between different people and departments through different media using all the channels and networks. The flow of information is vital for managerial effectiveness and decision making in general and for human resource manager in particular, as he has to be in contact with the managers of various departments, employees and workers and trade unions. 

Communication thus helps understand people better removing misunderstanding and creating clarity of thoughts and expression. Communication can be written or oral, formal, informal and upward, downward, horizontal, diagonal, interpersonal, intrapersonal, interdepartmental, intra-organizational.  Communication thus brings people together, closer to each other. It bridges the gap between individuals and groups through flow of information and understanding between them. In fact, all the departments and units of an organization have to go hand in hand to achieve its goals and for that, they need to keep communicating with one another.   

 In the modern world the growth of telecommunication, information technology and the growing competition and complexity in production have increased the importance of communication in organizations large and small irrespective of their type and kind.

Since every organization is a social system that involves interaction among people working at different levels, proper communication among them becomes necessary for achieving the goals of an organization.  When communication crumbles, the organized action comes to an end. The organization that disregards the importance of communication cannot compete and survive in a demanding professional world that more than anything else demands its incumbents to be articulate, expressive and communicative.  Communication, thus, is vital to the survival, sustenance and growth of an organization.  

Every organization has a proper network of communication, which is established due to different types of communication flow in the organization. These are horizontal, vertical, downward and upward, diagonal and spiral communication. An informal flow of communication, that is, grapevine, also exists in organization. 

Why communication is important for Managers?

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Each of the management roles- Planning, Organization, Leading and Controlling depends on effective communication.  Managers must be able to receive accurate information to determine plans and they must be able to send accurate information for the plans to be implemented. Managers should create a plan that defines what needs to be done and how it will be done. The plans must be communicated well to the members of the organization. Communication propels the management process and serves as a lubricant for its smooth operation. 

Good communication not only informs but also helps create a culture that makes people feel like they belong to and want to support the organization. Managers can only reach the goals if the people in the organization are committed to the goals. People perform much better when they are informed and involved. 

 Managers can make everyone in the organization feel like they are valued contributors by listening to employers’ concerns and by giving considerations to their suggestions.  Effective communication creates support and commitment. When employees feel they are valued in the organization they will be more engaged and motivated. 

A culture that promotes open communication leads to healthy relationships, both professionally and socially.

Why communication is important in business?

Communication in business is important to convey clear, strong messages about strategy, customer service and branding. Good communicators are vital to a business profit margin and reputation. Communication is an essential element in the success of any business. The process of transferring information from one person to another within and outside the business environment is termed as “Business Communication.”

Ricks and Gow defined Business Communication as a system that is responsible to affect change throughout the whole organization.

The objective of business communication is to improve organizational efficiency by lowering mistakes. Business communication includes different aspects like marketing, public relations, corporate and interpersonal communication, etc. Due to different levels of hierarchy and involvement of a huge number of people, business communication plays an important role in different management functions i.e; planning, coordinating, organizing, directing and controlling.

Business Communication helps in increasing productivity, enhances business partnership, facilitates innovation in business, boosts the efficiency of employees, enhances efficiency and leads to effective leadership.

Why communication is important in life?

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Everyday interactions that take place during communication form the foundation for lasting healthy relationships. The way we communicate is determined strongly by the culture we are groomed in. There are several aspects of communication, which differ from culture to culture.  It is because of this variegated cultural confluence at work place that creates significant challenges to effective communication beyond the obvious barriers. 

Michigan State University Extension’s Relax: Alternatives to Anger educational program recognizes only about 10 percent of our communication consists of the words we say. The other 70 percent is made up of our facial expressions, body contact, eye contact, personal space, tone of voice and body language. 

Positive communication is a life skill. People need not get addicted to medicines to lead a healthy and contented life. A smile, gentle touch, soothing words, actions and gestures can do wonders in the life a person. In this busy world, we have become multi –taskers.  A day without gadgets is a day that will bring peace and prosperity.  Let us all love and be the recipients of gratitude and love.

Good Communication Skill can help professionally, improve personal life, manage interactions in work place, ease stress, builds trust, strengthens bond, reduces conflict, boosts self-esteem and decision making skills. Communication in the professional world occupies such a pivotal position that there hardly exists an activity in the business and industry that does not require communication to play any role.

 While selecting a new recruit, one of the first things that companies look for in an individual is the person’s ability to communicate effectively with others. Our communication skills thus have the potential to make or ruin our fortune.  

Thus, communication is necessary for us in all aspects of our lives.   Communication works for those who work at it. Communication is a must, not an option or a choice. “We are stronger when we listen and smarter when we share.”

Other Suggested Reads: Importance of Communication in Business

Importance of Communication in an Organization

Importance of Managerial Communication at Workplace

– Cavyashree K A

Assistant Professor

Department of English

Coorg Institute of Technology

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