Communication, life blood of any organization in business world
by Premasara Epasinghe
B A (Cey), Dip in Ed, Dip in Mktg, Lecturer, Educationist, Public Relations and Marketing Consultant
The word communication can be defined as sending and receiving information, emotions, ways of thinking or behaving, between two or more persons by using verbal or non-verbal, body language with a view to understanding.
An exchange of information by people can also be defined as communication. Thing that is communicated, or a message can also be considered as communication. Further, communicating through roads, railways, telephone and telegraph lines between places or radio or TV is also a kind of communication. In “Marketing Management Jargon” a sender creates a message and transmit to a receiver. For this, number of communication methods can be adopted. In the modern business world, communication plays an important role. It is a significant tool for business development. Express your ideas or thoughts by words, in black and white, can be regarded as the Essence of Business Communication. In short, if business is considered the heart, communication is like the blood that pumps into the heart.
Exchange of information between people can be defined as communication. It’s a two way process. One responds to a message, transmitted by some other person. A sender might send a message. Another person may receive it. Human communication is something people do it. One must understand, message characteristics have an impact in the Communication Process. Many communication experts or scholars agree that “Meaning is in people, not words. This will clearly show that different people receiving the same message many interpret differently and mean in different ways.
Two important communication net-works
There are two important communication networks. It can be divided into Formal and Informal. The organizational method between organization relationship can be Formal. Communication by a close group or school friends and old boys can be called Informal Communication. In business world, communication is the life blood of any institution, corporation, firm or government. If communication between an organization fails, the entire system will take a nose dive. Therefore, there must be an Effective Communication between the “Public” and the Organizations”.
Effective Communication must be designed for the situation, time, place and audience. It means careful selection of media and technique.
Words can excite and inflame. There is evidence that a mistake in translating a message sent by the Japanese Government near the end of World War II may have triggered the Bombing of Hiroshima. Thus, ushered the atomic warfare. The word MOKUSATSU – used by Japan in response to US. Ultimatum, was translated Ignore, instead of its correct meaning “Withhold Comment until a Decision has been made”. This was a terrible mistake or mishap.
Poet Anne Sexton warned, “Words like eggs, must be handled with care. Once broken they are beyond repair.”
Thorough and Truthful in your Information
The basic steps for Effective Communication is that one must be thorough with your information. Communication is built on sincerity. One must be truthful in his or her communication. The message should be clear, so that the receiver, must understand what the message conveys. Your message or communication will be clearly understood, if you are able to give human interest examples. You must not allow rumours to dominate. If you are a successful communicator, you must listen and continuously monitor the responses.
During many years after the Second World War Public Relations – defined as inducing the Public to have notions of two-way communication and relationship. A sender creates or makes a message by encoding it in a certain manner to transmit to the receiver.
Exchange of Information vital
The exchange of information between people is communication. Meetings bring people together, providing both opportunities to speak and opportunities to listen. It’s a two-way process. Work group meetings, quality control circles, participative management sessions, are examples of small task-oriented meetings. These meetings require specific objectives, careful planning and skillful directions. Non-verbal communication is transmitted or sent without the use of written or spoken words. Sometimes it plays an important role in communication.
Be a Good Listener
Managers must be good listeners. It plays a vital role in the communication process. What are the few active listening that one should follow? They are be silent, avoid disturbances and concentrate on the message, when other individual is talking. One must not come into a conclusion before the message is completed. Further, use eye-contact, head nods and your facial expressions etc.
Be a Truthful Communicator
The managers should be Truthful Communicators. If an organization do not provide the factual and True Information about your Institution it affects their careers. Managers should always maintain honesty and integrity.
If an organization or institution hide information about their products, it amounts to the violation of rules. Hiding information, regarding harmful products, misleading by advertising and also excessive overpricing, it will harm the organization or institution, in a big way.
Tools of Communication
In the “Global Village”, though English is the language of International Business, computers are extending the reach of the new information age, by translating documents, transcribing voice communication and empowering those formerly excluded from international discourse. The window on the world is opening wider and wider to more people through communication. The satellites and fibre optic networks deliver electronic, mail, television, radio coverage, newspaper and magazine content and “Secure” commercial transactions and government communications. The new communication technology is changing the world in unexpected and powerful ways. It is the result of globalization.
There are some core traits and skills that can be developed by a Project Manager to successfully perform his job. The nine of these traits are system, thinker, personal integrity, proactive, high tolerance of stress, general business perspective, effective time management, skillful politician, optimist and last but not the least Good Communicator. Managers have to be able to communicate with a wide variety of individuals.
They, not only have to convey their ideas in an easily understandable manner. Good communicators must be Empathic Listeners, capable of drawing out the true meaning in what others are trying to convey. One must remember Trust is sustained through frequent face to face contact.
What are the Functions of Communication?
There are four major functions that serves communication. It controls member behaviour in many ways. Communication fosters Motivation by clarifying to employees what is to be done. For many employees work groups are primary sources for social interaction. It provides a release for the Emotional Expression of feelings and fulfillments of social needs. The final function that communication performs relates to its role in facilitating Decision Making. The vital function of communication is that it provides Information, that individuals and groups need to make decisions by transmitting data to identify and evaluate different choices.
Communication, Life Blood of any Organization in the Business orld
Communication is the exchange of information between people. If there is a misunderstanding of a few words in transmitting a message could be a matter of life and death. For example, there occurred number of Aviation Disasters largely due to communication problems. The one of the worst disasters in aviation history took place in 1977 at Tenerite-Canary Islands. The captain of the KLM Flight thought the Air Traffic Controller cleared him to take off.
Dutch KLM Captain and Spanish Controller had a big mix-up in their English conversation. The KLM Captain took off. It resulted KLM Boeing 747, collided with Pan Am 747 on the runway killing 583 people. In another Plane Disaster, which took place near New York Kennedy Airport, the controller misunderstood captain’s SOS – Running Low on Fuel,” did not give the Green Light for the plane to land early. The plane crushed 16 miles away from the Air Port, killing 73 people. There were other plane disasters in China, Cali-Colombia, New Delhi, due to poor communication.
The few examples above clearly shows how “Miscommunication” can bring deadly results. One must realize, communication is more than transmitting a meaning. In a group, in which one person speaks only Tamil and others do not know Tamil, the individual speaking Tamil will not be completely understood. Hence, communication must include both the “Transference and Understanding of Meaning.”
Now, let us discuss briefly the functions performed by communication and its communication process.
Within the group or organization, communication serves four (4) functions. It controls member behaviour. Secondly, communication fosters motivation, by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and what can be done to improve the performance. The employees when performing work, they interact. When working like a Team it provides them Emotional Expressions. The fourth communication functions relates to decision making. It provides the Information for them to take decisions.
One must remember, before communication take place a message conveyed is necessary. It’s between the Sender and Receiver. The message is converted to a symbolic form, encoded and transmitted to some medium. The receiver re-translate (Decodes) the message.
The communication process model consists of seven parts. They are (1) Communication source (2) Encoding (3) The Message, (4) The Channel (5) Decoding, (6) The Receiver (7) Feedback.
The communication source begins by encoding a thought. The Message is actual product from Encoding. The channel is the medium through which message travels. The Receiver is the object to whom the message is transmitted. The Feedback, is to check the successfulness of the message.
The direction of communication flow vertically or laterally. The vertical dimension can be further divided into two directions. Downward and Upward.
Communication that flow from one level of a group or organization to lower level is Downward Communication. It is used mainly by managers or group leaders to give instructions to the employees. This Downward Communication doesn’t have to be face to face or oral contact.
In the case of Upward Communication, it flows to a higher level. It provides feed back to higher ups in the organization.
When communication takes place among the members of the same working groups, among managers of the same level it is known as the Lateral Communication. There are three basic methods, where group members transfer the meaning between among them. They are Oral, Written and Non Verbal Communication.
The chief way of conveying messages is known as Oral Communication. Speeches, group discussions informed rumour mill or grapevine belongs to this category. Letters, electronic mail, fax, periodicals, magazines, notices in bill boards or anything transmitted via written words or symbols are classified as Written Communication. These written communications are well thought, logical and they are clear as crystal. One drawback in this written communication is it is time consuming.
When we give a message to some individual verbally, we also impart a non verbal message. Sometimes, if you smile, glance, or frown, your body movement will convey a message. This can be called Non Verbal Communication. Facial expressions also convey meaning. The face showing the teeth and growed angrily, say something different from a smile. Further, physical distance among individuals also has a meaning.
The 3rd part of this series of articles will cover the Organizational Communication.