Explaining The Stages Of Communication Process Information Technology Essay

A communication is a process which involves a sender, a receiver and the mes­sage which is to be sent. There are some external things which might occur during this transfer, which could distort the message and prevent the receiver from receiving the original message that was meant by the sender. Apart from these externalities, both the sender and the receiver do some­thing interest­ing. The senders do not just give a universal message that is under­standable by everybody. They encode it. They add certain things and state things in a certain way.

On the other side, the receiver of the message has to decode, to a certain extent, what the sender meant to say. This includes the words as well as the tones and certain gestures and indications that are not ex­pressed verbally. This often results in distortion of the message.

Image Source: http://www.passia.org/seminars/2000/conflict/wanis-6.htmlConflict Resolution and Negotiations In Organisatons

Message is what a communicator actually produces for transmission using spoken or written words, photographs, paintings, films, posters, etc. a great deal of skill and effort is required to formulate a message, the meaning of which should be understandable to the receiver. Actually the purpose of communication is to influence the receiver and get favourable responses so that appropriate decisions can be taken. The success of communication, therefore, depends on what we say and how we say it. A message can enhance or distort effective communication. For instance, in an interview your intention is to impress interviewer, but if you give answers whose meaning is not clear, the interviewer may perceive that you are incompetent for the job. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

A channel is the vehicle through which a message is carried from the communicator to the receiver. There are many channels of communication i.e. written, spoken, verbal, non-verbal, mass media like TV, radio, newspapers, books, etc. Choosing the appropriate channel, which is most suitable for the message as well as the receiver, is a complicated task. Success and failure of communication depends on the selection of the right channel. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

The receiver, at the other end of the communication, is the recipient of the message and must possess the same orientation as the communicator. If the receiver does not have the ability to listen, to read, to think, he will not be able to receive and decode the messages in the manner the communicator want him to. For effective communication, the receiver is the most important link in the communication process. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

Decoding is the interpretation of the message by the receiver. Actually, the receiver looks for the meaning in the message, which is common to both the receiver and the communicator. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

Feedback is the response or acknowledgement of receiver to the communicator’s message. The exchange is possible only if the receiver responds. In this way both participants in communication interact and constantly exchange roles. In face-to-face communication the receiver responds naturally, directly and immediately. This provides the communicator an opportunity to improve and make his communication effective. Feedback, thus, provides an opportunity to evaluate what is right or wrong about a particular communication. It helps to regulate the conversation among two or more individuals and also stimulates and reinforces an idea that is desired to be communicated. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

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Noise is an interruption that can creep in at any point of the communication process and make it ineffective. Environment is one major cause that interferes with message reception: like noises from the roadside, constant chattering of individuals outside the communication act, blaring loudspeaker, faulty transmission, etc. noise can occur in other forms also; poor handwriting, heavy accent or soft speech, communication in a poorly lit room, etc. in fact, these are barriers to effective communication. For smooth and effective communication, it is necessary to eliminate or reduce noise as far as possible. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

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(mbaknol.com, 2010)

WHAT ARE THE MAIN BARRIERS TO GOOD COMMUNICATION ?

Communication is a process beginning with a sender who encodes the message and passes it through some channel to the receiver who decodes the message. Communication is fruitful if and only if the messages sent by the sender is interpreted with same meaning by the receiver. If any kind of disturbance blocks any step of communication, the message will be destroyed. Due to such disturbances, managers in an organisaton face severe problems.

There are several barriers which affects the flow of communication in an organisaton. These barriers interrupt the flow of communication from the sender to the receiver, thus making communication ineffective. It is essential for managers to overcome these barriers. The main barriers of communication are summarized below.

Language – Inability to converse in a language that is known by both the sender and receiver is the greatest barrier to effective communication. When a person uses inappropriate words while conversing or writing, it could lead to misunderstanding between the sender and a receiver.

Prejudice – the sender may have already got pre set views and is not prepared to listen.

Cultural differences – The receiver may receive the message correctly worded but due to cultural differences take the message to have a different meaning.

Complicated – If the message is to long or technical, it may not be properly understood.

Concentration. If the receiver has his/her mind on other matters, the message may not be properly understood.

Emotions – Your emotions could be a barrier to communication if you are engrossed in your emotions for some reason. In such cases, you tend to have trouble listening to others or understanding the message conveyed to you. A few of the emotional interferences include hostility, anger, resentfulness and fear. (Pillali, Accessed 2010).

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Lack of Subject Knowledge – If a person who sends a message lacks subject knowledge then he may not be able to convey his message clearly. The receiver could misunderstand his message, and this could lead to a barrier to effective communication. (Pillali, Accessed 2010).

Stress – One of the major communication barriers faced by employees in most of the organisaton is stress. When a person is under immense stress, he may find it difficult to understand the message, leading to communication distortion. (Pillali, Accessed 2010).

No matter how good the communication system in an organisation is, unfortunately barriers can and do often occur. This may be caused by a number of factors which can usually be summarised as being due to physical barriers, system design faults or attitudinal barriers.

Physical barriers  are often due to the nature of the environment i.e. if staff are located in different buildings or on different sites. Likewise, poor or outdated equipment, particularly the failure of management to introduce new technology, may also cause problems. (Pillali, Accessed 2010).

Staff shortages are another factor which frequently causes communication difficulties for an organisation. Whilst distractions like background noise, poor lighting or an environment which is too hot or cold can all affect people’s morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication.

System design  faults refer to problems with the structures or systems in place in an organisation.  Examples might include an organisational structure which is unclear and therefore makes it confusing to know who to communicate with.

Other examples could be inefficient or inappropriate information systems, a lack of supervision or training, and a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities which can lead to staff being uncertain about what is expected of them.

Attitudinal barriers  come about as a result of problems with staff in an organisation.

These may be due to the factors such as poor management, lack of consultation with employees, personality conflicts which can result in people delaying or refusing to communicate, the personal attitudes of individual employees which may be due to lack of motivation or dissatisfaction at work, brought about by insufficient training to enable them to carry out particular tasks.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF GRAPEVINE TO MANAGER?

Grapevine is an informal communication network, which ignores formal channels of communication and spreads rumours and gossips at all levels of the business organisaton. Although every business-organisaton has its formal channels of communication, the informal channel of communication called grapevine also operates in it. It can be easily found that a large portion of the communication in almost every business house is not formal or pre-planned. The employees communicate through informal channels as they do their jobs. It is neither pre-planned nor deliberately motivated by the management. It is neither written nor documented or recorded. Therefore, it refers to any communication that takes place outside the prescribed and pre-planned channels of formal business communication. It is not set with the lines of organisatonal hierarchy. As it has no set rules and regulations, it is not confined to a particular direction. It just spreads like a grapevine. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

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Grapevine communication

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Importance of Grapevine in business scenario:

Though the structure of the grapevine is not so well defined, as that of the formal channels, it should not be taken for its weakness. The messages flowing through grapevine have greater speed than that of the messages flowing through the formal channels. The grapevine may carry equally vital message through it for the achievement and success of the organisaton. It is not correct to underestimate the grapevine by saying that the vital messages pass only through the authorized, formal channels. On the other hand, though the formal channels are systematic, pre-planned and documented, it is authority-laden. It can never be as speedy and spontaneous as the grapevine. The employees communicate through grapevine, not because they are compelled to communicate but because they earnestly want to communicate with their associates. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

The method of formal written communication is slow and expensive method of information transmission. The grapevine, on the other hand, is non-expensive method and most-rapid oral method of transmitting the information to the maximum number of the communication receivers. The grapevine can flow wherever the participants wish it to flow, therefore, the manager can use the properly cultivated grapevine in dealing with the problems that require crossing the boundaries between the departments.

Grapevine originates from the psychological need of the employees to talk about their jobs and their associates as the subject of their main interest. The absence of grapevine surely creates the dull, sick and unfriendly atmosphere in the business organisaton. Grapevine is also described as the barometer of public opinion in the organisaton. If the manager is sensitive to it, s/he can gather information about the ideas, opinions, attitudes and interests of the employees.

The grapevine gives an opportunity to the employees to let off the suppressed air of anxiety, worries and frustration. When they talk about their associates, they get emotional relief. The fact that the employees talk about their associates or that they have the interest in their associates is a proof of the high morale. Thus, the grapevine not only promotes unity, integrity and solidarity of the organisaton but it also helps to raise the morale of the employee. (mbaknol.com, 2010)

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