The communication process and its importance

Communication is a process which information is embedded in a package and then channeled by sender to a receiver via some channel media. Communication can also be defined as the sharing of self feelings with other people and also the sharing of ideas with others. (Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication) [Accessed on 4 Oct 10]. Communication involves two or more people as a sender and receiver is essential for this process to take place. Communication is also about the transferring of information that helps a person to understand the purpose of the message. Communication comes in two forms, mainly the verbal communication and non-verbal communication or face-to-face communications or written communications. Communications occur in both one-way and two-way. Two-way communication is about two parties transmitting information. For example, telephone conservations, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger. One-way communication is also known as the one-way traffic, whereby information can only be transferred in one designated direction and it does not include a return channel. Messages can also be bring across through body language, gestures, self-posture, facial expressions and having eye contact with the opposite party. Non-verbal communication is a process whereby people communicate without talking but only involve the sending and receiving message without words.

8 Elements involved in a communication process

The 8 elements involved in a communication process is source, encode, channel of message communication, decode, receiver, response, feedback and noise then back to the source. The most important element needed for the communication process is message. Without a message, you cannot initiate a conversation or pass any forms of information; therefore a message is known to be the most important key element in the entire process.

Source which is also known as sender that begins a message, an origin of something. The sender composes the content of the type of messages to be sent over to the other party.

The sender on the other hand, is someone who encodes the messages that are being sent and add some expressions to the message contents to make it more appealing.

Encoding are usually done with the use of symbols or expressions depending on the context of the message involved and after encoding, the message is then sent again and the person who receives the message or piece of information is called the receiver.

Channel of communication involves the choosing the route to take for the message to travel. The channels can either be formal or informal. Formal channels are usually set up by other organizations and it can be also done within the chain of command, task and responsibility are defined clearly in the organizations and messages that have to do with working issues or activities are hence transmitted.

Receiver refers to the person receiving that piece of information at the other end of the communication channel. Receiver also refers to a person who is willing to accept the piece of information at the opposite side.

Decoding is done after the person receives the message or piece of information from the other party, the purpose of decoding is to change the file from being encrypted to jus simple text. Decoding is also used when a person wants to decipher something that has a certain level of difficulty for them to understand. It can also be used in terms of doing translation for certain messages or information.

Response is replying by giving an answer or reply to a question asked or something that needs to be paid attention to. Response is about just giving an ambiguous answer. Response can also be done in a context of verses, sentences and words and are sometimes replied in sequences. Responses can also come in the form of giving an answer in return when objecting about something in a formal debate or when having a dispute with the other party.

Feedback clearly is given when something needs to be amended or paid attention to. It can also be doing a pragmatic assessment of certain information; there are mainly two different forms of feedback that is greatly known today, that is, the positive feedback and negative feedback. By giving positive feedback, it can motivate people to be even better. One of the examples of a “positive feedback” is Praise. Praise can be done by simply saying a ‘well done ‘or ‘excellent’ to a person. As for a negative feedback, it brings a person down and also unknowingly it hurts a person’s inner self. Negative feedbacks can be scolding’s, such as ‘you are very lousy and so on.’ It can also be used to describe the reverse of a certain discrepancy between 2 people.

Noise is can be classified both in an analog or digital form, it is actually an undesirable intonation. Noise plays a part in the communication process too, if there is any presence of noise around, it can obstruct, falsify, alter and interrupt the definition of a message being sent be it in a humanitarian form, animal form or when using electronic equipments such as telephones. Noise can also be grouped as an unwanted piece of information without any meaning which means that the information cannot be used to convey a sign. If noise is present around the surrounding, it can also result in a temporary breakdown of a conversation or even a message being passed on to a second party. However, noise on the other hand can also be acknowledged by many people to be a piece of information. Noise also varies in different types, such as the acoustic noise that is mostly heard everywhere. E.g. of Acoustic noise are: “dogs barking, playing of loud music, buses, or even aircrafts. It can also be in audio and visual form. Audio is noises that can only be heard in very quiet intervals of an agenda. E.g. broadcasting or recording. Visual noise on the other hand can be found in pictures or photographs in only cameras or films. They are mostly made up of 2D + 3D pictures made up by the people who work in the industry, using their computers or laptops. Visual noise allows the user to create an ordinary looking divergence in pictures or photographs reproduce by the computers.

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Explanation of Communication Process:

After the feedback is being done, the feedback is then sent back again to the sender, and aftermath, the sender encodes the message and send the message again, then it is being send through the communication channels, then to the receiver. The receiver will then open the message and decode the message content inside, which then will be send for the providing of feedbacks. In between there are the presence of noise in almost every part of the communication process. The communication process also starts and ends off in a cycle. Every single element is repeated again and again if a message or piece of information needs to be sent. Therefore we can say that, the communication process plays a vital role in our every day’s life, because be it talking or writing or reading, we are communicating. It can also refer to people working in an organization or working industry as communication is essential for a person everywhere but just that the communication methods sometimes differ.

Communication Barriers

Communication Barriers are obstacles that many people in the working industries or even in their everyday lives face. Communication Barriers can lead to failure in obtaining the ultimate goals and expectations of the organization and its people. Communication barrier is very important as it plays an important role in many organizations today and it is a very common issue happening anywhere and anytime. Communication Barriers are hurdles that prevent a piece of information from being transmitted properly and therefore, destroying the message contents.

The communication barrier consists of the physical barrier, language, cross-cultural, stress and emotions. Physical barrier are made up of communication that are not in contextual form alone but also affect the natural looks, behaviors and attitude of people around the entire organization. Physical barriers also involve working with a large environmental area that is being separated from other people in the same organization. Physical barrier is also caused by noises and distractions from the environment. E.g. Distraction and noise can be classified as the same thing as it can be minor elements such as phone calls in between a meeting, causing them to pay attention more to their phone calls then to catch what the managers are trying to address.

Language barrier is a phrase that many people use to signify the kind of difficulties they face when they do not have the basic knowledge of language in common with other people and try attempting to talk to each other but failed. It can also be used in many other ways such as not in contextual form. It is also the disability to exchange in a form of language that both parties understand and when such scenarios happen, people tend to use unsuitable characters while writing or talking, it always lead to misconception between the two person instead. E.g. when you work in an organization and you are not familiar with the way people communicate using different jargon languages, you tend to feel being excluded.

Cross-Cultural barrier is actually a form of communication that can be used in a different ability. It also plays a big role when it comes to communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds in a common and easy way as they used to communicate among themselves. The language that they speak also affects greatly to other people from other cultural backgrounds as they do not understand and cannot decipher what those people are trying to convey to them, hence resulting in a big problem in the working organization’s today. E.g. a China manager talking to a Chinese employee from Singapore in a meeting. The tone that they speak tend to be different from what the way the Chinese in Singapore speaks as people from China tend to speak in a high pitch and it is very difficult to understand the meaning that they are trying to convey.

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Stress can exist in two ways, either physically or mentally. Physically refers to the external factors around the surrounding affecting the people working in the organization, mentally on the other hand can be factors that arise from within a person’s inner self. But also employees working in an organization always face immense stress till the extent that they find it really tough to decipher or comprehend the meaning of the messages being sent to them and therefore leading to serious manipulation of message. When a person is very stressed up, their own beliefs, experiences and personal values step in and make them disregard the main significance of communication. E.g. An employee is doing his own work, then the manager pass down new workloads for him when he is already preoccupied with a number of workloads; therefore the stress level increased as every piece of work has a certain due-date. Because of the level of stress he is facing, he could not pay attention to what the manager is trying to tell him, hence resulting in him, failing to reach the expectations of the manager and also failing to submit the work on time.

Emotion barrier is the intricate psychological experiences that an individual’s state of mind is interacting with their environment. Emotions are mostly made up of moods, temperaments, personalities and motivations. Everyone in the world have different emotions at different points of time be it, they are happy, angry and sad. People working in an organization environment tend to place their emotions above everything. When this happens, they cannot absorb what other people are trying to tell them and they also have difficulty listening or understanding the messages that others are trying to convey to them at that time. Emotional elements that are common in an organization are hatreds, fears and also angers within them. E.g. when an employee is very exhausted due to lack of sleep the day before, their temper and attitude will also differ. Hence they tend to have the inability to concentrate on what the manager is conveying and the tasks they are being assigned to and when they did not do a good job, the managers will come and lecture them due to them the fact that they are not performing well in the tasks that is being assigned to them, therefore resulting in them resenting the manager.

Filtering is also one of the elements contributing to the communication barrier. Filtering refers to the deliberate manipulation of information to make it appear more favorable to the receiver. Example of filtering is: a manager telling his or her boss what the boss wants to hear, a manager is filtering information to the top level. But also in situations like, when a single message is being past on to many other individuals working in the organization, it can cause information to be overloaded easily and the right instructions are being disrupted during the process causing a lot of inconvenience and problems for the organization, its employees and the top level later on.

5 Techniques of Managing Communication Barriers

Some solutions that can adopted to overcome the physical communication barrier are: when you are trying to convey a message to the other party, instead of using the verbal communication method, the organization employees or top management can choose to use the non-verbal communication method which is in the form of written text. E.g. emails, letters. We can also identify the source from where the noise or distractions arise from. The organization should allow the employees to have the authority to make feedbacks and suggestions when they feel there is any necessary need to do so. The organization’s employees must pay attention to what the managers are trying to say before making any judgments or interpretations on things.

Solutions for Language communication barrier are, the employees must speak in a clear manner and not use so much of their cultural accent while communicating. Employees should think before they speak in the way they use their words to avoid causing misunderstanding or collisions with one another. The organization must adopt the use of simple languages such as English in order to enable the employees working there understand the message or information being conveyed. The message on the other hand being transmitted must be clear and understandable to the receiver so as to carry out the task efficiently and effectively. The organization should avoid the use of jargons as much as possible.

Solutions for Cross-Cultural Barrier includes, the organization must eliminate the different kind of perceptions they have for other cultures. They must also hire the right people for the right job, and the main criteria of the interviews being done on the interviewers for the job is about the language that they speak and write. Company policies must be made known and clear to all employees at all times. Cultural training can be provided to better enhance the employees in the way they speak and write when communicating.

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Solutions for Stress Barrier includes, the organization can organize the employees into the kind of job scope they are specialized and familiar with. On the other hand, the organization top management can also delegate the work to the employees by giving them more authority and hence letting them know that they have to be more responsible in carrying out the specific task that they are assigned to. The structure of the organization should be as simple as possible and not be too complicated for the employees to understand. The easier the structure of the organization, the more effective the level of communication is reach. The organization can hold a meeting where everyone in the organization is being invited to join in, and from there, the managers can find out the difficulties that the employees are facing, if they cannot finish the task on time, may be the managers can allow some leeway for them to hand up their task at a later date instead of handling up on the actual date. If employees who cannot meet the date-line on time, the managers should not give them any form of pressures because if this happens, the employees may end up being frustrated and not do their work well.

Solutions for Emotion Barrier involves, using of body language to communicate so as not to let other people working in the organization misunderstand the content of the message received. Do not show your emotional expressions that commonly because it may make people think that you are not happy with the work that they produce, hence adding on to more internal conflicts within the organization. The organization should avoid giving unnecessary comments as it may hurt the feelings of the employees hence causing them to not be willing to finish the task assigned to them even though they have the ability to.

Active listening can also be a solution to help overcome communication barrier in an organization. Active listening allows the employee to listen, catch what the managers are trying to say and also evaluate from the communicator point of view. The employee must learn to maintain eye contact with the speaker at all times while communicating. They must also avoid interrupting the speaker when they are speaking and if they do not understand, they should respond actively by giving feedbacks or provide questions for the speaker. Example of active listening. The organization is holding an event and a specific person is assigned to do the task, but midway, when the manager are assigning the task to the specific people, some employees are not paying attention to the managers who are giving instructions, therefore when the event starts, they do not have any idea what they are suppose to do, hence causing the event to be delayed. After the event, the managers asked for feedback from their employees but he realized that they do not know or understand the instructions that were being past down by him. Hence causing the communication breakdown between the employees and the top level management.

Conclusion

Communication is a process which information is embedded in a package and then channeled by sender to a receiver via some channel media. The communication process is made up of 8 elements in total mainly the source, sender, encode the message, then message send through a channel then the receiver decode the message. After that, the feedback is done by the receiver and noise is a factor that disturbs the communication process in between. Communication barriers are obstacles that many people in the working industries or even in their everyday lives face. The communication barrier plays an important role in many of the organizations today and it’s a common issue that is happening in everywhere and anytime. The communication barrier is made up of barriers such as physical, language, cross-cultural, stress and emotions. The five techniques that can be adopted in managing the communication barriers are using simple languages when communicating, allow employees to have the authority to make feedbacks and suggestions when there is a necessity. Organization must eliminate the different kind of perceptions they have for the other cultures of others working in the same organization. The organization can also allow delegation of work to the employees by issuing them more authority and also at the same time, allow them to have a certain level of responsibility in carrying out the task assigned to them. Organization must also avoid making unnecessary comments as it may indirectly hurt the feelings of the employees working in the organization, resulting in them being unwilling to finish the task assigned to them even though they have that ability to do so.

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