What is Communication?

Introduction to Communication

Communication is the act of transmitting information of thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

Thoughts

Idea

Communication is where exchanging of information and ideas occurs between two or more individuals. It is one of the important processes that keeps the world connected. Various studies and researches around the world states that, proper communication is one of the key factors that has the ability to solve the problems. Whether its the issues within an individual, between individuals, families, society and the Nations, etc…; Communication plays a vital role in finding solutions for all those.Let’s delve deeper into the significance of communication, types of communication, and communication process.

What is Communication?

Communication is the process of sharing or exchange of ideas, information, knowledge, attitude, and feeling among two persons or a group of people through certain signs and symbols or passing of information from source to destination.

The purpose of communication is to share ideas, opinions, and feelings. This could be through email, phone calls, text messages, or face-to-face conversations.This includes both verbal and nonverbal expressions. Verbal communication is the verbal expression of our thoughts, emotions, and opinions. Nonverbal communication consists of body language such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, eye contact, tone of voice, etc.

Communication is the act of transmitting information of thoughts, ideas, and emotions. It is the process of sharing or exchange of ideas, information, knowledge, attitude, and feeling among two persons or a group of people through certain signs and symbols or passing of information from source to destination.

For effective communication, there should be a sender and a receiver who must send the information from the source to the destination. Ultimately, the goal of effective communication is to understand each other’s point of view and feelings. Effective communication helps us build relationships, solve conflicts, and achieve our goals.

Common Forms of Communication

Speaking
Writing
Gestures
Touch
Broadcasting

Types of Communication

The communication process includes all forms of information exchange between two parties. This may include verbal, written, electronic, visual, audio, etc. There are mainly two types of communication: Verbal and Nonverbal.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication includes speech, words and language.It can be conducted in person, face-to-face, over the phone, or via email, meetings, conferences, presentations, interviews, etc… There are two additional types of verbal communication, namely oral and written communication.

Oral communication is the oldest form of verbal communication, consisting of the transmission of information or messages through spoken words. This type of communication usually takes the form of conversations, presentations, seminars, discussions, etc… Example: Face to face, Voice Chat, Video Conference, Mobile & Telephone Calls.

Written communication is the arrangement of words in a written format. It usually takes the form of letters, manuals, telegrams, text messages, documents, etc… For instance, email, text messages, letters, memoranda, reports, and additional documents. It is believed that written communication is the most effective of all forms. Because it contains evidence of what the sender communicated to the recipient.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication includes gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, touch, posture, and tone of voice. It is considered to be one of the oldest forms of communication, independent of verbal languages, and regarded as universally understood.

Types of Non-Verbal Communication

Kinetics (Body Movement)

The term kinesics derives from the Greek word kinesis, meaning “motion.”Therefore, body language is a form of communication. Instances of thumbs up, standing ovation, etc…

Haptics (Touch)

The term “Haptics” means anything relating to the sense of touch. It’s derived from the Greek word for touch.
Example: The ways in which people and animals communicate and interact via the sense of touch.

Proxemics (Space)

The term “proxemics” was coined by researcher Edward Hall during the 1950’s and 1960’s. It is the study of our use of space and how these spaces can make us feel more relaxed or anxious. Example: Public Space, Social Space, Physical space, Intimate space

Paralinguistic (Voice)

It means to distinguish vocal communication from language. This includes pitch, volume, inflexion, and tone of voice. Example: Hmmm !!!, Oho!!!, what??

Chronemics (Time)

“Chronemics” is the study of the role of time in communication. It is the manner in which an individual perceives and values time, structures time, and responds to time frames communication.Time perceptions include punctuality, willingness to wait, and interactions.

Monochronic Time: A monochronic time system means that things are done one at a time and time is segmented into precise, small units. This system allows for the scheduling, arrangement, and management of time. Example: Communicating one at a time.

Polychronic Time: A polychronic time system allows for the simultaneous completion of multiple tasks and a more flexible approach to time scheduling.
Example: Communicating different things to multiple people at a time.

Oculesics (Eye Contact)

It refers to the study of eye contact, eye movement, eye behavior, pupil dilation, gaze, and eye-related nonverbal communication. Example: gazing at someone.

Olfactics (Smell)

Olfactics is the study of smell in humans. It relates to conversation or communication based on an individual or group’s odour or smell. Therefore, everyone you encounter, from famous people to models to beggars to wait staff, has a unique scent.

Process of Communication

a) SENDER: The first factor essential for any communication to take place is the sender who wants to send a message to the person with whom they are communicating.

b) ENCODING: Encoding is the process of turning thoughts into communication. The encoder uses a ‘medium’ to send the message — a phone call, email, text message, face-to-face meeting, or other communication tools.

c) MESSAGE: It is the end result of ideas, emotions, and thoughts that the sender feels necessary to communicate.

d) CHANNEL: You need a channel to send the message. Similar to a bridge, the channels of communication link the two sides together.

e) RECEIVER (Audience): Every message has an intended recipient, also known as the audience. In fact, it is difficult to conceive of messages without them.

f) DECODING: The audience then ‘decodes’, or interprets, the message for themselves. Decoding is the process of turning communication into thoughts.

g) FEEDBACK: Finally, feedback is referred to the actions taken by the recipients of a message. Particularly, it is the reaction initiated by the receivers of messages is called feedback.

Noise: In any interference, Noise is a part that causes a disruption between sender and receiver in the communication process.

TYPES OF NOISE

Psychological Noise: These are the things that are going on in your head as you engage in communication
Physical Noise: Physical sounds that make it difficult to hear someone’s message
Physiological Noise: The hunger, fatigue, headache, stress or really anything that prevents us from giving our full attention
Semantic Noise is when a message’s words, language, or grammatical structure are difficult to comprehend.

Ways of Communication

There are two main ways of communication. Namely, One Way Communication and Two Way Communication.

One Way Communication

It occurs when the recipient of a message responds with no questions, feedback, or interaction. For example, the announcements through loud speakers, radio etc… are examples of One way communication.

Two Way Communication

The communicator & receiver interact. The communication process is comprised of three fundamental components, namely a sender, a channel, and a receiver. The sender will initiate the communication process by developing an idea into a message. This is also known as encoding. The sender will then transmit the message through a channel, or a method of delivery; think of things like e-mail, phone conversations, instant messages, face-to-face discussion, or even a text message. The message then moves through the channel to the receiver, who completes the communication process by interpreting and assigning meaning to the message, which is also known as decoding.

Levels of Communication

Depending upon the communication happening between number of individuals, there are various levels of communication. From a huge group to an individual, the following section discusses various levels of communication.

Intrapersonal Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Group Communication
Mass Communication

Intrapersonal Communication

It is the conversation a person has with himself or herself, i.e. in the mind. It is the capacity to communicate with oneself.
The whole process of thinking in human beings can be considered as communicating to themselves.The term for this type of communication is intrapersonal or auto-communication. You are both the sender and recipient of the message.
Reading, thinking, dreaming, daydreaming, analysis, prayer, talking to oneself, meditation, writing, and making certain gestures while thinking are examples of mental activities.

Interpersonal Communication

It may be a one on one conversation or an individual speaking to the members of a group. The conversation that you have every day with your family members or with friends is a kind of interpersonal communication.
As interpersonal communication takes place between two or more persons when they are present at a given place at a given time, it is not only the language that communicates, even the facial expression, gestures, postures, hairstyles, dress, etc., become an important source of information.

Different stages of Interpersonal communication

  • a) Phatic Period: It is derived from the Greek word (phasis), which means a time of ritualised greetings. It begins with a “Hi!” or a “Hello ! How are you”, “Good Morning”.
  • b) Personal Stage: It introduces a more personal element into the conversation.Such as discussing one’s profession, family, or health problems, etc…
  • c) Intimate Stage: Friends and family are the only people allowed in this section, and the level of intimacy depends on the closeness of the bond between them. Some people we are completely open and honest with, while others, even our closest friends, we keep secrets from. Only those couples who have worked hard to build a bond of love, respect, and understanding can progress to this stage.

Group Communication

Communication involving more than two individuals is known as group communication. Moreover, group communications occur when individuals congregate on purpose or when an act of communication in a group is designed to achieve a certain objective. Eg. Family get-together, conference, office meetings, etc…

Mass Communication

A process in which a person, group of people, or an organization sends a message through a channel of communication to a large group of anonymous and heterogeneous people and organizations. It is defined as “public communication transmitted electronically or mechanically or in a social gathering of a large size.” Messages are transmitted or sent in this manner to potentially millions or billions of people across the globe. The term ‘mass’ in mass communication refers to the group of people towards whom this communication is directed. Eg. Social Media, Television and Film, Journalism, Advertising, Photography, Radio

Main functions of mass media/mass communication

Inform (Example: News and discussions)
Educate (Example: Radio and television programs)
Entertain (Example: Films and television serials and programs)

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