Communication A Must Have Skill In Business
Communicating is a two way process that needs to be as simple as possible to be effective. Messages sent and received to customers, friends and family need to be understood, with a minimum of ambiguity. One of the roadblocks to a successful and co-operative relationship, is a failure to communicate
If a failure in the communication process occurs, there will be confusion, and wasted effort, along with missed opportunity.
There are a number of basic building blocks or stages in communicating a message. the source or sender, the encoding or message content and method, the channel or transmission to the other party or parties, the decoding or interpretation and the receiver feedback or the response to the message. Over all of these stages is the context, the environment or situation where the message is sent or received
There is the potential for confusion at any point in this process
Source: The sender needs to be as clear as possible about what they are communicating, as well as why they are communicating. If the message has been sent unexpectedly and there is no explanation as to why it has been sent, the receiver may be confused, or the why may be incorrectly extrapolated. The message has to pertinent to the receiver.
Encoding: This is where the message is transformed into media that can be sent and decoded correctly at the other end by the receiver. Successful encoding will depend on the Source's ability to be clear, and simple. The encoding should also eliminate sources of confusion, like cultural issues, incomplete information, or mistaken assumptions. An example of a mistaken assumption would be that the Source believes the Receiver has information that the Receiver doesn't have.
Channel: All channels have their weaknesses and their strengths. Giving negative feedback via email is an example - try it and see what happens. Similarly, complex instructions should not be given verbally, or you are asking for trouble. When choosing a channel, serious thought must be given to the appropriateness of the media and the possible consequences arising. Cost may also be a factor, particularly for marketers.
Decoding: Just a there are potential problems with encoding, so are there with the decoding. The receiver may not have knowledge that the Source has assumed, or the message may be in a format that the receiver may not be receptive to or may not understand. The receiver may not take time to read or understand the message correctly.
Receiver: Everyone thinks differently, and just as the source has to consider what the message may mean to a receiver who has different ideas and feelings, the receiver has to consider their response in the same way; the source may not have meant what the receiver thinks they mean
Without receiver feedback, the full understanding of the message may be missing a vital component. If the receiver reflects what they understand, or don't understand the source has the opportunity to correct their message and resend, or to confirm that understanding was complete. For verbal messages, non verbal signals and responses may be important
For the full impact of messages to be understood, the various cultural or corporate trends and traditions need to be considered as part of the context of the message.
To communicate effectively, the barriers that exist in each of these stages must be considered and broken down.
Poor choice of words or conflicting body language are examples of communication barriers. So is confused or disorganized written messages
By working on the skills required to improve the quality of your communications, you will go a long way to turn your annual income into a monthly income
by: Don Paul FullerAbout the Author:If you are experiencing problems with communications to people in your organisation, you must resolve them. If you want advice or help, you can contact Don Paul Fuller through his personal website, blogs or by joining his mailing list