Methods of Communication
Non – verbal communication
Nonverbal communication is sending and decoding messages with emotional content. Friendliness, respect, acceptance, rejection, dominance, submissiveness, anger, fear, and humor are conveyed primarily by nonverbal signals.
Important dimensions of nonverbal communication include body movements and gestures, eye contact, touch, facial expressions, and tone of voice.
Body Movements and Gestures
Posture can indicate atten¬tiveness or lack of interest in a conversation.
Gestures can add or detract from the verbal message.
Hands gestures help emphasize points, but restlessness sends the message that the speaker is nervous and lacks confidence.
Different cultures place different meanings on gestures.
Attentiveness or lack of interest on the part of the sender or receiver in face-to-face communication is conveyed by eye con¬tact.
It is important for both parties to make some eye contact, but prolonged eye contact may be interpreted as aggressiveness or inappropriate intimacy.
A firm handshake is an enthusiastic greeting, but a weak handshake sends a negative signal, indicating low enthusiasm.
Touch signals liking, acceptance, and friendship. Even more than eye contact, touch should be used carefully in business situations.
Emotions such as happiness, satisfaction, anger, fear, and confusion are signaled by facial expressions.
A confused look is feedback that the verbal message was not clearly received.
Smiling conveys happiness and warmth. Along with the handshake, a smile is probably one of the most effective ways to establish a positive connection with a new acquaintance.
Tone of Voice
Emotions such as attentiveness, friendliness, anger, or fear are transmitted by the tone in a voice.
Aspects of the tone of voice that communicate different emotional states include pitch, loudness, speed, clarity of speech, and inflection.
Written communication includes memos, policy manuals, employee hand¬books, company newsletters, bulletin boards, letters, and fliers.
Written documents have an advantage over face-to-face communication, because messages can be revised, stored and made available when needed, and disseminated in identical copies so the same message is received by all.
The limitations of written communication are that there are no provisions for feedback, and the sender may not be certain if the message was received, read, and/or understood.
Forms of written communication
A MEMO (Office Memorandum) is a short business messages that provide information to employees.
They can be used to inform employees about the agenda, time, and place of a meeting; to schedule work; or to describe a change in an employment policy.
A memo should be brief and to the point. Also,
Make sure that the heading indicates:
(1) The intended audience;
(2) The subject of the memo;
(3) The name of the sender; and
(4) The date that the memo was written.
Revise and edit the memo to eliminate misspellings and poor grammar. Make sure the message is clear and unambiguous
Add the names of people who need to be aware of the communica¬tion to a copy list at the end of the memo.
Avoid sending memos to people who do not need to know about the content.
• A LETTER is the most used form of written communication and mostly used for external communication.
Letter should be:
Brief and to the point
Easy to read and understand
Notice is required to inform the whole works in the organization or company and most common method of mass communication.
It should be simple, short and understandable for every worker.
It must contain all relevant information, appropriately worded and any action to be taken should be clearly explained.
Many companies have short monthly or quarterly publications designed to keep employees informed of impor¬tant events, meetings, and transitions and to provide inspirational stories about employee and team contributions to the business.
Newsletters help foster community spirit by keeping everybody informed about what others are doing.
Advances in electronic technology make interactive communication possible between senders and receivers, even when they are separated by physical distance and busy schedules.
Electronic communication channels vary in the richness of the information that is transmitted and can include text, voice, graphics, or video.
Two important forms of electronic communication are voice mail and e-mail.
The Internet is a computer network with multimedia communication capabilities. A combination of text, voice, graphics, and video can be sent to a receiver over the Web. Companies’ sites On the World Wide Web are places where potential customers can learn about products and services and place orders.
The use of the Internet makes it possible for companies to serve international customers.
Face to face communication
Rich information content is possible in face-to-face communication, because there is a high level of interactivity between the sender and the receiver. Job interviews are likely to be done face-to-face.
One of the most important types of face-to-face communication is the meeting.
Meetings, or gatherings of organizational members, are held to inform and train participants, solve problems, monitor and coordinate activities, delegate tasks, and create social bonds between diverse organization members.
• The formal channel, as the name implies, is deliberately, officially prescribed path for flow of communication among the various positions in the organization.
• It is a deliberate attempt to regulate the follow of organizational communication so as to make it orderly and thereby to ensure that information flows smoothly, accurately and timely to the points to which it is required.
• The channel of communication under Formal Communication is narrow.
• It allows for flow of essential information.
• It is easy to maintain, supports the authority of the superiors and provides for closeness of contact thereby reducing channels of miscommunication.
• It helps in exercising control over subordinates and in fixation of responsibility in respect of activities carried out by a person in the organization.
Limitations of formal communication
• bottlenecks in the flow,
• enhancing organizational distance,
• greater possibilities of transmission errors,
• screening at various filtering points,
The informal channel of communication, also known as grapevine, is the result of the operation of social forces at work place.
Informal communication is the method by which people carry on social, non-programmed activities within the formal boundaries of the system.
It exists outside the official network, though continuously interacting with it.
It is generally multiple in natures: same person having social relationships with a number of people working in the same organization.
Types of Grapevine
• Single strand network -the individual communicates with other individuals’ through intervening persons.
• Gossip network- the individual communicates non-selectively
• Probability network -the individual communicates randomly with other individuals according to the law of probability.
• Cluster network – the individual communicates with only those individuals whom he trusts.
One of best to ways to ensure effective communication is to provide opportunity for employees to develop communication skills. Skill in sending and receiving message greatly reduces the possibility that a distorted message will be transmitted.
There are the four key communication skills:
• Assertive communication skills
• Presentations skills
• Nonverbal communication skills and
• Listening skills
Assertive communication skills
• This skills enable an individual to communicate in ways that meet her or his own needs while at the same time respecting the needs and right of others. A person who displays these skills states exactly what is wanted or needed from individuals being targeted for the message. Speaking calmly, directly and confidently without instilling fear or anger in the other person is being assertive. The goal is to respond directly and outwardly to a problem.