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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Principles Elaborated

A study of relevant literature indicates that the principles of communication (especially in written communication) can be branded as "Six - Cs"—clarity, consideration, courtesy, completeness, conciseness and correctness.

This principle is related to another principle, known as the principle of adaptation—of filling the symbols to specific receivers. The emphasis being given to the fact that effective communication adapts to the receiver's filter.
Adapting is not an easy task. The communicator has to clearly visualize the receiver. He should form a mental picture of who are the receivers, how much they know about the subject, what their educational levels are and how they think. Then keeping the receivers' image in mind, the communicator should select the symbols that will communicate to them.

In many business situations, adapting to the receivers will mean communicating at a level lower than that of the communicator. If the communicator has to communicate with people who are below his educational level or level of understanding, he will need to simplify his message, that is he will need to communicate in the simple words and concepts the receivers will understand. If, for example, you are to notify an urgent matter to a group of illiterate workers, you will need to communicate in their every day words.
The task of adaptation is relatively simple when you write to someone who is about as educated and informed on your subject as you are You need only write or speak to a person like yourself, using language that is easy for you to understand.
Adaptation becomes easy when you are communicating to a single receiver or a homogenous group. But when the number of receivers are many with diverse qualification (ranging from university graduates to people with almost no formal education) the task of adaptation becomes difficult. You have to aim at the lowest level of the group. If you write (or speak) at a higher level, you will likely communicate with those at the lower levels.
As a matter of fact, adaptation is basic to communication and that can be achieved to a great extent by giving stress to simplicity—using simple words, short sentences, and brief paragraphs. You will need to think of simplicity in terms of adaptation.

Principle of effective communication

Knowledge of communication principles is essential to give you a better understanding of the business world of which you will be a part. It will help you to understand the people with whom you will work and it will also help you to understand and solve the problems you will encounter in business. Moreover, you will be able to apply communication theory to the more specific, practical tasks of communicating in business.
However, the area of communication principles is so broad that we need to be selective in our analysis. So, the materials in this chapter are kept limited to following those principles of applied communication in which you will need the most help. Specifically, we cover the area of business writings specially, letters, reports, memorandum, notice, agenda, minutes etc. If followed properly, these principles can help making effective oral communication as well.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Limitations of Communication Models

Communication models are useful in many ways. Still they suffer from some limitations. Among them the following are important:
I. Details of a message are absent: A model is a symbolic representation of a communication process. Details of a message are not available in a model which hinders to reach a sound decision.
2.  Difficult to form an idea about a complete message: As a model is a symbolic representation, only very important elements are presented in it. The less important elements are not shown and thereby, it becomes very difficult to form an idea about complex message from a model.
3.  Inflexibility cannot be presented: Communication is an ever-changing process. We know very little about how communication works. We never know with certainty what works and what doesn't. This inflexibility cannot be presented in a model.
4.  May not be cost effective: Formulation of communication model for transmitting message requires a lot of valuable time. But the benefits may be less from the cost of application of such model.
5.   Requirement of skilled manpower may remain unfulfilled: To run the communication model properly, effective manpower is essential. But such manpower may not always be available.

Usefulness of Communication Model

A communication model shows the picture of a situation and also the diagram of the process of communication. Thus a communication model has manifold uses:
1.    Better understanding: By definition, a communication model is pictorial or diagrammatic. Therefore, we better understand the situation and process of communication with the help of a model.
2.    Quick understanding: Usefulness of a model is quickly evident. As we know, a communication model exhibits the main elements of a communication process. We can quickly generate an idea in our mind about the utility and effectiveness of the model through mere eye observation on the model at a glance.
3.    Improvement over traditional models: Traditional organizational models are not competent to fully display the ongoing flow of messages among the officers and employees. For example, an organization chart shows the downward flow of a message and occasionally upward communication from the bottom to the top but never sideways. But most business is done by horizontal communication among equal ranking people who are working on problems together. A communication model displays this horizontal channel between the people at the same level.
     4. Identification of noise source: Models also help us to identify the source of noise or barriers which stand in the way of effective communication. If we look at the model, we can see where the breakdowns occurred.
    5.    Facilitating communication plan: Models are used to help us plan communication efforts. If any change is to be brought about in the policy matters of the organization, you look at the organization chart, convert it to communication model, look at the media available to the organization and in the above light, and draw up a plan ensuring a changed policy to everybody in the organization.
    6.    Feedback facility: In the truest sense, communication is never a one-way process. A communication model through the display of feedback reminds us that communication is a two-way process. There are always at least two people and frequently many more involved in the exchange of a message.
    7.     Using as a sample : Since a communication model represents a pictorial statement of the elements of a communication process, a researcher while conducting research on communication process, finds it convenient to use a communication model as a sample for the purpose.