21ST CENTURY SKILLS: COMMUNICATION

What Is Communication? Merriam Webster defines communication as a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through common system of symbols, signs or behavior. Types Of Communication 1. Verbal Communication: is the use of language to transfer information through speaking or sign language. It is the most common type of communication often used for presentations, video conferences and phone calls, meetings and one-on-one conversation. Verbal communication is important because it is efficient. 2. Non Verbal: this is the use of body language, gestures and facial expressions to convey information to others. It can be used both intentionally and unintentionally. For instance, you might smile unintentionally when you pleasing or enjoyable idea or piece of information. It is useful when trying to understand other’s thoughts and feelings. 3. Written Communication: is the act of typing or printing symbols like letters and numbers to convey information. It is helpful because it provides a record of information for reference. Writing is commonly used to share information through books, pamphlets, blogs, letters, memos and more. Emails and chats are a common form of written communication. 4. Visual Communication: is the act of using photographs, art drawings, sketches, charts and graphs to convey information. Visuals are often used as an aid during presentations to provide helpful context alongside written and/or verbal communication. Because of people’s different styles of learning, visual communication might be more helpful for some to consume ideas and information. Communication Process Communication process refer to the transmission of information or message from the sender through a select channel to the receiver. The process of communication is cy cyclic one as it begins with the sender and ends with the sender in the form of feedback! Communication process consist of certain steps where each step constitute the essential of an effective communication. Elements In The Process Of Communication Sender:The message or information to be transmitted is initiated by the person who transmits or sends the information. He is the sender of the message which could be a thought, idea, a picture, a symbol; report or any order and postures and gestures even a momentary smile. The sender is the initiator of the message that needs to be transmitted. After he has generated the message (he) the sender encodes it in a manner that can be well understood by the receiver. Message: Message refer to the information conveyed by words as in speech and write ups, signs, pictures or symbols depending upon the situation and nature or importance of information desired to be sent. It is the content the sender wants to transmit to the receiver. Encoding: Encoding simply means putting the targeted message into the appropriate medium which may be verbal or non-verbal depending on the situation, time, space and nature of the message to be sent. Encoding is an important step in the communication process as wrong and inappropriate encoding may hinder the true intent of the communication process. Channel: Channel refers to the mode of transportation of the message. The message is transmitted over a channel that links the sender with the receiver. For communication to be effective proper selection of the channel is of paramount importance. Receiver: Receiver is the person or group who the message is meant for. He/she may be a listener, or a viewer. Negligence on the part of the receiver may make communication ineffective. The receiver needs to complete the message sent in the best possible manner such that the true intent of the the communication is attained. However, the extent to which the receiver decodes the message depends on his/her knowledge on the subject matter of the message, experience,trust and relationship with the sender. Decoding: Decoding simply means interpreting the message sent into intelligible language. That is to comprehend the message.The receiver after receiving the message interprets it and tried to understand it in the best way possible. Feedback: Feedback is the ultimate aspecte of communication process.This refers to the response of the receiver as to the message sent him/her by the sender. Feedback is necessary to ensure that the message has been effectively encoded,sent,decoded and comprehended. Feedback enhances the effectiveness of the communication as it permits the sender to know the efficacy of his/her message. Effective Communication Effective Communication is defined as communication between two or more persons in which the intended message is properly encoded delivered through appropriate channel, received,properly decoded and understood by the recipient. In other words, communication is said to be effective when all the parties in(sender and receiver) in the communication, assign similar meanings to the message and listen carefully to all that has been said and make the sender feel heard and understood. In business organisation communication is said to be effective when the information or data shared among the employees effectively contributes towards the organisation’s commercial success. Characteristics Of Effective Communication *Completeness of the message: communication must be complete so as not to confuse the recipient. Better communication leads to better decision making by recipient. *Clarity and Integrity Of the Message: the message to be conveyed must be clear and possess integrity for better understanding. Clarity of thoughts and ideas, enhances meaning of the message. *Conciseness: intended message must be free from verbosity and should be so written that it is intelligible at first sight. Short and intelligible message sent to the receiver is appealing and comprehensible. Courtesy should be maintained: the sender’s message should be so prepared that it is polite,reflective and enthusiastic. It must show the sender’s respect for the receiver and be positive and focused at the receiver. Conclusion: To be able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all life skills!

Lirwanu Sheegay

Born 11th May

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