Definition: Effective communication is a process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and information in such a way that the purpose or intent is fulfilled in the best possible way. In simple terms, it is nothing more than the presentation of the sender’s views in a way that is best understood by the receiver.
We can say that, in general, it is;
- Sender: the person who initiates the communication process by sending a message.
- Recipient: The person to whom the message is to be delivered.
Definition of Effective: successful in producing a desired or intended result.
Characteristics of Effective Communication
It is not enough to deliver a message, it must also fulfil the sender’s purpose. Therefore, let us discuss the elements that make up effective communication.
- Clear Message: The message that the sender wants to convey must be simple, easy to understand and systematically formulated so that it does not lose its meaning.
- Correct Message: the information transmitted must not be vague or incorrect in any way; it must be free of errors and grammatical mistakes.
- Complete Message: communication is the basis for decision-making. If the information is incomplete, it may lead to wrong decisions.
- Precise Message: The message sent must be short and concise to allow easy interpretation and to initiate the desired steps.
- Reliability: the sender must be confident that what they are communicating is accurate to the best of their knowledge. The recipient must also have confidence in the sender and be able to rely on the message sent.
- Consideration of the Recipient: The communication medium and other physical circumstances must be planned with consideration of the recipient’s attitude, language, knowledge, education level, and position.
- Courtesy of the Sender: the message so composed must reflect the sender’s courtesy, humility and respect for the recipient.
Effective Communication Skills
Delivering a message effectively is an art and a skill that is developed through constant practice and experience. There are a number of skills that are necessary for an influential communication process.
- Observational Skills: A person must have keen observational skills in order to gain more and more knowledge and information.
- Clarity and Conciseness: The message must be in simple words and should be clear and concise to achieve the desired effect on the recipient.
- Listening and Understanding: The most important skill of a person is that he is a good, attentive and patient listener. He must be able to understand and interpret the message well.
- Emotional Intelligence: A person must be aware of his emotions and have the ability to influence others from within.
- Self-Efficacy: He/she must also believe in him/herself and his/her abilities to achieve the goals of communication.
- Self-Confidence: Self-confidence is one of the most important communication skills and increases the value of the message being delivered.
- Courtesy: Delivering a message with courtesy and respecting the recipient’s values, beliefs, opinions and ideas is the essence of effective communication.
- Nonverbal Communication: to better connect with the recipient, the sender must also incorporate nonverbal means of communication. This includes gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, body posture, etc.
- Choosing the Right Medium: Choosing the right medium for communication is also a skill. The right medium must be chosen depending on the situation, the priority of the message, the recipient’s point of view, etc.
- Giving Feedback: Effective communication is always a two-way process. A person must both accept and give feedback to include the other person’s perspective as well.
Importance of Effective Communication in Business
You must be wondering what role effective communication plays in business? To answer this question, let us understand the following importance of effective Business Communication:
- Employee management: effective communication provides self-discipline and efficient management as employees are heard by top management and there is open communication in the company.
- Team building: People in the organization work as a team to achieve common goals. Effective communication, therefore, boosts the morale of the entire team.
- Growth of the organization: it ensures better decision-making, intensifies public relations and improves problem-solving ability. All this leads to the growth and development of the company.
- Building strong relationships: Interactions often simplify things; they positively motivate employees to perform better and maintain long-term relationships with others in the organization.
- Provide transparency and develop trust: Effective communication is considered the foundation for building trust and ensures complete information is shared.
- Facilitate creativity and innovation: An environment is created where employees can freely express their ideas and explore their creative and innovative sides.
- Reduces misunderstandings: Effective communication eliminates the possibility of confusion and misunderstanding by getting the message across clearly and appropriately.
- Organizational Growth: Maintaining friendly relationships between employees and management improves functioning and promotes the achievement of organizational goals.
Obstacles to effective communication
There are certain obstacles that sometimes hinder the communication process and make it less useful for both the sender and the receiver. These obstacles can be divided into three groups. Let us understand them in detail below.
Obstacles related to words
Words play an essential role in the communication process. Any disturbance or distraction in the way a message is presented can lead to misunderstanding. Below are the different types of communication barriers related to words:
- Language: it is a medium of communication. If the sender overuses technical terms, it becomes difficult for the receiver to understand the message clearly.
- Ambiguity and overuse of abstractions: Even if the message is presented in a non-realistic or vague context with many terms, the receiver will not be able to understand the idea properly.
- Disorganized message: if the words are not systematically put together to form a meaningful message, they will lose their effectiveness and meaning.
- Information overload: the effectiveness of communication decreases when a person speaks for a long period of time. This leads to receiver exhaustion, who is no longer able to absorb everything that is being communicated.
Barriers that affect people’s background
People have different backgrounds, i.e. culture, education level, gender, etc. These characteristics have a great impact on the efficiency of the communication process. These include the following barriers:
- Attitude differences: sometimes people are not willing to understand or change their minds once they have established their views on a certain topic. Their attitudes hinder the achievement of the communication’s goal.
- Demographic differences: the differences in age, generation, gender, status, tradition, etc. lead to a lack of understanding between people, thus hindering the communication process.
- Lack of a common experience or perspective: a person’s experiences develop their perspective of seeing things a certain way. This perspective varies from person to person. Therefore, it becomes difficult for the receiver to empathize with the sender’s experiences or views because they may never have gone through them themselves.
- Jumping to conclusions: Some people lack the patience to listen to others and often jump to conclusions from the communication, thus neglecting the motive of the message.
These barriers can be experienced directly, but are difficult to overcome. They include:
- Physical distance: when people communicate over long distances, they miss the nonverbal aspect of communication because the gestures and facial expressions of the receiver cannot be interpreted.
- Noise: There is sometimes unwanted noise in the environment or communication system that interrupts the communication process and makes it inefficient.
- Physiological barriers: One of the most common barriers to effective communication is the physical disability of the individuals involved. This includes hearing and visual impairments, stuttering, etc.
Effective Communication Refers to the Process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and information in such a way that the purpose or intent is fulfilled in the best possible way.
Read, How To Write a Check in an Effective way in 2022.
So we can say that the essential purpose of communication is to pass the information to the receiver in such a way that it does not lose its meaning. At the same time, the message must be received in its purest form.