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Communication

Objectives

Objectives

By the end of the topic, you should be able to

:

  • Explain the meaning and importance of communication
  • Describe the lines of communication
  • Explain the essentials of effective communication
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each means of communication
  • Discuss the factors that influence choice of an appropriate means of communication.
  • Identify the barriers to effective communication
  • Discuss services that facilitate communication
  • Discuss trends in communication.

 

The Communication Commision of Kenya

The CommunicationCommision of Kenya (CCK) regulates communication in Kenya.It facilitates communication within the country and to the rest of the world.

Background

In the course of carrying out their businesses activities, business people interact with various people such as customers, suppliers, and employees among others. One way in which they interact is through exchange of information from one person to the other. This is made possible by various means such as telephones, word of mouth, internet among others

Lines of communication

Line of communication is the direction of flow of information from one person to another. This flow of information can either be vertical or horizontal.

 

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Vertical communication

Vertical communication is the passing of information between a senior person and his or her junior in the same organization. It may be downwards or upwards

Horizontal communication

Horizontal communication refers to passing of information between people of the same level in an organization for example between department heads in the same organization

Note: Depending on how information is passed vertical and horizontal communication may be formal or informal. Formal communication is passing of information using the official channels for example memos, notices, minutes, official letters and on the other hand informal communication is passing of information without using the official channels for example rumour- mongering, gossiping, writing a letter to a friend among others.

 

 

Meaning

Communication is the process of transmitting information or messages from the sender to the receiver with the use of a medium in which the communicated information is understood the same way by both sender and receiver.It can also be defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create a shared understanding.

Essential elements of communication

Essential elements of communication include:

Channel

This refers to the medium through which message is passed such as letters and memos.

Message

This is the information to be passed across.

Sender

This is the person from whom the message originates from.

Receiver

This is the person for whom the message is intended.

Feedback

This refers to the response which the receiver sends back to the sender.

Essentials of Effective Communication

These are requirements necessary for effective communication to take place.They include:

  • The channel should be appropriate
  • The message should be clear and precise
  • The sender should understand the receiver well
  • The receiver must understand the message as intended by the seller and respond appropriately
  • The feedback should be clear and accurate.

Barriers to Effective Communication

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forms and Means of Communication

Forms of communication refer to ways or manner in which communication is carried out.They include verbal and non- verbal communication. Means of communication on the other hand are the channels through which communication is carried out for example letters, face to face and others. Means of verbal communication include,face to face conversation,interviews, meetings and phones.

Verbal communication

Verbal communication is passing of information by word of mouth.

A teacher communicating verbally to students.

Advantages

Advantages of Verbal communication include:

  • Feedback is immediate.
  • It is the fastest method of sending urgent messages.
  • It is suitable where convincing is required.
  • Information can be given at once to alert a large number of recipients.

Mobile phones in communication

Mobile phones are an important tool in business .They are used to perform a whole range of business activities for example banking , and e-commerce.

Communication over short distances

Wakietalkies are used to communicate over short distances.They are mostly used by security people or workers within short distances.

Disadvantages of Verbal communication

Disadvantages of Verbal communication include:

  • No record for future reference
  • Can easily be interfered with noise and weather.
  • Voice information and pronunciation could lead to misinterpretation of communication.
  • Can be affected by prejudice especially where one does not respect the other

Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication is passing of information through writing, signs and sounds.Means of Non-verbal communication include letters, memos, minutes, notices, reports, magazines, newspapers, gestures, physical contacts, dressing, postures and signals .

 

Advantages

Advantages of Non verbal communication include:

  • Copies can be made which can be distributed to many people.
  • Suitable for conveying complex ideas which require summary and analysis for example maps.
  • Reinforces clarity of oral communication.
  • Visual recording of a situation is registered in the mind of the receiver for example watching a Television
  • Can be used as evidence in case of a dispute for example letters.
  • Non verbal communication is appropriate where the audience is illiterate.
.

Sign Language

Sign language is an important Non-verbal communication that is used by those who are speech and hearing disadvantaged.

 

Disadvantages of Non verbal communication

Disadvantages of Non-verbal communication include:

  • It takes time to prepare for example writing of letters
  • Does not give immediate feedback
  • It is prone to misinterpretation
  • Sometimes they may distract attention for example bill boards
  • Can be easily ignored for example dressing
  • Some may be expensive especially where many copies are required for example reports.

Choice of an Appropriate Means of Communication

The choice of appropriate means of communication is based on the following factors

  • Cost of the media

The sender should choose a means that he/she can afford.

  • Urgency or speed

Urgent messages require fast means of communication e.g. fax, sms, e-mail etc.

  • Availability

The sender should choose a media which is readily available

  • Reliability

Means chosen should be reliable to deliver the message to both parties.

  • Future reference

Where evidence or future reference of a message is required, written communication is preferred.

  • Accuracy

The means used should be able to deliver the message as intended.

  • Confidentiality

Means of communication used should convey the message to the intended person only.

 

Importance of Communication

The importance of Communication includes:

  • It links people for example producers and consumers
  • It enhances co-ordination within the organization
  • It creates understanding among people
  • Facilitates decision making
  • It improves the image of the business.

Services that Facilitate Communication

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Services that Facilitate Communication

These are services that enhance communication.They include postal, telecommunication and courier services and mass media.

Postal services

Postal services are communication services offered through post offices,for example ordinary mail services and special mail services such as express mail, poste restante among others.

Telecommunication services

Telecommunication services refer to communication over long distances by use of telephone or telegraph using cables or wireless means for example telephone, landline, mobile phones, telex, radio calls paging.

 

 

Courier services

Courier services are services offered by business organization that involve sending of letters and parcels for example Document Handling Limited (DHL), Securicor couriers services among others.

Mass media

Mass media is a means of communication that reaches a large number of people spread over different areas. Examples include radio, television and newspaper among others.

Trends in communication

Trends in communication include:

  • Increased use of facsimile machines (FAX)
  • Use of CCTV cameras in organizations.
  • Increased use of mobile phones.
  • Increased use of Internet service.
  • Increased use of public transport offering courier services.
  • Use of survaillance (CCTV) cameras in organizations.

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Trends in communication include

Increased use of facsimile machines (FAX)

People use fax to send documents to both near and far places instantly.

Increased use of mobile phones.

Mobile phones are used for communication and in other business transactions for example mobile banking.

 

Increased use of Internet service.

Internet has made the world a global village.

Increased use of public transport offering courier services.

Both parcels and cargo can be sent using public transport companies or their courier services.

Use of CCTV cameras in organizations.

CCTV means Closed Circuit Television.

CCTV is used for security and general survaillance for example in supermarkets,buildings and streets.

 



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