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Communication- Meaning, Features, Significance

Communication– Meaning, Features, Significance

Meaning & Definition of Communication

According to Newman and Summer, “Communication means an exchange of facts, opinions, information or emotions by two or more persons.” Billons and Gilson define,” Communication is an intercourse by words, letters, symbols of message, and is a way that organization member shares meaning and understanding with other.” And in the words of Mc Farmland, “Communication is the sum of all the things one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It is a bridge of meaning. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding.”

The word communication has been derived from the Latin word ‘communes ‘which means ‘common’. Thus, communications strictly stands for sharing of ideas common. Communication involves transmission of some information by one person to another who receives and understands it in the same sense.

Features of Communication

Organizational communication has the following features:

  1. A two-way traffic-

    Communications not a single-way street but a two-way traffic. Mere saying is not enough. If some information has been transmitted but it has not been received and understood, by anybody, the communication is not complete. The nature and purpose of communication implies that there is a receiver. A man who is stranded in a deserted island and who is shouting at the top of his voice does not communicative. Some communication requires a sender and a receiver.

  2. Creates a common understanding-

    No Communication is successful unless the message is understood by the recipient in the same sense, the sender had intended to convey. A person receiving a letter in Arabic or Persian, the language which he does not understand, the communication is not complete. Merely receiving information is not enough but the understanding of it most important. The sender and the receiver may not agree, but communication has occurred when one at least understands what the other intends to convey. If the facts are distorted of information misunderstood, the communication is not successful.

  3. Needs meaningful message-

    Communication requires some facts, information, opinion, emotion, or ideas to be passed on to the other person. There is no purpose of communication if two or more persons are not interested in sharing in common certain such things. Similarly, there is no purpose of communication if the massage sent carries no meaning. The contents of the message should be precise, unambiguous and thoroughly relevant.

  4. Needs effective means-

    Communication may be done by several means such as, oral talks and speeches; written statements, orders, letters or in any black and white manner, through pictures or television; through telephone or telegraph; or through actions and significant gestures; as well as, even by silence,. To quote ShobhanaKhandelwal, “Communication is generally understood as spoken or written words. But in reality, it is more than that. It is the sum total of directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously transmitted words, attitudes, feelings, actions, gestures and tones. Even silence is an effective form of communication. A twist in the face is often more expressive disapproval then hundreds of words put together. Tone, very often than not, destroys the meaning of the words uttered. Leave granted with sarcastic slang pinches more than the denial of the leave with reasons well explained. Even factual announcements of holiday can be made with the tone and the gesture that indicate pleasure or displeasure, respect for the boss or contempt for employees.” An effective means of communication should be selected in view of time, cost and the other requirements of the communication.

  5. Needs some effective language-

    Language is the carrier of through and message. The language chosen should, therefore, be effective to communicate the message to the recipient. The understanding of the recipients, the purpose and the nature of contents of the message, the time and cost factors involved should be given due attention while selecting the language.

  6. Feedback-

    Feedback is an integral part of the process of communication. Feedback means to ascertain that the message has been received and properly understood by the recipients.

Significance of Communication

We can visualize its importance in the following heads:

  1. In Managerial Planning-

    Managerial planning involves setting of objectives, policies, rules, programmers, budgets, strategies, etc. to be followed by the whole organization. The successful formulation and implementation of a plan are possible only when the manager is in a position to get adequate information, opinions and reports, from different corners, and may circulate them to all concerned speedily, effectively, completely, correctly and in a way the recipients may properly understand them. Communication is therefore, a prerequisite for successful managerial planning.

  2. In Organizing-

    The nature and extent of departmentation, the superior-subordinate relationships, the span of supervision, and the smooth running of an organization largely depend upon the efficacy of the communication system. It is by means of communication that a subordinate comes to know the orders and instructions of his boss, the duties he is required to perform and the reports and explanations he is to submit. It is only through the medium of communication that he sends upward his grievances and suggestions, It is the effective and speedy communication which avoids delays, misunderstandings, distortions of information and establishes unity in thinking, as well as, in action in an organization. If the organization is more complex greater is the need for establishing an effective system of communication to avoid bottlenecks, confusions, delays and distortions.

  3. In Coordination and Control-

    A poor communication is a poor manager. Coordination assumes effective communication. If timely information cannot reach all concerned individuals and departments in an organization, how can there by synchronization of the activities? If the opinions, suggestions, ideas and information have not properly been exchanged, how can there be unity in thinking and working? If people have not been properly informed and convinced, how can the manager expect cooperation on their part? The group participation conferences, periodical exchange of information, meeting, establishing liaison officer, all these specific techniques of coordination, mainly are for exchanging the ideas and information to achieve unity and cooperation. Effective control can also not be exercised unless there is a system of communicating standard tasks to the operator, evolution of the work and taking corrective actions.

  4. In Directing-

    Communication is a basic tool of directing. The motivation of the people largely depends upon the effectiveness of the communication. The forceful and impressive language, greater participation, speedy exchange of ideas, clear understanding of intentions and emotions of the people, convincing reasoning are definitely helpful in keeping the morale of the people high and securing their willing cooperation. Supervision and guidance require constant exchange of information between a boss and his subordinate. The leadership without communication has no meaning. A man cannot be an ideal leader without having communicable skills. A person incapable of expressing himself through his talks, speeches and writings cannot influence and lead people. A person who cannot study human emotions and sentiments cannot get willing followers to be led. Most of the conflicts in the organizations originate because of misunderstandings of motives and points of view or out of ignorance. The effective communication can be removed, to a great extent, these misunderstandings and ignorance can greatly help in morale and confidence building.

  5. In Operative Functions-

    Besides the managerial functions, the operating functions, too cannot be performed without communication. The upward, downward and horizontal exchange of messages takes place every day between the individuals of an enterprise, and one cannot think of an organization operating without it.

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