Nature And Characteristics Of Communication

Simply stated, communication means transmission of messages or exchange of ideas, facts, opinion or feelings between two or more persons. It is the act of making one’s ideas and opinions known to others. It may also be regarded as the process of meaningfully transferring information from one person to another. In an organisational set up, communication is the means by which people are linked together for a common purpose, to establish a common interest or mutual understanding. 

Thus, communication does not simply involve sending of a message by one person. It also involves the receiver listening to it, interpreting it, and responding to it or acting according to it.

Communication is essentially a two-way process. It is not complete unless the receiver of the message has understood the message and his reaction or response is known to the sender of the message. The basic purpose of communication is to create mutual understanding and unity of commonness of purpose. It may involve exchange of facts by way of information, thought, or ideas, opinion or points of view, feelings or emotions. Communication is a continuous process in management. No manager can avoid communicating with his superior and subordinates in the course of his activities. Inadequate or ineffective communication is often responsible for making managerial performance unsatisfactory. Managers at all levels and in all departments must communicate to keep the wheels of operations running smoothly. Thus communication pervades the entire organisation.

The characteristics of communication in a business enterprise may be outlined as follows:

1)    It is a cooperative process involving two parties, one who transmits and one who receives the message.

2)    The respective parties to a communication must have the ability to convey and listen to what his counterpart has to communicate.

3)    Communication includes sending the message as well as receiving the reaction or response to the message and therefore is a two-way traffic.

4)    The response to a communication is as essential as the initial communication because the response indicates the impact of the communication.

5)    The message to be communicated may be conveyed verbally, in writing, by means of signs, gestures or symbols. More than one means may be adopted to make the communication effective.

6)    The purpose of communication is that of passing information and understanding, to bring about commonness of purpose, interest and efforts.

7)    Communication is a continuous process for effectiveness and efficiency of on going operations, planning and policy making.

8)    Communication may flow vertically upward or downward between superiors and subordinates, horizontally between persons occupying similar ranks in different departments, as well as diagonally between persons at different levels in different parts of the organisation. Hence, communication flows pervade the entire organisation.

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