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What is Communication?
• It is the transfer of information from the sender
to the receiver through a medium of
• ‘It is the imparting, conveying, or exchange of
information, ideas or opinions by the use of
speech, writing or graphics.’
The Communication Cycle:
The communication cycle explained
• SENDER: The person that sends the message
• ENCODING: The process by which the sender puts the information into a
form suitable for sending.
• MESSAGE: The information which is to be conveyed.
• MEDIUM: The means by which the message is sent: written, oral (spoken)
and visual methods:
• RECEIVER: The person to which the message is addressed ( the object to
which the message is directed)
• DECODING: Process by which recipient interprets the meaning of the
• FEEDBACK: Indirect reaction of the recipient.
• NOISE: Anything obstructing the message from being send and understood.
Barriers to communication
• Distortion: using the wrong words, using jargon or technical
words that are not understood, using a foreign language or an
accent that is not understood, using words or pictures that have
more than one meaning.
• Inadequate communication skills
• Lack of listening ability
• Attitudes
• Incorrect information
• Other barriers: perceptual barrier, information overload,
language, contradictory non-verbal messages
• Noise ( barriers caused by outside influences e.g. factory
noise, traffic noise, noise from people around you, other
telephone lines ringing).
Noise, such as distractions or the interference
occurs as the communication is being encoded,
transmitted and decoded, can obstruct the
of the message. There are many different types of
noise that can render the message inaccurate,
or even mean that it is not received at all.
• Technical noise: poor telephone connection, internet
connection problems, problem with computers, fax,
• Physical noise: people talking, , traffic, noisy
machinery could render the speaker’s voice inaudible
during a presentation.
• Social noise: it is caused when people are prejudiced
against others because they are of a different age,
gender, culture, race, colour, or social class.
• Psychological noise: A person’s emotional state or
attitude could interfere with message transmission.
Other barriers:
• Perceptual bias: it can occur when the recipient
of a message makes assumptions and selects
what they want to hear. This can result in the
wrong message being received.
• Information overload: it can occur if the recipient
of the message receives too much information or
information that is too technical. The result is that
the key messages are not conveyed or
• Contradictory non-verbal messages: it can
occur if the person encoding a message says one
thing but their body language says something
else. For example, if a person wears casual
clothes and a baseball cap to a job interview in a
formal business environment and says that they
think they would fit into the organisation, they are
conveying mixed messages to the interviewer.
• Language: it can act as a barrier if two
people speak different languages and
cannot understand each other.
Avoiding barriers to
• Communication barriers cause mistakes and
can damage the business relationship with
external customers. With internal customers,
communication barriers can lead to conflict and
irritation neither of which are a good recipe for
internal marketing and customer care.
• To avoid possible communication barriers,
careful thought needs to be put in before
encoding messages so that the full message is
conveyed. Gaps in messages are usually
caused by making assumptions about how
people will ‘decode’ the message.
• Avoid jargon or technical words that may not be understood and try to avoid
• Ensure that you understand your target audience as this is the key to
avoiding barriers to communication. The accuracy and precision of your
message is important if it is to be decoded correctly. An understanding of
your target audience’s needs should mean that you are able to have the
same ‘mental image’ about a product or service that your customers have.
• For internal communication with staff, you could provide training to eradicate
unnecessary social and psychological noise that can be created when
people make assumptions about customers or allow themselves to react
inappropriately when customers make complaints.
• When communicating with customers it is essential not to create information
overload and to be aware that only part of the message may be heard. You
may have to repeat a message many times before it is heard fully.
• It is also important to establish credibility so that customers feel you and
your message is trustworthy and internal customers believe in what you say.
• By taking some time to consider how a communication might be received
you are more likely to shape a message that will not be misinterpreted or
misunderstood. In other words, by carefully shaping your message and
considering the effect it might create, it is more likely that the communication
will be successful.
Defining the purpose
Knowing when and how to communicate
Understanding the receiver
Personal communication skills
3. Control: Successful communicators are able to control
message to a great extent and also to generate (mostly) the
response, if appropriate.
4. Congeniality: the ability to be pleasant and friendly, in
verbal or nonverbal communication, even if the message is
and possibly very bad news.
Principles of effective communication
1. Planning:
Identify the objective or intention of the
Planning the business
The planning framework:
Identify who you want to communicate with, their
position/status, where they are located. This will assist
you in considering what their perception and
understanding of the message might be.
Identify the content of the message and the order in
which the material should appear.
Identify the appropriate type of vocabulary, the degree
of formality and the tone of voice.
• Acquiring and organising information
• Structuring communications
• The importance of clarity: the need to convey
ideas precisely, the need to establish suitable
and positive relationships, the need to create
favourable impressions of yourself and of the
organisation you represent.
The 7’C’s in effective