Basically and in formal usage, communication is the transfer of ideas from one person to another. It is the act of information someone or disseminating information. It aims to provide the necessary information about a job, a machine, a decision, an action taken, etc. To recognize goods performance, use of communication is essential. To prevent misunderstandings due to misinformation that may lessen a person's working efficiency. To allay fears, worries, and suspicions an individual may have in his work or toward his employer.
Types of communication
In an organization, there are three type of communication; first is the downward communication which flows from upper levels of management to the next lower level, down to the rank and file. This communication type is used when management wants to inform employees of policies, procedures, directives, etc. And it is the supervisor's responsibility to make sure that he as well as those below him understands what is communicated.
The second type is the upward communication. This proceeds from the lower levels of the organization up to higher-management. This is necessary to improve efficiency as well as to ensure that downward communication form management is received and understood.
And lastly, is called lateral communication. This takes place among employees of the same level. It usually concerns the dissemination of information pertaining to areas of responsibility and/or reports of levels of achievement in job involving more than one work group. Above all, ensures avoidance of duplication of work effort in achieving management goals.
"When" to communicate
In order for a communication to be effective one must learn "when" to communicate. As a general rule, people should be informed about any event well in advance of rumors, gossips, and conjecture. If the information deals with vacations, shutdowns, etc. it should be released soon enough to be useful to individuals who will benefit from them. All announcements should be timed that the reasons given them would not conflict with other information fresh in the employee's mind. In all cases, a supervisor should receive the information before his subordinates do.
"How" to communicate
Also, he must learn "how" to communicate. First, give reason meaningful to those being informed. This is one of the best ways to gain acceptance. Second, where persuasion is necessary, employ verbal communication. This is more effective than print since you see the other's reaction and hence are able to adapt your presentation accordingly. Third, invite response from the workers. And last, use more than one medium of communication. A meeting may be good, but a meeting reinforced by a letter is more effective than an announcement, which gets only one treatment.
Effective instruments of communication
Communication makes use of certain aids of instruments. And the most effective instrument is the "words" itself. Therefore, use the right words for the purpose at hand. Avoid imprecise words like "few", "some", or "many" when meaning will be conveyed better by actual numbers and percentages.
Another useful instrument is the"tone" of your voice. Tone sometimes conveys more than contents do. It is how thing is said rather than what is said that may set road-blocks and cause a communication gap. Tone, whether in written or spoken communications, reacts on the thoughts and emotions of the receiver. It is therefore wise to use the correct tone in your message. Long enough and no longer, to get the point across. Not wordy, redundant or long-winded.
In each communication process, negative communication must also be avoided. To deal with negative communication, one must create a language environment devoid of verbal abuse and defensiveness. Defusing defensiveness in others with no loss of face to anyone. Creating an effective interactive feedback loop. And building trust and mutual respect with each other before you start your actual communication purpose.
To end up, remember that listening is an important aspect of communication. In communicating, don't do too much of the talking yourself, listening to what the other has to say. This way, you establish rapport with your receiver.
note: originally posted at Exposeknowledge.com under the same author.