Friday, August 30, 2013

What is Communication | Communication Definition

What is Communication | Communication Definition
The term 'communication' has derived from Latin word 'communicare,' which means exchanging or sharing of information. The most common medium of communication is language. While speaking, we often express our opinion, and/or attitude through physical gestures. Waving hands, shrugging shoulders, smiling, and nodding are some of the common forms of gestures which we use to indicate what we say. There are several other ways of communication available to us. For instance, we use some non-linguistic and non-verbal indicators such as railway signals, traffic lights, road signs, etc. to convey information peculiar to the movement of vehicles and trains.

We also use different codes for transmitting messages, and other highly confidential information to defense. The transmission of all these codes to defense is considered very important and plays very effective role in the process of communication. However, it is linguistic communication on which we are going to focus here.  Let us, therefore, briefly discuss how communication takes place in our everyday life.

Some components such as sender, message, channel, receiver, and response are considered the main elements of communication. In every communication situation there must be two parties, a sender and a receiver, who interact within a common position and/or situation. However, a common background, purpose, and interest is a must for effective communication.

The feeling of cooperation between the sender and the receiver also plays vital role in the communication process. If you speak to such a person who is completely lost in his thoughts or use such a language he is unable to understand, no communication can take place. Since it is a social function, each and every community develops a common medium of communication. This medium may consist of a language, code and/or a set of symbols which stands for certain ideas, feelings, notions, things, and so on. To transmit message, we usually select and arrange relevant symbols and/or codes in such a way so that we can convey meaning.

We usually choose the channel and the type of symbols as per situation. It is natural for a scientist to use technical language when he addresses a conference of research workers. He exercises distinct speaking styles and balanced gestures to present his points fluently. On the contrary, when talking to his wife and children he uses simple and plain language, and his speaking styles become very formal.

Everybody expects a reply after transmitting a message. This response may be immediate or delayed, favorable or unfavorable. For example, you may send a letter of congratulations to one of your friends on his success in an examination and receive an immediate reply. On another occasion, you may apply for leave and your application may not be granted. It does not mean that communication has ceased; only it has failed to produce the desired response.

It is natural for a sender to be interested in knowing how his message has been received. The response received from the receiver is called feedback. This feedback may also be immediate or delayed, favorable or unfavorable. You can receive an immediate feedback only if it is a face to face interaction or telephonic conversation. However, such communication has one significant advantage. Mutual interaction or conversation that happens instantly helps the sender promptly adjust the tone and mood of his communication.

There are many reasons for which we resort to written communication in our everyday life. Though there is no immediate feedback of written communication, yet it has some advantages as very often it is free from common shortcomings. It gives you an opportunity of diction, edition, revision and review. Thus you can control over what you wish to say, and suit your needs. Moreover, it gives you freedom to write at your leisure, and the reader can handle it at his own convenience.

However, all communication situations are not the same. Sometimes it happens that the message fails to produce the desired response because of a semantic gap. Such failure happens when the sender is not clear about his objective and/or when he uses inappropriate language to convey his ideas and thoughts. It also happens if the receiver fails to understand and interpret the message as it should be. Hence, a great deal of importance should be given to acquire the skills of communication.

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