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Effective Communication

February 13th, 2021

Human interactions are Manifold (e.g., individual-interactions, group-interactions, and state-interactions), Multi-Dimensional (e.g., social-interactions, economic-interactions, and political-interactions), and Multi-Layered (e.g., interaction with seniors, interaction with juniors, and interaction with peers). These multiple interactions may collapse any time due to some real or non-real discrepancies between participants, so that, an effective communication is required for stable interactions. An effective communication includes actively involved sender, wholehearted receiver, relevant content for communication, availability of faultless mediums/channels, and friendly time-space framework during communication process.

Various surveys and multiple research reports on institutional setup have confirmed that Ability to Communicate is the most vital and important characteristic of an entrepreneur, both economic as well as social. According to some management experts, “management is communication and communication is management”. Communication is required at all levels of institutional set-up. It is necessary for better marketing, inevitable for teambuilding, vital for stable finance generation, and essential for proper supply chain.

Communication Model

The process of communication involves seven elements:

Sender – The sender has an idea to share with someone.

Message – The sender transforms the idea into a message, message content may be relevant or irrelevant.

Channel & Medium – The sender selects message transmitting channel (spoken, written) and medium (phone, computer, letter, etc.).

Receiver – The receiver gets the message; incomplete reception is no receiving.

Interpretation – The receiver interprets the message, the most critical point of communication.

Feedback – The receiver reacts on message, positively or negatively, and sends feedback to sender.

Reaction to Feedback – The sender also reacts to receiver’s feedback.

Now, a full round of a communication cycle is complete and a new or next round of communication is started, the process goes on until some final conclusion is not reached between sender and receiver.

Effective Communication (Critical Elements)

Wiio’s Laws: Osmo Wiio inferred some communication maxims similar to Murphy’s Law:

· Communication usually fails, except by accident.
· If a message can be interpreted in several ways, it will be interpreted in a manner that maximizes the damage.
· There is always someone who knows better than you what you meant with your message .
· The more we communicate, the worse communication succeeds.
· The more important the situation is, the more probably you forget an essential thing that you remembered a moment ago.

These rules indicate some ruthless facts of communication process. These are just a few aspects of miscommunication. Miscommunication can play havoc with sender or receiver. The whole practical struggle may converge into limbo due to faulty communications. At individual levels, ties may shatter, while, at collective level, war may start among states. A minute analysis of communication process is inevitable to harness the negative consequences of miscommunications.

There are seven critical points in a communication process that may create miscommunication. There may be irrelevant idea to share, wrong transformation of idea into message, wrong selection of channel / medium, inability to understand the receiver’s level of understanding, inability to create the same mental picture in receiver’s mind, inability to understand the receiver’s reaction / response, wrong reaction of sender on feedback.

In order to avoid miscommunications between sender and receiver due to presence of critical points of a communication process, a communicator needs seven abilities / skills:

Relevance – ability to develop relevancy of idea or content with respect to time, person, and situation,

Prediction – ability to predict or calculate probable response of receiver and to shape the message accordingly,

Selection – ability to select or choose suitable channel / medium for communication,

Mapping – ability to map the same mental picture in receiver’s mind, i.e., to craft meeting of minds,

Control – ability to affect the response of receiver, a wrong interpretation of message leads, generally, towards wrong reactions. It is mindset of sender/receiver that plays a decisive role during message interpretation. A negative mindset of sender or receiver activates Wiio’s Laws.

Courtesy – to be polite & patient towards the unexpected reactions of receiver during communication process, &

Congeniality – ability to maintain future friendly relations after complete round of communication.

It is noteworthy that people lose more due to their words as compare to any thing else. God has given us two ears, two eyes, two hands, one mouth. It can be inferred that we should see, hear, and work twice than we speak. Again, ears are open, eyes are open, hands are open but tongue is caged in jaws. Open it whenever it is inevitable.

Effective Communication (Some Social Issues)

World is multi-cultural setup of interdependent individuals, modes and manners of interactions vary from culture to culture. Some Cultural Differences (e.g., dissimilar manners and different languages) are extremely important during communication. A strictly manner based communication may create misconceptions between sender and receiver. It is noteworthy that leaving eternal manners (e.g., politeness, moderate voice, religious tolerance), the all other manners (e.g., sitting style, surname, criticism style) are changed with the passage of time. A rigid approach towards communication standards is inappropriate. It is noteworthy; the purpose of manners is to make the other person comfortable. Moreover, some cultures have strong reservations about the communicative abilities of females. They consider females are less suitable for communicative-oriented tasks. A flexible approach towards cultural issues is required for effective communication.

Age Differences or Generation Gap may be another hurdle in communication. It is very important to consider the age differences during communication or interaction. A society consists of four generations:

Generation I – Age 0-20 years. It is New / Dependent Generation, i.e., Follower. The essential demand of the generation is Caring Attitude from seniors while the essential supply of the generation is Hope.
Generation II – Age 21-40 years. It is Young / Grooming Generation, i.e., Co-worker/Co-manager. The essential demand of the generation is Guiding Attitude from older generations while the essential supply of the generation is Enthusiasm.
Generation III – Age 41-60 years. It is Mature / Self-Directed Generation, i.e., leader or manager or supervisor. The essential demand of the generation is Sensible Attitude from older generation while the essential supply of the generation is Devotion.
Generation IV – Age 61 to above. It is Senior / Old Generation, i.e., Facilitators. The essential demand of the generation is Respectful Attitude from newer generations while the essential supply of the generation is Fear of God/Wisdom.
A Gender Difference is another issue in some communications. Man and Woman are two distinct species. They differ during interactions; females are more social as compare to males. They differ during decision-making; the decision-making ability of females is dominantly based on emotional intelligence. They differ on communicative styles; the communicative style of women is normally aesthetic-oriented. They differ on interpretation of message, females interpret the message reluctantly. They differ on perception of environ; females perceives the situation locally or personally. It is important to differentiate the natural distinctions with man-made distinctions.

Organizational Communication

An Organization or Institution is contractually defined and progressively evolved phenomenon of interdependent individuals, it works under the leadership of an entrepreneur. Its activities require human being to interact / communicate. It is estimated that in organizations people spend more than 80% of their time in communication. Communication is not a separate and periodic task rather a continuous and built-in process of an organization. The communication activity of an organization can be grouped into five categories:

· Informational Communication, i.e., an information-driven communication to update customers, suppliers, investors, sellers, and owners.

· Pedagogical Communication, i.e., a learning-oriented communication to enhance professional skills of individuals,

· Horizontal Communication, i.e., a communication among departments or peers to improve collaboration,

· Hierarchical Communication, i.e., a communication with seniors/ juniors or communication between workers and management for better working environment.

· Institutional Communication, i.e., a communication with multiple institutions such as government, press, financial institutions, chambers, and various interest groups.

A communication process utilizes multiple mediums and channels. The communication channels / mediums are selected to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of communication process. A communicative channel is either verbal or non-verbal, while a communication medium is either direct or indirect. The major ways of communication are:

· Reports, letters, handouts, etc.

· Advertisement on Print Media

· Meetings, Seminars, etc.

· Face to face discussions, Brainstorming Sessions, etc.

· Teleconferences/ Videoconferences,

· Interactive CDs / DVDs.

Effective Organizational Communication

An effective organizational communication is materialized by adopting Management by Objectives (MBO) approach towards entrepreneurship. An objective management is productivity driven, individually, and quality driven, institutionally. The institutional environ is cooperative, internally, and fairly competitive, externally. The ultimate object of MBO is to create results, both tangible as well as intangible. The tangible results include customers, sales, and profit, while the intangible results include brand name, customer loyalty, and social recognition. We can create an effective organizational communication system by adopting following communication approaches:

· Dynamic Approach of Communication – A dynamic approach of entrepreneur towards communication shapes responsible-responsive communicative environ, consequently, miscommunications are minimum.

· Democratic Approach of Communication – A democratic approach towards communication promotes open and fearless climate for communication and leads, ultimately, towards effective communication.

· Win-Win Approach of Communication – A win-win approach towards communication assigns benefit of communications to all, both sender and receiver. An organizational communication must lead towards common stance towards threats and shared vision towards opportunities; consequently, the synergic benefits are materialized for everyone involved. For example, the good manager clear reasons to everybody concerned about five P’s (Pay, Placement, Promotion, Perks, and Profit). These 5P’s are elements that often create rifts / miscommunications between management ands staff and among different members of staff, so that unity of purpose is spoiled. A win-win approach towards communication enhances the benefits of communication multiple times, however, it is difficult to implement due to Managerial Ego or Micro-Management.

· Ethical Approach of Communication – Majority of people become as they are treated or considered, Pygmalion Effect, that is, if you allege, unfairly, someone on lethargy and everyone keep this attitude towards him the targeted person may behave like a lethargic. Institutional set up must avoid non-ethical practices at all levels. Leader should make sure that the institutional climate is not corrupting or not making inefficient to anyone by using negative / false comments. A negative mindset or ethically wrong behaviour of sender or manager can make the multiple communication activities a futile exercise.

· State-of-the-art Communication – We are living in Information Age; information is passed on quickly from person to person or from institution to institution or from region to region. In addition, communicative technology replaced persons on various areas of communication. Consequentially, information or communication technology has attained a decisive role during multiple communications; it speeds up the message and expedites the outcome. It assigns comparative advantage to persons or organizations. A better know-how in communication technology by senders/organizations enhances efficient flow of communication and leads towards smooth and effective communication

Muhammad Ilyas