How To Make Communication Effective?

The principles or guidelines to making communications effective are of a general nature, operationally speaking, a number of more specific suggestions can be made to ensure the effectiveness of communications.


1)    Regulating the flow of communications : Planning communication should involve determining the priority of messages to be communicated so that managers may concentrate on more important messages of high priority. Otherwise, there is a possibility of managers being overloaded with the task of communication. Similarly, incoming communication should be edited and condensed, if possible, to reduce the chances of overlooking or ignoring important messages received.


2)    Feedback : Along with each communication there is need for feedback, that is, communication of the response or reaction to the initial message. Feedback may include the receiver’s acceptance and understanding of the message, his action or behavioural response, and the result achieved. Two-way communication is thus considered to be more helpful in establishing mutual understanding than one-way communication.


3)    Language of the message : Use of appropriate language is essential for effective communication. While preparing the message, its sender must keep in view the climate, as well as the ability of receiver to interpret the message accurately. Abstract ideas should be explained and vague expressions avoided. He must keep in view tire semantic problem, that is, the possibility of particular words having more than one meanings. Experimental studies have shown that oral communication accompanied by its written version is more effective in bringing about the desired response.


4)    Importance of listening carefully : Listening to verbal messages carefully implies an active process. Half-hearted attention to the communication is often the cause of misunderstanding and confusion. A listener has to be patient, mentally composed, and avoid distractions while receiving the message. He should be in a position to concentrate on the message and seek clarification, if necessary. On the other hand, the sender of the message must also be prepared to listen to what the receiver has to say, and respond to his questions, if any.


5)    Restraint over emotion : Strong feelings and emotional stress on the part of either the sender or receiver of messages are serious handicaps in the communication process. To avoid any negative impact of emotion on the content of the message, the sender may defer the communication for sometime or consult to exercise restraint over his psychological feelings to avoid misinterpreting the message and to be able to respond to it with a composed mind.


6)    Non-verbal signals of compliance : Verbal messages are generally accepted orally by the receiver. But whether action will follow the acceptance of the message is not certain. It is, therefore, suggested that in the case of verbal communication the sender should observe the action of the receiver to ascertain whether the actions are in conformity with the intent and understanding of the message.


7)    Mutual trust and faith : No amount of seriousness of the parties involved can make the process of communication effective unless there is mutual trust and faith between them. The best means of developing these among people in an organisation are honesty of purpose and openness of the managers. However, it takes time to build such a climate. Both managers and subordinates have to cooperate for the purpose so that individuals feel free to make suggestions and correct each other ’s views without misunderstanding.

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