Everything you need to know about the principles of effective communication. The effectiveness of a system is measured in terms of its objective achievement.
Therefore, the effective communication system is one which achieved its objectives. Communication is effective where there are no barriers to communication.
The message should be clear and complete. The communication should always be consistent with the objectives, policies and programmes of the enterprise. Communication is effective when the workers are receptive to it and are able to give relevant feedback.
Some of the principles of effective communication are:-
1. Principle of Clarity in Ideas 2. Principle of Appropriate Language 3. Principle of Attention 4. Language 5. Consistency 6. Adequacy 7. Proper Time 8. Informality
9. Feedback 10. Integration 11. Consultation 12. Flexibility 13. Economy 14. Proper Medium 15. Understanding 16. Brevity 17. Timeliness
18. Appropriateness 19. Constructive and Strategic Use of Informal Groups 20. Purpose of Communication 21. Physical and Human Setting 22. Content of Message 23. Follow-Up Action and a Few Others.
Principles of Effective Communication: Clarity, Language, Attention, Consistency, Timeliness, Content of Message and a Few Others
Principles of Effective Communication – Clarity in Ideas, Appropriate Language, Attention, Consistency, Adequacy, Proper Time, Informality, Feedback and a Few Others
The chief purpose of communication is the exchange of ideas among various people working in the organisation. The process of communication should be helpful in an effective exchange of information. The remedies for the removal of barriers in communication also point towards effective communication.
A sender, however, should have the knowledge of some special facts which he can use in a particular situation to make communication effective. These special facts are known as ‘Principles of Effective Communication’.
An effective communication system is based on the following principles:
(1) Principle of Clarity in Ideas:
First of all it should be clear in the mind of the sender as to what he wants to say. According to Terry the principle of effective communication is ‘first to fully inform oneself.’ The clearer the thought the more effective is the communication.
(2) Principle of Appropriate Language:
According to this principle, the communication should always be in a simple language. Ideas should be clear and be devoid of any doubt. Technical words and words having various meanings should be used to the minimum.
(3) Principle of Attention:
The purpose of communication is that the receiver of information should clearly understand its meaning. It means merely transferring information is not communication and it is important that the receiver should understand it. This is possible only when the receiver takes interest in the message and listens to it attentively.
(4) Principle of Consistency:
According to this principle, communication system should maintain consistency in the objectives of the enterprise, its procedures and processes. It means communication should be in accordance with the policies laid down for it.
(5) Principle of Adequacy:
The information sent to the receiver should be sufficient and complete in every respect. Information more than the need or less than the need is harmful. In the context of business incomplete information is dangerous. The sufficiency of information depends on the ability of the receiver. If the receiver happens to be capable more information can be given with the help of a few words. On the contrary, in case of a less capable receiver more details are needed.
(6) Principle of Proper Time:
The messages should reach the receiver whenever they are needed. Late messages are meaningless and the utility of communication is ended. Hence, the message should be sent before the actual need keeping in mind the time required for communication.
(7) Principle of Informality:
Formal communication has a prominent place among the channels of communication but informal communication is not less important. There are some problems which cannot be solved with formal communication but informal communication does succeed in solving them. Therefore, informal communication should also be given recognition in the organisation.
(8) Principle of Feedback:
It is essential for the sender of the message that he should know about the success of the message. It means that he should see whether the receiver has understood the message or not. Feedback is easily obtained in a face to face communication with the help of the facial reactions of the receiver. In the written communication the sender can get the feedback by using appropriate means.
(9) Principle of Integration:
Communication should be able to introduce all the employees in the enterprise with its objectives so that all the employees move unitedly towards the goal.
(10) Principle of Consultation:
The suggestions of all the persons concerned should be invited while making plans for communication. The obvious benefit of such a move will be that all those who are invited while making plans for communication and taken into confidence will contribute to the success of the communication system. Planning for communication aims at determining as to when, how and through what medium communication is to be done among people working at different levels.
(11) Principle of Flexibility:
Communication system should be able to absorb the changes in the organisation. A communication system that cannot absorb changes according to the need becomes meaningless.
(12) Principle of Economy:
Communication system should not be unnecessarily costly. As far as possible unnecessary messages should be reduced to the minimum to make communication economical. No single employee should be burdened with the work of communication.
(13) Principle of Proper Medium:
In order to make communication effective it is necessary not only to have clarity of ideas, consistency and completeness but also to make a proper choice of medium. For example- the managers should make use of oral communication for individual communication and written communication for policy matters.
Effective communication means communication free from barriers. Though ideal communication free from all barriers is seldom achieved, communicators should acquire communication skills and enhance effectiveness of their communication.
The following factors increase effectiveness of the communication process:
1. Formal Communication Channel:
Official information should flow through formal channels of communication. It avoids spreading of rumours and relieves top managers from scanning every information. Workers will contact their supervisors rather than functional managers.
2. Authority Structure:
Well defined authority structure results in effective communication. Clear authority-responsibility structures facilitate answering questions like who will communicate with whom, who has authority over whom and increase the effectiveness of communication.
Effective communication should be as clear as possible. Communication does not take place on its own. It is made to happen. Careful planning about what, when, where, why and how to communicate makes communication effective.
Rather than saving, “dispatch this mail as early as possible”, it will be better if the manager says, “dispatch this mail latest by tomorrow evening”; because the word ‘early’ can have different meaning for the manager and the clerk.
4. Completeness of Information:
Complete information makes communication effective. Incomplete messages create gaps that may be filled by people according to their individual perceptions. A manager says to his workers, “We want to increase production to meet the increasing demand. So please cooperate with us and work overtime.”
The message is incomplete unless it specifies how much increase in production is desired, how many hours of overtime have to be put in and for what time period. Information is complete when it answers five W’s— what, when, why, where and who. Completeness of information increases the effectiveness of communication.
5. Information Ownership:
People specialized in their work like tax, accounts, sales, finance etc. are the best persons to be contacted rather than immediate superiors. These experts possess the power of information and can make people perform activities related to their areas more effectively than others.
Though all details should be included in the message, the sender should be as brief as possible. Readers and listeners prefer reading and listening to short notices rather than lengthy details. Long messages become boring and may lose attention of the receiver. Simple, short and crisp sentences should be used to make the message effective.
Language should be as simple as possible. Use of technical words and tough vocabulary should be avoided.
7. Develop Listening Habits (Consideration):
Some people are good speakers but bad listeners. Research has shown that most of the managers are not good listeners. If managers want their subordinates to listen to them, they should develop their listening skills also. They should be considerate towards needs, sentiments and emotions of the receiver. They should seek not only to be understood but also to understand.
The messages should be correct, authentic and accurate. Incorrect transmission will lead to incorrect action. While corresponding with outsiders, incorrect message can affect company’s goodwill and public relations.
Politeness and courtesy are important contributors to effective communication. Thanking the other person for a favour, acknowledging his action or response, apologizing for a mistake, avoiding negative expressions (the product failed because of you, your behaviour is bad etc.) and using empathy are some of the ways which can make communication courteous and effective.
10. Focus on Needs:
What the sender wants to convey must also be what the receiver wants to receive. Sender should analyze the needs of information at the receiving end before conveying the message. If a seminar is organized for the students and speakers of esteem from various fields are invited who deliver lectures beyond the understanding of students, the lectures will be of no value to them and will go unheard. Communication should, therefore, satisfy the needs of the receivers.
11. Informal Communication System:
Informal communication system should supplement the formal communication system. Informal communication system speeds up the transmission of formal messages.
The speaker should not just speak and get away from the communication site. He should wait for a response to know whether the receiver has understood what he has said. Feedback is an important element to effective communication.
Consistency should be maintained in sending messages. The sender should not change his words and actions too often.
Before transmitting any information, sender should ensure that the information is correct and fair. Wrong information will result in wrong decisions.
A person’s state of mind or mood should not overpower his communication with others. The gestures of the sender should correspond with the message he sends. Manager should not communicate sad news (say, retrenchment of an employee) in a happy mood and vice versa. Communicators should maintain complete control over their actions, behaviour and gestures and not distort the message.
Clarity, completeness, consideration, correctness, courtesy and consistency are also called C’s of effective communication.
The American Management Association has laid ten principles of effective communication. These are the ‘Ten commandments of good communication’.
These are as follows:
1. Examine the true purpose of each communication.
2. Seek to clarify your ideas before communicating.
3. Consider the total physical and human setting whenever you communicate.
4. Consult with others, wherever appropriate, in planning communications.
5. Be mindful, when you communicate, of the overtones as well as the basic content of your message.
6. Take the opportunity, when it arises, to convey something of help or value to the receiver.
7. Follow up your communication.
8. Communicate for tomorrow as well as today.
9. Be sure your actions support your communication.
10. Seek not only to be understood but to understand-be a good listener.
Principles of Effective Communication
The need to make communication an effective instrument of organisational cohesiveness and control over it are well recognized. In this context, a few rules or guidelines for effective communication are outline below. These may also be regarded as characteristics or an effective communication system.
(a) The sender should be clear in his mind as to the intent, content and context of communication on each occasion. He should also clarify the purpose of communication to the receiver, apart from giving due attention to the aspects of timing of communication.
(b) Adequate safeguards are to be built into the communication system to prevent transmission of conflicting and confusing messages to receivers. Information should be reliable. This promotes the credibility of the communication and promotes its acceptability.
(c) The communication channels should be straight forward and short, to minimize delays and distortion of information.
(d) Arrangements are to be made for prompt transmission of information to the needed areas. Fast and automatic system of information flow should be built into the organisational structure, without affecting the accuracy of messages.
(e) Communication effectiveness can be maintained and improved by matching the media with the nature of messages to be transmitted. The medium employed may be formal or informal, oral or written, face-to-face or indirect, or an appropriate combination of them.
(f) There should be a proper internal organisational atmosphere of trust, goodwill, understanding and transparency in-the organisation among the various participants in the communication process. It is a part of organisational culture.
(g) The language employed in communication should be simple and easy to understand. The language and style of communication should match the level of understanding of the receiver.
(h) All the activity units of organisation are to be connected with communication channels. They may be upward, downward, lateral and diagonal. The system should allow free flow of information from the points of origin to destination.
(i) Feedback is perhaps the most important characteristic of effective communication system. Feedback is permitted through a two-way communication system.
(j) There is a clear need for supplementing formal communication channel with informal channels. The latter serves to fill some of the gaps and lapses in the formal channels.
(k) It is desirable to encourage upward communication in an atmosphere of openness and freedom from fear. Upward communication, both tasks related and otherwise, is a very helpful means for executives to manage ticklish situations and to control the pace and pattern of events.
(l) Effective communication is possible if the receiver has the skill of patient and perceptive listening. This is especially so in upward communication. Such an attitude is likely to soften the attitudes of subordinates and enable them to share their ideas and views freely with their superiors.
(m) Participative processes can be more and more resorted to for both downward and upward communication. They are more effective than impersonal, unilateral and authority-oriented communication.
(n) The communication system should be flexible enough to absorb additional loads of information, to incorporate new techniques of information transmission and to adapt with the changing organisational requirements.
Principles of Effective Communication
In all types of communication, the communicator must keep in view the following principles in order to have an effective communication:
1. Simple language – The language used in communication should be simple and easily understandable.
2. No ambiguity – The communicator should be clear in his mind about the objective of his communication and there should not be any ambiguity.
3. Proper medium of communication – There are different media for passing of communication. The communicator should select the proper medium by considering such factors as the nature of matter to be communicated, urgency of communication, distance between the communicator and the recipient of communication, etc.
4. Adequacy of information – In order to make communication effective, one more condition to be fulfilled is that it should be adequate and complete in all respects.
5. Right climate in the organisation – There should not be any communication barriers in the business concern. The organisation structure of the unit consisting of physical setting and human setting must facilitate the process of communication.
6. Follow-up action – There should be follow-up action to know whether the recipient of the message has understood it correctly and the action he has taken is on the basis of that message.
7. Training to the communicators – Proper training should be given to the communicators in the communication skills. This helps in increasing the effectiveness of communication considerably.
8. Co-operation of personnel – Co-operation of the organisation personnel is essential in order to make communication effective. Hence, the communication should aim at strengthening the business concern through the co-operation of the organisational personnel.
9. Messages should not be mutually conflicting – Messages should not be mutually conflicting and should be in line with the overall objectives and policies of the concern. This will avoid chaos and confusion in the organisation.
10. Action should be in line with the Message – The communicator should not act in any way which contradicts his message. A communicator is judged not only by what he says but also by what he does. Actions speak louder than words. Hence, the action of the communicator should be in line with the message conveyed.
Principles of Effective Communication – With the Suggestions Made by the American Management Association
The effectiveness of a system is measured in terms of its objective achievement. Therefore, the effective communication system is one which achieved its objectives. Communication is effective where there are no barriers to communication. The message should be clear and complete. The communication should always be consistent with the objectives, policies and programmes of the enterprise. Communication is effective when the workers are receptive to it and are able to give relevant feedback.
In all types of communication, the communicator must keep in view the following principles in order to have an effective communication:
1. Clarity of message – The subject-matter, which is to be communicated, must be clear. Ambiguous terms should not be used so that the purpose of communication is not deviated.
2. Unbiased – It should be free from personal prejudices. It must take into account the interest of the other parties.
3. Reciprocal communication – Both the communicator and communicate should participate in the communication. There should be a two-way communication.
4. Consistency of message – All messages must be consistent with the objectives, policies and rules of the organization.
5. Correct channel – The correct channel of communication is to be chosen in order to make communication effective.
6. Speed – The communication system should be capable of carrying messages speedily.
7. Accuracy – The communication system should ensure safety of the contents of communication from loss in transit (or miscarriage).
8. Empathy – In order to communicate effectively, the communicator should understand the receiver and develop better human relations with his subordinates.
9. Feedback – This refers to the actual response of the receiver to the message communicated to him. Feedback is a reversal of communication. It makes communication more effective.
Communication can be improved by the following suggestions made by the American Management Association:
1. Clarify ideas before attempting to communicate.
2. Examine the purposes of communication.
3. Understand the physical and human environment when communicating.
4. In planning communication, consult others to obtain their support as well as the facts.
5. Consider the content and the overtones of the message.
6. Whenever possible, communicate something that helps or is valued by the receiver.
7. Communication, to be effective, requires continuous follow-up.
8. Communicate messages those are of short-run and long-run importance.
9. Actions must be congruent with communication.
10. Be a good listener.
Principles of Effective Communication – Understanding, Attention, Brevity, Timeliness, Appropriateness, Feedback and Constructive and Strategic Use of Informal Groups
In order to be effective and meaningful, the managerial function of communication must be guided by the following principles:
(i) Principle of Understanding:
Communication must be such, as transmits understanding of the communication message to the recipient; as per the intentions of the sender.
A practical application of this principle requires that the message must be clearly expressed – whether made orally or in writing. Further, the message must be complete – leaving no scope for any doubts likely to confuse the recipient and compel him towards a misinterpretation of the message.
(ii) Principle of Attention:
Communication must be made in such a manner that it invites the attention of the recipient to it. For a practical application of this principle, it is imperative that not only must the message be expressed in a pleasant and sound manner; but also the purpose of the sender in making communication, must be absolutely clarified.
(iii) Principle of Brevity:
The message to be communicated must be brief; as usually the recipient, specially an executive, would not have much time to devote to a single piece of communication.
However, brevity of the message must not be sought at the cost of clarity or completeness of the message. The sender must strike a balance among these three forces – brevity, clarity and completeness.
(iv) The Principle of Timeliness:
The communication must be timely i.e. must be made at the high time, when needed to be communicated to the recipient. An advance communication carries with it the danger of ‘forgetting’, on the part of the recipient, while a delayed communication loses its purpose and charm, and becomes meaningless, when the right time for action on it has expired.
(v) The Principle of Appropriateness (or Rationality):
The communication must be appropriate or rational, in the context of the realization of organizational objectives.
Communication must be neither impracticable to act upon; nor irrational, making no contribution to common objectives.
(vi) Principle of Feedback:
Communication must be a two-way process. The feedback (or reaction or response) of the recipient to the message, must be as easily transferable to the sender, as the original communicable made by the sender.
The idea behind emphasizing on the feedback aspect of communication is that it helps the sender to modify his subsequent communications in view of the reactions of the recipient – making for better and improved human relations.
(vii) Principle of the Constructive and Strategic Use of Informal Groups:
The management must not hesitate in making a constructive and strategic use of informal groups; for ensuring and facilitating speedier communications in emergency situations. Such as, a use of informal groups would also help develop good human relations – by upgrading the status of informal groups and their leaders.
However, management must assure itself that rumors are not spread by informal groups. And for this, a guard over the manner of functioning of informal groups, while transmitting a formal communication, is but imperative.
Principles of Effective Communication – Language, Clarity, Purpose of Communication, Physical and Human Setting, Consultation, Content of Message and a Few Others
The communicator or the sender should observe the following principles for effective communication in all types of communication:
Principle # 1. Language:
The sender must use simple language and the language should be known to the receiver. Simple language means using ‘familiar words’ while transmitting the information.
Principle # 2. Clarity:
The message should be transmitted in clear words. There should be unambiguous language. The sender should give the meaning of words instead of making the words speak for themselves.
Principle # 3. Purpose of Communication:
The basic purpose of any communication is to elicit a behavioural response from the receiver. The next stage is that the order should be accepted by the subordinate. So, the sender or communicator must make efforts to achieve the objective of this response.
Principle # 4. Physical and Human Setting:
Physical setting refers to the person to whom the message is communicated. The receiving person may be an individual, concerned department personnel or organisation as a whole. Human setting refers to the circumstances under which the message is communicated. So, the communicator or the sender should bear in mind the circumstances and the receiving persons while communicating the message.
Principle # 5. Consultation:
It is necessary to seek the participation of others in planning a communication. It helps the sender to get additional insight into and objectivity of the message. Moreover, those who participate and help communication planning will give active support to you.
Principle # 6. Content of Message:
The communicator should decide his tone of voice with reference to the content of the message. Sometimes, the communicator may make his voice loud or shrill in order to make the communication effective.
Principle # 7. Follow-Up Action:
Follow-up action is necessary to find out whether the receiver has understood the message correctly. The receiver may take some action after receiving the message. The sender should know the type of action taken by the receiver.
Principle # 8. Time and Opportunity:
The sender should consider the interest and needs of the receiver of message. It helps him to find out the correct time when the message is to be communicated. In this way, the sender uses the opportunity to convey the message for enduring and immediate benefits to the receiver.
Principle # 9. Training to the Communicators:
Proper training is essential to the communicators to develop their communication skills. This helps in increasing the effectiveness of communication considerably.
Principle # 10. Action Support Communication:
The actions or attitudes of the sender should support the message. For example, the sender may raise his hand to convey the message of ‘stop the work’. So, the actions of the sender should not contradict his words or message.
Principle # 11. Personnel Co-Operation:
Co-operation of the personnel is necessary to make effective communication. The communication results in strengthening the business concern through the co-operation of managerial personnel.
Principle # 12. Listening:
Listening is one of the most important tasks of the sender. Here, listening refers to the reactions of the receiver. The sender must learn to listen with the inner ear. The sender can gather useful information through listening for further communication. So, the sender should stop talking, because without stopping the talking, one cannot listen.
Principles of Effective Communication – Seven C’s of Effective Communication: Courtesy, Clarity, Conciseness, Completeness, Correctness, Concreteness and Credibility
Communication is perceived to be effective only if the receiver receives the message in the same form and context as it is sent by the sender. When there is no error in interpretation and the sender gets correct feedback, then communication can be said to be effective. There are certain principles observed in ensuring communication effectiveness.
There are seven C’s of effective communication:
It means preparing every message standing into the shoes of the receiver. The sender has to emphasise with needs, aspiration, emotions, desires request etc., of the receiver. In the business world everything starts and ends with courtesy and considerations. Much can be achieved if courtesy and consideration can be interwoven into the message.
The following points highlight courtesy:
i. Focus on ‘You’ attitude instead of I attitude.
ii. Show interest in the receiver and highlight the benefits accruing to the receiver.
iii. Stress the positive and pleasant facts about the receiver of the message.
iv. Be thoughtful and appreciative.
v. Use expression that conveys respect.
vi. Choose non-discriminatory expressions.
Clarity of ideas gives meaning to the message. The message of the sender should be understood in the same sense and context in which it is transmitted.
Clarity can be achieved through the following ways:
i. Avoiding technical jargons used in one’s profession.
ii. Splitting running matter into paragraphs or highlighting key points.
iii. Choosing simple language and using simple words in place of high sounding words.
iv. Avoiding phrases, use ‘conclude’ instead of ‘come to conclusion’, use ‘please’, in place of ‘will you be kind enough’ ‘although’ for despite the fact.
v. Using active voice in place of passive voice use ‘your prices are on higher side’ instead of ‘I thought that your prices are on higher side’.
vi. Avoiding ambiguity by correct punctuation, personal pronoun, proverbs, etc.
vii. Avoiding lengthy sentence.
The message to be communicated should be brief. The volume of information should be just right, neither too much nor too little. Lengthy letters may not result in desired actions. High sounding phrases may reflect sender’s scholarship but may not ensure desired actions. Therefore, brevity is the soul of communication. A concise message saves time and energy of both sender and the receiver.
Communication must be complete to avoid confusion in the mind of the receiver. Incomplete communication leads to assumptions and guesses and the consequent delay in further action plan.
In this connection, the sender has to ensure the following:
i. Providing all necessary information, the sender has to answer all the five ‘W’s—who, what, when, where and why. These five questions help in preparing request, announcement, etc. For instance, while ordering for goods, one needs to make clear what is wanted, when it is needed, to whom and where it is to be sent and how the payment would be made.
ii. Answering all questions asked while replying to an enquiry, the sender has to note all the points and answer all of them. Incomplete reply leads to further communication and wastage of time. Even unfavourable response needs to be tactfully given.
iii. Providing additional information would go a long way towards taking better decision by the receiver. For example, a hotel manager is questioned about the types of rooms. He can furnish rentals per day, facilities provided, seasonal change in the rent, nearness to transport facilities, etc.
The term correctness in communication means the following using correct format, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc., besides giving correct facts.
Concreteness means being specific, definite and vivid communication. One should use denotative words rather than connotative words. The principle of concreteness ensures supply of specific facts to the reader or listener. It increases the likelihood of the message being interpreted in the way it is originally intended. In other words, there is no room for misinterpretation.
The following guidelines ensure concreteness Use specific facts. For example, Instead of telling ‘there is a substantial increase in sales’, say ‘sales have risen by 70%. Instead of telling, it would be delivered sometime in the next week’, say ‘it would be delivered by 19 July, 2017’.
This means the receiver accepting the statement of the sender as such. But this is not a one shot process. It is a long drawn process wherein the receiver thorough constant interaction with the sender understands the latter and accepts his statement to be true and honest.
Principles of Effective Communication – 17 Important Principles to Make Communication Effective
Following principles should be followed in order to make the communication effective:
1. Principle of Clarity:
Principle of clarity, i.e., every point in the communication should be clear having no ambiguity and conveying the same sense and spirit.
2. Principle of Attention:
Principle of attention, i.e., Communication must draw attention of the communicatee.
3. Principle of Consistency:
This principle implies that communication should always be consistent with the plans, objectives, policies and programmes of the organization and not conflicting. Inconsistent messages always create chaos and confusion in the minds of people which is highly detrimental to the interest of the enterprise.
4. Principle of Adequacy:
This implies that the information should be adequate and complete in all respect. Incomplete and inadequate information delays actions and destroys understanding and relations. Efficiency of communicator and communicatee is also affected.
5. Principle of Integration:
Communication is a means to an end and not an end in itself. It should promote co-operation among people at work to achieve the organizational objectives.
6. Principle of Timeliness:
Information of ideas should be communicated at the proper time. Any delay in communicating the messages will serve no purpose except to make them (messages) mere historical documents as they lose their importance and effectiveness by the lapse of time.
7. Principle of Informality:
Formal communication, however is important in a formal organization but informal communication does not lose its place in the organization. Managers or executives should become much informal in their behaviour with his subordinates. But in certain situations where they are the sole and best judge, informality may be avoided.
8. Principle of Feedback:
This is the most important principle of an effective communication system. The communicator must have feedback confirmation from the recipient whether the messages communicated, have been understood in the same sense in which the sender takes it and also whether the recipient is agreed or disagreed the proposal. It helps understand the people.
9. Principal of Communication Networks:
Communication networks refer to the routes through which communication flow to the destination person for whom it is meant. A number of such networks may exist in the organization at a given point of time but management should consider the effectiveness of the communication network in the given situation and its effect of the behaviour of the communicatee before it finally chooses a network.
10. Principle of Purposefulness:
Communication should have a purpose. One’s image must improve by his communication. The purpose for which communication was used must be achieved.
11. Principle of Empathetic Listening:
This is used to draw out the other person. The goal is to understand the speaker’s (sender’s) feelings, needs and wants in order to help him solve a problem.
12. Proper Language:
Simple and proper language have to be used in communication.
13. Two Way Communication:
Effective communication necessitates a minimum of two participants who should interact with each other. In other words, there should be transmission, reception and exchange of ideas from both sides.
14. Credibility in Communication:
The matter in the communication should be a believable and faithful matter.
15. Orientation of Employees:
Communication should be an instrument to explain the situation to the employees.
Communication should help to improve quality and to make self-correction of errors.
17. Gesture and Tone:
Communication should have courtesy and diplomacy.
The above principles, if followed, will make the communication effective. The industrial problems may be minimised by establishing an effective system of communication because a sense of co-operativeness will make industrial relations better.
Principles of Effective Communication – Clarity, Attention, Consistency, Adequacy, Timeliness, Integration, Informality, Feedback and Communication Networks
In order to make the communication system effective, the following principles or factors may be followed:
Principle # (1) Principles of Clarity:
The idea to be transmitted should always be in common and easily understandable language so that the communicatee may interpret the idea in the same sense and spirit, in which it is communicated. There should not be any ambiguity. For this purpose, the idea to be communicated must be very clear in the minds of the communicator. It should be kept in mind that words do not speak themselves, but the speaker gives them meaning.
Principle # (2) Principles of Attention:
In order to make the message effective it is necessary that the recipient’s attention must be drawn to the message communicated to him. Each one’s use is different in behaviour, sentiments and emotions which decide the degree of attention.
For proper attention, the boss should note that he should not act in the manner he does not expect from others. ‘Action speaks louder than words’, so a manager cannot enforce punctuality, if he himself is not punctual. Dale S. Beach has rightly said, “People think with their heart, and not with their mind.” Hence, a good manager has to decide the time of communication. This decision of time helps him in reducing the effect of man’s emotions and moods.
Principle # (3) Principle of Consistency:
This principle implies that communication should always be consistent with the plans, objectives, policies and programmes of the organisation and not conflicting. Inconsistent messages always create chaos and confusion in the minds of people which is highly detrimental to the interest of the enterprise.
Principle # (4) Principle of Adequacy:
This implies that the information should be adequate and complete in all respect. Incomplete and inadequate information delays action and destroys understanding and relations. Efficiency of communicator and communicates is also affected.
Principle # (5) Principle of Timeliness:
All information and all ideas be communicated at the proper time. Any delay in communicating the messages will serve no purpose except to make them (messages) mere historical documents as they lose their importance and effectiveness by the lapse of time.
Principle # (6) Principle of Integration:
Communication is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. It should promote co-operation among people at work to achieve the organisational objectives. It is possible only when individual objectives are integrated with the organisational objectives.
Principle # (7) Principle of Informality:
Formal communication however is important in a formal organisation but informal communication does not lose its place in the organisation. Managers or executives should become much informal in their behaviour with his sub-ordinates. But in certain situations where they are the sole and best judge, informality may be avoided.
Principle # (8) Principle of Feedback:
This is the most important principle of an effective communication system. The communicator must have feedback confirmation from the recipient whether the messages communicated have been understood in the same sense in which the sender takes it and also whether the recipient is agreed or disagreed the proposal. It helps to understand the people.
Principle # (9) Principle of Communication Networks:
Communication networks refer to the routes through which communication flows to the destination person for whom it is meant. A number of such networks may exist in the organisation at a given point of time but management should consider the effectiveness of the communication network in the given situation and its effect of the behaviour of the communicatee before it finally chooses a network.
The above principles if followed will make the communication effective. The industrial problems may be minimized by establishing an effective system of communication because a sense of co-operativeness will make the industrial relations better.
Principles of Effective Communication
The message transmitting ideas, facts or information should be clear and to the point. But that will happen only if the communicator has given careful thought to the content of the message. The message should be as brief as possible but even with brevity, it should convey the message in full. The words used in the message should be simple—communication, especially business communication, should not be a means to demonstrate the language skills of the speaker/writer.
In verbal communication, the speaker should pay particular attention to the pitch and accent of his speech. In a country like India with several languages and dialects, the speaker should ensure that he does not let the accent of his mother-tongue creep into the language in which he is addressing the listener(s).
In verbal communication, care should be taken to see that it does not become a monologue by the communicator. There should be room for listeners to interact and participate in the proceedings.
The place where the manager addresses his subordinate(s) should not be noisy or cause distraction. Depending on the number of listeners, it should be in the manager’s cabin, conference room or at a place where the audience can pay undivided attention to every word spoken. In any case, the speaker should speak at a pitch that even person sitting in the last row can hear him clearly.
A communication can be made more effective if the spoken and written words are accompanied by appropriate charts, diagrams and pictures. If case studies of real life happenings are narrated, the listeners/readers will be better able to understand the points made.
Verbal communication can be of lasting value if listeners are provided pencils, pens and papers to note down the points made at the meeting. Modern technology has made available note-pads, I-pads and similar other devices for the purpose.
Relationship between the sender and receiver should be kept in mind while drafting the communication. A letter from superior to subordinate will exude authority—’Do this, do not do that’ type. A subordinate addressing his superior will be humble, respectful and polite in the extreme—he cannot afford to be careless or reckless. Peers exchanging communication can let their friendliness reflect in what they say.
Before communicating a message, the sender should carefully check its correctness and reliability. To make people believe in the content of a message, he should be himself sure that there is nothing incredible or exaggerated in the message. Today, almost every manufacturer of toothpaste claims his product to be the best in the market, this leaves the consumer, particularly the gullible among them, utterly confused about which toothpaste to choose from among the several ‘bests’.
Should a communication appeal to emotion, or reason, or both, of the receivers? As it happens, there are few who react rationally to a communication. Not long ago, many people in Delhi fed milk to statue of Lord Ganesh because they heard about others doing it. Seeing a cute little baby relishing a particular biscuit, the watcher may relate it to his own child and go and buy that same biscuit, forgetting that his own baby prefers a different biscuit.
The question is: In what proportion to mix reason with emotion to make a communication deliver the desired results. This naturally will depend on the purpose of communication and the type of receiver(s).
Format means the kind, shape and size of a communication. Should the communication be oral or written, and what should be its general style? Obviously, this will depend on the needs of a given situation. No doubt, all communications have a beginning, a body and an end.
The communicator should not lengthen or shorten any of these at the expense of the other. Moreover, careful attention should be given to the style of expression, use of diagrams, charts, pictures, etc., in the communication. A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words and a moving picture worth a thousand still pictures.
A communication should be sent when the receiver(s) is in a receptive frame of mind. A communication to a superior/subordinate when he is in happy, agreeable frame of mind is more likely to elicit a favorable response.
However, in day-to-day work, it is not always possible to sense the receiver’s state of mind; even so, the sender should ensure that he uses polite words to evoke favourable response to his communication.
How often a manager should communicate with a subordinate or group of subordinates on the same subject? This will depend on the merits of each case. In some cases, a series of communications may produce better results. In others, there may be resistance to repetition of the same communication time and again. However, it is possible to overcome such resistance if the format and media of communication is changed each time.
There is an advertisement of justDial(dot)com where a film celebrity presents the same message in different formats and content to sustain the viewers’ interest.
A communication will be as effective as its systematic follow-up. After delivery of the message, the sender should inquire from the receiver(s) whether he has understood the message and, preferably, ask him to repeat the contents of the message.