This article throws light upon the fifteen main factors that increase the effectiveness of the communication process. Some of the factors are: 1. Formal Communication Channel 2. Authority Structure 3. Clarity 4. Completeness of Information 5. Information Ownership 6. Conciseness 7. Develop Listening Habits (Consideration) 8. Correctness 9. Courtesy 10. Focus on Needs 11. Informal Communication System and Others.
Factor # 1. Formal Communication Channel:
Official information should flow through formal channels as it avoids spreading rumors and relieves top managers from scanning every information. Workers will contact their supervisors rather than functional managers.
Factor # 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.
Factor # 3. Clarity:
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 saying, “despatch this mail as early as possible”, it is better if the manager says, “despatch this mail latest by tomorrow evening”; because the word ‘early’ can have different meaning for the manager and the clerk.
Factor # 4. Completeness of Information:
Complete information makes communication effective. Incomplete messages create gaps that may be filled according to individual perceptions. A manager says to workers, “we want to increase production to meet the increasing demand. So 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.
Factor # 5. Information Ownership:
People specialised in their work like tax, accounts, sales, finance etc. are the best persons to be contacted rather than immediate superiors. These experts have the power of information and can make people perform activities related to their areas more effectively than others.
Factor # 6. Conciseness:
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 attentiveness 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.
Factor # 7. Develop Listening Habits (Consideration):
Some people are good speakers but bad listeners. If managers want 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.
Factor # 8. Correctness:
The messages should be correct, authentic and accurate. Incorrect transmission will lead to incorrect action. While corresponding with outsiders, incorrect messages can spoil the company’s goodwill and public relations.
Factor # 9. Courtesy:
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 can make communication courteous and effective.
Factor # 10. Focus on Needs:
What the sender wants to convey should also be what the receiver wants to receive. Sender should analyse the needs of information at the receiving end before conveying the message. If a seminar is organised for the students and speakers of esteem from various fields deliver lectures that are beyond the curriculum, understanding and intelligence level of the students, the lectures will be of no value to them and will go unheard. Commutation should, therefore, satisfy the needs of receivers.
Factor # 11. Informal Communication System:
Informal communication system should be used by managers to supplement the formal communication system. Informal communication system speeds the transmission of formal messages.
Factor # 12. Feedback:
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 the message or not. Feedback is an important element of effective communication.
Factor # 13. Consistency:
Consistency should be maintained in sending messages. The sender should not change his words and actions too often.
Factor # 14. Authentic:
Before transmitting any information, sender should ensure that the information is correct and fair. Wrong information will result in wrong decisions.
Factor # 15. Self-Control:
One’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. A 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 laid ten principles of effective communication designated as ‘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.