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Effective Communication: Effective communication is a process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, knowledge and information such that the purpose or intention is fulfilled in the best possible manner. In simple words, it is nothing but the presentation of views by the sender in a way best understood by the receiver.
For effective communication, we should know the elements of the communication process.
Communication may be defined as a process concerning the exchange of facts or ideas between persons holding different positions in an organisation to achieve mutual harmony. The communication process is dynamic in nature rather than a static phenomenon.
Communication process as such must be considered a continuous and dynamic inter-action, both affecting and being affected by many variables.
Seven major elements of the communication process are:
- Communication channel
- Decoding and
✔ Sender: The person who intends to convey the message with the intention of passing information and ideas to others is known as sender or communicator.
✔ Messages: This is the subject matter of the communication. This may be an opinion, attitude, feelings, views, orders, or suggestions. The message is the information that is exchanged between the sender and receiver.
✔ Encoding: Since the subject matter of communication is theoretical and intangible, its further passing requires the use of certain symbols such as words, actions or pictures etc. Conversion of subject matter into these symbols is the process of encoding.
✔ Communication Channel: The person who is interested in communicating has to choose the channel for sending the required information, ideas etc. This information is transmitted to the receiver through certain channels which may be either formal or informal.
✔ Receiver: Receiver is the person who receives the message or for whom the message is meant for. It is the receiver who tries to understand the message in the best possible manner in achieving the desired objectives.
✔ Decoding: The person who receives the message or symbol from the communicator tries to convert the same in such a way so that he may extract its meaning to his complete understanding.
✔ Feedback: Feedback is the process of ensuring that the receiver has received the message and understood in the same sense as sender meant it.
Seven C’s of Effective Communication
These Seven Cs are also for Verbal and Non-Verbal, Inter-cultural and Group Communication. The effective way of classroom communication has been discussed after seven Cs.
At the time of encoding, if the encoder has comprehensive knowledge about the decoder of the message, it makes the communication ease. The encoder should know the status, knowledge and educational background of the decoder. Correctness means:
- Use the right level of language
- Correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation
- Accuracy in stating facts and figures
Correctness in message helps in building confidence.
Clarity demands the use of simple language and easy sentence structure in composing the message. When there is clarity in presenting ideas, it’s easy for the receiver/decoder to grasp the meaning being conveyed by the sender/encoder.
Clarity makes comprehension easier.
A concise message saves time of both the sender and the receiver. Conciseness, in a business message, can be achieved by avoiding wordy expressions and repetition. Using brief and to the point sentences, including relevant material makes the message concise. Achieving conciseness does not mean to lose completeness of message.
Conciseness saves time.
By completeness means the message must bear all the necessary information to bring the response you desire. The sender should answer all the questions and with facts and figures. and when desirable, go for extra details.
Completeness brings the desired response.
Consideration demands to put oneself in the place of the receiver while composing a message. It refers to the use of You attitude, emphases positive pleasant facts, visualizing reader’s problems, desires, emotions and his response.
Consideration means an understanding of human nature.
Being definite, vivid and specific rather than vague, obscure and general leads to the concreteness of the message. Facts and figures being presented in the message should be specif.
Concreteness reinforces confidence.
In business, almost everything starts and ends in courtesy. Courtesy means not only thinking about receiver but also valuing his feelings. Much can be achieved by using polite words and gestures, being appreciative, thoughtful, tactful, and showing respect to the receiver. Courtesy builds goodwill.
|Inter-Cultural Communication – A few definitions are:
✔ Intercultural communication refers to communication between people from two different cultures. (Chen & Starosta, 1998:28)
✔ Intercultural communication is a symbolic, interpretive, transactional, contextual process, in which people from different cultures create shared meanings. (Lustig & Koester, 2007:46)
✔ Intercultural communication refers to the effects on communication behaviour when different cultures interact together. Hence, one way of viewing intercultural communication is as communication that unfolds in symbolic intercultural spaces. (Arasaratnam, 2013:48)
In the classroom, the spoken word is the most effective medium of communication because it enables the teacher to use voice inflection and tone to underline and emphasize the meaning of the message. Voice communication also enables the teacher to make use of direct feedback from the students, so that the teacher can know what the students are hearing and what they are failing to hear.
Effective Classroom Communication
For effective classroom communication, there must be focused on the following factors:
✔ Listening: To improve your abilities as a classroom communicator, you must first understand your students. In other words, seek not only to be understood but to understand. This can best be done by listening actively to what the students have to say. Then you must cultivate the ability to think on your feet and form accurate sentences while speaking. The guiding rule for effective classroom communication is: Know your students and suit your expression to them.
✔ Simplicity: Simplicity is the best policy during classroom communication.
- Prefer words whose meanings are familiar to the students.
- Make special meanings of familiar words clear the first time you use them.
- If you use a word likely to be unfamiliar to the students, define that word. A teacher needs to have:
a) A fairly accurate impression of the vocabulary of the students.
b) Accurate knowledge of the accepted meanings of words.
✔ Proper Amount of Redundancy: Redundancy in communication roughly means the amount of repetition a message contains. Teachers should ensure that they include an appropriate amount of redundancy in their instructions to students. Then, if any phrase is misunderstood, other elements of the communication will carry the point.
✔ Feedback: The importance of paying attention to feedback in the classroom cannot be over-emphasized. Two-way communication has the advantage of bringing from the listener an immediate response which we call “feedback”. Often this is not verbal in nature, so the teacher should note facial expressions, observe actions, and finally ask questions to see whether the instruction has been understood. Do not assume that every “message” you send will be received by the students in the form you intend. The teacher should also make use of feedback to adjust the pace of the instruction to suit the students and repeat or explain any parts indicated as confusing by feedback signals.
✔ Empathy: Teachers who enjoy a good relationship with their students have much less difficulty in communicating with them. If you can remember what it was like to be a student at the levels you are teaching, and to understand their interests, it will be much easier for you to communicate with your class. Take every opportunity that arises to convey something of help or value to individual students. Let your students know that you enjoy teaching not only your subject but also that particular class.
✔ Timing: Time the giving of instructions so that the best conditions are present. Do not talk over noise or permit students to call out or talk while you are speaking. Do not overload the students but give sufficient information to ensure adequate understanding.
✔ Consistency of actions: It is poor communication to say one thing and to contradict it by your actions. If a teacher is “sloppy” in setting out and writing on the blackboard, that teacher can hardly expect his students to keep their exercise books neat and tidy merely because he tells them to do so. A teacher’s actions are under constant scrutiny and criticism by students.