Types of Communication

Communication is something that we all do every day and something that we must learn to do from the day we are born in order to interact with others and become a functional member of society. We must learn to constantly improve our communication skills in order to express to other what we need and what we are feeling and to help others with their needs and problems. There are many different ways that we all communicate with each other every day. Verbal communication is just one of the forms that we use. Speaking with one another and saying what we feel is one of our primary forms of communication.

We also communicate with our actions and expressions. Sometimes we can say more with the expression on our face than we can with words. Non-verbal forms of communications such as expressions and hand gestures can be an extremely powerful form of communication and an excellent way to get your message across. Another form of non-verbal communication is writing. Many people do not utilize this form as much as the others, but it can be one of the strongest and potent forms of communication available. Writing down your thoughts or ideas allows you to organize them and say exactly what you want in a concise orderly style.

Many people do not even realize how often they do utilize writing to get their messages to others. Written letters have fallen out of style, but with the invention of the internet, many people have started using writing much more every day. Instant Messaging is one of the most popular forms of communication being utilized today. The skills that we develop in communications are vital in order for us to have more relations personally and professionally. The relations that we gain help us to grow while providing us a key resource for providing quality communications.

Without efficient skills in communication our roles in life are restricted and the way people view us could be slighted. Proper communication processes inside an organization are important in order for individuals to collaborate with others. This also helps the business to grow. Successful communication needs to occur two ways. The communication method includes the following: • Sender- Person that speaks first or kicks off the communication. • Receiver- The listener or the person to whom the communication is intended. • Message- What the sender wishes the listener to understand. Feedback- The grapevine of the communication. Interpersonal communication begins after a few seconds when two way communications begin. The senders will talk while receiving reactions from listeners. Proper communication will consist if the senders are able to read the listeners actions and adjust as needed. Case in point is if there is a change in tone, the speaker can speak louder or simplify the wording. Types of Communication Through the years, technology has significantly changed society’s methods of communicating. Communication methods began with body language and later developed into verbal language.

Smoke signals, lanterns and drum beats were later used to communicate through short distances. This form of communication became cumbersome and the communication medium broadened and offered more challenges and innovations in the years to follow. The ability to communicate over larger distances was improved with such innovations as the Pony Express in the 19th century, and during World War I, carrier pigeons were used to send messages. The first real breakthrough in long distance communication was the Morse code, developed by Samuel Morse in 1844.

Morse code was the language used with the telegraph, consisting of a series of dots and dashes which translated into the alphabet (L. A. Lievrouw, 2006). Alexander Graham Bell’s ingenious invention of the telephone in 1876 opened the door for Martin Cooper’s cell phone invention in 1973. This new technology gave people the freedom to communicate from any location, without being restricted by a telephone cord. The cell phone opened the door for the communication industry as well as to several challenges, opportunities and word-wide competitiveness because of the growing technology trend.

The introduction of the cell phone altered and improved the way people communicated around the world and was a boost to the economy. There are numerous types of communication that help with transmitting information from one business function to other groups within the company. The information that is shared usually relates to specific topics or situations that need rectifying. The first type of communication is formal communication which is a statement that has been agreed upon. The second type is informal communication. This type of communication is when there are no agreed upon processes and items are received through a grapevine effect.

Within the types of communication there are methods of communication. These methods of communication include face to face, writing, e-mail, presentations, phone calls, meetings, and reports. Interpersonal communication can be found in various aspects of life. How we communicate many times makes up what other people think and observe of us. Poor communication often times is the main problem in a troubled relationship. To better understand communication a person must acknowledge many different aspects, including speech, body language, and context.

Context, the time place or occasion when communication is encoded, has a very large role in transmitting a message. With out the rite context, a message could be perceived as the opposite as it was intended. The best way to begin to understand the communication process is to understand the interactive communication model. First there is a sender who encodes a message to the receiver. The receiver then decodes this message depending on the context of the situation, and the speaker’s credibility. Perception and the knowledge of how we perceive our selves, as well as others, are important in understanding our communication style.

Body language is one of the most expressive and universal forms of communication and probably the least thought about. Try to sit for one minute without speaking. Even if you are able to keep from moving you will still communicate rigidity and anxiety. Nonverbal communication involves those nonverbal stimuli in a communication setting that are generated by both the speaker and his or her use of the environment and that have potential message value for the source or listener. Basically it is sending and receiving messages in a variety of ways without the use of verbal words.

It is both intentional and unintentional. Most speakers / listeners are not conscious of this. (Poytatos, F. , 1988, P22) Theoretical writings and research break nonverbal communication into the seven main areas: body movement or kinesics, physical characteristics, touching behavior, vocal quality or paralanguage, the use of space or proximity, and the environment. A combination of these aspects makes up the nonverbal part of the total message. (Dwyer, J. , 2002) Body movement, or kinesics, includes movements of the hands, head, feet and legs; posture, eye movements and facial expressions.

All these affect the message. (Dwyer, J. , 2002, p71) Physical characteristics such as body shape, general attractiveness, body and breath odors, weight, hair and skin color are important parts of nonverbal communication as well. Our physical appearance sends a message about our age, sex and occupation. (Dwyer, J. , 2002) Stroking, hitting, holding or guiding the movement of another person are examples of touch behavior that are used nonverbally. Each of these adds a different meaning to a message. (Dwyer, J. , 2002, p76).

In most human relationships, touching can give encouragement, express tenderness, and show emotional support. For example, a handshake, can suggest dominance or equality. Paralanguage is that part of language associated with the use of language, but is not the word system. It comprises the voice qualities and vocalizations that affect how something is said rather than what is said. (Dwyer, J. , 2002, p77) For example, increased volume is generally associated with anger and decreased volume with confidentiality; high speed may be associated with impatience and low speed may be associated with pensiveness or uncertainty.

Proximity refers to nearness in place. It is influenced by the nature of the encounter, the type of relationship and cultural factors such as gender or nationality. (Dwyer, J. , 2002, p77) Take for example students sitting on a heater on a cold day. Students who have a close, but not intimate, relationship and who would normally sit around 1m apart sit so close that they almost touch each other. It seems, however, that the fact that they are both facing in the same direction reduces any discomfort they may feel about being so close together. Gaze is also much reduced.

Artifacts are objects used to convey nonverbal messages about self-concept, image, mood, feeling and style. (Dwyer, J. , 2002, p78) For example, perfume, clothes, lipstick, glasses and hairpieces project the style or mood of the wearer. Environmental factors can affect the outcome of a communication as well. For this reason, organizations spend time designing office space, factory layout and the sales area, and plan for conferences carefully to make an ideal environment that puts people at ease and matches their expectation; an unsuitable environment can produce ‘noise’ that acts as a barrier and interferes with communication. Dwyer, J. , 2002, p78) For example, some managers divide their offices into personal and impersonal areas because environment can affect the level of their comfort. This can improve the communication process if the areas are used for the purposes intended. Some of the problems that may occur if verbal and nonverbal messages disagree include; if the words do not match the nonverbal behavior, people tend to believe the nonverbal part of the message. Words can be contrived, while the nonverbal behavior will seem to reveal the sender’s feelings or thoughts more spontaneously and honestly.

When you are in doubt about the meaning of nonverbal behavior check it out with the person sending the message rather than make assumptions or pass judgment. Gestures and body movements are nonverbal behaviors that contribute to the total message. The total message is understood more easily when you follow the four-step process below: hear the words, see the nonverbal behavior, check out their meaning with the sender when the verbal and nonverbal message are different, consider the context or setting. For example, you see someone in a meeting sit back and fold his arms.

If you say, ‘I see you’re in a closed posture’, you are making an assumption in your interpretation of the nonverbal part of the message. It is more useful to check out the meaning by replacing your interpretation with a simple description: ‘You’ve just folded your arms. ’ This lets the person reply with ‘Yes, my shoulders are aching’ or ‘Yes, I feel uncomfortable, even threatened by the suggestion’. ” (Dwyer, J. , 1997, p28) To most people, nonverbal communication may be treated more significant than verbal, as there are more truthful and honest.

When it comes to making impressions, body language counts for 55% of the overall impression, the tone of voice counts for 38% and what you actually say carries a mere 7% of the weight. While the total message is made up of the spoken words and the nonverbal communication make the greatest impact. ”(Lowe, S. , 1996) When we talk we rarely trust words alone to convey our messages. We shift our weight, stand close to the other person or far away, wave our arms, smile or frown, speak loudly or softly, touch or don’t touch, or use other nonverbal behaviors to emphasize or clarify what our word mean. (Johnson, D. , 1993, p. 157) Verbal and nonverbal messages communicate as a total message. They may be in agreement with each other, or they may disagree. If the verbal and nonverbal messages are inconsistent, the nonverbal part of the message has the stronger effect and is the more credible part of the total message. Another form of non-verbal communication is writing. Many people do not utilize this form as much as the others, but it can be one of the strongest and potent forms of communication available.

Writing down your thoughts or ideas allows you to organize them and say exactly what you want in a concise, orderly style. Many people do not even realize how often they do utilize writing to get their messages to others. Written letters have fallen out of style, but with the invention of the internet, many people have started using writing much more every day. AOL Instant Messenger is one of the most popular forms of communication these days. The ability to speak effectively is as crucial as the ability to write effectively, according to studies about kinds of communications most often required of employees.

During a routine week, employees will actually spend more time speaking than writing; using the phone; conversing informally with colleagues, subordinates, and superiors on routine office topics; conducting meetings; working in problem solving groups; conducting employee evaluation sessions; participating in teleconferences and sales presentations; and frequently becoming involved in formal speaking situations before groups inside and outside the organization. Communication research also reveals that the higher an employee moves in an organization, the more important speaking skills become.

Just as writing effectively depends on you understanding your reader as thoroughly as possible, effective speaking depends on you understanding your listener. You cannot speak or write effectively to people without first understanding their perspective. You must know how your audience will likely respond based on its members’ educational and cultural background, knowledge of the subject, technical expertise, and position in the organization. Oral presentations, like written presentations, can enhance an employee’s reputation within an organization.

Therefore, consider every speaking opportunity an opportunity to sell not only your ideas but also your competence, and your value to the organization. Conclusion Successful communication is a needed skill that can be developed with practice. Without it, business would never get done. Successful business communication is needed in order for individuals to work together as a group. Developing and understanding the communication process individuals can build up their perceptions in order to properly share information.

Communication is something that we all do every day of our lives. You can only get better at it by practicing and working on your weak points by doing them. Some people might feel that it is very difficult to deliver a speech in front of a group of people. . The only way to get better at it is by practicing. The same is true for all forms of communicating. Words can have astonishing power; Picture all the people you know who are dynamic, successful and self-confident, the ones who are the stars of every gathering, the people who are witty, intelligent and entertaining.

These super confident people are never tongue-tied, never shy, and never afraid to express an opinion. You will never see them cowering in their seats too shy to express their views or sitting quietly in a corner while others are making all the important decisions. But, what is their secret? They have discovered the astonishing power of words. They always know what to say and how to say it. They use words to control and take command of every situation. Communication is the key!

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