As I researched several relevant books in my library for the best definition of communication, I did not find a direct answer. Most described it in terms of language, process, impact, etc. The best definition I came across is the following:
Communication: “the transmission act. A transmission or exchange of information, signals or messages by talk, movement, writing, etc. To make known. To provide information, messages. To have a systematic and meaningful relationship. A system for sending and receiving messages such as by telephone, telegraph, radio, etc. A system such as for routes to move from one place to another. The art of expressing ideas, especially in speech and writing. “(Webster’s New World Dictionary).
The Dictionary of Psychology by J. P. Chaplin also describes it as “a process for transmitting or receiving signals or messages.”
In short, the definition of communication is: a system for sending and receiving messages.
This can be used for human communication in personal, business and technology.
Therefore, since communication is a system for sending and receiving, it requires a sender and a receiver. In business, it is a seller and a buyer, a consultant and a client, an employer and an employee, a supervisor and a worker or employee. At home or in our personal lives, it is a family member of another or a friend of another.
Within the human communication exchange, there is also a verbal, vocal and non-verbal part of communication. Experts tell us that only the seven percent of a presentation is determined by the words we use (verbal); Thirty-eight percent after the tone of our voice (vocals), and fifty-five percent come from non-verbal cues.
In nonverbal communication, people do not even have to pay attention to sending a message. This can be done using facial expressions, head movements, body positions, actions and movements, tones, clothes, dress looks and even smells!
Saying one thing while doing another is powerful non-verbal communication. The supervisor tells the subordinate to “always return to your original work file after saving a backup of your work”, yet the supervisor does not; or management agrees with an employee’s request to have staff meetings but does not implement them, etc.
In one company, the manager gave a deadline for the production staff to come up with catalogs. Still, the same manager stopped production by not providing the necessary input on time. This type of sloppy communication sends mixed messages and confusion. These discrepancies speak louder than words.
In other cases, supervisory or senior staff use their authority to begin early or conduct long personal conversations on the telephone. The rest of the staff can’t say anything and must ignore it and live with it; they do not want to create bad feelings and difficulties for themselves, but it bothers them and affects their attitudes. Again, this sends the wrong messages to the team.
These examples create bad conditions, frustrations and low morale. The worst thing is that top management does not know that it continues. These supervisors are all lovely and diplomatic in the presence of leadership, but they continue to be devastating in their own departments.
In a training organization that specialized in providing management expertise to companies, the office manager used to rave and gnaw when an employee made a mistake in entering data, knocking on the desk with her fist, shouting and the gang. In front of the management team, she was as smooth and professional as you would expect anyone to be.
How can we as leaders use communication more effectively? Through the use of useful concepts that create the environment for talking and listening to the staff. It has become popular in many companies to use “Feedback” forms that employees are asked to send to their colleagues.
However, people will not write about them such situations as described above. No one will put on these forms the negative experiences they tolerate from their supervisors / leaders or their peers. It takes more than just forms. It requires personal and conscious open communication.
And the same examples apply at home in daily communication activities and meetings with family members – between a father and a mother, a parent and a child, a brother and a sister, an uncle or aunt and a nephew or niece, a grandparent and granddaughter. etc …
It takes will and effort to improve communication. The first thing to know is the definition of it and the understanding of what it is and how it works. Then this knowledge must be applied – every day.
The typical benefits will be 50-100% improvement in areas of greater efficiency, less misunderstandings, better conditions, better environments, happier employees, higher morale, happier customers, better productivity, better business and personal results.
In one of his personal bands of power, Anthony mentions Robbin’s 7 character traits that are crucial to success. One of them is “Develop communication skills”. “Develop” is the key word. It has to be developed by each of us as sender and receiver. / dmh