What is communication? What are different modes of communication?

What is communication?

Communication is the act of giving, receiving, and sharing information — in other words, talking or writing, and listening or reading. Good communicators listen carefully, speak or write clearly, and respect different opinions.

Strong communication skills can help kids interact both face-to-face and in the online world. Texting, chatting, and posting responsibly depends on understanding how words and images affect others.

You can help kids develop their communication abilities by teaching them to use social media responsibly, modeling positive communication, and watching movies and TV shows that emphasize the value of healthy communication.

Every communication involves (at least) one sender, a message and a recipient. This may sound simple, but communication is actually a very complex subject.

The transmission of the message from sender to recipient can be affected by a huge range of things. These include our emotions, the cultural situation, the medium used to communicate, and even our location.

The complexity is why good communication skills are considered so desirable by employers around the world: accurate, effective and unambiguous communication is actually extremely hard.

The Communication Process.

A message or communication is sent by the sender through a communication channel to a receiver, or to multiple receivers.

The sender must encode the message (the information being conveyed) into a form that is appropriate to the communication channel, and the receiver(s) then decodes the message to understand its meaning and significance.

Misunderstanding can occur at any stage of the communication process.

Effective communication involves minimising potential misunderstanding and overcoming any barriers to communication at each stage in the communication process.

An effective communicator understands their audience, chooses an appropriate communication channel, hones their message to this channel and encodes the message to reduce misunderstanding by the receiver(s). 

They will also seek out feedback from the receiver(s) as to how the message is understood and attempt to correct any misunderstanding or confusion as soon as possible.

Receivers can use techniques such as Clarification and Reflection as effective ways to ensure that the message sent has been understood correctly.

Communication Channels

Communication channels is the term given to the way in which we communicate. It is therefore the method used to transmit our message to a recipient, or to receive a message from someone else.

There are multiple communication channels available to us today. These include face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, text messages, email, the Internet (including social media such as Facebook and Twitter), radio and TV, written letters, brochures and reports.

Choosing an appropriate communication channel is vital for effective communication. Each communication channel has different strengths and weaknesses.

For example, broadcasting news of an upcoming event via a written letter might convey the message clearly to one or two individuals. It will not, however, be a time- or cost-effective way to broadcast the message to a large number of people. 

On the other hand, conveying complex, technical information is easier via a printed document than a spoken message. The recipients are able to assimilate the information at their own pace and revisit anything that they do not fully understand.

Written communication is also useful as a way of recording what has been said, for example by taking minutes in a meeting.

6 Types of Communication

The types of communication represent the different ways used to communicate messages while the modes of communication focus on the mediums. Here are the 6 unique types of communication:

Verbal Communication

Through spoken words and the use of speech and language to convey messages. It occurs when we speak to others. Verbal communication can be formal and informal. However, when it takes place in person, verbal communication and non-verbal communication go together.

Non-Verbal Communication

Body language, facial expressions, eye contact, appearance, sign language. Non-verbal communication complements verbal communication and also helps when words don’t help. It is an important type of communication in interviews and discussions as they value a lot.

Written Communication

The use of written words to convey messages. Written communication happens through email, memos, texts, posts, etc. While written communication helps you share your thoughts well, sometimes it does not fully convey the emotion that you are trying to share.

Listening

Listening is one of the most important parts of communication as it helps you understand the perspective of the communicator and effectively engage with them. The process of any communication takes a crucial value at listening correctly and responding appropriately.

Visual Communication

Through visual messages like pictures, graphs, objects and other visual facets. Visual Communication is a crucial part of today’s methods of conveying important information. It is used in presentations, televisions, etc.

Various Cultural and Intercultural Modes of Communication.

Several cultural modes of communication are specific to each area and culture. It can be symbolic usage of actions, body language, etc. The culture of a person is not just what they eat or wear but also how they communicate.

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