Why ask the question What is Communication? We communicate with others everyday. We have conversations with people everyday. Communication is the process of transferring information from one person to another. It is a tool to help us do business, manage relationships, network. As with all tools we need to develop effective communication skills to use it well to get the results wanted.
For interactions to be effective we need to transfer accurate messages or information from ourselves to the other person or group of people. Here lies the challenge......in transferring accurate messages. The process will and does break down. By developing your understanding of exactly what is communication, communication theory and understanding common communication barriers you will build your communication skills, increasing your effectiveness in all your interactions.
What is Communication is used for?:
Give ideas and gather ideas
Persuade or influence others
To manage and resolve conflict
To gain an understanding and appreciation of other's points of views
To motivate others
To express your feelings and emotions
To control and co-ordinate efforts
However, if used poorly, the desired results will not be achieved.
The usual error that people make here is to use a telling style of communication. This is essentially one-way communication where the listener does not have the opportunity to respond.
If you use this approach barriers will become very evident and the interaction may breakdown. To increase the chance of creating understanding practice two-way communication.
However, just because you are now receiving information back from the other person does not mean that communication will flow easily and will be effective.
To ensure that two-way communication works effectively you need to practice and develop effective communication skills; (Plan how you articulate your message based on the context, the listeners, what you want to achieve. Listen the listener's feedback. Ask questions. Clarify your understanding. Summarise what has been said/agreed).
It is also important to note that communication always takes place within a context and that noise is always present - both external noise and internal noise. These factors also impact on how messages are received and iinterpreted.
In summary, what is communication? It is the process of sharing information with another party to create a common understanding and move business and relationships forward, constructively.