Friday, February 21, 2014



Communication is something so simple and difficult that we can never put it in simple words, says T. S. Matthews. Peter Little defines communication as follows:

Communication is the process by which information is transmitted between individuals and/or organisations so that an understanding response results. Another very simple definition of 'communication' has been provided by W. H. Newman and C. F. Summer Jr.: “Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions by two or more persons”. William Scott defined communication in his Organisation Theory: “Administrative communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of insured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting actions which will accomplish organizational goals”.

These definitions emphasize four important points:

1.                  The process of communication involves the communication of ideas.

2.               The ideas should be accurately replicated (reproduced) in the receiver's mind, i.e., the receiver should get exactly the same ideas as were transmitted. If the process of communication is perfect, there will be no dilution, exaggeration or distortion of the ideas.

3.       The transmitter is assured of the accurate replication of the ideas by feedback, i.e., by the receiver's response which is communicated back to the transmitter. Here it is suggested that communication is a two way process including transmission of feedback.

4.                  The purpose of all communication is to elicit action. 

The communication situation is said to exist when

1.                  there is a person (sender or transmitter) desirous of passing on some information;

2.                  there is another person (receiver) to whom the information is to be passed on;
3.                  the receiver partly or wholly understands the message passed on to him;
4.                  the receiver responds to the message, i.e., there is some kind of feedback.

The communication situation cannot exist in the absence of any of these four components. Two gentlemen greeting each other with folded hands constitute a communication situation, for (a) there is a person desirous of sending a message (greeting); (b) there is another person to receive this message; (c) when the first person folds his hands, the second one understands that he is being greeted; and

(d) the second person immediately responds back by folding his own hands.

But, if a Hindi-speaking person addresses a Tamil-speaking person in Hindi, the communication situation does not exist, for though there is a person desirous of sending a message, the message is not understood and consequently there is no feedback.
In the communication cycle, the transmission of the sender’s ideas to the receiver and the receiver’s feedback or reaction to the sender is done. The main steps of this cycle are as follows:
: the information or ideas the sender wants to give the receiver;
: letter, fax, phone call, electronic mail, etc;
: the-actual massage that is sent;
4. Output
: the information the receiver gets;
: the receiver’s response (or non-response) to the massage;
Brain drain: the possibility of misunderstanding at any step.

If the action desired in the message is satisfactorily performed or the information is faithfully received (ensured by the feedback), we say the communication loop has been closed. But breakdowns in the communication cycle are quite frequent. The breakdown may be due to one or more of the following:

      Improper formulation of the message in the mind of the sender;

        Improper statement of the information in the message;

      Improper statement of the message by the receiver.