Communication is a process of exchanging ideas, behaviour, signals, emotions and feelings through speech, thoughts, ideas, information, etc. This process includes a sender, a receiver, a message and a channel. The sender encodes a message and sends it to the receiver through a channel or a medium. The receiver decodes the message after receiving it and then responds to the message. This process goes on until the communication is complete.
This process can be depicted through the following image:
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Types of Communication
The understanding of different categories of communication enhances professional and personal relationships, resolves misconceptions and misunderstandings, contributes to a successful business and happy personal life. The broad categories of communication are:
When words and language are used to deliver the message, it is called verbal communication. Oral and written communication are types of verbal communication.
Messages sent without using words such as through body language, paralanguage, aesthetic communication, appearance, symbols, etc is called non-verbal communication.
Communication through colour, illustration, graphic design, drawing, typography, signs or electronic resources, etc. is known as visual communication. This type of communication reinforces written communication.
Formal communication is the ones that follow specific rules, conventions and principles to decipher the message.
Informal communication is casual, unofficial and friendly communication which does not follow any chain of command, formalities, systems, processes or rules.
Written Communication Meaning
Written communication plays a vital role as it is the documentary proof for any communication. It can be referred again and again and anytime in the future whenever required. Written communication is normally in the form of Bulletins, Emails, Memos, Instant messages, Reports, Job Descriptions, Employee manuals, Internet websites, Letters, Proposals, Telegrams, Fax, Postcards, Contracts, Advertisement, Brochures, etc.
Effective Written Communication
From the first cry of the baby until the last breath of the person, communication is as essential as breathing. The written communication is often marred by obscurity, partial understanding, misconceptions, misunderstandings and confusion. Thus, while interacting with others, several aspects of effective written communication should be kept in mind.
Some of The Basic Effective Written Communication Strategies Are Discussed Below
The purpose of the message should be clearly stated in the written communication. The language should be kept simple. Also, convoluted and long sentences are not preferred and recommended. Separate bulleted paragraphs and points make grasping of the message easier for the reader.
Brevity is the essence of effective written communication skills. Always avoid using long, highly elaborative details, irrelevant words or adjectives. Repetitions should also be avoided.
Abstract ideas and thoughts always lead to misinterpretation. So always ensure that your written communication is based on facts and figures and has sufficient detail to support your message and has a focus on the main message.
Coherence in written communication implies a logical bridge between paragraphs, sentences and words. The key to coherent and effective written communication is easy to understand, sequentially organized and logically presented data and information. Every aspect of the content should be relevant, interconnected and should have a flow of information.
A complete written communication implies delivering all the data, facts and information as required based on the recipient’s attitude and intellect. It aims at building a company’s reputation and decision making.
A major aspect of effective written communication is that it should be honest, open, respectful, considerate and polite. Ensure that the message or words used are not offensive and do not have any hidden negative tone.
Focus and Attention
There can be many distractions while having communication. Due to these distractions, one may miss important points or cues in written communication. So, It is imperative to keep the focus and attention for effective communication.
Emotional Awareness and Control
Intense emotions can undermine a person’s capacity for rational decision making. Keeping in mind the state of emotions of yourself and others while communicating makes the interaction smooth and the process of communication flowing.
Limitation of Written Communication
When not to use written communication is also a point of pondering. It cannot be the case always that written communication would be conveyed appropriately, or the receiver would correctly decipher the same. Following are some of the situations when not to use written communication:
When transmitting short messages, written communication becomes more expensive and takes longer to transmit
Written communication does not have any scope of amendments once dispatched
Written communication can never be used to clear misconceptions and confusion
For informal communication written communication cannot be preferred
A virtuous and satisfactory written communication when it conveys the purpose of writing to the reader in the best possible way and the reader reads it willingly, with interest, and does not feel that his time is wasted.