Communication Skills

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Writing Pages: 13 (4235 words) Published: April 2, 2014

Communication is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or a group of people. One definition of communication is “any act by which one person gives to or receives from another person information about that person's needs, desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or unintentional, may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may take linguistic or nonlinguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or other modes. Communication requires a sender, a message, and a recipient, although the receiver doesn't have to be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the message of the sender.

Effective communication
Effective communication is essential in planning and controlling an organization’s resources to accomplish the company’s objectives. The importance of business messages makes effective communication skills a critical business tool and an essential employee attribute. According to Herta Murphy, Herbt Hildebrandt and Jane Thomas, the authors of “Effective Business Communications,” the use of “the seven C’s”, such as completeness and conciseness, will ensure employees become better communicators, able to select the message content and style that best suits the purpose and recipient of a message. Completeness

A complete business message includes all information the receiver requires to understand and possibly respond to the message. A complete message answers six questions: who, what, when, where, why and how. For example, to ask an employee to prepare a report, you state what report is required, when the report must be completed, to whom and where the employee should deliver the report and how the report is to be created. Conciseness

Concise business messages are both time- and cost-effective because the messages convey only relevant information in a concise manner without repetition of ideas. Concise messages do not include unnecessary details and single words, rather than phrases, are used when possible. In addition, the communicator uses “which” and “that” phrases sparingly. For example, “Only five vendors account for three-fourths of this month’s accounts payable.” Consideration

An effective communication is one that meets the needs of a specific listener. For example, “You will be able to more quickly reconcile the company's accounts payable if you use the open account reconciliation and journal reconciliation reports that will be on your desk by three o’clock.”

Vague communication is avoided by the effective communicator who uses specific or definite information, such as facts and figures, to convey ideas. Messages are also more concrete if explicit words are used. For example, “journal reconciliation report” is more definite than “accounts payable reconciliation report.” Clarity

Clarity enables a listener to understand a message effortlessly. To speak clearly, a speaker uses precise language and familiar words. For example, a speaker might say “after the reconciliation of accounts” instead of “subsequent to the reconciliation of accounts.” Clarity also requires the avoidance of technical and business jargon unless the speaker is confident that the listener is familiar with the terms. The speaker should also avoid lengthy sentences and the awkward arrangement of words. Courteous

Courteous communications are respectful of the reader or listener. Such communications also avoid questionable humor. For example, instead of “Your message is completely indecipherable,” a...
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