This article focuses on describing the elements of a communication process, explaining the role of feedback and noise in business communication, discussing the patterns of communication flow in organizations as well as describing grapevine and its characteristics.
Businesses today operate and function in environments characterized by a network of communications and interactions. Hence, to function adequately as an entrepreneur in these environments, the entrepreneur needs to gain knowledge of the dynamics of communication and how it works and operates.
By definition, communication can be said to be the transfer of information from the sender to the receiver, with the information being understood by the receiver. This implies that there effective and ineffective communications; effective when the information passed is being understood proper whereas ineffective when the information passed is not being understood.
Communication can also be viewed as the transference and the understanding of meaning. From the foregoing, basic and fundamental requirements for an effective communication can be deduced thus:
- There must be at least two parties for effective communication to take place: Implies that there has to be a sender and a receiver(s); you cannot talk to yourself and call that communication.
- Secondly, there must be a channel or medium through which the sender transmits the information or message to the receiver in a manner the receiver will understand.
- Thirdly, the message delivered must be clear, straight-to-point and purposeful.
Without these vital things, the communication is said to be ineffective. Thus, an entrepreneur should always ensure to have effective communications with the customers.
In a business environment, the sender can be anyone who relates to the business in question. In whatever case, whoever initiates or starts the message transmission is said to be the sender; this includes the management, employers, employees, customers, governments etc. On the other hand, the receiver may be an individual or a group of persons to whom the message is being sent to. More so, the choice of channel is affected or influenced by the nature of the information to be transmitted. At whatever point, the right channel should always be employed else mis-information.
Feedback comes into play in a communication process. Feedback refers to the process that allows the sender to assess the effect of a message on the receiver and to determine if subsequent messages should be encoded in the same manner or channelled differently. It can take various forms like the receiver seeking for clarification and in such cases the sender should always try to explain or elucidate.
It should be noted that there are numerous barriers to effective communication in business. For some, their thoughts is quite different from what they voice out not because they are not looking at misleading but simply because they are less skillful in encoding. In this case, the decoding will be defective as well.
It is pertinent therefore to always select the right mode and channel of communication in order to reduce the noise content of a message in any given case. In a formal organisation, the flow or transmission of information can either be downward, horizontal, or upward. The three directions of communication follow to a great extent, the formal relations defined in the organisation structure.
On the whole, an effective manager or employer is expected to seek to understand the workings of all the modes of communication and know when to employ each of them so as to ensure effective communication.