Communication Course Overview

    Fundamentals of Communication Overview

    Introduction 

    Communication is the practice of exchanging information between two or more individuals/parties. The fundamentals of communication denote that it is a process of generating and propagating information, ideas, facts, points of view, and feelings among people.


    Today, businesses hugely depend on exchanging information to meet their organisational requirements. Good business communication skills play a vital role in meeting the requirements and significantly contribute to organisational success. Notwithstanding its significance, business communication has not developed to the level it should. So, academic and industry sectors have started training employees on effective business communication and its significance.


    The intention of business communication training for employees is to make sure employees work more productively and flawlessly. Therefore, successful business communication is crucial for the effective functioning of all the business units.  Also, effective business communication is fundamental for the success of organisations and employees. Good communication skills allow individuals to interact with others within an organisation efficiently. These fundamentals of communication skills are vital for career development because they uplift confidence and ensure clarity of information.


    To ensure flawless functioning, an organisation should understand the 7cs of effective business communication. When the matter comes to communication in business management, an organisation benefits from the internal and external information collected and conveyed by employees.


    Let us now understand the Communication Models.


    Communication Models

    7 c's of effective business communication

    Any model aims to present a visual representation of a concept to simplify its understanding.


    Communication models are the key components of
    the fundamentals of communication. These models illustrate the social process of communication. Every model elucidates the development of communication while accentuating various components of the communication process.

    Communication models are valuable because they visually illustrate the complex interactions that happen during communication. They convert the basic structure of communication into a simpler form. Moreover, they discern different elements engaged in and how various components of the process of business communication interact.

    Three standard Communication Models are:


    i. Linear

    ii. Interactive

    iii. Transactional


    Each of these models provides a unique perspective on the communication process. Let’s get details of each of these models.

     

    i. Linear:

    This communication model illustrates communication as a one-way process. It involves a sender, information/message, and receiver. This model was developed when one-way communication was the only method to transmit messages. For example, individuals can hear a message transmitted from the radio announcer, but they can’t transmit a message to the radio announcer. In this communication model, the role of the receiver owns little credibility.

    The functioning of the Linear model resembles its name, i.e., a sender encodes a message through a channel, and the receiver then decodes the message. Essentially, it is straight-line communication typically found in mass communication. So its examples include radio, television, newspaper, etc. There is no instant feedback in this model.


    ii. Interactive:

    This communication model defines communication as a process that involves two or more individuals who can be both the sender and receiver. It denotes the interactive, two-way process where each involved individual aims to maintain the conversation. Moreover, this model considers how feedback is provided on transmitted messages in both psychological and physical contexts.

    In simple words, this model takes the Linear model and multiplies it by ‘two’ with a rapid flip of the return message. Unlike the Linear model, the Interactive model involves a feedback element because a message is encoded and transmitted to the decoding receiver. Subsequently, the roles reverse, and the receiver encodes and transmits a response to the original sender, who now becomes the receiver. 

    For example, the exchange of text messages where a sender sends you a message, and you respond. Other examples of the Interactive model are telephone calls and email exchanges. 

     

    iii. Transactional:

    The transactional model studies the communication process in terms of cultural, relational, and social contexts. Individuals are called communicators rather than senders and receivers. These communicators not just communicate to send messages but also help them to establish relationships, agreements, and social communities through conversation.

    This communication model describes face-to-face interaction or transaction as a dynamic process not restricted to a simple definition.  Both the sender and receiver can play identical roles simultaneously. The messages can be sent forward and backwards simultaneously.


    Communication Process


    One of the most important fundamentals of communication is the communication process. The phases involved in this process are:

    a) Senders & Receivers

    b) Message

    c) Code

    d) Channel

    e) Medium

    f) Noise

    g) Environment

    h) Feedback

     

    a) Senders & Receivers:

    Communication is impossible without somebody to send and receive a message. Communication is about establishing a connection, whether it’s a business meeting, delivery of a lecture to students, an announcement of a product launch, or an individual making eye contact with an unknown in a crowd. The roles of sender and receiver are fixed.

     

    b)  Message:

    The message is something that is being told, read, signed, or gestured. In verbal and non-verbal communication, the message is something the sender attempts to communicate to the receiver. For example, an officer giving orders to employees is the message.

     

    c) Code:

    In the fundamentals of communication theory, the code is the system used to express the message. The code can be written word or oral language. For a code to be effective inthe fundamentals of communication theory, it should be mutually understandable to the speaker and receiver.

     

    d) Channel:

    A message is configured in code, but the question is what to call the means of transmitting that code. Well, it is called the Channel. The most fundamental channel is the human voice, i.e., the vibration of vocal code allows the encoded message to be captured by the receiver. Many businesses refer to channels as tools that extend the capacity of their bodies to communicate. Examples of channels are radio signals, fibre-optic cables, print materials, and semaphore flags.

     

    e) Medium:

    The channel is the means of transmission, whereas the medium denotes the means of communication. For example, a TV show is a medium while the TV itself is a channel.

    Each medium employs a commanding influence on the message that it communicates. Moreover, every medium has powerful tropes, limitations, and strengths which strongly shape how a message is generated and received.

     

    f) Noise:

    In communication, noise is both literal and metaphorical. It can be physical interference in a signal when a storm interrupts a satellite uplink. It can be mental; for example, bias or prejudice against the sender may weaken the receiver’s potential to accept their message.

    The semantic noise denotes an issue in the code. For example, if a lecturer uses lots of jargon to explain a concept to their first-year students, the message will be lost since the receivers can’t understand it.

    Noise can arise due to internal or external factors. Internal factors include interest, intelligence, ego clashes, attention, motivation, and the relation between sender and receiver. External factors are associated with the physical environment, like the sound of the surroundings or the weather where the communication process occurs.

     

    g)  Environment:

    It denotes the place where the communication occurs. It directly affects how messages are delivered and received. For example, the cultural context affects things that can and can’t be pronounced publicly. Team meeting in an organisation features an extremely formal environment, whereas conversation with friends and relatives is informal.

     

    h) Feedback

    One of the important facets of communication is to explain your message effectively. But it is not worthy of getting so involved in explaining your point that the feedback from the receiver is neglected. Feedback helps the parties involved in the communication to calibrate how the message is being conveyed and to make required adjustments depending on whether the feedback is positive or negative. With socialisation, you can strengthen your ability to give accurate feedback.

     

    Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication


    The speakers impress their receivers by using verbal and non-verbal symbols. They should evaluate their audience and determine how to reach them verbally and non-verbally effectively.


    Non-verbal communication:


    It is a basic form of communication that doesn’t include the use of words. Instead, it uses cues, gestures, spatial relationships, vocal qualities, etc., to express a message. Commonly, it is used to denote emotions like love, anger, happiness, dislike, respect, etc. Non-verbal communication is usually spontaneous and less structured relative to verbal communication. Since it is unplanned, it is occasionally considered more trustworthy than verbal communication. The reason is it imitates the real feelings of the communicator.

    Non-verbal communication improves the efficacy of the message because audiences interpret body language and gesture quicker and easier than verbal communication. When combined with verbal communication, it makes a presentation more effective and lays a greater influence on the audience. So, non-verbal communication is one of the significant communication skills for effective business presentations.

    The precise use of non-verbal communication can minimise the noise in the communication process. The speaker can understand the audience’s non-verbal indications like attention level, discomfort, disinterest, etc. Hence, the speaker would focus on using motivating and attention-grabbing non-verbal cues to upkeep the interest of the audience. Hence, non-verbal communication can indirectly improve the intensity of verbal communication.


    Non-verbal communication comes with some limitations. For example, several complex ideas, thoughts, or messages must be communicated sequentially to be eloquent.

     

    Verbal communication:

    Verbal communication implicates the arrangement of words in a meaningful and structured manner, following the rules of grammar. Subsequently, the message is conveyed to the audience in either written or spoken format.

    Two important aspects of Verbal communication:

    • Listening

    • Speaking and Writing

    Listening is one of the fundamentals of communication skills, without which communication is ineffective. Many businesses pay less attention to listening skills. Both speaking and listening should hold equal importance.

    Oral communication can’t be effective unless the audience is well-versed at listening, and the majority of its content is forgotten after a presentation session completes. Developing decent listening skills helps to effectively grasp the content of an oral representation and also helps to remember the concept being explained.The fundamentals of oral communication class teach students how to develop listening skills and enhance communication.

     

    • Speaking and Writing:

    Effective verbal communication focuses on the use of both writing and speech to transmit a message. Oral communication is more effective in engaging a focused target audience because it encompasses interaction and non-verbal cues to supplement the speech. On the other hand, written communication is vital for engaging many distributed recipients. Based on the requirements and the situation, businesses use both written and spoken channels for communication.


    Barriers of Communication


    For effective business communication, there must be no barriers. The communication process may be prone to many barriers. The purpose of communication is to establish a shared understanding. But, if a communication barrier exists, the transmission of information can be less effective, which can negatively influence the working of a business. Moreover, the communication barrier can arise at any time in the communication process.

    They can be classified into the issues created by the sender, issues in reception, issues in message transmission, the receiver's inability to comprehend the message, etc.

    The solution to most communication barriers depends on the type of situation. However, a few common methods for solving them are available. These methods include knowing your subject, focusing on the purpose, knowing your audience, etc. Let’s get the details of some of the common communication barriers:

     

    • Psychological Barriers:

    Various psychological and mental issues can obstruct effective communication. The corresponding examples are speech disorders, stage fright, depression, phobias, jealousy, anger, shyness, insecurity, and close-mindedness. Occasionally, these conditions may be difficult to manage and will impede communication.

     

    • Emotional Barriers:

    The emotional IQ of individuals denotes the ease with which they can speak. Emotionally mature individuals can communicate effectively. But those individuals who allow their emotions to dominate their lives will encounter issues. Examples of emotional barriers are irritation, anger, and humour. These emotions can weaken an individual’s decision-making abilities and thereby limit their communication efficiency.

     

    • Physical Barriers:

    Theese are the most common barriers to effective business communication.  The responsible factors are closed doors, closed cabins, outdoor noise, malfunctioning communication tools, and more. For example, in a big office, the use of faulty equipment and physical separation between employees can significantly impede communication.


    • Cultural Barriers:

    The world has become globalised, and major business offices can comprise people from different corners of the world. Moreover, different cultures have different interpretations of some fundamental societal norms. For example, aspects like religions, clothing, eating habits, etc., differ in each culture. One must consider various cultures when communicating and develop cross-cultural sensitivity to overcome such cultural barriers.

     

    • Perception Barriers:

    Different people perceive the same things differently. The fundamentals of effective communication imply an understanding of the audience’s perception levels. Moreover, the messages should be straightforward. There must not be multiple interpretations of the same message.

     

    • Attitude Barriers:

    Communication can hamper due to distrust, prejudice, emotional violence, or discrimination dependent on religion/gender/ethnicity. Commonly, attitude barriers arise due to a lack of drive or rejection to adapt. Certain people have an ego or show rude behaviour, which can impede communication.

     

    • Physiological Barriers:

    Certain diseases or other physical limits can obstruct good business communication between multiple channels in an organisation. Examples include dyslexia and shrillness of voice.

     

    • Hierarchical Barriers:

    Organisational hierarchy can impede communication among different levels. It can also exist in a family wherein a power hierarchy may lead to a communication barrier or a lack of transparency. The solution to hierarchical barriers is establishing a transparent discussion with the correct persons.

    Understanding the fundamentals of communication

    Let’s go through the fundamentals of communication that help you to communicate more effectively.


    Active listening


    Implied from the name itself, active listening indicates listening attentively and actively. For active listening, the listener has to fully emphasise, understand and revert to what is being told rather than passive hearing. Active listening is a vital business communication skill that focuses on responding to alertness. Those organisations that practice good business communication should ensure their employees actively listen to their instructions.

    If the speaker discerns that the listener does not pay attention, then the speaker might consider the talk boring and meaningless.

    Some of the indications of active listening:

    • Eye contact

    • Smile

    • Posture

    • Remembering

    Positive language


    Positive language is the practice of using phrases and words to communicate a positive tone to your customers, employees, and other individuals. The use of positive language helps build rapport with others. It hugely influences the effectiveness of communication between different levels in the organisation. Consider the following examples, and look for the difference that positive language makes:

    Positive language lets somebody know things you can do. It is specifically useful if you want to say no or convey bad news to somebody.

    Incorporating the following tips in your speech and writing will help you practice positive language:

    • Highlight the benefits of the act

    • Express a willingness to help

    • Show a service-oriented attitude

    • Highlight what you (or your organisation) can do

    • Avoid using statements that make people adopt a defensive attitude

    • Explain the reason when saying no

    Example:

    Case 1: “I’m unable to process your request, Mr. John. You didn’t give me enough information.”

    Case 2: “Mr. John, I’d be more than happy to process your request. All I will need is a few more pieces of information from you.”

    Case 1 shows negative behaviour toward the person, but Case 2 uses positive language and politely requests to get more information.

     

    Clarity

    The clarity in communication suggests that the receiver's emotional, intellectual, and perception levels are taken care of. It focuses on expressing a thought rather than impressing the receiver. It eliminates options and lines up with values and objectives. Specifically, in marketing communication, clarity is crucial to developing effective brand strategies and influential messages.

     

    Use of questions to clarify and gather information


    The
    fundamentals of interpersonal communication are incomplete with questioning. It helps to acquire more information. When engaged in a conversation, people ask and are asked questions.

    Assertive people leverage conversation by asking questions to acquire the information they need. If they don’t ask questions, the concept will stay unclear, there will be misunderstandings, and the conversation will not be effective. Consequently, it can lead to reduced productivity of the organisation.

    Commonly, questions are used to clarify what the speaker said. Especially when conversing with a group, questioning can encourage in-depth discussion of a topic and can engage all members to participate in the discussion. Moreover, asking questions encourage people to think about something more intensely and gather the required information.

    Basics of Communication

    If you want to understand the fundamentals of communication thoroughly, you should keep in mind the following aspects:

     

    Make eye contact


    The
    fundamentals of communication notes that one should make eye contact to communicate confidently. Generally, active listeners try to encourage the speaker by maintaining proper eye contact. Maintaining eye contact with a smile is a non-verbal sign to boost the speaker's confidence. If the speaker speaks confidently, the listeners will easily understand the concept, and hence, the communication will be effective.

     

    Listen actively

    Active listening is the process through which an individual acquires information from others or groups. It highlights paying attention to the conversation, taking the time to understand what is being said, and not interrupting.

    If you want to listen actively, you must redirect your focus from your thoughts to the requirements of your interviewer or prospective employer. Listening actively is one of the effective business communication techniques that can help decrease your nervousness in a group discussion, an interview, and teamwork.

     Active listening techniques are:

    • Building trust and creating rapport

    • Outlining the concern

    • Paraphrasing to depict understanding

    • Using nonverbal cues like eye contact, nodding, and leaning forward to show understanding

    • Using brief verbal assertions like “I know,” “I see,” “I understand,” “Sure,” or “Thank you”

    • Asking open-ended questions

    Do not interrupt.


    One of the important
    fundamentals of interpersonal communication is learning when to speak and remain quiet. With continuous interruptions, effective communication is impossible. Interrupting somebody means we aren’t listening to them, thus making communication ineffective.

    Some people are habituated to expressing their opinions and thoughts before others appropriately express theirs. This practice will lead to a situation where the speaker cannot properly convey the important points. So, the listener(s) will not get valuable information.

    Whenever you pause a conversation, you will draw everybody’s attention to you. Hence, ensuring that your reason for interrupting is valid and that you are about to convey something important and relevant to the topic is vital.

    To ensure flawless communication in business management, you should focus on keeping your mouth shut andpractise not interrupting.


    Avoid defensiveness.


    Being defensive can impede your performance in the workplace or even at home. Usually, it indicates innate self-esteem issues that must be resolved.
    So, one of the important fundamentals of effective workplace communication is avoiding defensiveness. Usually, people will avoid confrontations with those who become defensive. The reason is they don’t want to get involved in an argument.

    Here are tips to avoid defensiveness:

    • Confess that you are a defensive communicator and determined to work on it.

    • Take time to listen to others. Doing this might all you to acknowledge that what they are speaking doesn’t deserve a defensive attitude or excuses.

    • Wisely choose your words because you tend to respond with a defensive statement.

    • Plan your response to control the communication

    • Discuss with a counsellor or participate in activities that will help you develop your self-esteem. Usually, people with high self-esteem can accept criticism and work on their mistakes.

    How to Improve Communication

    The fundamentals of communication cover the basic components of communication and focus on improvement. If you aim to improve business communication skills, then consider the below points:


    Encourage honesty in your relationships


    Without honesty in your relationships, flawless communication is impossible. Follow the below ways to encourage honesty:


    Resolve frustration:


    When working together, the hearts of some employees may be filled with grudges. The unresolved frustration leads to more conflicts in the future. Make sure you forget about how someone made you feel because co-workers must respect one another and practice honesty.


    Consider the opinions for change:


    If your employee recommends that there is a scope of growth in the company, accept their opinion and work on bringing positive change. Remember that honesty is a two-way path and hence communication. So, you must demonstrate your values of integrity.


    Communicate both the positive and the negative:


    The
    fundamentals of effective communication in the workplace weigh both positive and negative aspects equally. In a workplace, things can go both right and wrong. Therefore, it is essential to both appreciate and criticise when these situations occur between the employees and the leadership. The negatives should be worked upon, whereas the positives should be celebrated. These practices guarantee effective business communication in the workplace and help the company grow.

     

    Listen to the other person with an open mind.


    Hearing can be accidental, involuntary, and effortless. On the other hand, listening is focused and purposeful. It, therefore, needs effort and motivation.

    Make sure to list down the salient points in communication. It is the most effective approach to guarantee that there will be no miscommunication. Active listening involves engaging with what people speak by giving positive replies and also asking follow-up questions to indicate that you are attentive.

    Listening to others with an open-minded builds deep trust, extends your perspective, strengthens your patience, and helps identify and solve issues.

     

    Be able to accept criticism and learn from it.

    Firstly, you need to accept that you are not perfect. Although you will make mistakes, it is crucial to learn from them.

    If your co-worker criticised you for a mistake, don’t take it personally. Simply remind yourself that it doesn’t mean they dislike you, but it means there is a need for improvement. Your co-worker is just attempting to ensure that you do the best possible work.

    To avoid criticism, it is recommended to double-check your work carefully. Once you’ve finished, go through everything before submitting it to your supervisor. This will avoid silly mistakes and ascertain that your boss will not have to bother you for minor issues.

    If you are feeling defensive or angry, repeat this question in your mind - ‘What can I learn?’ After repeating it, start agreeing with the criticism. You will become open to learning when you agree with one portion of the criticism. No need to agree with everything; agreeing with only one tiny aspect of the criticism will gradually help you learn from your mistakes. Consequently, you will strengthen the atmosphere of teamwork.

    Don’t let criticism bring down your motivation. It might be that the co-worker has issues at home and is simply venting their anger at you. So, don’t take it personally but try to learn from criticism.

     

    Be aware of your communication skills and work to improve them.

    Personality development and communication skills are vital to consider if you aspire to become a good communicator. For that, you need to begin communicating well.

    Try to speak in the correct tone because most miscommunication occurs because either of the involved parties was not speaking in the correct tone. You can assist managers and employees to improve business communication skills by making them understand their barriers and how they significantly impede communication.

    Avoid fidgeting or distracting movements, maintain good posture, show positive gestures, bear a helping attitude in the team, etc., to help improve your communication skills.

     

    Practice good listening skills.

    Reacting instantly after listening will not work. You need time to process the information, decide if it’s a valid criticism, and devise a solution to the problem. Effective listeners let others know they have been heard and motivate them to share their thoughts without hesitation.

    When practising listening skills, you can show the person speaking that you are listening via non-verbal cues. Examples of such cues are nodding your head, maintaining eye contact, smiling, and agreeing by saying ‘Yes’. Occasional phrases and words like ‘yes’, ‘very good’, or ‘indeed’ will show that you are attentive in the conversation. Another best way to practice listening skills is to ask relevant questions that help you collect more useful information.

     

    Avoid using negative statements, put-downs, or insults.

    Getting rid of negative habits in your communication is not simple. It demands practice. You must be aware of how you are saying and what you are saying. If you are habituated to using some negative statements while at home or other places, try to come out of that habit. This is because you would unknowingly practice those negative statements in the workplace. Also, praising the co-workers when they do something well is recommended instead of insulting them or putting them down when they make mistakes.

    What are the top five communication skills?

    Based on the source, the skills may differ. However, most sources highlight soft skills essential to consider as fundamentals of communication skills.  Let’s get familiar with the topmost five communication skills:

     

    1) Active Listening Skills:


    The
    fundamentals of effective communication are incomplete without active listening. The use of non-verbal cues plays a prominent role in active listening skills. These cues suggest that you are attentively listening to the speaker. This skill implies thoroughly listening to the speaker and waiting for the turn to speak. It focuses on not interrupting when the speaker is speaking. Moreover, active listening skills mean that one must meticulously listen and understand what is being delivered.  Developing an open mind while listening avoids interruption or getting trapped in opposing opinions.

     

    2) Verbal Communication Skills:

    Politely speaking after organising your thoughts is what verbal communication skills are all about. To enhance your verbal skills, it is a good practice to think before you speak. You need to understand the ideas and opinions shared by others carefully. Subsequently, you can share your opinions and ideas positively.

    Concise and clear language is one of the key facets of verbal communication skills. Your ideas and thoughts may get obscured in a long, verbose prologue. Confidently speaking in a varied tone is equally important to engage your audience.

     

    3) Non-Verbal Communication:

    Non-verbal communication holds great significance when it comes to personality development and communication skills.  The reason is non-verbal communication primarily focuses on behaviour, way of expression, body language, etc.  Body language is a method of non-verbal communication used as a form of expressing, signalling, and conveying information to others.

    The behaviour, facial expression, and body language tell a lot about how you feel. Nodding your head, putting on a smile, sitting in a straight posture, avoiding distracting movements, maintaining eye contact, maintaining space and distance, movement of arms and legs, etc., denote non-verbal communication. Practising these habits will strengthen your fundamentals of interpersonal communication.

     

    4) Emotional Intelligence:

    Communication binds people together, but emotional intelligence can be envisaged as the Gorilla Glue that ascertains that the seal doesn’t break. Emotional intelligence (EI) restricts the frequency of conflict and offended feelings. Your emotions can be out of control while you are in communication, which will leave a negative impression on the minds of involved people. Controlling your emotions is the key to strengthening your emotional intelligence. When your emotions are out of order with how you wish to communicate, pause to relax and resume.

    Disagreements and conflicts and disagreements are bound to arise when people interact. Finding a solution to the dispute is recommended while not getting into emotions. Developing empathy for the involved people and controlling your emotions will help improve your emotional intelligence.

     

    5) Relationship Building:

    Without building relationships, the communication process may feel boring and a burden. Building relationships with the parties commonly involved in communication is vital so that everyone can communicate without hesitation. Building a relationship is a process of constantly communicating, creating rapport, and solving disagreements.

    The process of building relationships ultimately comes down to creating trust with others. Expressing thoughts and opinions open-heartedly and honestly will gradually build trust.

    4 types of Communication

    You share information in various ways. For example, you use verbal communication when delivering a speech or a presentation with a group. You use written communication when sending an email or applying for a job. A clear perspective on types of communication streamlines the processes in communication. Here are the details of 4 types of business communication:

    1. Verbal:


    One of the most common types of communication, verbal communication, uses language to transfer information via sign language or by speaking. Frequently, it is used during phone calls and video conferences, meetings, presentations, and one-on-one conversations.

    Verbal communication is one of the most important fundamentals of communication because, without it, people can’t work effectively.


    Here are several tips to enhance your verbal communication skills:

    • Practice active listening

    • Use a powerful, confident speaking voice.

    • Avoid filler words like “yeah”, “like,” “um,” and “so” to put away distraction.

    2. Non-Verbal:


    Non-Verbal communication highlights using facial expression, body language, and gestures to transfer information to others. This form of communication is beneficial when you try to understand the thoughts and opinions of others. It can be both intentional and unintentional. For example, you may smile unintentionally when you hear an enjoyable or pleasing idea.

    Body language that expresses hunched shoulders or crossed arms indicates that the person is feeling angry, nervous, or anxious. On the other hand, body language that expresses both feet on the floor and arms on the table or by their side indicates that the person is feeling positive and interested in the communication.


    These are a few tips to enhance your non-verbal communication skills:

    • Developing self-awareness about how your emotions impact your body can help you master your external presentation.

    • Use body language together with verbal communication

    • Practice nonverbal communications you find effective

    3. Written:


    Written communication involves writing, typing, or printing symbols such as numbers and letters to convey the information. You can use written communication when you want to have a record of the information for reference. The mediums used are letters, blogs, books, pamphlets, memos, and more. In the workplace, chats and emails are common forms of written communication.


    Here are some tips to enhance your written communication skills:

    • Written communications must be simple, clear, and concise.

    • Don’t rely on tone because it can be interpreted differently.

    • Follow up with verbal communications where you can add more character.

    • Review your written communications to spot mistakes and discover opportunities to convey something different.

    • Save the writing you like (received emails, pamphlets, memos, etc.) to improve over time.

    4. Visual:


    Visual communication involves the use of photographs, drawings, sketches, art, graphs, and charts to convey information. Commonly, visuals are used as an aid during presentations to offer valuable context along with verbal and/or written communication. Since people have unique learning styles, visual communication may be more beneficial for some people to consume information and ideas.


    These are a few tips to enhance your visual communication skills:

    • Ask for feedback from others before including visuals. It makes sure concepts will not appear confusing or muddled.

    • Include visuals that are easily understood by your target audience. Explain the unfamiliar or complex concepts demonstrated in your visuals.

    4 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

    The fundamentals of communication not just highlight the learning of basics of communication but also improve it. Here are the 4 effective ways to enhance your communication skills.

    1) Focus on nonverbal communication:


    Studies show
    that only 7% of communication is the actual words spoken, 38% is the tone of voice, and 55% is body language. You must meticulously focus on improving non-verbal communication if you aim to be an effective communicator. Try maintaining eye contact while speaking with others and avoiding sitting with your arms crossed/slouched/fidgeted. Put a gentle smile while expressing your opinions and accept criticism confidently.

    When you master all such tips for non-verbal communication, your conversation will be more pleasant for both parties. Also, these tips will gradually improve your personality development and communication skills, making you feel more positive about life.

     

    2) Record and watch yourself speaking:

    One of the outstanding ways to improve your effective business communication skills is to watch how you communicate. For that, record yourself when talking.  For example, you can record your presentation or company meetings. This way is important to consider the fundamentals of effective communication because it helps you assess your communication skills without depending on anyone else’s reviews.

    When you listen and watch yourself communicating, you can easily determine the areas where your communication skills excel and the areas where you are lacking.

     

    3) Talk less, listen more:

    Expert communicators always listen first and then speak. Talking randomly and never listening properly will not help.

    One of the best ways to facilitate open communication among your employee is to be an active listener. When your employees discern that you are attentively listening to them, they will not hesitate to approach you again when they want to discuss an issue. Nowadays, business communication training for employees imparts active listening skills. It trains employees first to listen and thoroughly understand speakers' opinions and then speak.


    4) Contribute to group communication activities:

    An effective and pleasant way to enhance your communication skills and your employees is to participate in group communication activities. It helps you practically implement your communication skills and learn simultaneously. Contributing to group communication activities helps you become a better communicator and helps you and your team work more efficiently together.

    How to eliminate clichés from your writing

    A cliché is a phrase or word that has lost its influence because of overuse. Clichés are meaningless phrases that you may come across frequently. For example, “the fact of the matter” and “clear as a bell”. These phrases bore readers and can suggest a dearth of originality. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid clichés while writing. You can avoid them either by striking them completely or modifying your ideas to make them more original. It is highly recommended to avoid clichés in business writing; else, it will bore your readers.

     

    Ways to eliminate clichés from your writing:

    • Read the content of great writers that helps you identify how they wrote without clichés. You can underline sentences/ sections that feel fresh and engaging.

    • Pay attention to clichés present in other people’s writing that helps you know how to avoid them in your writing. Usually, clichés appear in fast writing generated quickly for digital consumption.

    • Write your first draft and re-read it. Usually, clichés appear when you instantly write down the things that pop up in your mind. Let your ideas flow while writing and later work on to eliminate those clichés.

    • Don’t steal or borrow others’ tales and then revamp them with some of your ideas to make them look original.

    • When you identify a cliché in your writing, slow down to narrate what is happening in explicit detail.

    • Use original words to describe a transition of ideas rather than meaningless phrases.

    Why is the online Fundamentals of Communication Course better than the Offline Fundamentals of Communication Course?

    You can learn the fundamentals of communication courses offline and online at your convenience. The following section highlights the benefits of the online Fundamentals of Communication Course compared to the offline course:

    Cost-effective:


    You need to learn and practise a lot when it comes to communication skills. Choosing an online fundamental of communication course proves to be cost-effective because it saves you time and effort. You need not travel to distant locations, another city, or another country to learn the course. When pursuing an online communicationcourse, you simply need to sign up for software to launch video conference sessions. Some advanced tools are also available to conduct an online conference for free.


    More focused learning:


    In offline
    fundamentals of communication skills, there may be interruptions or distractions. For example, the discussion can go off-topic, and there may be a waste of time. On the other hand, the online fundamentals of communication course focus on the efficient utilisation of time to make sure all students thoroughly learn different aspects of communication.

    The instructors in online classes can more effectively impart verbal, non-verbal, and all other aspects of communication through live sessions. Also, they conduct doubt-solving sessions for assessing and solving the students’ confusion.


    Live monitoring and improvement:


    The online
    fundamentals of communication courses conduct group video calls and other sessions. They help all students to monitor the performance of other students as well. This way, they can learn where they lack and how to improve their communication skills. Also, these online courses foster good communication in business by teaching all the innovative tactics that help improve formal communication.


    Ease of access:


    Unlike offline courses, the sessions of online
    fundamentals of communication theory courses can be easily revisited.  So, whenever students find it confusing or difficult to understand any concept, they can access the particular session anytime.

    Fundamentals of Communication Course Syllabus

    • Overview of Communication

    • Communication models

    • Types of communication

    • Developing verbal and non-verbal communication skills

    • Organisation communication – Internal & External

    • Identifying critical communications failures

    • Understanding communication failure prevention

    • Learning communication barriers and ways to eliminate them

    • Methods to improve communication skills

    • Understanding communication failures influence business performance

    • Communication in human relationships     

    • Listening techniques and critical evaluation

    • Speech organisation and outlining

    • Audience analysis

    • Language and framing

    • Group presentations

    • Creating awareness of the moral aspect of public speaking

    The Accelerating Demand for the Fundamentals of Communication Courses in India

    When it comes to communication, many employers demand skills like business communication, writing and editing, business etiquette, email etiquette, leadership, teamwork, relationship management, negotiation, content marketing, business plan formulation, etc. Fundamentals of communication skills courses impart all these skills and many more. Therefore, the demand for these courses is high in India when it comes to employment.

    Dealing thoughtfully with communicating within the systems instead of criticising them generates interest.


    The 2018 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey of 201 employers shows that the skills and knowledge imparted in Communication courses are vital to be hired, irrespective of one’s major.


    Employers first look for good communication skills in their employees and then look for specialisation skills. In addition to being able to write and read effectively, the ability to effectively communicate orally with others is what employers are looking for when hiring. Also, they prioritise
    effective business communication skills to ensure flawless communication between all levels in the organisation. Therefore, the demand for the Fundamentals of Communication courses is accelerating in India.

    Communication is one of the key predictors of upward mobility in an organisation. It implies that people with decent communication skills have more chances to get promoted, they're more likely to get increments, and they're more likely to obtain the desired job positions.

    People who completed this course do not just have strong fundamentals of effective communication, but they are also more effective at persuading others. Moreover, they are more effective at seeking support from others and gathering information from others. All these are important skills in today’s business environment. This is another reason behind the rising demand for these courses.

    Fundamentals of Communication Courses are easily available in various forms that allow students to choose based on convenience and flexibility. These multiple options further accelerate the demand for these courses. They are:

     

    i. Diploma & PG Diploma courses

    ii. UG courses

    iii. PG courses

    iv. Doctorate courses

     

    i. Diploma & PG Diploma courses:

    • Diploma in Business Journalism and Corporate Communication

    • Diploma in Office Management and Business Communication

    • International Diploma in Communication,

    • Post Diploma in Business Journalism and Corporate Communication

    • Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Communication

    • Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Communication)

    • Post Graduate Diploma in Corporate Communication and Event Management

    ii. UG courses:

    • BBA in Communication Management (Advertising and Branding)

    • B.Com (English and Business communication)

    • BBC

    • B.Voc (BPO)

    iii. PG courses:

    • MBA (Communication Management)

    • MBA (Design and communication management)

    • M.Sc (Extension Education and Communication)

    iv. Doctorate courses:

    • Ph.D. in Extension and Communication management

    • Ph.D. in Public Relations Specialists

    • Ph.D. in Human Relations Manager

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    FAQ on Communication Courses

    How is admission in Diploma and PG Diploma business communication courses accomplished?

    The admissions in Diploma and PG Diploma business communication courses are based on the merit list. The recognised institute or university releases the merit list after all applicants have filled out their applications. If you aim to pursue an undergraduate diploma course, then a class 12 score is required. A graduation score is required if you aim to pursue a PG diploma course.

    What is the ultimate aim of the communication process?

    The ultimate aim of the communication process is to have prevalence between the communicator and receiver of the message. With the communication, both the communicator and receiver enter into a mental agreement. So, the process aims to have a seamless exchange of information so that all the involved parties can perform effectively. The process of business communication aims to have formal communication processes between all the levels in the organisation.

    What are the biggest challenges to good communication?

    One of the biggest challenges to good communication is that some people think communication is ‘what you say’, whereas some people consider it as ‘how you say it’. People focus excessively on being heard rather than listening to others. Using the wrong channel to send a message is also a challenge. Another significant challenge is not re-evaluating whether effective communication is taking place or not and not ascertaining whether the people understood the message or not.

    Can teenagers benefit from communication courses?

    Teenagers can significantly benefit from communication courses, irrespective of their future career or academic interest. This is because, at this tender age, they learn the fundamentals of communication required in whichever career paths they choose. From an early age, they will learn how to convey a message, understand, listen, behave, and so on. So, it is recommended that teenagers can join a suitable communication course as per their flexibility.

    What are formal and informal communication?

    For business organisation and communication, knowing the meaning of formal and informal communication is important. Formal communication works through official channels that are designed in the organisation chart. It can be defined into vertical and horizontal subtypes. On the other hand, informal communication is faster and freely flows in the organisation. It discusses a varied range of topics.

    What are the types of formal communication networks?

    Various types of formal communication networks include a single chain network, a wheel network, a circle network, a free flow network, and an inverted V network. A single chain network is present between a superior and subordinate. In a wheel network, all subordinates working under one superior communicate through them only as they work as a wheel hub. In a circle network, everyone can communicate with the other two beside him. No restriction in communication is applied in a free flow network. In an inverted V network, a subordinate can communicate to their superior as well as higher authority subordinates.

    What are easy ways to improve communication?

    Firstly, you need to ascertain that the ideas are explained before communicating them to the subordinates. Managers must adapt their communication as per their subordinates' understanding level and education. Obtaining advice before communicating will help elucidate the ideas and thus makes the communication clearer. It is also recommended to be aware of the messages' content, tone, and language. Furthermore, ensure the communication attains proper feedback, which also helps it solve communication issues in the future.

    What is the purpose of feedback in communication?

    The feedback is used to make recipients aware of their behaviour. Based on the feedback, they can determine whether to continue working with that behaviour or to modify it. Communicating with the influence of somebody’s behaviour and assuming that the individuals know the intent of your speech will not help. Instead, begin communicating by narrating the happenings using behavioural language and then recognise the influence of the behaviour. 

    How to become an active listener?

    Firstly, don’t assume that your interpretations are their objectives, and try not to use attributions. If you find certain words or lines spoken by an individual, paraphrase them. If it appears relevant, you can add on a response or an advisory question.  For instance, saying, "I got your viewpoint on this topic, but mine is different; I visualise the situation this way.”  It provides the other person with an opportunity to explain your understanding of their position and to listen to your view.

    What quick tips to follow to make communication effective?

    Here are some quick tips for effective communication. (i) Listen attentively and patiently. (ii) Thoroughly understand the point. (iii) Know your audience (iv) Minimise the potential of miscommunication (v) Positively accept the feedback (vi) Select the proper medium of communication (vii) Keep your tone in mind (viii) While communicating, be confident, clear, and concise. (ix) Be aware of possible misunderstandings and misinterpretations. (x) Use suitable gestures, tone, and body language during non-verbal communication.

    What are the key things to take care of while communicating?

    To establish effective communication, you must stay focused and prevent distractions. It is recommended to avoid inconsistent body language. Usually, non-verbal communication must highlight what is being said instead of contradicting it. Suppose you say one thing, but your body language conveys something else; your listener may feel that you are unreliable. To prevent misunderstandings and conflict, you can try to calm down before continuing the conversation quickly. 

    How does negative body language help in communication?

    If you disagree with what’s being said, you can use negative body language to deny the other individual’s message. You can cross your arms, tap your feet, or avoid eye contact.  Always agreeing with the speaker can be disadvantageous because the speaker’s viewpoint may not always be right. Using negative body language is beneficial for communicating effectively in places where verbal communication faces obstructions. 

    How to become an engaged listener?

    Focusing on what the speaker is speaking about is one of the best tips for becoming an engaged listener. You can attentively listen if you continuously check your phone or think about something else. Avoiding interrupting or redirecting the conversation to your concerns is another great tip to becoming an engaged listener. You can gently smile at the speaker, nod occasionally, and make sure your posture is inviting.

    How can you enhance your non-verbal communication?

    One of the best ways to enhance your non-verbal communication is to be conscious of individual differences. People from different cultures and countries use different non-verbal communication gestures. Hence, it is essential to consider culture, age, gender, religion, and emotional state when decoding the body language signals. Make sure you don’t read excessively into a single nonverbal cue. You must consider all the nonverbal signals you perceive, from the tone of voice to eye contact. Also, you need to adjust your nonverbal signals according to the listener's age. For example, the tone of your voice should be different when addressing a child.

    Is it possible to communicate effectively even with mental pressure?

    Yes, you can communicate effectively by staying calm under mental pressure. You can use stalling strategies to take time to think. Before you respond, you can ask for a question to be iterated or for an explanation of a statement. You can pause to gather your thoughts. Pausing can make you appear more controllable than giving an immediate response. 

    How to relieve stress for effective communication?

    Analyse the physical and mental states when you are stressed. Certain signs like stomach or muscle ache, shallow breathing, hands clenched, etc., indicate that you are under stress. So, you can take a moment to calm down before continuing a conversation, or you can postpone it. The superb way to effectively and quickly relieve stress is using the senses –sound, taste, touch, sight, smell, or movement. For instance, you can squeeze a stress ball in your pocket, pop a peppermint in your mouth, clench and relax your muscles, take a few deep breaths, or remember a soothing image.

    Does being assertive make communication effective?

    Yes, assertiveness is directly related to effectiveness in communication. You need to value your options. Properly know your wants and needs. Learn how to express them without intruding on the rights of others. Try to express negative thoughts positively and respectfully. Receiving feedback positively, accepting compliments cordially, asking for help when needed, and learning from your mistakes –all help you become assertive. Know your limits and learn to say ‘no’. Search for alternatives so that everybody feels convenient about the outcome.