Introduction to Communication skills Notes

Communication skills

Definition of communication.
Communication is an act of any natural or artificial means of conveying information or giving instruction.
It’s the process of passing information and understanding from one person to the other.

According to Newman and summer
Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.

According to Peter Little
Communication is process by which information is transmitted between individuals/organization so that understanding response results.
Its giving, receiving or exchange of information, opinions, or ideas by writing speech or visual means or any combination of the three so that the material communicated is completely understood by everyone concerned.

Administrative communication 
Administrative communication is a process involving the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for purpose of eliciting actions which will accomplish organizational goals.
This definition has emphasized the following points;-

  • It involves the communication of ideas.
  • Ideas should be accurately replicated. The receiver should get exactly the same ideas as were transmitted.
  • Transmitter is assured of accurate replication of ideas by feedback.
  • Purpose of communication is to elicit action.

This definition can be expanded to include emotions.

The purpose of communication is not always to elicit action it may also include communication to seek information or to persuade other person to a certain point of view.

Main aspect of communication

  • Communication must have a source (sender)
  • Communication must have content (message)
  • Communication must have a media
  • Communication must have a destination: i.e. recipient
  • Communication must have a feedback.

Importance of communication

  • Communication can be described as the life blood of the business
  • No business can develop in the absence of effective external and internal communication.
  • Communication is a vital tool of management.
  • One of the major functions of an office is communication. This involves receiving, recording, processing of information and communicating the information two various functions of the organizations.

Importance of communication can be discussed under two points of view.
I. Internal communication
II. External communication.

A) Importance of internal communication
Internal communication refers to exchange of information or message between persons of same organization, e.g. between employer and employee.

i) Better understanding between employer and employees.
– If complaints of employees are forwarded to employer on time and in the right way it will minimize the chances of misunderstanding.

ii) Greater efficiency.
The sound communication system enables the management to instruct the supervisions and subordinates on changes of policy – this results to the increase in efficiency of workers.

iii) Effective co-ordination:
Effective communication leads to effective co-ordination of employees e.g if demand increase the marketing department will inform the production department to increase its production.

iv) Proper communication avoids losses:
If there is a machine breakdown or shortage the management can be informed quickly to take timely action to avoid any possible losses.

B) External communication.
This refers to exchange of information between an organization and other organizations or persons outside the organization.
The following facts indicate the importance of external communication.

Good reputation
Effective communication with customers and either business enables company establish good reputation this increases prestige of that company.

ii) Improvement in public relations:
When a company communicates with general public to keep them informed of its activities more people become interested to deal with that company.

iii) Better business prospects
Due to good communication the company can abstract more customers.

iv) Choice of customers –
A company can get information about the liking and disliking of customers. This information will help company produce goods according to the choice of customers.
v) Government department –
The business will deal with licensing authorities, foreign trade offices, custom authorities, banks and other financial institutions. All these institutions require good communication when negotiating.
vi) Job requirements –
Most jobs require communication skills such as personnel public relations,
marketing, editing, research, advocates, etc.
Executives are expected to make speeches they are expected to give interviews to media. All these require communication skill.

i) To inform –
One of most important objectives of communication is passing and receiving information about of particular fact of circumstance.
An organization can inform consumers about its products, availability of credit, availability of raw materials, or about government rules and regulations.
It can also communicate to inform staff about the latest development in the field of science and technology.
Within the organization you can inform employees about job assignments, or inform them of general information on policies and activities of organization.

ii) To advice
Information is factual and objective, advice on the other hand involve personal opinions. It is subjective and neutral.
When advice is given to person he /she may use it or decide not to use it. An advice is aimed at influencing the opinion or behaviour of another person.
Advice flows downwards or horizontally, e.g. from a doctor to patient and not vice versa.

iii) To order
An order is an authoritative communication; it is a directive to somebody (subordinate) to do something to modify or not to do something.
Orders flow from top to bottom.

iv) To suggested (make suggestion)
A suggestion is different from other forms of communication. In other forms it flows from superiors to subordinates but, a Suggestion may flow from subordinate to superior. A suggestion is mild or subtle and it moves in all directions.

v) To persuade
This is communication aimed at influencing the attitudes, feelings or beliefs of others.

vi) To Educate
Education is a conscious process of communication. It involves teaching and learning, its main purpose is to widen knowledge and improve skills.

vii) To warn someone
If employees don’t abide by the rules of the organization they will be warned.

viii) Raise the morale.
Morale-stands for mental health.
It’s a powerful factor representing the sum of many qualities such as courage, fortitude, resolution and confidence.

ix) TO motivate
Motivation is very close to rising of miracle. It means to energize and activate a person and challenge his or her behaviour towards the attainment of desired goals.


i) Motivation
This is the basic urge beneath the communication. It is the wider reason why communication takes place. e.g. in a company the urge to communication is to ensure that this year’s profits are higher than last years.

ii The aim
This is the more particular reason why communication has been under taken. The aim of communication can be: to inform to warn or to initiate a particular action

iii) Information:
is the material from which communication would be constructed. The actual content to put across to the listener or reader. An information doesn’t need to be factual it can be an opinion, an idea or combination of ideas and opinions

iv) The sender
This is the person responsible for sending the communication it can be an individual or a group such as a company, a department, a government ministry etc.

V) The message: after defining the information to be conveyed, the sender puts this into the best form in a process called encoding. When information has been encoded it is referred to as a message. A message takes the form of a letter, a memo, telephone call, or a shrug of shoulders.

vi) The media
This is a larger group of ways of communication within which particular ways of communication can be classified. There are three main media.

  • Written communication e.g. letters, memo, books, posters
  • Oral communication: this is communication using word of mouth e.g meetings, lectures, telephones or discussions.
  • Visual communication: it takes the form of photographs, blackboards etc.

In addition to these three media we also have non-verbal communication that is combination of gestures, expressions, tone of voice, position, posture, etc.

vii) The channel:
This the physical means by which message is conveyed for written communication channel may be notice board, postal office.
For oral communication. It may be personal interview, committee meeting, or public telephone call.
For visual communication the channel may be computer printer, fax system or printing press.

viii) The receiver:
Is the person or body which receives the message.
It can be an individual or an organization.

ix) The noise:
Noise is used to refer to any factors which prevent proper exchange of information apart from that from the sender or receiver. Noise can be physical e.g. typewriters or the telephone bells which interrupt meetings, or it can be some other form of interference such as bad telephone connections, poor handwriting in letter, conflicting messages, e.g. in oral communication the visual expression conveys a difference message from that being given orally.

x) Distortion:
Takes place at the encoding or decoding stage. During encoding the sender may encode the message in such away that it conveys a different meaning from that he or she intended to give. During decoding the receiver may interpret the message in a different way from that intended by the sender. This may lead to distortion of the message.

xi) Feedback:
This is the name given to the message which the sender receives from the receiver to show the acceptance or disapproval of message, such a smile.

Revision kits and past papers with answers

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