Effective Communication - Quick Guide

Effective Communication - Introduction

Communication is as old as human civilization. Man used to communicate with his fellow beings by means of sounds, signals, gestures when there was no language developed. Minus communication, human society could not have been as it is today. It is communication which has transformed mankind into the most developed rational and prosperous group on the earth.

What is Communication?

Communication is the activity of conveying information. The word communication has been derived from the Latin word ‘communis’, meaning to share. It basically involves a sender, a message and a receiver.


Communication is giving, receiving or exchanging ideas, data, information, signals or messages through appropriate media, enabling individuals or groups to persuade, to seek information, to give information or to express emotions.

Communication is usually a two-way process. It is not just giving information or signaling someone; it also involves the comprehension of the information or the signal by the receiver. When the act of giving information or sending message reaches the recipient and gets comprehended by him/her and the receiver sends feedback as desired by the sender, the process of communication is said to be complete. Communication, therefore, involves more than one person.

Communication is a continuous and dynamic process involving more than one person. It is a cyclic process denoting continuous flow of information. It essentially involves sender, message and recipient. The sender conceives ideas and encodes them into suitable medium (facts, figures, pictures), sends them through appropriate channel (email, phone, speech) to the recipient. The recipient decodes the message, understands it and encodes feedback and sends it to the sender. The process continues.

The Process of Communication

Communications refers to a set of techniques used for expressing ideas effectively and the technology of transmission of information by print or telecommunication media.

Communication is lexically meant to be the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing or using some other medium.

It is the act of conveying intended meaning from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs or semiotic rules.

Definitions of Communication

Communication is defined by different authors as follows.

Ordway Tead

“Communication is a composite of (a) information given and received, (b) of a learning experience in which certain attitudes, knowledge and skills change, carrying with them alternations of behaviour, (c) of a listening effort by all involved, (d) of a sympathetic fresh examination of issues by communicator himself, (e) of a sensitive interaction of points of view leading to a higher level of shared understanding and common intention.”

G.G. Brown.

“Communication is transfer of information from one person to another, whether or not it elicits confidence. But the information transferred must be understandable to the receiver.”

Louis A. Allen

“Communication is the sum of all the things one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It is a bridge of meaning. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding.”

Fred G. Meyer

“Communication is the intercourse by words, letters or messages”.

Keith Davis

“Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another.”

Importance of Communication in Society

It is communication that binds people and society together. It is considered as a natural process.

Society moves on human interactions and exchange of ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Relationship builds up through communication.

Lack of communication among the people in society will severely affect social cohesion and cohabitation. Progress and prosperity will come to a standstill if there is no effective communication. Communication is a factor of building and maintaining good relations. It enables people to understand each other.

Communication is as important and meaningful in individual life as in the society. Individuals make friends, builds up relationship and lead a true social life through communicating effectively with the fellow beings.

Importance of Communication in Business

Communication is the lifeline of a business organization. It is essential for realizing the objectives of an organization.

According to Millet, “Communication is blood stream of an organization”.

Chester I. Barnard viewed communication as the means by which people are linked together in an organization to achieve a common purpose.

The importance of communication can be assessed as follows −

  • Communication is needed to establish and disseminate the goals of a business organization.

  • The smooth and unperturbed functioning of an enterprise.

  • Communication helps the organization in arriving at vital decisions.

  • It also helps a lot in planning and coordination.

  • It is a basic tool for motivation and an increase in the morale of the employees largely depend upon the effectiveness of communication.

  • It helps a business as means of bringing about maximum production at the lowest level by maintaining good human relationship in the organization.

  • It works as an effective link between branches of the organization situated at great distances.

  • It helps in publicizing goods and services.

  • It reduces rumors and ensures smooth running of the organization as a whole.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills refer to the ability to communicate or interact well with other people. In business lexicon, it means the set of abilities enabling a person to interact positively and work effectively with others.

It is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages: it is face-to-face communication.

In the absence of effective interpersonal communication among employees themselves, between the management and the employees, a business organization fails to ensure its smooth functioning and gradually runs away from realizing its objectives.

Interpersonal communication skills are necessary prerequisites for enhancing productivity and continuity of the workforce within an organization. Employees with good interpersonal skills are likely to be more productive and permanent than those with poor interpersonal skills because the former displays propensity to project a positive attitude and look for solutions to problems.

Components of Interpersonal Skills

The following are the different components of interpersonal skills −

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal communication is not just about what is actually said - the language used - but how it is said and the non-verbal messages sent through tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language.


  • Communication is the activity of conveying information.

  • Communication is usually a two-way process. It is not just giving information or signaling someone; it also involves the comprehension of the information or the signal by the receiver.

  • Society moves on human interactions and exchange of ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Relationship builds up through communication.

  • According to Millet, “Communication is blood stream of an organization”.

The Different Styles

Communication style refers to the way in which the act of communicating is carried on. Styles of communication may differ from occasion to occasion. Each style serves a different purpose.

The knowledge of communication style is required in order to understand which one best suits or which one to use on different occasions. It is also required to know the effect of each communication style on normal social interactions and of course, on business conversations and interactions.

Whatever style a communicator uses, he/she should solely aim at having an effective communication.

There are four major styles of communication which are discussed below.

Aggressive Communication Style

Let us now see what this aggressive communication style is all about −

  • In Aggressive style of communication, one always stands up for one’s rights simultaneously overlooking others. Sometimes doing so may result in the violation of the other’s rights.

  • Aggressive communication style is presented rather in a forceful and hostile manner and always involves the ‘I’ syndrome (I am right; my points are more valuable than yours; I am superior, etc.) and is always based on wrong premises that ‘you are not important; your needs don’t matter’. It alienates messages by blaming others and accusing them of being wrong or at fault. Such communicators give the impression of being superior in attitude, domineering and self-important.

Aggressive Communication
  • They may have a loud voice and articulate mostly in the second person.

  • Their non-verbal cues are narrow eyes, clenched fists, pointing fingers, rigid posture and hard stares.

  • These types of communicators often face disrespect from others. They are the worst victims of low self-esteem. As a consequence, they easily incur other people’s wrath and in the worst case people avoid them out of fear.

  • They give an impression that they have something to contribute and others have little or nothing to contribute. The aim of aggressive behavior is to win at any cost.

Passive Communication Style

Let us now see what this passive communication style is all about −

  • Passive communication style stands in contrast to aggressive style in meaning and uses.

  • The passive style of communication allows the communicator to put others’ rights before his and thus reduce his own self-worth.

  • Passive communicators always consider themselves to be inferior to others. They negate their personal feelings, rendering themselves unimportant.

  • They fail to express their needs, wants, feelings, opinions and beliefs and express them in an apologetic and self-effecting manner. They have an overly soft voice with an apologetic demeanor.

  • They create a negative impression on others by their non-verbal signals. They shy away from maintaining eye contact with people.

  • Their downcast eyes, stooping posture and excessive nodding of the heads may indicate lack of drive and motivation.

  • They suffer from poor self-esteem and are heavily dependent on others for support and recognition. They are easily victimized and exploited at the same time, as other people tend to disrespect them.

  • The aim of passive behavior is to avoid conflict and to please others.

Manipulative Communication Style

Let us now see what this manipulative communication style is all about −

  • People adopting the manipulative communication style are often scheming, shrewd and calculating.

  • They are at adept at influencing and controlling others for their own benefits.

  • They have a hidden message when they speak and many times other persons are unaware of their hidden intention.

  • They act cunningly and tactfully and influence people in an insidious way such as sulking, shedding fake tears, indirectly asking for their needs to be met. They sometimes become successful in making people feel sorry or obliged to help them.

  • However, their hidden motives are exposed. They are shunned and ridiculed by other people.

Assertive Communication Style

Let us now see what this assertive communication style is all about −

  • Assertive communication style is regarded as the best communicating style. It is more rational and proper than other styles of communication.

  • This style teaches one to stand up for one’s rights while having respect for others rights.

  • Those communicating with assertive communicating style give importance and regard to others as well as to their own rights.

  • They deal with people on equal terms.

  • They exude confidence in whatever they do and always own up responsibility for their actions. Assertive communicators stand firmly on their foot and don’t buckle under pressure.

  • Talking straight on the face, looking directly, always at ease with oneself and others, relaxed and smooth body movements are some of the strong characteristics of any assertive communicator.

  • Assertive communicators always buzz with life and activity wherever they go.

  • These people are positive with a high self-esteem. As they give respect to all and they also get the same back in abundance.

  • The aim of assertive behavior is to satisfy the needs and wants of any two parties in a given situation.

Amongst these three distinctive styles of communication, the Assertive style of communication is the one to strive for. Depending on your personal circumstances, you can make use of the other two styles as well. In a situation, where being passive may drive home an important point or may resolve an issue it is better to act passive. Likewise, aggressiveness also helps sometimes in turning a situation in your favor, especially when you know you are not getting anywhere in that situation.

Case Study

Mr. Roy is a sincere and hardworking person who does his job quietly and does not like to argue much. He prefers to write notes and send written messages instead of face-to-face interaction. He is being given the responsibility of leading a team to handle a prestigious project. But before that he has to get the project approved by the board of directors. Can you suggest what style of communication he should use to make it a success? Discuss with your instructor.


Communication style refers to the way in which the act of communicating is carried on.

  • There are three major styles of communication −

    • Aggressive Communication Style
    • Passive Communication Style
    • Manipulative Communication Style
    • Assertive Communication Style
  • Aggressive communication style is presented rather in a forceful and hostile manner and always involves the ‘I’ syndrome

  • The passive style of communication allows the communicator to put others’ rights before his and thus reduce his own self-worth.

  • People adopting the manipulative communication style are often scheming, shrewd and calculating.

  • Assertive communication style is regarded as the best communicating style. It is more rational and proper than other styles of communication.

Meaning and Definition

Communication as we have read in this Tutorial is sine qua non in a business organization. However, unintelligible and entangled communication fails to achieve the desired result and affect work environment in an organization.

In a layman’s lexicon, communication is understood to be day-to-day talks and discussions we all engage with. Though the broader meaning of communication covers all human interactions, in management parlance, communication is not mere talking, chattering or blabbering in a nonsensical manner. Communication is not as simple as it appears. It is systematic process with an objective that a piece of communication aims to achieve. It can be defined as a process of translating any thought process into simple and meaningful utterances through an appropriate channel.

Communication needs to be effective and efficient for better and smooth functioning of an organization.

Effective communication is defined as communication between two or more persons in which the intended message is −

  • properly encoded

  • delivered through appropriate channel

  • received

  • properly decoded and understood by the recipient(s)

In other words, communication is said to be effective when all the parties (sender and receiver) in the communication, assign similar meanings to the message and listen carefully to what all have been said and make the sender feel heard and understood.

In a business organization, communication is said to be effective when the information or data shared among the employees effectively contribute towards organization’s commercial success.

In the words of R.W. Griffin, "Effective communication is the process of sending a message in such a way that the message received is as close in meaning as possible to the message intended".

American Management Association (AMA) has defined effective communication based on the following ten points −

  • Clear idea regarding topics and receiver of communication.

  • Determination of purpose.

  • Understanding the environment of communication.

  • Planning for communication with consulting others.

  • Consider the content of the message.

  • To make the receiver aware about the value of communication.

  • There must be feedback from the receiver.

  • To define properly whether communication messages are of short-run or long-run importance.

  • All actions must be suitable with communication.

  • Good listening.

Effective Communication is defined as the ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently. Business managers with good verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills help facilitate the sharing of information between people within a company for its commercial benefit.

Significance of Effective Communication

In this section, we will understand the significance of effective communication −

Construct and Foster Sustainable and Productive Relationship

Effective communication should be the focus in businesses as it becomes largely difficult to properly construct and foster productive relationship without it.

Give space to Innovations

Effective communication facilitates innovations in a business organization by allowing employees and management to come up with innovative ideas that might further help in the overall development of the organization.

Help Build an Effective Team

A work environment enriched with effective or open communication helps in building a cohesive and effective team. Effective communication always boosts the morale of employees. It brings in the zeal in employees to work towards achieving the common objectives of the organization. Regular internal communication can also lead to an improved work ethic if the staff are reminded of achievements and feel that they are working towards a common goal.

Effective Management

When there is hassle-free and open communication between the management and the employees, it leads to a steady rise in the pace of progress of the organization. Effective communication, therefore, yields effective management. Managers come to know the attitude and grievances of the employees and the latter gets to know the managers’ attitudes towards them and also the policies of the organization.

Contributes to the Overall Growth of the Organization

Effective communication builds desired interpersonal, interdepartmental and management-employee relationship which in turn are essential preconditions for realizing the vision of the organization. In other words, effective communication contributes to the overall growth of the business.

At the professional level, it is essential to know how to deal adequately with peers, make good decisions even in stressful situations. This is one of the reasons why effective communication skills are increasingly valued.

Effective communication in the organization enables the employees to deepen their connection with others and improve teamwork, decision-making, and problem-solving capacity.

Characteristics of Effective Communication

The characteristics or principles of effective communication are pivotal for ensuring a productive communication. The major characteristics are as follows −

Completeness of the Message

Communication must be complete so as not to baffle the recipient. Better communication helps in better decision-making by the latter. It develops and enhances the reputation of an organization.

Clearness and Integrity of the Message

The message to be conveyed or sent must have clarity and integrity for better understanding. Clarity of thoughts and ideas enhances the meaning of the message. The pith and substance of the message should be based on honesty and accuracy.

Conciseness of the Message

The intended message must be free from verbosity and should be so written that it is intelligible at the first sight. Short and intelligible message sent to the receiver is ever appealing and comprehensible. It saves time and cost as it is understood at the first instance.

Consideration of Physical Setting and the Recipient

In order to make communication more effective, the overall physical setting, i.e., the media of communication and the work environment, must be considered. The content of the message must take into account the attitude, knowledge, and position of the recipient.

Clarity of the Message

The message should have clarity of thoughts and ideas in order to be understood clearly. Clear message makes use of exact, appropriate and concrete words and symbols.

Courtesy to be Maintained

The sender's message should be so drafted or prepared that it should be polite, reflective, and enthusiastic. It must show the sender's respect for the receiver and be positive and focused at the receiver.

Correctness of the Message

The drafting of the message should be done in such a manner that the final message doesn't have any grammatical errors and repetitions of sentences. The message should be exact, correct and well-timed.

Effective Business Communication

Successful business largely flourishes on effective business communication. Effective communication skills are vital for building active and effective interactions among the colleagues, clients, bosses, and media.

It is of foremost importance for all personnel in all phases of business life in any organization.

Although everyone employed in an organization boasts of having acquired the skills of effective business communication, there is a need ever felt for improving these skills.

Methods of Effective Business Communication

We will now see the different methods of effective business communication in brief −

  • Web-based communication − For better and improved communication, anytime and anywhere.

  • Video conferencing − This allows people in different locations to hold interactive meetings.

  • Reports − This is important in documenting the activities of any department.

  • Presentations − This is a popular method of communication in all types of organizations, usually involving audiovisual material, like copies of reports, or material prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Flash.

  • Telephone meetings − This allows speech over long distance.

  • Forum boards − This allows people to instantly post information at a centralized location.

  • Face-to-face meetings − The nature of such meetings is personal and should be succeeded by a written follow-up.

Effective Business communication can further be categorized into −

  • Effective oral business communication

  • Effective written business communication

Effective Oral Business Communication

Effective business communication mostly involves listening and speaking. Both the speaker and the listener share responsibility of making the message clear and understood. Besides, body language, tone of voice, choice of words and phrases, message clarification and communication style also play a role and impact the effectiveness of interpersonal transaction and interactions.

Techniques of Effective Oral Business Communication

In this section, we will discuss the different techniques of effective oral business communication. The techniques are described below −

  • Speakers should know how to articulate their message so as to enable the listener to understand it well and deliver it in a manner that is consistent with the message itself.

  • The speech or spoken words should be properly worded and concise.

  • The speech should be contextual like serious issues are best delivered in a serious tone.

  • Knowing the listener(s) and how they react is instrumental in conceiving the subject matter of the speech.

  • For effective business communication, quiet location counts much. If one party is distracted by both external and internal distractors like sound, communication fails to yield desired result.

  • Involvement of all the concerned is of vital importance to make communication effective. Involvement means complete attention and dedication to discussion or analysis.

  • Effective or active listening is essential for participants in a communication. It is practiced by both the speaker and the listener in effective communication.

  • In order to become a better listener there is a need to eliminate all distractions during the conversations.

  • Active listening involves eye contact, nods, gestures and brief comments to show understanding. On the basis of these gestures and comments, the listener’s comprehension and reaction can be assessed. In case the listener seems confused, the speaker needs to re-assess the wording or delivery of the message.

  • The listener may ask questions, validate what is being said and provide input if necessary.

  • While speaking or interacting with someone, don’t just listen to whatever they are saying- rather be attentive and make mental notes.

  • Asking questions during discussion or an important conversation adds weightage to communication. It also helps the participants to learn everything they need to know. It shows that they are listening and confirming understanding and giving respect.

  • Questions are powerful instruments to make communication effective. It enables the persons concerned to get required feedbacks.

  • There are usually two types of questions to be asked during a communication process.

  • Close-ended questions, which are often answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are essential when the communicators want to gather basic information quickly or want to obtain an answer without a long or drawn-out explanation.

  • Open-ended questions provide a broader and more comprehensive answer.

Feedback is a crucial part of communication and is vitally required by all concerned in a communication process. It marks the end of a communication process. The communicator on one side should convey his/her information in such a way that his/her targets can offer feedback or criticism on the information given.

During a particular conversation, a discussion or meeting proper and relevant communication types and the mediums should be put in place. Visuals should be shown to present information in a pleasant and palatable manner.

Reinforcing a positive and supportive culture will develop a clear understanding between employees. One of the very effective ways of communicating company’s culture is by taking help of the culture deck.

It is hard to have open communication if both sides fold their arms, clench their jaws and refuse to look each other in the eye. Nonverbal communications like gesture, tone of voice, eye contact are more meaningful than spoken words. If nonverbal messages are overwhelming the conversation, it might be better to wait until things settle. Nod your head and maintain an open posture to show you're absorbing what the other person is saying.

Effective Written Business Communication

Effective written business communication is an integral part of communication system in a business organization. Not all the communications can be oral. There has to be a number of mediums through which an organization can communicate in the written form.

E-mails, brochures, reports, letters, ads, speeches, articles, PowerPoint presentations are instances of business written communication.

Despite the fact that an overwhelming percentage of written communication is now produced online the need to write well has not diminished. Organizations produce ever increasing volumes of written communication in the form of emails, social media posts, guides, brochures, manuals, reports, and proposals.

Pros of Written Business Communication

Following are the pros of written business communication −

  • Written business communications can be edited and revised.

  • They provide a permanent record of the messages and can be used as precedents.

  • Enable the recipients to review the message and provide appropriate feedback

  • They are considered more effective for complex business communication that include facts and figures

  • They improve inter-organizational efficiency and enhance the image of the organization

  • They can be preserved as precedents in hard copy.

Cons of Written Business Communication

Following are the cons of written business communication −

  • Delay in getting feedbacks unlike in face-to-face communication; it leads to frustration and uncertainty in business situations where a quick response is desired.

  • Time consuming when it comes to composing the message

Techniques of Effective Written Communication

Written Communication

Types of Communication

In this section, we will discuss the different types of communication. The different types are as follows −

  • Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

  • Formal and Informal Communication

  • Downward and Upward Communication

Communication is pivotal for any business to be successful. Depending upon the circumstances and business needs, the type of communication varies.

Communication is usually based on the nature and characteristics of the message and its context in which it is being sent. The choice of communication channel and the style of communicating affect communication.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication refers to the form of communication in which message is transmitted verbally; where communication is carried out either by word of mouth or by writing.

Components of Verbal Communication

Following are the different components of verbal communication −

  • Understandable Language

  • Word choice

  • Inflection (pattern of stress in oral speech)

  • Tone

  • Body language

  • Eye behavior (oculesics)

  • Visuals (pictures, maps, charts, graphs, colors, signs, etc.)

  • Auditory elements (sounds, tunes, whistles, etc.)

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication refers to communications made through various wordless or unspoken mediums.

Formal and Informal Communication

There are two channels of communication that exist in an organization – formal and informal.

Formal communications are those that are formal or ‘official’. These are a part of the recognized communication system which is engaged in the operation of the organization.

Informal communications grow out of social interactions among the people who work together within an organization. These are based upon conventions, customs and culture prevalent therein.

The following table shows the difference between formal and informal communication.

Bases Formal communication Informal communication
Definitions In formal communication, the interchange of information is carried out by means of pre-defined and formal channels of the organizational structure along the lines of authority. In informal communication, information spreads through informal channels i.e. in the form of grapevine (informal person to person communication; gossip). It is built around the social relationships of members of the organization. Doesn’t follow authority lines.
Also Known as Official Communication Grapevine Communication
Dependability More and well-acknowledged Comparatively less and tend to be inaccurate
Speed Time-taking; hence, slow Faster
Authenticity As this type of communication is mostly carried out in written orders and documents evidence and authenticity is present. Lack of documentary evidence makes it distorted and hence, inaccurate and unreliable.
  • It is more likely to be need in businesses as it is more evidential and dependable.

  • It helps in the fixation of responsibility and maintaining of the authority relationship in an organization.

  • No scope for creating and spreading rumors.

  • It acts as an efficient medium of expressing certain information that cannot be channeled via official channel. It is implicit, spontaneous, multidimensional and diverse.

  • It satisfies the people desires to identify what is happening in the organization and offers an opportunity to express dreads, worries and complaints.

  • It is highly flexible and flows freely to all directions.

  • Generally time consuming, cumbersome and sometimes leads to good deal of distortion.

  • It is expensive and less flexible.

  • It can flow only upward and downward direction.

  • It is obligatory to follow.

  • Not officially recognized channels of communication.

  • It has no role in delegating authority.

  • Greater scope of creating and spreading rumors. Message is often distorted.

  • May create indiscipline in the organization.

  • It has no evidential authenticity.

What is Grapevine?

Grapevine refers to an informal communication method in an organization. It is a person-to-person method of disseminating information by informal conversion or gossip. It is found to be more efficient than the formal one.

Types of Informal Communication

In this section, we will discuss the different types of informal communication.

Single-stranded Chain

In a single-stranded chain, information is passed by one person to another, who in turn passes it to some other and the process continues.

Single Stranded Chain

Cluster Chain

In a cluster chain, information is passed by one person to his/her reliable ones, and the latter passes it to their reliable friends and the communication continues.

Cluster Chain

Probability Chain

In a probability chain, a person passes the information to a randomly chosen person and the communication goes on.

Gossip Chain

In a gossip chain, a person passes the information to a group of people and the members of the group passes it to some more people and the information spreads.

Downward and Upward Communication

Communication passes on in different directions – downward, upward, or lateral in any organization. In this section, we will discuss the downward and upward communication directions and the basic differences that exist between them.

Downward Communication

  • When communication flows or starts from people at higher levels to those at lower levels in the organizational hierarchy.

  • Downward communication can be both oral and written.

  • The oral downward communication media are, for example, instructions, speeches, meetings, telephonic talks, louder-speakers and also the grapevine.

  • The written downward communication media are, for example, memoranda, letters, emails, handbooks, pamphlets, policy statement, procedures, notices, and electronic news display.

  • Higher authority or Top level of organization takes the initiative to start such communication.

  • Downward communication flows from the superior authority downward to subordinates till the bottom level in the hierarchy. Responses to downward communications move up along the same path.

  • Downward communication is called as instruction type communication system.

  • It is suitable in an authoritarian environment exists in an organization.

Upward Communication

  • Upward communication flows from subordinates to superiors and continues up the organizational hierarchy.

  • It is known as subordinate-initiated communication as the process of upward communication starts with the personnel at the bottom level of the organization.

  • Unlike the downward communication, upward communication is non-directive in nature.

  • It establishes a participatory work culture in the organization as under this communication process employees feel free to communicate their grievances and reservations upward.

  • It enables the top level management to get feedback from lower level employees and thereby improve organizational progress and prosperity.

  • It yields mutual trust among the management and the employees and bodes well for the growth of a strong interpersonal relationship in the organization leading to overall organizational development.

  • With this communication process, employees can be instrumental in forming new policies or changing those that are outdated.

  • Typical means of upward communication besides the chain of command are suggestions, appeal and grievance procedures, complaint systems, counseling sessions, the grapevine, group meetings etc.

  • Upward communication is also called consultative management.


  • Communication is sine qua non in a business organization.

  • In the words of R.W. Griffin, "Effective communication is the process of sending a message in such a way that the message received is as close in meaning as possible to the message intended".

  • Successful business largely flourishes on effective business communication.

  • Effective Business communication can further be categorized into −

    • Effective oral business communication

    • Effective written business communication

  • Effective written business communication is an integral part of communication system in a business organization.

  • The different types are as follows −

    • Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

    • Formal and Informal Communication

    • Downward and Upward Communication

  • Grapevine refers to an informal communication method in an organization.

Effective Communication - Process

The process of communication refers to the transmission or passage of information or message from the sender through a selected channel to the receiver overcoming barriers that affect its pace.

The process of communication is a cyclic one as it begins with the sender and ends with the sender in the form of feedback. It takes place upward, downward and laterally throughout the organization.

The process of communication as such must be a continuous and dynamic interaction, both affecting and being affected by many variables.

Communication process consists of certain steps where each step constitutes the essential of an effective communication.

The following is a brief analysis of the important steps of the process of communication.

The Different Elements in The Process of Communication

We will now learn about the different elements in the process of communication.


The very foundation of communication process is laid by the person who transmits or sends the message. He is the sender of the message which may be a thought, idea, a picture, symbol, report or an order and postures and gestures, even a momentary smile. The sender is therefore the initiator of the message that need to be transmitted. After having generated the idea, information etc. the sender encodes it in such a manner that can be well-understood by the receiver.


Message is referred to as the information conveyed by words as in speech and write-ups, signs, pictures or symbols depending upon the situation and the nature and importance of information desired to be sent. Message is the heart of communication. It is the content the sender wants to covey to the receiver. It can be verbal both written and spoken; or non-verbal i.e. pictorial or symbolic, etc.


Encoding is putting the targeted message into appropriate medium which may be verbal or non-verbal depending upon the situation, time, space and nature of the message to be sent. The sender puts the message into a series of symbols, pictures or words which will be communicated to the intended receiver. Encoding is an important step in the communication process as wrong and inappropriate encoding may defeat the true intent of the communication process.


Channel(s) refers to the way or mode the message flows or is transmitted through. The message is transmitted over a channel that links the sender with the receiver. The message may be oral or written and it may be transmitted through a memorandum, a computer, telephone, cell phone, apps or televisions.


Since each channel has its advantages and disadvantages, the choice of proper selection of the channel is paramount for effective communication.


Receiver is the person or group who the message is meant for. He may be a listener, a reader or a viewer. Any negligence on the part of the receiver may make the communication ineffective. The receiver needs to comprehend the message sent in the best possible manner such that the true intent of the communication is attained. The extent to which the receiver decodes the message depends on his/her knowledge of the subject matter of the message, experience, trust and relationship with the sender.

The receiver is as significant a factor in communication process as the sender is. It is the other end of the process. The receiver should be in fit condition to receive the message, that is, he/she should have channel of communication active and should not be preoccupied with other thoughts that might cause him/her to pay insufficient attention to the message.


Decoding refers to interpreting or converting the sent message into intelligible language. It simply means comprehending the message. The receiver after receiving the message interprets it and tries to understand it in the best possible manner.


Feedback is the ultimate aspect of communication process. It refers to the response of the receiver as to the message sent to him/her by the sender. Feedback is necessary to ensure that the message has been effectively encoded, sent, decoded and comprehended.

It is the final step of the communication process and establishes that the receiver has received the message in its letter and spirit. In other words, the receiver has correctly interpreted the message as it was intended by the sender. It is instrumental to make communication effective and purposeful.

Consider the following points related to the feedback involved in the process of communication −

  • It enhances the effectiveness of the communication as it permits the sender to know the efficacy of his message.

  • It enables the sender to know if his/her message has been properly comprehended.

  • The analysis of feedbacks helps improve future messages. Feedback, like the message, can be verbal or nonverbal and transmitted through carefully chosen channel of communication.

  • We can represent the above steps in a model as the model of communication process.

Types of Feedback

Kevin Eujeberry, the world famous leadership exponent mentioned the four types of feedback. The types are as follows −

  • Negative Feedback or corrective comments about past behavior

  • Positive Feedback or affirming comments about future behavior

  • Negative feedforward or corrective comments about future behavior

  • Positive feedforward or affirming comments about future behavior

The Model of Communication Process

Let us now see the model of communication process −

Communication Process

The process of communication, however, is not as smooth or barrier-free as it seems. From its transmission to receipt, the message may get interfered or disturbed with at any stage by many factors which are known as barriers to effective communication. One of the factors is poor choice of communication method. In addition to a poor choice of communication method, other barriers to effective communication include noise and other physical distractions, language problems, and failure to recognize nonverbal signals. We will discuss these barriers of communication in a subsequent chapter.


  • The process of communication refers to the transmission or passage of information or message from the sender through a selected channel to the receiver overcoming barriers that affect its pace.

  • The different elements in the process of communication −

    • Sender

    • Message

    • Encoding

    • Channel

    • Receiver

    • Decoding

    • Feedback

  • Kevin Eujeberry, the world famous leadership exponent mentioned the four types of feedback. The types are as follows −

    • Negative Feedback or corrective comments about past behavior

    • Positive Feedback or affirming comments about future behavior

    • Negative feedforward or corrective comments about future behavior

    • Positive feedforward or affirming comments about future behavior

Effective Communication - Models

A model is a thing used to follow or imitate. Models of communication provide inputs for setting a standard communication system and ensuring effective communication in a business organization. They are examined from organizational perspectives. Each organization sets up its own communication system mostly deriving inspiration from popular communication models.

  • Models of communication are conceptual models that are used to explain the human communication process.

  • Models are visual representation of communicating process.

  • The first formal communication model was enunciated by Claude Elwood Shannon in 1948 and was published with an introduction by Warren Weaver. This model is popularly known as the Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication.

In the following sections, let us discuss the basic models of communication for easy understanding of theirs which will help us to prepare a model of effective communication in businesses and other areas.

One-Way Communication Model

It is also known as the linear model of Communication as it occurs in a straight line from sender to receiver and serves to inform, persuade or command.

In this type of communication, information is only transmitted from one point to another or to many points at a single point of time.

There is no transmission of information from the receiving point. Here, the recipient is passive.

One-way communication is mostly used to transmit current information like weather information, information about looming calamites, programs and public observations at press conferences and through radio and TV broadcasting. The accurate time and intensity of weather phenomena are transmitted or communicated through the medium of one way communication.

Like in two-way communication, in one-way communication the sender and recipient of the information may be not only people but also computers or automatic devices.

It consists of the sender encoding a message and transmitting it though appropriate channel to the receiver in the presence of noise.

It assumes that there is a clear-cut beginning and end to communication.

The Aristotle Model of Communication can be said to be a one-way model of communication in which the sender sends the information or a message to the receiver to influence them and make them respond accordingly. This model is considered to be the golden rule to excel in public speaking, seminars, lectures where the sender makes his point clear by designing an impressive content, passing on the message to the second part and they simply respond accordingly.

Aristotle was the first to take an initiative and design the communication model.

The lack of feedback from the receiver is one major drawback of this model.

In this type of model, the sender is the active member and the receiver is the passive one.

Transactional Model

‘Transactional’ simply means the exchange or interaction between people. It is based on the basic premises of ‘exchange’ or ‘give and take’.

Hence, the transactional model of communication refers to the exchange of messages or information between the sender and the receiver where each take turns to send or receive messages.

This model is the most general model of communication as even our daily interactions are instances of transactional model communication.

Transactional model becomes more efficient and effective when the participants are of similar environment, know each other and share same social system. Each person in the process reacts depending upon factors such as their background, experience, attitudes, cultural beliefs and self-esteem.

Proper choice of channel enhances the efficiency and reliability of the communicated message.

Interactive Communication Model

Interactive communication model is also known as the convergence model.

According to this model, exchange of ideas and messages takes place both ways form sender to receiver and vice versa.

The communication process occurs between humans or machines in both verbal and non-verbal ways.

The sender channels a message to the receiver and the receiver then becomes the sender and channels a message to the original sender.

It emphasizes feedback indicating that communication is not a one-way but a two-way process.

Instead of information being sent one way, from the sender to the receiver, both participants send information back and forth.

Wilbur Schramm, a scholar and an authority on communication, also proposed that both the sender and receiver interpret the message, rather than accurately assessing the message’s meaning.

In this model, however, feedback is not simultaneous and usually takes time as this model is mostly used for Internet.

Components of Interactive Model

In this section, we will consider the components related to the interactive model of communication. This is one of the major models of communication −

  • The sender and receiver act as both encoder and decoder and the sources of the message.

  • Message is the information to be communicated.

  • Feedback, that is, when the decoder forms a second message after receiving the first message.

  • Field experience is the experience and knowledge which affect the message formation and interpretation. Such knowledge and experience are often shaped by cultural, psychological, social and situational setting in which the message is formed and is interpreted.

  • Interactive model also espouses the concept of noise and barriers to communication like language, network problems, improper channel selection which affects the communication model.

  • Internet, social media, interactive marketing. ATMs, online shopping, chat room are examples of interactive communication model.

Effectiveness of Communication Models

Communication models are authentic outcomes of systematic study of various aspects of communication. A model of communication gives a wholesome understanding of a system or structure by which people can understand similar systems or structure.

Consider the following important points related to the importance of communication models −

  • Communication models help identify and understand the components and relationship of the communication process being studied.

  • Models represent new ideas and thought on various aspects of communication which helps us to plan for effective communication system. They act as stimulant for the researchers and students of communication.

  • Models are pictorial representation of communication process.

  • They are used for research and investigation in the field of communication.

  • As communicating is a rigid process to understand, communication model can be an essential source to understand such rigidity.

  • Models predict for more effective communication in future. They also predict the success or failure of a particular communication process.

  • Models help explain a phenomena by providing information in a simplified way which otherwise be complicated or ambiguous.

  • We can use the models of communication to analyze real problems and prevent the occurrence of future problems.

The relevance of communication models cannot be over-emphasized. They add towards realizing effective communication system.


  • Models of communication provide inputs for setting a standard communication system and ensuring effective communication in a business organization.

  • The different models are −

    • One-Way Communication Model

    • Transactional Model

    • Interactive Communication Model

  • Communication models are authentic outcomes of systematic study of various aspects of communication.

Effective Communication - Barriers

Communication, as we have learnt, is the lifeline of an organization. A slight disturbance in the smooth flow of communication, downward and upward, horizontal and vertical, etc., may cost dear for the organization.

Effective communication is of utmost importance in a business organization in order to provide the desired information on time and with accuracy to develop understanding and good interpersonal and interdepartmental relationship in it. As a result efforts towards achieving organizational objectives can be made collectively, effectively and efficiently.

What are Barriers?

Barriers refer to obstacles or hindrances that prevent movement, flow and access of information in or outside of an organization.

In the lexicon of communication, barriers refer to specific items that can distort or prevent communication within an organization. It affects effective exchange of ideas, thoughts and information.

In a nutshell, anything that hinders the process of communication at any level is a barrier to effective communication.

Barriers can be originated at any point in the communication process.

  • They can be caused by the sender.

  • They may be found in the message transmission media.

  • They may arise while receiving the message.

  • There may be problems in receiver’s comprehending the message, etc.

Let us briefly discuss the sources of these barriers.

Barriers Caused By the Sender

The success of communication of a particular content substantially depends upon the sender, because he is the person who works on the drafts and finalizes the message to be sent. He/she is the originator of the communication.

The sender needs to be extremely while drafting or executing the communication to avoid allowing barriers into the process.

The sender-generated barriers are as follows −

  • Lack of knowledge or insufficient ideas about the receiver.

  • Negative attitude or lack of interest towards message; unwilling to communicate it.

  • Negativity towards the receiver.

  • Inappropriate choice of communication channel or medium by the sender in transmitting the message.

  • Poor communication skills of the sender like use of improper and high sounding words; grammatical errors, verbosity and unwanted use of idioms, phrases, jargons or slangs, etc.

  • Inability to decide the proper timing for communicating the message.

  • Indecisiveness to choose the content of the message to be communicated; it kills the effectiveness of the communication.

  • Prejudice, that is, starting any piece of communication with a bias or know-it-all attitude can prove to be quite detrimental to the growth of communication process.

  • Lack of concern for feedback from the receiver; it thwarts the intent of the communication.

Barriers in Message Transmission

The barriers related to message transmission are as follows −

  • Things that come in the way of smooth transmission of message are called barriers in message transmission.

Message transmission is disturbed because of the following barriers −

Physical Barriers

Distortion − It occurs when the meaning of the message is the lost while encoding and decoding the message. Physical distrations are also there such as, poor lightning, uncomfortable sitting, unhygienic room also affects communication in meeting

Noise − It is found in the environment of communication and interrupts the communication process. Use of loud speakers interferes with communication

Overflow of Information − This acts like a barrier when the receiver does not have the capacity to receive all the information and can miss some important points or misinterpret the meaning of the whole message altogether

Barriers from Message

Messaage or the subject matter of communication is the key factor in making effective communication a success.

The language used therein, the wordings, the preciseness and the timing count a lot for the success of communication.

For instance, if the message contains many jargons and slangs when communicating with someone who has never heard such expression, it will not be understood by the recipient.

Lack of proper time to draft the written message is likely to have a harmful effect on the content of the message.For instance, if a supervisor requests a report immediately without giving the report writer enought time to gather the required information, it results in conflicting message.

Channel Barriers

Choice of appropriate and viable channel for communicating is of utmost importance in communicating.

If the sender chooses an inappropriate channel of communication, communication may cease.

Channel could be spoken word,printing word,electronic media, or even non-verbal cues such as signs, gestures,body language, facial expression,etc.in modern communication parlance, the word channel mostly refers to mass communication such as newspaper, radio, television, telephone, computer, internet, apps.

Detalaied instruction presents over the telephone, for instance, may be functioning for both communicators.the instruction should be put in black and white and be sent through mail, published in newspapers, etc.

Long communication chain

Communication is likely to get affected when the communicated message passes through a long communication channel.

The longer the communication chain, the great the error. If a message is transmitted through too many receivers, the message often becomes distorted.

However, effective communication network with strong and updated communication channel, this barriers can be done away with.

Problems in Reception

Let us now see the different problems encountered in the reception of a message in the communication process. The problems are as follows −

  • The sending of a message is complete when the receiver at the other end receives it, understands it and then sends the desired feedback to the sender.

  • If there are problems in receiving the message, the whole purpose of sending the message is defeated.

  • The message is the vehicle for the sender to share feelings, thoughts, and ideas. It is the way the sender’s mental images are transmitted to the receiver.

  • The message can be immediately clear and understood, or murky and misleading, basing upon how well all of the components in the communication process have been considered and accommodated.

  • The meaning of the message is what the receiver assigns to it. If the sender has a different image and perception of the message in mind than that of the receiver about the sent message, the intent of message is distorted.

  • In fact, one of the major challenges of communication is to make sure that the meaning that is intended by the sender is the same as the meaning the receiver assigns to the message when it’s received.

Factors Creating Problem in Reception

  • Poor channel of communication through which the message is received.

  • Technical problems associated with the communicating mediums.

  • Not using some common tools for communications problem analysis.

  • Lack of language and semantic skills on the part of the recipient.

Problems in Receiver Comprehension

The receiver in the communication chain is as significant as the sender. The receiver’s understanding the message as desired by the sender is the basic goal of sending the message.

However, the problems sometime arise in receiver’s comprehending the message. Inability to comprehend on the part of the receiver leads to development of prejudices in the mind of the sender. It happens because of the following factors.

Receiver Comprehension

Dealing with Barriers to Effective Communication

Barriers in communication not only spoil the intent of the message but also in the long term affect smooth functioning and growth of the organization. It is rightly said that communication is the lifeline of a business organization irrespective of the latter’s size and reach.

Dealing with barriers in communication needs to be given topmost priority so that there will be a continuous and unperturbed communication in and outside the business.

In our subsequent sections, we will see how to deal with the different barriers to communication.

  • How to deal with barriers in non-verbal and verbal communication.

  • How to deal with barriers in written communication.

How to Deal with Barriers in Non-verbal Communication?

Dealing with barriers in non-verbal communication is not as easy as it seems. In case one’s nonverbal skills are poor, he/she may be sending wrong or negative message to the other.

The following are the way-outs for dealing with barriers in non-verbal communication −

  • Non-verbal communication is taken for granted in face-to-face conversations, but communicating is more than speaking and listening. It is these non-verbal elements of communication that can provide a great deal of information and can be an important means of learning.

  • Establishing a direct eye contact with the person(s) on other side; it not only increases your confidence level but also provides others with the comfort needed to communicate with you in return.

  • Have facial expression like a smiling face; it creates an amiable and pleasant environment between you and the listener(s).

  • It is important to remember that we communicate with our bodies as well as with our voice. Try NOT TO engage in gestures that will distract an audience, such as −

    • Wringing your hands (because of nervousness)

    • Keeping your hands in your pockets

    • Nervous pacing

    • Not moving at all

    • Leaning on a podium for the entire presentation

    • Constantly gesturing with a pen and or pencil

    • The habit of shuffling your papers or clicking a pen

    • Keeping your arms crossed (can indicate defensiveness)

    • Inappropriate laughter (can show anxiety)

How to Deal with Barriers in Verbal Communication?

We will now learn how to deal with barriers in verbal communication.

Verbal Communication

Barriers to Effective Listening

Barriers are threat to the success of effective communication. They make communication inaccessible, unintelligible thereby killing the prospect of its being effective.

How often has your mind wandered when someone was telling you something? This usually happens when the topic is discussion does not interest you. Sometimes the conversation may be too long and tedious.

Sometimes the topic of discussion may be interesting but the speaker is unable to grab your attention, or you may be unable to comprehend because of lack of knowledge of the topic or the vocabulary or language of the speaker.

There must be motivation and interest in a conversation to be able to listen effectively. However, even if there is motivation and interest, there might be some barriers that affect our ability to listen well.

We will discuss the barriers to effective listening in our subsequent sections.

Linguistic/Semantic Barriers

This is one of the most common barriers to listening. Learners of a language normally face this kind of barrier.

Unfamiliar Vocabulary

Words used by the speaker may not be familiar to you. The speaker may use difficult words and jargons. As a result you cannot comprehend what the speaker says.

Elements of Connected Speech

The speaker is too fast. There are very few pauses and the rhythm that might not be familiar to you. You fail to recognize familiar words because of contractions, reductions, linking. For example, the speaker says, “I scream” and you hear “ice-cream”.

Unable to Predict, Guess, and Interpret Meaning from the Context

A person who pays attention to sound structure would recognize that a rapidly spoken “Idrankitfirst” could mean either “I drank it first” or “I’d rank it first.” You should be able to recognize whether it is “I drank it first” or “I’d rank it first” from the context. Sometimes the speaker implies something but does not overtly express it. “That would be all, thank you” is a polite and indirect way of telling someone you do not need their services anymore instead of the more direct ‘You may leave now”. You guess the meaning from the context though the speaker does not overtly express what he or she wants.

Get Words but Lose Ideas

You lose track if you concentrate on each and every word the speaker says, especially if you need to do it for a long period. As a result you may understand the meaning of almost all the words but do not get the gist. You do not distinguish the important information from the unimportant.

Socio-Cultural Barriers

The socio-cultural barriers also hamper effective listening.

Different Cultural Background

The speaker’s accent and pronunciation of words are not familiar to you because of difference in cultures between you and the speaker.

Unfamiliar Subject

The subject may not be familiar to you because you are not familiar with a particular culture or are unaware of the lifestyle of a particular society.

Psychological Barriers

In this section, we will discuss the different psychological barriers to effective listening

Forming opinions and drawing conclusions before listening

It is not a bad idea to know the purpose of your listening. But you may form opinions about the speaker even before he or she speaks.

You may make assumptions about the subject to be spoken about and draw conclusions even before the speaker speaks. This may block your mind and as a result you will not be able to listen.

Lack of interest in the topic

You may not listen if you do not have any interest in the speaker’s topic.

Inability to pay attention

Day dreaming and a wandering mind may prevent you from listening.


You may refuse to listen to something, which goes against your ideas and beliefs. You hear only what you want to hear.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers also hinder effective listening. Let us see what these physical barriers are.

Noisy surroundings

The environment may be too noisy, which may affect listening.

Physical distance

You may be too far away from the speaker or too close to the speaker to be able to hear clearly.

How to deal with Barriers in Written Communication

Ineffective written communication may overturn everything fair intended in the content of message. It can prevent an applicant from landing in his/her dream job, one promotion, can cancel a deal, and may hamper the image of an organization.


Barriers in written communication entirely distort the content of the message sent and results in communication breakdown.

It is therefore essential to cope with the barrier in written communication in order to ensure that effective communication is established.

The following are the necessary ways to deal with such barriers.

Right People

  • People who are adept in spoken and written language should be given top priority at the time of recruitment in any organization.

  • Proper training for enhancing effective communicating skills of the newcomers and also of the existing employees should be ensured regularly.

  • People drafting communication content should be well-versed in spoken and written language.

Right Language

  • Simplicity, lucidity and correctness should be emphasized in all organizational written communication.

Right Presentation

  • Make your presentation or writing almost error-free.

  • Avoid stuffing the message with silly errors like ‘loose’ in place of ‘lose’; ‘there’ in place of ‘their’; ‘too’ in place of ‘to’, etc. Always edit and spellcheck the content before its finalization.

Right Content

  • Focus on what the message really intends to communicate; avoid dilly dallying with topic for correspondence.

  • The content needs to be precise, short and meaningful.

Right Sequence

  • The written message should be written in sequence denoting proper meaning and order of matter presented therein.

Right Channel

  • Considering the content and timing of the message, the communicator should choose the most appropriate channel to transmit the message.

  • If it is confidential or carries any sensitive information, it should be sent through such medium which provides greater security, for instance, encrypted email.

Right Feedback

  • Inappropriate or wrong feedback defeats the purpose of the message sent. It results in communication breakdown.

  • Hence, the message should be written in a desired manner and sent through appropriate channel so as to ensure early feedback from the recipient.

Effective Communication – Elements of Poor Communication

Lack of effective communication across and beyond a business organization is termed as poor communication. It afflicts the free flow of ideas, employee productivity, staff cooperation, innovation and ultimately upset overall efficiency of human resources of the organization.

Poor communication elements are found in all types of communication. We have learnt about these barriers in our previous chapters.

Reasons for Poor Communication

The flowchart given below shows the different reasons for poor communication −

Poor Communication

Besides, lack of commitment among the workforce, inexperienced staff, feeling of fear and dissatisfaction, unconscious incompetence among the employees and the managers can also result in poor communication.

Consequences of Poor Communication

Poor communication can have disastrous effect on the workforce and also on the overall productivity and efficiency of the organization.

The following are some of the consequences of poor communication in business organizations.

  • Inability on the part of the recipient to understand the message leads to confusion and misunderstanding.

  • Poor communication affects the concentration of the listener in oral communication that defeat the meaning of the message.

  • Poor communication results in ambiguity that distorts the content of the message or spoken words.

  • Poor communication results in ambiguity that distorts the content of the message or spoken words.

  • It leads to incomplete action as the content of the message sent or spoken is not grasped by the recipients.

  • Poor communication between the business and customers affect sales and ultimately hampers the growth of the business.

  • Poor communication between the management and the employee can lead to de-motivation and affect overall productivity. Employees become unwilling to work with the managers who communicate poorly.

  • Poor communication between the management and the employee can lead to de-motivation and affect overall productivity. Employees become unwilling to work with the managers who are poor communicators.

  • Loss of working hours as instruction provided and messages sent are beyond the grasp of the recipients or the employees.

  • Poor communication often leads to frustration among the employees in an organization.

  • People may feel left out if communication is not open and effective.

  • Poor communication can lead to many types of conflicts which kills the prospect of organizational growth and prosperity.


  • Communication, as we have learnt, is the lifeline of an organization. A slight disturbance in the smooth flow of communication, downward and upward, horizontal and vertical, etc., may cost dear for the organization.

  • Barriers refer to obstacles or hindrances that prevent movement, flow and access of information in or outside of an organization.

  • There are different sources of barriers −

    • Barriers Caused By the Sender

    • Barriers in Message Transmission

    • Problems in Reception

  • The barriers to effective listening are −

    • Linguistic/Semantic Barriers

    • Socio-Cultural Barriers

    • Psychological Barriers

    • Physical Barriers

  • Ways to deal with barriers in written communication −

    • Right people

    • Right language

    • Right presentation

    • Right content

    • Right sequence

    • Right channel

    • Right feedback

  • Lack of effective communication across and beyond a business organization is termed as poor communication.

  • Poor communication can have disastrous effect on the workforce and also on the overall productivity and efficiency of the organization.

Employment Communication

Employment communication revolves around written communication and conversation between the employer and the job-seekers.

The employer communicates with the job-seeker or prospective talents about the vacancies, company culture, perks and benefits and security, etc. Employers use creative means to attract and retain the best talents.

  • The prospective candidates communicate with the employer about their interest and willingness to work with through different mediums.

  • Employment communication is the viable way or ways through which the job-seeker persuades the employer to hire him/her by demonstrating that his/her knowledge, expertise and skills satisfy the job requirements in the best possible manner.

  • Looking for a job is not a single event; it is a process. The job seeker has to invest time and energy in the job process.

  • It is not as difficult as it appears to land on a good job even in the midst of tough competitions.

  • Another fact that needs attention here is that it is not necessarily the ‘most talented’ who bags the prize (here, ‘job’), rather someone who has excellent job search skills and of course, he who performs adequately.

An aspirant for a job has to pass through various stages to get the job. The stages are as follows.

Know Your Potentials

The job-seeker must know his/her potential or resources and assess them thoroughly. In this way, he/she can plan the strategy for going through the process of job searching.

Recognize Potential Employer

The job-seekers need to choose the field(s) to perform and excel in. If he has the required competence for banking sector, he may choose the employer (any of the existing banks) who can meet his expectations as a job holder.

Applying for the Job

At this stage the job-seeker needs to be sincere in preparing the curriculum vitae, resume or bio-data.

Interviewing; participating in Group Discussion

At this stage, the job-seeker reaches the final round of his job search. Successful completion of this stage, lands him/her in the job.

Curriculum Vitae Resume & Biodata

In this section, we will learn about curriculum vitae, resume and biodata and the differences (if any) exists between them.

Curriculum vitae, resume or bio-data are authentic and brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, previous engagements, other skills typically sent with a job application.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The phrase ‘curriculum vitae’, of Latin origin, means ‘course of life’. It provides a detailed account of the applicant covering every skill, all the jobs and positions held, degrees, professional affiliations he/she has acquired, in proper sequence.

The CV is an in-depth and structured information about professional experience and qualification of a person. It is more elaborate than a Resume.

Curriculum Vitae

Like Resume, a CV is a list of relevant information of a person seeking employment. Considering the length of the subject-matter, the CV may extend to three-four pages depending on the age, experience and achievements of a person.

Components of a Good CV

As the CV acts as an identity card for an applicant’s entry into his/her chosen job, it should have the following details.

Personal Details

Personal details contain address, email, phone number, marital status, nationality, date and place of birth and also addition of social media account if it is used in a professional way

Educational Qualifications

This contains the qualifications in a chronological order with authentic data.

Work Experience

This includes specific applicable experience in relation to the job as opposed to generalities.

Skill Summary

This includes a brief bulleted list of the relevant skills and experience that the applicant possesses. Adding this section can capture the attention of the recruiter who spends a few seconds to read the CV. Here, computer skills should be prioritized.

Knowledge of Languages

This includes the applicant’s proficiency (both spoken and writing abilities) in languages.

Interests and Other Activities

The interests and activities include hobbies, interests and other relevant topics about the applicant pertinent to the context.

A Case Study

While applying for the post of a professor in Jawaharlal University, Rahul remembered that it was necessary to attach the application letter with a CV containing summarized educational details, academic history, details about teaching experiences at different places and at different positions, a detailed list of publications i.e. books, articles, research papers etc.; academic honors and awards. Details of training, workshops, seminar, short-term courses and conferences needed to be included.

He prepared the CV with required care and caution and sent it to the destination. He got the interview letter within two weeks and did well in the interview. He finally got through.

How Does A Resume Work?

Resume, a French word, means ‘summary’. In fact, a Resume contains a summary of the applicant’s education, professional skills, previous jobs and personal interests.

However, a Resume doesn’t usually list out all the education and professional qualification, but only highlights specific skills.

  • It aims at presenting a personalized document that must be fully groomed using applicant’s effective writing skill.

  • It should be precise and factual where each sentence needs to be authentic and not blown up beyond the value.

Following is an image of a sample Resume −


Advantages of A Well-written Resume

Following are the advantages of a well-written resume −

  • It is the first tangible contact with the applicant’s prospective employer; hence, it is essential to keep up the ‘first impression last long’ feeling. Here, the employer carries out a preliminary examination about whether the applicant qualifies for the job or not.

  • Though Resume or CV may not be sole basis for hiring deserving candidate, it could be a reason for their early rejection. An unattractive Resume eliminates the applicant’s chance of applying the job in question.

  • The Resume or CV should be designed and drafted in ways that attract the fleeting eyes of the employer who usually spends a little time on each resume. A recruiter screens hundreds of job application for even a few vacancies.

  • It provides the opportunity to highlight unique skills.

How Does A Biodata Work?

Bio-data is the short form for biographical data. It mainly contains personal facts about a person. Personal facts include −

  • Date of birth

  • Person’s height, weight

  • Father’s name

  • Mother’s name

  • Gender

  • Complexion

  • Religion

  • Marital Status

  • Nationality

  • Permanent Address

It includes educational background, professional background, skills, hobbies, interest, strengths, potential and achievements. It is the traditional document for applying for a job. Biodata also helps in marital communications.

Do’s And Don’ts in Preparing CV or Resume

In this section, we will learn about the Do’s and Don’ts that need to be considered while preparing a CV or Resume −

  • Contain your CV or Resume within a reasonable length.

  • CV should be true and factual.

  • On the first page, enough personal details should be provided for potential employer to contact you easily.

  • Choose a format that highlights key skills, key competencies, key achievements or key attributes.

  • Your employment background should begin with your current job and work backwards.

  • List all relevant qualifications.

  • Do not include negative or irrelevant information.

  • Include details of training or skills development events attended.

  • Use a very good quality paper.

  • Do not use a type size less than 11pt.

  • Do not be tempted to shrink the font or reduce the margins to get more information in.

  • Use good font face like Times New Roman or Arial

  • Don’t allow any spelling or grammatical error in any way

  • Use bulleted paragraphs. This will save space and make the CV more effective.

  • Emphasize achievements that are recent, and are most relevant for the position for which the candidate is applying.

  • Do explain all significant breaks in your career or education. Recruiters hate unexplained gaps.

  • While submitting a resume, it must be accompanied with a cover letter to make the readers aware of what is being send, and how can it be beneficial to the readers.

  • Include references if possible in a resume. If giving references, use three to five.

  • Include at least one lecturer, and at least one employer.

  • To stress upon the key points in a resume, put them in appropriate headings, list them vertically, and provide details.

  • Do not include pages of obscure testimonials, references, newspaper cuttings and brochures.

  • Proofread the draft to avoid mistakes and typographic errors.

What Is a Job Application Letter?

A job application letter, also known as Covering letter, is sent attached with the applicant’s Resume or CV.

The letter represents the documents attached with the application.

It provides a brief account of the applicant’s interest in the job in question. Effective application letter explains well the reasons for the applicant’s interest in the specific organization and the job he/she is applying for.

The application letter communicates to the employer about the position the applicant is applying for, and what makes him/her the most suitable candidate, why he/should be selected for an interview etc.

Tips for Effective Job Application Letter

  • Always attach a covering letter, even if, it is not asked for.

  • Use formal letter format

  • Provide concrete evidence of your proven skills with recent instances to make you a preferred candidate for the job

  • Be concise and stick to most essential points

  • Be sincere and honest in expressing yourself

  • Edit thoroughly before you send the document

Components of a Good Job Application Letter

Following are the different components of a job application letter −

  • Applicant’s present address

  • Date

  • Employer’s address

  • Salutation: Begin the letter with ‘Dear Mr. / Mrs. Lastname’; in case, the last name is not known, simply, write ‘Dear HR Manager’

  • Body of the letter

    • First Paragraph that explains the reasons for writing and job the applicant is applying for.

    • Second Paragraph, where the applicant mentions his/her skills and experiences that are good fit for the job. It also explains what the applicant has to offer the employer.

    • Last paragraph contains thank you to the addressee and a couple of line as to how the applicant will follow up

  • Signature − End the letter with a polite closing, such as ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Regards’ and your signature.

Job Interview

The lexical meaning of Job Interview is a formal meeting at which someone is asked questions in order to find out if they are suitable for a post of employment.

It is one of the most globally recognized and popularly used devices for employee selection.

Even if, a job interview is a challenging experience for the applicant and a time-consuming exercise for the employer, it plays a pivotal role in determining whether the interviewer (employer) and the interviewee will make an effective match.

However, a candidate appearing for an interview is suggested to get through the screening test based upon his/her job application letter and CV.

Importance of Job Interview

Apart from being one of the most popular devices for employee selection, job interview is important for many reasons.

  • Interview is where a candidate can make a favorable impression.

  • It provides a great deal of value for the company and the candidates alike.

  • It provides a chance to the employer to assess the candidate’s personality and expertise to determine if he/she would be a befitting person for the post for which the interview is being conducted.

  • It serves as a two-way medium for the exchange of information.

  • The interviewer learns more about the candidate and the candidate in turn comes to learn about the organization and the demands of the job.

  • It provides a selling opportunity for the organization as well as the candidate.

  • Job interview enables the employer or the organization to weed out unsuitable candidates and select the most deserving ones for the job in question.

  • The employer can analyze the communication skills of the candidate from the interview.

  • It is the only method of direct contact between the candidate and the employer.

  • It gives the interviewer an opportunity to verify the information provided in the Resume or the CV and explore and clarify any issue raised by the resume.

  • It also enables the employer to obtain some information about the candidate which might not be available otherwise like his/her future plans, perceptions about some burning issues, etc.

  • It provides the platform where the organization gives information about itself, its policies and its culture and work environment and also the job of the candidate.

Types of Interview

  • Face-to-face Interview − This is the most common form of job interview where the interviewers physically meet the interviewees.

  • Telephonic Interview − This takes place on cell phones, land lines.

  • Sequential Interview − This is where the candidate is interviewed on a one-to-one basis by interviewers separately.

  • Direct Interview − This is where the candidates are obliged to answer a set question paper assigned to them by the employer.

  • Panel Interview − This is where three or more members of the hiring organization sit and question the interviewee on current issues and other critical topics.

Before attending an interview, the candidate should know about the organization and prepare some general questions often asked during the interview.

Popular Questions asked during an Interview

Following is a list of some popular questions asked during an interview −

  • Tell us about yourself.

  • How would you like to describe your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Why should you like to work in our organization?

  • Why should we hire you?

  • What are your career objectives?

  • What type of work do you enjoy most?

How to Crack the Interview?

Interview is the stage where there is invisible battle fought between the interviewer(s) and the interviewee where one tries best to eliminate the other. The interviewer(s) tries to eliminate some candidates as they have to choose a few best ones among the many. The interviewee wants to obtain the job of his/her choice.

It is not as tough as it appears to successfully go through the interview. One can play skillfully in the interview if he/she is well-aware of his/her actions and behaviors before and during the interview.

Useful Tips for Success in the Interview

Useful Tips

Thank You Note

Thank You Note or Thank You Letter is a letter of thanks sent to the interviewer(s) after you return from your job interview. It is a follow-up communication to be sent to the interviewer(s) immediately or much before the evaluation of interviewed candidates by is over.

  • It has a positive impact on your chance of being selected for the job in question.

  • It provides an opportunity to distinguish yourself as a candidate, and give you an edge in the hiring process.

Thank You Note
  • According to surveys, most recruiters consider a Thank You Note influential while evaluating the candidates.

  • It is important to note that many applicants don’t think it necessary to send a Thank You Note after the interview.

  • As the timing of the Thank You Letter is important, email is the best medium to send it through.

  • Send a Thank You Note to each interviewer if you have been interviewed by a panel of interviewers.

Contents of the Thank You Note

  • The note should be concise and powerful.

  • It should be written error-free.

  • It reminds the interviewer(s) about specific points made by them in brief.

  • It compensates for the mistakes, if any, you have made during the interview.

  • Reinforce your dedication to the company if you are selected

  • Open the door for future communication

Sample Thank You Note

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
It was very enjoyable to speak with you about the assistant account executive position at the Smith Agency. The job, as you presented it, seems to be a very good match for my skills and interests. The creative approach to account management that you described confirmed my desire to work with you.
In addition to my enthusiasm, I will bring to the position strong writing skills, assertiveness and the ability to encourage others to work cooperatively with the department.
My artistic background will help me to work with artists on staff and provide me with an understanding of the visual aspects of our work.
I understand your need for administrative support. My detail orientation and organizational skills will help to free you to deal with larger issues. I neglected to mention during my interview that I had worked for two summers as a temporary office worker. This experience helped me to develop my secretarial and clerical skills.
I appreciate the time you took to interview me. I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you about this position.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name


What are Etiquettes?

Etiquette refers to a set of rules or customs that control accepted behavior in particular social group or situation.

In business etiquettes are of considerable significance, especially in modern times where competition rules the roost. An organization with a track record of showing etiquettes all around has a wide public reach irrespective of its size and turnover.

In business communication, etiquettes counts a lot for its establishing its effectiveness.

What is Etiquettes in Business?

Business etiquette refers to building enduring relationship with other people. Etiquette brings in a cohesive social environment in an organization where every stakeholder finds comfort and contentment in whatever he/she carries out.

  • Etiquettes are like binding forces that bind together the human constituents of the organization.

  • Etiquettes help in building sustainable interpersonal relationships and effective communication across the organization.

Common Business Etiquettes

In this section, we will learn about some common business etiquettes.

  • Maintain professionalism.

  • Introduce yourself humbly and introduce people to others whenever opportunity arises.

  • Put on dress befitting to the occasion.

  • Mind your body language and be polite.

  • Show good manners at any case.

  • Make a cordial handshake.

  • Don’t interrupt while someone is speaking.

  • Watch your language and vocabulary.

  • Double check before you deliver any communication.

  • Don’t walk into others’ office rooms or cabins unannounced.

  • Don’t eavesdrop.

  • Respect and acknowledge others.

  • Be Punctual.

Phone Etiquette

  • Avoid speaking loudly and maintain a balanced tone while speaking.

  • Put the phone on silent mode while you are in an important meeting and do not answer your phone during the meeting.

  • Avoid placing your phone on the table when meeting others.

  • Let the other person know when you have them on speaker phone.

Email Etiquette

  • Make sure to indicate the subject in the field of ‘Subject’.

  • Start the email with formal salutation; Mr. /Mrs. Joe/Trump.

  • Use Bcc when you mail to a group of people and respect the privacy of the other IDs.

  • Write concisely and focus on the main idea of the email.

  • Give a keen eye to the sentence structure and the punctuations in your content.

  • Respond to business email as soon as possible.

Face to Face Communication

  • Maintain a standard level of professionalism.

  • Address the person with his proper name once introduction is over.

  • Remember the name and do not ask for it repeatedly.

  • Avoid being emotional.

  • Do not be garrulous and always limit the conversation to professional topics.

  • Be an honest and sincere listener to the one speaking with you.

  • Do not gesture wildly when you talk or laugh.

  • Maintain a pleasant body language.

  • Do not be personal during the conversation.

Meeting Etiquettes

  • Professional Appearance

  • Positive body language

  • Effective and Active Contribution

  • Handle Conflict or Disagreement professionally

  • Provide constructive criticism and avoid destructive criticism

  • Turn taking when speaking in a Meeting

  • Arrive prepared and on time for meeting


  • Employment communication revolves around written communication and conversation between the employer and the job-seekers.

  • The stages for an aspirant to finally secure a job are −

    • Know Your Potentials

    • Recognize Potential Employer

    • Applying for the Job

    • Interviewing; participating in Group Discussion

  • Curriculum vitae, resume or bio-data are authentic and brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, previous engagements, other skills typically sent with a job application.

  • Resume contains a summary of the applicant’s education, professional skills, previous jobs and personal interests.

  • Bio-data mainly contains personal facts about a person.

  • Effective job application letter explains well the reasons for the applicant’s interest in the specific organization and the job he/she is applying for.

  • Job Interview is a formal meeting at which someone is asked questions in order to find out if they are suitable for a post of employment.

  • Thank You Note or Thank You Letter is a letter of thanks sent to the interviewer(s) after you return from your job interview.

  • Etiquette refers to a set of rules or customs that control accepted behavior in particular social group or situation.


Communication being a vast subject of study is not possible to be confined within a few pages. However, in this Tutorial we have discussed relevant chapters on communication in a simple and concise format. In modern business world, communication is essential for the effective functioning of an organization. Without effective communication, business falters and even falls apart. Every business therefore makes it mandatory for all to observe common business etiquettes and keep up successful communication wherever necessary. That, communication sustains business will not be an exaggeration of the term.

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