Active or ‘participative’ listening is as important as any other element in the process of communication. It shows, again, that communication is a joint responsibility of both the sender and the receiver. Tips for participative listening have been given earlier in this book.
Emotions play an important role in interpersonal relationships between superiors, subordinates and colleagues in an organization. It should, be therefore, an important aim of communication to create an environment in which people are motivated to work toward the desired goals of the enterprise while they achieve their personal goals. There must be generated a healthy climate of involvement and synergistic growth. It must also be remembered that an important function of communication is control – not just top – down control but also self control. It means that a successful communicator must learn/train himself to exercise restraint on his emotions, especially anger. The truth is that we do not always communicate in a fully rational manner. Our reasoning is often clouded with negative feelings/emotions. And that leads to all sort of misunderstandings owing to emotion loaded encoding of the message or misinterpretation of the incoming message. That is why the MBO (Management by Objectives) philosophy emphasizes self – control.
This leads us to the tonal aspect of communication. There is a saying. “The tone makes the music”. In the same way, in communication, the tone of voice, the choice of language and the congruence or logical connection between what is said and how it is said influence the reactions of the receiver. That is why managers are advised to shun authoritarianism, or in other words, to exercise authority with grace. Everybody knows that politeness pays, and it is reflected so very ‘loudly’ both in words and actions. Moreover, in an organizations, politeness encourages participative communication involving people at all levels, leading to lateral and diagonal communication from the conventional, hierarchically – structured downward communication.
Every possible effort must be made to eliminate the element of noise that distorts communication at the transmission stage. It becomes especially important in the wake of modern technological advancement. Anything going wrong with the equipment or any disturbance in the transmission line is bound to defeat the very purpose of communication
No effective communication can be based on assumption. The sender of the message must first clarify his assumption and then go ahead with proper encoding of the message.
Semantic problems can be solved by using simple language and avoiding connotations. Care must be taken to see that the receiver of the message does not have to go beyond the text of the message. A sender should, therefore, use denotative words and expressions in preference to connotative ones. It is also necessary to avoid all ambiguity that means using words with double meaning.
As communication is two – way process involving both the sender and the receiver, both should make conscious efforts to understand each other’s cultural and socio – psychological background. As a golden rule for effective communication one must remember, “First understand, then be understood”. An effective communicator is an informed communicator.
One must also Endeavour to send a complete message, furnishing all necessary facts and figures. Incomplete communication annoys the receiver as a result of which proper feedback will not come. The message should be so organized that the receiver is not left in about any aspect of the message.
Completeness does not mean inclusion of unnecessary details or diversions. An effective communication is concise and crisp. The sender should be clear headed and properly focused in his vision.
Proper use of body language is of paramount importance, especially in oral communication. No oral communication can be successful or effective if we do not take care of our body language. In the first place there must be good eye – contact with the person to whom we are speaking. The movement of our hands and feet must be graceful. Every listener observes carefully how we walk and how talk. Our gait says a lot about us. A warm handshake can do wonders. Holding our head straight on our shoulders shows confidence. In fact, our overall appearance can really make or mar our communication.