Communication is central mechanism for meaningful collaboration between various stakeholders in making any endeavour successful. Communication needs to be both “effective” as well as “efficient”. It is important to provide the “right information to the right stakeholder at the right time”. Since it involves humans, communication becomes a very delicate and subtle process. Smallest of error or negligence in communication can lead to confusion, misunderstanding and sometime even chaos.
Hence it is extremely important to understand the underlying mechanism of communication so that one can understand the nuances and pitfalls in communication and prepares for communication in a manner to make it successful.
Communication is a two way process involving exchange of information, between two entities. There is always a sender and a receiver in any communication. The communication model lays down the fundamental communication process. Successful communication will require both the sender and the receiver to share responsibility in order to make communication smooth, effective and efficient.
Fundamentally there must be enough understanding between the sender and receiver in a communication regarding the clarity on the process of communication. In case you are wondering how to do so, take a PMP prep course online and prepare for the certification exam as well as get the necessary skills on the go.
There are a number of communication models proposed by experts such as 1. Shannon’s Model; 2. Schramm’s Model; 3. Berlo’s Model; 4. Aristotle’s Model; 5. Helical Model etc.
Let us refer the below communication model and try to understand how communication works.
Communication should happen with clear understanding between the involved parties such as the “sender” and the “receiver”.
In order to make communication successful, the “sender” will need to “encode” the message in a manner which the “receiver” will be able to “decode” and understand. The sender needs to use the right language, right words and even sometime right emotions which will convey the message in an effective and efficient manner and which the receiver will be able to receive and understand.
The “receiver” will be responsible to receive the message, decode the message and also need to give a “feedback” message. The communication will be treated as complete only after receiving a “feedback” message in return.
This way both “sender” and “receiver” are sharing responsibility to make communication a complete act and achieve the purpose.
When the “message” and the “feedback message” will be sent, there could be potential “noise” factors which may exist, those could create obstacles leading to miscommunication. Some of the noise factors include wrong language, excessive usage of technical jargons, physical noise such background noise, line noise etc., cultural issues and even sometime personal attitude of the parties involved in communication.
Hence it is extremely important to identify the potential noise factors or so called barriers to communication which may exist in the specific project scenario. Proactive identification of the potential noise factors will help the team to plan to eliminate them to make communication smooth, effective and efficient.
Effective and efficient communication requires upfront agreement between the sender and receiver of communication. Both need to lay down their expectations clearly and also define each other’s responsibilities for the process of communication. It is also equally important to identify the potential barriers to communication upfront and ensure that they are eliminated.
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