Even if a message does arrive intact as its intended receiver, How to find New jobs in Ethiopia there is no guarantee that it will be understood as the sender intended it to be. The receiver must still decode it, making sense out of the words or other symbols. Decoding is done in the same manner as encoding by motor skills, muscle system or sensory skills.
Feedback is the receiver’s response to a message. It is the final link in the communication chain. It determines whether the message was clearly understood and the required action taken. However, the feedback response involves a reversal of the communication process so that the receiver now becomes the sender and the sender becomes the receiver. After getting the message, the receiver responds in some way and signals that response to the sender. The signal may take the form of a smile, a long pause, a spoken comment, a written message, or an action. Even a lack of response is, in a sense, a form of response.
Feedback is a key element in the communication process because it enables the sender to evaluate the effectiveness of the message. It provides guidance for the next message that you send to the receiver. If your audience doesn’t understand what you mean, you can tell by the response and refine the message. Feedback plays an important role by indicating significant communication barriers: differences in background, different interpretations of words, and differing emotional reactions. So when the receiver of the message has made feedback and the sender is sure that the message has been communicated in the way intended, we say communication has existed.
Therefore, from the above phrasing, you can think of communication as a process consisting of identifiable links, with ultimate objective of influencing behavior, attitudes, & beliefs. Each element of the communication process is critical: the sender, encoding, channel, the receiver, decoding, and feedback.
In order to understand the communication process better, study the following example of communication that took place in the work place.
|Incident||Elements of communication Process|
|1. Yeshiwas received a memo from the head of R &D||Yeshiwas received a stimulus|
|2. He decided to replay to the information to Alex||He forms a message|
|3. He decided to use telephones to share the information||He selected the medium|
|4. His brother Alex received the call||The message reaches to its destination|
|5. Alex listens and gives Yeshiwas his reaction||Alex provides feedback|
Communication is a complex process as you have seen studies in the previous section. One the factors that make it complex and difficult is the existence of several obstacles or barriers. In many cases, messages do not flow smoothly in the communication channel because it is blocked or distorted by personal and external factors or situations. In this section, you will study the general barriers to communication, barriers attributed to managers and subordinates, and special problems of communication in business.
Dear learners, in our day to day conversation there is a lot misunderstanding among individuals. What do you think are the reason or factors that contribute for that? List the obstacles to effective communication that you know.
Dear students, it is true that no two persons are exactly alike mentally, physically, or emotionally. Thus, the innumerable human difference plus cultural, social, & environmental differences may cause problems in conveying an intended message. Although all communication is subject to misunderstandings, business communication is particularly different. Various characteristics of the sender, receiver, and communication situation can create barriers to effective communication.
The major barriers of communication include the following:
- Choice of inappropriate channel
Poor choice of channel communication can be contributory to the misunderstanding of the message. The manager must decide whether the communication would be most effective if it is written or by a telephone call or a face-to-face conversation or a combination of these modes.
The different communication channels can be personal barriers in that some individuals always seem to lean toward a particular channel even though a more effective one exists. All the media have their relative merits and limitations. While a properly chosen medium can add to the effectiveness of a communication, an unsuitable medium may act as a barrier to it.
Consider, for example, a superior who uses a written memo to let you know about the recent denial of a promotion. The effective channel in this case might be face-to-face meeting in which you can ask questions. If a salesperson is required to submit a report based on the comparative sales figures of the last five years, he/she will fail to communicate anything if he/she writes a lengthy paragraph about it. He has to present the figures in a tabular form, or preferably make a bar diagram, which would make communication an instantaneous process. An employee desirous of expressing his regrets for his earlier misconduct with his supervisor should meet him personally. Whatsoever a lengthy letter he might write, it can never be as effective as an earnest look on his face. But if he does not meet him personally, his written explanation will most probably be misinterpreted. In offices, if memos are frequently issued to employees to ask them to explain minor things like late arrivals or early departure they become a source of irritation. A manager using a memo to complement an employee for a creditable achievement or to congratulate another employee for a wedding is surely creating communication barrier through the wrong choice of medium.
- Physical barriers
The physical barriers include noise, time and distance and are briefly explained below.
- Noise: Anything that interferes with communication and distorts or blocks the message is noise. Noise is quite often a barrier to communication. In factories oral communication could be difficult by the loud noise of machines. Electronic noise like blaring often interferes in communication by telephone. The word “noise” is also used to refer to all kinds of physical interference like illegible handwriting, smudged copies of duplicated typescript, poor telephone connections, use of jargons (terms that have a precise meaning among specialists, but are unfamiliar to others), distraction that prevents the receiver from paying attention, a worn printer ribbon that makes a document hard to read, etc.
- Time and Distance: Time and distance also act as barriers to communication. Modern communication facilities like fax, telephone and Internet are not available everywhere. This is especially a serious problem in our country. Even when these technologies are available, sometimes-mechanical breakdowns render these facilities ineffective. In such cases, the distance between the transmitter and the receiver becomes a barrier. There is a kind of communication gap between persons working in different shifts of a factory. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to send an urgent message to a business partner living in America if it had to be done through postal mail?