These days communication is possible through a vast variety of media. If information is to be transmitted to all the employees, a notice may be put on the notice board or a peon may circulate it among them, a senior officer may announce it over the public address system, or it may be printed in the office bulletin.
Posters may be used to issue warnings. Communication with Government departments and other agencies is mostly conducted through written letters. General public can be reached popular journals.
For communication to be effective, the communicator has to be very careful and judicious in the choice of media, which will depend on various factors like the urgency of the message, the time available, the expenditure involved and the intellectual and emotional level of the receivers. All the media available can be broadly classified into five groups:
(i) Written communication
(ii) Oral communication
(iii) Visual communication
(iv) Audio-Visual communication and
(v) Computer-based communication.
Written communication includes letters, circular, memos, telegrams, reports, minutes, forms and questionnaires, manuals, etc. Everything that has to be written and transmitted in the written forms falls in the area of written communication.
Oral communication includes face-to-face conversation, conversation over the telephone, radio, broadcasts, interviews, group discussions, meetings, conferences and seminars, announcements over the public address system, speeches, etc.
Visual communication encompasses gestures and facial expressions, tables and charts, graphs, diagrams, posters, slides, film strips, etc.
Audio-visual communication encompasses television and cinema films that combine the visual impact with narration.
Computer-based communication includes E-mail, voice mail, cellular phones, fax, etc.
Most often more than one medium may have to be simultaneously employed to make the communication effective. Face-to-face communication combines the oral form with the visual.
Graphs and posters often combine the visual with the written form. A manager giving written instructions may also take pains to explain them to a subordinate: he is simultaneously using the oral and the written form of communication. And a great deal can be communicated by the absence of communication, that is, by maintaining total silence.
2. Visual Communication:
Fiscal expressions and gestures, printed pictures, posters, slides, film strips, etc., fall under visual communication. Mime to an old art in which ideas and emotions are communicated through facial expressions and gestures. We are all familiar with the two pieces of bone put in a cross-wise fashion with a skull placed in between and we all know that they signify danger.
In cinema houses we often see a slide showing a lighted cigarette with a cross mark on it. Again, the meaning is clear to everybody: no smoking. Communication through such visuals is very effective because it is sure and instantaneous. No words are uttered, no signs made and yet the message gets across.
But visual communication alone is not enough. It can be used to transmit very elementary and simple ideas, orders, and warnings. It can be effectively used only in combination with other media.
3. Audio-visual Communication:
Audio-visual communication that makes use of telecasts short films on the cinema screen and video tapes is powerful of communication. It is combination of sight and sound. It may make use of the written word also.
Visual communication is not found to be adequate in it. People will just casually glance at it and let it go at that. It is quite likely that they will miss the message. But, if the slides are accompanied with explanation and narration, it will facilitate interpretation and ensure that the message is driven home.
Besides, information transmitted through audio-visual means is retained much longer than through any other means. It is a matter of common experience that people can easily recall some of the powerfully depicted scenes of a movie years after they have seen it.
Audio-visual communication is found most suitable for mass publicity, mass propaganda and mass education. Large business houses frequently make use of this technique to educate their workers and to popularise their products.
The working of a new household appliance like mixer or a washing machine, the effectiveness of a new detergent powder, the freshness of new designs in suiting’s and shirting’s can be effectively demonstrated through audio-visual means. Within the organisation, the workers can be educated by suitable demonstrations on the close-circuit television screen.
In order to make an effective use of this technique, it is necessary to make the films and slides attractive and interesting, and the narration clear, precise, lucid and easily understandable. It is also advisable to keep the films short and to screen them at an appropriate time.
4. Computer-Based Communication:
Computer technology has dramatically changed the landscape of today’s communication. It is fast annihilating the barriers of time and space and the concept of our world turning into a small global village now appeals to be distinct and near possibility. For it is now possible to communicate instantaneously with people inhabiting the remotest places possible.
To get a clear picture of the changes that have taken place, let us compare sending a message through a latter with an e-mail message. In earlier times, the manager dictated a letter to his secretary. When the secretary brought it types, he reviewed it, revised it and got it retyped.
In all probability he again made a few modifications and got the final draft typed. The envelope was types too. The letter was dropped in the mail and was delivered at the destination several days later. The whole process was quite cumbersome and time-consuming.
Let us now think of a situation in which two persons have the facility of two computer terminals connected on network. One of them types a message on his computer. He can edit it, after it, or reword it as many times as he likes message is immediately transmitted to its destination.
At the other end, the receiver can open the mail, read the message on the monitor and immediately respond it, or attend to it at his leisure. The whole process takes hardly more than a few minutes.
The fax, voice-mail, E-mail (electrical mail), cellular phones, telephone answering machines, video conferencing, etc., are some of the computer-based media of communication.
5. Types of Communication:
Each organization is concerned with two types of communication: external and internal. Externally, it has to communicate with other organisations, institutes, banks, government offices, the press, customers and general public. Internal communication consists in transmitting information within the organisation.
Internal communication may again be of two types: formal or official and informal. Informal communication flows along prescribed channels which all members desirous of communication with one another are obliged to follow.
Finally, a clerk working in any of the sections cannot directly communicate with the Managing Director. He must talk to his supervisor, who will passes on the messages to the departmental manager, from where it will go to the Managing Director.
If a supervisor working in the publication department wants to get formally in touch with an accounts clerk, his communication will have to pass through the hands of the publication department, the accounts officer and a supervisor in the accounts department.
Fortuity communication may move vertically or horizontally. Vertical communication can flow downward (from superiors to subordinates) or upward (from subordinates to superiors). Horizontal communication flows between employees of equal or comparable status.
When a number of people, irrespective of their status, sit down and confer with one another to arrive at a decision acceptable to all, it is called consensus. The format for this communication is predetermined and cannot alter.
In addition to these formal channels of communication, there exists in every organisation an informal channel, often called the grapevine, that does not arise out of the organisational needs but that is, nevertheless, an integral part of its communication system. Rumours that are all the time spreading in any organisation follow the grapevine.
6. Downward Communication:
Downward communication flows from a superior to a subordinate. The managing Director communication with the departmental heads a manager giving a directive to an assistant manager or a supervisor, are all engaged in the process of down ward communication. Orders, individual instruction, policy statements, job-sheets, circulars, etc. fall under downward communication.
Downward communication is eminently suited to an organisation in which the line of authority runs distinctly downwards, with each rank clearly below another, to which it is directly related.
But in the complex structure of large-sized modern organisations, where a number of executives enjoy and equal rank, it is difficult to depend purely on the downward flow of communication. It continues to him a prominent place even there but, it has to be supplemented by other channels of communication.
In general sense we can define motivation as the process of desiring to act because of the presence of some specific factor. Motivation and emotion are closely related. Feelings determine our actions, and conversely, our behaviour often determines how we feel. Emotions can activate and direct behaviour in the same way as biological drives.
It is true that an infant’s early behaviour is largely determined by basic biological needs – a child cries when hungry, cold or in pain. But as the child grows, new motives appear that are learned by interacting with other people.
These are called psychological motives. Security, acceptance and approval from those around us, feelings of self-worth and competency, and the search for new experiences are important psychological motives,” although the way in which they are satisfied varies with each individual and culture.
Biological motives can be aroused by external incentives, and learning determines to some extent the way such needs as hunger and sex are satisfied. Psychological motives are influenced primarily by learning and the kind of society in which the individual is raised; they have to demonstrable basis in the psychological needs of the organism.
Abraham Maslow, a leader in the development of humanistic psychology proposed an interesting way of classifying human motives. He assumed a hierarchy of motives ascending from the basic biological needs present at birth to more complex psychological, motives that become important only after the more basic needs have been satisfied.
The needs at one level must be at least partially satisfied before those at the next level become important determines of action. When food and safety are difficult to obtain, the satisfaction of these needs will dominate a person’s actions and the higher motives will have little significance.
Only when the satisfaction of the basic needs is easy will the individual have the time and energy for aesthetic and intellectual interests. Artistic and scientific endeavors do not flourish in societies where people must struggle for food, shelter and safety.
Maslow’s scheme has not been supported by much data but, it provides an interesting way of looking at the relationships among motives and the opportunities afforded by the environment.
1. Psychoanalytical Theory:
This theory was given by Freud. He believed that the forerunners of sex and aggression are found early in a child’s life sex is expressed in the pleasure derived from stimulating the sensitive zones of the body and aggression, in biting or hitting.
When parental prohibitions place taboos on both sex and aggression, there free expression becomes repressed and instead of finding full conscious expression, they remain active as unconscious motives. Sex concept of unconscious motivation is one of the cornerstones of psychoanalytic theory.
He pointed to several forms of behaviour through which unconscious motives are expressed: (i) In dreams we often express wishes and impulses of which we are unaware.
(ii) Unconscious mannerisms and slips of speech may “let the cat out of the bag” and reveal hidden motives.
(iii) Symptoms of illness (particularly the symptoms of mental illnesses) often can be shown to serve the unconscious needs of the person.
Unconscious Motives: Many psychologists now accept the existence of unconscious motives (or at least motives that are unclear to the person), but they think more in terms of degrees of awareness. A person may be vaguely aware, for example, of the need of dominate others but, not realize the extent to which this need influences his behaviour and relationship.
2. Social Learning Theory:
Social learning theory focuses not on instinctual drives but, on patterns of behaviour the individual learns in coping with the environment. The emphasis is on the reciprocal interaction between behaviour and environment.
Patterns of behaviour can be acquired through direct experience or by observing the behaviour of others. Some responses may be successful; others may produce unfavorable results. Through this process of differential reinforcement, the person eventually selects the successful behaviour patterns and discards the others. The basic conclusions of this theory are as follows:
(i) Social learning theory departs from a strict behaviorist position by stressing the importance of cognitive processes. Because we can think and represent situations symbolically, we are able to foresee the probable consequences of our actions and alter our behaviour accordingly.
(ii) Social learning theory also stresses the importance of vicarious learning, that is, learning by observation. Many pattern of behaviour are learned by watching the behaviour of others and observing its consequences for them. (iii) A third emphasis of social learning theory is the importance of self-regulatory processes. A specific behaviour produces an external outcome but, it also produces a self-evaluative reaction.
Sources of Reinforcement: People set their own standards of conduct or performance and respond to their behaviour in self-satisfied or self-critical ways, depending upon how the behaviour relates to their standards, the two coincide and sometimes they are contradictory.
A person may be to self-standards. Indeed, self-reproach is an important influence in opposing influences. One person is tempted to falsify information on an income tax return. The chances of getting caught (external punishment) are feelings of self-control prevent the individual from doing so: The behaviour is not accord with self-standards.
Effective External Reinforcement: External reinforcement is most effective when it is consistent with self-reinforcement-when society approves actions that the individual values highly.
At artist whose works are enthusiastically received by the public and the critics will probably be more motivated to continue than one whose creative endeavors are appreciated by neither group. It takes conviction in one’s own standards to persevere when external reinforcement is lacking.
Social learning theorists have been active in developing procedures whereby people can control their own behaviour by self-reinforcement or self-punishment. Successful methods
have been developed to control abuse of alcohol or overeating by having individuals reward themselves with an activity they find pleasurable when they stick to a certain regimen of eating or drinking.