GENERAL COMMUNICATION PRINCIPLES AND PROBLEMS
Communication has barriers. What you send is not received by the receiver in the same sense as you intended. The following principles should be followed to improve communication.
Interpretation of Words
A basic general principle of communication is that the words, symbols which the sender uses in sending the message must have the same meaning in the mind of the receiver, so that the message sent and the message received is identical. If the symbols of communication are not correctly understood the objective of communication will be foiled – or there will be miss-communication. The following are the problems in the interpretation of words.
a. Bypassed instructions
When the sender and receiver of communication attribute (give) different meanings to the same words bypassing occurs. English language has many words, which have over 100 meanings. For example, when he reached the place of the host the guest was without his family. The host asked him where his cheaters were. The host got annoyed extremely. By using the term cheaters as slang the host meant the eyeglasses, which the guest was not wearing at that time as usual.
b. Reactions to Denotations and Connotations
Denotations refer to expression by marks, symbols, or signs. It gives primary meaning. Connotation means expression in addition to tire primary meaning. When a word have both primary and secondary meanings is used it may create misunderstanding. For example, cheap product or cheap price is such a term, which has favorable and unfavorable denotations and connotations.
Comprehension of Reality
Reality is always changing. Everyone’s sensory perceptions are limited, and his mental filters are unique. The meanings of words are not in the words; they are in us or according to our perception. People perceive (understand mentally) reality in different ways and not alike. Lack of comprehension of reality has the following problems.
Abstracting refers to filtering of information received. When we abstract, we actually concentrate on some details and omit others. Abstracting creates distortion, twisting, etc. in the message. If trimming in communication is essential it should be done honestly rather than at the cost of spirit of the message. When we advertise a product we only include special features of the product and omit unimportant details. Thus this type of abstracting becomes acceptable and essential. Editing and censorship are also abstracting.
Slanting refers to judging the whole by a part. Just by going through a part of the message we cannot and should not establish an opinion of the whole or it will be erroneous. Slanting is unfair in factual reporting. It will be unwarranted to judge and form an opinion about a person on the ground of his only one activity or habit. Slanting is premature evaluation.
It refers to drawing conclusions on the basis of assumptions. Inferring is a common barrier in communication, Drawing conclusions without directly seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, or deciding without gathering facts will be unwarranted and erroneous. But inferences are necessary and desirable in scientific study and research.
d. Frozen evaluation
It is another drawback to effective communication. It is that stereotyped impression that ignores significant differences or changes. We must be able to perceive the differences or changes.
To avoid frozen evaluation the following are the panaceas:
Allowing for individual differences:
In communicating, this element is essential because no two persons are identical in physique, mind, and communication. One customer or employee will be certainly different from the other. You must trim the message to the requirement of an individual.
Allowing for differences in degree:
It is essential to avoid frozen evaluations. It [s not justified to declare a product as good or bad ignoring the middle areas of quality. So extreme comments should be avoided. Declaring as hard or soft, good or bad, black or white, light or strong is actually polarizing. You must allow for difference in degree. Dichotomy should be avoided.
Allowing for time difference:
It is essential. A bad thing or product at one time may not be bed the next time. To have genuine opinion or right decision you must allow for time difference.
Influence of Attitudes, Opinions, and Emotions
When information is according to our hopes, views, and attitude we tend to accept it and react favorably. On the other hand, if the information is against our will, desire, or attitude we lend to reject it or react negatively to it or even toward the informer. Rejecting, distorting, and avoiding are three undesirable negative ways that a receiver reacts to unfavorable information.
Emotional condition oral communicator is important when he receives or sends the message. Undesirable emotions like anger, fear, hatred, and worry adversely affect any kind of information.
The close mind
The persons with close mind refuse to consider new facts. Such people have limited or incorrect knowledge. They don’t open their mind to welcome new ideas, facts.