Human spoken and pictorial languages can be described as a system of symbols (sometimes known as lexemes) and the grammars (rules) by which the symbols are manipulated. The word “language” also refers to common properties of languages. Language learning normally occurs most intensively during human childhood. Most of the thousands of human languages use patterns of sound or gesture for symbols which enable communication with others around them. Languages seem to share certain properties although many of these include exceptions.
There is no defined line between a language and a dialect. Constructed languages such as Esperanto, programming languages, and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by human languages. Communication is the flow or exchange of information within people or a group of people. A variety of verbal and non-verbal means of communicating exists such as body language, eye contact, sign language, haptic communication, chronemics, and media content such as pictures, graphics, sound, and writing.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also defines the communication to include the display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia, as well as written and plain language, human-reader, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communication technology. Feedback is critical to effective communication between participants. Nonverbal communication[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication describes the process of conveying meaning in the form of non-word messages. Some forms of non verbal communication include chronemics, haptics, gesture, body language or posture, facial expression and eye contact, object communication such as clothing, hairstyles, architecture, symbols, infographics, and tone of voice, as well as through an aggregate of the above. Speech also contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage.
These include voice lesson quality, emotion and speaking style as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Research has shown that up to 55% of spoken communication may occur through non verbal facial expressions, and a further 38% through paralanguage. Likewise, written texts include nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words and the use of emoticons to convey emotional expressions in pictorial form. Oral communication[edit source | editbeta]
Oral communication, while primarily referring to spoken verbal communication, can also employ visual aids and non-verbal elements to support the conveyance of meaning. Oral communication includes speeches, presentations, discussions, and aspects of interpersonal communication. As a type of face-to-face communication, body language and choice tonality play a significant role, and may have a greater impact upon the listener than informational content. This type of communication also garners immediate feedback. Business communication[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Business communication
A business can flourish only when all objectives of the organization are achieved effectively. For efficiency in an organization, all the people of the organization must be able to convey their message properly. Written communication and its historical development[edit source | editbeta] Over time the forms of and ideas about communication have evolved through the continuing progression of technology. Advances include communications psychology and media psychology, an emerging field of study. The progression of written communication can be divided into three revolutionary stages called “Information Communication Revolutions”.
During the first stage, written communication first emerged through the use of pictographs. The pictograms were made in stone, hence written communication was not yet mobile. During the second stage, writing began to appear on paper, papyrus, clay, wax, etc. with common alphabets. The third stage is characterized by the transfer of information through controlled waves of electromagnetic radiation (i.e., radio, microwave, infrared) and other electronic signals.
Communication is thus a process by which meaning is assigned and conveyed in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process, which requires a vast repertoire of skills in interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, gestures, and evaluating enables collaboration and cooperation. Misunderstandings can be anticipated and solved through formulations, questions and answers, paraphrasing, examples, and stories of strategic talk. Written communication can be clarified by planning follow-up talks on critical written communication as part of the every-day way of doing business.
A few minutes spent talking in the present will save valuable time later by avoiding misunderstandings in advance. A frequent method for this purpose is reiterating what one heard in one’s own words and asking the other person if that really was what was meant. Effective communication[edit source | editbeta]
Effective communication occurs when a desired effect is the result of intentional or unintentional information sharing, which is interpreted between multiple entities and acted on in a desired way. This effect also ensures the message is not distorted during the communication process. Effective communication should generate the desired effect and maintain the effect, with the potential to increase the effect of the message.
Therefore, effective communication serves the purpose for which it was planned or designed. Possible purposes might be to elicit change, generate action, create understanding, inform or communicate a certain idea or point of view. When the desired effect is not achieved, factors such as barriers to communication are explored, with the intention being to discover how the communication has been ineffective. Barriers to effective human communication[edit source | editbeta] Barriers to effective communication can retard or distort the message and intention of the message being conveyed which may result in failure of the communication process or an effect that is undesirable.
These include filtering, selective perception, information overload, emotions, language, silence, communication apprehension, gender differences and political correctness  This also includes a lack of expressing “knowledge-appropriate” communication, which occurs when a person uses ambiguous or complex legal words, medical jargon, or descriptions of a situation or environment that is not understood by the recipient. Physical barriers[edit source | editbeta]
Physical barriers are often due to the nature of the environment. An example of this is the natural barrier which exists if staff are located in different buildings or on different sites. Likewise, poor or outdated equipment, particularly the failure of management to introduce new technology, may also cause problems.
Staff shortages are another factor which frequently causes communication difficulties for an organization. While distractions like background noise, poor lighting or an environment which is too hot or cold can all affect people’s morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication.4444 System design[edit source | editbeta]
System design faults refer to problems with the structures or systems in place in an organization. Examples might include an organizational structure which is unclear and therefore makes it confusing to know whom to communicate with. Other examples could be inefficient or inappropriate information systems, a lack of supervision or training, and a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities which can lead to staff being uncertain about what is expected of them. Attitudinal barriers[edit source | editbeta]
Attitudinal barriers come about as a result of problems with staff in an organization. These may be brought about, for example, by such factors as poor management, lack of consultation with employees, personality conflicts which can result in people delaying or refusing to communicate, the personal attitudes of individual employees which may be due to lack of motivation or dissatisfaction at work, brought about by insufficient training to enable them to carry out particular tasks, or just resistance to change due to entrenched attitudes and ideas, it may be as a result delay in payment at the end of the month.
Ambiguity of words/phrases[edit source | editbeta]
Words sounding the same but having different meaning can convey a different meaning altogether. Hence the communicator must ensure that the receiver receives the same meaning. It is better if such words are avoided by using alternatives whenever possible. Individual linguistic ability[edit source | editbeta]
The use of jargon, difficult or inappropriate words in communication can prevent the recipients from understanding the message. Poorly explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. However, research in communication has shown that confusion can lend legitimacy to research when persuasion fails. Physiological barriers[edit source | editbeta]
These may result from individuals’ personal discomfort, caused—for example—by ill health, poor eyesight or hearing difficulties. Presentation of information[edit source | editbeta]
Presentation of information is important to aid understanding. Simply put, the communicator must consider the audience before making the presentation itself and in cases where it is not possible the presenter can at least try to simplify his/her vocabulary so that the majority can understand. Nonhuman communication[edit source | editbeta]
See also: Biocommunication (science) and Interspecies communication Every information exchange between living organisms — i.e. transmission of signals that involve a living sender and receiver can be considered a form of communication; and even primitive creatures such as corals are competent to communicate. Nonhuman communication also include cell signaling, cellular communication, and chemical transmissions between primitive organisms like bacteria and within the plant and fungal kingdoms. Animal communication[edit source | editbeta]
The broad field of animal communication encompasses most of the issues in ethology. Animal communication can be defined as any behavior of one animal that affects the current or future behavior of another animal. The study of animal communication, called zoo semiotics (distinguishable from anthroposemiotics, the study of human communication) has played an important part in the development of ethology, sociobiology, and the study of animal cognition.
Animal communication, and indeed the understanding of the animal world in general, is a rapidly growing field, and even in the 21st century so far, a great share of prior understanding related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, has been revolutionized. Plants and fungi[edit source | editbeta]
Communication is observed within the plant organism, i.e. within plant cells and between plant cells, between plants of the same or related species, and between plants and non-plant organisms, especially in the root zone. Plant roots communicate in parallel with rhizome bacteria, with fungi and with insects in the soil. These parallel sign-mediated interactions are governed by syntactic, pragmatic, and semantic rules, and are possible because of the decentralized “nervous system” of plants.
The original meaning of the word “neuron” in Greek is “vegetable fiber” and recent research has shown that most of the microorganism plant communication processes are neuronal-like. Plants also communicate via volatiles when exposed to herbivory attack behavior, thus warning neighboring plants. In parallel they produce other volatiles to attract parasites which attack these herbivores. In stress situations plants can overwrite the genomes they inherited from their parents and revert to that of their grand- or great-grandparents. Fungi communicate to coordinate and organize their growth and development such as the formation of Marcelia and fruiting bodies.
Fungi communicate with their own and related species as well as with non fungal organisms in a great variety of symbiotic interactions, especially with bacteria, unicellular eukaryote, plants and insects through biochemicals of biotic origin. The biochemicals trigger the fungal organism to react in a specific manner, while if the same chemical molecules are not part of biotic messages, they do not trigger the fungal organism to react. This implies that fungal organisms can differentiate between molecules taking part in biotic messages and similar molecules being irrelevant in the situation.
So far five different primary signalling molecules are known to coordinate different behavioral patterns such as filamentation, mating, growth, and pathogenicity. Behavioral coordination and production of signaling substances is achieved through interpretation processes that enables the organism to differ between self or non-self, a biotic indicator, biotic message from similar, related, or non-related species, and even filter out “noise”, i.e. similar molecules without biotic content. Bacteria quorum sensing[edit source | editbeta]
Communication is not a tool used only by humans, plants and animals, but it is also used by microorganisms like bacteria. The process is called quorum sensing. Through quorum sensing, bacteria are able to sense the density of cells, and regulate gene expression accordingly. This can be seen in both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. This was first observed by Fuqua et al. in marine microorganisms like V. harveyi and V. fischeri. Communication cycle
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