Chapter 5 COMMUNICATION ESSENTIALS
Four basic forms of communication: reading, writing,
speaking, and listening.
Communication – is the act of transmitting information
and meaning from one individual or group to another. The
goal of communication is to convey information, requests,
questions, or ideas effectively.
Information received in writing is called written
communication: letters, memos, electronic messages, note
jotted on a scratch pad.
Other communication reaches you via face-to-face
conversations or by telephone, voicemail, teleconference,
radio, and television.
Spoken messages are called oral communication.
Speaking and writing both involve the use of words and
are considered verbal communication.
Nonverbal communication, no words are used. Ex. When
you smile as someone passes by, when you repeatedly
glance at the clock, you indicate your concern about time.
Communication Takes Two
Effective communication is a two-way process.
Sender: the originator of a thought, idea, or piece of
Receiver: the individual to whom the thought, idea, or
information is transmitted.
Message: the thought, idea, or information
Forms of message:
o A simple request
o A piece of information
o A thought or opinion
o A question
Feedback: response; information returned to the sender
that indicates whether the message is understood; may be
verbal or nonverbal.
Communication has not taken place until the message
transmitted by the sender is received by the receiver and
the feedback comes back to the sender.
Communication Skills Are Critical
The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most
important skills you can possess.
Personal assessment, practice, and refinement are
required to develop good communication skills.
Communication skills, including written and oral
presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are
the main factors contributing to job success.
The challenge in today’s electronic world is to take the
time to make our communications clear, concise,
courteous, complete, and correct.
The elements of a good written communication include
good grammar, spelling, organization, and structure.
Most occupations require written skills. (e.g. letters and
emails, research and preparing works, slide presentations
The ability to put your thoughts in writing is an important
skill in your personal life, too. (e.g. letter of application for
a job, personal web page)
While “text speak” may be appropriate for informal text
messages and e-mails to friends, it is not appropriate for
business letters or e-mails, including those that you send
to your instructor.
EFFECTIVE WRITING TIPS
Ask yourself: “What am I trying to achieve by this
Use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. “Text
speak” is not appropriate for business letters or e-mails.
Organize your communication logically.
Get to your point quickly. State your purpose in the first
paragraph of your message.
Make sure your message is clear, concise, courteous,
complete and correct.
Present data to support your request, conclusions, or
recommendations (where appropriate).
Avoid use of slang words.
Be clear about the feedback you want.
Choose an appropriate written communication method.
An e-mail message may be the faster method, but a
written document may better fit the circumstances.
Proofread your text even if the spelling checker says there
are no errors. Misspelled words and punctuation errors
detract from your message and convey a negative
Ask others to review your work. It is difficult to spot errors
in your own writing.
Newly-hired employees are expected to be able to
Many problems in the workplace are traced to ineffective
Misunderstanding can also arise when you communicate
verbally with family or friends, although they will probably
be better able to infer your true meaning because they
know you well or ask you to clarify what you said.
DO’S AND DON’TS OF GOOD ORAL COMMUNICATION
Speak clearly and courteously. Use um or ah as “fillers”
Avoid the overuse of the word
Think before you speak. Make personal attacks
Say your main thoughts or
points first and then elaborate.
Be rude or pushy
Apologize if you err or misspeak. Jump from topic to topic
without a transition
Consider your audience and Use meaningless phrases or
empathize with your listener. words—you know, like.
Use positive language. Expect others to always agree
Use standard language and
enunciate words properly.
Use informal words or phrases
known only to a select group.
Show interest in the listener’s
Cut off feedback.
If your words convey one message and your nonverbal
message communicates another, the nonverbal message
will be stronger.
Everything about you communicates a message.
Hand gestures, body language and posture, facial
expression, eye contact, and touch are all forms of
More feelings and intentions are sent and received
nonverbally than verbally.
o Gestures. Many people use gestures as a normal
part of communication when talking.
o Body Language and Posture. The most way of
sending or receiving nonverbal messages.
o Facial Expressions such as a raised eyebrow,
frown, yawn, smile, wink, wrinkled forehead, or
slight sneer all communicate a message. Some
expressions are readily visible, while others are
momentary. A good listener constantly observes
facial expression to interpret the message of the
o Eye Contact is a powerful form of nonverbal
communication. Making direct eye contact
conveys sincerity and a feeling of trust.
Downward glances generally indicate modesty or
an uneasy situation.
o Touch is often called tactile (physical)
communication. Adds an emotional impact to
the message as well. When tactile information is
used appropriately, it is more direct than many
words. Used improperly, touch can build
animosity, mistrust, and barriers.
Important factor in nonverbal communication.
The space you put between yourself and others in order to
feel comfortable is called your personal space.
Be aware of your space requirements and respect the
requirements of others.
Most people require 2-3 feet of personal space.
How close you normally stand to someone when you talk
with that person depends on whom you are talking with
and under what circumstances.
Personal space requirements are affected by environment,
culture, status, and gender.
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
Ideal communication is straightforward.
What makes it complex and sometimes frustrating are the
barriers that interfere with the communication process.
o Word Choice. Use words your listeners will
understand or define any words you feel may be
misunderstood. Be careful when using unfamiliar
Colloquialisms – words or phrases that
are often used in a geographical area
and more informal settings and most
common in conversations. These
words often have multiple meanings
and are also called slang.
Jargon – specific language that is
related to the work environment; is
the technical terminology or
characteristic words and ideas that
belong to a specific type of work or
filed of knowledge. It may be
unfamiliar terms, acronyms,
abbreviations, or shortened words.
Sexist Language. Using gender-neutral
language (language use that aims at
minimizing assumptions about gender)
is ethically sound and appropriate.
Speaking in a sexist manner may
alienate your listeners and discourage
them from communicating with you.
o Confusing Messages. Clear messages create
effective communication because they eliminate
the need for requests for additional information
o Poor Channel Choice. Using the proper
communication channel helps the receiver
understand the nature and importance of the
o Interruptions, Distractions, and Distance.
Interruption may be due to something more
immediate than the work at hand, such as an
unexpected visitor, a telephone call, or an
emergency. Distractions such as the slamming of
a door, a siren, a conversation in an adjacent
cubicle, or a noisy printer are all potential
o Information Overload refers to an excessive
amount of information being provided, which
makes processing and absorbing the information
o False Assumptions or Stereotyping are major
barriers to communication when people assume
they already know what is about to be said. A
stereotype is a generalized perception or first
impression based on oversimplified beliefs or
opinions about a person, event, group, or object.
The process by which we make sense out of what we hear
Barriers to Listening
Thinking Ahead to What You Want To Say
Mind Moving Too Fast
Lack of Attention
Active listener makes a conscious effort to hear not only
the words that another person is saying but, more
importantly, to try and understand the total message
Prepare to Listen
Focus on what is being said and block out what is not
important at the time.
Prepare yourself mentally and physically to listen.
Avoid Emotional Response
You cannot fully listen to points of view or process
information when you are arguing mentally or judging
what is being said before the person stops speaking.
Critical Listening – separate facts from opinions
Fact – information that can be proven
Opinion – based on personal beliefs or feelings.
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
The communication model includes the sender, the
message, the receiver, and the feedback. All four elements
must be in place for two-way communication to occur.
The forms of communication are written, oral, and
Common communication barriers include poor word
choice, confusing messages, poor channel selection,
interruptions and distractions, information overload, and
Listening is the process by which you make sense by what
you hear. Hearing alone is not listening because hearing
only means that you recognize that a message is sent; you
may or may not be translating the information and trying
to achieve common understanding between you and the
Common barriers to effective listening include
distractions, selective listening, lack of attention, the mind
moving too fast, or thinking about what you want to say.
Good listening skills include preparing to listen and
avoiding emotional responses.
Active listeners concentrate on what is being said and
listen with deliberate intention to understand the
message. Active listening can clarify points of agreement
and prevent disagreements.
Critical listeners can separate fact from opinion. Facts are
statements that can be proven. Opinions are based on
personal beliefs or feelings.
Masters, L.A., et al. (2011). Personal Development for Work and Life.
Cengage Learning Asia Pte. Ltd.
Mrs. Maria Angela L. Diopol