Communication principles and strategies Essay

Many say that communication is quite a complex matter. Marketers, for instance, need to understand how communication works because it involves a lot of elements - Communication principles and strategies Essay introduction. Two of these elements are the major parties in a communication process—the sender and the receiver. Another two are the major communication tools—the message and the media. Four more are major communication functions—encoding, decoding, response and feedback.  (Principles of Communication).

            For instance, a marketing communicator starts with a clear target audience in mind. The audience may be potential buyers or current users, those who make the buying decision or those who influence it. The audience may be individuals, groups, special publics or the general public. The target audience will heavily affect the communicator’s decisions on what will be said, how it will be said, when it will be said, where it will be said and who will say it. Once a target audience has been defined, the marketing communicator must decide what response is sought. Of course, in most cases, the final response is purchase. But purchase is the result of a long process of consumer decision-making. (Principles of Communication).

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            Communication is a two-way process. It involves a giving and a receiving of information through several channels. Some of the basic principles of communication are often summarized in the following:

Know your audience.
Know your purpose.
Know your topic.
Anticipate objections.
Present a rounded picture.
Achieve credibility with your audience.
Follow through on what you say.
Communicate a little at a time.
Present information in several ways.
Develop a practical, useful way to get feedback.
Use multiple communication techniques. (source: Principles of Communication).
Communication changes according to how one filters it based on his/her beliefs and preconceived ideas. Sometimes communication changes because it is influenced by several environmental factors such as the kind of room or environment, the appearance of the speaker, his reputation, the listener’s background or the language and design of the message. (Principles of Communication).

Effective communication and attentive listening are buzzwords in the organizations world lately. And so are team management and team building. For actual managers, however, fulfilling the happy and promising pictures of these vogues in organizational management are far more difficult than what are described in books and journals. People are complex entities with unique needs, and have the seemingly endless desire to be noticed and given importance. The sender can promote the activity so that the members become attentive listeners themselves. According to Bruce Wilson, attentive listening is “thinking and acting in ways that connect you with the speaker.” Creating connection is the key to attentive listening. Apart from the simple act of hearing, it involves the concerted and simultaneous efforts of “thinking” and “acting.” Attentive listening, akin to active listening, calls for conscious attention to keenly interpret the stimuli that our aural sense receives. It is indeed a skill to be learned, in that it takes practice to completely master it and to observe the effect it has on people.  The concept of attentive listening is the work of pure genius. Not only is it inherent for us humans to listen to others but it is also intrinsic for us to desire to be listened to (Guide to Successful Communications).

There are several strategies for an effective communication. The first step to this is that in any communication activity, it is important to define the message that is to be relayed. (Guide to Successful Communications). For this to be successful would require clear agreement and coordination among all the parties who act as spokespersons or information sources. All data must be specific and clear in order for the message to be imparted properly (Guide to Successful Communications).

            The next step is to target the audience. This means that one needs to reconcile the communications goals. Next is selecting the tools which can come in the form of magazines, television, or even websites. Today, the Internet plays a major role in informing the public of news in an instant. There is a need to plan a regular flow of information by creating a lively dialogue where one gains opportunities for publicity (Guide to Successful Communications).

Author Brian Fraser adds that careful listening, as part of the communication process that create common meaning for the team, allows leaders to “discover a powerful image around which they could organize…what they were attempting to accomplish.” Indeed, as a leader, one must have his/her own visions and maximize the authority and responsibility bestowed upon them to fulfil that vision. Attentive listening therefore, serves as the channel through which one can align personal goals to the desires of the members themselves. Going back to socially chaotic groups, attentive listening will mitigate a head-on battle of wills between a person and oppositions, and hopefully in the long run, creates a smooth-sailing and harmonious professional journey for all (Fraser).

            Listening with utmost care and attention fosters trust among the members, according to Fraser. Trust in an organization is of greatest importance, for without trust discord is cultivated. The end results of all these are unproductive use of time and energy and unmet potentials of both team members and leaders. Attentive listening, among other communication tools, provides a vent where individuals can discharge their negative perceptions. Other than foster trust, attentive listening may also promote friendship and camaraderie. It has been posited in several studies that the happiest or most content employees are those who have friends in the workplace. Attentive listening is more crucial during the formative period of the team, because it facilitates the process of learning about each other and hence, the formation of trust and comradeship. Therefore, one needs to employ attentive listening as a communication strategy in order to break through the barriers that the workers may create against their would-be leader.

REFERENCES

Fraser, B. (n.d.). Managing and Leading Great Teams. Retrieved July 23, 2007, from http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brian_Fraser

Guide to Successful Communications. Retrieved July 23, 2007, from

http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/science-communication/comstrategy_en.html

Principles of Communication. Retrieved July 23, 2007, from

            http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/CUTS/bench/commun.htm

 

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