Communication is a process of transferring information from one entity to another. Communication processes are sign-mediated interactions between at least two agents which share a repertoire of signs and semiotic rules. Communication is commonly defined as “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs”. Communication can be perceived as a two-way process in which there is an exchange and progression of thoughts, feelings or ideas towards a mutually accepted[clarification needed] goal or direction!
Communication, as an academic discipline, has a long history.
Communication is a process whereby information is enclosed in a package and is discreeted and imparted by sender to a receiver via a channel/medium. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. There are auditory means, such as speaking, singing and sometimes tone of voice, and nonverbal, physical means, such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, touch, eye contact, by using writing.
Communication is thus a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. It is through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur.
There are also many common barriers to successful communication, two of which are message overload (when a person receives too many messages at the same time), and message complexity. communication is a continuous process.
Types of communication
There are three major parts in human face to face communication which are body language, voice tonality, and words. According to the research:
• 55% of impact is determined by body language—postures, gestures, and eye contact,
• 38% by the tone of voice, and
• 7% by the content or the words used in the communication process.
Although the exact percentage of influence may differ from variables such as the listener and the speaker, communication as a whole strives for the same goal and thus, in some cases, can be universal. System of signals, such as voice sounds, intonations or pitch, gestures or written symbols which communicate thoughts or feelings. If a language is about communicating with signals, voice, sounds, gestures, or written symbols, can animal communications be considered as a language? Animals do not have a written form of a language, but use a language to communicate with each another. In that sense, an animal communication can be considered as a separate language.
Human spoken and written 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” is also used to refer to common properties of languages. Language learning is normal in human childhood. Most human languages use patterns of sound or gesture for symbols which enable communication with others around them. There are thousands of human languages, and these seem to share certain properties, even though many shared properties have exceptions.
There is no defined line between a language and a dialect, but the linguist Max Weinreich is credited as saying that “a language is a dialect with an army and a navy”. Constructed languages such as Esperanto, programming languages, and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by human languages.
Nonverbal communication is the process of communicating through sending and receiving wordless messages. Such messages can be communicated through gesture, body language or posture; facial expression and eye contact, object communication such as clothing, hairstyles or even architecture, or symbols and infographics, as well as through an aggregate of the above, such as behavioral communication. Nonverbal communication plays a key role in every person’s day to day life, from employment to romantic engagements.
Speech may also contain nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, emotion and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the use of emoticons.A portmanteau of the English words emotion (or emote) and icon, an emoticon is a symbol or combination of symbols used to convey emotional content in written or message form.
Other communication channels such as telegraphy fit into this category, whereby signals travel from person to person by an alternative means. These signals can in themselves be representative of words, objects or merely be state projections. Trials have shown that humans can communicate directly in this way without body language, voice tonality or words.
Categories and Features G. W. Porter divides non-verbal communication into four broad categories:
Physical. This is the personal type of communication. It includes facial expressions, tone of voice, sense of touch, sense of smell, and body motions.
Aesthetic. This is the type of communication that takes place through creative expressions: playing instrumental music, dancing, painting and sculpturing.
Signs. This is the mechanical type of communication, which includes the use of signal flags, the 21-gun salute, horns, and sirens.
Symbolic. This is the type of communication that makes use of religious, status, or ego-building symbols.
Distance. The distance one stands from another frequently conveys a non-verbal message. In some cultures it is a sign of attraction, while in others it may reflect status or the intensity of the exchange.
Orientation. People may present themselves in various ways: face-to-face, side-to-side, or even back-to-back. For example, cooperating people are likely to sit side-by-side while competitors frequently face one another.
Posture. Obviously one can be lying down, seated, or standing. These are not the elements of posture that convey messages. Are we slouched or erect ? Are our legs crossed or our arms folded ? Such postures convey a degree of formality and the degree of relaxation in the communication exchange.
Physical Contact. Shaking hands, touching, holding, embracing, pushing, or patting on the back all convey messages. They reflect an element of intimacy or a feeling of (or lack of) attraction.
Facial Expressions. A smile, frown, raised eyebrow, yawn, and sneer all convey information. Facial expressions continually change during interaction and are monitored constantly by the recipient. There is evidence that the meaning of these expressions may be similar across cultures.
Gestures. One of the most frequently observed, but least understood, cues is a hand movement. Most people use hand movements regularly when talking. While some gestures (e.g., a clenched fist) have universal meanings, most of the others are individually learned and idiosyncratic.
Looking. A major feature of social communication is eye contact. It can convey emotion, signal when to talk or finish, or aversion. The frequency of contact may suggest either interest or boredom.
Visual communication as the name suggests is communication through visual aid. It is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, colour and electronic resources. It solely relies on vision. It is form of communication with visual effect. It explores the idea that a visual message with text has a greater power to inform, educate or persuade a person. It is communication by presenting information through visual form.
The evaluation of a good visual design is based on measuring comprehension by the audience, not on aesthetic or artistic preference. There are no universally agreed-upon principles of beauty and ugliness. There exists a variety of ways to present information visually, like gestures, body languages, video and TV. Here, focus is on the presentation of text, pictures, diagrams, photos, et cetera, integrated on a computer display. The term visual presentation is used to refer to the actual presentation of information. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability. Graphic designers use methods of visual communication in their professional practice.
Other types of communication
Other more specific types of communication are for example:
• Facilitated communication
• Graphic communication
• Nonviolent Communication
• Science communication
• Strategic Communication
• Superluminal communication
• Technical communication
“This article is brought to you by Gus Woltmann”.