How Communication works

Varieties of Communication

Tasks, tools and elements of communication

Definition of Communication  

The Basic Skills  Communication competence is the ability to decide which is the most effective and productive way to exchange information, depending upon circumstances and the situation you find yourself in. Being competent also means that you can do so without making the other party lose face. To achieve that competence we will begin with the basic communication skills, and the tools you have to use to master them; how to make sure the message is presented clearly so that it can be understood; how to listen effectively; and how to respond to the person being communicated with.

How to present an idea

Image  Organization and sector of activity  Organizational Culture  Professional reputation and standards

Nonverbal Communication    Nonverbal communication includes body language, gestures, tone of voice, dress, personal space, touch, possessions, and the office environment. Nonverbal communication can be as subtle as a slight pause before saying a specific word, the way it is pronounced, or the expression we make—or do not make— when we say it.

Listening and Feedback Listening is one of the most important tools in the communication toolbox for creating meaningful, productive, and profitable relationships. Coupled with feedback, it  also keeps the channels of communication open in both directions. Together they create an atmosphere, a organizational culture, in which people are more willing to offer suggestions, insights, and observations that may contribute to the common goals. 

Motivating the Project Team -  Working effectively in teams  Group dynamics is the study of how people work together in small groups. A group is a collection of people who gather together for a common purpose.

Message Distortion   Message distortion occurs whenever a message sent by one communicator is interpreted differently by the person receiving the message.  Complex and costly examples of message distortion often occur on the job when someone misinterprets instructions about completing a task. 
The distortion of messages occurs for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that the human mind by its very nature cannot perceive all of the stimuli that it receives from the world around us.  Although we cannot eliminate distortion completely when we send messages in an organizational (or any other) setting, this module provides a number of suggestions about how we can reduce message distortion.

Information Overload   As information input increase, our output and productivity increase—up to a point.  That is, up to a point the more information we have, the better we are able to do the things we do on the job.  But once we reach that point, we start to actually get too much information.
When information input is too great, breakdowns start to occur and tension builds within any individual.   As this tension increases, errors in processing the information and message we are receiving begin to increase more and more.  We overlook things, make mistakes, misinterpret messages, and so forth.
Information overload occurs whenever a person or system receives information or messages at a faster rate than they can be processed.  As input increases, output also increases up to a point, but when input is too great, breakdown occurs.   As tension within the individual builds, errors in processing information and messages increase.
There are a number of ways that human beings deal with information overload, two of which are reactive—reactive perceptual and reactive arbitrary methods—and one is proactive: reactive perceptual methods include leveling, assimilation, and queuing; reactive arbitrary methods include arbitrary rules and escape; proactive methods include chunking, filtering, and organizational filtering.  This module will also explore delegating and managing time to better cope with overload.

The "Water Cooler" Every organization has its “rumor mill,” or “grapevine.” It could be centred in the cafeteria, the employee lounge, or the mailroom. Or even the water cooler. Today, however, you no longer need a physical space to spread gossip and rumours, or even a telephone system. We have cyberspace—e-mail and the Internet, chat rooms and bulletin boards.

Is There Really a Problem?  How basic communication skills can be used to determine if there really is a problem, and then at how to identify and define it. Sometimes the problem is not what is going on. It is how you are reacting to it, or what you are expecting.   Guideline: 10 steps to take in defining a problem

Guidelines on How to Put Solutions To Work    Problems are “changes” in the way things go. Solutions are also changes. Some people and organizations are better able to handle change than others. At times, a problem can become so entrenched that it becomes “comfortable.” It can even become “normal.” There can actually be resistance to a solution because people are more worried about making a change than they are in living with the problem.

Training as a Communication Strategy

Communicating to External Stakeholders

Characteristics of a "learning organization" 

Speacking to inform

Guidelines on Effective Writing  

Guidelines for Public Speaking 

Meetings, Problem Solving and Decision Making

 Communicating Financial Information 

See also: Organisational Communication and Impact Oriented Programme Management