What is communication? 02/06/2010

The buzz word that’s going around is ‘Communication’ and though I have been dealing with the subject/topic for over two decades, I am yet to understand the meaning of the term.

The other day, at a management association meeting, the speaker stressed the importance of communication skills, adding that it was a gray area among our software professionals.

The next day, at an informal get-together of a few “intellectuals”, I noticed a few of them expressed a similar opinion. This prompted me to ask whether they meant not being conversant in the language (Speaking English is not a problem with urbanites at least , as far as I know) or with their expression.

Neither, came the prompt answer from one of them. Then where lies the problem, I asked, puzzled.

We either over communicate by talking too much and not coming to the point or talk about everything else and miss the point in the process, explained he.

In both cases the purpose is lost, don’t you think? I observed.

You are right grandma. Only yesterday my teacher explained the difference between conversation and communication ,I believe the first may or may not have a purpose but  communication should certainly have a purpose  and should be to the point,” I heard a young voice explaining the difference . It was  that of my  ten-year-old grandson who  apparently was listening to our discussion.

N Meera Raghavendra Rao


One thought on “What is communication? 02/06/2010

  1. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    Communication can be one-way or two-way but as you rightly said, it is always purposeful. Parents, teachers and superiors in organizations usually give orders & advise through one-way communication, and do not tolerate being questioned, whereas counsellors, negotiators & mentors in orgns prefer two-way comm’n by encouraging the recipient of the comm’n to ask questions if they have doubts. It can also be verbal or non-verbal communication. However conversation is talk between two or more people in which thoughts, feelings, and ideas are expressed, questions are asked and answered and news, rumours and information are exchanged. This obviously means that it has to be a two-way communication. And as you rightly point out, it is often purposeful, yet it could have no purpose other than killing time when it is idle-chatter.

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