Communication notes and Summaries


The term “Verbal” implies ‘use of words’ which makes language. Verbal communication means communication through spoken and written words. The process of communication involves the use of a common set of language between the sender and the receiver. Words are the most accurate and powerful symbols. Therefore, most of the communication in work organization takes place through words.



Oral communication means spoken communication or communication through speech. A person learns to speak much before writing. Speech or oral use of language is a widely used method of communication; oral communication takes place through face-to-face talks (both formal and informal).


Advantages of oral communication

(i) Immediate Feedback

(ii) Economical

(iii) Personal Touch

(iv) Flexibility

(v) Time Saving

(vi) Secrecy

(vii) Group Communication


Limitation of Oral Communication

(i) Poor Retention

(ii) No Records

(iii) Time-Consuming

(iv) Misunderstanding

(v) Lengthy Messages

(vi) Lack of Responsibility

(vii) Imprecise



Listening is an essential part of spoken communication. Speaking and listening go together and oral communication can not be effective without proper listening. Poor listening defeats the very purpose of spoken words. Listening is a deliberate effort and is much more than hearing. It requires getting the full meaning of what is being said.


Listening is of various types depending upon the speaker.

  1. Discriminative Listening: - when the listener differentiates between different parts of the speaker messages.
  2. Evaluative Listening: - listening is said to be evaluative when the listener evaluates the evidence and reaches a conclusion.
  3. Appreciative Listening: - here the listener shows by words or his body language that he likes some part of a speech and agrees with the speaker.
  4. Empathic Listening: - when the listener puts himself in the place of the position of the speaker it is called Empathic Listening.
  5. Active Listening



  1. Stop talking as it is impossible to talk and listen at same time
  2. Fight off all distractions
  3. Be patient and let the speaker to say whatever needs to be said
  4. Be emphatic and appreciates the emotions behind the speaker’s words
  5. Be fully attentive
  6. Create a positive listening environment
  7. Use feedback mechanism to check understanding
  8. Withhold judgment until we have heard fully
  9. Ask questions and seek clarification wherever necessary
  10. React to the message not to the person



While oral communication is natural and spontaneous, written communication requires conscious effort.



  1. Written communication requires a lot of imagination and efforts. It is a creative activity.
  2. Written communication takes much more time than oral communication. The sender has to plan out its message and write (encode) it carefully. The message id sent and the receiver decodes it.
  3. Written communication has fewer cycles than oral communication which has multiple cycles.


Advantages of written communication

(i) Wide Access

(ii) Precision and Accuracy

(iii) Repetition

(iv) Mechanical Efficiency

(v) Aids Control

(vi) Permanent record

(vii) Legal Evidence

(viii) Lengthy Evidence

(ix) Fixed Responsibility

(x) Convenience


Limitation of Written Communication

(i) Time Consuming

(ii) Costly

(iii) Lack of Secrecy

(iv) Rigidity

(v) Impersonal

(vi) Delayed Feedback


Non-Verbal Communication

Human beings communicate in many ways other than through words. Words often fail to convey the exact meaning. Therefore, pictures, drawings, sounds are often used to convey messages.



Sign languages involves use of audio and visual signals

  1. Audio (Sounds) Signals: - The main advantages of sound signals are given below
  2. Sound signals convey the message very quickly. For example, the hooting of a siren in the factory immediately makes the workers active.
  3. Sound signals are very useful for managing time.
  4. The working of an organization can be streamlined with the help of buzzers and such other signals.
  5. Visual Signs/Aids: - Visual aids help communicators to get their message, across more effectively to their audience. Visual aids help by making material more interesting, clarifying and simplifying complex subjects and highlighting important points for better retention by the audience.
  1. Visual signals like pictures and poster convey the message very easily and economically.
  2. Colourfull photographs and paintings make communication interesting and motivating.
  3. Pictures, posters etc. reflects the mental make-up and cultural backgrounds of the communicator.
  4. Poster and painting are useful for informing and educating illiterate people.
  5. Posters are an effective means of advertising.


  1. A great amount of skill and effort is required to draw effective pictures, posters and cartoons
  2. Only simple and elementary ideas can be communicated through sign language.
  3. Sign language cannot be a substitute for but only a supplement to verbal communication.
  4. People can misunderstand sign language.
  5. On the spot correction is not possible in sign language.



The word para language means ‘like’ and therefore, para language is ‘like language’. It is non verbal because it does not involve use of words. But it is like verbal communication because it is related to the way words are spoken. A wide range of sign and signals are used in para language.

  1. Voice- is the most important element of para language. The voice used by the speaker reveals his education, training, temperament, and general background. The following aspects of voice are important in communication.

(i) Speaking Speed

(ii) Pitch Variation

(iii) Volume Variation

(iv) Pause

(v) Non-fluencies

  1. Word Stress – Proper stress id highly important in communication. A speaker can change the meaning by putting stress on a word here or a word there in the same sentence. A good speaker should put proper stress on words or part of words. One good way to improve one’s words, stress is to listen to good speakers and participate in discussions. Another way is to listen to English news bulletins on radio and televisions.



  1. No oral communication is complete without para language.
  2. A speaker education and background can be judged from his way of speaking
  3. Para language of a person indicates his place in hierarchical structure of the organization.
  4. Knowledge of person’s para language is helpful in dealing with him.
  5. One can improve his para language by listening to good speakers.



  1. Para language is like a language nut not a language we cannot rely on it.
  2. Unless the listener is open minded, voice quality, speaking speed, pitch, etc may prejudice him, causing poor listening. Voice quality and speaking speed etc cannot be a substitute for intellect or wisdom. They can only complement it.
  3. Speaker belongs to different speech communities due to which it is difficult to maintain uniformity in para language.
  4. It is difficult to blend what is said and how it is said. Therefore, extra care is required to get to the exact content of the language.



The non-verbal messages signals that the person sends across through these artifacts are known as artifactual communication. Clothing, accessories, make up, hairstyle, etc. provides important non-verbal cues about ones age, economic and social status, educational level and personality. A person’s artifacts create an impression on the interviewers/audience even before the person speaks.

Personal glomming and personal hygiene have become very important due to globalization which has created multicultural environment at workplace. Minor details like clear finger nails, sober colours, polish shoes, well brush hair style, no dandruff, no smell in the mouth, a touch of deodorant have become important.



Haptics means communication through touch. It includes touching self, others and objects. The science of touch language is known as Tactilics. Touch reveals our needs, attitudes and perceptions. The amount of touching we do or acceptable, depends upon culture. Touching indicates deliberate actions and more active involvement. But it is highly sensitive issue. Careless and unwary touching is fraught with dangers.

Research reveals two types of touch language

  1. BODY CONTACT – touch are usually accidental and every part of body is involved therein
  2. TOUCH LANGUAGE- can fulfill social, psychological and physical needs. For example a mother’s touch can be a source of solace to her worried child. It can have great therapeutic value.
    1. SILENCE

Mere silence is also a method of communication. Sometimes, silence can most effectively express the response or reaction to a communication. Silence can effectively communication several responses. It can express anger, fear, refusal, disapproval, resentment, etc. When a proposal is put to an individual and she keeps quite, it signifies her acceptance of the proposal. Silence can also be used to improve oral communication. A good speaker gives a slight pause before and after making an important point during his speech.

Silence can be harmful in some cases. When a listener does not reply to a specific question, a communication gap may arise. But there is no doubt that silence is also a medium of communication. In face to face situation, silence on the part of the speaker may indicate that he is not sure of what to say or does not like the reaction of the audience. Facial expression and posture indicates the meaning behind the silence.

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