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Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Four Objectives of Communication

Communication is important in our lives.

In a way, communications is something like breathing. You can't live very long without breathing and you cannot survive very long without communicating. Communication is the thread by which you tie yourself to the world and the world to you.

Let us first consider the role of communication in your job for example.

As an employee, you never work in a vacuum. You always work with and around people. Day to day actions such as passing information and making reports all involve communication in some way or another.

So... how well you communicate will affect how well you succeed.

So, now that we've established that communication affects success (the importance of communication), let us now examine the four objectives of communication.

1. To Be Understood
2. To Be Accepted
3. To Get Something Done
4. To Understand Others

Firstly, let us start by considering the fundamental objective of communication. To be understood.

We communicate so as to let other people know about something.

The primary purpose in communication is to communicate something across to someone else so that he or she knows exactly what you mean. This could be facts, intentions or even feelings.

However, even this simple act may have its problems.

Let us consider a typical situation that occurs in many households. A husband and his wife have agreed to go for a holiday. However, the same word, "Holiday," may mean different things to different people.

For example, in our example between the husband and the wife, the wife may think of a holiday as a stay in a luxurious holiday resort while the husband may think of a holiday as a golfing or camping trip.

Words and ideas which seem so clear by themselves... can be understood in many different ways by different people.

Hence, it is important to be mindful about this fact, and take that extra effort to consider your audience and clarify your position if necessary.

In the next post, i will be discussing about the next 2 intentions of communications which are "To Be Accepted," as well as "To Get Something Done."

You might also be interested in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I like the part about having different meanings attached to the same words. Because of the fact that each of us are unique individuals with different social backgrounds, it's extremely worrying that people should assume that others know exactly what they're talking about.

Great post. Stumbled/reviewed!