N4 Communication - Basic Communication Principles for N4 students at TVET Colleges

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Module 1: Basic Communication Principles

Module 1: Basic Communication Principlesp.2-30



Speak effectively, express themselves and convey information clearlyListen wellProvide sensible feedbackMaintain sound interpersonal relationshipsMotivate, encourage and persuade co-workers towards achieving specific goalsConsider problems logically and solve them adequatelyMinimise and resolve conflictEnsure effective team work and group discussionsIncrease productivityEnsure objectives of the organisation are achievedMaintain good external public relations1.1 Effective communication p.23

Communication is a two-way process during which information is transmitted in a specific code (eg. language) and by means of a specific channel (or medium) from a sender to a receiver, who reacts to the stimulus by means of feedback.1.2 Definition: Comm process p.3


Communication process


Transmitter (Tx): It is the source of the comm, sender of the message or the communicator. He uses his whole body to encode the message.Message via code and channel (or medium). It is the information the sender intends to convey. He uses a code (example English, morse code). He transmits via a channel (telephone, letter)Receiver (R): The destination of the message, the respondent or the communicatee. The person for whom the message is intended.Elements of the comm process6

Feedback: Reaction of the receiver to the message of the sender. Feedback may be conscious or subconscious, verbal or non-verbal. Indicates extent to which the message has been understood.Noise: also known as interference or barriers. It can be caused by factors within either the sender or the receiver of the message (known as internal interference). It can be external interference (like an aeroplane passing overhead or excessive heat/cold).

Elements of the comm process7

Intrapersonal CommunicationInterpersonal CommunicationMass communicationMedia communication1.4 Categories of Comm p.5


Communication within oneself, e.g. ThinkingMeditatingDreamingPlanning conversationsConsidering alternatives

1.4.1 Intrapersonal p.5


Communication between two individualsCommunication between individuals within specific groups - 3 to 36 peopleDefinitions to know: formal group, informal group, roles, peer groups.Communication between various groups1.4.2 Interpersonal p.5


Virtually simultaneous communication of the same message by a sender to many receivers. All receive and interpret the message individually.NewspapersMagazinesRadioTelevisionFilm1.4.3 Mass Communication p.6


1.4.4 Media Comm p.712

This term refers to the channels of communication in general. Also used as a synonym for the term sender.It also refers to the complete spectrum of audio-visual aids used by communicatorsExamples: charts, graphic representations, notice boards, chalk boards, flip charts, overhead projector, slides, films, videosChoice is determined byThe objective which the sender wants to achieveThe needs and expectations of the target audience1.4.4 Media Communication p.713

PersonalityIntegrated organisation of an individuals psychological, social, moral and physical qualities, as expressed in his interaction with his environment and particularly in his interaction with other people.Frame of referenceTotal context (background) within which an individual perceives and judges matters.ReasoningLogical, coherent process of thinkingEmotionsFeelings such as hatred, love, fear, happiness, anguish, etc. experienced by a person1.5 Factors which influence comm14




1.5 Interpersonal Comm p.8Verbal CommNon-verbal Comm


Spoken: Direct: sender and receiver has eye-contactExamples: interviews, discussions in groupsIndirect: no eye-contact can be maintainedExamples: telephone, radio or television address

WrittenIndirect: no eye contactExamples: letters, books, magazinesLess indirect: A personal letter, addressed to a specific individualMore indirect: Newspaper reports aimed at the public.1.5.1 Verbal Comm p.9


Transmission of messages by means other than language, e.g. gestures, facial expressions, dress etc.Visual semiology (depends on the sight of the receiver of the message)Acoustic semiology (depends on the hearing of the receiver of the message)Tacesics or communication by means of touch (depends on the sense of touch of the receiver of the message)1.5.2 Non-verbal comm (semiology) p.10


Kinesics: comm of messages by means of bodily movement e.g. nod, frown, other facial expressions.Proxemics: How people use distance and space to communicate their ideasIntimate zone: distance meter (affectionate zone)Personal zone: distance - 1 meterSocial zone: 1 2 metersPublic zone: more than 2 metersGraphics: use of different types of lettering, photographs and illustrations to convey messages.Examples: bar charts, pie charts, pictogramsColour: red = danger, white = purity, black = mourning1.5.2.1 Visual semiologymovement





Do you agree with the chart on the right? Which colour makes you feel happy?Colour23

It involves reading messages from certain sounds or auditive signals other than language.Paralinguistics (i.e. semi-language)PitchTempo/RhythmIntensityAccentFiller sounds: interjections in the form of sounds.Music: soft music=soothing, loud=frightenSilence: Strategic use of silence conveys various messages. Acoustic Semiology p.1624

Pitch: a shrill voice might indicate fear or emotional upheaval, whereas a deep voice could indicate concernTempo and Rhythm: reflect a variation of tempo and rhythmsomeone speaks slowly = a bore,someone speaks rapidly = nervousIntensity: indicates how much emotion is behind what is being said. Thats pretty!Accent: Ones region of birth can be deduced from the way one forms or emphasises words.Paralinguistics


Cultural relativity of non-verbal comm p.17Cultural relativity: (definition): members of different culture groups attach different meanings to identical, non-verbal cues. (page 18)Examples: Use of space: Western males feel uncomfortable when sharing personal space. Arabs find it acceptable. Eye contact: Westerners look you in the eye. Africans see it as a sign of disrespect.Colour symbolism : purple shows mourning in some cultures, in other it shows wealth Comm by means of touch 26

Purple: these officers are mourning the death of a fellow officer in Chicago, June 2010. They salute the purple cloth hanging over the Chicago police Dept signage.These ladies wears black, mourning the death of family.


An effective communicator uses non-verbal comm to support/emphasise his verbal commUsing strategic use of gesturesDressing appropriatelyOpposite is true: transmitting two contradictory messages simultaneously one verbal, one non-verbalCome inside, lets discuss your problem, the manager says but he glances anxiously at his watch whilst letting the employee into his office. Non-verbal comm in support or in conflict with verbal comm. P.1828

The use of words in order to establish rapport or indicate a particular interpersonal or social relationship rather than to convey meaning.Meta-communication: used to indicate mainly non-verbal but also verbal clues which indicate how a particular message should be understood.Both indicate the attitude of the sender of the message, rather than specific factual information.1.6 Phatic communion p.1829

Phatic Communication


People listen for a variety of reasons:Promote social interaction and enjoymentAcquire information, insight and understandingStudy effectively1.7 Listening skills. P.20


Thinking speed is 3 to 4 times faster than talking speed (125 to 200 words per min.)Mans attention is distracted easily and his memory span is limited.Mans motivation to listen his interest and will to listen is often lackingReceivers listening skills are impeded by a negative attitude and prejudiceListener ignores verbal context within which a specific message is conveyed.Listener ignores non-verbal cues which qualify the accompanying verbal message.People pretend they are listening.External and internal barriers: noise, telephones (ext)Exhaustion, lack of interest, prejudice, depression (int)1.7.1 Factors which have a negative impact on listening skills32

Prepare yourself physically, psychologicallyListen actively and show interest in subject.Coordinate your thoughts with those of the speaker. Identify prejudices, resist temptation to transfer them to the content matter discussed.Distinguish between the main ideas and supporting details. Listen selectivelyBe alert for verbal clues indicating specific emphasis or a twist in the senders message or attitude.Interpret meanings of expressions in terms of the total context from within they are uttered.1.7.2 Guidelines for improved listening skills p.2133

Enable the listener to broaden his basis of knowledgeLead to improved interpersonal relationshipsThey reduce the possibility of misunderstandingsThey improve personal efficiencyThey result in grievances and problems being identified timeouslyThey save time and moneyThey ensure goodwill and win clients1.7.3 Rewards of good listening skills p.2234

What can you do to improve your listening skills?35

You may be asked to illustrate a comm model (like Jacobson p.4) after given a piece of text to read. These are application questions. See page 27-28 for more information and work through old question papers.1.8.1 Models to illustrate comm


The following small groups are operative in most organisations:Command (executive groups): Superior and his subordinatesDemocratic groupsCoordination of members and their expertiseConsensus groupsFormed to solve problemsBuzz groupsUsed for brainstorming rather than decision-makingInformation-sharing groupsOne member have info to share with rest of group

1.8.2 Formal small group networking p.2937

Formal small groups evolve from one or more (initially formal) structures or networks.The ideal small group structure is the so-called open channel (every group member is regarded as equal, irrespective of his position in the formal hierarchy of the organisation).Notes

Open channels38



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