1. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 1
MANAGERIAL COMMUNICATION & SOFT SKILLS
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATIONIN BUSINESS:
Imagine trying to run a business where no one of your staff communicates with each other.
Departments would be out of sync, no one would be quite certain what was going on, and it would be
impossible to work together on group projects. In other words, a lack of communication would cause
serious efficiency problems, and at the end of the day that’s money out of the company’s pockets.
Taking the time to keep everyone in the loop fixes all these issues, and for that reason it’s absolutely
essential for every company to stress communication.
In today’s digital age, communication is easily done in several formats, but it’s also important to retain
the ability to verbally communicate as well. Regardless of the style of communication, there are
numerous reasons to put an emphasis on it at work like unity, feedback, improves customer
relationships, improves employee relationships, enforcing rules and enhanced performance.
Role of Communication in Business:
To succeed in business today, you need the ability to communicate with people both inside and
outside your organization. Whether you are competing to get the job want or to win the
customers your company needs, your success or failure depends to a large degree on your ability
In fact, if you’re looking for a surefire way to stand out from your competition in the job market,
improving your communication skills may be the single most important step you can take.
Employees often express frustration at the poor communication skills of many employees –
particularly recent college graduates who haven’t yet learned how to adapt their casual
communication style to the professional business environment.
If you learn to write well, speak well, listen well, and recognize the appropriate ways to
communicate in various ways situations, you’ll gain a major advantage that will serve you
throughout your career.
Whether you are posting entries on a blog, giving a formal presentation, or chatting with co-
workers at lunch, you are engaging in communication, the process of sending and receiving
Role of Communication in Business – Objective of Communication – The Process of Human Communication –
Media of Communication, Written Communication - Oral Communication - Visual Communication, Audio Visual
Communication – Silence-Developing Listening Skills – Improving Nonverbal communication skills – Cross Cultural
Communication – problems and challenges.
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The essence of communication helps businesses in numerous ways. These benefits include:
Stronger decision making and faster problem solving
Earlier warning of potential problems
Increased productivity and steadier workflow
Stronger business relationships
Clearer and more persuasive marketing messages
Enhanced professional images for both employers and companies
Lower employee turnover and higher return for investors
The word communication is derived from the Latin word “communicare” that means to share, to make
common, to impart, to participate, to convey or to transmit.. Thus, it may be interpreted as an interchange
of thought or information to bring about understanding and confidence for good industrial relations. It
brings about unity of purpose, interest, and efforts in an organisation.
Definitions: There are a number of definitions of the term communication. A few of them are being
“Communication is an exchange of facts,ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.”
– George Terry
“Communication is interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information, by speech,writing, or signs”.
– Robert Anderson
Communication may be broadly defined as the process of meaningful interaction among human beings.
More specifically, it is the process by which meanings are perceived and understandings are reached
among human beings.
– D.E. McFarland
Managerial Communication: Managerial/ Business communication is the flow of information and
understanding from one person to another at the same level or at different levels. It is a process which
enables management to allocate and supervise the work of the employees.
Though business communication is a specialized branch of general communication, there is no basic
difference between the two. The process is the same and so are the principles that regulate them. The
difference lies in their application to situations. Whereas general communication plays diverse roles,
business communication is specifically concerned with well defined business activities.
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OBJECTIVES/PURPOSE OF COMMUNICATION:
An objective is something that we want to attain or accomplish by our efforts; it is the purpose
with which we undertake an activity. When we speak or write to our friends, we may not have a
specific purpose, except to keep in touch, to be friendly; when we chat with a group of friends,
we simply want to socialize, be friendly, or express ourselves. But in an official or business
situation, when we speak, listen or write to customers, or to our subordinates or our superiors, we
have a specific purpose or objective; we want to accomplish something. Communication could
have many objectives depending on the context and persons involved.
Communication within a family, in a classroom, in a theatre, in a seminar, in a boardroom and in
the origination has different objectives. The objectives depend upon the purpose to be achieved.
The objectives of business communication would include the following:
To inform: This is the foremost objective of communication. Information is power. The information
needs within and outside the organization can be met through communication
To persuade: Businesses work through persuasion. It is important to persuade employees to work
efficiently, to persuade customers to buy our product and so on. The objective of communication may
be to persuade.
To educate: To disseminate knowledge and develop skills and attitudes among people working in the
organization may be another objective of communication.
To train: Communication is an integral part of any training programme. Training is required to
achieve proficiency in specific skills. Instruction, demonstration, practice and discussion during
training require communication as an integral part.
To motivate: High level of morale and motivation are a must to ensure high levels of productivity and
efficiency on a sustainable basis. Communication provides a means to keep motivation levels high.
To integrate: Large business organizations have different business units, departments and territorial
divisions, pursuing different targets. Communication provides the means for an integrated approach
in pursuing organizational goals.
To relate: Good business relations are a must for the continued success of any business organsiation.
Communication provides the means for building and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships.
To entertain: Whatever be the nature of business, there is always a time for entertainment.
Communication facilitates social bonding and brings lighter moments that help in entertainment and
The objectives of communication are dynamic and ever-changing. Some of the common objectives of
official communication are to get or give information, to ask for or give instructions or advice or
suggestions, to make requests, to persuade other people to agree with us. Sometimes, we communicate
4. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 4
with the intention of complaining, or warning; but unfortunately, we do this angrily and get into
arguments. If we learn to complain and warn in an acceptable and constructive manner, our serious
intention can be conveyed quite effectively without damaging relationships. In order to caution, counsel,
clarify, apprise, evaluate, reprimand, organize and numerous such objectives, we make use of
THE PROCESS OF HUMAN COMMUNICATION:
The process of communication depicted in the bellow figure. That presents the components and their
relationship within the persons involved.
Sender Channel Receiver Response
The main elements of communication process are as follows:
Sender: Sender is the source or originator of the idea or message. sender can be an individual or a group
or an individual representing a group. sender conceives the idea, prepares the message, decides about the
receiver, and selects the channel.
Message: It refers to the stimulus that a source transmits to the receiver. It is what communication is all
about. Messages are composed of symbols having certain meaning to the receiver. Translating the idea
into a message for transmission is called encoding.
Channel: Channel is the mean through which communication flows from sender to receiver. The channel
can be a mass media (not meant for one individual) such as newspapers, radio, television, etc., or
interpersonal (meant for an individual) like telephone, correspondence, etc. The sender carefully selects
the channel (depending upon the message to be conveyed), availability of the channel and the
effectiveness of the channel.
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Receiver: Receiver is the person for whom the message is intended. He receives the message and
translates the symbols into ideas. This process is called decoding.
Response: Response is the change in the behavior of the receiver. The desired response primarily
understands the message. When the receiver has doubts he may seek clarification or conformation.
Otherwise, he may just note or store or act as per the message.
Feedback: Receiver may send a message to the sender seeking information- for clarification or
conformation. It is called feedback,Feedback is vital in interpersonal communication:
Let us take a specific situation to illustrate this. Suppose you want to place an order for a Business
Communication book. This is IDEATION. You CONCEIVE THE MESSAGE and write a letter. This is
called ENCODING THE MESSAGE. You put the letter in an envelope, attach stamps and post it in a
post box. This is SELECTION OF APPROPRIATE CHANNEL where your channel is the use of postal
system. The channel transmits the message. This is TRANSMISSION. Now the book seller, say, a
publishing company receives your letter. He opens the letter and sees your letter. He reads. This is called
DECIDING THE MESSAGE. He understands your requirement of a book. He calls his secretary and
gives instructions to send a copy of the book. This is the response to the message. They dispatch the book
to you and initiate the same to you. This response is GIVING FEEDBACK.
FORMS OF COMMUNICATION:
Forms of communication evolved as the human brain developed and became more receptive to the sounds
and the events around him. Over a period of time, the historic records will show that forms of
communication have evolved very gradually, be it written, oral or non-verbal communication.
Communication can be categorized into two basic forms. Each has its own advantages, disadvantages.
Forms of Communication
Non-Verbal CommunicationVerbal Communication
WrittenCommunication Oral Communication
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Language is the most useful tool of communication as it can convey idea and messages easily if the
parties to the communication understand the language used. Communication by the using language is
called verbal communication.
Verbal Communication means communication through words either in spoken form or written form.
Words are the most accurate and powerful set of symbols. That is why it is observed that all serious or
formal communication is in words and the words may be oral or written.
Types ofVerbal Communication:
1. Written Communication
2. 2. OralCommunication
Written communication has great significance in today’s business world. It is an innovative activity of the
mind. Effective written communication is essential for preparing worthy promotional materials for
business development. Speech came before writing. But writing is more unique and formal than speech.
Effective writing involves careful choice of words, their organization in correct order in sentences
formation as well as cohesive composition of sentences. Also, writing is more valid and reliable than
speech. But while speech is spontaneous, writing causes delay and takes time as feedback is not
Types of Written Communication: There are two main types of communication: oral and
written. Written communication involves any type of message that makes use of the written word. Written
communication is the most important and the most effective of any mode of business communication.
Examples of written communications generally used with clients or other businesses include email,
Internet websites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and
Types of Written
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Objectives ofWritten Communication:
The objectives of the written communication may be:
To give information
To receive information
To record recommendations and decisions of a meetings
To give orders and instructions
Characteristics ofWritten Communication:
The main characteristics of written communication are as follows:
Most formal type of communication
Used for documentation
Used for circulation of information
Conventional by nature
Presence of Both Sender and Receiver is not necessary at the Same Time
It has Fewer Cycles
Advantages ofWritten Communication
Written communication helps in laying down apparent principles, policies and rules for running
of an organization.
It is a permanent means of communication. Thus, it is useful where record maintenance is
It assists in proper delegation of responsibilities. While in case of oral communication, it is
impossible to fix and delegate responsibilities on the grounds of speech as it can be taken back by
the speaker or he may refuse to acknowledge.
Written communication is more precise and explicit.
Effective written communication develops and enhances an organization’s image.
It provides ready records and references.
Legal defenses can depend upon written communication as it provides valid records.
Disadvantages ofWritten Communication
Written communication does not save upon the costs. It costs huge in terms of stationery and the
manpower employed in writing/typing and delivering letters.
Also, if the receivers of the written message are separated by distance and if they need to clear
their doubts, the response is not spontaneous.
Written communication is time-consuming as the feedback is not immediate. The encoding and
sending of message takes time.
Effective written communication requires great skills and competencies in language and
vocabulary use. Poor writing skills and quality have a negative impact on organization’s
Too much paper work and e-mails burden is involved.
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Oral communication implies communication through mouth. It includes individuals conversing with each
other, be it direct conversation or telephonic conversation. Speeches, presentations, discussions are all
forms of oral communication. Oral communication is generally recommended when the communication
matter is of temporary kind or where a direct interaction is required. Face to face communication
(meetings, lectures, conferences,interviews, etc.) is significant so as to build a rapport and trust.
Characteristics ofOral Communication:
Following are the characteristics of oral communication:
Instantaneous Two-Way Process
Presence of Sender and Receiver
Effect of Body Language and Speech Modulation
It cannot be Erased or Mended
Forms ofOral Communication:
Oral Communication usually takes place in any of the following forms:
Informal Face-to-Face Talk
Speeches and Presentations
Principles ofSuccessful Oral Communication:
Effective communication calls for certain principles to be followed which are explained bellow:
Choosing Precise Words
Advantages ofOral Communication
There is high level of understanding and transparency in oral communication as it is
There is no element of rigidity in oral communication. There is flexibility for allowing changes in
the decisions previously taken.
The feedback is spontaneous in case of oral communication. Thus, decisions can be made quickly
without any delay.
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Oral communication is not only time saving, but it also saves upon money and efforts.
Oral communication is best in case of problem resolution.
The conflicts, disputes and many issues/differences can be put to an end by talking them over.
Oral communication is an essential for teamwork and group energy.
Oral communication promotes a receptive and encouraging morale among organizational
Oral communication can be best used to transfer private and confidential information/matter.
Disadvantages/Limitations ofOral Communication
Relying only on oral communication may not be sufficient as business communication is formal
and very organized.
Oral communication is less authentic than written communication as they are informal and not as
organized as written communication.
Oral communication is time-saving as far as daily interactions are concerned, but in case of
meetings, long speeches consume lot of time and are unproductive at times.
Oral communications are not easy to maintain and thus they are unsteady.
There may be misunderstandings as the information is not complete and may lack essentials.
It requires attentiveness and great receptivity on part of the receivers/audience.
Oral communication (such as speeches) is not frequently used as legal records except in
Remember, “what we say” is less important than “how we say it” as words are only 7% of our
communication. Understand and enjoy non verbal communication as it helps forming better first
MEDIA OF COMMUNICATION:
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According to Bartol and Martin, “The communication is the method used to convey the message to the
According to Defleur and Dennis, “A medium is a device for moving information through time or
So, Media or channel of communications is the means or ways that are used to transitioning the messages
or information from the sender to the receiver.
The communication which is done through sight is called visual communication. Such as facial
expression, gesture, eye contact, signals, map, chart, poster etc. it also includes graphic design, illustration
and animation, books, print, magazines, screen-based media, interactive web design, short film, design for
advertising, promotion, corporate identity and packaging design etc.
Visual presentation of information and data is having an increasing impact on our practical life. In spite of
having impact on our life, visual communication is not alone sufficient for exchanging information. For
example to indicate ‘danger’ we use red sign, to indicate ‘no smoking’; we use an image showing a
lighted cigarette with across mark on it etc.
So, visual communication is a communication where the ideas and information can be read or viewed
through the means of visual aid.
Advantages of visual communication
Now-a-days, most of the business organizations are using visual techniques to present the information. It
is becoming very popular day by day. Visual presentation is beneficial for many reasons. Some of them
are as follows:
1. Effective for illiterate receiver: If the receivers are illiterate, the visual communication will be
more effective to exchange information. They can easily understand the information that is
2. Helps in oral communication: Visual techniques can be used with oral communication. Oral
communication becomes more meaningful if graphs, pictures and diagrams are used with it.
3. Easy explanation: Everyone can explain the meaning of it very easily. Easy explanation has made
the visual techniques more popular.
4. Simple presentation: Complex information, data and figures can be easily presented very simply
on graphs, pictures and diagrams.
5. Prevents wastage of time: Visual techniques help to prevent the wastage of time. Written and oral
communication takes much time to exchange information. But number of receivers can be
communicated at a time through visual methods.
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6. Helps in quick decision: Visual communication helps to take quick decision. So management
prefers visual techniques to communicate with others.
7. Popular: Visual communication is very much popular because people do not like much speech and
long explanation rather than a chart of a diagram.
8. Others:Artfulpresentation, Ads impact to the information, quicker understanding.
Disadvantages ofvisual communication:
1. Costly: The visual methods of communication are more costly than those of other methods. To
draw maps, charts, diagram is costly. That is why only large company or organization can use this
2. Complex presentation: Sometimes visual presentation of information becomes complex. The
receivers cannot understand the meaning of the presentation.
3. Incomplete method: This technique is considered as an incomplete method. Visual presentation is
not sufficient to communicate effectively and clearly but also it can be successfully used with oral
4. Wastage of time: Sometimes visual techniques take much time to communicate. Whereas oral
communication takes no time to exchange information.
5. Difficult to understand: Difficult to understand and requires a lot of repetitions in visual
communication. Since it uses gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, touch etc. for
communicating with others which may not be understandable for the simple and foolish people.
6. Problem for general readers: General people are not prefers to communicate through visual
communication with others. Sometimes it cannot create an impression upon people or listeners. It is
less influential and cannot be used everywhere.
7. Others:Ambiguity, situational problem, delays in taking decision.
Audio signals communicate messages. Audio (or sound) signs or signals have been used to send messages
since the early days of civilization. Audio signs are also universal in nature as they are understood by the
people easily. Audio signs include the use of drum beating, alarms, hooters, buzzers, whistles, bells,
The main idea is to caution the listener and make him to take the right step, e.g., there are various kinds of
alarms like fire alarm, accident alarm, air raid or assault alarms, VIP motorcade alarm, and machine
breakdown alarm and so on. Similarly, a clock or watch alarm make us aware of our time and program
our schedule. No office is complete without a buzzer, push-button bell, electrically operated bell or other
such sound signaling systems.
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Advantages ofAudio Communication:
The advantages of audio communication are:
1. Speed: Sound signals convey the message very quickly, e.g., the hooting of a siren in a factory
immediately makes the workers active.
2. Time Management:Sound signals are very useful for managing time.
3. Coordination: The working of an organization can be streamlined with the help of buzzers and
such other sound signals.
4. Easy Operation: Audio signals are very easy to operate as they do not require much more efforts
now as days the technology is highly sophisticated and we only need to have press a button and
then the sound starts to beep.
Disadvantages ofAudio Communication:
The disadvantages of audio communication are two-fold:
1. Scope:Audio signs are non-verbal tools of communication have only a limited scope.
2. No Correction:One signal only can be employed at a time.
Audiovisual (AV) means possessing both a sound and a visual component, such as slide-
films, television programs, church services and live theater productions.
Visual communication is not found to be adequate in it. People will just casually glance at it and let it go
at that. It is quite likely that they will miss the message. But if the slides are accompanied with
explanation and narration, it will facilitate interpretation and ensure that the message is driven home.
Besides, information transmitted through audio-visual means is retained much longer than through any
other means. It is a matter of common experience that people can easily recall some of the powerfully
depicted scenes of a movie years filter they have seen it.
Audio-Visual communication is found most suitable for mass publicity, mass propaganda, and mass
educations. Large business houses frequently make use of this technique to educate their workers and to
popularize their products. The working of a new household appliance like a mixer or a washing machine,
the effectiveness of a new detergent powder, the freshness of a new designs in suiting and shirting’s can
be effectively demonstrated through audio-visual. Within the organization, the workers can be educated
by suitable demonstrations on the close-circuit television screen.
Visual aids make verbal communication more effective, especially when detailed information or numbers
are involved. Audiotapes or CD_ROMs, on the other hand, can be used as companion pieces to written or
verbal communication. They are more effective for walking employees through enrolment processes,
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providing plan highlights to specialized audiences, or sending motivational message from management.
Videos are more effective for conveying emotional content to dispersed audience.
Types ofAudio-Visual Communication:
Audio-Visual aids can be of following types:
1. Projected: When aids are projected o screens or even against white-washed walls to give an
enlarged image of the material, they are called projected aids. Projected aids include slides, film-
strips, films, and transparencies which bring about better results and are more effective. The
darkened rooms reduce distortions and the bright image on the screen secures the attention of
learners. By the use of different colors, the aids become more attractive and impressive.
2. Non-Projected: They are generally still materials including maps, charts, globes, models, display
boards, bulletin boards, etc. These aids are not so costly, and no sophisticated aids are required
for their use. Therefore non-projected aids can be easily used with good results.
3. Activity Aids: In includes field trips, excursions, exhibitions, museums, demonstrations, and
dramatization. Organization of various activities in and out of the campus makes the programs
effective as well as interesting. Planning, execution, and evaluation of those activities ensure
better effects and help in improving these aids to bring about quality in education.
Advantages ofAudio-Visual Communication:
The advantages of audio-visual communication are:
1. It improves face-to-face communication.
2. It backs up oral and written to help the receiver get a complete picture of the situation quickly.
Disadvantages ofAudio-Visual communication:
The disadvantages of audio-visual communication are:
1. It is relatively expensive
2. Deaf people cannot listen to it and blind people cannot view it.
Factors Affecting Selection ofCommunication Media:
There are a number of factors to be considered in choosing the communication media to be used. The
2. Cost of the Media to be Used
3. Confidentiality of the Message
4. Number of Receivers Registered
6. Volume of the Information
7. Complexity of the Information
8. Image to be Created
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It is called meta-communication. It encompasses all the communication that occurs without the use of
words. These are clues of our feelings- a shake voice, a raising eyebrow, distance between receiver and
sender, time of communication, and display of material things like gold watch, etc. The bellow table
describes the different forms of non-verbal communication.
A Kinesics Body appearance. Facialexpression, posture, and gesture
B Oculesics Eye contact
C Haptics The communication of touch
D Proxemics Distance. The communication of space and proximity
E Paralanguage Vocal cues. Variation in pitch, speed, volume, and pauses that convey meaning
F Chronemics Time aspects. The effects of time on communication
Kinesics refers to the body language. The body sends a continuous flow of cues. As Erving Gulfman
observes, even if a person stops talking, “he cannot stop communicating through body idiom”, he
must say either right thing or the wrong thing. He cannot say anything. There are four physical
aspects of the body.
1. Body Appearance
2. Facial Expressions
1. Body Appearance: Tall people are likely to be considered more credible then shorter. People pay
more respect and grant more privileges to people, they perceive as being well dressed and attractive.
A three-piece gray pin strapped suit sends out more power signals than does a slack let loose on a
2. Facial Expressions: The expression of one’s mood and interest are obvious in one’s face. Blank face
or “dead pan face” indicates relaxation. It is also used to keep people at a distance. In interaction
faces can be positive or negative. Positive one shows desire to be liked and approved. Negative face
shows the desire not to be intruded upon.
Smile- Smiles can be inviting or intimidating. Dr. Ewan Grant presents a list of five smiles as shown
in the bellow table.
S.No: Type Description Expression
1 Oblong Smile Lips are drawn fully back from both the
upper and the lower teeth.
Pretending enjoying a
2 How do you Smile Mouth slightly open, upper teeth
3 Broad Smile Mouth open, lips curled back, teeth
Pleasure and excitement
4 Lip in Smile Like upper smile, with lower lip drawn in
between the teeth
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Laughter- It is response to embarrassment, excitement, or humor. One can read laughter from the
sounds that ensue.
Ha-Ha:Genuine expression of joy and self-fulfillment.
He-He:Mocking laugh, response to a joke.
Hee-Hee:Secret giggle. When a person is being cynical.
Ho-Ho: Surprise or disbelief by a person who the critical.
Eye Brows- Eyebrows are arch of the short hair above the eyes.
Lowering eyebrows indicate disagreement.
Raised eyebrows indicate surprise.
One eyebrow raised is used to signal skepticism.
Flashing of eyebrows is sign of welcome.
Mouth- Along with tongue, mouth can express many things. A tense mouth (tightening and
pressing together lips and jaw muscles) indicate anger, frustration and threat. Open mouth
(suddenly jaw drops, leaving mouth open) shows surprise.
Lips- Silent lips express a range of emotions and moods from smile to frown. The bellow table
shows different lip expressions.
S.No: Type Description Expression
1 Compressed Lips Pressed together to form a thin, tight line Opposition or refusal
2 Full Lips Large loose lips Sympathetic and receptive
3 Pursed Lips Rounding of the lips Firmness in his stand
4 Biting of Lips Bites mostly lower lips Nervousness,embarrassment
3. POSTURE: A posture does communicate a message. Leaning toward another individual suggests
that you are favorable disposed towards his or her message; leaning backwards communicates the
opposite. Openness of arms or legs serves as an indicator of relaxation. Close postures like arms
folded indicate reserved nature or reverence. Standing up straight generally reflects high self-
confidence. Stooping could mean poor self-image.
4. Gestures: Gestures made with the hand are universally recognized as conveying specific
information to others. Gestures can be used as illustrators, regulators, affect displays, and
i. Illustrator: Gestures that are used to add emphasis or drama or to classify message. Examples
include pointing toward to the floor while saying ‘our profits are nose diving’ and punching our
fist into the open palm while saying, ‘ I know we can do better than that’.
ii. Regulator: Gestures used to regulate both conversation and human interaction. Raising your
hand or finger when one want to talk, at a meeting or in a class; raising one hand with the
fingers pointed upward and the palm outward is used to tell another person to stop talking.
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iii. Affect Displays: They are gestures used to communicate emotions that we are experiencing.
Hands over mouth gestures usually indicate shock, surprise or regret. Intensified nail biting
indicates tension or worry.
iv. Emblems: They are basically hand signals. They are non-verbal signals or cues that have a
specific verbal equivalent. A circle with thumb and index figure is symbol for ‘things are going
okey’ placing the index figure at right angles to each other is used to signal time-out both on
and off the athletic field. Traffic hand signal, manual signal used on the playing field and
certain obscene gestures are other examples of emblems.
This refers to eye contact. Eye contact takes place when two people look at each other’s eyes. Eye
contacts revealdifferent feelings. Eye contact diminishes when:
We have something hide.
There is dislike, tension, or fear of deception.
We are physically close to those with whom we are communicating.
We wish to break social contract.
Eye contact is prolonged when:
We like each other (an expression of love)
We express antagonism (a long, i.e., state).
Haptics is the study of how physical contact or touch is used to communicate the ideas and feelings.
Touch can give negative or positive meanings. An important means of socialization is handshake.
People shake hands differently and each type of handshake conveys a different meaning. Bellow table
shows a classification of handshakes.
S.No: Type Description Interpretation
1 Manly Handshake Other person’s hand is gripped,
squeezed firmly and released.
Power and authority
2 Palm down thrust Palm facing down ward, giver’s palm
3 Palm-up Palm facing up Submission, inferiority feelings
4 Dead fish Cold, sweaty hand Lack of interest. Expectations are
artistes and athletes who use hands
5 Double handed Initiator uses both hands Intimacy
6 Grasp Holds hands firmly at chest level Intimacy
7 Equal Firms and straight one Equality, mutual respect.
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The term proxemics refers to the study of how we use territory and space to communicate message.
1. Environment: Well designed environment and place of importance enhance communication
value. When boss invites you out for a lunch to discuss a problem, you think it is a more
important topic, not the usual one that can be discussed in the company cafeteria.
2. Territory: It refers to the place where a person feels at home or powerful.
If an employee approaches a manager in the canteen to ask about a pay rise, the manager’s
response will probably be “come to my office, and we can discuss it”.
3. Space (Interpersonal Distance): It refers to the distance between the sender and receiver of
communications. One study showed that people located in relatively close proximity are seen as
warmer, friendlier as and more understanding than people located farther away. Bellow table
shows the classification of distances and their suitability for communication.
S.No: Categories Distance Purpose
1 Intimate Distance Above 18 inches Whispering confidential information by or angrily
shouting at subordinates.
2 PersonalDistance 1 ½ to 4 feet Friendly discussions and conversations between
4 to 8 feet Conversation between authoritative boss and his
subordinate, a sales man buyer, a stranger and
4 Public Distance 12 feet to outer limit
of being heard.
Class room and large meetings.
Paralanguage refers to something in speech beyond language itself. It can be divided into four part-
Voice quality, Vocal characterizers,Vocalqualifiers and vocal segregates.
Voice qualities: It refersto factors such as pitch, range, resonance,rhythm and speaking rate.
Voice Characterizers: It includes laughing, crying whispering, groaning, yawing, whining,
coughing and cleaning the throat.
Vocal qualifiers: They are momentary variations in volume (ranging from over loud to over
soft) or pitch (ranging from very high to very low)
Vocal segregates: They are nonfluencies such as “ah”, “un”, and “um”; silent pauses; and
The quality of human voice depends on many other things, such as reasoning space, lungs, nasal
cavities, etc. The nose, sinuses, pharynx, and oral cavity act as resonating chambers and modify the
vocal tone produced by the vocal cords. The movement of the tongue against the palate, the shaping
of the lips, and arrangement of the teeth also bring about changes in the voice. Since the structure and
movements of all these organs are different in different people, the voice of no two persons in the
world can be identical.
18. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 18
A subtle mode of non-verbal communication is the use of time.
If one is late for meetings, it might be interpreted that he or she is careless, uninvolved or not
ambitious. However, a high ranking official might be late for a meeting and that may be attributed to
his being busy. Looking at your watch is usually interpreted as a sight of boredom or restlessness.
Advantages ofNon-verbal Communication:
The advantages of non-verbal communication are as follows:
1. One can communicate with someone who is hard of hearing.
2. One can communicate at place where silence is required.
3. One can communicate something which he doesn’t want others to hear or listen to.
4. One can communicate if he is far away from a person.
5. Non-verbal communication makes conversation short and brief.
Disadvantages ofNon-verbal Communication:
Disadvantages of non-verbal communication are as follows:
1. Long conversation is difficult.
2. It varies from culture to culture.
3. Cannot discuss the particulars of the message.
4. Difficult to understand and requires a lot of repetitions.
5. Cannot be used as a public tool for communication.
6. Less influential and cannot be used everywhere.
IMPROVING NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATIONSKILLS:
In order to improve non-verbal communication skills, the following guidelines should be considered:
1. Emotional Awareness: In order to develop non-verbal cues, one needs to be aware of his
emotions and how they influence him. One also needs to be able to recognize the emotions of
others and the true feelings behind the cues they are sending. This is where emotional awareness
comes in. Emotional awareness enables a person to accurately read other people, including the
emotions they are feeling and the unspoken messages they are sending.
2. Managing Stress: Learning how to manage stress in the heat of the moment is one of the most
important things one can do to develop non-verbal communication. Stress compromises the
ability to communicate. When one is stressed out, he is more likely to misread other people, send
confusing or off-putting non-verbal signals, and lapse into unhealthy knee-jerk patterns of
behavior. Furthermore, emotions are contagious.
3. Paying Attention to Non-Verbal Signals: People can communicate information in numerous
ways; so paying attention to things like eye contact, gestures, postures, body movements, and
tone of voice is important. All of these signals can convey important information that is not put
into words. By paying close attention to other people’s unspoken behavior, one can develop his
own ability to communicate non-verbally.
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4. Using Good Eye Contact: Eye contact is an important of communication, it is important to
remember that good eye contact does not mean staring fixedly into someone’s eyes. When people
fail to look others in the eye, it can seem as if they are evading or trying to hide something. On
the other hand, too much eye contact can seem confrontational or intimidating. Some
communication experts recommended intervals of eye contact lasting four to five seconds is good
while communicating non-verbally.
5. Concentrating on the Tone of Voice when Speaking: The tone of voice can convey a wealth of
information, ranging from enthusiasm to disinterest to anger. When communicating non-verbally,
one should start noticing hoe the tone of voice affected, how others respond to him and should try
using tone of voice to emphasize ideas that one want to communicate. For example, if a person
wants to show genuine interest in something, he should express his enthusiasm by using an
animated tone of voice.
6. Facial Expressions: The facial expressions convey emotions. Facial expressions are typically
universal, which means they convey the same message globally. A frowning person is usually
upset. One can offer a smile when talking to someone. This tells people that he or she is happy or
in a good mood. It also creates an atmosphere with warmth and friendliness, allowing others to
Silence is very hard to define. Although this is not an accurate definition, silence is a situation
refraining from speech or noise. An unspoken situation is silence.
Silence is said to be more eloquent than words. In certain situations, no gesture expresses one’s
thoughts better than silence. Respect, fear, resentment, helplessness, indifference, agreement,
willingness are some of the responses that can be effectively communicated through silence.
What silence actually means in a given situation depends upon the context. Suppose an employee
is admonished by his boss for an alleged dereliction of duty, and the employee listens to the boss
silently. The employee’s silence can be his acceptance of the fault; it can also be his
helplessness’ for he is in no position to retaliate.
Here are some points to keep in mind about silence in communication.
1. Allowing silence in a conversation puts pressure on the other person.
Why? Because it's conventional in US society not to allow any sort of extended silence in a
conversation. It is common in some cultures to do this, but not in the US, and this use of
silence is one of the things that can cause multicultural strain.
For instance, in some cultures, if you are a young person and want to talk with a person of
authority, you are expected to approach them and wait to be recognized. You aren't
supposed to speak until you are acknowledged. This sort of silence is a sign of respect. It's
akin to, "Children should be seen and not heard," if you remember that phrase from long
20. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 20
However, in conversation between two peers and equals, it's expected both parties will
contribute to the conversation, and there will no glaring silences. If there are any, it causes
discomfort -- in some cases, even physiological pain.
Therefore some people in power use this ploy, such as an interviewer. An experienced
interviewer may let a silence hang, just to see how the person being interviewed conducts
him or herself.
2. Silence can indicate hostility or disagreement.
While it's almost never an indication of indifference, silence can indicate that the other
person is having negative emotions. When we experience anger, fear, or embarrassment, our
thinking brain shuts down. We sit there fuming, unable to speak. Enraged and unable to find
words. Afraid and scared speechless.
Some people are completely "flooded" by such emotions. Think of a teenager, for instance.
They are prone to withdraw into sullen silence rather than using constructive discontent
techniques, talking it out, and keeping the connection going.
3. Silence can indicate profoundness, such as respect, awe or horror.
Sometimes when we're listening to someone else, we hear something that leaves us
speechless because it really goes beyond words. Listening to someone talk about a dreadful
trauma they've endured, or a beautiful, almost-sacred interaction with another human being
or a description of an awesome natural event such as a sunset or a volcano eruption is
examples. Somehow when we listen to such things, the ordinary "Oh" and "Wow" and
"That's awesome" don't seem enough, and so we fall silent.
4. Silence can indicate contemplation.
The more introverted your communication partner, the more likely they will think before
they speak. Extraverts discover what they're thinking and how they feel by talking.
Introverts figure it all out inside their own head and heart before giving voice to it.
5. Silence can be intentional rudeness.
Because of the nature of normal conversation in the US, allowing an extended silence can be
perceived as rudeness, and even meant that way. Refusing to reply to the other person is a
way of ignoring them.
6. Silence can create a listening space.
When you are profoundly listening to someone, you create an open space for them to talk
that's almost palpable. Good listeners know how to do this, and it can be learned. It's an
openness that you transmit through nonverbal means. Study emotional intelligence and
nonverbal communication, and you'll pick up on these cues better.
21. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 21
For instance, if you really are giving your undivided attention to someone else, your pupils
will widen. This is a sign that you're willing to "let it all come in," in the same way that
opened pupils allow more light to come in.
Our pupils expand when we see something we like, and contract when we want to shut
something out - thus the "slanted pig eyes" of someone who's furious. If you're not mindful
of this, it's completely automatic (unconscious) and so reveals a lot to the other person who
is savvy about it. However, with practice you can bring it more under mindful control.
You can learn to give this sort of eye contact to someone intentionally. It's part of knowing
EQ and being mindful. And what a gift! It says, "Open up. I'm here. I'm listening. I want to
hear what you have to say, and to understand."
7. Silence can indicate empathy.
Silence can be an indication of empathy. When we are really tuning in to how the other
person is feeling about what they're saying, we're listening more to the tone of their voice,
cadence and speed rather than the actual words, and so replying with words may not be the
We indicate this to the other by being slow to respond and not jumping in to words.
Sometimes sounds are more attuned... a murmur, a sigh, sucking in the breath in shock,
soothing, cooing sounds, clucking, or shaking the head and going uh, uh, uh. Similarly, we
use the sound "hmmm" when we are deep in thought contemplating what the other has said.
Can allow silence when it's effective or called for
Avoid being pressured into "spilling" when silence is used manipulatively
Offer silence as a gift or sign of respect
Interpret the silence of others appropriately
Understand the way other people and other cultures use silence
Mindfully regulate the use of silence in a conversation
Are comfortable with silence and understand its many uses.
22. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 22
If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.
– Turkish proverb.
Listening is a process and it is a reaction to speech. It is a process by which what is said by
speaker is received and understands. It requires concentration, interest and open mind. All these
are psychological attributes which can be studied systematically and improved training.
Hearing and listening are different. Hearing is merely picking up sound vibrations where as
listening is making sense out of what we hear.
Listening is also challenging because people have different reasons for listening. They listen to
- Gain information
- Receive instructions
- Hear complaints
- Enjoy entertainment and to
- Show respect.
The situations in which listening takes place also vary. Listening can occur:
a) In one-on-one telephone or face-to-face conversation.
b) In a small group; such as a few employees receiving instructions from their
c) In a large group, such as an audience listening to seminar & meetings.
Listening is a process of receiving and understanding the information, either from a
subordinate or a superior, and thus facilitating the chance of business success.
TYPES OF LISTENING
Base Listening Types Description
Interest Fake listening Not interested in topic. Pretends listening.
Attention Active listening Open minded. Concentrates on speech. Observes feelings,
hear words and relate them meaningfully. Provides feedback.
Spasmodic listening Listens actively for some time. Loses interest and stops.
Again listens for some time & stops.
Inactive listening Does not listen at all. Body present and mind absent. Sits and
Feelings Emotional listening Excited by the thoughts related to speaker or subject. Pays
attention but selective in understanding.
Critical listening Negative ones go on fault finding with speech and behavior
Positive ones evaluate the merits and demerits in a balanced
Sympathetic listening Listening without a real obligation to understand the
Lending ear for the satisfaction of the speaker.
23. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 23
Listening process involves the mental processes like sensation, perception, cognition and
action. The same is, however, explained in different terms by different writers.
The listening process begins with sensing the speaker and the surroundings. You tune in
when you consider the speaker and speech important and find the surroundings pleasant.
Sensation is effective when (i) the sensing abilities are good, and
(ii) attentiveness is high.
Perception involves receiving and interpreting. As the speaker speaks, the listener
physically hears the message and takes note of it. Physical hearing can be blocked by noise,
impaired hearing, or attention.
The received message is filtered according to the frame of reference of the listener..
Filtering is the process of giving meanings to symbols through the unique contents of each
person’s mind. The contents of the mind can be: knowledge, experience, values, beliefs,
expectations, biases, etc.
The problem here is the listener may sometimes understand messages which are different
from the views of the speakers. The simple reason is: the speaker’s frame of reference may be
quite different from the listeners.
Cognition involves evaluating and remembering. After interpreting the message, the
listener tries to analyze the merits and draw conclusions. In this process, the listener separates the
hard data (facts and figures) and soft data (opinions and expectations).
Good listeners try to remember the messages by storing it in memory. Some listeners try
to retain what they hear by taking notes or by making a mental outline of the key points of the
Different speakers get different responses. The response to a talk may include the
(a) Physical response:- Response of an individual may be a frown, a smile, or a laugh. In
case of a group, applause may be take the form of clapping or standing for a while.
24. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 24
(b) Verbal response:- It takes the form of a feedback. Feedback helps the speaker to find out
whether the message is properly understood. Listener can obtain clarifications and decode
the message accurately.
Importance of Listening:
The importance of listening can be established by the following practices and benefits:
(1) Managers spend more time:-
Approximately 75% of manager’s day is spent communicating. One researcher found that
9% is in writing, 16% in reading, 30% in speaking and 45% in listening.
See where a manager’s time goes:
Giving information Giving information
Spoken 75% Speaking 30% Listening 45%
Written 25% Writing 9% Reading 16%
(2) Improves human relations:-
No man is an island. People need people and today, more than ever, people need
listening. Not listening seals people off from each other more than anything else does. If you
don’t understand how a person feels, you have not understood them. People are more happy and
free when they are listened to.
Good listening communicates the following feelings about the speaker:
“You are important to me”
“You are worth my time and my attention”
“You are saying something worth hearing”
“You are really an interesting person”
“You are ok”
(3) Creative force:-
Listening is a magnet: and creative force. Listening generates an alternating current that
recharges listeners. Listeners are constantly being recreated and developed. Listening provides
the fertile soil from which positive decision and changes can develop.
25. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 25
(4) Resolving Conflicts:-
Many business problems can be solved by listening actively. The sympathetic presence of
another person encourages clarification of speaker’s problems.
Listening is also a good way to encourage a person to share feelings and ideas with the
speaker. The result will be a good foundation to build a business relationship.
(5) Minimizes Paper work:-
If employees listen actively, firms can reduce their paper work to only those messages
that must be written. Firms whose employees are poor listeners find it necessary to write even
then smallest details in memorandums.
Culture: Culture is a shared system of beliefs, attitudes, values, expectations and norms for behavior.
Simply, culture is the integration of what a man does, what he wears, what he eats, what he believes and
Meaning ofCross Cultural Communication:
Intercultural communication is the process of sending and receiving messages between people whose
cultural background could lead them to interpret verbal and non verbal signs differently.
Challenges in Cross-cultural Communication
The most commonly found differences among cultures which might affect effective communication
1. Language Barriers: A common Cross Cultural barrier in business communication is of course.
Language. Although English is regarded as the common international language of business, not every
business globally uses English on a regular basis. Employees may have more difficulty when
communicating in English, which can lead to misunderstandings when taking direction, understanding
level of urgency and communicating issues or concerns. Never assume that because your instructions
receive head nods. Check for real understanding by asking other to summarize what they just head you
2. High context vs. Low context: Language differences The general terms "high context" and "low context"
(popularized by Edward Hall) are used to describe broad-brush cultural differences between societies.
High context refers to societies or groups where people have close connections over a long period of time.
Many aspects of cultural behavior are not made explicit because most members know what to do and
what to think from years of interaction with each other. Your family is probably an example of a high
26. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 26
Low context refers to societies where people tend to have many connections but of shorter duration or for
some specific reason. In these societies, cultural behavior and beliefs may need to be spelled out explicitly
so that those coming into the cultural environment know how to behave.
3. Social differences: The differences among the individuals on the basis of social characteristics and
qualities are known as social differences. Social differences are the complex differences and they include
class, race, culture, age, ability, sex etc. Social differences can create discrimination among the
individuals on the basis of their social characteristics. For example, if in a society, individuals with high
status are given more respect and importance as compare to the poor or homeless people then it is a social
4. Religious beliefs: Religion is a collection of cultural and beliefs that relate humanity to spirituality and
moral values. Religious beliefs usually consider having the same meaning as religion, but religious beliefs
focuses more on the ideas. There are several different religious beliefs in each country. However, there
must be the main or the governing religion in each country. Hence, a religious belief in Thailand is
Buddhism and Germany is Christian.
5. Monochromic vs. Polychromic: Monochromic cultures like to do just one thing at a time. They value a
certain orderliness and sense of there being an appropriate time and place for everything. They do not
Polychromic cultures like to do multiple things at the same time. A manager's office in a polychromic
culture typically has an open door, a ringing phone and a meeting all going on at the same time. Though
they can be easily distracted they also tend to manage interruptions well with a willingness to change
plans often and easily.
6. Future vs. Present vs. PastOrientation: Past-oriented:
Past-oriented societies are concerned with traditional values and ways of doing things. Tradition is, in
fact, highly valued and attempts to mess with that tradition are regarded with a lot of distrust and
suspicion. As a result those that are past-oriented tend to be conservative in management and slow to
change those things that are tied to the past. Past-oriented societies include China, Britain, Japan and most
Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.
Present-oriented: Present-oriented societies include the rest of the Spanish-speaking Latin American
countries and many African countries. They see the past as passed and the future as uncertain. In other
words, what is done is done and tomorrow may never come so we had better be focused on today. They
consequently prefer short-term benefits and immediate results.
Future-oriented: Future-oriented societies have a great deal of optimism about the future. They think
they understand it and can shape it through their actions. They view management as a matter of planning,
doing and controlling (as opposed to going with the flow, letting things happen). These cultures invest
their efforts and resources in an ephemeral vision - an ever-changing view of what the future may hold.
The United States and, increasingly, Brazil, are examples of future-oriented societies.
7. Individualism vs. Collectivism: The degree to which individuals perceive themselves as separate
from others and free from group pressure to conform (Asian cultures are typically more collective than
27. Rajesh Pasala, Asst. Professor, ALIET Page 27
8. Power Distance: The degree to which members of a culture automatically accept a hierarchy with
unequal distribution of power in organizations and more generally in society (which is typical of many
Asian countries for example)
9. Quality of Time: American culture teaches its members to “save time” and not to “waste time;” time is
viewed as a precious, quantitative commodity.
10. Nonverbal differences
• Facial Expressions
• Eye Contact
• Vocal Characteristics
DEVELOPING CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATIONSKILLS
Develop a sense of cultural awareness
Learn to adapt
Be more tolerant
Skills to Overcome Differences (Respecting Differences and Working Together, Building Trust
across Cultural Boundaries, understand body languages.)
Connecting with people.
TEN Pre-cautions in Cultural Communication
Avoid Negative Questions
Write it down
Watch the humor