The Importance of Communication

Communication Skills

Facts and Figures on Importance of Communication

Studies have shown that managers spend 75-80% of their time communicating one way or the other! Effective Communication contributes 80% to project success! 90% of conflicts are caused by poor non-verbal and poor para-verbal communication! 10% of conflicts are caused by poor verbal communication! Undeniably communication is the top skill needed in effective conflict management in the workplace! 20% project failures are attributable to poor communication! We cannot overemphasize the importance of communication beyond the above statistics!

Importance of Communication in Organizations

Communication is the lifeline of organizations, the calming element to turbulent negotiations, the essential antidote for conflict and the glue that holds together interpersonal relationships. Hardly surprising as communication pervades every aspect of human activity.


“Communication is the giving, receiving or exchange of information, opinions or ideas by writing, speech or visual means so that the material communicated is completely understood.” Sillars, 1994

Other definitions have used terms “transmission”, “sending and receiving”, “imparting” of information.

Communication Process Model

Communication is thus a two-way process of exchange of information. Academics came up with several communication models to explain this process, from Linear Communication Models, Transactional Communication Models to Interactive Communication Models. One popular model is Shannon & Weaver’s Transactional Communication Model.

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Stage 1 The sender decides what information is going to be transmitted.
Stage 2 The sender encodes this information.  Puts the information into words (pictures or gestures)
Stage 3 The sender transmits the message to the receiver/s via a medium and a channel.
Stage 4 The receiver takes in the message, by reading, listening or watching.
Stage 5 The receiver decodes (interprets) the message.
Stage 6 The receiver expresses and initial reaction to the message (feedback)
Stage 7 The receiver makes a considered response to the message, e.g. asks a question or writes a letter of reply.  The stage starts the entire process again although it is considered part of the initial process, because it is a response.  The roles of the receiver and sender interchange.

Effective Communication

Effective communication is when one masters good communication to effectively manage the communication process from sender to receiver and the message is received as intended. It involves a plethora of core variables among them the 7 Cs of effective communication below:

  1. Clarity
  2. Correctness
  3. Consistence
  4. Concreteness
  5. Conciseness
  6. Courtesy
  7. Credibility

Critical to success of communication is how well the communication effort is managed especially in dealing with barriers to effective communication. Common barriers to communication and some examples of how to deal with them are given below:

Barriers to Communication

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Overcoming Barriers

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Given the above, would you ignore investment in enhancing your skills in a business activity that constitutes 75%-80% of your time? Would you pass on an opportunity to sharpen a core competence that contributes to 80% of your project successes? The importance of communication cannot be overstated!

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