Definition and Characteristics of Communication

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What is Communication?

Communication is simply defined as a process that allows people to exchange thoughts by one of several methods. There are auditory means, such as speaking or singing, and physical means, such as sign language, touch, or eye contact. Communication is a method of influencing the actions of another person of a group of persons, and providing them with meaningful information on what to do and what not to do. Communication is extremely important for the proper functioning of an organization. In fact, an organization cannot exist if its members cannot freely communicate. An organization is successful if all of its members are working toward to common goal or mission, and for that to occur, it is imperative that all these members have a means of communicating with each other to exchange ideas and report progress being made. This enables proper coordination among all the departments or staff within an organization. Furthermore, communication also enables healthy relations between management and junior management, and this may prevent unnecessary misunderstandings. Communication has the following characteristics:

Types of Business Communications:

Two-way flow:

Since communication is an exchange of information, it is bilateral, ie., it flows in to opposite ways. The direction of flow can be up or down, or even sideways. In a hierarchal setting, as in major corporations, communication may flow in the up-down direction. For example, senior management may instruct employees to perform certain actions, and this piece of information flows downward. On the contrary, information from employees to senior management flows upwards.

Continuous flow:

Communication is continuous; it occurs without interruptions until all ideas are exchanged.


Communication is over as soon as ideas are exchanged and comprehended.

Requires understanding:

It is important for parties involved to engage in clear communication so that everyone can understand what is going on.

Organizational objectives fulfilled:

Proper communication ensures proper coordination and integration of various activities, and this results in the progress of the organization as a whole.

Eliminate misunderstandings:

Of course, with proper communication, misunderstandings can be eliminated and peace can be restored, again resulting in organizational progress.

Additional Readings:

1. Definition and Characteristics of Communication
2. Principles of Effective Communication
3. Reasons why Communications is a Two-Way Process
4. Effective Communication and People Management
5. Categories of Organization Communication
6. The Benefits of Written Communication
7. Barriers to Effective Communication
8. Overcoming Barriers to Effective Communication
9. Types of Business Communication within an Organization
10. Important Elements of Report-Writing
11. Scope of Communication
12. The Grapevine
13. Communication with Workers’ Families
14. Effective Listening
15. Qualities of a Business Letter

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