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Communication Skills:

Communication is a way of communicating with people. It is an ability or proficiency to express your ideas, thoughts, emotions, feelings, gratitude through verbal or non-verbal way of expressing. Communication is considered effective when it achieves the desired response from the receiver. Simply stated, communication is a two way process of exchanging ideas or information. Effective communication skills scope is applicable far beyond the ability to write or speak or present your ideas using some signs. It is the ability to know what you want to communicate, to understand what you are capable of communicating.

Types of Communication:
Visual Communication is communication through visual aid and is described as the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Visual communication relies on vision, and is primarily presented or expressed with two dimensional images, it includes: signs, drawing, graphic design, illustration, video and TV.

Verbal communication is the communication that is expressed through words. What you say is verbal communication. In turn, both verbal and nonverbal communication can be subdivided into either vocal or non-vocal. Vocal: use of speech, Non-vocal: use of written words. Non-Verbal Communication is communication without the use of words. It includes facial expressions, gestures and body movements, eye contact, distance, space, time, and mannerisms. As non-verbal communication expresses individual emotions, social attitudes and feelings, it can convey more meaning than spoken words. When we are not able to find an exact word for something we want to say, we may use some kind of facial or physical gestures to convey our meaning.

Purposes of Communication:
The major purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly and unambiguously. We communicate with some purpose in mind and that the most important purpose is to satisfy a personal or social need. Needs are the driving forces behind human behaviour. i) To satisfy physical and psychological needs: We communicate with others because we have basic physical needs to fulfill in order to survive (food, water, air, shelter). We need to communicate in order to obtain food or rent a house, for example. But we also communicate to satisfy psychological needs. Without at least some contact with others, most of us would suffer hallucinations, for example so we do communicate. ii) To build relationship: One of the prime purposes of communication is to develop and maintain relationships with others. iii)To obtain information: We communicate to obtain and share information for a number of purposes. Should you need to find out the time a train leaves, you would ask the station master.

iv) To make decisions: We communicate with others to make decisions. Some decisions could not be made through an internal debate with ourselves so we need to consult with others. v) To persuade others: In many instances, we communicate to persuade others to think the way we think or to change an attitude or behaviour, as well as to have them understand what we are saying. vi) To develop goodwill: This involves maintaining and forming cordial and harmonious relationships with people you are communicating.

Barriers to Communication:
The term 'barriers of communication' is usually used when one party is having difficulty communicating with another party, and there can be many things that affect and act as 'the barriers of communication'. 1) Physical Barrier: Physical distractions and disturbances can easily disrupt the process of communication. Physical barriers could be noise, physical discomfort, or any physical factor. Physical noise refers to any process that disrupts the communication process. Distance between listener and speaker can also become barrier to effective communication. 2) Psychological Barrier: The most common psychological barrier is disturbed state of mind. Emotional disturbance can prove to be a barrier to effective communication. Feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety or fear can also influence effective communication. 3) Interpersonal Barrier: Interpersonal barrier occurs due to inappropriate transmission of words between two or more people. The difference in the status of sender and receiver may also be an obstacle to effective communication. The barrier between an employee and boss can be an interpersonal barrier. 4) Linguistics Barrier: If the first languages of both the listener and speaker are different then this can prove to be a barrier to effective communication. Different languages, vocabulary, accent, represents a regional barrier. Difficult words, jargon, technical terminology or unclear phrases can lead to confusion. Semantic gaps - words having similar pronunciation but multiple meanings can affect communication. 5) Emotional Barrier: Emotional state at a particular point of time also affects communication. An emotional barrier means that there is a divide between you and someone else based on suspicion, mistrust or fear. If you are feeling agitated, anxious or depressed, you may misunderstand what others are saying. If you are experiencing a high level of stress, you may be unable to adequately communicate your own needs. While a little amount of fear and lack of trust might be necessary, excess of these things is not good and prevents one from doing a lot of things including difficulty in communicating effectively. 6) Cultural Barrier: If the listener and speaker belong to different cultures and share different values, communication could become a difficult process. The interpretation of meaning can create misunderstandings during intercultural communication due differences in norms and values. Our values are our personal guides to thoughts and behaviour, and exert a strong influence on us. Accent can be also be a barrier to communication, since they interfere with the ability to understand the meaning of words that are pronounced differently.

7) Gender Barrier: Gender barriers to communication arise because men and women have a different way of communication and each feels uncomfortable while talking to the other because of the basic differences in communication styles. Studies have revealed that men and women listen differently and for different purposes. Women are more likely to listen for the motion behind a speakers words, when men listen more for the facts and content. Women link
logic and emotions while talking and men mainly try to relate to logic