Study Notes On Meaning, Types & Characteristics of Communication

By Mohit Choudhary|Updated : August 8th, 2022


Communication Study Notes

1. Definition: According to A. Kumar, “Communication is the process of making message understood by satisfying the need sets and ego sets of a receiver”.

  • Communication in the instructing procedure that encourages understudies to append ideas to their own lives, as these studies will be applied to their general surroundings.
  • Communication is an exchange of ideas and meanings between two persons or groups.
  • Signs, expressions, utterances, gestures, sounds, noises are the silent form of languages used by human beings.

2. Characteristics of Communication

  1. Communication encompasses sharing and distributive justice, the basis of communitarianism and communion since its root is communis or communicare.
  2. Communication is social interaction through messages.
  3. Its basic process is intrapersonal, which is wholly individualistic.
  4. Communication is constructed for the people and by the people.
  5. Communication is the language of life.
  6. It creates a common pool of ideas and strengthens the feeling of togetherness. 
  7. It serves to contribute to the liberation of mankind from want, oppression and fear and to unite it in community and communion, solidarity and understanding.


3. Types of communication

a. Classification on the basis of the relationship element

(i) Intrapersonal communication

  • It is communication inside an individual practically every one of the occasions, including conversing with oneself, turning in to oneself and relating one to oneself.
  • It includes individual reflection, mediation contemplation and even praying to God. We conceptualize and formulate our thoughts or ideas before we actually indulge in overt communication.

(ii) Interpersonal communication

  • It is also named as dyadic communication.
  • It is an all-inclusive type of close and personal routine communication between two individuals, both sending and receiving the message.
  • It may be formal or informal, verbal or non-verbal. It takes place anywhere by means of words, sounds, facial expression, gestures and postures.
  • It is an effective communication process as you can get immediate feedback. It has greater scope for grapevine.
  • Due to the proximity between the sender and the receiver, interpersonal communication has emotional appeal too.

(iii) Group communication

  • Group communication situations are quite common in day-to-day life.
  • A group is a number of people that has a common goal, interact with one another to attain the goal, recognize one another’s existence, and see themselves as part of the group.
  • Characteristics of the group in relation to an individual are on the basis of membership, dependence, acceptance, attraction, volition, innate pressure, change and flexibility and leadership.
  • Group communication is influenced by several heterogeneous factors, like age, sex, education, economic, social, linguistic, religious, national, regional and racial differences.
  • Group communication is viewed as effective as it gives a chance to coordinate connection among the individuals of the group and it helps in bringing about changes in attitudes and beliefs.

(iv) Mass communication

  • Mass correspondence and broad communications are for the most part thought to be synonymous.
  • At a different level, mass communication has three characteristics:

(i) The audience is large and heterogeneous: Radio and television are assumed to have a larger audience in comparison to the newspaper.

(ii) The source is a foundation or a gathering of individuals.

(iii) Some kind of mechanism is used to reproduce information. It is also termed as mediated communication.

  • Channels for mass communication are termed as mass media. Example of mass media includes radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and films.

b. Communication on the basis of Expression

(i). Verbal communication

  • Verbal means the use of words in the communication process and in the design and formulation of messages. In verbal communication, the message is transmitted verbally, i.e. by making use of words, such as oral and written.

Verbal communication is further divided into the following types:

1. Oral Communication: In oral correspondence, verbally expressed words are utilized. It includes face to face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television and voice over the internet. Oral communication is influenced by the following factors:

  • Pitch & Volume
  • Rate
  • Clarity in Speaking & Articulation

2. Written communication: In written communication, written signs and symbols, both in printed or handwritten form can be used.

  • Pictures, graphs, etc. are used to complement the written text.
  • The communicator’s writing skills, style and knowledge of grammar affect the quality of the message.
  • In written communication, the message can be transmitted through email, letter, report, memo etc.
  • This is the most commonly used communication in a business organization.

(ii). Non-verbal communication

  • It is the procedure of communication through sending and accepting silent messages.
  • There is a famous quote, ‘action speaks louder than words’. Here action stands for our body movements.
  • This communication is all about the body language of the speaker and does not make use of words.
  • Communication, other than body language, posture, tone of voice or facial expressions is called non-verbal communication.

c. Classification based on purpose and style

(i) Formal Communication

  • In the formal communication, certain rules, regulations, convention and protocols are followed while formulating and communicating a message.
  • It follows an organizational structure.
  • It tends to be upwards or downwards crosswise over the chain of importance or expert lines.
  • In the formal communication, the use of the right language and correct pronunciation is required.         

(ii) Informal communication:

  • Informal communication channels exist along with formal communication channels in any organization.
  • It primarily addresses the social needs of the students.
  • It is relational and essentially up close and personal and with utilization of body signals.
  • It happens among friends and family.
  • In informal communication, there are no formal rules and regulations for communication.
  • It is termed as grapevine.

d. Communication on the basis of direction

a. Vertical Communication:

  • This is fundamentally formal communication.
  • This can be upwards (base up) and downwards (top base).

b. Lateral communication:

  • Communication with individuals at the same level in the chain of command that are companions and partners is named as lateral communication.
  • This may join both formal and informal communications.

c. Diagonal Communication:

  • Diagonal Communication is effective as hierarchical buildings are removed and there is a free flow of information, cutting across positions or status.
  • It encourages building relationships between the superior and the subordinate.

Question time

Q.1. Communication with oneself is known as:

(A) Group communication

(B) Grapevine communication

(C) Interpersonal communication

(D) Intrapersonal communication

Ans: D

Solution: Communication with oneself is known as intrapersonal communication. Interpersonal communication is between two people. Grapevine communication is also known as informal communication. And group communication exists between a group of people.

Q.2. Which of the following are the characteristic features of communication?

(a) Communication involves the exchange of ideas, facts and opinions.

(b) Communication involves both information and understanding.

(c) Communication is a continuous process.

(d) Communication is a circular process.

Select the correct answer from the codes given below:

(A) (a), (b), (c) and (d)

(B) (a), (b) and (c)

(C) (a), (b) and (d)

(D) (b), (c) and (d)

Ans: A

Solution: Communication involves the exchange of ideas, facts and opinions. It involves both information and understanding and it is a continuous process. Communication is a circular process because the receiver sends feedback to the sender. 

Thank you.

Team BYJU'S Exam Prep


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