What is Communication?


If you work in a field where you have to interact with tons of people and lead them through different processes and goals, the question of “what is communication?” is one that you need to know the answer to. After all, communication is key to any and every business process, and if you don’t understand the basics, you don’t have a hope of mastering the complicated bits. Communication is the basic element of leadership, and as any leader worth his title will tell you, communication is what makes or breaks a leader’s success.

You may be a brilliant visionary, an inventor par extraordinaire, a thinker like no other or even a wonderful planner and executor, but if you cannot communicate your thoughts and ideas well to other people, you are never going to get any results. Communication, thus, is central to success.

There are several approaches to understanding what is communication. Simply put, it is the process of taking some information and passing on said information from one person to the next, from one “communication point”, in the communication chain, to the next. Communication, thus, is any interpersonal contact and flow of ideas, decisions, opinions, views, thoughts etc.

Communication usually revolves around, but is not limited to, two or more people. However, it can also occur in different terms, such as between two office branches of a firm or two businesses working together or even between two devices, or in the case of non-human communication, between animals. Narrowing it down to two people isn’t necessary, but it generally how communication occurs: between one person and the next. For the sake of a formal structure, the key players in a communication chain are recognized as the ‘sender’ and the ‘receiver’. The information being exchanged is known as the ‘message’.

The interesting thing about communication is that the information being transferred and the medium the transfer occurs through are often confused to be one and the same thing, but they are not. The information is the message itself, being communicated between the sender and the recipient, and it can be in the form of words, images, music, gestures and drawings. The medium is the mode through which this message is sent, such as e-mails, voice messages, essays, books, articles, speeches- basically and written or spoken form.

Simply understanding communication is not enough, one needs to understand and master effective communication. Simply sending out an idea or thought is not enough, it must also be received in its entirety. For a leader, it is important to plan the message in such a manner that the team understands what you want done, how you want it done and the result you are expecting.

With The Leader Phrase Book, you will learn how to communicate effectively in the workplace so that you get maximum results.