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Topic Introduction to



By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Explain what is meant by the word „communication‰ in general;
2. Identify the main elements in the communication process;
3. Differentiate between oral and written communication;
4. Highlight some basic tips on writing; and
5. List the common pitfalls to avoid in written communication.

This topic gives you an overview of communication and introduces you to the main elements in the communication process. It also highlights the importance of writing clear, positive messages and offers you some basic tips and guidelines on this form of communication so that you may become more proficient in the kind
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Below are some possible problem areas that may turn out to to be barriers to effective communication:

The sender and receiver of a message may be of equal status within a hierarchy (e.g. managers in an organisation) or they may be at different levels (e.g. manager/employee, lecturer/student, business owner/clients).
This difference in status sometimes affects the effectiveness of the communication process.


Cultural Differences
Cultural differences, both within or outside the organisation (for example, inter-departmental dealings and communication with outside organisations or ethnic minorities) may impede the communication process.





Choice of Communication Channels
Before you choose your communication channel, you should ask yourself whether the channel is appropriate for a particular purpose and the person/receiver you have in mind. Sending messages via inappropriate channels can send out wrong signals and end up creating confusion.


Length of Communication
The length of the message also affects the communication process. You need to be sure that it serves the purpose and is appropriate for the receiver. Is the message too long or too brief?


Use of Language
Poor choice of words or weak sentence structure also hampers communication. The same goes for inappropriate punctuation. The two sentences below
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