Communication 4

Factors to Consider When Choosing Means of

Communication

i) Speed: Speed is an important factor when the message is urgent.

In such a case telex, fax, telephone, telegram or e-mail would be the most suitable means of communication. Otherwise ordinary mail would be
used.

ii) Cost: The cost incurred in using a means of communication vary from one means to another e.g. it is cheaper to send messages by ordinary
mail than by telegram or telex.

iii) Confidentiality: Some messages are quite confidential and are intended for certain person only. Where confidential messages are involved,
appropriate means should be used e.g. registered mail or internal memo enclosed in an envelope.

iv) Distance: The geographical gap between the sender and recipient is very important in determining the means of communication to be used.

Some means are suitable for long distances while others are not.

Paging and sirens are suitable for short distances.

For long distances, fax letters, telephone, e-mail may be appropriate.

v) Evidence: Some means of communication do not provide record of the message communicated while others do.

All means of written communication provide evidence of messages communicated.

vi) Reliability: This is the assurance (certainty) that the message will reach
the intended person at the right time in the right form.

Face-to-face communication is more reliable than other forms of communication because one can ask for clearly and get answers immediately. For some
written information, courier service may be preferred.

vii) Accuracy: This refers to the exactness of the message communicated as intended by the sender. Written messages are generally more accurate than other means of communication.

viii) Desired impression: The impression created upon the recipient of a message is very important e.g. a telegram or speed post mail will carry some sence of urgency, registered mail will create an impression of confidentiality while use of colourful and attractive letterheads would
convey a good image of the business.

ix) Availability: One may want to telephone, for example, but the services are not there so the person would be forced to use alternative means e.g.letters or radio call.

Barriers to Effective Communication

Communication is said to be complete only when the recipient gets the message the way the sender intends it to be.

When information is not received the way it was intended then it has been distorted. Distortion of a message is brought about by some communication barriers which may exists in the path of the message between the sender and the recipient.

Some of these barriers are:

I. Language used:

the language used by the sender should be known
(understood) by the recipient so that communication can take place

II. Poor Listening:

the effectiveness of communication will depend on the willingness of the recipient to listen keenly .

listening require careful attention and concentration. It may however be the task of the sender of the message to attempt to gain the attention of the listener.

Through his/her choice of words and expression among others.


III. Negative Attitude:

Attitude refers to the feelings of the
communicating parties towards each other. It is important that there exists a mutual feeling of trust and respect between the parties concerned in order to avoid bias .

If there is mistrust and prejudice then there may be deliberate or unintentional misunderstanding of the message involved.

IV. Poor Timing:

poor timing leads to breakdown in communication ,therefore for effective communication to take place the message must be sent and received at an appropriate time, eg a message sent when one is in a hurry may not be properly received or delivered.

V. Wrong medium:

the medium used to communicate must be
appropriate for the message being conveyed otherwise there may breakdown in communication e.g. one may not convey a confidential message over the telephone effectively.

VI. Prejudgment: our understanding of the message is often conditional by our earlier experiences and knowledge this may make one individual draw premature conclusion e.g. a student who always fail in a subject and
this time round has improve may be failed by the teacher because he has always failed in the past .
VII. Ambiguities:

it occurs when the sender express in a manner which leads to wrong interpretation.

When the receiver interprets the message
differently it automatically leads to communication breakdown.

VIII. Emotional responses:

emotional responses such as those
resulting
from hunger or excitement may lead to distortion of message.

IX. Unclear System within the organization:

if the channels of passing information in an organization are not clear then the message will not get to the right people for whom the messages intended.

X. Noise:

it refers to any disturbing sounds which interfere with concentration or listening ability of the recipient of the message the presence of noise may make it impossible for any message to be received in the right way.

XI. Unfamiliar Non-verbal signals:

lack of understanding of non-verbal sign may be a barrier to effective communication.

Service That Facilitate Communication

Services that facilitate communication include:

i) Mailing services

ii) Telephone services

iii) Broadcasting services

Mailing services

This refers to handling of letters and parcels. They are offered by organizations such as postal corporation of Kenya (P.C.K) securicorl courier
and Document handling Limited (D.H.L)

Some of the services offered by the postal corporation include:

a) Speed post: This is service offered by the post office to send correspondence and parcels to a destination in the shortest time possible.

The post office uses the quickest means of transport available to deliver the mail.

The sender pays the normal postage fee plus a fee for special service.

An example of such a service is Expedited Mail Service (EMS) speed post.

b) Ordinary Mail

These include surface mail and airmail.
Surface Mail:

These include letters and parcels delivered by road, rail, water and hand.

AirMail: This consists of letters and light parcels delivered by air.

c) Express Mail;

An express mail is/must be presented at the post office counter by the sender and the envelope clearly addressed and a label with the word “express” affixed. Normal postage plus an extra fee (commission) is charged.

The mail is delivered to the receivers nearest post office from where the post office makeS arrangements to deliver the mail to the receiver within the shortest time possible.

NOTE: For speed post special arrangements to deliver the mail start at the sender’s post office whereas express mail, the arrangements start at the addressers post office.

d) Poste Restante;

This is a service offered by the post office to travelers who may wish to receive correspondence right away from their post office box.

The addressee has to inform those who may wish to correspond with him/her of the nearest post office he is likely to use at a particular time
Under this arrangement when addressing the letter, the words poste Restante must be written on the envelope clearly.

The addressee must identify himself/herself when collecting the correspondence from the post office.

There is no additional charge made apart from normal postage charges.

This service can only be offered for three months in the same town.

e) Registered Mail;

This service is offered by the post office for sending articles of value for which security handling is required.

A registration fee and a commission is
paid. The commission depends on the weight of the article and the nature of registration.

The sender is required to draw a horizontal and a vertical line across the faces of the envelope.
A certificate of registration is given to the sender.

In case of loss, the sender may be paid compensation on production of the certificate of registration.

A green card is sent to the recipient. The card bears his name and the post office at which the mail was registered.

The recipient will be required to identify himself before being allowed to posses the mail.

Items that may be registered include jewels, certificate, land title deeds e.t.c.

f) Business Reply Service;

This is a service offered by the post office to
business firms on request.

The firm pays some amount to the post office and
an account is then opened from which posted charges are deducted.


The service is useful/more common with firms which would like to encourage their customers to reply their letters.

Customers are issued with reply card envelopes (or envelopes marked ‘postage paid’)

They can send letters to the business by using these envelopes/the card.

The customers then place the card/envelope in the post box and the firms post office branch will deduct postage charges from the lump sum amount.

Communication 1 | Communication 2 | Communication 3 | Communication 4 | Communication 5 | Communication 6 |

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