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Introduction to


Prof. Mallika Nawal

Changes @ the workplace

Success for YOU in the new global and

diverse workplace requires excellent
communication skills.

What is Communication

Communication is the process of transmission

of information of an originator to a receiver by
means of the use of a message that it goes from
one to another across a channel.

Let’s think…

Ravi, the door is open

How do we Communicate

Verbal Communication

• Familiar vs. Unfamiliar words

• Long vs. Short words
• Connotative vs. Denotative words
• Abstract vs. Concrete words
• Sexist and Racial words
• Profanity in Language
• Non-words or Word Whiskers

Familiar vs. Unfamiliar words

Such preparation shall be made as will completely

obscure all Federal buildings and non-Federal
buildings occupied by the Federal Government during
an air raid for any period of time from visibility by
reason of internal or external illumination. Such
obscuration may be obtained either by blackout
construction or by terminating the illumination.

(Letter sent to the US President, Franklin Roosevelt to be forwarded to the

Federal Works Agency by the Director of Civil Defense)

Familiar vs. Unfamiliar words

Tell them that in buildings where they have to keep

the work going to put something over the windows;
and in buildings where they can let the work stop for
a while, turn out the lights.

(Franklin Roosevelt’s simplified version, which was to be forwarded to the

Federal Works Agency)

Therefore, prefer happy to exultant; angry to livid; joy to euphoria;

try to endeavor; do to perform; find out to ascertain; etc.

Long vs. Short words
Long Words Short Words
The decision was predicated on the The decision was based on the belief
assumption that an abundance of that there would be more money.
monetary funds was forthcoming.
The antiquated calculator is The old calculator is useless for
ineffectual for solving sophisticated solving difficult problems.
It is imperative that the remuneration It is important that the pay hikes be
increments be terminated. stopped.
The adjudicators’ verdict was based The jury’s ruling was based on her
on her previous peccadilloes. past sins.
Erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Former USSR comprised of 15 nations
Republics comprised of 15 countries that split off from the Soviet Union in
that separated from the Union of December 1991.
Soviet Socialist Republics in
December 1991 9
Connotative vs. Denotative words
Term Denotative meaning Connotative Meaning
Car An automobile with four Ferrari Maruti 800
wheels used for transportation.
Home Place of residence Mansion Hut
Kill To deprive someone of life Homicide Murder
Prison A place of confinement Jail Correctional facility
Inquisitive Eager for knowledge Curious Nosy
Talk Exchange of verbal ideas Discussion Gossip

Abstract vs. Concrete words
Abstract Concrete
I’ll give you the report as soon as I’ll email you the report by 5:00 p.m.
Our revenues have improved. Our revenues have increased by 30%
for the fourth Quarter.
To excel in college, you’ll have to To excel in college, you’ll have to
work hard. attend all lectures, prepare notes, read
lecture notes before class and
complete several practice tests.

Sexist and Racial words
Politically Incorrect Version Politically Correct Version
Forefathers Ancestors
Policeman Police Officer
Firemen Fire-fighters
Air hostess/Air Steward Flight Attendant
Spokesman Spokesperson
Camermen Camera Crew
Manpower Staff/Employees
Salesman/Saleswoman Salesperson
Housewife Homemaker

Non-verbal Communication

• Kinesics (bodily activity)

• Proxemics (space)
• Paralanguage (voice)
• Haptics (touch)
• Chronemics (time)
• Artifacts (object)
• Physical appearance

The Communication Process

Noise Noise

Encode Decode

Sender CHANNEL Receiver

Decode Encode

Noise Noise

Encoding and Context

Type Language Function Example

Referential Giving Information It’s raining.
Expressive Expressing feelings or It’s bloody pissing down again!
Conative Influencing behavior Stay indoors till it stops raining!
Phatic Establishing social Nasty weather again, isn’t it?
Metalingual Referring to nature of the This is the weather forecast.
Poetic Foregrounding textual features It droppeth as the gentlest rain
from heaven.

Barriers to Communication

• Language • Channel or Medium

• Perception • Personal Interest
• Semantics • Inflections
• Inadequate Feedback • Poor Listening Skills
• Emotions
• Frame of Reference
• Degree of Knowledge
• Speed of thought
• Bypassing
• Hierarchy
• Physical Distractions
Miscommunication: The Cronkite Way

In Center Harbor, Maine, local legend recalls the day

when Walter Cronkite steered his boat into port. The
avid sailor was amused to see in the distance a small
crowd on shore waving their arms to greet him. He
could barely make out their excited shouts: “Hello
Walter, Hello Walter!”

Miscommunication: The Cronkite Way cntd…
As his boat came closer, the crowd grew larger, still
yelling. Pleased at the reception, Cronkite tipped his
white captain's hat, waved back, even took a bow.
But before reaching dockside, Cronkite's boat
abruptly jammed aground. The crowd stood silent.
The veteran news anchor suddenly realized what
they'd been shouting: “Low water, low water!”

Analysis of the Cronkite Case


Analysis of the Cronkite Case

Sender Sender
has encodes
idea message
Warn “Low
boater water!”

Analysis of the Cronkite Case

Sender Sender Channel

has encodes carries
idea message message
Warn “Low Message
boater water!” distorted

Analysis of the Cronkite Case

Sender Sender Channel Receiver

has encodes carries decodes
idea message message message
Warn “Low Message “Hello
boater water!” distorted Walter!”

Barriers Causing Cronkite Misunderstanding

 Frame of reference  Receiver accustomed to

acclaim and appreciative

 Language skills  Maine accent makes "water"

and "Walter" sound similar.

 Listening skills  Receiver more accustomed

to speaking than to listening.

Barriers Causing Cronkite Misunderstanding

 Emotional interference  Ego prompted receiver to

believe crowd was
responding to his celebrity

 Physical barriers  Noise from boat, distance

between senders and