Principles of Communication

In order to be effective and meaningful, the managerial function of communication must be guided by the following principles:-

i. Principle of understanding

Communication must be such, as transmits understanding of the communication message to the recipient; as per the intentions of the sender.

A practical application of this p1incipie requires that the message must be clearly expressed – whether made orally or in writing. Further, the message must be complete leaving no scope for any doubts likely to confuse the recipient and compel him towards a misinterpretation of the message. 

ii. Principle of attention

Communication must be made in such a manner; that it invites the attention of the recipient to it.

For a practical application of this principle. it is imperative that not only must the message be expressed in a pleasant and sound manner; but also the purpose of the sender in making communication, must be absolutely clarified. 

iii. Principle of Brevity

The message to be communicated must be brief; as usually the recipient, specially an executive, would not have much time to devote to a single piece of communication.

However, brevity of the message must not be sought at the cost of clarity or completeness of the message. The sender must strike a balance among these three forces -brevity, clarity and completeness. 

iv. The principle of timeliness

The communication must be timely i.e. must be made at the high time, when needed to be communicated to the recipient. An advance communication carries with it the danger of ‘forgetting’, on the part of the recipient, while a delayed communication loses its purpose and charm, and becomes meaningless, when the right time for action on it has expired. 

v. The principle of appropriateness (or rationality)

The communication must be appropriate or rational, in the context of the realization of organizational objectives. Communication must be neither impracticable to act upon; nor irrational. Making no contribution to common objectives. 

vi. Principle of feedback

Communication must be a two-way process. The feedback (or reaction or response) of the recipient to the message, must be as easily transferable to the sender, as the original communicable made by the sender. The idea behind emphasizing on the feedback aspect of communication is that it helps the sender to modify his subsequent communications in view of the reactions of the recipient- making for better and improved human relations.

vii. Principle of the constructive and strategic use of informal groups

The management must not hesitate in making a constructive and strategic use of informal groups; for ensuring and facilitating speedier communications in emergency situations. Such as a use of informal groups would also help develop good human relations- by upgrading the status of informal groups and their leaders. However, management must assure itself that rumors are not spread by informal groups. And for this, a guard over the manner of functioning of informal groups, while transmitting a formal communication, is but imperative.