Communication is not as simple as what I had thought all along. It does have a lot of meanings embedded deep inside. I did not realise the complexities involved in communication until I read those online articles listed on the module hand-outs.
After reading those articles, I realized that communication has to be personalized. Even before we start to speak or write something, we need to consider whether the receiver is capable of decoding our messages.
The sender has to encode the message differently if the receivers were coming from different backgrounds. For instance, if I had to give instructions to two different people: a skilled worker and a farmer. I would have to say it differently to each of them. A farmer would not have understood my message if I had said, “Go to my desktop, open my folder and zip the file”. Imagine what the farmer would have done if he does not know computers!
A Personalised Message
For me to send my message effectively across, I would have said, “Switch on my computer, and the desktop would appear on my computer screen. Click on ‘My folder’…..”
It is indeed crucial for us to understand the audience so that we can foresee and anticipate such problems. We should not assume that everyone is going to interpret our messages correctly even if our messages are clear. Communicating with someone is akin to sending a personalized gift. If the receiver understands your message, he is going to keep it.
Communication is an art, not Science
Is it true that “communication is art, not science?”. I guess this is true if the word “communication” in the phrase is referring to communication at the human level.
Being a life science student who has been studying life at a molecular level, I would say communication is evident in science. To illustrate this, one needs to understand that in order for a gene to be activated in the cells, there is a need for other protein molecules to assemble on the gene itself. It is interesting because the proteins have to “cross-talk” and communicate with other proteins in order for the proteins to assemble in an orderly manner.
The cross-talking between proteins works by sending and receiving signals. If there is a distortion in the gene signalling, the gene would not be activated and a mutation might occur.
Similarly, the communication process works by sending, receiving, encoding and decoding signals or messages. Isn’t human communication about communicating between human brains? Could our brains be explained through scientific or artistic manner? So, isn’t communication both arts and science?
It is not difficult to see why communication is pertinent to our lives. It is the bridge that connects people together, forming large networks. Effective communication can be achieved when the sender encodes a message which could be decoded correctly by the receiver. Our messages need to be “personalized” so that the receivers are able to interpret them.
Lastly, communication is part of our human nature. Communication encompasses everything.