The essay is concerned mainly with the analysis on whether communication is an art or skill. The main purpose of communication is served when the communication process is effective. The main keys for an effective communication process are that of practice, rehearsing, and fine-tuning. Communication is not an easy task to carry out as it appears to be. Everybody is not blessed with this art. Art is a superior skill that is learnt by study, practice and observation. Communication is a form of art. Communication can’t be learned in a day or two instead it is a long process. Communication is a very dynamic process, but its nature is to indicate a dynamic situation or relationship which includes change, development or growth. We all get involved in this process of communication at varying levels; therefore this process involves various elements. Communication involves interaction with our environments- physical, biological and social. The basic need for communication can be traced in the process of man’s evolution as communication has ever since evolved like fine and applied art (Kourkouta 2014).
Communication plays an important role in shaping of social, political, professional and emotional scenario broadly; there are two forms of communication, verbal and non-verbal. Communication can be explained through different ways, the word is derived from the Latin word ‘communis’, which stands for to make common or to share. When there is a certain level of commonness, then communication takes place (Johnson 2015). The area of commonness can be- commonness of interest, ideas, beliefs, thoughts, feelings of wanting to know, respect, response, etc. the main purpose of communication is to make the message clear to both, the sender and the receiver. According to definition, it is a process of meaningful transmission like a chain of action and reactions in which reactions take place within a person, between two people and among fewer people. Art is something that is developed after a hard work of long time in terms of gaining the knowledge and sense of communication. This art consists of matching the field of experience amongst individuals. Development of the field of experience is an art in itself, and it is a difficult to learn. Field of experience means the knowledge and intellect level between the communicator and the receiver must be the same, so that whatever the communicator communicates must reach the receiver in a correct manner. If field of experience is not the same between the sender and receiver, communication process can’t be successful. Our background, knowledge and virtually anything about us makes up the field of experience. This field of experience is a gradual process which is attained after a lot of experience and dedication which ultimately is evidence that communication is much more than being a mere skill (Warnecke 2014).
According to Theodore Peterson, “communication is all the way in which a person influences another and in turn, is influenced (M & David. 2016).”
Communication is basically sharing expressions, transfer or transmission of messages, for interaction purpose and for instructing and sharing with codes, signals and symbols. A communication process may consist of numerous elements, it may be visible as well as invisible, but the basic elements are stated to be-
Communicator- a communicator is always required to initiate. To start the message, the communicator must have something to say i.e. the message.
Message- the message is the encoding of views, ideas, beliefs and information that is to be conveyed to the masses or an individual (ZoharIlana. 2015).
Channel- the message then is to be conveyed by some channel and the channel is the source which connects the communicator and the audience.
Receiver- he/she is the fourth pillar of the process of communication whom the message is targeted at.
The art of communication is incomplete if any of these elements is missing, communication can’t take place (Monica. 2015).
Verbal mode of communication is the most significant mode of communicating our thoughts. Verbal communication is where we communicate using speech. In interpersonal encounters, verbal communication is adopted. The pace of speaking, tone, accent and clarity are some of the factors which guide effective verbal communication. But, we can’t ignore the role of non-verbal communication in interpersonal communication, as there are numerous situations where we express ourselves through touch, gestures, and facial expressions. Communication is the best tool for a human to develop. Communication is a way through which an individual expresses his thoughts and ideas by any mean like writing, speaking etc (Wilczynski 2009).
Communication process begins since a person is born and since then keeps on evolving and improving. Communication is an art of expressing, interacting, and influencing. It is said that, communication can be seen as a process that ends up learning at an individual level. Certain aspects of the communication process to be successful are-
Selective attention- Human communication by its nature is selective. We will pay attention to only that portion which interests us.
Selective perspective- An individual according to human nature perceives only those things that he/she wants to perceive or whatever suits his/her needs.
Selective Retention- human nature retains information only for the purpose of recalling. This means people tend to retain those messages which they have repeatedly perceived.
All these factors are developed by an individual after a long term. Hence, communication is an art not a skill. Because art is something that takes a lot of time to develop. For the effectiveness of this art the messages should be well planned, well-rehearsed and well presented, well checked before the actual transmission to an individual, group or the masses. The successful communicator is the one who finds the right method of expression to establish empathy with the largest possible number of individuals in the audience. The communicator must always have the mean of imparting information to influence the ideas. The task can be differentiated in two parts, knowing what to communicate and how to deliver the message to make the greatest impact possible.
There is always a requirement for effective communication at workplace and business. It is all about knowing one’s target audience and the selection of accurate message and the correct source of transmission. It is necessary to design a communication layout strategy for the effectiveness of business. The strategy can be developed by getting acquainted to one’s employees. It is said that conveying ideas, thoughts and information that every employee is on the same platform while communicating information derives respect from the employees. An organization should develop a communication plan; it is always beneficial to develop a communication plan. This plan can help in reflecting the business culture of one’s organization. There are different options available for the purpose of business communication like writing communication and oral communication. Be it oral or verbal communication, it is important for the disseminator to learn the importance of communication.
An individual can develop any skill in a short span of time and when that skill achieves supremacy and effectiveness it becomes art. Similarly, we all communicate with each other every other moment. It might be formal in format, casual, general or informal but that is mere for interacting, but when it comes to art in communication the process isn’t formal, casual, informal or general, it is effective. The communicator develops this art with time where he becomes an influence and all his/her thoughts reach out the masses in the same manner he/she wishes to. When the process of communication becomes an art it provides people with an aesthetic sense and pleasure. Then the process of communication becomes persuasive. The vision towards communication develops in the form of a social angle and becomes social interaction through messages. Communication as an art develops into commonality and it is said that where there is no commonality there is no communication. In terms of art, communication system allows one to make decisions based on information received through the senses. Here the communicator becomes the originator as well as the receiver of the message. The development of the communication process as an art begins when an individual’s physical, social and psychological existences and strengths depend upon his or her ability to decode, interpret and communicate. it basically provides a base to other formats of communication like scripts, poems, ideas, paragraphs, etc. communication is a way of expressing and expressing is always accompanied by person’s expressions, eye movements, had gestures, dress, posture as well as other non-verbal stimuli that the person emits. At times, non-verbal actions supplements verbal stimuli supplement the verbal actions, sometimes they contradict them and at times they replace them which can be intentional as well as unintentional. The process of obtaining or developing coordination between the verbal and non-verbal stimuli is another format of art which hereby reflects that communication is an art not a skill. The tailored process of communication presented after immense shire work it never fails in serving its purpose of benefitting and affecting the masses and followers. It is not difficult to conclude that communication becomes an art when practiced appropriately, which in comparison is many steps ahead of the skill tag.
It is well said by Charles Wright, “communication is the process of transmitting meaning between individuals” and this transmission of messages needs practice which is an art not a skill. Hence, we can easily say that communication is an art nota skill.
Johnson, S 2015, 'A framework to embed communication skills across the curriculum: A design-based research approach', Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, vol 12, no. 4.
Kourkouta, L 2014, 'Communication in Nursing Practice', PMC Journals, vol 26, no. 1, pp. 65-67.
M, A & David. 2016, 'Developing Effective Communication Skills', Journal of Oncology Practice., pp. 265-267.
Monica. 2015, 'Effective Communication, Better Science'.
Warnecke, E 2014, 'The art of communication', AFP journals, vol 43, no. 3, pp. 156-158.
Wilczynski, E 2009, 'Teaching Basic Communication Skills'.
ZoharIlana. 2015, '“The Art of Negotiation” Leadership Skills Required for Negotiation in Time of Crisis', Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol 3, p. 285.
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