RN, BScN, MA (Human Resource Management & Communication)Middlesex University, UK.Senior manager of the health & social care department, T.E.I. of Larissa, Greece.
The communication is perception product that is improved with feedback. The ancient Greeks considered important the communication for the social cohesion, the democracy, the justice, the education of young people and citizens. The newer and modern writers elect the communication tool of approach and people management – information - scientific knowledge - products - economic and commercial transactions, problems, populations, cultures and reading of sentimental signals. The directed communication in the human relations creates positive psychosocial environment in the working place, education administration, etc. The achievement of effective communication needs knowledge, dexterities, powerful will and people respect. The culture of human communication in the new digital – communication environment is necessary in individual – common – labour – teacher – administrative level for the peace, the growth of populations and the maintenance of human values. The aim of this review paper is the presentation of the theoretical framework of communication, the dynamic and importance of this through the Greek and foreign bibliography.
communication, power, and importance
Communication is a basic human function and a prominent human need; every person, by nature, wants to send and receive messages, express his own thoughts and get in touch with the others. (Kazazi 1993).
From the moment we are born until the day we die we receive thousands of messages of various content in which we react with verbal symbols, body language, emotions and behavior.
The structure of the human brain gives people the potential to use the organ “tongue” in order to compose verbal symbols (written – oral speech), use their senses, their thought and the place were the rational part of the soul lives.
This specific different distinguishes man to other living creatures. Senses keep a person in touch with what happens in the external environment at every single moment, while the nervous system informs them about the reactions occurring in their organism.
Behavior in a certain place, smell, the expression of the face, the state of the body and mind, clothing, haircut, the touch and the eyesight of a person, are all non-verbal communication elements. One look, a smile, a gesture are all clear and expressive means of communication among people of all ages. Non-verbal communication (body language) is important because it expresses real feelings and it leads to effective communication.
People communicate with the help of verbal – written word, body language and the use of mechanical, technological and optical means. The evolution of technology has accomplished an important role in the research of all forms of communication and as a result there is numerous communicative potential.
Digital technology and Internet are the first steps of the new forms of communication. The discovery of Internet creates a new language, which allows people to cooperate, regardless of country, borders and limits. Internet (World Wide Web Consortium W3C) is the technological background, which allows the communicative touch among people with the help of newsgroups, chat rooms and forums. This rising and falling wave of communication has affected a lot of romantics and idealists as well as merchants.
Man’s ardent desire to develop relationships for something different better enables him to communicate with his environment, with other people and the humanity as a collective entity.
Nowadays in every working place, which is equipped with the achievement of the digital revolution, communication is the vital tool for anyone to recognize the correct emotional signs, to transfer persuasive and clear messages, to enable the groups to function correctly, to understand modern societies, to analyze civilizations etc., (Goleman, 1999).
A lot of writers and researchers have been involved in the notional content of communication, its use, value and importance.
The concept of communication
In our wise and living language, communication means:
• Come in touch
• Participate in something
• Get information about something
• And in the broadest sense means:
• Message, (Stamatakos, 1952; Tegopoulos-Fytrakis, 1993)
According to Hund (1986), every exchange or transmission of information – messages, is being characterized as communication behavior, since there is exchange of codes and emotions.
Feldmann (1977) argues that communication could be considered as the main life procedure of the society.
Silbermann (1973) claims that with the concept “communication” we mean the mechanism by which the human relationships arise and are maintained.
Moscovici (1976), names communication as the procedure of spreading and exchanging important messages, demands and cultural elements, between individuals and groups, during their relations contracting.
Morris and Singus (1946), called communication the mechanism through which the human relationships develop and the mechanism that includes the symbols of thinking, along with the objects of their transfer, into the space and their conservation in time pass.
Wrigth (1959) considers communication as a procedure of transferring concepts among individuals.
Piperopoulos (1996) characterises communication as a workmanship of efficient exchange of information between one person and a group, or between two or more groups of individuals. He adds that it is a broad concept, which includes all the ways (means-written word, verbal word and body language) by which one’s brain could affect another one.
In that respect, communication could schematically be presented in the following:
Communication = transmitter + message + means + receiver
The achievement of communication (target – effectiveness) depends on the transmitter and the receiver. The transmitter is the point where communication starts and the receiver is the point of acceptance and further action. Since receiver takes the message, he asks himself questions about how he should act regarding the message. According to Anastasiadis, 1995; Sarris, 1998; Friedrich, 1998; the understanding of the message depends on:
• The good level of receiver’s self-knowledge,
• The personal self-respect,
• The subjective perception of reality,
• The feelings of interaction that individual receives from the transmitter,
• The personal emotional condition,
• The individual physical condition,
• The effect of environmental factors,
• The individual culture.
The achievement of human communicative relation and the development of interpersonal relationships, presuppose special knowledge and skills, such as the following:
• High command of the language
• Ability to manipulate verbal and written word
• Knowledge of communication policy
• Psychology and sociology knowledge
• Ability to verify the culture of the receiver and his environment for the success of the relation
• Ability to select and use the appropriate transmission means
• Ability to formulate the message with clarity, simplicity and briefness
• Ability to improve the information and to maintain the interest
• Ability to hear, abstine, understand and evaluate the receiver’s reaction
• Ability to generate retroaction
• Ability to create climate of trust and friendliness, (Mellor, 1990; Baguley, 1994; Burnes, 1994; Libani 1997; Panagiotopoulou, 1997; Sarris, 1998).
The importance of communication
Ancient Greeks considered communication to be important for the social cohesion and democracy. Evidence to this are the creation of the ancient market, the establishment of theatres etc. where people used to meet, exchange information and goods and where they had the opportunity to send and receive knowledge and ideas. Several philosophers and prominent dramatic writers dealt with the communication as a form of teaching. Socrates, the philosopher, has been a warm supporter of verbal word and the founder of the “dialectic theory”. He was the first to realise the significance of communication for the youth’s and the citizen’s education. In one of his dialogues with Protagoras he noted the verbal word’s power by saying: “I heard (…) that you are capable of speaking on your own or even teaching other people by saying a lot of things about the same subject in order that the dialogue won’t ever finish and no one will ever say less than you do”.
Gorgias, the thinker, answering Socrates’ question, says the most important good is the art of persuasion giving the following arguments: “What I say is that the most important good is the ability to persuade everybody: the judges in the court, the members of the parliament, the citizens in a public meeting and anyone who takes part in a gathering”.
Several surveys have shown that communication is the key to human relationships and the key to social groups. Communication and information play an important role in the creation of preconditions for peace, dignity, justice, disarmament and solving of universal problems, (Howard, 1995). According to the opinion of Chester Barnard (1983), communication possesses are the central point in an organisation.
Katz and Kahn (1966), in their study with the title “The Social psychology of organisations”, emphasise: “The nearest anyone comes to the centre of decision making, the clearest the emphasis is given to information exchange and communication”. They also believe that it works as a positive psychological motivation for performance.
In modern psychosocial theory prevails the view that communication is important for business and organisations which operate in uncertain conditions or they are multi-composed and own high technology. In particular, it is important for business and organisations where there is big human potential and emphasis is given to human factor and its ideas, (Tzortzakis and Tzortzaki, 1992; Beardwell, 1994; Andrews and Herschel, 1996).
Harold Willensky (1967) believes that the necessity for communication is imposed by the size and the structure of the organisation, by the heterogeneity of members, the range of targets and the centralisation of power.
The Sociologist Talcott Parsons (1960) investigates the importance of communication at the institutional, administrative and technical level. Parsons’ shape can interpret problems of dis-function in highest University institutions.
Orientated communication in human relations creates positive psychosocial environment into an organisation or business and achieves:
• Human reach
• Realisation of the problems (analysis of the needs and the opportunities, tracking of talents, etc.)
• Problem solution
• Crisis Solution
• Reduction of the conflicts in a group
• Promotion of the collective thoughts
• Performance of bargaining influence
• Positive climate of support and effectiveness
• Reassurance of the feelings of acceptance, understanding, cooperation, correct behaviour and achievement of the interpersonal knowledge
• Transmission of knowledge, messages
• Exchange of ideas
• Send clear and persuasive messages
• Development of ways of communication (public – international relationships)
• Collective reform
• Achievement of objective targets
• Taking and application of decisions
(Fiedler, 1967; Kanellopoulos, 1990; Katsanevas, 1991; Guest, 1996; Giannouleas, 1997;Ksirotiri-Koufidou, 1997; Theodoratos, 1999 , ; Goleman, 1999).
Nicholas Negreponte claims that the natural world of the past becomes digital with the creation of new products, markets and the reform of the organised and administrative activity. He believes that a modern organisation or a business can build relationships among the colleagues, the clients and the participants by having one and only foundation: the inter-servant human relationships.
Michael Dertouzos (1997) confesses that the Informative Revolution is radical like the Agricultural and the Industrial one it also threatens to convert the society and the economy completely. The employees have more possibilities to participate in taking decisions but they have to work more cleverly and hard in order to maintain their job.
Digital Revolution offers numerous communications potential to human beings. Through Internet everybody has the following potential: he/she can be educated and entertained, he/she can make financial exchanges, conduct trade, buy personal things, send messages, communicate with people who have common or different interests, enjoy virtual laughter etc.
Although the use of Internet has got o lot of positive achievements it also broods enough dangers, which are associated with the non-enforcement of the individual, right, the survival of the values, the violation of information and the governmental burglaries. A lot of researchers are worried because of the selfishness in the interpersonal relationships to thousands of people due to the intrusion in the cyberspace. The answer given to the question that is daily asked, if the warmth of the human relationships can be replaced by the electronic communication, is “No” according to the Internet experts (Pappa, 1999).
Dertouzos (1997), believes that the human relationships are neither going to be lost nor be increased magically from the informative market.
The invasion of television and Internet opens a new period into people’s relationships. The traditional way of communication tends to be replaced by a new form of communication, which can be characterised as a monologue because it composes the passive acceptance of the information.
The new means of communication promote new ideas, new models of behaviour and construct a new communicative class. The information becomes the one and only target. Actually, communicative relationship takes the form of an exchange between the owner of the information and the ambitious user. Being in such a speedy evolution people are puzzled whether they have to abandon the traditional way of communication, the human approach, the warmth, the smile, the understanding and the feeling or to combine the traditional way with the new one.
By nature, every human being gets feelings and forms emotions, he has the ability to realise pain, happiness and sadness in contrast to the electronic means, which are weak. Whoever wants to maintain his humanism is obliged to struggle in this modern informative and communicative environment using this unique difference which characterises every human being: the expressive smile, the warm gesture, the complete speech.
The cultivation of human communication at the individual, common, labour, educational, and administrative level is judged necessary for the social cohesion, the democracy, the freedom, the growth, the peace and the rescue of human values.3670