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So what is Communication?
Is it about the voice that comes out of our vocal chords, the display of the bodily and mind emotions that is read by others or is it a series of letters strung together to form a meaningful word?

A communication is the process by which two or more individuals or systems are able to understand each other and are able to bring out an identifiable means of reflecting what has been understood.
But be cognizant of the fact that not all communication can bring out the so called identifiable means or that the understanding is to happen immediately to show the output as soon as the process is completed.
An instance of this example has been described in the article on Moment of Truth.

The purpose of the process of communication is to ensure that the intent is clear to all the individuals and systems involved. It is as simple as that.

But in a psychosocial environment where there are constant clashes of self images, it sometimes becomes a delayed response for the identifiable means of the successful communication to come out.
This has also been the endeavor of many Quality Management Systems to see how this delayed response can be bridged.

A good Quality Management System ensures that the processes defined are able to make the “moment of truth” of its intent hits it's intended audience as fast as possible.

This brings out a lot more aspects of communication:
1) Communication is incomplete if the intent is not clear
2) Communication is incomplete if the intended audience is not available or if the intent is not with the purpose of the intended audience’s need.

So each time you look at any system, it should be able to convey its intent, purpose, intended audience – basically the why, what, where, when, who and how (WWWWWH) in a very clear manner.

Each time a communication process is initiated, it should be ensured that all the relevant stakeholders are involved in its initiation. Each communication has to have an “owner”. This owner is to ensure that the message sent, is loud and clear to its intended audience and should also be responsible for any kind of a clarification that is sought by the intended audience on the intent and purpose of the communication.

The Concept of Miscommunication

Miscommunication is failure in the process of communication. If the communication is sent to the wrong audience or if the communication does not give its audience the complete message, then it becomes a miscommunication.

Remember that all communication that is given to mislead others on purpose is good communication. As the intent of misleading the intended audience has been successful.

Miscommunication is when a process is not clearly understood by the users of the process. A need for checklist is an identifying factor for presence of miscommunication or failure of the intent of the communication.

A checklist is created to simplify the existing process or standard for its intended audience. So when the aspect of simplifying the process or a standard arises, for example, by creation of a checklist, then it is the “moment of truth” of the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.
Though this can be argued upon, the fact remains that the checklists are almost always created to simplify the existing standards and processes. Of course, checklists created as part of corrective actions are also to prevent miscommunication.

Good Communication
For a good communication to happen, the first aspect is to identify all the relevant stakeholders of the communication and understand from them what is it they want to be clarified in the communication.

Once the “why” is clear, a plan needs to be devised on the when, where, whom, what, who and how part of the communication. This would complete the communication process.

Most of the times, what is observed is that either the why is not clear or the plan is not followed – which leads to miscommunication.

Other Aspects of Communication
Communication as a whole does not just include documents and emails, but it also includes vocal and bodily expressions. The cycle of communication is completed only when all these aspects come together to express the intent to the intended audience successfully.

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