Communication Competency: Social Networks and Communicating Eﬀ ectively in the Team Environment
We communicate continuously with our words, body language, written messages and other symbols. Sometimes our lack of communication sends a message as well. Th e word communication comes from the Latin verb communicare , which means to inform, participate or share. With time, the use of the word has come to refer to the transfer of intangible or abstract things. 1 Communication includes a wide variety of channels, methods and audiences. Yet, all communication is represented by a systematic sequence of events. Th e basic process of all communication includes predetermined expectations of desired outcomes of events. Th e implication in this basic description is that one can send a message with the intent of receiving something in return. However, a sender should understand that the process includes the interpretation of the message by the receiver of the message, and therefore the possibility of the receiver hearing something diﬀ erent to what the sender expected. For example, the initiator of a message might say, “Please complete the assignment as soon as possible.” Unless the intended receiver of the message asks for clariﬁ cation or feedback, the interpretation of “as soon as possible” might
range from “now” to “whenever I have time.” No eﬀ ective communication process is linear; it should be a continuous, iterative process.