Verbal communication involves passing of information, using words. The words could be either written or spoken. The recipient of verbal communication must be capable of interpreting or decoding the information. In addition, the recipient understanding dependents on the level of concentration that he or she has. If the recipient is not attentive, the recording and understanding of the sent information is significantly impaired. When relaying information to a recipient, the sender assumes that the recipient is interested in the information. However, the concentration and interest of the recipient in the subject depends on the state of the mind. A string of words, that is a speech, is used to present the information. This string of words may have different meanings depending on the context of the particular speech. The efficiency of verbal communication depends on both the recipient and the sender. In this essence, the ability of the sender to code the information into an appropriate speech affects the accuracy of the speech as understood by the recipient. On the other hand, the recipient’s concentration is a major factor, determining the degree of efficiency of the speech (Butterfield, 2010).
In some cases, the recipient is required to provide responses to the sender of the words. The sender can then evaluate the manner, in which the recipient has decoded and interpreted the words. With the position of the recipient established, the sender can decide on whether to send another message. A feedback also helps the sender to frame the next sentence in the speech. Often, verbal communication lacks the essence of speech, when a single word is used to express the information.
Non-verbal communication consists of information that lacks the use of words. It consists of signs and other visual representations of information. Non-verbal communication will mostly use gestures and facial expressions. This style of communication is often less definitive than verbal communication. However, it may be used to aid the recipient in decoding verbal communication. For example, a recipient of a spoken speech is able to assess the gravity of a warning, depending on the facial expression of the sender. In addition, the importance of a written sentence in a paragraph may be emphasized by the position of the information or the color of the writings. In real life, non-verbal communication and verbal communication are dependent on each other (Hinde, 1972).
Several factors contribute to effective communication between individuals. One of the factors is the clarity of the sender of the message. Clarity depends on the ability of the sender to code or translate the information into a signal, which is sent to the recipient. A person may put some information into a speech, but use a language unknown to the recipient leading to failure of communication. Thus, the effectiveness of the communication is dependent on the ability of the sender of information to tailor the signal in the simplest way for the particular recipient to decode and interpret. These abilities of the sender of the information are referred to as clarity.
For communication to be successful, the objective of communicating the particular message should be clear to the recipient and the sender. When the sender knows the expected reaction from the recipient, the information can be tailored to elicit that particular reaction. On the other hand, the receiver should identify the reason for the sent information. This way, he or she is able to place the message in its right context. The failure to place the message in its appropriate context leads to correct decoding, but erroneous interpretation. For example, “I visited an orthopedic doctor to determine the cause of the pain in my left hip joint. After several blood tests, the physical cause of the pain could not be determined. However, the doctor had some suggestions about the probable cause of the pain”. When he started explaining the problem, he seemed to have an accurate picture of what the problem was. Despite this correct interpretation of the situation, the doctor used such complicated terms that the purpose of the conversation was ignored. Consequently, I could not understand the meaning of the vocabulary and his whole speech. Therefore, I failed to take the right steps to alleviate the pain.
The other important principle is feedback. The sender of the message is able to determine the next piece of information, when a feedback is available. The recipient of the message uses feedback to determine the interpretation. If effective communication has to be realized between two parties, both parties must be satisfied by the outcome of the communication in relation to the decoding and interpretation of the message. Otherwise, the outcome will be a failure in communication.
Within a healthcare system, the doctor may use a common and non-professional language to explain his interpretation of a clinical situation. This way, the patient is able to understand the condition and the steps necessary to mitigate the severity of the problem. In addition, the doctor may encourage the patient to explain his or her experiences using non-professional language. In this regard, the doctor can translate the information into a clinical condition to facilitate an appropriate reaction (Kehoe, 2011).
Technology influences communication in several ways. It is possible to send information over long distances with the present technological advancement. In addition, the transmission of the information is achieved at higher speeds. On the other hand, technology may impair communication due to the lack of a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication. An example of such an impaired communication is a telephone conversation, where the recipient cannot see the gestures, posture, or the facial expression of the sender.