5 Key Functions of Communication


You are in a foreign country. You want to find out a good restaurant. And you are planning to ask a native to help you with finding the same. You have zero ideas about their language or culture. But still, you manage to extract from them exactly what you need albeit being an alien in the new place. Anyway, communication had taken place. How? 

Gestures or expressions here came to your rescue. So we realize that communication is not something that is completely ruled by language. There is something called non-verbal communication that does not just rely on language.

Communication is the prerogative of all beings, human or animal. How do animals communicate? They have their own unique way but still, we must admit that this process is operating in the animal world too.  

Today the issue of lack of communication between children and parents and between human beings, in general, has become the subject of heated debates. This is believed to have occurred due to the intrusion of digital media in human lives. If you give it a serious thought, we find out that there is actually no lack of communication.  There is intrapersonal, interpersonal, and communication of all kinds active today but what is missing and on the verge of extinction is face to face communication.

It shouldn't be confused with interpersonal communication. Interpersonal communication is possible through social media also and even print media ( the art of letter writing ). Interpersonal means communication between two people. It need not necessarily be a face to face talk.

Imagine a life where we are surrounded by silence and no exchange of opinions, feelings, or emotions. A mechanized life where there is no link between fellow beings is impossible. Communication is the language or rather the meaning of life. 

Communication is not a process that is run by the use of sounds or it is not a process limited to verbal exchange.  Even deaf can communicate. But the deaf has their own ways of corresponding with others.  Communication is possible in multiple ways.

But here we are not dealing with the ways of communication. We are focusing on the key functions of communication. Before exploring the functions let us get an overview of it.

Communication: An Overview

What is Communication?

Communication is the essence of life. It is the language of our life. It is a form of interaction through verbal and nonverbal messages.

Why Communication?

Communication is constructed by people for people. It helps to create harmony between fellow beings and strengthens or even severs relationship ties. It has the power to influence, persuade as well as dissuade people from certain habits or actions and revolutionize society.

5 Key Functions of Communication

1. Educate and Inform

This is a reiteration of the basic function that we are taught from the elementary classes.

Communication serves to inform and educate society through the sharing and promotion of opinions and knowledge. It helps the people to modify their existing beliefs and revamp their ideologies and to think constructively to advance themselves. 

Innumerable tools are available and accessible in this era to educate and inform people. Television, social media platforms, journals, documentaries, films, radio, newspapers that come under the digital media aid the people towards advancement. 

Communication keeps one informed of the day to day happenings of the world and compels them to take action. It is also instrumental in keeping people enlightened and responsible for their duties and obligations. 

2.Enforces Behavioral Patterns

Well if you can spare a second, think about the way nurses communicate. Why are they called angels? Politeness, generosity, patience, and all other affectionate traits are associated with them. The way they communicate is different from a policeman or a politician. So it is easily understood that people’s behavior closely resembles their communication style. And the behavior is shaped and developed to some extent by one’s profession and culture. 

The communication process bends itself favoring people's behavior and demands. With boundless professional fields, lifestyles, and cultures, we see different modes and styles of communication today.

3. It Creates Legends

The style employed to communicate varies among people as mentioned above. It is this function of communication that helps one to construct and carve a niche in their fields. The communication style is the basic instrument that creates an image of yourself in the minds of the masses. You will be remembered and honored in years to come if your communication is all the more powerful and compelling so as to influence a generation. 

This is why we quote great personalities while we make speeches. We quote personalities because their communication was that influential and their words are relevant even today. Poets, filmmakers, politicians, businessmen,  social workers, writers, actors, sportspersons and all great personalities had to their credit a unique way of communication. That is why we use the tag ‘legends’ to brand them. So to build an image via communication you need to showcase yourself in such a way that it makes some sense to others. 


4. Guides in the Decision Making Process

Decision making can be individual or collective. In this context, we are looking into the collective decision-making process. In a group, different individuals come up with diverse opinions. An opinion can be subject to change while participating in a group discussion. So, there is a fine-tuning of opinions in the communication process.

When you are in a crisis or are in a dilemma a deep and open conversation helps you to arrive at a solution. A heartfelt message or conversation is yet another way to resolve issues in your personal life too.  

5. It Convinces People

The inability to communicate causes ruptures in your life. Good communication invites diverse opinions and takes into consideration the assumptions and judgments of others. This is supported by sharp listening skills.  Hence, the communication process becomes extra conclusive and leaves no room for ambiguities. Convincing people thereby seems like a cakewalk. 

Communication is a skill inherent in all beings. It takes place in the universal moment of which he takes birth and it never ceases to exist as long as there is life on earth. Exceptional communication skills help in the functioning of life uninterrupted by misjudgments. It is for this purpose that public speaking sessions and workshops are conducted from the elementary classes itself. Effective communication hence is a necessity and all of us must strive to turn up as best communicators. 

Written by - Maryam Salim

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