What is communication?

Communication is the process of sharing information in a simplistic form that is from the sender to the receiver and getting feedback.

Why do we communicate?

We communicate to;

  • Enhance relationships within the workplace.
  • Improve productivity in the workplace and thus guest satisfaction.
  • To get things done right.

The main aspect of communication:

  • The SENDER/COMMUNICATOR of information – the sender may be an individual who is speaking. The sender is the source.
  • The CONTENT/MESSAGE. It must be capable of being understood and interpreted by the sender and audience.
  • The MEDIUM/CHANNEL. Communicated through the five senses e.g. seen (printed), heard (audio), seen and heard (television), touched, smelled and tested.

Forms of communication:

  • Body language.
  • Signs language.
  • Verbal.
  • Writing.
  • Gestures.

Constructive communication:

Constructive communication builds up:

  • Employee morale.
  • Teamwork.
  • Positive relationships between people.

Destructive communication:

Destructive communication:

  • Triggers conflict.
  • Breeds dissension and divides teams.
  • Results to resistance and sometimes to rebellion.
  • Creates amenities.

Barriers to effective communication:


  • Allowing others to interrupt.
  • Talking too much.
  • Blaming others.
  • Poor listening/speaking/writing habits.
  • Too busy to communicate well.
  • Personality differences e.g. attitude, picking the wrong time, place and method.
  • Work destructions.


  • Personality differences e.g. attitude.
  • Lack of interest in the message.
  • Being distracted by someone.
  • A disorganized and confusing message.
  • Poor listening skills.
  • Emotions e.g. anger, fear, tension.
  • Knowing what the message will be and turn out.


  • Must be timely.
  • Meaningful.
  • Applicable to the situation.

Biases affecting communication:

  • First impression – making an immediate judgment when we meet someone.
  • Stereotype – forming opinions about certain groups.
  • Just like me – like those who behave and think just as we do.
  • Halo or pick fork effect – liking/disliking someone because of one reason.
  • Contrast effect – when we compare individuals with others and rank them as per our perceptions.
  • Leniency/severity effect – judging someone positively or negatively.

Non-verbal communication/body language:

a) Positive non-verbal communication

  • Maintaining direct eye contact – good and friendly.
  • Patting on the back-encouraging.
  • Smiling –contented, understanding, encouraging.
  • Leaning forward – attentive and interested.
  • Erect position – self-confident, assertive.

b) Negative non-verbal communication

  • Avoiding eye contact – implying coldness and evasive.
  • Shaking head – implying avoiding.
  • Scratching the head – implying disbelieving.
  • Folding arms – implying angry.
  • Slouching in seat – implying bored, relaxed.
  • Hunching-over – implying passive, insecure.
  • Sitting on the edge of the seat – implying anxious o nervous.

Speaking Skills:

a) Volume/pitch/tone/pace:

  • When the volume is too high, listeners feel you are pushy.
  • When fast people may not hear you.
  • When too low, you may seem shy, nervous or unassertive.

b) Vary your Speech:

  • Depending on listener’s speech, and mood e.g. if one speaks softly because of confidentiality, you do the same

Listening Skills:

  • Because communication is a two-way listening is important.
  • Listen carefully and make meaningful eye contact.
  • Give appropriate feedback.
  • Should not be interrupted.
  • Eliminate external destruction paraphrase when appropriate.
  • When the speaker has finished confirm what they said.

“A Person Who Won’t Listen Won’t Learn Anything”

Tips when leaving Messages:

  • State most important part of your message.
  • Keep the message as short as possible.
  • Be clear about what you want your receiver to know.
  • Speak slowly and clearly – give your name and telephone number.
  • If the person doesn’t know you, spell out your name and give the name of company and department.
  • State the time you are likely to be available if your call has to be returned.

Therefore, in the hospitality industry,  communication plays a key role in relaying information from between two parties. it could be customer/staff or staff/staff relationships.


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