Effective communication occurs when a message is completely understood by its recipient. Communication encompasses most areas of life. It is used in both business and personal relationships. Communication is intended to inform, persuade or inspire the listener. Some advantages of effective communication are it provides direction, clarity and purpose. Effective communication does have its drawbacks, however, as when it's used to persuade someone in a manipulative way and when it limits feedback.
Effective communication is able to give clear direction and vision. It accurately defines goals, provides the tools to accomplish those goals, and outlines the steps of the process. Without direction, the listener will be left to use his own judgment on how to accomplish a task, which can lead to confusion and frustration.
Effective communication provides clarity to avoid any confusion. Without clarity, messages can be ambiguous, lacking definition and purpose. Misunderstandings commonly occur when people don’t understand exactly what is being communicated to or expected of them. Clarity comes through effective communication: asking questions and repeating messages to the sender.
When people know what is expected of them, the timeframe they have in which to accomplish goals, and the reward for completing those goals, it adds purpose to the task they are performing. People who have purpose are more satisfied with their jobs and are more likely to remain loyal to the companies for which they work. Effective communication also adds purpose to personal relationships by defining each partner's intention and commitment.
Persuasion is an effective form of communication. When effective communication is used to persuade in a manipulative fashion, it can cause people to make decisions they would otherwise not make. For example, if a salesperson comes to your house and uses effective persuasive techniques to sell you a product you can’t afford, you may encounter financial difficulty.
It is possible for the leaders of an organization to use effective communication to stifle and limit feedback. This type of communication identifies and addresses every possible angle of opposition to back the listener into a corner, where he has no questions or comments. This is commonly used in organizations where there is an authoritative leadership style.