The word " communication" is derived from the latin word 'communis' meaning common. Communication is a process, which involves organising, selecting and transmitting codes in an appropriate manner in order to ensure that the listener perceives and recreates in his/her own mind the intended meaning of the communicator. 

All life forms communicate, however man's ability to communicate surpasses that of all other living beings.human beings alone have the power to express their ideas and thoughts easily. Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste are modes of communication. Further, communication is a two-fold process between two parties- the sender and receiver. It involves an exchange and progression of thoughts, ideas and knowledge towards a mutually acceptable and goal or direction. Communication performs various functions like - providing us information, influencing change, helps in decision making and most importantly, it becomes the basis of social relationships.

Communication is a basically a process wherein a person stimulates an idea inside another person's mind - it can neither create of help eliminate problems but it definitely open a new platform to resolve issues and conflicts. However, if communication is not effective it can generally aggravate the problem. 

According to Paul Leagans (1961),

"Communication is a process by which two or more persons exchange ideas, facts, impressions in a way that each gains a common understanding of the meaning, content and use of message."

Characteristics of communication

  1. Communication is a universal process: Communication is all pervasive and omnipresent. It is present everywhere, be it at home, outside or at work. Every individual old, young, in an informal or formal environment is engaged in the process of communication at some point of time.
  2. Communication may be Formal or Informal: Communication may occur both formally or         informally. Formal or organisational communication follows the principle of scalar chain hierarchy where communication flows through different levels of hierarchy. Informal communication does not need an order or official channel for flow of communication. Members of the group feel free to communicate with anyone they want without the need to take cognisance of any hierarchy.
  3. Communication is a cultural process: Culture defines the rules, norms, beliefs and attitude prevailing in the society. For example, in some cultures seniors colleagues can be addressed by their first names, in others it may be considered rude. Effective communication requires that we select appropriate symbols (verbal and non-verbal) in accordance to the other person and the meaning they derive from it.
  4. Communication is purposeful: All communication has a purpose. Communication takes place because there is a purpose to it; there is a meaning attached to it. The purpose can be personal or social gratification, problem solving, decision making or even venting out emotions
  5. Communication is both an art and a science: i) Communication is a science in its learning based on a body of knowledge  that discipline has. Communication theory is based on certain principles which are fundamental to discipline. Scientific research into the discipline of human communication has given ground to the theory that communication skills can be acquired through training and practice. ii) Communication is an art, as it is related to the behavioural aspects of the individuals involved, each individual behaves or perceives a situation different from the other. Hence, communication is both an art and a science; it has its own approach, it's won set of theories, yet it is based on the individual's practical skills and the dynamics that prevail. The art and science of communication are intricately interwoven as both theoretical and practical knowledge are needed by individuals to appropriately respond to situations.

References :
- Dynamics of human communication (textbook)
- Barker, L. L., communication, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1981