Communication vs Information: What’s the Difference?

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The words “Communication” and “Information” are often used in a way that they might correspond to each other. However, they are completely disparate, in both the literal way and in their application. To describe communication vs information, the former is a reciprocal process. It takes place when two or more people establish a dialogue between them to exchange information. On the other hand, the latter is a one-way process, wherein the speaker shares specific facts or thoughts with the audience without expecting a reply from them. For example, you plan a dinner party with friends; this is information. However, you want to tell your parents and ask for permission; this process is communication.

“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”

Sydney J. Harris

Although, the world and its people are bound together by both information and communication as they are integral parts of our lives. However, still, these words often bewilder us at the time of their usage, correctly and perfectly.

If you also find it an arduous job to comprehend the difference between these two concepts and want to understand them meticulously, then you have found the right article. So, READ ON.

What is Communication?

“Communication is the solvent of all problems and is the foundation for personal development.”

Peter Shepherd
All about communication

In simple words, communication is the process of forming and exchanging perspectives, thoughts, facts, information and emotions with a person or a group of people. It is merely the engagement of posing questions and answering them. It is the only means of expressing one’s feelings, beliefs and thoughts. Consequently, it is a necessity and quite essential for the survival of an individual.

For instance, in a job interview, if the interviewer does not possess the ability to pose questions effectively and confidently, then the interviewee would not be able to comprehend and answer, consequently making the interview unsuccessful.

Components of Communication

Every communication has three significant elements. Without even one element, this process would remain incomplete and vague.

1. Sender

The sender is the person who initiates the communication, whether verbally or non-verbally. This person creates the message for the receiver.

2. Message

The message is generated by the sender. It pertains to the facts, sentiments, viewpoints and attitudes that he intends to convey or express to the receiver.

3. Recipient

The receiver is the person for whom the message was created by the sender. The process of communication proves to be effective only when the receiver comprehends the message and gives feedback on it.

Types of Communication

1. Verbal communication

Verbal communication pertains to the conversations between people through speaking. For example, face to face conversations, phone or video calls, teleconferences etc. It is an instinctive type of communication as one can get real reactions and ideas from the other person.

Present information through verbal communication

Besides the spoken words, it is also significant to remember their tone and clarity and to include the aspects of non-verbal communication while having a face to face talk. Moreover, listening is equally important as speaking in verbal communication to respond effectively.

Examples of verbal communication are:

  • Speaking in front of an audience
  • Give a lecture or class
  • Presenting a report at the workplace
  • Judgement proceedings at court
  • Religious sermons
  • Have a Conversation with friends or family

2. Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication is crucial as, through it, the audience interprets a speaker. It includes the aspects of body language like facial expressions, eye contact, hand movements and posture.

For instance, while giving a presentation, if the speaker keeps reading while looking down or keeps standing in the same position without any movements, then the audience won’t be interested and engaged in it as it would turn boring. Also, shaking hands in Western countries is considered to be respectful however, in other cultures, it might be looked at as an act of inappropriateness.

If you want to enhance your non-verbal communication skills, then check out this video, where Joe Navarro explains the power of non-verbal communication.

It is important to be optimistic or contemplate joyful moments while speaking as one’s body language is entirely dependent on internal thoughts. Furthermore, non-verbal communication must be so powerful that the message is perceived by the audience effectively.

Read this article for more useful insights: Body language and its contribution to the process of communication

3. Written communication

Written communication is the use of writing to express or convey one’s feelings or thoughts. For example, emails, chats, posts or stories on social media, newspapers, templates, brochures, memos etc. This type is a subtle way of communication and most people remain comfortable with it as it can be restored and saved for long periods. Moreover, it is significant to have error-free and meaningful sentences which would ensure that the audience receives the right message.

4. Visual communication

Visual communication is a part of our daily lives and we are surrounded by it. Wherever we look, we can see images or visuals. For example, billboards, charts, memes, infographics, television, social media etc. This type is associated with creativity and has the power to convey the message to the audience effectively. It could also be helpful for people with speaking difficulties or who converse in disparate languages.

Significance of communication

1. Helps in creating a network

Communication is the basis of building new bonds and social relationships and maintaining them. It is the best way to connect with others and share ideas and perspectives. Effective communication could lead to productivity and achieving the desired goals, both in personal and professional lives. Moreover, it becomes easier to form bonds with open communication as people get equal opportunities and freedom to share their opinions with others.

Build relationships with communication

2. Engage and listen to the audience

When an orator communicates effectively and confidently, it intrigues the audience and grabs their attention. It forces them to listen to the speaker carefully without any distractions. Furthermore, it is important to be a good listener as well to comprehend others’ perspectives and get new ideas.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

Epictetus (Greek Philosopher)

3. Enhances decision-making skills

Communication paves the way for making better choices and decisions in life, both personally and professionally. For instance, if you are a student and are perplexed about choosing your stream, you could communicate with a career professional or your close ones for guidance, which would help you in taking a favourable decision.

Make right choices through communication

4. Helps in decreasing disputes

Every person has different opinions and can interpret the same thing with disparity. Consequently, conflicts occur and bring a rift between people. However, communication is an effective way to resolve disputes rather than creating more misunderstandings by not communicating. These conflicts could take place in one’s personal life, like with the spouse, siblings, friends; or in the professional life, like with a colleague, boss, client.

“Communication is the lifeline of any relationship.”

Elizabeth Bourgeret

Go through this article for more useful insights: 11 effective communication strategies to resolve conflict

7 C’s of Communication

ClearThere should be clarity in the speaker’s purpose or message
ConciseThe message should be brief yet understandable
ConcreteAll the points ought to be covered
CorrectThere should be no mistakes grammatically or with the facts
CoherentThere should be a connection between the points that seems reasonable
CompleteThe listeners should be able to comprehend the content
CourteousThere ought to be the usage of polite and simple language

Check out this article for more information: 13 reasons why communication is important in life

What is Information?

Information through communication

Information refers to the collection of data, facts, emotions, thoughts and opinions. It tells people about a specific thing or object. It is the basis of communication between two people. In addition, information is shared or conveyed through communication, verbally, non-verbally, visually or in a written form. Information, in other words, is data, facts, understanding, assumptions, perceptions, knowledge, intelligence, message or signals. For example, the temperature has risen, the petrol prices dropped, someone is angry or upset etc.

“Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organised, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.”

William Pollard

Types of Information

1. Conceptual information

This type is based on theories, concepts, hypotheses and ideas. It is an arbitrary type of information, created on beliefs and philosophies instead of scientific notions. For example, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

2. Procedural information

It pertains to the concept of muscle memory and merely, how someone knows to do a particular task or activity. It cannot be explained easily however it is still stored in our minds. For example, riding a bike or tying shoelaces. These tasks cannot be acquired easily without practising them a few times, even though, if someone teaches and explains them several times.

3. Policy information

It deals with the creation, design and selection of policies and laws for a particular organisation. It also helps in the decision-making process. Furthermore, visual, audio or written formats, like images, diagrams, charts etc. can be helpful in possessing policy information. For example, the Government policies, employee handbooks, and the Periodic table.

4. Stimulatory information

It creates stimulation among a person or people. Moreover, observation or news can be the means of acquiring it. For instance, a celebration of victory.

5. Empirical information

Empirical information is not arbitrary, hence, it is the opposite of conceptual information. It is based on experimentation and scientific factors, both qualitative and quantitative. In other words, it tests a claim or hypothesis for being true or false. For example, genetics, atomic theory etc.

6. Directive information

It deals with guiding a person or people so that they could achieve their goals. Moreover, the verbal or written form can be the means of acquiring it. For example, coaching, military commands etc.

Significance of Information

This is an era that is highly dependent on information and without it, it is impossible to survive. So, the person who possesses immense information or knowledge is invulnerable and resistant to any harm. Consequently, there is an imperative requirement for access to information. Some of the various reasons for the importance of information are as follows:

Present information confidently through communication
1. Information is an integral part of the processes of decision making, creation, selection and design of laws and policies. For instance, policymakers and lawmakers highly use it.
2. Information can prove to be of immense importance for the personal growth or development of one’s personality. In other words, it helps in keeping the person up to date and well informed about the advancements of things and events.
3. Information and data enable the formation of new ideas. As David Hartley said, “New ideas or information are born out of existing ones.”
4. The information assists different professionals to do their job more effectively and efficiently. For example, scientists use data for analysis and research for accurate results or others may also use it for practical reasons.
5. Information is the biggest supporter of management and organisation. For instance, huge organisations can keep records of finance, resources or materials, number of employees or manpower, production, marketing and sales etc.
6. Through information, people can anticipate the upcoming threats or harm and work to resolve them. For instance, weather forecasters inform about the approaching storm so that people could stay at home and remain safe.
7. The information encourages people to remain original in their works because it boosts their thought processes and prevents them from creating duplicate work.
8. Above all, information helps in motivating a person. It makes them inquisitive to explore and experience new things. For instance, you are a demure person and you are inspired to become a public speaker by looking at the examples of other great and famous speakers.

If you are struggling to present your data or information in a simple way to the audience, master it with just one click.

Conclusion

“Society is held together by communication and information.”

Ian Leslie

Both communication and information are connected however they are disparate concepts and should be perceived differently. Communication is a process that depends on the information because people require a topic, idea, thought or feeling to converse about. But conversely, information is independent. Moreover, communication is an interaction or conversation between people which has to be active. Whereas information is an action that remains isolated. For instance, if you get a promotion at your job and you want to inform about it to your family. Here, ‘you getting a promotion’ is information and ‘you informing about it to your family and in return getting congratulated by them’ is communication. Furthermore, both the concepts are highly crucial in one’s life, and without them, a person would be incomplete and vulnerable.

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