A good system of communication should have the essential characteristics which are explained below:
I. Two-way channel: communication involves two parties, the sender or transmitter and the receiver of the message. Mere transmission of facts, ideas, information, etc. does not make any communication effective and meaningful. It is essential to keep the channel open for sending the receiver's view, understanding and opinion about the, communication. Therefore, a good communication system should be like a two-way traffic.
II. Clarity of message: the message must be as clear as possible. No ambiguity should creep into it. The message can be conveyed properly only if it is clearly formulated in the mind of the communicator.
III. Credibility of message: credibility of the message is an important factor which promotes understanding and cohesiveness among organizational members. It depends to a large extent on the rapport between the parties concerned. A related characteristic is timeliness of communication which contributes to its credibility.
IV. Speed of transmission: a good system of communication has short lines of information flows which help to minimize distortion and dilution of the message transmitted. It should give considerable importance to the speed of transmission of message.
V. Positive attitude: there should be change in the attitudes of superiors and subordinates so that there is open communication at all times between various levels. The superiors must keep the subordinates informed about the policies and programmers and also be in touch with subordinates to understand there problems, suggestion etc.
VI. Open mind: the parties to communication must have open minds. They should not try to withhold information just to serve their personal interests. They should interpret the information without any prejudice or bias. They should also be receptive to new ideas that may come across. They should not reach before receiving and understanding the full message.
VII. Effective listening: in case of oral communication, both the parties should listen to each other patiently with a view to create proper understanding between them.
VIII. Mutual understanding: a good communication system should help to achieve better relations between the parties to communication. Transfer of information or knowledge should take place in a cordial atmosphere. Absence of mutual understanding signifies the lacuna in the system in the sense that communication becomes one-side affair only.
IX. Flexibility: a good system is flexible enough to adjust to the changing requirements. It should carry extra loads of information without much strain. It should absorb new techniques of communication with little resistance.
X. Effective feedback: feedback refers to transmission of information concerning the effect of any act of communication. For example, the manager, who sends a directive to his subordinate, should know the response of the latter. Feedback information flows upward and downward. Its purpose is to reinforce or correct the action implied in any act of communication. Feedback also provides an opportunity for suggestion and criticism.