Process of Communication

Process of Communication

The process of communication involves the transmission of information from a sender to a receiver through a medium, to share a message. This process generally consists of the following key elements:

  1. SenderĀ 
  2. Message
  3. Channel
  4. Receiver
  5. Response
  6. Feed back

Sender 

The sender is the source or originator of the idea and message. A sender can be an individual or group or an individual representing a group. The sender conceives the idea, prepares the message, decides about the receiver and then selects the channel.

Message

A message refers to the stimulus that a source transmits to the receiver. It is what communication is about. Messages are composed of symbols having a certain meaning to the receiver. Translating the idea into a message for transmission is known as encoding.

Channel

It is the means through which communication flows from sender to receiver. The channel can be mass media (not meant for one individual) such as newspapers, radio, television etc., or interpersonal media (meant for an individual) like telephone, correspondence etc. The sender carefully selects the channel depending on the message to be conveyed. The factors influencing channel selection include availability, cost and effectiveness of the channels under consideration.

Receiver

The receiver is the one for whom the message is intended. He receives the message and translates the symbols into ideas. This process is called decoding.

Response

Response constitutes two things understanding and change in behaviour. The receiver examines the message and tries to understand it. The understanding of the message will then trigger changes in opinions, values, attitude and behaviours.

Feed back

Communication is incomplete without feedback. Feedback is the return communication from the receiver to the sender. It completes the communication loop. Feedback is essential for the following reasons.

  • The sender needs to know that the message is received at the right time and in the right form. 
  • The sender seeks to know whether the message is understood in the way it is required to be understood.
  • Receivers have some doubts and need clarifications.

Example of the communication process

Below is an example of a communication process.

Let’s consider a specific situation to explain this process. Suppose you want to place an order for a Business Communication book. This marks the ideation phase. Next, you conceive the message and write a letter, which is referred to as encoding the message. Afterwards, you put the letter in an envelope, attach stamps, and post it in a post box. This step involves the selection of an appropriate channel, where the postal system serves as your chosen channel for transmitting the message. The channel then facilitates the transmission of the message.

Upon receiving your letter, the bookseller, for example, a publishing company, opens the envelope and reads your letter, constituting the decoding of the message. The bookseller understands your request for a book and proceeds to call their secretary, instructing them to send a copy of the book. This action represents the response to the message. The bookseller’s team dispatches the book to you and notifies you of the same. This response from the bookseller is equal to giving feedback.

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Communication Theory

The concept of communication has evolved from symbolic interaction theory to modern transactional theory. Communication has moved from the narrow intrapersonal framework to a much broader social context and has become a more complex phenomenon than before.

One-way communication

The one-way communication is explained by the Action model/bull’s-eye theory. It applies to those contexts in which the sender is active and the receiver is passive. The contexts include – public meetings, legislative assemblies and courtrooms where speakers try to impress the audience through a one-way process.

The merits of one-way communication are: 

(i) It allows the speaker to express his or her views or feelings without any hindrance. 

(ii) It enhances the prestige of the speaker.

The demerits include: 

(i) The Receiver feels helpless and frustrated when not interested in the subject or speaker. 

(ii) There is no opportunity to interact and get clarifications from the speaker

Two-way communication

Two-way communication is explained by the Interaction model/Ping-Pong theory.

Communication is like a ping-pong game that involves action and reaction. Communication involves stimulus and response. Feedback is added to the linear one-way communication.

The merits include the: Feedback permits the sender to exert more control over the communication. It allows him to know whether the message has been received and understood Receiver will have interest and try to understand by asking questions or seeking clarifications.

The demerits include: It is time-consuming. It puts pressure on the sender to impress the receiver and spend time providing clarifications.

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