Elements of communication & the communication process

Both elements of communication and the communication process are most important for communication so we describe both in detail below:

Elements of communication

Communication has five basic elements. They are:

  1. Communicator: The person who sends the ideas’
  2. Communicate: The person who receives the ideas;
  3. Transmission: The act, way or the method of issuing or sending the ideas;
  4. Message : The idea, order, instruction, advice, suggestion, observation, appeal or report which is to be communicated;
  5. Response: The reaction or the reply of the person to whom the message was communicated.

The Communication Process

Generally communication process takes place through the following stages:

  • Conceiving a meaningful idea;
  • translating this idea into an understanding form (encoding)
  • transmitting this encoded message;
  • Decoding the message for meaning.

Shanon and weaver attempted to describe the general process of communication for all situations. They mentioned that there are five ingredients in communication. These are:

  1. A source (speaker)
  2. A transmitter
  3. A signal (speech)
  4. A receiver
  5. A destination (Listener)

David K. Berlo’s model consists of nine components. These are:

i)   Source, ii)   Encoder, iii)   Message, iv)   Channel, v)   Receiver, vi)   Decoder, vii)   Meaning, viii)   Feedback and ix)   Noise.

However, we can understand the communication process through the following diagram:

the_communication_process

A Communication Process Model

Let us examine the specific steps involved in the communication process:

  1. The communicator (Sender): Communication originates from the sender. He realizes the need for conveying something to someone else. He has a purpose of communicating some information to one or more persons.
  2. Encoding: Encoding means putting message into code. A message is initiated by encoding a thought. The communicator (sender) encodes the information to be transmitted. This encoding might take the form of verbal words, gestures, facial expression, physical action or even artistic expression.
  3. The Message: A message is the output of encoding the process. This message must be unambiguously understood by the receiver. Message must be clear and precise.
  4. The Channel: A message is transmitted through the appropriate channel. The common channels include printed pages, face-to-face discussions, the air waves and telephone lines. Since the choices of channels are many, the proper choice of the channel is vital for effective communication.

    communication_process

    Communication Process

  5. Decoding: Decoding refers to finding the meaning of something conveyed in code. It is the process by which the receiver interprets the message. Decoding is affected by several factors such as recipient’s knowledge and past experience, personal interpretations of the symbols and gestures used expectations and mutuality of meaning. Hence, decoding is very for understanding the message.
  6. The Receiver: Communication requites at least a couple of people, the sender and the receiver, one ‘encodes’ and the other ‘decodes’ the message. It will be complete only when the receiver perceives the message intact. The receiver must decode the message without distortion.  If the message does not reach a receiver, the communication cannot be said to have take place.
  7. Feedback: Feedback refers to the reaction of the receiver. It enables the sender to know whether his message is received and interpreted correctly or not. Moreover, feedback enables the sender to know the reaction of the receiver so that future communication can be modified, if necessary. It also helps to check the effectiveness of communication.
  8. Noise: It is the enemy of feedback. Noise may occur at any stage of the communication process and distort the message. it hinders or blocks communication.

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