Process of Communication8th February 2020
The Communication is a two-way process wherein the message in the form of ideas, thoughts, feelings, opinions is transmitted between two or more persons with the intent of creating a shared understanding.
Simply, an act of conveying intended information and understanding from one person to another is called as communication. The term communication is derived from the Latin word “Communis” which means to share. Effective communication is when the message conveyed by the sender is understood by the receiver in exactly the same way as it was intended.
The communication is a dynamic process that begins with the conceptualizing of ideas by the sender who then transmits the message through a channel to the receiver, who in turn gives the feedback in the form of some message or signal within the given time frame. Thus, there are Seven major elements of Communication Process:
The sender is the source of the message that initiates the communication. The sender has a message or purpose of communicating to one or more people. A manager in an organization has to communicate information about the tasks to be achieved or a production deadline to be met by his subordinate employees. Without a reason, purpose, or desire, the sender has no information/message to send.
In the next stage, encoding takes place when the sender translates the information or message into some words, signs or symbols. Without encoding the information cannot be transferred from one person to another. In encoding the message, the sender has to choose those words, symbols or gestures that he believes to have the same meaning for the receiver. While doing so, the sender has to keep the level of the receiver in mind and accordingly communicate with him in the way the receiver understands it.
The message may be in any form that can be understood by the receiver. Speech is heard; words are read; gestures are seen or felt and symbols are interpreted. For example, there are several communications we make with a wave of the hand or with a nod of the head, a pat on the back, blinking of eyes.
Once the encoding is finished, the sender gets the message that he intends to convey. The message can be written, oral, symbolic or non-verbal such as body gestures, silence, sighs, sounds, etc. or any other signal that triggers the response of a receiver.
Message is the idea or information that the sender wants to convey. He may convey it verbally (by writing or speaking) or non-verbally (through gestures or body language). Whatever the form, the message should be clearly formed so that the objective is accomplished.
The channel is the medium used for transmission of information or message from sender to receiver. There are various media like telephone, mail through post, internet, radio, TV, press etc. For communication to be effective and efficient, the channel must be appropriate for the message. A phone conversation is not a suitable channel for transmitting a complex engineering diagram.
An express mail may be more appropriate. The needs and requirements of the receiver must also be considered in selecting a channel. If the receiver is illiterate, sending the message through postal mail is not relevant. Similarly, you cannot select the medium of telephone, if the receiver does not have a telephone with him. Therefore, in choosing the appropriate channel, the manager must decide whether feedback is important or not.
The receiver is the person who senses or perceives or receives the sender’s message. There may be just one receiver or a large number of receivers. The message must be prepared with the receiver’s background in mind. An engineer in a software organization should avoid using technical terms in communicating with his family members. It should be recognized that if the message does not reach a receiver, no communication takes place. Even, when the message reaches the receiver, if he cannot understand it, again there is no communication.
Decoding is the process through which the receiver interprets the message and translates it into meaningful information. It may be remembered that decoding is affected by the receiver’s past experience, personal assessments of the symbols and gestures, expectations, and mutuality of meaning with the sender.
It represents the disturbing factor in the process of communication. It interferes with effective communication and reduces clarity of the message. The message may be interpreted differently than intended by the sender. Conversing near a machine making sounds, disturbance in telephone line, physical ailment or mental distress of sender or receiver are the common causes of noise that obstruct the quality of message transmitted from sender to the receiver.
Feedback is receiver’s response to the sender’s message. The receiver communicates reaction to the sender through words, symbols or gestures. It is the reversal of communication process where receiver becomes the sender and sender becomes the receiver. Unless the receiver responds to the message, communication process is incomplete. Feedback helps the sender transform his message, if needed. It also allows the receiver to clear doubts on the message, ask questions to build his confidence and enables the sender to know efficiency of the message. Feedback of information makes the communication process complete.
In face-to-face communication, sender can immediately receive the feedback. Written communication, on the other hand, takes longer for the sender to receive feedback on the message.
Feedback plays important role in two-way communication. In one-way communication, sender communicates with the receiver without getting any feedback but in two-way communication, the receiver provides feedback to the sender. Though one-way communication takes less time and is more orderly (it avoids noise and chaos), feedback in two-way communication makes it more accurate and precise.
Feedback offers the following benefits:
(i) It allows sender to improve communication with the receiver.
(ii) It allows receiver to clarify doubts on the message and, therefore, perform better.
(iii) Allowing receivers to ask questions builds confidence and they are more confident of their work performance.
(iv) It enables the sender to know efficiency of his message; whether or not the receiver has understood the message in its right meaning. Feedback makes the communication process complete.