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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Understanding the Communication Process


What is the communication process?

The communication process is an important process by which humans communicate with each other.

If you want to become a more effective communicator, you will have to understand the communication process fully and pay attention to the details.

There are THREE basic elements which are central to the communication process.

They are the audience, the message as well as the channel.

Let us see how these elements factor into the communication process.

A diagram of the communication process

In the above diagram, lets say that RED MAN wants to send a message to BLUE MAN.

He will have to encode a message based on what language BLUE MAN may understand, as well as other societal factors such as their relationship with each other and the context of the conversation.

These 3 factors of language, relationship with each other as well as the context of the conversation will influence the tone of their conversation.

After this has been considered, the channel for transmitting the message needs to be selected. Typical channels of communication include writing, face-to-face speaking, having a telephone conversation, email, fax, SMS or even online messaging among others.

Patricia Rockwell, a communications teacher with over 40 years of experience, adds that nonverbal messages such as that facial expressions, gestures, touch, vocal cues, or physical appearances could also act as additional channels of communication.

After BLUE MAN receives this message, a decoding process is needed to allow the audience (BLUE MAN in this case) to make sense of the message being sent.

In this process of communication, many factors act as noise which distorts the message from its original meaning, These factors could include environmental or cultural factors such as a noisy environment or a different speaking accent respectively.

Ultimately, successful communication depends on meeting the needs of the audience to a large extent. Do remember to practice good habits of effective communication such as active listening as explained in this blog.


Anonymous said...

I think it's important to consider your audience's background before putting together your message.

What your audience knows, and wants to know, should effect what type of information you deliver. Their demographics will influence the way you deliver it.

Patricia Rockwell said...

Let me also add to channel, all those nonverbal messages that we receive from facial expression, gesture, touch, vocal cues, and physical appearance.

Unknown said...

Agreed with the above comments. I think most of us are in too much a hurry to convey certain information across such that we neglect to ensure that it'll be received (and understood) by the listener.

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This is very important with comunicating with your children. This is the conative proccess. Good job.

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