What is Communication Process?
The communication process includes a series of steps that are taken to successfully communicate any ideas, opinions, information, etc. between two or more persons. Where communication simply means the exchange of ideas or information between two people.
Communication is a dynamic process that starts with the sender, who creates the message and desires to send it to the receiver through some channel, and ends when the receiver receives the message and gives feedback to the sender.
To make communication effective, following some series of steps is necessary. Communication becomes effective when the message sent is understood by the receiver exactly as the sender has expected.
Steps in Communication Process
Communication is a continuous process that links two parties i.e. sender and receiver. The steps of the communication process also called elements are mainly of seven, which are mentioned below:
The sender is the first component and first person in the communication process. He is the person who wants to communicate or send a message that may be in the form of ideas, information, opinions, pictures, symbols, etc. to another person i.e. the receiver.
The sender initiates the communication. He creates the message and encodes it in such a way it will be better understood by the receiving parties.
In an organizational setting, the sender may be the manager who has the responsibility to communicate with his employees. Or, the sender may be any person in the organization. In such a setting, the sender does not necessarily have to create a message himself/herself it may be already provided by the organization.
The message is the heart of communication. It is the information that the sender wants to convey to the receiver. Anything the sender wants to convey to the receiver expresses in terms of the message that may be verbal or non-verbally.
The message of the sender may consist of his requests, ideas, suggestions, opinions, commands, legal documents, etc. that he desires to communicate with the receiver. For effective communication, the message should be easy to understand so the receivers understand it with the same theme, spirit, and meaning.
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Encoding is an important step for successful communication. The message sender wants to convey to the receiver may be in his mind but that is not the place from where the receiver can read the message.
The message should be in a form the receiver will understand. So, encoding is a process where the sender tries to encode the message i.e. tries to design the message in a way the receiver can easily understand with the same spirit the sender has expected the receiver to understand.
Every message or information needs to be transmitted to the target receiver through a medium or channel. A communication medium is a method or transmission of delivering a message.
In organizational settings, managers use print, sight, sound, equipment, devices, pictures, etc. as mediums. The communication channel carries the message from the sender to the receiver and serves as a link between them.
For example, the same information can be printed and fixed on a notice board, can be mailed to the email address of the receiver, can be sent as a memo or circular, and can be called by telephone.
The receiver is the person for whom the sender creates a message and encodes it. He is the second person in the process of communication. The receiver tries to understand the message sent by the sender in the best possible way.
Related: Process Barrier in Communication
The ability to understand the sender’s message by the receiver depends upon his knowledge, experience, subject matter, and the relationship between them. Communication does not serve any purpose if it has reached the receiver but is not understood correctly.
Communication does not take place only after the message is received by the receiver, the message should be understood by the receiver. Decoding is the process in which the receiver tries his best to comprehend the message sent by the sender.
Communication becomes effective when the receiver is able to decode the message with the sender’s intentions. If the receiver fails to decode the message, he will misinterpret the message, and as such the objectives of communication will not be achieved.
To make communication successful and effective, it is essential the receiver should understand the message. It becomes successful when the receiver understands correctly the message. So the point is, that the communication should not be sender-focused, rather, it should be receiver-focused.
Feedback is the response the receiver gives to the sender after he receives the message. Feedback is necessary to ensure whether or not the message is successfully encoded, sent, decoded, and understood.
Feedback is the last component or step of the communication process. When the receiver gives positive feedback that means the message has correctly reached the receiver and vice versa.
Feedback is instrumental to ensure the success of communication. It further facilitates future communication. So, for effective feedback, the sender should send messages in simple and clear sentences considering the receivers’ viewpoints.
The Noise component may come or not come in the communication process. It represents the barriers to communication. The above-mentioned seven steps are the main ones to make communication more effective and successful.
Read Next: Organizational Barriers To Communication