What is Communication Process? Definition, Steps, and Strategies

What is Communication Process?

The communication process encompasses a series of interrelated steps and components essential for effective information exchange. It involves a sender transmitting a message through a chosen channel to a receiver, who decodes the message and may provide feedback.

The process begins with idea development, followed by message encoding, channel selection, transmission, reception, decoding, and potential feedback provision. By understanding and navigating these elements, individuals can communicate with clarity and precision, fostering successful interactions.

Effective communication relies on simplicity, audience awareness, active listening, thoughtful responses, nonverbal cues, and clarification of messages when needed.

Steps in Communication Process

Steps/components of an effective communication process include the following 7 steps:


The sender is the first component or step in process of communication. The sender initiates the communication process by developing an idea or message to convey to the receiver. This individual determines the purpose, content, and intent of the message.

Examples of senders include a manager delivering instructions to employees, a teacher giving a lecture to students, or a friend sharing updates with another friend via text message.


Encoding involves translating the sender’s thoughts, ideas, or feelings into a format suitable for transmission. This step requires selecting words, symbols, gestures, or other communication tools to effectively convey the intended message.

For instance, when composing an email, the sender encodes their thoughts into written language. Similarly, a presenter may encode their message into verbal and nonverbal cues during a speech or presentation.


The message is the actual content or information being communicated from the sender to the receiver. It encompasses the encoded thoughts, ideas, or emotions intended to be understood by the recipient.

Messages can vary in complexity and form, ranging from simple verbal statements to complex multimedia presentations. Examples include a written report, a speech, a gesture, or a visual aid such as a chart or diagram.


The medium, also known as the channel of communication, refers to the method or mode through which the message is transmitted from the sender to the receiver. Various mediums include verbal (face-to-face conversation, phone call), written (email, letter), visual (presentation slides, videos), and digital (text message, social media).

For instance, a supervisor may choose to communicate important updates to their team via email (written medium) or conduct a face-to-face meeting (verbal medium).

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The receiver is the individual or audience for whom the message is intended. They play a crucial role in the communication process by interpreting and decoding the message sent by the sender.

Receivers may vary in their levels of attention, comprehension, and responsiveness. Examples of receivers include employees listening to a manager’s instructions, students attending a lecture, or friends reading a text message.


Decoding involves the receiver interpreting and understanding the encoded message sent by the sender. It requires the receiver to decipher the meaning of the message based on their knowledge, experiences, and contextual cues.

Successful decoding occurs when the receiver accurately comprehends the sender’s intended message. For instance, a reader decodes the meaning of a written text by interpreting the words and sentences based on their language proficiency and comprehension skills.


Feedback is the last step in the communication process. It is the response or reaction provided by the receiver to the sender following the receipt and interpretation of the message. It serves as a crucial component of the communication process, facilitating interaction, clarification, and mutual understanding between the parties involved.

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Feedback can be verbal (spoken or written), nonverbal (facial expressions, body language), or implicit (actions or behaviors). Examples of feedback include asking questions for clarification, expressing agreement or disagreement, or providing acknowledgment and appreciation for the message received.


Noise is the additional component or step that may or may not be included in the process of communication. It refers to any interference or distortion that disrupts the effective transmission, reception, or interpretation of the message during the communication process.

It can occur in various forms, including physical (background noise, poor audio quality), semantic (language barriers, unclear terminology), psychological (preconceived notions, emotional distractions), or physiological (hearing impairments, visual impairments).

Examples of noise include poor phone connection during a call, language barriers in a multicultural workplace, or distractions such as loud music in a classroom.

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Strategies To Improve Communication Process

After the communication steps, you can further use the following strategies to improve the communication process in your workplace.

Active Listening

Active listening involves fully concentrating, understanding, responding, and remembering what is being said during a conversation. This strategy encourages individuals to pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues, ask clarifying questions, and provide appropriate responses. By practicing active listening, communicators can demonstrate empathy, build rapport, and ensure mutual understanding in interactions.

Clear and Concise Messaging

Effective communication relies on conveying information in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. This strategy involves organizing thoughts logically, using simple language, and eliminating unnecessary jargon or ambiguity. Clear and concise messaging helps prevent misinterpretation, reduces confusion, and enhances the overall clarity and effectiveness of communication.


Adaptability in communication involves tailoring one’s message, delivery style, and approach to suit the preferences, needs, and characteristics of the audience or situation. This strategy requires individuals to be flexible, empathetic, and responsive to diverse communication styles, cultural norms, and situational dynamics. By adapting their communication, individuals can foster inclusivity, build trust, and enhance receptiveness among diverse audiences.

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Feedback Solicitation

Encouraging feedback from others is essential for improving communication effectiveness and fostering continuous learning and growth. This strategy involves actively seeking input, opinions, and perspectives from peers, colleagues, or stakeholders on one’s communication style, content, and impact. By soliciting feedback, individuals can gain valuable insights, identify areas for improvement, and refine their communication skills over time.

Nonverbal Communication Awareness

Nonverbal cues, such as body language, facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice, play a significant role in conveying meaning and emotions during communication. This strategy involves being mindful of one’s nonverbal behavior, as well as observing and interpreting the nonverbal cues of others. By enhancing nonverbal communication awareness, individuals can align their verbal and nonverbal messages, enhance rapport, and convey authenticity and credibility in interactions.

Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflict is a natural part of interpersonal communication and can arise due to differences in opinions, priorities, or perceptions. This strategy involves developing effective conflict-resolution skills, such as active listening, empathy, collaboration, and problem-solving. By addressing conflicts constructively and respectfully, individuals can mitigate misunderstandings, build stronger relationships, and foster a positive communication climate in personal and professional settings.

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