Process of Communication
Communication is the process of exchanging messages or information between two or more people to come to an understanding. The communication process begins when one person (sender) wants to transmit a fact, idea, opinion, and other information to someone else (receiver).
In other words, the communication process is the following series of steps in order to make communication effective. For effective communication, there must have a sender, message, and receiver.
To make effective communication, it is essential to complete some common steps from both sender and receiver. There are 8 essential steps to complete the communication process, that are sender or source, encoding, message, medium or channel, decoding, receiver, feedback, and noise.
A sender is the first person in the communication process. The sender is a source of information. The sender is the person who delivers messages.
A sender may be a person, a manager, non-manager, department, or organization itself. A manager may communicate to other managers, subordinates, supervisors, clients, and customers, and to outsiders.
Basically, a sender is the initiator of the process of communication. He formulates a message through his idea, needs, intention, and source, which he wants to communicate with his receivers. For this, the sender must conceptualize the message before it is encoded.
The second step of the communication process is encoding the message. Encoding is the process of giving a form and meaning to the message. It involves selecting the medium through which to communicate the planned message. When the sender expresses a message in terms of words, symbols, gestures, drawing, or other means is a form of encoding.
The main purpose of encoding is to translate thoughts and feelings into a code that others are able to understand. It makes the message meaningful and understandable to the receiver.
The output of the encoding process is the message. It is the subject matter of communication that the sender wants to convey to the receiver. The message is also known as the heart of the communication because without a message there is nothing to exchange.
A message may consist of facts, opinions, ideas, requests, and suggestions, etc of the sender. The sender expresses his views, ideas, and facts in terms of messages either in written or verbally to the receiver.
#4 Medium or Channel
It refers to the selection of channel of communication through which a sender conveys his encoded message to the receiver. It bridges the gap between the sender and the receiver in communicating messages of common interest.
To communicate messages different mediums can be used on the basis of their effectiveness. For example, oral communication can be done through telephone, mediator, group discussion, etc. Whereas written communication can be made through the means of letters, memos, reports, newspapers, etc. However, the selection of an appropriate medium of communication depends upon the nature and importance of the message.
The receiver is the second person in the communication process. He is the person, who receives messages, understands the same, and takes the necessary steps for a response.
From the technical point of view, communication becomes complete only when the message is received and understood by the receiver. Thus an effective message must be receiver-oriented, not sender-oriented. A receiver does not respond to a message until and unless he understands the actual meaning of the message.
Decoding refers to the process by which the receiver translates the message into terms meaningful to them. It is the process of interpreting messages by the receiver. In other words, decoding is termed as the transmission of understanding between the sender and receiver.
It is essential to get knowledge or meaning of the message as per the intention of the sender. If words of letters, reports, circulars, newspapers, etc. are decoded not in accordance with the sender’s intention, they will be misinterpreted, which may create a misunderstanding between the sender and the receiver.
Such events create problems in the organizations. The effectiveness of communication can be realized only when the receiver is able to decode the message in accordance with the sender’s intention.
Feedback is the last step in the communication process. Feedback determines whether the message is clearly understood and whether the required action taken by the receiver as intended by the sender. When the receiver is able to decode messages received from the sender, he provides the response on time.
Therefore, the sender should send messages in simple and clear sentences by considering the receiver’s views. The success of the communication process can be measured only when the sender is able to receive a positive response from the receiver. The feedback to the sender completes the process of communication.
Noise is any element or condition that disturbs or interferes with the effectiveness of communication. It disturbs the free flow of information from one person to another. It is part of the communication process. It should be minimized in order to make communication effective.