Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Communication Process & The Elements of Communication


Systematic=Step by Step=Process

Communication as a Process
Human communication is interpersonal, it is purposive and it is a process.
Question: What do we mean by process?
Answer: By process we mean that steps have to be taken and in a set/particular order to achieve a desired result/goal. These are the important elements of the communication process:

1. SENDER/ENCODER
The sender also known as the encoder decides on the message to be sent, the best/most effective way that it can be sent. All of this is done bearing the receiver in mind. In a word, it is his/her job to conceptualize.
The sender may want to ask him/herself questions like: What words will I use? Do I need signs or pictures?

2. MEDIUM
The medium is the immediate form which a message takes. For example, a message may be communicated in the form of a letter, in the form of an email or face to face in the form of a speech.

3. CHANNEL
The channel is that which is responsible for the delivery of the chosen message form. For example post office, internet, radio.

4. RECEIVER
The receiver or the decoder is responsible for extracting/decoding meaning from the message. The receiver is also responsible for providing feedback to the sender. In a word, it is his/her job to INTERPRET.

5. FEEDBACK
This is important as it determines whether or not the decoder grasped the intended meaning and whether communication was successful.

6. CONTEXT
Communication does not take place in a vacuum. The context of any communication act is the environment surrounding it. This includes, among other things, place, time, event, and attitudes of sender and receiver.

7. NOISE (also called interference)
This is any factor that inhibits the conveyance of a message. That is, anything that gets in the way of the message being accurately received, interpreted and responded to. Noise may be internal or external. A student worrying about an incomplete assignment may not be attentive in class (internal noise) or the sounds of heavy rain on a galvanized roof may inhibit the reading of a storybook to second graders (external noise).
The communication process is dynamic, continuous, irreversible, and contextual. It is not possible to participate in any element of the process without acknowledging the existence and functioning of the other elements.