Selecting appropriate mediums, channels and technologies
This takes place at the level of conceptualization.
When a sender decides to encode a message, he or she must take two main things into consideration during this stage – the context and the audience (receiver). These factors influence both choice of medium and choice of channel. The key word here is appropriateness. Choice of medium and channel are directly influenced by the purpose of the message and the intended audience. Ask yourself the following questions when determining levels of appropriateness:
i. Who is my receiver?
ii. How best can my message be conveyed?
iii. Where is the communication act taking place?
iv. What is the situation surrounding the communication act?
v. Is my audience one person or several?
vi. What medium should I use, oral or written?
vii. Should I use technology? If so, which technology would most appropriate?
Read the scenario below and answer the questions that follow.
Greg is ill and has to be away from school for two weeks. His mother encodes a letter to the school principal and sends it out in the mail.
In the above situation,
1. How else could Greg’s mother have gotten the message to the Principal?
2. Why do you think she chose to write a letter?
Answer: The telephone or email could have been used. She chose the letter because a letter is a more formal medium of communication and can serve as a permanent record.
Facilitators &; Barriers to Communication
Noise is anything that interrupts or blocks the flow of information. Whenever the understanding of a message is affected, the obstruction is considered a barrier to communication.
Some common barriers to communication are:
i. A language barrier
ii. A channel that is inaccessible to the receiver
iii. The message is ineffectively encoded or the meaning is ambiguous
iv. The medium is inappropriate to the message
Some common facilitators to communication are:
i. Choosing a familiar language
ii. Using an accessible channel
iii. Ensuring that the medium is appropriate to the message
iv. Using audio/visual aids to enhance the encoding of the message