Communication process


A process consists of series of interrelated steps taken one after another with a view to accomplishing a desired goal. The communication process is similarly an aggregate of many steps or operations involved in the transmission of a message. In other words, the total number of activities performed one after another in the exchange of a message between two or more persons is called a communication process. Virtually, the communication process begins when a communicator sends a message and ends when a receiver understands and provides feedback to the original sender. Thus, a communication process more precisely may be defined as a system which consists of developing a message, encoding and transmitting it; the receiving and decoding of the message, understanding and accepting, and finally using the message and giving response. Barker defines the communication process as, “A system that involves an interrelated, independent group of elements working together as a whole to achieve a desired outcome or goal”.

The communication process is cyclical. Megginson reflects the view as, “communication is a cycle of interrelated stages that include (i) an idea, thought or mental impression, which (ii) is translated, encoded, put into symbols, which then (iii) are transmitted to someone else, who (iv) receives them and (v) retranslates or decodes them back into an idea. Yet communicating is not complete until there is some form of response.

The communication Process: Some steps are stated below-

  1. Ideation: The first step in the communication process is to frame and develop an idea in the communicator’s mind. This idea is developed in one’s mind as a result of an internal impulse.
  • Interpretation: The idea developed in the communicators mind is then interpreted through the storehouse of his knowledge, experience, feelings and previous training so as to refine and select the precise meaning of the abstract idea.
  • Encoding: The next step is to encode the idea into a form appropriate to the situation. Encoding is a task of converting the idea into some transmittable form. When you put your idea into a message, you are encoding.
  • Sending of Message: Once the idea has been converted into an appropriate language, some transmittable form, it is transmitted through a suitable channel to the intended receiver. Communication media include meetings, memos, letters, reports, computer systems, and phone cells.
  • Receiving of Message: The receiving of the message by the intended receiver is the fifth step in the communication process. But it is the first step from the receiver’s point of view. In this step, responsibility lies with the receiver who tunes to receive the message. If it is oral, the receivers need to be good listeners, otherwise the message gets lost.
  • Ideation: Just like the source, the communicatee also develops an idea about the message received from the source.
  • Decoding (interpretation): Decoding is a process by which the communicatee retranslates the message received to give a precise meaning (by reading, listening, seeing, feeling, etc.). Thus it involves interpretation.
  •  Understanding: Understanding takes place after the decoding of the message. This involves grasping the meaning of the words or symbols used by the sender. Telling someone is not sufficient. Communication is not truly successful until there is understanding of the message received.
  • Encoding: Whether at the will of the source, or at the need of the receiver, if feedback is needed, the receiver’s response is then encoded again to transmit it to the original sender.
  1. Providing Feedback: This isthe last step in two way communication. It is expected that the decoded idea corresponds with the idea as it existed before encoding. It requires feedback. Through feedback, the original sender is informed of the receivers reaction as to whether or not the message has been correctly interpreted and understood.  

Essential Elements of the Communication Process:

  1. Sender (Communicator)
  2. Source
  3. Stimulus
  4. Filter
  5. Message
  6. Medium
  7. Channel
  8. Receiver (Destination)
  9. Understanding
  10. Feedback

Sender: The person sending the message is called the sender or communicator. He is the immediate source of information.

 Source: In order for communication to take place, there must be a source of information. For information to occur, the source must be there to generate information.

Stimulus: A stimulus is something that causes a reaction in a part of the body. It creates a need to communicate and hence there must be a stimulus for communication to take place. This stimulus may be external or internal.

Filter: A filter is a piece of equipment or device used to refine liquid, light, etc. In case of communication, it is something that helps a person to shape his unique impression of reality. Everybody’s perception of reality is not alike. It varies person to person. This variation takes place because of the variation of the individual experience, culture, emotions at the moment, personality, knowledge, and social economic status etc.  These variables act as filters to refine the message received.

Message: Message is important element of communication. When the idea has been encoded, it is called message.

Medium: When the information has been encoded, a sender is to choose a medium. Medium is a means by which something is expressed or communicated to others. It is also known as the forms of messages to be sent.

Channel: This means through which messages are sent to the communicatee. A message itself cannot reach the communicatee.

Receiver: A receiver is a person which receives a message. The receiver may be an individual or an organization.

Understanding: The receiver must understand the message passed on to him by the transmitter.

Feedback: Your audience’s response is called feedback. It is information about how the receiver is receiving your words.

From the discussion, it appears without any doubt that each and every element is highly essential to make communication compete and effective.

@@ Communication System:

(i) One way Communication


(ii) Two way Communication

One way Communication: Communication may travel in one direction or two directions. When it involves a simple way, from a sender to a receiver direction only, it is called one way communication. One way allows information to flow in one direction only. It does not allow back and forth pattern. Radio or television transmission is one way communication.

Two way Communication:  When a communication channel pushes the flow of information in two directions, back and forth, it is called two way communication. Face to face discussions and phone conversions are two way communication.