Communication Process- BBA TU

 Elements of the Communication Process  

If we closely look at the communication process as described in the previous section, there are  basically  seven elements  of  the  communication  process:  encoding,  sender,  decoding, receiver, message, channel/ medium, and feedback. Since noise also plays a significant  role  in  determining  the  effectiveness  of  the  message,  it  can  also  be  taken  as  part  of  the  communication  process.  Let  us  examine  each  stage  involved  in  the  communication process

The sender initiates communication:The sender has an idea, information, feeling, or emotion.  Then  he  or  she  selects  appropriate  symbols  to  encode the  idea  or  message;  the  sender  is  also  responsible  for  selecting  the  medium  or  channel  to  transmit  the  message.  For  successful  communication  to  happen,  the  sender  has  to  determine  the  purpose  of  communication.  Why  does  the  sender  want  to  communicate?  Is  it  to  inform?  Share  an  idea?  Convince  the  receiver  of  something?  The  purpose  of  communication  will  largely  determine  the  sender’s  choice  of  symbols,  medium,  and  channel.  

The  sender  encodes  the  message:  Ideas,  information,  feelings,  and  emotions  in  themselves  are  abstract  notions  residing  in  the  mind  of  the  communicator.  To  transmit them as a message, the sender carefully designs the messages selecting words that  clearly  convey  the  intended  meaning  (in  case  of  verbal  communication)  or  selecting   appropriate   gestures,   postures,   and   signals   (in   case   of   nonverbal communication). This process of selecting and organizing a message is called encoding. The sender’s main task here is to encode the message in such a way that the message is  received  and  understood  as  intended  by  the  sender.  How  we  encode  messages  is  largely   affected   by   our   beliefs,   values,   and   attitude.   Our experience   of   communicating also influences the way we encode the message. 

The    sender    selects    a    channel    and    transmits    the    message:    For   effective   communication, the sender has to carefully select a channel to transmit the message. Depending on the size of the audience, the sender may use multiple channels as well. For example,  the  government  of  Nepal  transmits  information  related  to  the  Covid-19  pandemic  using  multiple  channels—the  internet,  television,  and  telephone.  Thanks  to  innovations  in  communication  technology,  we  have  a  variety  of  both  formal  and  informal  channels  available  to  select  from.  Such  channels  include—memos,  notices,  emails,   blogs,   instant   messaging,   video-conferencing,   face-to-face   conversation,   presentations, etc. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn  are  also  increasingly  being  used.  The  selection  of  channel,  however,  will  depend  on  several  factors:  the  purpose  of  the  message,  audience’s  preference,  accessibility of the channel, and content of the message. The sender thus selects one of the available channels and transmits the message. Along with the careful selection of  communication  channels,  the  proper  transmission  of  the  message  plays  an  important role in the success of communication.

The   receiver   (audience)   receives   the   message:   Barring   any   communication   breakdown caused by noise, the receiver receives the message in the form of auditory or visual signals. For this to happen, the receiver should have access to the channel or media  from  which  the  message  has  been  transmitted.  The  communication  process  does not, however, complete with the reception of the message.

The  receiver  decodes  the  message:  Next,  the  receiver  interprets  the  message  and  constructs meaning out of it. For communication to be successful, the meaning that the  receiver  attaches  to  the  message  must  be  close  to  the  meaning  the  sender  had  intended to convey. The communicative situation, culture, relationship between the sender  and  the  receiver,  and  the  receiver’s  own  perception  influence  the  decoding  process. 

The  receiver  gives  the  feedback:  Any  reaction—verbal  or  nonverbal—  the  message  elicits  from  the  receiver  is  called  a  ‘response.’  The  receiver  in  turn  encodes  the  response and transmits it back to the sender as feedback. In face-to-face conversation, the audience’s bodily movements, facial expressions, and postures can also be forms of  feedback.  In  written  communication,  for  example,  the  receiver  may  send  out  a  written reply.

Methods of Communication  

This  section  briefly  familiarizes  you  with  the  various  methods  of  communication.  You will study each method in detail in the subsequent chapters. When it comes to communication, we are the most resourceful beings. We can communicate the same message  in  varied  forms  and  ways.  We  can  use  the  words  “shut  up!”  to  signal  someone to remain silent, put an index finger on our lips, even display a visual sign around  to  indicate  the  need  for  maintaining  silence.  In  this  case,  the  sender  has  several choices to encode the message (remain silent) in different media and forms—words (shut up), gestures (index figure on the lips), and signs . This simple example shows at least three distinct methods of communication—verbal (use of words), nonverbal (use of gestures), and visual (use of signs). Each method of communication has its own system, that is, a set of codes and implicit rules that the communicators  are  expected  to  follow.  The  following  figure  shows  the  methods  of  communication that we generally use to transmit our messages.

Verbal Communication

Humans possess the unique ability to use language to communicate with each other. Language is a symbolic system, that is, following grammar and other rules and norms, we  make  utterances  and  sounds  in  a  way  that  others  can  understand.2  Since  the  grammar  and  rules  that  allow  us  to  combine  symbols  (lexemes)  are  unique  to  each  language,  such  symbols  are  meaningful  within  the language-speaking community.  Although  the  rules  are  limited,  using  those  limited  rules,  we  can  produce  an  unlimited  number  of  utterances.  This  is  the  most  unique  and  creative  possibility  of  language,   a   potential   source   of   miscommunication   as   well.   Any   form   of   communication,  either  written  or  spoken  that  involves  language  is  called  verbal  communication.    Verbal    communication    is    the    most    common    method    of    communication.  Broadly,  verbal  communication can further be categorized into two types: written and oral. 

Written Communication

Written  communication  refers  to  the  process  of  conveying  messages  using  graphic  symbols. In fact, written communication is the most common and effective means of communication  in  an  organization.  Emails,  memos,  circulars,  reports,  business  proposals,   and   contracts   are   some   of   the   commonly   used   forms   of   written   communication.  Organizations  prefer  written  communication  to  transmit  relatively  longer, complex, and formal messages. Any document that has a legal or contractual implication is also communicated in a written form. Unlike oral communication, the feedback  of  written  communication  is  not  immediately  available.  This  is  because  it  requires  time  to  get  into  an  understandable  form  and  elicit  a  response  from  the  reader.  The  following  table  shows  some  commonly  recognized  advantages  and  disadvantages of written communication.

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