elements of communication

Definition, Elements and Importance Of Communication Process

Are you tired looking for a complete guide of elements of communication with a real-life example? Then, this article is designed for you. I am going to describe the aspects of the communication process and the importance of communication in detail. Keep reading till the end to get a clear understanding.

Before going into the main topic, we need to understand what is meant by communication?

Definition of Communication

Communication is a process of exchanging ideas or messages through a specific channel between two or more parties.

To say easily, it is a process of transmitting information, ideas, opinions, thoughts from one person, place, and group to another. It connects two persons.

Communication, by nature, is a dynamic process rather than static. Because it needs continuous interactions, it is less static in the sense that it also demands some rules for effective communication.

Okay, You may ask what the elements of communication are?

There are seven essential elements of the communication process. These are sender, message or ideas, encoding, media or channel, receiver, decoding, and feedback. Other elements like noise and context that also play a role in the whole process of communication.

Seven Key Elements of Communication

  1. Sender:

The very first element of the communication process is the sender. Communication starts with the sender. A sender is a person who sends a message to others.

For instance, John informed his employees to do something. Here john is a sender in the communication process.

  1. Message:

It is the second part of communication in the process. The sender needs messages or ideas to send for a specific action. It can be ideas, opinions, views, feeling, orders, attitudes, suggestion or questions.

For example, John informed his employees about the new strategy. Here, the strategy is a message or idea that John sent to his employees.

  1. Encoding:

Encoding is the third step of the elements of communication cycle. It is the process of converting message into symbols, words, actions, pictures or graphs which must be understandable by the receiver.

  1. Media or channel:

It is the fourth step. Media is the route through which the message is transmitted from sender to receiver. It can happen in many ways such as face to face, radio, television, computer, writing blogs, email, telephones, fax and so on.

For example, john informed his employees about the new market strategy through the face to face PowerPoint presentation (PPT).

  1. Receiver:

A receiver is a person or group of people who receive the message from the sender. To whom the message is sent is the receiver. The receiver can also be one who tries to understand the message to achieve the desired goal.

For example, employees of John are the receiver of the message.

  1. Decoding:

Decoding means extracting a message from the encoding language like symbols, words, picture or graphs that have been sent by communicator or sender. Decoding is the process of extracting the meaning of the message.

For instance, employees extracted the meaning of audio-visual presentation.

  1. Feedback:

It is the final step. Feedback is the response of the receiver. Feedback ensures that the receiver understood the message that he/she received from the sender.

For instance, employees understood exactly what John tried to convey a message to them.

Factors That Affect Communication Process

Two factors affect the process of communication. It affects how the information is transmitted, received or interpreted among the elements.

  1. Noise: noise is the hindrance to the communication process. It hampers the smooth process of communication that is sent, received or understood by the receiver.

Noise can be a disturbance of communication because of the poor network over the phone.

It can be, literally, sound or noise that hampered the face to face communication.

To say more easily, noise is the interference of communication between the sender and the receiver.

  1. Context:

Context is the environment where communication is happening. It is the setting and surroundings of the communication process. It may affect the process of successful communication.

Suppose, A citizen of a repressed regime will not talk or criticize government openly. But in a private meeting, same peoples may revoke and criticize government policy. Again, people may talk about anything in an open country.

Another example can be more helpful here. Most of the citizen of the united states is open-minded. So, they talk about relationships or religions easily but in a country like Saudi Arabia, it is not possible for people to talk about anything.

Steps in the Communication Process

Communication process follows some steps consecutively. It starts with the sender and ends with feedback. Now see how it works-

  • The sender decides to convey the message to the receiver.
  • Sender makes ideas or messages that he/she wants to send to the receiver.
  • Sender encodes his/her message into an understandable format like symbols, words, pictures, graphs, etc.
  • The sender selects a channel or medium to send it. It can be latter, mail, over phone or face to face communication.
  • Then the receiver receives the message from the sender.
  • The receiver decodes the message into an understandable format to make it meaningful.
  • The receiver sends his/her feedback to the original sender that he/she got the message.
  • If he/she does not understand because of noise, then he/she may request to send the message again.
  • If the sender cannot express himself/herself because of context and receiver cannot get the actual message, then they will come to a mutual understanding with further interactions.

Example of the communication process with online Chat-box

In the online world, we interact with each other through messaging or emailing. We regularly communicate with our teammates, subordinate or boss through an online channel. The most common way of interaction is through the Chat-box, chat-bot or Messenger of an organization.

When we interact through Chat box, the receiver may be a human or automated programmed system backed by artificial intelligence. If we interact with automated chat bot, then the receiver will interact differently than that of real humans.

An automated chat bot common replies are always programmed. Programmers generally set thousands of common interactions in their program and chat bot acts accordingly. If someone says hello, automated chat bot would reply hello, how can I help you? Like that. Here decoding and reply or feedback happens automatically. Here receiver is a fictional entity.

When a brand interacts with its customers, the brand thinks it as a fictional entity. It acts like as humans, but it is not human. So, the receiver from the brand has to acts like that.

Here the factors that affect communication processes like noise also disturb the communication process. Here noise is poor network, disconnect uncommon question to the automated chat box. When you ask an uncommon question to the automated chat bot, it will reply sorry or I do not know, or it will reply something that is irrelevant.

A chat box or message manager generally solves the queries of the customers or potential customers.

For example, if a customer says hello, do you have this product? Here the customer is the sender of the communication process, so the customer encodes the message and sends through an online channel like a chat app.

Then the brand replies like hello, how can I help you? Here, brand understands the question means brand decodes and receive the message and reply or feedback to the message with how can I help you? Then two parties continue the conversation as communication is dynamic.

Importance and Significance Of Communication:

Communication is the most important thing in human civilization. From the ancient age to the modern world, the importance of communication is increasing day by day.

At first, humans communicate through verbal language, then the invented written communication which makes humans different from other animals.

Because no other species have a written communication system. Yuval Noah Harari said in this book “A Brief History Of Humankind” that humans lead the world. Because, a human can communicate in a large number of people. No other species can do it.

Now communication is an important issue to any business organization. Organizations invest human money to train their employees to be effective and efficient in communication.

An organization that is good at communication can beat its competitors.

Apart from the organization, communication is the most important skill for an individual in the 21st century. Employers always seek employees who have great communication skills.

Research shows that a candidate who has good communication skill get a job earlier than that of a candidate who struggles with his/her communication skill.

So now motivational speakers emphasize mostly on communication skills. Good communication can make links with industry professionals very easily while others struggle to make it.

You can understand the importance of communication from the following points

  1. Personal growth: research shows that communication plays a role in the personal growth of an individual. A person with good communication can adapt to any situation and handle problems more easily than one who lacks it.
  2. Professional growth: research also shows that a person with good communication skills grows quickly that his/her competitors in professional life. The employer always look for a good communicator to assign new challenging job and negotiate any deal with partners.
  3. Organizational co-ordination: An organization cannot perform well if it lacks co-ordination among the employees within the organization. Coordination is not possible without effective and efficient communication. An organization with good coordination can outperform its competitor from the market with its efficiency.
  4. Helps decision making: Communication helps the right decision making for an organization. If decision-makers have all the information from all the department, he/she can make the right decision for the organization.
  5. Minimize mismanagement: An organization with a good communication system can minimize mismanagement into zero. Many organizations lose thousands of dollars because of mismanagement. But an organization with good communication have all data updated and employees can check everything in real-time. So, the possibility of happening mismanagement is zero which boosts the organization to the next level.
  6. Increase productivity: communication increase the productivity of the organization. An organization with great communication run smoothly which eventually increase the productivity of the organization.
  7. Employee satisfaction: an organization with a good communication system increase employee satisfaction and a good work environment. If there is a coordination within the employees, then it facilitates work to be easier where lack of communication leads to employee dissatisfaction and decreases productivity.
  8. Motivates employees: effective communication motivates employees because employees know about their jobs clearly and what to do by them which motivates them to work with the organization. If an organization can keep its employees motivated that organization grows quickly.
  9. Helps to lead and control: leading and managing are the two functions of management. Leaders of the organization with effective communication can lead their employees and subordinates effectively. Even it helps to ensure the jobs are done with actual quality.

Wrapping up:

Communication is like blood to organizational productivity in the 21st century. It makes the difference between productive and non-productive organizations. Companies are spending billions of dollars to improve communication and coordination with the organization. The communication process is very complex, although it looks straightforward. The above essential elements of the communication system must be fulfilled for successful communication.

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