Are you tired of looking for a complete guide to 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 this easily, it is a process of transmitting information, ideas, opinions, and thoughts from one person, place, and group to another. It connects two people.
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 also play a role in the whole process of communication.
Seven Key Elements of Communication
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.
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, suggestions,s 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.
Encoding is the third step of the elements of the communication cycle. It is the process of converting a message into symbols, words, actions, pictures, or graphs which must be understandable by the receiver.
4. 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, via radio, television, computer, writing blogs, email, telephones, fax, and so on.
For example, john informed his employees about the new market strategy through a face-to-face PowerPoint presentation (PPT).
A receiver is a person or group of people who receive a 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.
Decoding means extracting a message from the encoding language like symbols, words, pictures, or graphs that have been sent by the communicator or sender. Decoding is the process of extracting the meaning of the message.
For instance, employees extracted the meaning of audio-visual presentations.
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 the Communication Process
Two factors affect the process of communication. It affects how the information is transmitted, received, or interpreted among the elements.
noise is a 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 to 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 it more easily, noise is the interference of communication between the sender and the receiver.
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 to or criticize the government openly. But in a private meeting, some people 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
The 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.
- The sender makes ideas or messages that he/she wants to send to the receiver.
- The 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 later, by mail, over the phone, or through 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 the noise, then he/she may request to send the message again.
- If the sender cannot express himself/herself because of context and the receiver cannot get the actual message, then they will come to a mutual understanding with further interactions.
Example of the communication process with an online Chat-box
In the online world, we interact with each other through messaging or email. We regularly communicate with our teammates, subordinates, or boss through an online channel. The most common way of interaction is through the Chat-box, chatbot, or Messenger of an organization.
When we interact through a Chat box, the receiver may be a human or an automated programmed system backed by artificial intelligence. If we interact with an automated chatbot, then the receiver will interact differently than real humans.
In an automated chatbot, common replies are always programmed. Programmers generally set thousands of common interactions in their program and the chatbot acts accordingly. If someone says hello, the automated chatbot would reply hello, how can I help you? Like that. Here decoding and reply or feedback happen automatically. Here receiver is a fictional entity.
When a brand interacts with its customers, the brand thinks of it as a fictional entity. It acts like a human, but it is not human. So, the receiver from the brand has to act like that.
Here the factors that affect communication processes like noise also disturb the communication process. Here noise is poor network, disconnecting uncommon questions to the automated chat box. When you ask an uncommon question to the automated chatbot, it will reply sorry or I do not know, or it will reply with something that is irrelevant.
A chat box or message manager generally solves the queries of 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 it through an online channel like a chat app.
Then the brand replies like hello, how can I help you? Here, brand understanding the question means the 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 their book “A Brief History Of Humankind” that humans lead the world. Because a human can communicate with 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 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 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
- 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 them.
- Professional growth: research also shows that a person with good communication skills grows more quickly that his/her competitors in professional life. The employer always looks for a good communicator to assign new challenging jobs and negotiate any deal with partners.
- Organizational coordination: An organization cannot perform well if it lacks coordination among the employees within the organization. Coordination is not possible without effective and efficient communication. An organization with good coordination can outperform its competitor in the market with its efficiency.
- Helps decision-making: Communication helps the right decision-making for an organization. If decision-makers have all the information from all the departments, he/she can make the right decision for the organization.
- Minimize mismanagement: An organization with a good communication system can minimize mismanagement to 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.
- Increase productivity: communication increase the productivity of the organization. An organization with great communication runs smoothly which eventually increases the productivity of the organization.
- Employee satisfaction: an organization with a good communication system increase employee satisfaction and a good work environment. If there is coordination among the employees, then it facilitates work to be easier whereas lack of communication leads to employee dissatisfaction and decreases productivity.
- 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.
- 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.
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.