The Communication Process
A message or communication is sent by the sender through a communication channel to a receiver, or to multiple receivers. The sender must encode the message (the information being conveyed) into a form that is appropriate to the communication channel, and the receiver(s) then decodes the message to understand its meaning and significance. Misunderstanding can occur at any stage of the communication process.
Effective communication involves minimizing potential misunderstanding and overcoming any barriers to communication at each stage in the communication process.
An effective communicator understands their audience, chooses an appropriate communication channel, hones their message to this channel and encodes the message to reduce misunderstanding by the receiver(s).
They will also seek out feedback from the receiver(s) as to how the message is understood and attempt to correct any misunderstanding or confusion as soon as possible.
Communication channels is the term given to the way in which we communicate. It is therefore the method used to transmit our message to a recipient, or to receive a message from someone else.
There are multiple communication channels available to us today. These include face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, text messages, email, the Internet (including social media such as Facebook and Twitter), radio and TV, written letters, brochures and reports.
Choosing an appropriate communication channel is vital for effective communication. Each communication channel has different strengths and weaknesses.
For example, broadcasting news of an upcoming event via a written letter might convey the message clearly to one or two individuals. It will not, however, be a time- or cost-effective way to broadcast the message to a large number of people. On the other hand, conveying complex, technical information is easier via a printed document than a spoken message. The recipients are able to assimilate the information at their own pace and revisit anything that they do not fully understand.
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