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Components of Communication

Communication is a two way process of transmitting & receiving verbal & nonverbal messages & exchanging ideas or information.

Communication is considered effective when it achieves the desired response from the receiver. There are six components through which communication can be effective, these are discussed below:







Context :-

Every message whether oral or written starts with context. Context is a broad term that includes country, culture, organization & external & internal stimuli. Every country, culture & organization has its own conventions for processing & communicating information. This aspect is a playing field on which we must plan, communicate & design the message successfully. Another aspect is the external stimulus that prompts us to send a message. The message may be letter, email, fax or telephone call & response to this message may also be oral or written. Next internal stimuli have a complex influence on how we translate ideas into a message. Our attitudes, opinions, likes & dislikes, education all influence the way we communicate our ideas. So we must consider all these aspects of context in order to communicate a message successfully.

Sender-Encoder :-

Encoder is the sender of message, the writer or speaker depends on whether the message is oral or written. We use symbols, graphics or pictures to express our message so that the receiver will understand it & react with the response we desire. After considering all these factors, we decide which symbol best convey the message & which message channel will be most effective among oral & written media.

Message :-

The message is the core idea we wish to communicate. It consists of both verbal & nonverbal symbols. Our first task is & what content to include. We must consider our context & especially the receiver of our message, how the receiver will interpret it & how it may affect our relationship.

Medium :-

Medium is the way through which the sender sends the message. Like message content the choice of medium is influenced by the relationship between sender & receiver. It depends on the message, cost of message, the amount of information & number of receiver to select the channel of message. The written channel is preferred when the message is long, technical & formal in nature while oral medium is effective when the message is urgent or immediate feedback is required.

Receiver-Decoder :-

Decoder is the receiver of the message & he may be more than one. The receiver as well as the sender are influenced by context & by external & internal stimuli. Both receive messages through the eyes & ears but are also influenced by nonverbal factors such as touch, taste & smell. All factors of message are filtered through receiver's view & experience in the world.

Feedback :-

It is the response of receiver based on a clear understanding of the symbols. Feedback can be oral or written. It can also be an action such as silence which is almost ineffective. Sender need feedback in order to determine the success or failure of the message.


Verbal, nonverbal Receiver-Decoder (experiences, attitudes, skills) Receptor mechanism Perception Decoding Idea interpretation Sender-Encoder (experiences, attitudes, skills)
Verbal, nonverbal
attitudes, skills)
Receptor mechanism
Idea interpretation
attitudes, skills)
Idea encoding
Symbol decisions
Sending mechanism

Verbal, nonverbal


A Communication Model

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requisite of communication is a message. This message must be conveyed through some medium to the
requisite of communication is a message. This message must be conveyed through some medium to the recipient. It
is essential that this message must be understood by the recipient in same terms as intended by the sender. He
must respond within a time frame. Thus, communication is a two way process and is incomplete without a feedback
from the recipient to the sender on how well the message is understood by him.
Communication Process
The main components of communication process are as follows:
  • 1. Context - Communication is affected by the context in which it takes place. This context may be physical, social,

chronological or cultural. Every communication proceeds with context. The sender chooses the message to communicate within a context.

  • 2. Sender / Encoder - Sender / Encoder is a person who sends the message. A sender makes use of symbols (words or

graphic or visual aids) to convey the message and produce the required response. For instance - a training manager conducting training for new batch of employees. Sender may be an individual or a group or an organization. The views, background, approach, skills, competencies, and knowledge of the sender have a great impact on the message. The verbal and non verbal symbols chosen are essential in ascertaining interpretation of the message by the recipient in the same terms as intended by the sender.

  • 3. Message - Message is a key idea that the sender wants to communicate. It is a sign that elicits the response of recipient.

Communication process begins with deciding about the message to be conveyed. It must be ensured that the main objective of the message is clear.

  • 4. Medium - Medium is a means used to exchange / transmit the message. The sender must choose an appropriate medium

for transmitting the message else the message might not be conveyed to the desired recipients. The choice of appropriate medium of communication is essential for making the message effective and correctly interpreted by the recipient. This choice of communication medium varies depending upon the features of communication. For instance - Written medium is chosen when a message has to be conveyed to a small group of people, while an oral medium is chosen when spontaneous feedback is required from the recipient as misunderstandings are cleared then and there.

  • 5. Recipient / Decoder - Recipient / Decoder is a person for whom the message is intended / aimed / targeted. The degree to

which the decoder understands the message is dependent upon various factors such as knowledge of recipient, their responsiveness to the message, and the reliance of encoder on decoder.

  • 6. Feedback - Feedback is the main component of communication process as it permits the sender to analyze the efficacy of

the message. It helps the sender in confirming the correct interpretation of message by the decoder. Feedback may be verbal (through words) or non-verbal (in form of smiles, sighs, etc.). It may take written form also in form of memos, reports, etc.


“Any act by which one person gives to or receives from another person information about that person’s needs, desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states.Communication may be intentional or unintentional, it may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may take linguistic or non-linguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or other modes.” Or in simple words;

Communication is the exchange of ideas, opinions and information through written or spoken words, symbols or actions.

Communication is a dialogue, not a monologue. In fact, communication is more concerned with a dual listening process. For communication to be effective, the message must mean the same thing to both the sender and the receiver.\


Communication is a process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions through speech, signals, writing, or behavior. In communication process, a sender(encoder) encodes a message and then using a medium/channel sends it to the receiver (decoder) who decodes the message and after processing information, sends back appropriate feedback/reply using a medium/channel.

Types of Communication

People communicate with each other in a number of ways that depend upon the message and its context in which it is being sent. Choice of communication channel and your style of communicating also affects communication. So, there are variety of types of communication.

Types of communication based on the communication channels used are:

  • 1. Verbal Communication

  • 2. Nonverbal Communication

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication refers to the the form of communication in which message is transmitted verbally; communication is done by word of mouth and a piece of writing. Objective of every communication is to have people understand what we are trying to convey. In verbal communication remember the acronym KISS(keep it short and simple). When we talk to others, we assume that others understand what we are saying because we know what we are saying. But this is not the case. usually people bring their own attitude, perception, emotions and thoughts about the topic and hence creates barrier in delivering the right meaning.

So in order to deliver the right message, you must put yourself on the other side of the table and think from your receiver’s point of view. Would he understand the message? how it would sound on the other side of the table?

Verbal Communication is further divided into:

Oral Communication

Written Communication

Oral Communication

In oral communication, Spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet. In oral communication, communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking.

Advantages of Oral communication are:

It brings quick feedback. In a face-to-face conversation, by reading facial expression and body language one can guess whether he/she should trust what’s being said or not.

Disadvantage of oral communication

In face-to-face discussion, user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering, so

this can be counted as a

Written Communication

In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate. A written message may be printed or hand written. In written communication message can be transmitted via email, letter, report, memo etc. Message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary & grammar used, writing style, precision and clarity of the language used.

Written Communication is most common form of communication being

used in business. So, it is considered core among business skills. Memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail are the types of written communication used for internal communication. For communicating with external environment in writing, electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases are used.

Advantages of written communication includes:

Messages can be edited and revised many time before it is actually sent. Written communication provide record for every message sent and can be saved for

later study. A written message enables receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback. Disadvantages of written communication includes:

Unlike oral communication, Written communication doesn’t bring instant feedback. It take more time in composing a written message as compared to word-of-mouth. and number of people struggles for writing ability.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can

say that communication other than oral and written, such as gesture, body language,posture, tone of voice or facial expressions, is called nonverbal communication.Nonverbal communication is all about the body language of speaker.

Nonverbal communication helps receiver in interpreting the message received. Often, nonverbal signals reflects the situation more accurately than verbal messages.Sometimes nonverbal response contradicts verbal communication and hence affect the effectiveness of message. Nonverbal communication have the following three elements:


Speaker: clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics

Surrounding: room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings

Body Language

facial expressions, gestures, postures


Voice Tone, Volume, Speech rate

Types of Communication Based on Purpose and Style

Based on style and purpose, there are two main categories of communication and they both bears their own characteristics. Communication types based on style and purpose are:

  • 1. Formal Communication

  • 2. Informal Communication

Formal Communication

In formal communication, certain rules, conventions and principles are followed while communicating message. Formal communication occurs in formal and

official style. Usually professional settings, corporate meetings, conferences undergoes in formal pattern.

In formal communication, use of slang and foul language is avoided and

correct pronunciation is required. Authority lines are needed to be followed in formal communication.

Informal Communication

Informal communication is done using channels that are in contrast with formal communication channels. It’s just a casual talk. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to-face discussions. It happens among friends

and family. In informal communication use of slang words, foul language is not restricted. Usually. informal communication is done orally and using gestures. Informal communication, Unlike formal communication, doesn’t follow authority lines. In an organization, it helps in finding out staff grievances as people express more when talking informally. Informal communication helps in building relationships.

Components of Communication

Posted on March 11, 2009 by admin

We know that communication is a process of transmitting and receiving messages (verbal and non-verbal). Communication is a dialogue not a monologue. So, a communication is said to be effective only if it brings the desired response from the receiver. Communication consists of six components or elements.

Components of Communication

  • 1. Context

  • 2. Sender/Encoder

  • 3. Message

  • 4. Medium

  • 5. Receiver/Decoder

  • 6. Feedback


Every message (Oral or written), begins with context. Context is a very broad field that consists different aspects. One aspect is country, culture and organization. Every organization, culture and country communicate information in their own way.

Another aspect of context is external stimulus. The sources of external stimulus includes; meeting, letter, memo, telephone call, fax, note, email and even a casual conversation. This external stimuli motivates you to respond and this response may be oral or written.

Internal stimuli is another aspect of communication. Internal Stimuli includes; You opinion, attitude, likes, dis-likes, emotions, experience, education and confidence. These all have multifaceted influence on the way you communicate you ideas.

A sender can communicate his ideas effectively by considering all aspects of context mentioned above.


Encoder is the person who sends message. In oral communication the encoder is speaker, and in written communication writer is the encoder. An encoder uses combination of symbols, words, graphs and pictures understandable by the receiver, to best convey his message in order to achieve his desired response.


Message is the information that is exchanged between sender and receiver. The first task is to decide what you want to communicate and what would be the content of your message; what are the main points of your message and what other information to include. The central idea of the message must be clear. While writing the message, encoder should keep in mind all aspects of context and the receiver (How he will interpret the message). Messages can be intentional and unintentional.


Medium is the channel through which encoder will communicate his

message. How the message gets there. Your medium to send a message, may be print, electronic, or sound. Medium may be a person as postman. The choice of medium totally depends on the nature of you message and contextual factors discussed above. Choice of medium is also influence by the relationship between the sender and receiver. The oral medium, to convey your message, is effective when your message is urgent, personal or when immediate feedback is desired. While, when your message is ling, technical and needs to be documented, then written medium should be preferred that is formal in nature. These guidelines may change while communicating internationally where complex situations are dealt orally and communicated in writing later on.


The person to whom the message is being sent is called ‘receiver’/'decoder’. Receiver may be a listener or a reader depending on the choice of medium by sender to transmit the message. Receiver is also influenced by the context, internal and external stimuli. Receiver is the person who interprets the message, so higher the chances are of mis-communication because of receivers perception, opinion, attitude and personality. There will be minor deviation in transmitting the exact idea only if your receiver is educated and have communication skills.


Response or reaction of the receiver, to a message, is called ‘feedback’. Feedback may be written or oral message, an action or simply, silence may also be a feedback to a message.

Feedback is the most important component of communication in business. Communication is said to be effective only when it receives some feedback. Feedback, actually, completes the loop of communication.

Barriers to Effective Communication


Posted on March 11, 2009 by admin

Communication is the exchange of ideas, opinions and information through written or spoken words, symbols or actions.

Communication is an important part of our world today. The ability to communicate effectively is considered a prized quality. But people in the world are not alike. These differences, however, can cause problems in sending/receiving messages. Simply these are the hurdles in the way of communication and anything which blocks the meaning of a communication is a barrier to communication.

Barriers to Effective Business Communication

  • 1. Conventions of meaning

  • 2. Differences in perception of reality

  • 3. Values, attitudes and opinions

Conventions of meaning

There are a lot of meanings for a single word. So, it may mislead the reader from the real meaning. Miscommunication may occur due to the use of ‘Denotations’ and‘Connotations’. Denotations

Denotation is the dictionary definition of a word. It means name, object, people or events without indicating positive or negative qualities. These words don’t have clear meanings. Such words are: Car, Desk, Book, House, etc.


A word that separates the meanings of a word from its usual definition is called

connotation. These have clear meanings. Such words are:

BMW, BC book, mental house etc.

So, use of denotations instead of connotations may mislead the reader. Choose connotations & denotations wisely.

Differences in perception of reality

Because of changing world, everyone has its own concept of reality. Each person’s mental filter is unique. In our daily interactions with others, we make various abstractions, inferences and evaluations of the world around that may cause problems in the way of communication.


It means selecting some detail and omitting others. It may cause problem in

communication. One must always try to avoid Slanted statements. That’s why news

reporters are said to quote the statement of a person as it is to show it a fact or true statement.


It means conclusion on the basis of assumptions. But for some situations inferences

proves fruitful but for some situations it is risky & sometimes dangerous.


It is a person’s own perception or opinion towards a certain fact.

So, difference in perception may become a hurdle in communication.

Values, attitudes and opinions

Communication is also affected by the Values, attitudes and opinions of the communicators. People react favorably when they receive agreeable message.

Occasionally people react according to their attitude towards a situation rather than to the facts.

Closed Minds

Some people hold rigid views on certain subjects. They don’t consider facts and

maintain their views. Such person is very hard to communicate with.

Sender’s creditability

Usually people react more favorably to that communicator who has credibility.

So, Values, attitudes and opinions may also become hurdles in the way of communication.

Different Styles Of Communication

Assertive Communication

The assertive style is believed to be the most effective and healthiest style of communication. It is the way humans

express themselves naturally, when their self-esteem gives them the confidence to communicate without using manipulation and games. When we use an assertive style of communication, our objective is to work out mutually satisfying solutions and as such, we communicate our needs clearly and in a forthright manner. In this case, we know our limits and reject any attempts to be pushed beyond, just because others want something else from us. However, it is surprising to note that assertive style is the least used style of communication.

Aggressive Communication

The aggressive style of communication always involves manipulation techniques. Aggressive communication intends to manipulate people into making them do what we want, by using tactics such as, inducing guilt (hurt), intimidation and controlling the other person (by showing anger). This style of communication may be covert or overt, though the intention is always to get our needs met. There are a few arenas where aggressive behavior is demanded, including sports and war. However, aggressive communication doesn’t work in a relationship for a long time. Interestingly enough, aggressive sports also rely heavily on team coordination and rational coaching strategies.

Passive Communication

The passive style of communication is based on compliance and is aimed to avoid confrontation at any cost. In the passive communication mode, the communicator talks very less, questions even less and actually does very little. Passive communicators just don’t want to rock the boat for the fear of having to sail through rough waters. They believe that it is rather safe not to react and better to disappear from the scene than to stand up and get noticed. They hate being involved in a war of words or a heated argument.

Passive-Aggressive Communication

The passive-aggressive communication style involves a lot of strategizing and intends to avoid direct confrontation. Passive-aggressive communicators believe in getting their way through manipulation (aggressive). This style is rather sneaky and devious, where the intention is to make the other person suffer without any direct attack. It includes politics and rumor-mongering. Passive-aggressive communicators are self enhancing, though they are not very straight forward

about it. Though such people may appear honest, the underlying comments are sure to confuse the people around. This style is definitely not considered one of the best ways to communicate.