THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS

1. 2. 3. 4.

what is communication? how communication occurs potential problems levels of communication

most common explanation for reasons of failure both in business, politics or social life is

poor communication, lack of communication, breakdown in communication, communication error etc. Peter Drucker considers that perhaps the most valuable skill for the future employee to know is the ability to organize and express ideas in writing and speaking. “As soon as you move one step from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the spoken or the written word. And the further away your job is from manual work, the larger the organisation of which you are an employee, the more important it will be that you know how to convey your thoughts in writing or speaking. In a very large organisation .... this ability to express oneself is perhaps the most important of all the skills a person can possess.”

The study of the process of communication reveals that:
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the meanings transmitted are not necessarily the meanings received. words have different meanings for different people. non-verbal symbols are not universal and people differ in their ability to use them.

What is communication? Human communication is interaction with a purpose between at least two persons and is mainly carried out through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols. a. Interaction
E: I: E: I: E: I: E: I: E: Hi, and how are you today? Fine. And you? Couldn't be better. It looks like rain again. Mmm. It's about time for a bit of sunshine. I'd love that. Well, I have to rush now. Let's go out sometime next week. Great. I'll give you a call. All right. See you. See you.

  a ritual, verbal interaction meant not too communicate, but to maintain links and relations with other people.

 c. Purpose an important characteristic of communication is its fidelity. When symbols are formally organized they are called language. ideas.b. Symbols  communication takes place through signs or symbols. We think in symbols   we can express feelings. How communication occurs INTERFERENCE / NOISE  Message SENDER RECEIVER FEEDBACK Figure 1 SENDER ACTIVITY RECEIVER ACTIVITY ♦ IMPULSE TO COMMUNICATE ♦ ENCODING OF MESSAGE ♦ TRANSMISSION ♦ DECODING OF MESSAGE FEEDBACK TRANSMISSION OF MESSAGE . did it accomplish what it set out to accomplish?  We communicate only when meaning is transferred from one person to another and common understanding is achieved. Fidelity refers to the degree of faithfulness to the purpose of communication. thoughts. In other words was it effective.

telecommunication or computer systems. using unfamiliar and/or unexplained or ambiguous pictures or diagrams. desired action Medium Coded message (letter.  the medium for communication is the tool or instrument that you actually use to send your message through the selected channel. phone call. belonging to different cultures. Sources of distortion can be: speaking in a foreign language. ideas. .how to transmit your message to the receiver. postal. report. generation and gender gaps. using language incorrectly – whether it’s a foreign language or your own mother tongue. etc. underlying meaning RECEIVER understanding of message and meaning and action Feedback Figure 2. corporate hierarchies. Your selected medium can usually be considered under one of the following large categories (headings): (a) visual communication (b) oral communication (c) written communication Potential problems   distortion and noise. lack of concentration or cooperation. Channel SENDER information. technical (bad telephone line. technical jargon. The path or way by which you send your message is called the channel of communication: a notice board or house newsletter. Noise is used to describe the way in which the environment affects the accuracy. ‘Levels’ of communication If we consider the communication process illustrated in Figure 1 and add to it the ideas that we have briefly covered we may have a more complex cycle that could look like the one in Figure 2. memo. Noise can be physical (loud music. social (social class differences. printer breakdown etc). clarity or even the reception of the message. traffic in the street etc).attitudes. postal • interpretation of or telecom systems. gesture. Distortion is used to describe the way in which the meaning of a message is lost. a faculty journal. Other sources of distortion can include: differing opinions and attitudes. ignoring your audicence or the context or situation whithin which you are trying to talk.) Decoded message • verbal • non-verbal • meaning noticeboard. using dialects. etc) and psychological (emotions and attitudes).

The medium of interpersonal communication may be oral. with the potential for feedback and interaction. Impersonal communication: ‘mass’ communication. however. Besides common inferences from consumer behaviour more credibility is given to active attempts to solicit feedback. with no direct contact between source and receiver. but I forgot what it meant. You will. (b) (c) Feedback is extremely important in mass communication in order to assess the message’s effectiveness and to justify and control the considerable costs involved. newspapers and magazines. the knot in your handkerchief. non-verbal or any mix of them. through channels such as face-to-face discussion. in which the message is directed to a large. Without direct contact. Channels suited to mass communication include television. notice boards and so on. it is difficult to obtain. cinema. telephone or postal systems. however. You still have to consider the question of medium and channel. hoardings and poster sites. radio. the bleep of your alarm and so on. need to take into account variations in the process at different levels of communication. You know the joke about: I made a sign to remind me to call you. This is the typical situation faced by a salesperson. (a) Intrapersonal communication: communication with oneself (the sender and receiver are the same person). written. It implies direct communication between the source and the specific receiver(s). visual. diffuse audience. Interpersonal communication: communication between at least two individuals on a personal level. and decoding: is important as you will need to interpret your notes.It is helpful to think of communication in terms of this cycle. .