Elements of Communication Process

The process of communication includes the following seven elements. These are shown in figure. Each of these components needs due elaboration.
  1. Communicator: The communication process begins with an intended message to communicate. The characteristics of the communicator influence the communication process. For example, while a sensitive communicator will look at the communication process from the receiver’s perspective, an insensitive one will be primarily concerned with his/her own interest. 
  2. Encoding: It refers to converting a communication message into symbolic form. Encoding is necessary because information can only be transmitted from communicator to receiver through symbols or gestures.
  3. Message: The message is the actual physical product from the source of encoding. When we speak, the speech is the message. When we write, the writing is the message. When we gesture, the movements of our arms, the expressions on our face are the message. Thus, message is what is communicated.
  4. Medium: Medium is a channel through which a communication message travels. Medium is the link that connects the communicator (sender) and the receiver. Face to face verbal communication, use of telephone, use of memorandum, notice, circulars, statements, etc. are the various means available as media of communication. Besides, non-verbal media like signals, symbols, gestures, etc. may also be used. The choice of medium assumes significance as the use of proper medium also determines the effectiveness of communication.
  5. Decoding: Translating the sender’s message by the receiver is called decoding. Decoding is the process by which the receiver draws meaning from the symbols encoded by the communicator or sender. One’s knowledge, attitude, and cultural background influence one’s ability to encode or receive, just as they do the ability to send.
  6. Receiver: The person who receives the message is called receiver. The communication process is incomplete without the existence of receiver of message. Communication to be effective needs to be receiver-oriented.
  7. Feedback: The actual response of the receiver to the message communicated to him is known as “feedback”. In other words, if a communicator or sender decodes the message that he encodes if the message is put back into his system, we have feedback. Feedback enables the communicator to check whether or not the message received has been properly understood by the receiver.
Importance of Communication Management
The need or importance of communication is felt for the following reasons: 
  1. Adequate and timely communication helps managers discharge their functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
  2. Effective communication ensures willing cooperation of others. This, in turn, contributes positively to the quality of decisions.
  3. Communication by flowing information throughout the organization maintains coordination of activities across departments in the organization.
  4. A good communication system communicating quality information contributes positively to the quality of decisions.
  5. Effective communication also helps in moulding attitudes and building up employee morale. It also helps in developing harmonious labor management relations.

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