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What is Communication? – Eight Essential Components and More

What is Communication?

Communication is the process of sending and getting mails by verbal or non-verbal means, including speech or oral communication; written and graphical representations (such as infographics, maps, and charts); and signs, signals, and behaviors. More simply, we say that communication is “the creation and exchange of meaning.”

All creatures on earth have developed ways of transmitting their emotions and thoughts to each other. However, humans’ ability to use words and language to transfer specific meanings distinguishes them from the animal kingdom.

Eight Essential Components of Communication

communication

To better comprehend the communication process, we can divide it into a series of eight essential components:

1. Source

The basis imagines, creates, and sends the message. In a public speaking state, the original is the person giving the speech. They get the message across by sharing new information with the public. The speaker also conveys a message through their tone of voice, body language, and choice of clothing.

The speaker begins by first determining the message: what to say and how to say it. The second step is to encode the message by choosing the correct order or the perfect words to convey the desired sense. The third stage is to present or send the info to the recipient of the audience. Finally, by observing the audience’s reaction, the source perceives how well they received the message and responds with clarifications or supporting information.

2. Message

“The message is the incentive or meaning produced by the basis for the receiver or the audience.” When considering giving a speech or writing a report, your message may impression that only the words you choose will convey your meaning. But this is only the beginning. Words combine with grammar and organization. You can choose to save your most important point for the end.

The message also includes how you pronounce it, in a speech, with your tone of voice, body language, and appearance, and in a report, with your writing style, punctuation, titles, and format you choose. Additionally, part of the message can be the environment or context in which you present it and the noise that can make your message difficult to hear or see.

Imagine, for example, speaking to a large audience of salespeople, and you know there is a World Series game tonight. Your audience may have a hard time adjusting, but you can choose to open with “I understand there’s an important game tonight.” That way, by verbally expressing something that most of the people in your audience know and are interested in, you can capture and focus their attention.

3. Channel

“The channel is how a message or messages travel between the source and the receiver.” For example, think about your TV. How numerous channels do you have on your TV? Individually track takes up space, even in a digital world, on cable, or in the signal that brings each channel’s message to your home. Television combines an audio signal that you listen to with a visual indication that you see.

Together, they deliver the news to the recipient of the audience. Turn off the volume on your television. Can you still figure out what is going on? This is often the case, as body language conveys part of the program’s message. Now turn up the volume but turn it so you can’t watch TV. You can still get the dialogue and follow the story.

Likewise, when you speak or write, you are using a channel to get your point across. Expressed channels include face-to-face conversations, speech, telephone conversations, voicemail messages, radio, public address systems, and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). Written media include letters, memos, purchase orders, invoices, newspaper and magazine articles, blogs, emails, texts, tweets, and more.

4. Receiver

“The receiver obtains the message from the source, analyzing and interpreting the message in ways that are intended and unintended by the source.” To better understand this constituent, think of a receiver on a soccer team. The quarterback throws the soccer ball (message) to a receiver, who must see and interpret where to no-win the ball. The quarterback may mean for the receiver to “get” the news from him somehow, but the receiver may see it differently and ultimately lose the ball (the intended meaning).

As a receiver, you attend, see, touch, smell, and taste to receive a message. Your audience is “measuring” you, just as you might verify long before you go on stage or open your mouth. The non-verbal responses of your listeners can serve as clues on how to adjust your openness.

By imagining yourself in their place, you forestall what you would look for instead. Just as a signal-caller plan where the receiver will place the ball correctly, he can also recognize the interaction between the source and the receiver in a business communication context. All of this occurs at the same time, exemplifying why and how communication is constantly changing.

5. Feedback

When you reply to the source, intentionally or not, you are providing feedback. Feedback is made up of messages that the receiver sends to the head. Verbal or non-verbal, all of these feedback signals allow the source to see how much, how accurately (or how wrong and inaccurate the message was) received.

Feedback also allows the recipient or audience to ask for clarification, agree or disagree, or indicate that the source could make the news more interesting. As the quantity of feedback increases, so does the accuracy of the communication.

For example, suppose you are a sales boss on a conference call with four sales representatives. As a source, you want to tell the representatives to take advantage of the fact that it is the World Series season to close sales of baseball-related sports equipment.

You say your message, but you do not hear a response from your listeners. You can assume that means they got it and agreed with you, but later in the month, you may be disappointed to find that very few sales make.

6. Environment

“The environment is the atmosphere, physical and mental, where you send and obtain messages.” The room situation is an example of the domain. The environment can comprise the tables, chairs, lighting, and sound equipment found in the room. The setting can also include dress, indicating whether a discussion is open and supportive, or more professional and formal.

People are more likely to have an intimate conversation when they are physically close to each other and less likely when they can only see from across the room. In this case, text messages can send, which in itself is a form of intimate communication. The environment influences the choice of text. As a speaker, your domain will impact and play a role in your speech. It is always a good impression to check where you will be speaking before the actual presentation day.

7. Context

“The context of the communication interaction includes the setting, the stage and the expectations of the people involved.” A professional communication context can involve business requirements (environmental cues) that directly or indirectly influence participants’ linguistic and behavioral expectations.

A presentation or a discussion is not an isolated event. When you got to class, you came from somewhere. The person is sitting next to him, too, as well as the instructor. The degree to which the setting is formal or informal depends on the participants’ contextual communication expectations. The person sitting next to you may use informal communication with instructors.

Still, that particular instructor may use verbal and non-verbal displays of respect in an academic setting. You may also be used to formal interactions with instructors and encounter your classmate’s question: “Hello teacher, do we have homework today? Also rude and inconsiderate when they consider it normal. The instructor’s non-verbal response will undoubtedly give you a clue about how they perceive the interaction, the choice of words, and how they pronounce.

Context has to do with what people expect of each other, and we often create those expectations from environmental clues. Traditional gatherings like weddings are usually formal events. There is a time for casual social greetings, a time for silence as the bride walks down the aisle, or the father can have the first dance with his daughter as she transforms from girl to woman in the eyes of his community.

At any one of the celebrations, the time for frenzied celebrations and dancing can come. You may ask to toast, and the context of the wedding or quinceañera will influence your presentation, timing, and efficiency.

8. Interference

“Interference is anything that blocks or alters the intended meaning of the source’s message.” Interference, also known as noise, can come from any source. For example, if you were driving a car to get to work or school, you were probably surrounded by noise. Horns, billboards, or maybe your car stereo have interrupted your thoughts or your chat with a passenger.

Interference can also come from other sources. Maybe the office is hot and stuffy. You may be hungry, and your attention to your current situation interferes with your ability to listen. The noise interferes with the standard encoding and decoding of the message carried on the channel between the source and the receiver.

Not all noise is wrong, but noise interferes with the communication process. For example, ringing your cell phone may be a pleasant noise for you, but it can disrupt the communication process in class and annoy your classmates.

Types of Communication

communication

1. Verbal Communication

Verbal communication occurs when we talk to others. This can be face to face, over the phone, via Skype or Zoom, etc. Some verbal commitments are informal, like chatting with a friend over coffee or in the office kitchen, while others are more formal, like a date.

Regardless of the type, it’s not just about the words. It’s also about the caliber and complexity of those words, how we put these words together to create an overall message, and the intonation (pitch, pitch, cadence, etc.) used when talking. And in a face-to-face meeting, while words are necessary, they cannot separate from non-verbal communication.

2. Non-Verbal Communication

What we do while we speak often speaks louder than the actual words. Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, posture, eye contact, hand movements, and touch.

For example, if you are talking to your boss about your idea of cost reduction, you must pay attention to both your words and your non-verbal communication. Your boss may agree to your statement verbally, but your non-verbal cues: avoiding eye contact, sighing, wrinkling your face, etc., indicate something different.

3. Written Communication

Be it an email, a note, a report, a Facebook post, a tweet, a contract, etc. All procedures of written communication have the same objective of disseminating information clearly and concisely, although this objective is often not achieved. Poor writing skills usually principal to confusion and embarrassment, even potential legal danger.

One crucial thing to recall about written communication, especially in the digital age, is that the message endures, perhaps forever. So there are two belongings to remember: first, write well – poorly constructed sentences and careless mistakes make you look bad. And second, make sure the post’s content is something you want to promote or are associated with within the long run.

4. Listening

The act of listening is not usually on the list of types of communication. Active listening, however, is maybe one of the most significant types of communication because if we cannot hear the person sitting in front of us, we cannot relate to them effectively.

Think of a negotiation: part of the process is evaluating what the opposition wants and needs. Without listening, it is impossible to assess this, making it difficult to achieve a win-win result.

5. Visual Communication

We are a visual company. Think about it, televisions run 24/7, Facebook is visual with memes, videos, images, etc., Instagram is an image-only platform, and advertisers use images to sell products and ideas.

Think from a personal perspective: the photos we post on social media mean conveying meaning and communicating a message. In some cases, this message could be, look at me, I’m in Italy, or just won an award. Others are carefully selected to pull on our sensitive cords: injured animals, crying children, etc.

Conclusion

The communication process includes understanding, sharing, and meaning and comprises eight essential elements: source, message, channel, receiver, feedback, environment, context, and interference. Among the communication, models are the transactional process, in which actions coincide, and the constructivist model focuses on shared meaning.

Also Read: What is a Wide Area Network? – Advantages, Disadvantages, and More

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