According to Oxford (1996), Communication means the “science and practice of transmitting information”.
Communication may be transferred in the form of a phone call, letter, announcement, memo, email, gesture, smile, nod, etc. In other words, it may be verbal or nonverbal. The information sent should be understood by both the sender and the receiver in order to be effective.
The Stages in the Communication Process
There are different stages to communication and a course of action is taken, thus making communication a process.
First, there is an individual, the sender, who relays some knowledge, news, or question. Secondly, he or she will select a medium to send the message to another individual. The person who receives this information is the receiver. In the event that the recipient of this information is not able to comprehend the message, he or she should seek clarification and relay to the sender any misunderstandings.
The receiver will now take on the role of the sender and respond to the message that was sent. The receiver will figure out the message, formulate a response, and select a way to transfer the response to the sender.
Diagram A. clearly lays out the steps or stages in the communication process.
Issues That May Occur in the Communication Process
The Communication process may be hampered by unforeseen problems. These problems can occur at any point in the communication cycle and produce unwanted results. Some of these problems may present themselves as time being wasted and expenses being incurred unnecessarily. Situations like this can arise from the selection of an inappropriate mode of communication, or by the way, the message was encoded.
To prevent such an issue the sender should ensure the language or vocabulary used can be decoded or understood by the receiver.
For example, a construction manager chooses a letter, to communicate to a delinquent construction worker. The construction worker does not know the meaning of the words that is used by the manager. The message is not understood therefore the behavior continues and the manager will know to have to use another medium to communicate to the worker. Thus, time and resources are wasted.
The manager could have chosen to speak to the worker face to face; saving time and further complication of the issue.
Another issue that may arise could result from the receiver’s interpretation of the message. He or she may apply the incorrect meaning to the message, thus affecting the outgoing message or response. The receiver must, in this case, seek clarification from the sender and ensure that both of them “have a mutual agreement of the information sent and what it means”(Lecturer notes, September 30, 2004).
Using the case of the manager and the construction worker, the response might have been different if the worker understood the message being sent. However, he could have sought clarification on the issue. This would ensure that he understood what the manager required of him.
About the writer:
Poetess Denise N. Fyffe is a published author of over 30 books, for more than ten years and enjoys Training, Publishing and Counseling. She is a freelance writer for online publications such as Revealing the Christian Life, Jamaica Rose, Entertainment Trail, My Trending Stories among others.
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