Components of Communication Process
Communication is a process of exchanging verbal and non-verbal messages. It is a continuous process. Pre-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.
The main components of communication process are as follows:
- 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.
- 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 sender may be a trainer who conducts training for a 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.
- Message:Message is the key idea that the sender wants to communicate. It is a sign that elicits the response from the 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.
- 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 to be 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 promptly.
- 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.
- Feedback:Feedback is one of the main components of communication process as it permits the sender to analyse 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 also take written form in form of memos, reports, etc.
Seven C’s of Effective Communication
- ‘Completeness’ means that the communication must be complete or consummated.
- It should convey all facts required by the audience.
- The sender of the message must take into consideration the receiver’s mind set and convey the message accordingly.
- ‘Conciseness’ means optimum wordiness.
- Hence, conciseness means communicating what you want to convey in least possible words without forgoing the other C’s of communication.
- Conciseness is a necessity for effective communication.
- Consideration’ implies ‘stepping into the shoes of others’. Effective communication must take the audience into consideration such as the audience’s view points, background, mind-set, education level, etc.
- Make an attempt to envisage your audience, their requirements, emotions as well as problems. Ensure that the self-respect of the audience is maintained and their emotions are not hurt. Modify the words in your message to suit the audience’s needs while making your message complete.
- ‘Clarity’ means that your message must be free from obscurity and should be easy to understand.
- This will help in making your message comprehensible due to a clear expression of ideas.
- So, clarity implies emphasizing on a specific message or goal at a time, rather than trying to achieve too much at once.
- ‘Concreteness’ or a ‘Concrete’ communication implies being particular and clear rather than fuzzy and general.
- Concreteness strengthens the confidence.
- ‘Courtesy’ in a message implies the message should show the sender’s expression as well as should respect the receiver.
- The sender of the message should be sincerely polite, judicious, reflective and enthusiastic.
- ‘Correctness’ in communication implies that there are no grammatical errors in communication.
- The message has to be conveyed using the right vocabulary, right sentence construction, right tense, etc.
Strategies to Apply Seven C’s of Communication
Manage your emotions in a conversation. If you and/or the other person are getting angry, then manage yourself to stay calm by:
- Speaking to the person as if the other person is not angry
- Avoid the use of the word “you” – this avoids blaming.
- Nod your head to assure the other person that you heard him.
- Maintain eye contact with him.
- Move the discussion to a private area, if possible.
- Give the other person some time to vent his emotions. Don’t interrupt them or judge what they are saying.
Check with the other person and verify that you’re hearing each other accurately. When the other person stops speaking, then:
- Ask the other person to let you rephrase what you heard from the other person and what you understood about his point of view.
- Ask open-ended questions to understand him more.
- Avoid “why” questions – those questions often make people feel defensive.
After you speak, ask the other person to verify what they heard from you and understood. When you present your position
- Use “I”, not “you”.
- Talk in terms of the present as much as possible.
- Mention your feelings.
Acknowledge where you disagree and where you agree. Work on the issue, not the person.
- When they are convinced that you understand them: Ask “What can we do to fix the problem?”.
- Focus on actions that can be taken rather than attitude of people.
- Identify at least one action that can be done by one or both of you, if possible. Ask the other person if they will support the action. If they will not, then ask for a “cooling off period”. Thank the person for working with you.
In a tense or hostile situation of discussion with someone:
- Analyze if the other person’s behavior conflicts with policies and procedures in the workplace and if so, inform about the issue to him.
- Consider whether to agree to disagree.
- Consider seeking a third party to mediate.
Did You Know?
Sometimes in our workplace or in personal situations, we may be required to speak to and address an audience. The norms of speaking to an audience are slightly different from when one is speaking to an individual. Effectively engaging an audience is dependent on the speaker’s ability to sound interesting and convey a positive attitude. Developing good speaking skills involves an increased awareness of your voice, language, body language and tone while teaching.