What is the process of Communication? Communication is a two-way process of exchanging messages between two persons or groups of persons. The participants involved in communication assume the roles of senders and receivers. As senders, participants form messages and attempt to communicate them to others. As receivers, they receive the messages and react to them. This sending and receiving of information are known as the process of communication. The process of communication takes place in different stages.
STAGES IN PROCESS OF COMMUNICATION
The Important stages in communication process are:
- Ideation Stage
- Symbolizing or Encoding Stage
- Transmission Stage
- Decoding Stage
- Action/Reply Stage
Context is the situation or circumstances in which communication occurs. Context may be any specific setting that works as a stimulus and rouses a person to action. In other words what prompts a person to think about sending a message in a specific context is stimulus. ‘The stimulus may be internal or external. Internal stimulus includes sender’s urge, behavior, opinions, emotions, experience, preferences, etc. External stimulus may be simply a telephonic call, a letter, message, etc that activates the sender to think about sending message,
2. IDEATION STAGE
Roused and activated by the stimulus the sender begins the process of communication. To be able to send his message he needs to develop ideas. The ideation stage is, in fact, the creating stage, The sender thinks about and creates the ideas which he wants to communicate. At this stage, he does not take any practical step. All that he does is a mental exercise concerned with thinking and planning the message.
3. SYMBOLIZING OR ENCODING STAGE
Once the ideas are created the sender begins the process of transforming the ideas into symbols and organizing them into a message. This is taken as the act of encoding the message. There are numerous symbols at the disposal of the sender. He should, therefore, select the symbols that will best convey his message. In written communication, it is the words that are used as symbols to encode the message.
4. TRANSMISSION STAGE
After the message is encoded; the next step is to transmit it. Transmission means the sending or conveying of the message to the receiver. Here the sender selects the channel or ‘the path of communication. Like symbols channels of transmission are also numerous. The sender chooses the channel that conforms to the ultimate end of the transmission of message.
5. Decoding Stage
With transmission of the message the first cycle of the process of communication ends. This is the cycle that describes the role of the communicator. Now with the decoding stage the second cycle begins. In this cycle, the communicate receives the message and decodes the message to the best of his understanding. To avoid failure of communication, it is important that the communicate decodes and understands the message in the same meaning and spirit in which it has been conveyed to him.
6. ACTION/REPLY STAGE
The action stage is the final step in the process of communication. In absence of any action or reply by the communicate, the process of communication remains incomplete and ineffective. A business process is the process of action and reaction. It is, therefore, important that the receiver after he has received the message takes some action on it and responds to the communicator accordingly.
ELEMENTS OF COMMUNICATION
From the above discussion, it can be seen that there are different elements/factors which are involved in the process of communication. In absence of any one of these, the process of communication remains incomplete. These elements are:
How these components interact in the communication process, can be better understood through the following illustrative diagram:
1. Sender / Encoder: The sender of a message is usually its writer. The main responsibility of the sender of a message is to communicate it in such a way that it is received by the receiver in its exact sense and meaning. Equally important is the receiver’s attitude, culture and viewpoint, which the sender must consider while sending the message. The role of sender is very important. He acts as an ‘encoder’, and picks up such words as he thinks will correctly communicate his message to the reader. A business letter is always response-oriented. It is, therefore, imperative that the sender should encode his message aptly, properly, clearly, correctly and completely. Nowhere he should be vague or open to any misunderstanding or misconception. The most important part of the role of sender is that he must have the perception and consideration for the viewpoint of the receiver. Therefore, it is the sender who has to decide which words and what sort of expression will convey his message best, and which of the media of communication will serve the purpose gainfully.
2. Message: Message is the idea which the sender conveys to the receiver. No message can serve its purpose unless its composition has the following three aspects:
a. Unity of thought Writing
b. Consistency in expression
c. Emphasis on the main point
Before the sender transmits the messages he must be satisfied that he has included all the important contents in and the receiver will easily and clearly understand and interpret it. To meet this end, the sender must plan the message carefully and to the point, avoiding irrelevant details.
3. Channel/Medium: There are two main ways to communicate messages to others, One way is to convey the message in written form i.e. in the form of a letter, telegram, report, etc. The other way for sending a message is the use of electronic media i.e. telephone, fax, e-mails, etc. The sender has to decide what type of channel he should use to send the message. The choice of channel, in fact, depends on the nature and state of situation and the nature of interrelationship of sender and receiver. The choice of Channel is also influenced by the status and position of the receive Different oral and written channels may be used for different purposes and different receivers. For an insider, the channel of communication may be rather less formal, whereas for an outsider greater amount of formality is required.
4. Receiver/Decoder: The receiver of the message is its reader or listener. Since the message is meant for him, he is termed as decoder also. Sometimes a message is sent to several readers. On receipt of the message they decode and interpret its contents according to their experiences. Different people have different experiences, attitudes, abilities and opinions. As a result, misinterpretations may occur. It is, therefore, very important that the sender, while drafting his message, takes into account all these factors so as to minimize the of its being misunderstood or misinterpreted.
5. Feedback/Responds: Feedback is the reply that is received by the sender. It is the reaction and response given by the receive It may be favorable or otherwise, Sometimes, it may demand further clarification of the message sent by the sender. If a receiver fails to decode the message correctly, the sender may receive an undesired feedback. This shows that either the message was vague, unclear, or miscommunicated, or it was misinterpreted by the reader. In fact, feedback is the indicator of the success or failure of communication in the business world.