Communication Process – Definition, Elements and Importance

Published by: Hitesh Bhasin

& Last updated:

The communication process is a series of steps that are involved in successfully communicating an idea, information, or message between a sender and receiver through the physical or virtual channel of communication.

In fact, there are several components that come together to complete an effective communication process. Sender must follow the process to make their personal, professional, or business communication more effective and result-driven.

What is Communication Process?

Definition: The communication process is defined as a way of communicating a message, idea, or information from the sender by overcoming several barriers via channels through which the message is sent to the receiver.

The communication process is a dynamic method where the sender first conceptualizes a message and sends it to a receiver over a medium in return for which feedback from the receiver is expected and achieved over the same medium. It is an ongoing process and requires an extreme understanding of the elements in it to make it an effective one.

Let us have a look at the different elements through which information is transmitted from sender to receiver while following a process of communication-

Elements of an Effective Communication Process

An effective communication process comprises of the following elements-

1. The Sender

The sender is the person who initiates the communication processes.

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2. The Message

The message that is sent by the sender can be anything such as a command, a request, a question, or just a statement for a normal discussion.

3. Encoding

The sender needs to encode the message in the form of pictures, words, or even gestures.

4. Media or Channels of Communication

The message once encoded has to be sent to the other side through some kind of channel. This channel is the media for the message and this can be anything such as email, telephone, or so on.

5. Decoding

Once the message has reached the other side, it has to be decoded. This is only possible when the person on the other side is familiar with the signs that the sender has used for encoding the message. For example, if the sender has sent a message in the English language, the person on the other side can decode it only when he or she knows the English language.

6. Receiver

The receiver is the person on the other side who is receiving the message and decodes it to understand and proceed with the communication processes further.

7. Feedback

It is the receiver who understands the message and then offers feedback over it to the sender in the process.

8. Noise

Noise is an element that cannot be ignored in communication processes. This is mainly the hindrances that come up in an effective communication process such as interruption in the phone network, or similar issues that lead to wrong decoding of the message received by the receiver.

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How Communication Process Works?

For channelizing communication processes, below given steps are followed to convey the intended meaning in the most accurate and result-driven manner from sender to recipient-

  1. The sender would first develop an idea to be sent
  2. The sender will then encode the message
  3. The sender will then choose the channel of communication
  4. The message would then travel through the channel of communication
  5. The receiver will receive the message
  6. The receiver will then decode the message
  7. The receiver will share feedback if needed

Importance of Communication Processes

Importance of Communication Processes

Organizations need to maintain an effective communication process due to a number of important reasons such as-

1. Proper Coordination

Coordination among the team members is extremely essential in order to boost up the performance and gain fruitful results. When the sender message the receiver, coordination is important to ensure that message is accurately understood by the receiver.

This is only possible when the communication between the team members is clear and error-free. Hence, proper and efficient communication processes are extremely necessary in such a case.

2. Smooth Working

When there is proper coordination among the team members of an organization, it automatically leads to smooth working in the firm.

Hence, again effective communication processes are extremely essential for smooth working. It optimizes the communication skills of the sender and ensures the accomplishment of the communication objectives.

3. Better Decision Making

A proper decision can be made only through brainstorming and proper discussion over the matter. Of course, discussion and a fruitful result out of it are only possible when the communication is smooth and effective.

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Hence, you need to make sure to have effective communication processes for having better decision making. In a well-processed communication, the sender encodes the message in the most accurate, concise, and effective manner to alleviate and empower decision making processes.

4. Enhanced Managerial Efficiency

A manager becomes a favorite in the team when he or she is able to make every point clear and is able to motivate the employees in a better way.

So, effective communication processes are also capable of enhancing the managerial efficiency of an organization.

5. Boosts Employee Morale

The employees are happy in an organization when they are offered the freedom of speech and their ideas are considered important too.

When there is a proper chain of communication that takes place between the management and the employees, it definitely helps in boosting up the morale of the employees.

Types of Communication Processes

There are several types of communication processes in existence that are helpful for any organization.

1. Formal Communication

Formal communication is the process that flows through official channels and can be verbal, non-verbal (e.g. body language’0, or written. There can be several types again under formal communication and these are:

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  1. Vertical Communication- Here the transmission of the messages is from upper management to the employees or vice versa.
  2. Horizontal Communication – Here the transmission of the messages can be on lateral levels such as when an executive of one particular department communicates with an executive of another department regarding any official matter.
  3. Upward Communication- In this, the communication flows from the lower-level employees of an organization to the top-most level of the organization.
  4. Downward Communication- It refers to the communication related to the information flow from top-most level to lower level of employees of a hierarchy

For formal communication processes, a number of network types can be followed such as single chain, wheel, circular, free flow, or inverted V.

2. Informal Communication

Informal communication processes are the process of communication where the flow of information does not require any official channel or medium. It is also known as grapevine communication and has several network types that are single strand, gossip network, probability network, and cluster network.

Barriers to Effective Communication Process

Barriers to Effective Communication Process

Several barriers may interrupt effective communications’ processes-

1. Semantic Barriers

The most initial barrier that happens is the semantic barrier. It is the issue that happens while encoding a message. There can be several issues in this section such as wrong translation or usage of the wrong words.

2. Psychological Barriers

Psychological conditions such as the emotions of both the sender as well as the receiver of the message matter a lot for an effective communication process. It may happen that the sender and the receiver are not on the same page of emotion and this can make the receiver of the message decode it in the wrong way.

3. Organizational Barriers

At times, the factors in an organization may also lead to barriers for some. For example, when the higher management has sent an email about a new policy to the manager but the manager forgets to forward this email to his or her subordinates.

4. Personal Barriers

At times, there are several personal barriers that can also interrupt the communication process. Human feelings such as jealousy, anger, or similar others can also lead to disruption in the flow of messages from one person to another. For example, if the sender is angry and asks a normal question also in that mood, the receiver may take this in an abusive way.

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Measures for an Effective Communication Process

While there can be several barriers in an effective communication process, these can be sorted out with the help of the right measures.

  1. Any communication should be crisp and should have a clear encoding, so the receiver decodes the message in the right way.
  2. The feedback provided by the receiver of the message should be in accordance with the message communicated only to avoid confusion.
  3. It is always a great idea to consult with the other team members before starting an important communication.
  4. The sender of the message should be aware of the language, posture, and signs that are being used in the communication process.
  5. In order to complete the communication process, it is essential to get proper feedback from the receiver so that the sender knows that the messages have been properly decoded by the receiver.
  6. At last, it is important for both the participants in the communication process to be good listeners in order to understand the message properly and communicate accordingly.

Conclusion!

Communication is an essential activity in life that eases out a lot of things. But again a lot of things can get messed up if the communication process that is being followed is not efficient. There are several barriers that can interrupt the flow of communication.

The participants need to overcome all these barriers with proper measures in order to maintain an efficient flow of communication that definitely leads to enhanced performance and outcome of the organization.

With the help of the aforementioned steps of effective communication processes, communication, as well as business objectives, can be easily and effectively accomplished. How important do you consider these processes for an organization?

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Article by:

Hitesh Bhasin

Hitesh Bhasin is the CEO of Digiaide and his vision is to make business knowledge accessible to everyone.