What is the Communication Process

The communication process is the set of actions that are put into practice to transmit, effectively and efficiently, a message between one or more individuals.

It arises from the need to successfully communicate and exchange information, opinion or feeling. Therefore, your goal is to communicate something that others can understand.

The communication process begins when the issuer is clear about the idea he wants to communicate, formulates the message and sends it through a channel (voice, written message, body language, etc.). The message is then received and decoded by the receiver, who can then reply and exchange opinions on it.

For example, when we make a call, the sender and the receiver exchange direct messages, through a telephone connection that serves as a channel for communication.

The communicative process is characterized by being dynamic and continuous. Likewise, it uses a series of elements so that it can happen, such as the sender, the message, the channel and the receiver.

Elements of the communicative process

For the communication process to develop correctly and be effective, it uses the following elements:

  1. Transmitter: it is the individual who begins the communication process, encodes and sends a message to another person.
  2. Receiver: is the one who receives and decodes the message received from the sender.
  3. Code: are the signs or symbols used by the sender to create the message, and that are known by the receiver for interpretation or decoding. For example, a language, a sign language, a symbol system, etc.
  4. Message: It is the information or content that the sender is going to share with the receiver.
  5. Communication channel: It is the physical medium used by the sender to send the message. For example, the air in oral communication, digital media, paper, a mobile phone, etc.
  6. Noise: are the external means or obstacles that can affect the emission and/or reception of the message. For example, Internet service failure, a distraction, loud music, etc.
  7. feedback or feedback: It is the response that the receiver sends to the sender and vice versa. This guarantees the effectiveness of the communicative process.
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What is the communication process?

Communication process

The communication process complies with the following stages:

  1. Intention to communicate: In this first step, the sender must intend to communicate something to another person. For example, Julia has an important message to share with her friend Luisa de ella.
  2. Message encoding: the sender develops and prepares the content of his message according to the communication to be used (written, oral, visual, non-verbal), and that the receiver masters. For example, Julia is going to send a message through written communication.
  3. Communication channel selection: It is the step where the sender selects the channel that it considers most appropriate, depending on the circumstance, to send the message. It can be through the Internet, a letter, a telephone, etc.
  4. Message transmission: At this stage, the process will depend on the selected channel, such as a text message, a phone or video call, an email, among others. For example, Julia selected text messaging through her mobile phone.
  5. Message reception: is when the receiver receives the message. It can be receiving a letter in your hands, the notification of a text message, etc. It is the receiver’s first approach to the message before decoding it. For example, when Luisa hears the notification that she has received a text message on her mobile phone.
  6. Message decoding: the receiver decodes and interprets the received message, which generates its understanding. At this stage, the communication process will be successful if the receiver understands the received message. For example, Luisa received and read the text message that Julia sent her.
  7. Receiver response: finally, the receiver will share his response with the sender of the message, giving rise to feedback and exchange of messages between the participants of the two-way communication process. For example, Luisa gives a reply to Julia’s message. If the communication were unidirectional, the sender will not receive a response from the receiver.
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Below, we present step by step different examples of how the communication process works in various contexts and situations:

Examples of the communication process

remote business meeting

  1. Intention to communicate: the manager (issuer) of a company has to communicate to the other employees (receivers) the new safety rules implemented in the work facilities.
  2. Message encoding: the sender prepares the content using oral language as the code of the message, in a common language among the participants.
  3. Communication channel selection: the sender selected the Internet connection as the communication channel.
  4. Message transmission: the message will be transmitted through a video call.
  5. Message reception: the message will be received by all participants (receivers) once they are connected to the video call at the scheduled time.
  6. Message decoding: receivers decode and interpret the received message, and understand its content and meaning.
  7. Receiver response: Finally, the receivers will share their opinions, giving rise to feedback and exchange of messages between the participants in the communication process. In this way, the communication process was effective and efficient.

Email communication

  1. Intention to communicate: a customer (broadcaster) of an international TV service intends to make a complaint after having problems with the television service.
  2. Message encoding: the sender prepares the content using written language as message code, in a language that is not common with the receiver.
  3. Communication channel selection: the sender selected the Internet connection as the communication channel.
  4. Message transmission: the message will be transmitted through an email.
  5. Message reception: the message is received by the receiver through the email of the international TV service company.
  6. Message decoding: the receiver opens the email, but cannot decode or interpret the message because it is in a language that he does not speak, therefore, he does not understand its content.
  7. Receiver response: the receiver cannot issue a response to the sender until the message is decoded. In this case, the communication process was not successful.
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Non-verbal communication

  1. Intention to communicate: a dog (sender) begins to bark and runs towards the kitchen to attract the attention of its person in charge (receiver), so that he serves food in his container.
  2. Message encoding: the dog (sender) uses its barking as a message code, even if it is not common with the receiver.
  3. Communication channel selection: the emitter uses the air as a communication channel through which the sound waves expand and travel with their barks.
  4. Message transmission: the message will be conveyed through constant barking.
  5. Message reception: the message is received by the receiver through sound.
  6. Message decoding: the receiver hears the barking and, although he cannot decode the message as such, he can interpret the intention of the bark when he sees the dog (sender) run to his empty food bowl.
  7. Receiver response: the receiver serves food in the bowl of his pet. In this case, the communication process was successful.

Phone call

  1. Intention to communicate: Andrés (sender) intends to call his brother Eduardo (receiver) to greet him.
  2. Message encoding: the sender prepares the content of his message using oral language, in a common language among the participants. Andrés’s message: “Hello, how are you?”
  3. Communication channel selection: the issuer selected the mobile phone network as the communication channel.
  4. Message transmission: the message will be transmitted through a voice call. Reception of the message: the message is received by the receiver through the telephone call.
  5. Message reception: Eduardo (receiver) receives a phone call on his mobile phone.
  6. Message decoding: Eduardo (receiver) answers the phone call, listens to the message and decodes it.
  7. Receiver response: the receiver replies “I’m fine. How have you been?”. There was a response to the initial message which, in turn, is answered, “Very good. Leaving class”. In this case, the communication process went smoothly, there was communicative feedback and both participants acted as sender and receiver.

See also:

  • Communication.
  • Comunication elements.
  • Types of communication.
  • Language functions.