The Communication Process

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  • 0:44 The Communication Process
  • 2:08 Hearing vs. Listening
  • 3:00 Noise
  • 4:48 Effective…
  • 6:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sherri Hartzell

Sherri has taught college business and communication courses. She also holds three degrees including communications, business, educational leadership/technology.

This lesson describes the process of communication. Terms such as sender, receiver, channel, encoding, decoding, noise, and feedback will be defined and explained with examples.

Spandex, Anyone?

When was the last time you thought about your communication? Have you ever really considered what occurs when information is exchanged, or do you just go through your daily motions treating communication much like you do breathing, in that you find it to be an effortless, almost automatic activity? Don't feel bad if you do; as with most things that we do on a continuous basis, the process of communication becomes easy to forget. So, let's see if we can refresh your memory and get you to think about the communication process as frequently as Spider-Man thinks about his spandex.

The Communication Process

The communication process is relatively simple and is divided into three basic components: a sender, a channel, and a receiver. The sender will initiate the communication process by developing an idea into a message. This is also known as encoding. The sender will then transmit the message through a channel, or a method of delivery; think of things like e-mail, phone conversations, instant messages, face-to-face discussion, or even a text message. The message then moves through the channel to the receiver, who completes the communication process by interpreting and assigning meaning to the message, which is also known as decoding.

Now, since most communication exchanges involve a continued dialogue between senders and receivers, a feedback loop was added to the communication process. Although I know some of you wish your spouse would forget about this at times, the feedback loop is a critical component in the communication process because it ensures a message was properly received and interpreted by the other party. In the workplace, feedback is especially significant so that a manager can be certain the messages that he or she sends are, in fact, received and interpreted correctly, eliciting the appropriate action from subordinates.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Here's where the communication process starts to get tricky. We all know that there is a major difference between hearing and listening. We can use either one of these during the communication process, but it is only those individuals who use effective listening skills when communicating that will be able to check for understanding during the exchange.

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