What is the Communication Process? - Definition & Steps

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  • 0:03 Communication Defined
  • 0:38 Communication
  • 2:37 Noise
  • 3:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Communication is a process, and if the process breaks down, communication will fail. In this lesson, you'll learn about the communication process. We'll also discuss how the concept of noise can disrupt this process.

Communication Defined

Lindsey is the supervisor of a team of employees in a research and development department for a small tech company that focuses its research on new apps. Her boss wants Lindsey to work on a new project. But Lindsey can't successfully manage her team in order to complete the project unless she is able to effectively communicate with them. Communication is the process of conveying information between two or more people. The communication process is the steps we take in order to achieve a successful communication.

Communication Process

The communication process consists of several components. Let's take a look.

A sender is the party that sends a message. Lindsey, of course, will be the sender. She'll also need the message, which is the information to be conveyed. Lindsey will also need to encode her message, which is transforming her thoughts of the information to be conveyed into a form that can be sent, such as words.

A channel of communication must also be selected, which is the manner in which the message is sent. Channels of communication include speaking, writing, video transmission, audio transmission, electronic transmission through emails, text messages and faxes and even nonverbal communication, such as body language. Lindsey also needs to know the target of her communication. This party is called the receiver.

The receiver must be able to decode the message, which means mentally processing the message into understanding. If you can't decode, the message fails. For example, sending a message in a foreign language that is not understood by the receiver probably will result in decoding failure.

Sometimes, a receiver will give the sender feedback, which is a message sent by the receiver back to the sender. For example, a member of Lindsey's team may provide feedback in the form of a question to clarify some information received in Lindsey's message.

Let's put all these components together to build a model of the communication process:

  1. A sender encodes information
  2. The sender selects a channel of communication by which to send the message
  3. The receiver receives the message
  4. The receiver decodes the message
  5. The receiver may provide feedback to the sender

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