Elements of Communication

You write, speak, or show from your gesture and postures. You are communicating but Why do you communicate? The reasons and styles of communication may be different depending upon sender and receiver but everyone is communication.

Even birds do by whistling and animals by roaring. According to recent researches, Plant communicates too. But here, we are not talking about who communicate to whom and how do they do this.

Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another. It is a two-way process of exchanging ideas or information between two human beings.

Communication Reasons

  • To initiate some action
  • To impart information (ideas, attitudes, beliefs or feelings
  • To establish, acknowledge or maintain links or relations with other people

Initiating Action

The basic purpose of communication is to initiate some action. It is used to express the needs and requirements of a person. Firstly, you communicate to change the attitudes and behaviours of others. Then you persuade them to carry out the desired action.

Imparting Information

Information gathering is a constant activity of human beings. Much of the knowledge you learn comes from communicating with others. Teachers most often make a speech to impart information. Feed back from other people, shows your strengths and weaknesses. You impart information through news bulletins, bank statements, gossip, business information, discussion etc. Imparting information may have the following specific purposes:

  • Creating awareness 
  • Creating understanding 
  • Persuading others 
  • Influencing others

Establishing Relations

Establishing and maintaining relations with other people is a vital function of communication.

Aristotle says, “Man is a social animal”. Being the social animal, he cannot live alone. To fulfill his needs of life, he has to communicate with others. Similarly you communicate with others to fulfill your needs of life. You can communicate with others in the following ways.

  • You can nod or wave to show that you recognize some one you have met before.
  • You can make eye contact while speaking.
  • Keep in touch by telephone, letter or making a visit.
  • You can use his/ her name while speaking or writing.

Communication is the act of sharing or imparting information between two persons or parties.

The word communication has been derived from the Latin word “communis” which means common. So communication means sharing of ideas in common.

Literally communication means to inform, to tell, to show or to spread information.

It is a two-way process in which a speaker must have a listener and a writer must have a reader to share his ideas. So communication is the process by which message evokes response.

Communication Defined As & By

Communication is the process of conveying messages (facts, ideas, attitudes and opinions) from one person to another so that they can be understood 

M. W. Cumming

Communication is an exchange of facts ideas, opinions, or emotions by two or more persons.

George Terry

We define communication as the process by which message affects response. 

Harold Janis

The search for all available means of persuasion 


The flow of material information, perceptions and understanding between various parts and members of an organization.

Fred Luthans

Communication enables organizations to function. Organizations cannot function without open and effective communication. So it can be said that communication is the lifeblood of every organization.

7 Basic Elements of Communication

Elements of Communication Process


The process of communication begins when the sender is struck by an idea. Firstly, let us see who is a sender? Sender is a person who sends the message. Sender may be a single person or a group. He acts as a speaker, writer or encoder.

When a sender conceives an idea and wants to share it, he finds certain codes to express his message and creates the desired response. While preparing the message he keeps in mind the receiver’s culture, viewpoint, needs, status, mental ability, experience and expectations.


Second component is encoding. Encoding means converting the idea into a message by using different words, gestures, symbols or body movements. He uses words and non-verbal signals that the receiver is familiar with, so that the message will be well understood.


The message is the information that the sender wants to transmit. It is the actual physical thing that the sender encodes. It creates a connection between sender and receiver. It consists of both verbal symbols and non-verbal symbols. When you write, your writing is the message. When you gesture, the movements of your arms and the expression of your face are the message.


After framing the message, the sender selects a channel or medium. The channel is the medium through which the message flows from the sender to receiver. It may be a letter, e-mail, voice mail, fax, telephone call, conversation or a television program. The choice of medium is influenced by the relationship between the sender and the receiver, situation or urgency of the message. 

Written communication should be used when the situation is formal, official and long term. The oral channel is effective when immediate feedback is important. 


When the message is transmitted, a person receives it. The receiver is the person who receives, interprets and decodes the message. The message receiver is your reader or listener. Many of your messages may have more than one decoder. For communication to occur, your receiver must first get the message. 


The next element is decoding. The act of understanding the message is known as decoding. It is the reverse of encoding. Your receiver must decode (absorb or understand) your message.

His decoding of the message depends upon his past experience, knowledge of the language, understanding viewpoint and relations with the sender. Successful decoding is correct understanding of the intent of the message as transmitted by the sender.

Feedback or Response

After decoding the message the receiver gives feedback to the sender. Feedback is the reaction of the receiver, which indicates to the sender that the message has (or has not) been successfully received, understood and interpreted. After decoding the message, the receiver responds in the same way and signals that respond to you. This feedback helps in evaluating the success or failure of your message.

Barriers of Communication

what are the barriers of communication

People in the world are not exactly alike. Cultures or countries are not the same. Each person has unique filter of mind. These differences cause problems in conveying and receiving the meaning of the message. These problems are called barriers as they block communication process. Following are the barriers in communication:

Language/Semantic Barrier

The choice of the words or language in which a sender encodes a message affects the quality of communication. Some words have variety of meanings. Miscommunication occurs when the sender and the receiver have different meanings of the symbols used. For example: Consider a word “value” 

  • What is the value of this laptop? 
  • I value our relation
  • What is the value of learning technical skills? 

Value means different in different sentences. Similarly, LIFO (last in, first out) FIFO (first in, first out), people who are not accountants cannot understand such acronyms. So the problem that occurs due to the difference in meaning is called semantic barrier. To overcome semantic barrier we should use simple language and common symbols.

Restrictive Environment

Communication climate is influenced by an authoritarian and directive style of management. In this style, information in the form of command moves down but not up. This blocks free and open exchange of information. To avoid climate barrier, the manager should spend more time in listening than issuing order.


Your audience receives your message accurately if nothing physical interrupts or distorts the message. 

Physical distractions such as bad connections block effective messages. Poor lighting, uncomfortable chair, noise, passing traffic or some other irritating conditions might distract your receiver. 

Emotional distractions also get in the way of our message. When we are upset, hostile or fearful, we have a hard time shaping (framing) our message effectively. If our receivers are emotional, they may ignore or distort our message. 

To communicate effectively, we should try to fight physical and emotional distractions.

Closed Minds

Some people hold rigid views on certain subjects. They are not ready to accept new ideas or facts. Such close mindedness becomes hindrance in effective communication. To overcome this, we should be open minded to the ideas of others and should attempt to understand others. 

Information Overload

Managers are surrounded with a pool of information. It is essential to control this information flow otherwise, they tend to ignore, pass over, forget, or selectively choose information. In any case, the result is lost information and ineffective communication. 

Poor Retention

Human memory cannot function beyond a limit. One cannot always retain what is being told specially if he is not interested or not attentive. This leads to communication breakdown.

Perceptual Difference

Perception means how each person looks at the world around him. People perceive reality in their own way. Even when two people have experienced the same event, their mental images of that event will not be identical (same). It is because perception of each person is unique, the idea he wants to express differs from other people. 

Lack of Interest

One of the greatest problems of communication is the receiver’s lack of interest in your message. We should always be alert to this. Where lack of interest is obvious, we must work hard to mold our message according to the interests and needs of the receiver. 

Jumping to Conclusion

Sometimes the receivers jump to conclusion beforehand. They close their minds to get additional information. This causes problem in communication. To overcome this, we should reserve judgment until the speaker has finished. 

Sender’s Credibility

Often people react more according to their attitudes toward the source of information (sender) than to the information itself. Sender’s credibility is important in getting a favorable reaction. When the sender is incredible, he becomes a barrier in communication. To overcome this barrier, we should not judge the message by the speaker but by the argument (information)

8 Benefits of Communication

Good communication skills have always been important in the workplace. They are even more vital today. Effective communication helps in technology and globalization of the market place.

Following are the benefits of effective communication.

Increase Productivity

Your ability to communicate effectively increases productivity, both yours and your organization. You can get the maximum product at minimum cost and make a profit with the help of good communication.

Co-ordinate with Flow

Organizational communication establishes a pattern of formal channels to carry information. Information is passed in three ways: upward, downward and horizontal. Suggestions, complaints and problems flow upward from employees to supervisors.

Instructions relating to the policies of conducting business are conveyed down ward. At horizontal level, information is exchanged between the employees of an organization.

Strong Business Relationships

Communication is the most vital means by which people are connected together in the society. A communication skill is a key to establish strong business relationships. Without effective communication, people misunderstand each other and misinterpret information.

Build Professional Image

Effective communication makes difference to your organization in international market. The ability to speak and write helps in dealing with national and international business people. So this ability promotes the image of your organization.

Making Prompt Decisions

Communication helps to make prompt decisions. For making prompt decisions, fact-collecting process is necessary which results from effective communication.

Building Goodwill

In this age of competition, for excellence and success, organizations need to develop goodwill and sound status. Effective communication assists organizations to maintain good will and credibility.

Career Building

Anyone who is able enough to communicate effectively possesses a high-value skill. So communication skills are the main requirement for getting a good job. Your job promotion and success often depend on doing well in a written and oral presentation. Your ability to communicate well is a valuable asset that leads you to success.

Job Satisfaction and Good Morale

Morale is the human element that motivates a man to work in the right spirit. Good communication removes the possibility of misunderstanding among the employers and employees. It increases the morale of the workers and each worker feels job satisfaction.

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