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Career Development Tips

What Is the Communication Process?

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What is the communication process?Components of the communication processCommunication process stepsCommunication process tips

Guide Overview

The communication process in the workplace

Communicating is an essential component of nearly any profession and is important when it comes to being an effective and productive employee. In order to be an efficient communicator, it's important to understand the communication process and how to implement it in the workplace. Here we explore the definition of the communication process, the steps involved in this process, and tips for best communicating at work.

What is the communication process?

The communication process is a process that promotes effective communication between individuals and parties. This process involves a number of factors and steps that include everything from the message involved in interpreting the message successfully. To effectively communicate, both parties must be able to exchange and interpret information from one party to the other. Keeping the flow of information open is imperative for understanding and interpretation.

Learn more: You’re Sabotaging Your Success: Unknown Communication Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Components of the communication process

There are several key components that are essential to ensuring the process of communication is successful. These components include:

  • The sender: This is the individual who sends the message to another party or person.
  • The message: This is the information that is being sent to the receiver.
  • The receiver: This is the person who is receiving the message from the sender.
  • The communication channel: This refers to how the information is transmitted.
  • The decoding process: This refers to how the receiver interprets the information.
  • Feedback: Feedback is a critical part of the process of communication and entails a response to the information and confirmation that the message was properly interpreted.

Communication process steps

The following are the steps involved in the process of communicating effectively:

1. The sender creates an idea to share

The sender, or the source or communicator, is the person or party that has information to share with others. The communication process starts with the sender and is reliant on the sender’s ability to effectively encode the message in a way that is easily understood and interpreted by the recipient of the information. The sender initiates the conversation and has already conceptualized the idea they which to relay to others.

2. The sender encodes the information

The next step in this process involves the sender encoding the message being sent so that it is in a form that can easily be transmitted to another person or party. The sender turns the information into a message and puts the message in a particular format. For example, if you’re writing a report, you’ll turn your findings into words and charts. Encoded messages can be verbal, nonverbal, or symbolic in nature.

3. The sender chooses the medium to emit the message

Once the sender has encoded the message in the appropriate format, they will decide how to best send the message to the recipient. The sender should choose the most effective medium to relay the message, such as via email or handwritten letter. When sending information in the workplace, it’s important to choose a professional channel in which to relay the message, such as during a business meeting or through a work email.

Learn more: 4 Next-Level Email Moves to Upgrade Your Communications

4. The message is sent to the receiver

The next step is to actually send the message to the recipient. This can include sending an email, talking in person, or any other form of information transmission.

5. The recipient interprets the message

Once the message is received by the receiver or interpreter, they will then try to interpret the message as best as possible to ensure the communication objectives are met. How well the person can interpret the message will depend on their experience, the subject matter, their knowledge on the topic, and their relationship with the sender. Once they’ve decoded the message, the receiver will try to understand it. Effective communication occurs when both the sender and receiver are on the same page as to what the message means.

6. The receiver offer feedback on the information

The final step in the communication process is when the receiver provides feedback to the sender. This feedback can include whether they received the information in its entirety, if they interpreted the information correctly, and opens the door for further communication between the two parties. Feedback also offers the sender insight as to whether their message was accurately interpreted and properly received by the receiver.

Communication process tips

The following are several tips to keep in mind when participating in the communication process:

  • Keep the message simple. Effective communication involves a clear and concise message that is easily understood by the receiver and is not overly complicated. The more simple your message is, the more likely the receiver will accurately interpret it.
  • Choose the right context. It’s important to choose the most appropriate context to relay the information to the sender. Context refers to the situation and setting in which the communication happens and can impact how successfully the information is exchanged.
  • Understand the receiver. It’s important to know who you are sending your message to and to understand their interests, needs, and concerns. The more familiar you are with your audience, the better you’ll be able to customize your message to suit their preferences and abilities to interpret the information.
  • Ask how the receiver would like to receive the message. If you’re unsure of the most appropriate channel to send your message, ask the receiver their preferred method of communication. For example, if someone does not like talking on the phone but is happy to read and reply to emails, sending them an email with the information in it would likely be the best option.
  • Keep an open line of communication. Not all information is readily received and interpreted. It’s important to keep an open line of communication and be willing to listen to the other party’s opinions and concerns. You should also ask questions to keep the communication going and show the other party you’re interested in what they have to say regarding the message.

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