Effective communication is one of the most valued professional skills. One can have mind-bending ideas or path-breaking innovations lined in their head, but without the ability to communicate them clearly and correctly everything is futile. By mastering the key elements of communication, one can achieve great success in their personal and professional life. It is extremely important to learn these components to master the art of effective communication. These elements enable smooth and effortless communication that can have a positive impact on many lives. They can be used to further communication skills and allow the transmission of ideas, thoughts, and emotions.
Let us look at six essential components of communication. Mastering these and understanding the process of ‘give and take’ of crucial information can help individuals overcome various communication barriers.
Every process of communication starts with a defined purpose. In other words, there is a need to transmit or receive certain kinds of information from serving a pre-decided purpose. This originates from a certain context that dwells in the mind of both sender and receiver of the information in question. Context helps one decide what, why, when, where, and who of the conversation. Context can be social, physical, political, economic, cultural, or chronological in nature.
A sender is an entity that, after deliberating the context, chooses to transmit certain types of information. They decide on the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the communication. They use various methods such as visual images, symbols, sounds, words, pictures, videos, etc., to define and state their message. These senders can be individuals or groups of people such as companies, corporates, and organizations. Senders usually raise questions or provide the information they think will benefit the receiver. The message is encoded in some kind of transmittable medium, such as writing on paper or a speech given from the dais.
The message is what the sender, after thorough deliberation, puts out for the receiver to decode. It is the essential part, the ‘object’ of communication. The message always relies on attracting a response from the receiver, thereby completing the communication cycle. The sender should thoroughly decide upon a clear and concise message they want to convey to their recipients. One should take extra effort to ensure that the key objective behind conveying the ‘message’ is clear to the recipient. One needs to choose the structure and formation of this message according to the target audience. There are various online courses through which one can learn the craft of developing an efficient and effective message for a wide range of audiences.
A medium is something that is used to transmit or receive the message. After the sender is done with crafting the message, they have to choose an appropriate medium to send that message through. The most common examples of communication mediums include writing, oral communication, and visual representation of data. It is important to wisely choose the medium for communication. It can be decided upon the target audience, nature of the message, and the number of people it needs to reach. For example, if one needs instant and continuous feedback, they can explore verbal, oral communication. If one wants their message to sip in, to be thoroughly comprehended, one can choose the writing as their medium.
A receiver is an intended audience for whom the message is crafted. They decode the message and gather information according to their own knowledge. The receiver is the main party for whom the communication is initiated. They reflect upon the message and reply or give ‘feedback’ accordingly so that the cycle of communication is completed.
Feedback is one of the most important steps in communication. Without feedback, any communication is left unfinished. It allows the sender to check and validate the efficacy of their sent message. When the receiver reflects upon the message and replies to it, the receiver becomes the sender, and the sender becomes the receiver. This completes a communication cycle. The sender, through feedback, can understand whether their message was conveyed correctly and gather information about improving the system and method of communication if it was not.