• To understand the essential elements of communication
• To become aware of the various ways people understand the nature of communication
• To understand the several barriers to communication
What is communication? It seems ironic that we do not fully appreciate the potential power of communication in shaping our lives when, in fact, we are busy engaging ourselves in various day-to-day forms, means, and problems of communication. By reflecting on the nature of communication itself – (1) what it is, (2) how it works, and (3) why it happens -- we can empower ourselves with the necessary analytical and pragmatic skills in dealing with the many dimensions of communication which are crucial in everybody’s success in life.
1. What is communication?
Even communication experts themselves disagree which among human behaviors count as acts of communication. Although communication may either be verbal (use of language) or non-verbal (use of gestures, facial expressions, etc.), two important issues emerge from the debate. First, is the act intentional? And second, is the act received? Three major positions are possible with these questions (Littlejohn 2002).
1.1 The sender-receiver model
There are those who think that communication only involves messages which have been intentionally given to recipients who also received them. In other words, only when the intended message has also been received correctly will communication take place.
1.2 The receiver model
There are also those who believe that communication involves messages which are meaningful to receivers. It does not matter whether they are intended messages or not. For as long as receivers think the messages are meaningful in any way, then communication has taken place.
1.3 The communication behavior model
Another group of people believe that, while communication ideally should only involve messages intentionally sent... [continues]
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