Communication Process

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What do you understand by the following terms in business communication:



As a secretary of the Executive Committee on Salaries and Conditions of Service in a parastatal, produce minutes of a recent meeting of the committee to discuss among other routine matters: i)salaries for contract staff

ii)bonuses benefits for all staff


Communication can be best summarized as the transmission of a message from a sender to a receiver in an understandable manner. The importance of effective communication is immeasurable in the world of business and in personal life (Nick Sanchez – Communication Process).

From a business perspective, effective communication is an absolute must, because it accounts for the difference between success and failure or profit and loss of an organization. The communication process involves six basic elements which are; sender (encoder), message, channel/medium, receiver (decoder), noise and feedback as illustrated in the following diagram.

All communications begins with the sender.

The first step the sender is faced with is the encoding process. This is the translation of information into a message in the form of symbols that represent ideas or concepts. The sender initiates the communication process. When the sender has decided on a meaning, he encodes a message, and selects a channel for transmitting the message to a receiver. Encoding is putting a message into words or images or symbols that represent ideas or concepts. This process translates the ideas or concepts into the coded message that will be communicated. The symbols can take on numerous forms such as languages, words or gestures. These symbols are used to translate ideas into messages that the receiver can understand. When encoding a message, the sender decides on what to transmit. The decision by the sender is based on the receiver’s knowledge and assumptions; along with what additional information he wants the receiver to have. It is important for the sender to use symbols that are familiar to the intended receiver. According to Nick Sanchez, a good way for the sender to improve encoding their message is to mentally visualize the communication from the receiver’s point of view.

To begin transmitting the message, the sender uses some kind of channel, which is also called the medium. The medium is the means of communication used to convey the message, such as print, mass, electrical and digital, but currently visual channels are becoming more common as technology expands. For instance meetings take place electronically from multiple locations saving the organization’s resources in both expenses of physically bringing people from different locations together and the time lost by employees traveling.

A sender should define the purpose of the message, construct each message with the receiver in mind, and select the best medium possible. Words can be verbal, written and spoken. Words are used to create pictures and stories. Written communication should be sued when the situation is forma, official or long term or when the situation affects several people in related ways. The effectiveness of the various channels fluctuates depending on the characteristics of the communication. When immediate feedback is necessary, oral communication channels are more effective because any uncertainties can be cleared up on the spot. In a situation where the message must be delivered to more than a small group of people, written channels are more effective.

In organizations there are formal and informal communication channels. The grapevine is an informal communication network which exists outside the formal channel and is used by people to transmit casual, personal and social interchanges at work. It consists of rumours, gossip and truthful...
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