Elements of Communication

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Agenda: Week 1

1. Communication defined
-senders, receivers, & communication channels
-encoding, decoding messages
-noise, & environmental message factors
-human (symbolic) interaction

2. The communication settings we’ll cover this semester
-intrapersonal
-dyadic/interpersonal
-small group
-public communication
-mass communication

Week 1: Elements of Communication

COMMUNICATION- The process of human beings responding to the symbolic behavior of other persons.

-First Characteristic of Definition: Communication is a “Process.”

Communication is “Process” several reasons:

1.We do not communicate to other people, we communicate with other people.

To understand difference, we first need to talk about the components of communication: -Sender, Receiver…
-Message Encoding, Message Decoding…

-Psychological Noise, Physiological Noise

-Communication Channels,
-AND Communication Environment.

Sender-The person or persons responsible for creating a message to be sent.

Ex. A politician giving a speech…

A parent lecturing a child…

A divorced middle age women writing a love letter to her favorite soap opera star…

…All these people are sending messages.

Receiver- The person or persons who are receiving the created messages.

Ex. An audience receives the politician’s speech…

The unfortunate child is the recipient of the parents lecture…

The soap opera star is the lucky receiver of our divorcee’s romantic letter.

Communication Channel- The medium a receiver uses to send his or her message.

**Channels may be verbal or nonverbal**

Ex. Speech is a channel…

Writing is a channel…

Non-verbal gestures are channels…

Voice Tones are channels…And so on.

Encoding- When a sender attempts to replicate his or her internal thoughts or feelings into some kind of external message medium for the sake of transmitting those thoughts or feelings to another person or persons.

It’s easy to tell if sender encodes message poorly because he or she say things like:

“That’s not what I meant to say,” or…

“That’s not what I mean,” or…

“What I really wanted to say was…” and so forth.

If someone is a skilled “encoder,” we call him or her “articulate,” “well spoken,” or even “eloquent.”

And research has shown that good speakers are considered more trustworthy, intelligent, competent, and personable than poor speakers…

…even if speaker’s are saying exact same thing.

Obviously, there isn’t always a relationship between speaking well & intelligence & competency…

Sure some newscasters, actors, & politicians are bright…But many times they aren’t…but we think they are simply because they speak well.

This phenomena -known as Halo Effect- refers to the fact that if people identify you as skilled in one area…

…They often will assume you are skilled in other areas as well.

We see this happen all time w/ celebrity’s & not so intelligent public.

Ex. Dr. Phil’s Diet Plan.

Dr. Phil’s a psychologist, not a dietician, but people illogically assume, since he’s doctor

…since he’s confident & successful…he must also know something about dieting.

One good thing about courses in Human Communication Studies often contain public speaking component, in addition to writing component.

English, History, Sociology, Psychology…only writing, no speaking.

But remember what text said about what employers are looking for:

“Over 90 percent of the personnel officials at five hundred U.S. Businesses stated that oral communication skills play a bigger role in career achievement than technical competence, experience, or academic background.

Of course, technical skill, experience, education important, but if you can’t communicate your knowledge, ideas, arguments to others…

Technical skill & experience aren’t worth much.

Many college courses teach written encoding skills…But this...
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