Process of Communication: From Encoding to Feedback

Process of Communication: From Encoding to Feedback

4 mins readComment
Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Mar 20, 2024 12:21 IST

The communication process is a dynamic, meaningful interaction between a sender and a receiver. In a social and professional context, the better this process is followed, the more clarity there is. Many methods exist to convey messages, ideas, information, or signals between the ones who send and receive.

process of communication

The communication process begins with the sender and ends with the receiver. The sender is the source from where the message is transmitted. There is a transmitter or medium for it to travel, which the sender chooses to initiate the message. Once the receiver receives the signal, they decode the message to understand it and respond. 

These are basics of communication. But an in-depth look at this process of communication is below. 

Components and Stages in the Process of Communication

The process of communication has definable categories that have been studied at length. 

Sender/Source 

The sender is the individual or group that sends the communication. It can also be an organisation. 

The sender must ensure that the receiver understands the communication and that the medium they select for communication is appropriate. 

This boils down to what Burnett and Dollar mention in their book, Business Communication: Strategies for Success (1989): “The written words, spoken words, and nonverbal language selected are paramount in ensuring the receiver interprets the message as intended by the sender.

If you want to read more about effective communication tactics in professional spaces, check out the Top 10 Business Communication Books.  

The first step in the communication process is the encoding of the information. It is the sender who does this. Encoding is the process of translating this information. 

According to Nick Sanchez of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the sender needs to translate the “information into a message in the form of symbols that represent ideas or concepts”.

Medium 

The sender chooses the medium in the communication process. This choice is important, and the sender must determine the reason for choosing one. 

Because there are several factors that come into play here. 

These are some questions that Sanchez mentions, when it comes to choosing a medium. 

  • “Is the message urgent? 
  • Is immediate feedback needed? 
  • Is documentation or a permanent record required? 
  • Is the content complicated, controversial, or private? 
  • Is the message going to someone inside or outside the organization?”

By answering these, they can choose the right channel. It also sets the context of the communication process. 

Receiver 

The receiver is at the end of the communication process. They could be one person, a team, or even a mass audience. 

The receiver performs the second-last step of decoding the concepts transmitted to them. 

Feedback

This is the last stage in the process of communication. Known as feedback, the receiver is much as responsible for providing it as the sender, who must clearly understand from before that their communication needs to have feedback. 

Without feedback, the sender will not know if their communication was understood. According to Sanchez, based on the feedback, the sender can “take corrective action to clarify a misunderstood message”. 

Importance of the Communication Process

Communication is considered complete or effective when the sender responds to the feedback or response of the receiver. This effectiveness is essential to organisational success, from delegation to performance and teamwork.

But, impediments, commonly known as noises, also hinder this process. So, in an organisation, it is important to overcome these hindrances in each phase. For in-depth insights on factors that cause a lack of understanding between sender and receiver, read up on the barriers of communication.

If the information is wrong from the sender’s end, for example, the next phases of the receiver encoding the message will result in a distorted response. 

Another reason to consider here is the choice of the medium from the sender’s end so that the receiver can understand. This is especially true in marketing. The encoding stage of the promotional message requires a thorough plan. Slogans such as Just Do It from Nike essentially show the spirit of athleticism. But who would it use to wear and say it for branding? Michael Jordan. 

There are some important aspects, such as choosing the right medium (email, face-to-face, social media, etc.), the right verbal and non-verbal communication cues, tonality, length, etc. 

Again, here, when taking the approach in marketing to understand the importance of the process of communication, you can look into concepts such as integrated marketing communication, which explain how all types of communications are aligned in a way that the communication reaches every customer touchpoint logically. 

The communication process may be formal or informal. Sometimes it may vary when it is directly dependent on the environmental setting, the organisational structure or even leadership style

This shows that communication is goal-oriented, and certain rules or principles must be followed. In short, the communication process is a guide that helps understand information and helps teams and individuals in an organisation become more productive. 

If you plan to decide on choosing a career path in communication, there are many beginner to advanced-level communication courses online. Even better, when choosing the online route to career development in communications early on, would be taking the BA in Communication & Information Sciences in Communication Studies from The University of Alabama. 

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio