Components Of Communication

Lesson 19 : Communication

Components Of Communication

Effective communication with comparable meanings to messages can clarify individual perceptions can produce the cooperation needed to reach group goals. An understanding of the components of interpersonal communication will help to develop criteria for assessing his or her effectiveness as communicator. In the communication process there may be more than two persons involved. The whole process of communication is interwoven and each component is not in dependant of one another. The components of communication include

  1. Perceiving meanings
  2. Sending messages
  3. Receiving messages and
  4. Providing feedback

Perceiving Meanings:

People react to their environment in individual ways. The same stimulus can generate varying reactions in the same person over a period of time and in different people, at any given point of time.

Ex: Two individuals walking into a living room that is for rent may experience the same stimulus. Because of the differences in their background and expectations, the two will notice different features of the room. One might notice the color scheme of the room and the other may pay attention to the furniture style in the room. Even if they notice the same aspects their response or reaction to it may differ.

Perception involves interactions between a person’s brain and a stimulus- i.e, a situation, object or experience. The differing reactions to the stimulus results from the perceptual differences. These sensory inputs are combined and meaning is attached to what is seen, felt, heard, smelled or tasted. The combination of all sensory inputs lead to draw conclusions about what is ’real’ or ‘true’ in life and forms a basis for future behavior.

Perceptions may or may not conform to what is happening, may ignore some details and em­phasize others, and may vary with intentions and experiences of the perceiver. The degree of influence in a message depends in part on how ac­curately the message conforms to the receiver’s perception or map of reality.

Sending Message:

The sending message is the second component of communication. Ideas, feelings or experiences are coded into words or other expressions to be shared with others. Sending message can be either verbal or non verbal. Touch as in a hand shake or a hug, body movements like a nod of head, or leaving a room and sensory symbols like road signs, sirens are examples of non verbal communication. The tones used or the rhythm of the voice can give meaning to words.

The channel used for most face to face communication is sound waves through air. This channel includes extraneous noise like people’s conversation, sound of television etc. It is slow in comparison to the other communication channels such as wires or cables. People talk at the rate of 125 words/min and sound waves very fast compared to the face to face communication.

Radio, telephone, letters, and television, are other communication channels. The selection of the channel influences the speed and accuracy of the message as well as the forms of communication that can be used.

The speed of communication via telephone is more immediate, both words and tone of voice are combined and feedback of some variety is assured. Although receivers can infer tone of voice through letters, the sender's meaning may or may not be accurately conveyed.

Receiving Message:

People are able to listen more words per minute than most individuals can speak per minute. The average listening rate is 400 words per minute, against speaking of 125 words per minute. The time difference in speaking and listening rates is used to concentrate on the meaning of the message, to prepare response to the message etc

In decoding, receivers translate the sender’s codes in terms of personal experience. If the communication is unrelated to the receiver’s experience or if the receiver is not paying attention to the message, the communication process can end. Receivers are influenced not only by what is said, but also by confidence in the sender.

People tend to prefer relationships with those holding similar beliefs to their own. A person might, therefore, be more receptive to messages that are based on religious, political, Philosophical or other notions similar to his or her own beliefs. Distrust, fear, or lack of confidence in a sender's abilities can also influence the meaning attached to message.

Some communication stops after decoding


This is one way communication. The limitation of one way communication is that the sender does not know if the receiver understands the meaning of the message and the reader or listener cannot ask questions or clarifications on the message.

Feed Back:

Two-way communication helps both senders and receivers to correct misconceptions or to expand knowledge. Feed back is the process of returning information, usually with the intent of influencing behavior, turns one-way communication into a cycle or loop, as illustrated here.

Oral exchange between people involves the receiver taking the role of sender in asking questions, in reacting to messages, in developing additional ideas, or in clarifying ideas provided by the sender. This interaction may be rapid, and the roles of sender and receiver may change quickly enough for the roles to be blurred. In discussing financial plans, family members may exchange comments in rapid succession without later being able to identify specific sender and receiver roles. At times, however, receivers will understand messages but will not change behavior.

Last modified: Saturday, 24 March 2012, 6:48 AM