Introduction to Communication
This topic gives you an overview of communication and introduces you to the
main elements in the communication process. It also highlights the importance of
writing clear, positive messages and offers you some basic tips and guidelines on
this form of communication so that you may become more proficient in the kind
of writing needed at home as well as in the college and workplace. You will also
learn about some of the common pitfalls which may impede the effectiveness of
Communication is a learned skill. However, while most people are born with the
physical ability to talk, not all can communicate well unless they make special
efforts to develop and refine this skill further. Very often, we take the ease with
which we communicate with each other for granted, so much so that we
sometimes forget how complex the communication process actually is.
Have you ever wondered why some people can communicate so well while
others fail to get their message across? What are the elements that must be
present in the communication process before it can be successful and effective?
Well, communication has been defined as the act of giving, receiving or
exchanging information, ideas and opinions so that the „message‰ is completely
understood by both parties. Look at Figure 1.1 below. The illustration shows
clearly that in a communication process, there must be a sender who speaks or
sends a message, and a receiver who listens or receives the message.
The sender sends a message with a certain intention in mind. The receiver of the
message tries to understand and interpret the message sent. He then gives
feedback to the original sender, who in turn interprets the feedback. This process,
repeated continuously, constitutes communication.
Clearly, there are several major elements in the communication process a
sender, message, channel, receiver, feedback, context. There is both a speakerÊs
intention to convey a message and a listenerÊs reception of what has been said.
Thus, listening skills are just as important as speaking skills in order for
communication to be effective.
This means that if you want to get your message across accurately, you need to
consider these three things:
• The message;
• The audience or receiver; and
• How the message is likely to be received.
A message is only considered successfully communicated when both the sender
and the receiver perceive and understand it in the same way. If this does not
happen, then there may be a breakdown in communication, which may
ultimately stand in the way of you realising your goals, either personally or
As mentioned earlier, effective communication is a two-way process but there are
a number of factors which may disrupt this process and affect the overall
interpretation and understanding of what was communicated. Myriad problems
can pop up at different stages of the communication process. These can relate to
any of the elements involved the sender, message, channel, receiver, feedback
and context. It is therefore important to understand some of the factors that affect
communication so that you can try to get your message across with minimal
misunderstanding and confusion.
Please find the pdf file for further details about the topic.