Following steps are involved in the communication process of an organisation: Step 1 – Message is initiated.
Step 2 – Sender picks up the idea and encodes it for proper understanding. Step 3 – The encoded message is then transmitted through the chosen medium or channel. Step 4 – Receiver receives the message and decodes it. Step 5 – The decoded message is used or acted upon. Communication Relates to Stimulus and Response: The starting point of any communication is the existence of a message.
The process of communication starts with a purpose. There is an underlying idea that has to be put across. This idea is developed into a message. The sender gives shape to the idea he wants to communicate. The next step, as is evident from the chart, is the encoding of the idea. Encoding ensures that the idea or the message assumes a communicable form. Encoding would involve choosing the right words, expressions, phrases, charts and pictures in order to facilitate complete and clear expression of the idea. In doing so, the sender of the message should keep in mind the ability of the receiver to decode and comprehend the message.
The encoded message is now ready to travel. The journey or transmission is undertaken through a medium or channel. The sender of the message has to select the medium or the communication channel— oral, written, visual, audio-visual, electronic or a combination of any of these. Each of these offers various options. The choice of the medium would be influenced by factors like availability, cost, urgency and reliability. The transmission is complete when the message reaches the receiver. The message has travelled from the sender to the receiver.
Having received the message, it is now up to the receiver to respond as he pleases. If the receiver does not open the mailbox, ignores the letter, declines to take the call, refuses to view the audio-visual film or ignores the e-mail, the message gets lost, and the idea fails to reach its destination. For the communication process to progress as intended, the receiver, on getting the message, should decode it.
Decoding relates to reading, listening, viewing, understanding and interpretation of the message. Proper decoding is again a must for effective communication. It calls for earnestness on the part of the receiver.
It depends on one’s willingness to respond to the sender’s efforts in sending the message. Even when one responds, understanding and interpretation of the message will be influenced by one’s knowledge, attitude and perception. Communication is complete and effective only when the receiver correctly comprehends the purpose of the message, uses it and acts upon it as envisaged by the sender. In the organizational context, in particular, the communication process moves a step further resulting in relevant feedback to the sender. The quality of feedback received from the target indicates the effectiveness of communication.
The process of communication is thus a progressive step-by-step movement. Both the sender and the receiver have a definite role to play in ensuring the success of communication. Their internal background, social status, hierarchical relationships, organizational climate, knowledge, skills and attitudes are among a host of factors that determine the effectiveness of communication. Added to that is the efficiency and reliability of the channels of communication chosen in the process. The choice of methods and channels should be such that they are capable of overcoming barriers, if any, to the process of communication.