When we hear the word “Communication”, to most, it refers to passing information through different funnels, channels or vehicle of exchange. These channels, funnels or vehicle may include word of mouth, body language, e-mail etc. Communication is a human phenomenon and it largely dictates how humans inter-relate all over the world. Further to the above, communication is studied in various Academic Institutions across the globe and it is sustainably conceptualized to advance the frontiers of knowledge.
However, humans communicate for various reasons and at several places and times to achieve set tasks and purpose. There are different types of communication; we have the Verbal, Non-Verbal, Visual and Written. Effective communication can be said to have taken place when these “types of communication” achieve the set purpose of why it was used or sent out. Effective Communication can only be achieved when it is devoid of interferences which are termed in communication as “Noise”.
Three steps that define Effective Communication: Message, Channel and Feedback.
- Message: a message is defined as information conveyed by words (in speech or writing), and/or other signs and symbols. A message (verbal or nonverbal, or both) is the content of the communication process. The originator of the message in the communication process is the sender. The sender conveys the message to a receiver. The message in communication (whichever language) must be clear, precise and concise so it relates properly with the receiver to achieve its aim. A message may include verbal content, such as written or spoken words, sign language, email, text messages and phone calls. John O. Burtis and Paul D. Turman note in their book “Leadership Communication as Citizenship
“Intentionally or not, both verbal and nonverbal content is part of the information that is transferred in a message. If nonverbal cues do not align with the verbal message, ambiguity is introduced even as uncertainty is increased”.
A message will also include nonverbal content, such as meaningful behavior beyond words. This includes body movement and gestures, eye contact, artifacts, and clothing, as well as vocal variety, touch, and timing
- Channel: This can be referred to asthe transmission medium of the message; this may include word of mouth, television, radio, e-channel or digital medium, print etc. The usage of any kind of this medium may determine the reach of your message. Depending on who the target of the message is, then the message is transported through any of these message conduit pipes. Channels for messages are very important in the communication train, without which these messages are as good as dormant and more or less ineffective. At this stage, critical research goes into deliberation for an appropriate channel used to convey messages.
- Feedback: Some definitions on feedback are given below- According to Bartol & Martin, “Feedback is the receiver’s basic response to the interpreted message”. In the opinion of Bovee & Others, “Feedback is a response from the receiver that informs the sender how the communication is being received in general”. At this stage of the communication train, the sender becomes the receiver. This is the result of the usage of the message sent; it is used to determine how effective communication has being and the next steps to be taken.
As basic as these stages of effective communication may seem, it is important to properly align the various stages so as to achieve synergy and lasting solutions to communication problems. Regardless of your status in the society, we all use one of these types of communication at different points of our daily interactions and sustainability.