General Model of Communications

Communicating is the process of delivering a message to another with understanding. Refer to Figure 6-2, the communications model, as we review the terms to make sure we are communicating properly.


The sender frames the ideas and creates the message that he or she wants to send.


The encoding process consists of formatting the message into some transmittable form. This makes the communication possible. The language, written and spoken words, facial expressions, body language, and other means of transmitting an idea can be used. Some of the time a communication we do not wish to send is sent anyway. We can communicate by physically touching someone. We can communicate by making some sort of a physical gesture such as pointing a finger.


All sorts of symbols can be used to communicate. Symbols stand in the place of something we have experienced initially. A picture of a person is a symbol of that person. A

Figure 6-2. Communications model.

Figure 6-2. Communications model.


uniform is a symbol for a policeman. Words are symbols for the objects or ideas they represent.


This is the process of moving the message from the sender to the receiver. The medium used might be airwaves, as in the use of the spoken word; electronically, as in e-mail, telephone, and fax; visual signals; or combinations of these.


The receiver must have recognition that the message is coming. If there is no perception of the message, then the message is never received. Ultimately, the message must enter the receiver by means of one of a person's five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch.


The receiver must now take the message and convert it into some form that can be understood.


If there is no understanding, there is no message. The message must have some understandable meaning for the receiver.

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