Communication Models

A basic model of communication, shown in Figure 10-5, demonstrates how information is sent and received between two parties, defined as the sender and the receiver. The key components of the model include:

• Encode. To translate thoughts or ideas into a language that is understood by others.

• Message and feedback-message. The output of encoding.

• Medium. The method used to convey the message.

• Noise. Anything that interferes with the transmission and understanding of the message (e.g., distance).

• Decode. To translate the message back into meaningful thoughts or ideas.

Figure 10-5 is a basic communication model. Inherent in the model is an action to acknowledge a message. Acknowledgement means that the receiver signals receipt of the message, but not necessarily agreement with the message. Another action is the response to a message, which means that the receiver has decoded, understands, and is replying to the message.

Encode

Sender

Medium

Noise

Decode

Receiver

Noise

Decode ^ r

Fecdback - Message

Encode

Figure 10-5. Basic Communication Model

The components in the communications model need to be taken into account when discussing projcct communications. As part of the communications proccss, the sender is responsible for making the information ciear and complete so that the receiver can receive it correctly, and for confirming that it is properly understood. The receiver is responsible for making sure that the information is received in its entirety, understood correctly, and acknowledged. A failure in communication can negatively impact the projcct.

There arc many challenges in using these components to effectively communicate with project stakeholders. Consider a highly technical, multinational projcct team. For one team member to successfully communicate a technical concept to another team member in a different country can involve encoding the message in the appropriate language, sending the message using a variety of technologies, and having the receiver dccodc the message and reply or provide fccdback. Any noise introduced along the way compromises the original meaning of the message.

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