What are the elements of effective communication?

Written by diane todd
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What are the elements of effective communication?
Effective listening is key to communication. (businesswoman talking on phone image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com)

Effective communication plays a vital role in the success of every professional and personal relationship. Becoming a skilled communicator requires you to learn the roles of every element of communication. You can use these elements in many ways, including public speaking, interpersonal relationships, media development and business relations. The basic communication model consists of five elements of communication: the sender, the receiver, the message, the channel and feedback.

Maintain Message Clarity

The sender plays the specific role of initiating communication. To communicate effectively, the sender must use effective verbal as well as nonverbal techniques. Speaking or writing clearly, organising your points to make them easy to follow and understand, maintaining eye contact, using proper grammar and giving accurate information are all essential in the effectiveness of your message. You will lose your audience if it becomes aware of obvious oversights on your part. The sender should have some understanding of who the receiver is in order to modify the message to make it more relevant. In the basic communication model, the sender is Point A in the diagram.

What are the elements of effective communication?
speak (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Know Your Audience

The receiver means the party to whom the sender transmits the message. A receiver can be one person or an entire audience of people. In the basic communication model, the receiver, labelled Point B, is directly across from the speaker. The receiver can also communicate verbally and nonverbally. The best way to receive a message is to listen carefully, sitting up straight and making eye contact. Don't get distracted or try to do something else while you're listening. Nodding and smiling as you listen to the sender speak demonstrate that you understand the message.

What are the elements of effective communication?
talk (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Express Key Points

The message may be the most crucial element of effective communication. A message can come in many different forms, such as an oral presentation, a written document, an advertisement or just a comment. In the basic communication model, the arrow from Point A to Point B represents the sender's message travelling to the receiver. The message isn't necessarily what the sender intends it to be. Rather, the message is what the receiver perceives the message to be. As a result, the sender must not only compose the message carefully, but also evaluate the ways in which the message can be interpreted.

What are the elements of effective communication?
talk (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Assess Your Medium

The message travels from one point to another via a channel of communication. In the diagram, the channel sits between the sender and receiver, Points A and B. Many channels, or types, of communication exist, from the spoken word to radio, television, an internet site or something written, like a book, letter or magazine. Every channel of communication has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, one disadvantage of the written word, on a computer screen or in a book, is that the receiver cannot evaluate the tone of the message. For this reason, effective communicators word written communications clearly so they don't rely on a specific tone of voice to convey the message accurately. The advantages of television as a channel for communication include its expansive reach to a wide audience and the sender's ability to further manipulate the message using editing and special effects.

What are the elements of effective communication?
computer (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Welcome Feedback

The last element of effective communication, feedback, describes the receiver's response or reaction to the sender's message. The receiver can transmit feedback through asking questions, making comments or just supporting the message that was delivered. Feedback helps the sender to determine how the receiver interpreted the message and how it can be improved. In the basic communication model, the receiver transmits feedback from Point B back to the sender at Point A. As a result the model has a cyclical appearance, as the original receiver becomes the sender and vice versa.

What are the elements of effective communication?
listen (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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