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Basics of the Communication Process

communication process
communication process

The basics of the communication process stand on its models, principles, and ethics. This is for us to paint a better picture of what communication is and how we go about it. This article has three parts:

Communication processes contain multiple models but these models of communication processes help us better understand what happens in a systematic process of communication. Because it captures the elements, the tenets, and the various aspects that are involved when we are communicating.

Three models of communication process:

  • Transmission model
  • Interaction model
  • Transaction model

Transmission Model of Communication

Let’s proceed with the transmission model. Communication is presented as linear, it’s very linear so it’s one-way communication. You have the sender, the receiver. It’s very one-way so the sender encodes the message and then the message goes through the channel which can be a written channel or spoken channel. And then it’s being decoded by the receiver.

When we say encoding and decoding these are the processes involved in communication that lets us understand. This is the process of translating thoughts into communication. Again, encoding is the process of translating thoughts into communication.

For example, ‘I’m hungry, that’s me though I’m going to encode it and translate it into communication. I’m going to say to my Mama, “Mom I’m hungry, let’s go to eat some pizza.”


So, that sentence that I uttered would be my communication and behind that communication are my thoughts that “I’m hungry, I want to eat”. Actually, I encoded it through that particular sentence and then my channel is of course spoken channel and it’s through verbal, and then my mom, for example, would decode it. Likewise, she received the communication, and then she would translate it into her that, “my daughter is hungry”.

As far as the communication barriers or some distractions are concerned that may affect the communication. It could be background noise, physical noise, it could be psychological noise or physiological noise. Whatever noise you have there could affect this one-weight channel of communication.

The interaction model of Communication

In the interaction model, you have also the sender, receiver, central receiver. However, here one person could serve both as the sender and the receiver. And the other person also could serve both a sister sender and the receiver.

This speaks a lot of the difference because these participants alternate positions as the sender and the receiver. So, that means it’s not one way rather it’s two-way communication. The interaction model has two-way communication which allows the participants to send feedback through their channels.

When the message is being decoded, it could provide some feedback. The sender becomes the receiver and now the receiver becomes the sender. It’s very cyclical because there is a channel for feedbacking.


Feedback could be verbal or non-verbal like a simple nod could be feedback. For example, the receiver can sense that it’s a sign of understanding or agreement. Here, psychological context and physical context mean that you’re not only considering the two of you, rather you’re also operating within contexts. So, contexts are where and when the communication takes place.

The physical context could be like you are in a classroom. Are you visually learning virtually? The psychological context is like you know what’s the psychological distance between you and the receiver. Whether you are very close to each other or not very close because that affects the way and the channel of your communication.

The psychological context is you cannot crack jokes that are too insensitive because you just met each other. So, you have to test the waters first.

The Transaction Model of Communication

It’s very sophisticated because the transaction model allows us to understand that communication does not only send messages but communication creates social realities. When we say social realities, it means the community that we are moving in its norms, its rules, its language.

Everything that’s in community and how we shape these things including culture and multiculturalism. Creating social realities is very complex and intricate as well as sophisticated. And, communication is one prime mover of it, without communication, we cannot shape our social realities because it’s one very big tool for us to shape civilization.

We don’t call the participants sender or receiver, here, we call them communicators. So, all the participants are communicators. It doesn’t matter if there’s the center of the receiver, what matters is that they both involve themselves and participate in social realities and their creation. When we are creating social realities, we co-create meaning.

Communication Contexts

We have three contexts here: physical, psychological, and social context. Here social context works with the norms and the rules of the society, whether embedded or explicit rules of the societies or implicated in a social context. For example, how you move as a social being, how you participate in your community, how you are as a citizen. The cultural context would tell cultural differences and cultural sensitivity. You have to operate as a communicator sensitive to the needs and the welfare of the different ethnicities, different gender, and different races. These things speak of your cultural context.

Furthermore, it helps how do you deal with, the indigenous people, how do you go about dealing with foreigners, how do you experience living in a foreign country. And, how do you treat others from different political, social, and economic backgrounds? In a relational context how you are related to the communicators, for example, are you related by blood, by just kinship, or by friendship.

So, these contexts play a big role in communication. Some principles are embedded consciously and make us appreciate communication more helping us a lot.

These are necessary functions of communication. Communication is integrated into all parts of our lives this is very expensive and self-explanatory. Because you know every waking hour of our lives we communicate. Communication is integrated into Our personal lives, professional lives, social lives, etc.

Communication Process Needs

How communication meets our needs; different types of needs are:

  • Physical needs
  • Instrumental needs
  • Relational needs
  • Identity needs

Physical needs in communication help us to maintain our physical and psychological well-being. By communicating, like how hungry you are, you’re communicating a psychological need.

In instrumental needs, communication helps us to achieve our short-term and long-term goals. Whatever those are, they are instruments and they’re instrumental to our lives.

Relational needs in communication help us to understand our basic needs and expectations attached to our relations. When we maintain and develop relationships with others, we try to relate and get intimate with others by initiating conversation to build any kind of relationship.

Lastly, identity needs in communication help us to present ourselves in unique ways by our unique communication styles. All of these needs are being met by communication.

Ethics in Communication Process

We have rhetorical principles: ethos, pathos, and logos.


Logos stands for logic, when you communicate you have to be rational, reasonable and you have to be honest keeping integrity. Protect it like the sanctity of your words and the honor of the communication.


pathos would be about emotions like the use of emotions involved in communication.


When we communicate rightfully and then ethos would be ethics. It would be about morals, ideals, values, and principles. Communication has to observe all these three pillars. It needs to have emotions, logic and consider ethics into it.

The fundamentals of ethical communications are very self-explanatory, responsible, thinking, decision making, and developing relationships.

When we do communicate, we have to be responsible for what we do. For example, we have to think a hundred times before we taint the reputation of someone before we hurt someone’s feelings.

Because we can never take back what we have already said or what we have already written. You have to decide whether to say it or not whether to write or not.

The ultimate reason why you want to communicate is that you have to develop relationships and nurture these relationships.

To sum up this article we have been talking about communication processes communication principles and ethical considerations of communication. These are the fundamentals of communication and the purposes of communication.


English Language Teaching Professional

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