The process of communication includes the various activities involved in realizing effective communication. It is also called the elements of communication. These are the conception, source, message, encoding, channel, medium, receiver, feedback, and noise.
Conception is the first stage of the communication process. It is the conceptual stage. At this stage, people form ideas that they pass on to others. Information comes from a particular source. It contains the stimulus, which is the force that makes one develop an idea or opinion. Someone forms ideas in his mind at the initial stage of the communication process.
The source is the originator and initiator of the message. It is the person who has some news, feelings, thoughts, ideas, or opinions he wants to pass on to others. He is also known as the sender or encoder. He determines the ideas that one should pass on to other people. Information comes from a particular source.
The message is the information that one sends during communication. It includes the ideas, opinions, feelings, thoughts, suggestions, or leads sent to a destination in a communication exchange. The nature of a message determines the channel of communication.
Encoding involves turning thoughts, ideas, feelings, opinions, etc., into a message. The communication process, at this level, employs a code. Code is the language, symbol, or sign used to convey a message. The code is a previously agreed to vocal character that the encoder and the decoder understand. Both parties must understand the language. Before the encoding stage can be successful, the encoder should choose a communication channel.
Channel refers to the avenue, or means, through which the sender passes a message to its destination. It is concerned with how the sender sends a message to its destination. It can be through face-to-face contact, video conferencing, phone calls, email, text messages, radio, etc.
Medium is the form of language use that the sender uses to compose his message. It includes the oral, written, and visual forms of a message. The sender of a message determines the most appropriate medium for his message considering the type of message and the receiver.
The receiver refers to the destination of a message. This may be a person, group, community, or organization. The receiver is indispensable in the communication process. It is the target point of the sender.
Feedback is the response, answer, comment, reaction, or reply to the message sent by the sender or encoder. At this stage, someone responds to the message received. When the sender sends a message, he expects a result to confirm that the message is received or understood. This response cuts across a smile, laughter, a frown, a grumble, plain verbal, or a graphic response. Hence, feedback encompasses whatever the receiver does that communicate to the sender the receipt or non-receipt of the message.
Noise is a feature of the communication process. It is the unwanted signal or interference that causes obstructions, barriers, or distractions in the communication process. Noise is a permanent feature of the communication process.