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The Communication Process

The Communication Process: Shannon-Weaver Model of Communication

Various models have been developed to explain the communication process. Notably, the Shannon-Weaver Model, Berlo’s Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver model, Schramm’s Model and Helical Model.

The Communication Process Explained via Models

The various models of communication present communication as either linear, interactive of transactional. The Shannon-Weaver Model and Berlo’s Model take communication as a linear process hence their categorization as Linear Communication Models. Schramm’s Model is presented as an Interactive Model while the Helical Model is a Transactional Model. The Linear Models are most popular of the three communication models groups.

Shannon-Weaver Model Explains the Communication Process

In the Shannon-Weaver Model, the communication follows the following sequence:

The sender encodes the message. After encoding the message, the sender will transmits it through the channel to the receiver. The receiver decodes the message to derive meaning and transmits back the feedback. All this happens in the communication context and environment with “noises’.

The Sender

The sender is the person or object, or the source of information. The sender chooses a message to send, someone to send the message to, and a channel to send the message by. A sender can send a message verbally through spoken word, in writing through body language, music, etc.


Encoding is turning an idea into spoken words, written words, or sign language to communicate to someone. It can also be turning spoken or written words into transmittable signals as in airwaves or computer code.


Communication tools, channels and media

The channel is the medium for transmitting the message. This can be the infrastructure, the tool or technology for transmitting the message. The radio, TV, Internet, Telephone are all communication media or channels.


The noise is the disturbances in the internal and external environment which interfere with message transmission. Internal noises can be poor logical structure in writing, rendering the text difficult to understand or poor comprehension etc. External noises can be poor quality of tool, media or technology used to channel the message.


Decoding is deriving meaning or rendering the message understandable to the receiver. For example, email message channel through the internet would need decoding from the computer language to ordinary text or deriving meaning from a technical report using the glossary etc.

The Receiver

The receiver is the final destination of the message after discounting “environmental noises”. The receiver of an email, telephone call or text message or automated payment machine.

Closed Loop Communication


Feedback occurs when the receiver responds to the sender and close the communication loop. This might be an acknowledgement of receipt or request for clarification or request for more information.

The Communication Process: Conclusion

The communication model helps understanding of the communication process. It breaks down communication in a way which makes identification of source of misunderstanding in communication. Rock Lilly communication courses provide in-depth study of organizational communication, providing the keys to effective communication. From communication basics, to the fundamentals of verbal and written communication, to professional business and report writing.

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