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Important components of this communication model are:
- Noise; interference with effective transmission and reception of a message.
- For example;
- physical noise or external noise is the barrier caused by environmental distractions such as loud noises from construction works, weak wifi signals and distracting on-screen adverts. Obstacles that we notice through our five senses can get in the way of communication.
- physiological noise is the barrier caused by biological influences that distract us from communicating competently such as feeling exhausted, being really hungry, or having a runny nose and a cough. When our bodies are not working properly our communication can suffer.
- psychological noise is the barrier caused by bias and assumptions we hold such as assuming that someone is unsophisticated because of the town, county, or state they live in; or people from a foreign country are unable to communicate in our own language. Our resulting behaviours toward them may negatively impact communication.
- semantic noise is the barrier caused by word choices and word meaning such as with the word pants. In American English pants means an outer garment covering each leg separately and usually extending from the waist to the ankle, while in British English pants means men's underpants. People understand words and phrases differently for many reasons and this hinders communication.
- For example;
- Sender; the initiator and encoder of a message
- Receiver; the one that receives and decodes the message
- Message; the verbal and nonverbal components conveying an idea that are sent to the receiver by the sender.
- Encode; the sender translates their idea into a message which best represents it
- Decode; the receiver translates the sender's message into something the receiver understands.
- Channel; the medium through which the message travels such as through oral communication (radio, television, phone, in person) or written communication (letters, email, text messages)
- Feedback; the receiver's verbal and nonverbal responses to a message.
- Context; the interrelated conditions in which the message exists or occurs: its environment or setting
Let's consider how the components in the diagram above relate to each other in terms of creating written content for a blog.
In writing blog posts the sender (writer) attempts to communicate their thoughts by packaging (encoding) them as a message for the receiver. The message may include both verbal (words) and non-verbal (without words) elements. In blogging terms these might appear as blocks of writing (verbal) and photographs or diagrams (non-verbal). Our choice of font, size and colours, spacing, underlining or bolding are also considered non-verbal elements of communication as they create meaning for the reader (receiver), but are not the words themselves.
The message, or the idea we write about and post, is influenced by the context in which it is formed and sent. As the context of the message is its setting, the context may include issues such as:
- the relationship between the readers and the writer
- the intended purpose of the message
- the content of previous posts
- the readers' understanding of those posts
- the amount of time between posts
- the order in which posts are posted
Because of these differences between messages for different channels, the skills required to successfully present an idea in one form rather than another are very different. Some people are more naturally gifted writers rather than speakers, or vice versa. Some content is more effectively delivered via one channel over another. This may be influenced to some extent by the target audience (receiver) where preferences could be related to age, culture, preferred learning styles and so on. The choice of channel is often an overlooked aspect of the communication process.
In face-to-face spoken communication the sender-receiver interaction is often complex, with these two roles overlapping or switching between the people involved, and with both messages and feedback occurring at the same time. However, when sending written content via the internet there is usually a time lag between the writer posting the content (sender) and the reader (receiver) receiving it, reading it(decoding) and potentially commenting on it (giving feedback). Written comments can be either verbal (phrases and sentences) and/or non-verbal (emojis and emoticons). This slower pace means interaction is simpler with written blog content, and the sender/receiver roles more easily identified.
This post has introduced the basics of the Transmission Model of Communication. This model has helped me better understand the communication process and I hope that it benefits you too. I'll be writing more about improving written content, so drop by again soon.