The Human Communication Process

Lecture: The Human Communication Process

How does it work??

I am sure you are thinking to yourself, “What do you mean how does it work? It’s simple, we just use our words and body language to talk with one another.” Sure, that is very true. In fact, the textbook interplay defines communication as “using messages to generate meanings” (Adler, Rosenfeld, Proctor, 2013, p. 9).

However, how many of you have actually considered how complex a “simple” communication interaction can be?

Are you aware of your role as a communicator in your everyday interactions? Who do you think is responsible for the intended meaning of a message? The sender? The receiver? Both? Do you pay attention to the context of every interaction you have and adapt your communication accordingly? Are you aware of the distractions (noise) that might be interfering with the messages being sent and received? How can one’s background (experiences, knowledge, education, culture, mood, gender, etc) impact the interaction? 

These are all questions you should be asking yourself when trying to understand how communication works. 

Over time, communication theorists have developed a communication model, called the Transactional Communication Model, to help explain the complexity of face-to-face human communication. It is difficult to really depict all parts of the process; however, we can use this model to help us better understand our role as a communicator. 

The Model of Communication video (below), along with your textbook, does a great job breaking down all parts of the Transactional Communication Model.

After watching the video, and reading about the Transactional Communication Model, I want you to ask yourself and consider the following questions. 

  1. What is my role as a communicator?
  2. Who is responsible for the effectiveness of a message (the sender, receiver, or both)? 

Now that you have a better understanding of how complex the communication process is, you are one step closer to becoming a more competent communicator. 

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