Effective communication is essential in any setting, whether it be in personal or professional contexts. However, it’s important to recognise that different situations may require different communication techniques to be effective. In this topic, we will explore the various considerations that should be considered when choosing and applying appropriate communication techniques. We will discuss factors such as the audience, the purpose of the communication, and the context in which the communication is taking place. By the end of this topic, you should have a better understanding of how to select and utilise appropriate communication techniques in various situations.
Models of communication
Communication is a complex process, and different communication models have been developed to understand better how it works. We will examine some of the most well-known communication models, including the linear, interactive, and transactional models. By the end of this section, you should better understand the various ways communication can be conceptualised and how these different models can be applied in practice.
Shannon and Weaver Communication Model
The Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication is a linear model of communication that mathematician Claude Shannon and philosopher Warren Weaver in the late 1940s first proposed. According to this model, communication is a process of transmitting a message from a sender to a receiver through a channel to produce a desired effect or response in the receiver.
The model consists of five elements:
- The sender encodes the message, which could be a thought, idea, or information they want to communicate to the receiver.
- The message is transmitted through a channel, which could be verbal, written, or nonverbal.
- Noise, or any interference that can distort the message, is present in the channel.
- The receiver decodes the message, which involves interpreting and understanding the meaning of the message.
- The receiver produces a response, which could be a verbal or nonverbal reaction to the message.
The Shannon and Weaver Model is a simple way to understand communication’s basic elements and processes. However, it has been criticised for its linear and one-way nature, as it does not account for feedback or the influence of context on the communication process.
Berlo’s Communication Model
Berlo’s SMCR model (Source, Message, Channel, Receiver) is a model of communication that focuses on the different factors that can influence the effectiveness of a communication exchange. David Berlo developed it in the 1960s to expand the Shannon and Weaver model.
The model consists of four elements:
- The source is the person who is sending the message.
- The message is the information that is being transmitted.
- The channel is the medium through which the message is transmitted, such as spoken or written language, nonverbal communication, or a combination of these.
- The receiver is the person who is receiving the message.
Berlo’s SMCR model emphasises the importance of considering the characteristics of the source, message, channel, and receiver to communicate a message effectively. The model also highlights the role of feedback in the communication process, as the receiver can respond to the message and send a message back to the source.