Key elements of communication

Communication is a process through which an individual can communicate common ideas, views, thoughts, and other sorts of information pieces to other members of society. There are different types of communication:

  1. Formal Communication: Formal communication refers to the flow of official information through proper, predefined channels and routes. The flow of information is controlled and needs deliberate effort to be properly communicated. Formal communication follows a hierarchical structure and chain of command. The structure is typically top-down, from leaders in various departments and senior staff in the organization, which funnel down to lower-level employees. Employees are bound to follow formal communication channels while performing their duties.
    Formal communication is considered effective as it is a timely and systematic flow of communication.
  2. Informal Communication: Informal communication moves freely within the organization and is not bound by pre-defined channels and communication routes. Informal communication is particularly quick. Informal communication is far more relational than formal communication and is by nature, a very natural form of communication as people interact with each other freely and can talk about a diverse range of topics, often extending outside of their work duties. Due to the inherent nature of informal communication, it moves a lot faster and does not have a paper trail.
    Informal communication in the workplace is often called the ‘grapevine’ and generally begins with employees through social relations. In many cases, informal communications can turn to formal communication if they are added to the formal communication information flow of a company.
    Informal communication is considered effective as employees can discuss work-related issues that save the organization time and money. It also helps to build more productive and healthy relationships in the workforce.

The 8 Stages of Communication are:

  1. Sender
  2. Official message
  3. Encoding
  4. Medium
  5. Decoding
  6. Receiver
  7. Response
  8. Noise


  1. The Sender: This is the first stage through which the transmission of information takes place. And during this stage, there is the sender whose main task is to generate the message and ensure that the message reaches the receiver through the process of transmission.
  2. Official Message: This is the second stage of the communication and this stage is just concerned with the message which needs to go through the processes of encoding, transmission, and reception.
  3. Encoding: The third stage of communication is encoding and during this stage, the message goes through the process of encoding by the sender. This means that the message is encoded symbolically in forms of words, pictures, gestures, or other important means.
  4. Medium: This stage refers to the manner in which the encoding of the information takes place. This can also be looked at as a stage that is concerned with the manner in which the information goes through the process of transmission. The medium of communication could be a post, telephone, fax, and many other means. It is important for the sender to choose an appropriate means for proper reception to take place.
  5. Decoding: Decoding is the process through which the receiver converts the message to understand the information which was intended to be communicated. And this stage of decoding and understanding always takes place after encoding. It is followed by the stage of reception.
  6. The Receiver/Reception: The sixth stage is that of reception and during this stage, the receiver gets the message and tries to make proper sense of it. The receiver is also the last member which is involved in the chain of encoding, transfer of information, and reception.
  7. Response and Feedback: After the reception stage, the receiver sends across some sort of information which depicts that the information has been received and understood by the receiver. The stage of response and feedback is very important as it depicts whether the processes of encoding and reception have taken place properly or not.
  8. Noise: This is the last stage and this stage refers to any sort of disturbance or obstruction which might have taken place throughout the process of communication. For effective communication to take place, it is important for an individual to ensure that no external noise exists in the surrounding environment.

I hope this post helps you to understand the “Key Elements of Communication and Stages of Communication”.

Keep learning 🙂

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