Communication Perspectives

Years of Studies have shown employers seek out 3 central things in their employees:

1.) Good oral communication skills  2.)  Teamwork skills   3.)  Interpersonal abilities

Survey by National Association of Colleges and Employers-  TOP 10 SKILLS:


It’s a process of creating or sharing meaning in informal conversation, group interaction, or public speaking.

Elements of Communication:

Participants (who,) Messages (what), context (where), channels (how), interference (distractions), and feedback (reaction).

Participants– The sender and receivers of the message (can be visual, verbal, symbolic)

Messages– The verbal utterances, visual images and non-verbal behaviors to which meaning is attributed during communication.

                  Meanings-The thoughts in your mind as well as the interpretations you make of another’s message

                  Symbols– to express yourself, you form messages made up of verbal symbols (words), non-verbal cues (behaviors) and visual images..

                  Encoding and Decoding– Encoding is the process of putting your thoughts and feelings into words, non-verbal cues and images

Decoding is the process of interpreting another’s message.

                  Form (Organization) When the meaning we want to share is complex, we may need to organize it in sections or in a certain order.

Context- This is composed of physical, social, historical, psychological, and cultural situations in with a communication encounters occurs- to include what precedes and follow what is said.

               Physical Context- includes the location, the environmental conditions (temperature, lighting and noise level), the distance between communicators

and the time of day.

               Social Context- the nature of the relationship between the participants.  Whether communication takes place among family, friends, work associates or

strangers influences how the messages are formed, shared and interpreted.

               Historical Context-the background provided by previous communication episodes between the participants.

               Psychological Context-includes the moods and feelings each person brings to the interpersonal encounter.

               Cultural Context–  Includes, the values, attitudes, beliefs, orientations, and underlying assumptions prevalent among people in a society.

Channels- the route traveled by the message and the means of transportation.  Messages are transmitted through sensory channels.  Face-to-face communication

has three basic channels:  Verbal symbols, non-verbal cues, and visual images.

Interference (Noise)- any stimulus that hinders the process of sharing meaning.  can be physical (external sounds or images), psychological (based on internal distractions), or semantic (based on our emotional reaction to certain symbols)

                Physical interference- sights, sounds, and other stimuli in the environment that draw people’s attention away from intended meaning.

                Psychological interference – internal distractions based on thoughts, feelings, or emotional reactions to symbols and can fall into 2 categories:

                Internal noise–  refers to the thoughts and feelings that compete for attention and interfere with the communication process.

                Semantic Interference– refers to the distractions aroused by certain symbols that take our attention away from the main message.   When we

react emotionally to a word or behavior, we are experiencing semantic interference.

Feedback–  the reaction and responses to a message that indicate to the sender whether and how that message was seen, heard, and interpreted.


COMMUNICATION SETTING-  Communication contexts..  the environments in which we communicate.  Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, small groups and public communication settings.

              Intrapersonal is essentially communicating with yourself.

             Interpersonal communication–  informal interaction between two people who have identifiable relationships with each other.

             Small group communication– involves 3 to 20 people who come together to communicate with one another.

             Public Communication–  communication delivered to an audience of more than 20 people.


Communication Has A Purpose- we communicate to develop and maintain our sense of self.  To meet our social needs, to develop and maintain relationships, to exchange information, to influence others

Communication in Continuous- because we communicate verbally and non-verbally, we are always sending behavioral messages from which others draw inferences or meaning..  Even silence is a form of communication if someone infers meaning from it.

Communication Messages Vary in Conscious Thought – sharing a meaning with another person involves encoding and decoding verbal messages, non-verbal cues, and even visual images.


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