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A Communication Model

Date:September 15, 2013

In an earlier post we introduced the notion of adopting a strategic approach to your communications and introduced the two of the six steps to effective communications: (1) keeping the needs of your audience in mind, and (2) defining your communications objectives. We’ll now turn our attention to a little communications theory just to set us up for future blogs communications.

The image to the right shows a typical communication model that has developed over the years. Any effective communication is developed with this essential model in mind. The model underscores the key factors in effective communications.

  • Senders must know what audiences they want to reach and what responses they want;
  • They must be skillful in encoding messages that take into account how the target audience usually decodes messages;
  • The source must transmit the message through efficient media that reach the target audience;
  • Senders must develop feedback channels so that they can know the receiver’s response to the message; and
  • It must be recognized that there is significant noise in the channel that degrades or distorts the signal.

It’s critical that the message be encoded correctly to reduce decoding error. Noise is simply anything that gets in the way of your receiver successfully receiving your message and responding as they intended. We can see how this model clearly shows the trouble your message can get into as it travels to your audience; same with your audience’s feedback (responses). The return path is equally fraught with danger.

Keeping this communication model in mind help you as you work towards effective communications. In future blogs we'll look at two other important steps to developing effective communications.

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Date:September 15, 2013