Process and Types of Communication

Think about one day you wake up, and you cannot talk. Or if you are stuck in a room with a crying baby and have no idea why it is crying or what the baby wants? Sounds frustrating, right? The ability to talk or 'communicate ' can be taken for granted. Nevertheless, one needs to remember that it is something central to our everyday life.

What is Communication?

Derived from the Latin word ‘communis,’ meaning common, communication implies a common ground for understanding. Humans have a compulsive need to speak with one another. The foundation of interpersonal relations is mutual understanding; without communication, it cannot happen. In addition to being a social animal, man is a communicative being. He can verbalize his thoughts, making him empowered. Culture and civilization would not have developed to this position without communication.

Experts have given various definitions of communication. According to some, the interchange of thought or information brings about mutual understanding and confidence or good human relation. For others, communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions which involves two or more people. Nevertheless, some say that it is an aggregate of all that one does as one try to create meaning in the minds of others.

Types of Communication

Communication can be of different types, and it can be distinguished based on the number of people addressed, the form of addressing, the number of people involved, the flow of information, and so on.

Intrapersonal Communication

Intrapersonal communication is meant when someone says they "communicate with oneself." We can all speak with ourselves internally by paying attention to the inner voice, and our interactions with people are influenced by how we mentally process information. Even though it may not be obvious and does not directly involve other people, intrapersonal communication still impacts practically all forms of engagement.

Dyadic Communication

The interaction between two people is frequently referred to as a dyad, and the type of communication that takes place is called dyadic communication. Dyadic communication may occur face-to-face or through mediated channels such as phone, email, text message, instant message, and social networking sites. Most interpersonal communication takes a dyadic form, among the best indicators of how well a relationship will turn out. In one study, researchers discovered that by observing how family members interacted through joking, sharing daily updates, and discussing their relationships, they could accurately predict whether they were happy with one another. For instance, even in bigger settings like classrooms, parties, and workplaces, communication frequently involves several dynamic dyadic interactions.

Interpersonal Communication

Although some people mistakenly believe that dyadic communication is the same as interpersonal communication, not all two-person interactions can be regarded as interpersonal in the truest sense. Interpersonal communication has characteristics that are not exclusive to two people, and they might be seen in trios or even in compact clusters. A different way to put it is that interpersonal communication entails two-way interactions between individuals who are a part of a special and irreplaceable relationship and treat one another as an individual.

Small Group Communication

In everyday life, small groups are common. Examples include a team working on a class project, a family, or a sporting team. Each person can actively participate with the other members during small group communication. Small groups have traits that do not exist in dyads. In a group, it is possible for the majority to unintentionally or intentionally urge the minority members to fit in, but this is not the case in a dyad. Pressures to fit in can also be soothing, encouraging group members to take chances that they would not dare take if they were alone or in a dyad. Groups are bigger than dyads and can therefore be more imaginative. Last but not least, the kind of leader in a position of authority significantly impacts group communication.

Organizational Communication

When people come together to accomplish a common objective, larger, more permanent groups of people communicate within the organization. Organizations exist for various objectives, including economic, nonprofit, charitable, religious causes, political, medical, and even recreational.

Public Communication

Public communication happens when a group gets too big for everyone to contribute. Uneven speaking time is one aspect of public communication, and a speaker or speaker is expected to address the audience of the remaining participants. Limited verbal feedback is another feature of public spaces. In contrast to what could happen in a dyadic or small group environment, audiences cannot respond in a two-way conversation. Speakers do not, however, work in a vacuum. The opportunity to ask questions, make brief comments, or express nonverbal expressions about how they felt about the speaker's statements is frequently given to the audience. Public presenters typically have more opportunities to plan and structure their remarks than communicators in smaller settings.

Mass Communication

Newspapers, magazines, television, radio, blogs, websites, and other print and electronic media are examples of media used for mass communication. There are various ways in which this sort of communication is different from an interpersonal, small group, organizational, and public communication. First, most mass communications are directed at a substantial audience without connecting the sender and recipients. Second, many messages distributed through mass communication platforms are created, or at the very least funded, by big businesses. Mass communication is significantly less personal and more of a product than other forms of communication. Most mass messages are still controlled by corporate, media, and governmental sources, who decide what messages will be conveyed to consumers, how they will be put together, and when they will be provided. Even though blogs have given common people the opportunity to reach vast audiences, these sources still control the majority of mass messaging.

Process of Communication

Sorting, choosing, and delivering symbols in such a way as to aid the receiver in understanding and forming in his mind the meaning that existing in the communicator's mind is a key component of communication. Communication is more than one act, whether speaking, writing, listening, or reading. The process is dynamic and transactional, and it has six stages.

  • The sender has an idea − The sender has an idea that they want to convey. The process of communication begins with this stage.

  • Sender transforms the idea into a message − The second step in communication involves actively converting the idea or notion into a message. Encoding is the process by which the sender transforms their idea into a message their recipient will understand. They do this by choosing the message's words, tone, organization, style, duration of the gestures, and facial expressions based on their idea, the audience, and personal preferences or mood.

  • The sender transmits the message − They choose a communication channel, such as a telephone, computer, letter, memo, report, face-to-face exchange, etc., via which they physically deliver their message to their receiver. Depending on the message, the audience's location, the necessity for speed, and the formality of the occasion, one will choose a certain channel and media. Transmitting the message would be the first task when the idea or thought has taken shape in mind. To do this, a communication channel is employed, using both verbal and nonverbal communication. This is the third stage of the communication process.

  • The receiver gets the message − The recipient must first receive the message for communication to take place. The recipient must read a letter before it can be understood. The audience must be able to hear and pay attention to the speaker if they are giving a speech. Once the message has been delivered, the recipient must "listen" and interpret the transmission.

  • The receiver interprets the message − The recipient must actively participate by understanding, digesting, and deciphering the message. The recipient must mentally store the deciphered message. If everything goes according to plan, the message is correctly perceived, meaning the listener gives the words the same fundamental meaning that the speaker intended and acts accordingly. Listening to it leads to understanding the topic. Researchers on communication claim that this comprehension is nothing more than interpretation.

  • The receiver sends feedback − The last link in the communications process is feedback or the receiver's answer. After receiving it, the receiver reacts somehow to the message and communicates that reaction to the speaker. The feedback stage of communication is crucial because it allows the speaker to determine how well received their message was. By observing the audience's reaction, the speaker can determine whether or not they are getting their point across. Feedback can be communicated vocally or nonverbally, which is how the communication process is finished.


Communication is a dynamic process that is often taken for granted. Failed communication can lead to many misunderstandings. Imagine if a pilot misunderstood the command given by air traffic controllers. Losing direction or missing landing, or even a crash is possible. Learning to master the skill of communicating efficiently is crucial to saving ourselves from big troubles.