This page was last updated on
September 19, 2013
- Communication is the basic element of human
interactions that allows people to establish,
maintain and improve contacts with others.
- Nursing is a communicative intervention and is founded on effective communication.
- The word communication originates from ‘communis’, a
Greek word, meaning ‘to make common’.
- It is the
transmission and receiving information, feelings and
or attitudes with the overall purpose of having
understood producing a response.
- "Communication is a means of
persuasion to influence the other so that the desired
effect is achieved.'Aristotle
- Communication is “a process
by which two or more people exchange ideas, facts,
feelings or impressions in ways that each gains a
‘common understanding’ of meaning, intent and use of
a message.” Paul Leagens
The communication process
It has the following main components:
- Sender (source)
- Message (content)
- Channel (s) (medium)
- Receiver (audience)
- Feedback (effect)
Major Dimensions of Communication
- Content (what type of things are
- Source (by whom)
- Form (in which form)
- Channel (through which medium)
- Destination/Receiver (to whom)
- The sender (communicator) is the originator of the
- Sender formulates, encodes and transmits the
information which he/she wants to communicate.
- The impact of the message will depend on
sender's communication skill, social status
(authority), knowledge, attitude and prestige in the
- A message is the information/desired behaviour in
physical form which the communicator transmits to his
audience to receive, understand, accept and act upon.
- The message may be in the form of words, pictures or
- Components of message are:
- Message code-any
group of symbols that can be structured in a way that
is meaningful to same person, eg., language.
- Message contentthe material in the message i.e., selected by the
source to express his purpose.
- Message treatmenti.e, decisions which the communication source makes
in selecting, arranging both codes and contents.
- A good message must be:
- In line with the objectives
- Based on felt needs
- Clear and understandable
- Specific and accurate
- Timely and adequate
- Fitting the audience
- Culturally and socially appropriate
3. Channels of Communication
- By channel is
implied the “physical bridge” or the media of
communication between sender and the receiver.
- Channels can be:
- Interpersonal (face to face communication) may be verbal or non-verbal, or
- Mass media TV, radio, printed media etc.
- Every channel of communication has its advantages and
- The proper selection and use of channels
results in successful communication.
- Who receives messages from the sender, decoding,
interprets the meaning and giving feedback.
- It is the flow of information from receiver to the
sender, the reaction to the message.
- Model 1 Communication
can be described also as processes of information
transmission governed by three levels of semiotic
Model 2 Communication is information or content (e.g. a
message in natural language) is sent in some form (as
spoken language) from a sender/encoder to a
Model 3 Theories
of co-regulation describe communication as a creative
and dynamic continuous process, rather than a
discrete exchange of information.
- Syntactic (formal
properties of signs and symbols)
(concerned with the relations between
signs/expressions and their users) and
(study of relationships between signs and symbols and
what they represent).
- One-way Communiaction (didactic) the flow of communication is “one-way” from the
communicator to the receiver. Eg. Lecture method.
- Considerable faster than two-way
- Appears neat and efficient to an outsider observer.
- Sender is more psychologically comfortable
- Plan-fullness, order, systemization are associated
- knowledge is imposed
- Learning is authoritative
- Little audience participation
- No feedback
- Little influence on human behaviour.
- Two-way Communiaction (Socratic) both sender and receiver take part.
- The process of learning
is active and democratic.
- It is more likely to
influence behaviour than one-way communication
Mode of Communication
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal communication
- the traditional way of communication byf mouth.
- Language is the chief vehicle of
- "Effective verbal communication techniques" include
- Clarity and brevity
- Denotative and connotative meaning
- Timing and relevance
- Verbal communication also involves written words.
- communication occur otherthan words.
expression, gesture, touch and vocal tone
- a comment on the literal content and nature of
the relationship between the person involved.
- It is
the message that conveys the sender’ attitudes,
feelings and intentions towards listener; may be
verbal or non-verbal.
Principles of communication:
- Communication should have objective and purpose.
- Should be appropriate to situation.
- Systematic analysis of the message, i.e., the idea,
the thought to be communicated, so that one is clear
- Selection and determination of appropriate language
and medium of communication according to its purpose.
- Organizational climate, including appropriate timing
and physical setting to convey the desired meaning of
- Consultation with others for planning of
communication; involves special preparation.
- Message should convey something of value to the
receiver in the light of his needs and interests.
- The communication action following a communication is
important in effective communication as this speaks
more than his/her words.
- The sender has to understand the receivers attitude
and reaction by careful, alert and proper listening
to ensure that the desired meaning of the message has
been comprehended by the receiver.
- Credibility is very important.
- Communication programme should make use of existing
facilities to the great extent possible and should
avoid challenging them unnecessarily.