The term communication has been derived from the Latin word “communis” which means “common”. Communication is an integral part of life. Everybody, be it birds, animals ,trees or even human beings for that matter want to express their emotions, thoughts or ideas to one another. This expression of thoughts or emotions or ideas is nothing but communication itself.

Communication has been defined in many ways. A few such well-known definitions are:


“Communication is the sum of all the things, a person does when he wants to create an understanding in the mind of another. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding.”

                                                                                                 —-Allen Louis                                  

“Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.”

                                                                                                 —-George Terry

Communication is an interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information, through speech, writing, or signs”.

                                                                                                 —-Robert Anderson

So, it is clear from these definitions that communication is a continuous process. It is a two way process.  Communications involves at least two people, i.e.., sender and receiver. In fact, one person cannot communicate to himself. A receiver is a must to complete the communication. So there are some elements in communications, without which communication is not complete. That is even if one element is missing the communication taking place is not effective.





There are five basic elements of communication:

  1. Sender/Encoder/Speaker
  2. Receiver/Decoder/Listener
  3. Message
  4. Medium
  5. Feedback

Without these elements any communication process cannot be complete.



The person who starts or initiates the communication is the sender. He initiates the message with the purpose of expressing his ideas, emotions, or facts to the other person.

Before sending the message to the receiver he has to consider certain important points .They are as follows:

  • Sender should understand the background of the receiver at first .This is because every individual is different from one another .when there is one receiver communication becomes easy. And if there are any differences it can be handled then and there. But if there are many receivers (seminars, speeches) there comes a problem. Because the response of receivers after receiving the message will depend from one person to the other. That is mainly because we all are heterogeneous. Heterogeneous means different. So, it means that one message can be perceived by people in many ways .
  • Sender should make sure he is clear with his message. He should know clearly about what he wants to send. Only when he is clear with the message, he can express it to others in a better way


 Receiver/Decoder/Listener (whom)

Receiver is the person who receives the message..The receiver gets the message, understands, interprets, and tries to perceive the meaning of the message sent by the sender .He decodes the message. That means he breaks the message of the sender and perceives it the way he understands it.

  • Receivers are heterogeneous. As stated before one person is different from the other. So it is on the sender how he communicates the message
  • Only when the receiver understands what the sender has sent we can say that the communication process is complete.




It is the information sent from one person to another.  It is the set of CODES .Codes are the set of symbols and signs. These signs and symbols have their own meaning. Message can be verbal or non-verbal or written. The most important element of communication is message .Because if there is no message there is nothing to exchange. At this stage the sender has to be very careful. He should hoe he should present his message. If the message is controversial or if it hurts people’s sentiments then the listener or the receiver will not be interested to listen to the sender and so there won’t be effective communication. So the sender has to be careful .He should make sure that the receivers don’t feel offended with his speech.


Medium/Madhyam(by what means)

Another important characteristic of a message is medium or madhyam. It is nothing but the method chosen by the sender to convey his message to the receiver. The medium depends upon the message. If it is a written communication then the medium is circulars or emails etc. If it is oral then telephones or face to face talk is the best. So depending upon the needs and availability the medium of the communication depends.

  • Traditional Societies

Many years back there was no much medium of communication. The only medium of communication were through drums or face to face communications. These were the oldest and effective way of communication as they were communicating face to face and so no much misunderstanding were taking place.



  • Modern Societies

Now the medium of communication has improved through globalization. There are many ways to convey the message now. Telephones, sms, emails etc are such ways.



Effective communication takes place only if there is a feedback. Feedback is nothing but the response given by the receiver or the audience. If the communication is not effective we tend to use the words like ‘I didn’t mean it’, ‘Am sorry this wasn’t my intention’ etc. Whenever the communication is not effective we say that there is communication gap. This communication gap can be because of different reasons. Some such reasons can be noise, time and distance or semantic barriers. Semantic barriers mean one word with many meanings. Example: – cheap. This word can be used both in the positive and negative way as well.1.They gave us cheap stuff 2.At this shop, they sell things cheap. So, sometimes misunderstandings can take place when the sender uses one word which has many meanings to it.








                                                   6. FEEDBACK

 This is the process of communication. It begins and ends with the sender. The sender initiates the message to be conveyed to the receiver. This message is then sent to the receiver by selecting the right choice of medium. Once the medium is selected by the sender he then sends it to the receiver. The receiver decodes the message sent to him. Occurs when the receiver attempts to ascertain the meaning of the sender’s message. That is he perceives the message the way he understands it. Once he decodes the message he gives his feedback to the sender. Only when the sender and receiver interpret the message in the same way we can say that there is an effective communication. If not then there is a communication gap.





To conclude, communication is the exchange of ideas, thoughts, ideas and emotions by the sender to the receiver by choosing the best form of medium. It is a two way continuous process between the sender and the receiver. Communication can be oral, written or through signs. Sender first should analyze the receiver and then present his message in the right way so that there is effective communication.