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Stages of the Communication Cycle That Help People Connect

Communication Cycle
It won't be an exaggeration to say that the survival of the human race rests on its ability to communicate. Efficient communication is a fundamental part of our functioning. This article explains the communication cycle and its working.
Medha Godbole
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
We think of communication as an art. It is also known to be a skill that only a few possess. To be able to communicate effectively is a quality that enhances your personality. The entire process of communication begins with conceptualizing the desired message, which is then communicated to the right person. The person receiving it interprets this message, and responds to it.

The concept of communication cycle has been developed for the sender and receiver of the message to work on communication, by way of feedback. Primarily, it is a structure which explains the simplest manner in which we communicate.

At a very rudimentary level, the cycle involves we aiming at what we want to say, how we say it, our intention of saying it, followed by an expected interpretation and response to the message. As is evident, the importance of communication can never be undermined.
How Does a Communication Cycle Function?
1. The first step begins with the sender wanting to initiate a communication. He formulates the message that he wishes to convey. It is the sender's duty to ensure that the message is clear and easy to comprehend. Complicated messages may act as barriers in communication.

2. The second step involves choosing the appropriate channel of communication. The sender has to zero in on the most efficient means of communication. It could be verbal, or electronic; the priority is that the message should be sent across through minimum fuss.

3. The third step is when the receiver comes into the picture. The receiver has to interpret or decode the sender's message.

4. Upon decoding the message successfully, the receiver has to formulate a response and send it in the form of feedback. This action completes the communication cycle.
Tips to Establish an Effective Communication Cycle
For the Sender:
- Before the message is sent, the sender must be clear on what he wishes to communicate. If the sender lacks clarity of thought, the message that he creates will obviously reflect this.
- The sender has to give a lot of thought to the target of his message. This will help him to formulate the message in a manner that is most appropriate.
- Choosing the right means of communication must be the next priority of the sender. Again, deciding this should be based on the target of the message. The urgency of the message, and the cost factor may also influence the mode of communication.
- Having formulated the message and chosen a method of communication, the sender has to dispatch the message at the appropriate time, and ensure that the target has received it.

For the Receiver:
- The receiver's foremost duty is to lend the message its due attention.
- In case of an audio message, the receiver must listen to it with utmost concentration, as the thinking speed tends to overshadow the ability to listen. It would help to take notes or listen to the message more than once.
- Use all abilities to decode the message. Although the sender is expected to draft it as clearly as possible, it is the receiver's duty to give it the attention it deserves.
- In case the receiver encounters any doubt, he is advised to get it clarified from the sender, instead of interpreting it in an incorrect manner.
- Once the message is completely decoded, the receiver has to begin formulating the feedback.
- With this step, the receiver becomes the sender, and has to apply the same clarity of thought while formulating the feedback.
- The correct channel of communication must be chosen to send the feedback, and it must reach the sender on time.
- The cycle of communication is complete with the sender receiving the feedback.
Barriers in Communication
If there is a disruption in the communication cycle, it is usually attributed to the barriers that stall the free flow of ideas. This disruption may eventually defeat the purpose of communication. Barriers in communication include -

- Physical
- Structural
- Attitudinal
- Personal
- Physiological

In the real world, however, there are many alterations and variations made to this model of the communication cycle. The basic concept of exchange of ideas remains the same.