Communication, just like food and shelter, is an important means of survival. Communication is a process of interaction with people and the environment. When we interact with others we use language to transmit information, ideas and attitudes from one person to the other. When you learn that your friend is unwell you ask her about her health and express your anxiety about her well-being. When you go to a shop to buy a shirt the sales person may comment on how a particular color is suiting you.

Thus, communication is thus a personal process which occurs between people so as to bring about a change in behavior, and, it allows us to express our thoughts and emotions through words and actions. Communication is an important tool for controlling and motivating people by providing information to facilitate decision making.

Elements of Communication

The key elements of communication are:

  1. Communication is a two-way process: It involves a sender and a receiver. When you talk to your father, communication is at the individual level. When a teacher talks to a group of students, communication is at group level.

  2. There has to be a message: The information has to be in the form of a message, a directive, an idea, a feeling or an opinion.

  3. Commonness of understanding: Communication can occur only when there is commonness of understanding between sender and receiver. The basis of commonness can be culture, language, and environment. Words, phrases, idioms, gestures and proverbs provide common basis for communication.

  4. Modifying the behavior of other people: The information transmitted to the receiver brings forth a response in the form of some change in his or her behavior. For example, the moment you hear that fire has broken out in the building, you along with others will run out of the building.

  5. Method of giving information: Information is provided with the help of words or through gestures, expressions and the like.