The Communication Model explains the process of how the sender changes their thoughts and feelings into sounds and actions. Then the model shows how the receiver  decodes these sounds and actions back into their own thoughts and feelings.

Verderber & Verderber (1988) state there are seven parts to this process.

(1) Context – Very important to ensure the message is understood in the way it was intended.

There is a Psychological Context – How the person feels when they get the message.

There is a Historical Context – What has previous happened between the encoder and decoder.

There is a Physical Context – Whereabouts the message is sent and received.

(2)  Participants – The people involved with the communication process bring with them their own experiences, attitudes and values. 

(3) Rules – Set the boundaries on how we communicate and defines the words we use and when we should speak. These rules are often unstated. 

(4) Messages – Meaning or context of the communication.

(5) Channels – The five senses; touch, taste, sound, smell, & sight may all be channels used to communicate a message. When having a conversation we most commonly use only 2 channels; sound and sight. We use these channels by talking and using body language.

(6) Noise – This is something that gets in way of communicating and comes in 3 forms external, internal, and semantic. External are things such as a loud noise preventing the receiver from hearing all of the message. Internal can be things such as what is going on in the receivers head, thoughts such daydreaming and bias. Semantic relates to language problems such as using sentences with a lot of jargon.       

(7) Feedback – This is telling the sender what we as the receiver have heard.

How Does the Communication Model Help Us?

Think of the communication model as being simular to how a car engine works. You can drive fine without knowing how the engine works. However when that engine breaks down, the driving stops until someone fixes the engine. The communication model helps identify where the problems of communication lie. Identifying our areas of weakness in the communication model can help us strengthen our skills.