What is Communication?

Communication is a process by which information, feelings, ideas, opinions and any other messages are transmitted and received. In a simple form, communication is the transfer for information from a sender to a receiver.

The Process of Communication:


Communication can be both verbal and non-verbal. The communication process has 4 basic elements:
  1. Sender - the sender is the one who initiates/starts the communication and chooses the best medium to send the message.
  2. Medium - the method/means used to transfer the message (weather oral, written or pictorial).
  3. Receiver - the person or people to whom the message is directed/intended. The receiver interprets and analyses the message received.
  4. Feedback - the response given by the receiver.

Click HERE to read more on the Elements of Communication.

Forms of Communication:


Why do we Communicate?

  1. To communicate thoughts and ideas. e.g. You write a letter to the newspaper stating that you are in disagreement with the government’s decision to legalize marijuana.

  2. As a tool for social control. e.g. The traffic warden at the Rio Claro junction lectures the driver of the taxi for not wearing his seat-belt.

  3. As a medium for entertainment. e.g. You and your friends go to the concert held by Machel Montano because you enjoy listening to his music.

  4. As a release valve for anger and embarrassment. e.g. A boy accidentally steps on your newly brushed Clarks and doesn’t apologize so you display threatening body language as you shout at him for not doing so.

Factors that make Communication easier:

  • Advancements in technology - scientific breakthroughs in the development and enhancement of communication devices such as smart phones, laptops, fiber optics and 4G mobile networks make the communication process not only faster but cheaper.

  • Shared culture/history - in the Caribbean, we share a common cultural past of slavery and the plantation system, therefore it is easier for us to communicate with each other because we share a similar background/context.

  • Common language - lets face it, English language speakers find it easier to communicate with people who speak different languages. The fact that the sender and receiver speak the same language makes communicating much easier.

  • Shared geography/promiximity - despite the advancements in technology which make communication across continents feel like face-to-face conversations in the same room, it is undeniable that in certain settings it is easier to explain yourself to someone who is sitting next to you in class at school, as opposed to someone another class.

Barriers to the Communication process:

  • Language differences - having the sender and the receiver speak two different languages makes the communication process challenging as it may create misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the message.

  • Information overload - communication may be less effective when the receiver is overwhelmed with too much information which may lead to information being misinterpreted or forgotten.

  • Distraction/Noise - physical distractions such as noise and poor lighting may distract the communication of information.