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Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place, person or group to another.
Every communication involves at least a sender, a message and a recipient. This might sound simple, but communication is actually very complex.
The transmission of the message from sender to recipient can be affected by many things. These include our emotions, the cultural situation, the medium used to communicate, and even our location. This is why good communication skills are considered so desirable for teachers, employers, managers and leaders. However, accurate, effective and unambiguous communication is actually extremely hard. The outcome of a conversation usually depends on how effectively we communicate our ideas and feelings.
Misunderstanding can occur at any stage of the communication process. For this reason, effective communication involves minimising potential misunderstanding and overcoming any barriers to communication at each stage in the communication process.
Communication channels is the term given to the way in which we communicate. It is therefore the method used to transmit our message to a recipient, or to receive a message from someone else. Hence, choosing an appropriate communication channel is vital for effective communication because each communication channel has different strengths and weaknesses.
Lastly, once received, the recipient needs to decode the message. Successful decoding is also a vital communication skill. The final part of a communication is feedback: the recipient lets the sender know that they have received and understood the message.

Author: Catherine Perri, JUMP Trainer