Communication Elements- 9 Elements of Communication Process

Communication Elements, the 9 Elements of Communication are Context, Sender, Encoder,  Messages, Channel, Decoder, Receiver,  Feedback, and Noise. Additionally, Examples of the 9 Elements of Communication and or Components of Communication.

Communication Elements

Communication elements refer to essential tools of communication on which the communication process is conducted. Elements of communication initiate and regulate the entire cycle of sharing information between the sender and receiver. Therefore, elements of communication are essential and interconnected parts of the communication process. The 9 elements of communication (Context, Sender, Encoder,  Message, Channel, Decoder, Receiver,  Feedback, and Noise) are essential tools or components for effective communication between sender and receiver. Communication elements are also known as the components of communication.

Communication Process

The communication process refers to the way of sharing information verbally or non-verbally between the sender and receiver. Verbal communication means communication through spoken words. Nonverbal communication refers to nonverbal cues such as tone of voice, facial expression, movement, eye contact, body language, and so more. Communication means conveying the message via written text, speech, signals, visuals, or behavior. It also a process of exchanging opinions and imparting knowledge between speaker and audience through elements of communication.

The 9 Elements of Communication

 The 9 elements of the communication process are

  1. Context
  2. Sender
  3. Encoder
  4. Message
  5. Channel
  6. Decoder
  7. Receiver
  8. Feedback
  9. Noise
Communication Elements, 9 elements of communication process
Figure 1: The 9 Elements of the Communication Process
 Examples of Communication Elements 

Ela requested her husband to deposit $100 for the electricity bill while talking to her husband on a smartphone. At the same time, her son watched a cartoon video on Television with the volume on high. Therefore, her husband could not understand exactly how much needs to pay for the electricity bill. So, she repeated the same words to confirm him. Consequently, her husband asked about the due date of paying the electricity bill, and she replied that today is the last date to pay the electricity bill without penalty. In the meantime, she showed her angry face to her son to reduce TV volume. Instantly, her son reduced the volume.

Based on the example, the context is the social context. Ela is the sender and encoder at the same time receiver and decoder. In similar, her husband is also a sender and encoder at the same time receiver and decoder. Turning the thought into the message is the act of encoding. In contrast, transferring the message into thought is the process of decoding. The smartphone is the medium or channel of the communication process. TV volume is the environmental noise that bars the communication process.

1. Context

Context refers to the environment of communication in which the interaction happens or takes place. Communication context is the prime element of every communication process that controls the communication process among senders and receivers. This context may be physical, historical, psychological, social, chronological, or cultural. For example, you may feel comfortable sharing your personal information with close friends rather than colleagues. You will not speak to an unknown person as you talk to your wife. So, the context of communication sets the environment of the communication process.

For example, Ela is talking to her husband informally, so she feels very comfortable. Therefore, the social context has been designed from this communication process. The context will be physical-context if they communicate face to face.

2.  Sender

A sender is a person who sends the message to the receiver. The sender is also known as the encoder of the message. The sender is the initiator of the communication process who starts the procedure by sending a message or information. Therefore, the sender is a significant element of the communication process. A sender makes and uses symbols (words or graphic or visual aids) to convey the message and produce the required response. Therefore, a sender is a speaker or writer or a person who provides the information to share opinions, ideas, and messages.

For example, Ela is the sender and encoder who sends messages to communicate with her husband. The sender is the person who sends the message to share with others. So, Ela is the sender also an element of the communication process.

3. Encoding

Encoding means transforming abstract opinions and ideas into symbols such as words, pictures, signs, and marks. A symbol might represent or indicate opinions, statements, and actions. In contrast, decoding is the process of transforming the symbol into an idea or thought. Encoding is the process of transformation of the subject into symbols. The encoding process is related to the sender and receiver.

The message of any communication is always abstract and intangible. Transmission of the message requires the use of certain symbols.

For example, Ela has converted his thought into words to convey the message to her husband called encoding. Here, converting thought into words is the process of encoding. Words are serving as the spoken communication symbol. She called her husband and uttered some words to share an opinion as well as send the message.

4. Message

The message refers to the information, ideas, feelings, opinion, thought, attitude, and view that the sender wants to deliver to the receiver.  The message seems like a key element of any communication process. Any communication might happen to convey the message that is also known as sharing ideas, opinions, thoughts, and information. Always, the sender wants to convey the message to communicate with the receiver. So, senders need to ensure that the main objective of the message is clear and understandable.

Messages may convey through verbal and nonverbal cues. Verbal cues are the spoken language of the speaker, for instance, spoken words.

On the other hand, nonverbal communication examples are facial expression, eye contact, physical appearance, posture, gesture, etc.

For example, Ela was speaking to convey a message that indicates verbal communication.  She also showed her angry face to her son to reduce the volume of TV that is called non-verbal communication.

5.  Channel

Channel is the way or tool of transmitting the message. It is also known as a medium in communication that conveys the message from sender to receiver.  Communicators use different channels to communicate in a distinct context of communication. In face-to-face communication, the sender’s senses, such as hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, and tasting, are the channel of transferring the information. It is also one of the important elements of the communication process.

On the other hand, organizations use Television, Newspapers, Radio as a channel to disseminate information. People use the computer and mobile phone to communicate with a person who lives far away from each other. Nowadays, many people use online meeting platforms to conduct virtual group meetings. Sometimes, people choose a written medium, such as a letter, to convey the message, while other people choose an oral medium when spontaneous feedback is required from the recipient.

For example, Ela has transmitted the message through a smartphone, so the smartphone is the channel of the communication process. She uses technology to convey messages; therefore, it is called mediated communication.

6. Decoding

Decoding is the process of translating an encoded symbol into the ordinary understandable language in contrast to the encoder. In this process, the receiver converts the symbols into thoughts received from the sender.  Decoding is the opposite process of encoding to get the meaning of the message.

For example, Ela has transformed his thought into words to convey the message to her husband called encoding. At the same time, her husband converts those words into thought to understand the message that is the process of decoding.

7. Receiver

A receiver is a person for whom the message is targeted in contrast to the sender. Therefore, the receiver is the audience of the communication process that decodes the message to perceive the meaning. The sender surely sends a message aimed at the receiver. Receivers can be one person or a group of people or a big amount of population. The degree to which the decoder understands the message depends on various factors such as knowledge of the recipient, their responsiveness to the message, and the reliance of the encoder on the decoder.

For example, Ela has sent the message targeted at her husband to whom she wants to communicate. Hence, her husband is the receiver in this context of the communication.

8.  Feedback

Feedback refers to the response of the receiver or audience. It is one of the main elements of the effective communication process as it allows the sender to analyze the efficacy of the message. It also helps the sender in confirming the correct interpretation of the message by the decoder. Feedback may be verbal (through words) or non-verbal (in the form of smiles, sighs, etc.).  It may take written form also in the form of memos, reports, etc. Feedback is also one of the important elements of communication.

Feedback differentiates the linear and transitional models of communication. The communication model is linear if there is no feedback in the communication process, for example, Lasswell’s Model of Communication.

On the other hand, the communication model will be identified as an interactive and transitional communication model if the feedback is presented, for example, the Osgood-Schramm Model of Communication.

For example, Ela’s husband asked about the due date of paying the electricity bill.

9. Noise

Noise refers to the communication barrier or obstacles to effective communication. It is also known as communication noise or noise in communication. Noise is an unwanted element of the communication process that communicators always want to avoid during the interaction.

Noise in communication is any barrier that obstacles the effectiveness of the communication process. Actually, communication noises exist in all kinds of communication, such as noise in face-to-face communication, noise in group communication, noise in mediated communication, etc. Communication will be more effective and interactive if there is no noise. Actually, noises are unnecessary elements of communication that distract receivers from receiving the message.

The five types of noise in communication are Physical noise, Physiological noise, Psychological noise, Semantic noise, and Cultural noise.

For example, Ela’s son watches a cartoon video on Television with the volume on high when she was talking to her husband. The sound of the cartoon video bars Ela to listen to her husband’s speech, so it is an example of a communication barrier or communication noise, or communication distraction.

In conclusion, these nine important elements (context, sender, encoder,  message, channel, decoder, receiver, feedback, and noise) are essential in the communication process. The communication process might get faulty without any of these elements except noise because noise is the unwanted communication element.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)

Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021, February 3). Communication Elements- 9 Elements of Communication Process. Educational Website For Online Learning.

M M Kobiruzzaman on ResearchGate

Lunenburg, F. C. (2010). Communication: The process, barriers, and improving effectiveness. Schooling1(1), 1-10.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication

Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication or Discussion. Six Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group or Team Communication.

Group Communication 

Group communication means intercommunication among a number of people who interact regularly to achieve a goal.

Small-Group Communication

In similar, Small group communication means intercommunication among a small number of people who communicate regularly to achieve a goal. It is also known as a small group discussion or team interaction. Small group communication is very important for group learning.

Group members need to overcome many stages, conflicts to achieve the individual and group goal. According to Tuckman’s Theory, the five stages of group communication are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Additionally, the four types of barriers in group communication are ethnocentrism, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication

Every group communication is intended to achieve a common goal. Group members communicate to achieve their individual and common goals. However, every group discussion or communication has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of Small Group communication are superior performance, Greater member satisfaction, Greater civic engagement, More learning, More creativity, Enhanced cultural understanding, and so on. In contrast, the disadvantages of small group communication are more time energy, and resources, conflict, social loafing, blaming for shared errors, sleeping members, and scheduling problem.

Based on the study, the author has outlined a list of the advantages and disadvantages of Small Group Communication.

Firstly, the author is going to discuss six advantages of a small group or team communication or discussion. After that, discuss six disadvantages of a small group or team communication or discussion.

Six Advantages of Small Group Communication
  1. Superior performance
  2. Greater member satisfaction
  3. Greater civic engagement
  4. More learning
  5. More creativity
  6. Enhanced cultural understanding
1. Superior Performance

According to MIT Management Professor, Peter Senge: “If you want something really creative done, you ask a team to do it, instead of sending one person off to do it on his her own”. Groups make better decisions also solve problems, especially complex, and unclear problems. Finally, groups share the workload within group members.

2. Greater Member Satisfaction

Social benefits – opportunity to make friends, socialize, receive peer support, and feel part of a unified and successful team or group. The more opportunities group members have to communicate with one another; the more satisfied they are with the group experience.

3. Greater Civic Engagement

You are able to apply theories, methods, and tools to better engage in service to the community that you learn in a group communication course. 

4. More Learning
  • A group provides many resources to work on a problem
  • “Synergistic” effect (Buckminster Fuller, the architect of the geodesic)
  • Synergy = the sum is greater than its parts
  • Members are able to learn from also with other members
  • New members learn from veterans, similar amateurs learn from experts.
  • They also learn more about how to work as a group in contrast just merely topics they discuss.
  • It also helps in the decision-making process.
  • It is the product of interacting individuals stimulating one another so that what emerges is a product that no one member could accomplish working alone.
  • Additionally, it allows group members to share collective information, stimulate critical thinking, challenge assumptions, and raise standards of achievement.
  • In the academic context, collaborative learning promotes higher individual achievement in knowledge acquisition, retention, accuracy, creativity in problem-solving, and higher-level reasoning.
5. More Creativity

The key to creativity is the mental flexibility required to mix thoughts from our many experiences. Groups provide a creative multiplier effect by tapping more information, more brainpower, and more insights.

6. Enhanced Cultural Understanding

Members differ in characteristics, life experiences, cultures, interests, and attitudes. Therefore, group members get a chance to enhance their cultural understanding of others. Working effectively = understand, respect, and adapt to differences in members’ skills, experiences, opinions, and behavior as well as differences in gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, race, status, and worldviews.

Advantages and Disadvantages or Pros and Cons

Six Disadvantages of Small Group Communication
  1. More time, energy, and resources
  2. Conflict
  3. Social Loafing
  4. Blaming for shared errors
  5. Sleeping Member
  6. Scheduling
1. More Time, Energy, and Resources
  • A group needs more time, energy, and resources to discuss issues and to analyze and resolve problems. In contrast, less time, energy, and resources are needed when individual works alone.
  •  A group does not have a long attention span rather it has a short attention span (David Berg, 1967). A long attention span is an inevitable element to complete a task within the time period.
  • In group communication, there have a tendency to get side-tracked.
  • Similarly, topics that do not pertain to the discussion at hand may be brought up.
2. Conflict
  • Disagreement = aggressive also disruptive
  • Members in a group often are confronted with an individual who wants to take over therefore conflict exists in the group.
3. Social Loafing

Social loafing refers to the idle activity of a person or group member who pays less effort compared to other members to achieve a goal. Actually, they work very well alone for completing their own tasks but pay less effort while working in a group. Therefore, sometimes, social loafing stimulates to makes a group less productive.

4. Blaming for shared errors

A proverb says that to err is human. Errors come from both personal and group activities; therefore, it is important to identify the root cause of errors as well as the person who creates the errors. In group communication, sometimes, group members do not acknowledge the responsibility of shared errors rather they blame each other. Therefore, blaming for shared errors might increase conflict among group members that reduce productivity.

5. Sleeping Member

Sleeping members are always barriers to reduce production in Small groups because they do not contribute to achieving the goal.

6. Scheduling Problem

Scheduling a group or team meeting is a great challenge that the group faces regularly. Usually, all members of the group are not available to join the meeting at the same time for their personal busyness. Scheduling for group meetings is the essential element to increase group member’s commitment. Hence, it reduces the group productivity not for scheduling regular meetings among members.


The advantages and disadvantages of small group communication have been discussed elaborately in this article so that readers get an idea about small group or team communication. The group or team needs to take the necessary steps to handle effective communication among group members. However, reducing the disadvantages of small group communication will surely increase the productivity of the group.


Berg, D. M. (1967). A thematic approach to the analysis of the task‐oriented, small group. Communication Studies18(4), 285-291.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)

Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021). Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication. Educational Website For Online Learning.