Communication

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Summary

Communication (from Latin commūnicāre, meaning "to share" ) is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of ideas, feelings, intentions, attitudes, expectations, perceptions or commands, as by speech, gestures, writings, behavior and possibly by other means such as electromagnetic, chemical or physical phenomena. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or more participants (machines, organisms or their parts).

Details

Communication requires a sender, a message, a medium and a recipient, although the receiver does not have to be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver understands the sender's message.

Communicating with others involves three primary steps:

  • Thought: First, information exists in the mind of the sender. This can be a concept, idea, information, or feeling.
  • Encoding: Next, a message is sent to a receiver in words or other symbols.
  • Decoding: Lastly, the receiver translates the words or symbols into a concept or information that a person can understand.

There are a variety of verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. These include body language, eye contact, sign language, haptic communication, and chronemics. Other examples are media content such as pictures, graphics, sound, and writing. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also defines the communication to include the display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia, as well as written and plain language, human-reader, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communication technology. Feedback is a critical component of effective communication.

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