A first approach to the definition of communication can be made from its etymology. The word derives from the Latin communicare, which means “to share something, to put in common”. Therefore, communication is an inherent phenomenon in the relationship that living beings maintain when they are in a group. Through communication, people or animals obtain information about their environment and can share it with others.
The communicative process involves the emission of signals (sounds, gestures, signs, etc.) with the intention of making a message known. For communication to be successful, the receiver must have the skills to decode the message and interpret it. The process then reverses when the receiver responds and becomes a sender (with which the original sender becomes the receiver of the communicative act).
In the case of human beings, communication is an act of psychic activity, which derives from thought, language and the development of psychosocial relational capacities. The exchange of messages (which can be verbal or non-verbal) allows the individual to influence others and in turn be influenced.
Among the elements that can be distinguished in the communicative process, is the code (a system of signs and rules that are combined with the intention of making something known), the channel (the physical medium through which information is transmitted), the sender (who wants to send the message) and the receiver (to whom it is addressed).
Each and every one of these elements is of vital importance for communication to be successful. First we have the code; it is enough that one of the two parts does not know it with the same degree of depth of the other so that comprehension problems arise. This can happen, therefore, in either of the two directions but also in different ways in each one: that the sender uses signs or rules that the receiver is not able to decode, or that he does not have enough knowledge to express Your message.
In cases where the sender has the necessary tools, it is important that he adapt his use of the code to the characteristics of his interlocutors in each conversation. It is not the same to explain a math concept to a young child than to try to sell home insurance to an adult: the language may be the same, but the parts of it that we should take advantage of in each case are different.
Then there is the channel, a concept that today is broader than ever: it can be on the air, an Internet broadcast, television, telephone, a sheet of paper, and so on. Choosing the right channel is essential so that the use of the code is maximized but also to give us the opportunity to use certain resources that are only available in some. For example, we cannot give a hug if we are not next to the other person (an emoticon is not the same).
According to DigoPaul, communication can be affected by what is known as noise, a disturbance that hinders the normal development of the signal in the process (for example, distortions in the sound, the speaker’s hoarseness, faulty spelling). The noise, in turn, can be spontaneous or voluntary; Although in any case it produces results that damage communication, it goes without saying that we should only tolerate the first. If the sender has difficulties speaking or writing due to genetic or health issues, we must adapt to them and make a greater effort to understand their messages.