Communication Breakdown

The Theory of Communication states that the cycle of expressing and understanding a message occurs at four intervals;

  1. Encoding occurs when the sender determines how to send a message.
  2. The sender then conveys the message either verbally or nonverbally.
  3. Decoding occurs when the receiver interprets and determines its meaning.
  4. The response in which the receiver reacts to the sender happens last.

Social psychologists estimate that there is usually a 40-60% loss of message meaning between sender and receiver. Can you imagine? That means that about half the time we think we’re being clear with our messaging, someone else doesn’t agree. According to the steps above, there are four different places within the communication process where a misstep or a ‘break’ occurs. It’s a wonder any of us are able to converse at all!

How many times have you screamed in frustration because someone JUST DIDN’T GET what you were saying?