Communication has been defined as, “transferring of a thought or idea from one person (or group of person) to another person (or group of person) so that it can be understood and acted upon”. In order to transfer an idea, one must use symbols (words, signs, picture, sounds ) which stands for idea. The symbol must be such that orders can understand them. Taking this into account, Peter Little has given this definition of communication:
“Communication is the process by which information is passed between individual and/or organization by the means of previously agreed upon symbol”.
Generally, this process is described in terms of what the sender desires to convey and what is actually received by the receiver. Communication always has a purpose. One communicates because one wants to make someone do something or take some action or think in certain way. The source of an idea or thought is a person who feels the need for communication. He put the thought into word or other symbols which another person to whom he wants to communicate understand. This part of the process is called encoding and its requires the selection of suitable symbols so that the thought can be formed into a message, which then can be transferred or conveyed through a channel or medium.
Transmitting or sending the message is only half of the process of communication; the person who carries out this procedure is the transmitter or communicator. When the message reach the person to whom it was send, the receiver decodes the words or symbols into thought, which convey a meaning to him. The process of decoding is the reverse of the encoding.
The meaning that receiver gives the words is influenced by his knowledge, intelligence, past experience and his relation with transmitter. Transmitter can find out whether his communication has been successful only when he gets a chance to see or perceive the behaviour of receiver on receiving the communication. This return information called feedback may come in the form of words, signs or behaviour. When the message is transmitted, received and acted upon and the transmitter gets the return information, the cycle of communication is complete. Thus, communication is most effective when it is a two way process.