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Background Information

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Communication is a process that allows organisms to exchange information by several methods. Exchange requires feedback. The word communication is also used in the context where little or no feedback is expected such as broadcasting, or where the feedback may be delayed as the sender or receiver use different methods, technologies, timing and means for feedback.

Communication is the articulation of sending a message, whether it be verbal or nonverbal, so long as a being transmits a thought provoking idea, gesture, action, etc. . .

Communication is the process by which any message is given or received through talking, writing, or making gestures.

There are auditory means, such as speaking,singing and sometimes tone of voice, and nonverbal, physical means, such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, touch, eye contact, or the use of writing.

Communication happens at many levels (even for one single action), in many different ways, and for most beings, as well as certain machines. Several, if not all, fields of study dedicate a portion of attention to communication, so when speaking about communication it is very important to be sure about what aspects of communication one is speaking about. Definitions of communication range widely, some recognizing that animals can communicate with each other as well as human beings, and some are more narrow, only including human beings within the parameters of human symbolic interaction.

Nonetheless, communication is usually described along a few major dimensions:

  1. Content (what type of things are communicated)
  2. Source/Emisor/Sender/ Encoder (by whom)
  3. Form (in which form)
  4. Channel (through which medium)
  5. Destination/Receiver/Target/ Decoder (to whom)
  6. Purpose/Pragmatic aspect

Between parties, communication includes acts that confer knowledge and experiences, give advice and commands, and ask questions. These acts may take many forms, in one of the various manners of communication. The form depends on the abilities of the group communicating. Together, communication content and form make messages that are sent towards a destination. The target can be oneself, another person or being , another entity (such as a corporation or group of beings).

Depending on the focus (who, what, in which form, to whom, to which effect), there exist various classifications. Some of those systematical questions are elaborated in Communication theory.

Communication as information transmission

Communication: transmitting a message with the expectation of some kind of response. This can be interpersonal or intrapersonal.

Communication can be seen as processes of information transmission governed by three levels of semiotic rules:

  1. Syntactic (formal properties of signs and symbols),
  2. pragmatic (concerned with the relations between signs/expressions and their users) and
  3. semantic (study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent).

Therefore, communication is social interaction where at least two interacting agents share a common set of signs and a common set of semiotic rules. (This commonly held rule in some sense ignores autocommunication, including intrapersonal communication via diaries or self-talk).

Communication major dimensions scheme
Communication code scheme

In a simple model, information or content (e.g. a message in natural language) is sent in some form (as spoken language) from an emisor/ sender/ encoder to a destination/ receiver/ decoder. In a slightly more complex form a sender and a receiver are linked reciprocally.

A particular instance of communication is called a speech act. In the presence of " communication noise" on the transmission channel (air, in this case), reception and decoding of content may be faulty, and thus the speech act may not achieve the desired effect.

Dialogue is a form of communication in which both the parties are involved in sending and receiving information.

Theories of coregulation describe communication as a creative and dynamic continuous process, rather than a discrete exchange of information.

Nonverbal communication is the act of imparting or interchanging thoughts, posture, opinions or information without the use of words, using gestures, sign language, facial expressions and body language instead.

Information exchange between living organisms

Communication in many of its facets is not limited to humans, or even to primates. Every information exchange between living organisms — i.e. transmission of signals involving a living sender and receiver — can be considered a form of communication. Thus, there is the broad field of animal communication, which encompasses most of the issues in ethology. On a more basic level, there is cell signaling, cellular communication, and chemical communication between primitive organisms like bacteria, and within the plant and fungal kingdoms. All of these communication processes are sign-mediated interactions with a great variety of distinct coordinations.

Animal communication

Animal communication is any behaviour on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or future behaviour of another animal. Of course, human communication can be subsumed as a highly developed form of animal communication. The study of animal communication, called zoosemiotics (distinguishable from anthroposemiotics, the study of human communication) has played an important part in the development of ethology, sociobiology, and the study of animal cognition.This is quite evident as humans are able to communicate with animals especially dolphins and other animals used in circuses however these animals have to learn a special means of communication.

Animal communication, and indeed the understanding of the animal world in general, is a rapidly growing field, and even in the 21st century so far, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, have been revolutionized.

Plant communication

Plant communication is observed (a) within the plant organism, i.e. within plant cells and between plant cells, (b) between plants of the same or related species and (c) between plants and non-plant organisms, especially in the rootzone. Plant roots communicate in parallel with rhizobia bacteria, with fungi and with insects in the soil. This parallel sign-mediated interactions which are governed by syntactic, pragmatic and semantic rules are possible because of the decentralized "nervous system" of plants. As recent research shows 99% of intraorganismic plant communication processes are neuronal-like. Plants also communicate via volatiles in the case of herbivory attack behaviour to warn neighboring plants. In parallel they produce other volatiles which attract parasites which attack these herbivores. In stress situations plants can overwrite the genetic code they inherited from their parents and revert to that of their grand- or great-grandparents.

Bacteria communication

There are communication processes between different species of bacteria and between bacteria and non bacterial life such as eukaryotic hosts. Beneath the semiochemicals necessary for developmental processes of bacterial communities such as division, sporulation, and synthesis of secondary metabolites there are physical contact-mediated behavioral patterns being important in biofilm organisation. There are three classes of signalling molecules for different purposes, i.e. signalling within the organism to coordinate gene expressions to generate adequate response behavior, signalling between same or related and different species. The most popular communicative behavior is „quorum sensing“. Quorum sensing is the term for description of sign-mediated interactions in which chemical molecules are produced and secreted by bacteria. They are recognized of the bacterial community dependent on a critical concentration and in a special ratio to the population density. These molecules trigger the expression of a great variety of gene transcriptions. The semiochemicals used by bacteria are of great variety, especially because some signalling molecules are multiple re-usable components. Today three kinds of communicative goals are distinguished: (A) reciprocal communication, active sign-mediated interactions which is beneficial for both interacting parts; (B) messages which are produced as response on a triggering event which may be an indicator for a receiver which was not specially targeted by the producer. A coincidental event which is neutral – except of the energy costs of production – to the producer but beneficial for the receiver; (C) signalling to manipulate the receiver, i.e. to cause a response behavior which is onesided beneficial to the producer and harms the receivers often in that they behave against their normal goals. The three classes of bacteria communication enable bacteria to generate and coordinate different behavioural patterns: self and non-self identification, i.e. identification of other colonies and measurement of their size, pheromone based courtship for mating, alteration of colony structure in formatting of fruiting bodies, initiation of developmental and growth processes e.g. sporulation.

Fungal communication

Fungi communicate to coordinate and organize their own growth and development such as the formation of mycelia and fruiting bodies. Additionally fungi communicate with same and related species as well as with nonfungal organisms in a great variety of symbiotic interactions, especially with bacteria, unicellular eukaryotes, plants and insects. The used semiochemicals are of biotic origin and they trigger the fungal organism to react in a specific manner, in difference while to even the same chemical molecules are not being a part of biotic messages doesn’t trigger to react the fungal organism. It means, fungal organisms are competent to identify the difference of the same molecules being part of biotic messages or lack of these features. So far five different primary signalling molecules are known that serve to coordinate very different behavioral patterns such as filamentation, mating, growth, pathogenicity. Behavioural coordination and the production of such substances can only be achieved through interpretation processes: self or non-self, abiotic indicator, biotic message from similar, related, or non-related species, or even “noise”, i.e., similar molecules without biotic content.


A language is a syntactically organized system of signals, such as voice sounds, intonations or pitch, gestures or written symbols which communicate thoughts or feelings. If a language is about communicating with signals, voice, sounds, gestures, or written symbols, can animal communications be considered as a language? Animals do not have a written form of a language, but use a language to communicate with each another. In that sense, an animal communication can be considered as a separated language.

Human spoken and written languages can be described as a system of symbols (sometimes known as lexemes) and the grammars ( rules) by which the symbols are manipulated. The word "language" is also used to refer to common properties of languages.

Language learning is normal in human childhood. Most human languages use patterns of sound or gesture for symbols which enable communication with others around them. There are thousands of human languages, and these seem to share certain properties, even though many shared properties have exceptions.

There is no defined line between a language and a dialect, but linguist Max Weinreich is credited as saying that " a language is a dialect with an army and a navy".

Constructed languages such as Esperanto, programming languages, and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by human languages. Egan's soler theory this theory has 5 stages 1. face squarely 2. open posture 3. lean forward 4. use eye contact 5. relax All the above about egan's solar theory comes from health and social care advanced level, published in 2002 by heinmann written by N.Moomie

Communication Strategies

For effective communication in specialized contexts, certain strategies can be taken that will help people achieve their goals and can be seen as techniques for attaining the purpose of communication.


Below is a list with explanations of communication strategies used in marketing and selling:

Adaptive Innovation
Building or improving products, services, and processes while working with a customer versus building products or services outside a customer engagement. Relates to service companies working with large enterprises.
Entrepreneurial Management
Describes a business where the employees are expected to work and relate to each other as self driven business partners versus expecting to be mentored by a command and control management structure. This assumes the phrase, "be the leader you seek."
One Voice
A skill used to manage customer team meetings where one person is designated the leader and other team members direct all their comments and questions through the designated OneVoice speaker rather than to the customer(s).
A term related to business people being "on stage" at all times during a meeting or customer visit.
Strategic speed
A term related to working fast and smart, constantly looking for opportunities to improve and innovate.
Discipline of Dialogue
A term related to controlling your words and conversations during a business meeting or presentation.


SOLER (Egan, 1986) is a technique used by care workers. It helps clients or patients to feel safe and to trust the care-giver, and assists in effective communication. SOLER means:

S – Sit squarely in relation to the patient
O – Open position
L – Lean slightly towards the patient
E – Eye contact
R – Relax


Metacommunication is the process of communicating about communication, for example, to discuss a past conversation and to determine the meanings behind certain words, phrases, etc.. It can be used as a tool for sense making, or for better understanding events, places, people, relationships, etc.. The ability to communicate on the meta-level requires introspection and, more specifically what is called metacommunicative competence. It is not a distinct form of communication as seen from the five aspects mentioned in the introduction.

Episodic Level Metacommunication

The events occurring within a given communicative episode help the participants make relational sense out of the experience. eg. "This is an order", "Please", or "I am Joking". Different levels at which people reflect on their communication: 1) Labels what kind of message he sends and how serious he is. 2) Says why he/she sent the message. 3) Says why he sent the message by referring to the other's wishes. 4) Says why he sent the message by referring to a request of the other. 5) Says why he sent the message referring ot the kind of response he was trying to elicit. 6) Says what he was trying to get the other to do.

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