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2 Phase Communication Model

2 Phase Communication Model

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Having had many debates about who is responsible for communication, it became clear to me that the 2-Phase Communication Model can definitely provide clarity regarding the age-old argument.  When we understand the mechanics behind how communication works, we are better able to show who is responsible for successful communication.  What is important to understand the model is that the responsibility is not static, responsibility is shared between the sender and receiver and has different implications at various stages.



The 1st phase of the 2-Phase Communication Model sees the bulk of the work taking place.  It entails the origin of the communication and transfers the responsibility of the communication as time progresses.



The 2-Phase Communication Model finds that the origin of the communication is allocated to the Sender.  The Sender is responsible for encoding the intended message.  The Sender should consider how the message will be delivered, to whom it will be delivered when it will be delivered and more importantly, why it will be delivered.  Answering these questions enables the sender to appropriately embed the intended message.  It is crucial to communicate the intended message as effectively as possible to reduce the number of constraints along the communication process.  The Sender should ultimately communicate to be understood.


Once the Sender is satisfied with the composition of the intended message, the Sender will be ready to Transmit the intended message.  During the transmission stage of the 2-Phase Communication Model, the intended message may experience Noise.  Noise is generally; the natural forces that interfere with the transmission of the message.  This has the implication of distorting elements of the intended message.  Elements of the intended message may include the intention of the message, or the purpose and/ or tone thereof.  When the transmission becomes compromised, the integrity of the communication may become jeopardized.  It is important to Transmit the Intended Message properly to avoid confusion and difficulties during the Receiving stage.

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Considering the implications that the transmission stage imposes, it becomes clear why it is important to carefully select The Medium.  The Medium is the platform on which the communication will take place.  Factors to consider when selecting the right Medium include the delivery method (e-mail, phone call, etc.), a sense of urgency, the tone of voice, etc.  Consider the audience as well as other implications such as record keeping for legal requirements.  For example, if the audience does not read newsletters, would mass mailers be an effective way of communicating significant changes in the way a system works?



Delivery of the Intended Message transfers responsibility to the Receiver.  The Receiver becomes responsible for Decoding the communication.  This means that the Receiver should, firstly; acknowledge receipt of the communication.  Secondly, interpret the information, formulate a response, and communicate the feedback.  The Receiver should apply communication techniques such as active listening when receiving communication.  This will improve the interpretation stage and enhance the quality of the communication process.  The Receiver may Acknowledge receipt of the intended message with body language, such as nodding your head, or by clicking yes on the read receipt prompt.



Acknowledging receipt of the intended message closes of the 1st phase of the 2-Phase Communication Model.  The Receiver has the opportunity when acknowledging receipt of the intended message to clarify what the Sender intended to communicate.  If the message is clear, it will be required of the Receiver to formulate a response for the Sender.  This means the information needs to be processed.



Before the Receiver can return the required response, the Receiver is responsible for interpreting and analyzing the information received.  By processing the information received, the required decisions can be made that is critical towards the Feedback message that is to be sent.  By identifying the what, where, when, who, how and the all-important why of the required response you can ensure that you cover most of what is required.  It is, however, extremely important to properly digest and process the information received before formulating and communicating a response.  The response (Feedback Message) will usually need to confirm some form of commitment of the Receiver, which is why it is extremely important to carefully formulate a response.



Once the Receiver is satisfied with the response generated, the roles are reversed.  The Receiver now becomes the Sender, however, there are some limitations.  Firstly, the Medium chosen by the initial Sender is often required to be used by the Receiver.  The Receiver will also need to ensure that when responding, the response is appropriate to the request.  For example, unrelated items should not be included since they might confuse the general intention of the communication.  The Receiver will also need to indicate in the response that they understand the Intended Message.  After showcasing an understanding, the Feedback should clearly state the way forward, or ask appropriate questions for further investigation.  Once the Receiver responds and becomes the Sender, the initial Sender becomes a Receiver.  The initial Sender will; as a Receiver look for key elements that indicate an understanding and the way forward as part of the decoding process.


Should communication continue in the same thread, the process will remain in the 2nd phase of the 2-Phase Communication Model.  What is clear about the model is that both the Sender and Receiver have responsibilities when communicating.  We can also identify that there is a “spotlight” of responsibility that varies as time progresses.  What is important is that communication is approached as a team effort.  Communicating to achieve outcomes is one way of looking at it.  What is certain, is that understanding the process of communication is crucial towards productively practicing it.


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