The need to communicate is central to being human. From the moment a baby first focuses her eyes on a human face, the importance of communication is established. Not all communication is verbal. People communicate with their body language, their eye contact and their gestures. A person who wishes to improve her communication skills should learn as much about the subject as she can. The nature of communication is changing as technology pervades all area of life. People can communicate a message in seconds to almost any corner of the world. This does not, however change the essential nature of communication; sending a message from one person to another.

Formulate the idea in your mind. You might think of something you want to relate to another person. This is the point at which the idea occurs and is the first stage of communication.

Encode the message. By encoding you put it into language or a style that will suit your message and your recipient. You would, for instance, encode a message you wish to give to a small child differently from a message you want to give to a professional colleague.

Transmit the message. You can do this by speaking, calling, writing, emailing or using one of many available communication methods.

Receive the message if you are the person the message is being given to. Listen or read the message.

Decode the message you have received. Mentally process the information into a form that makes sense to you. An example of this would be a person looking up a word in the message that he did not understand

People may ask for clarification if they do not understand a message.
People may ask for clarification if they do not understand a message.

Understand the message. This is the final step of the process and an important one. Most people recognize that messages can be sent, listened to or read, but this does not guarantee successful communication.