What Are the Principles of Effective Communication?

The principles to effective communication are process, content and context. This process is complex and nuanced involving items such as a sender, receiver, a message, channel and finally feedback. The goal of all communication is for the receiver to understand the message that is conveyed.

The principle of process relates to the method in which a message is transferred. In verbal communication the process includes tone of voice and physical cues, such as leaning in or gestures, as well as any emotions that are conveyed and detected. Only 7 percent of the meaning of verbal communication comes from the words spoken. The remaining understanding breaks down as 50 percent from facial expression and 38 percent from the way that the words were spoken.

Symbols, actual terminology and the grammatical understanding of words is the content. Everyone interprets words differently and this can lead to the message being misunderstood if it is obscure. Words and symbols have different meanings to different people and these can confuse the message.

Context is about the environment and the situation that the message is delivered in. These can influence the way that the message is received and can be based on the conversation or the physical environment.