Communication Context: The Recipient

Cite this article as:"Communication Context: The Recipient," in The Business Professor, updated June 29, 2019, last accessed August 3, 2020,

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The context that results in a basic understanding of the situation in which the communication is taking place, and the factors that influence the communication also becomes quite important in this respect. There is a possibility that the contexts might influence and overlap with each other, that can make the communication even more robust.

Intrapersonal Communication – Intrapersonal communication is when a person is involved in communication with themselves. It is often regarded as ‘self-talk’. This may include imaginary conversation with oneself, a particular visual and any self-retrospection. The interpersonal communication can have either positive or negative impact, and can impact how one perceives others and influence their world view. One’s culture, native languages and outlook shape their personal selves and have a bearing on their experiences and how they communicate with others. This form of communication serves as the basis and forms the nuances of communication.
One of the most popular and well received models of inter-personal communication that appears as a transaction with one self takes into consideration some of the key features of the communication process that include: the source, reviewing the message, the channel through which it is communicated, the feedback received, the environment and the context where the process gets shaped. It is very important to consider that all these stages or levels are internalized and brings into line all the elements that help in delivering a message. The preparation includes developing a plan, initiate to resolve problem and internalized conflicts, along with examining the judgment one has of themselves as well as others. The interaction, however, has no external expression, but they borrow heavily from the experiences encountered in the external environment.

Interpersonal Communication – Interpersonal communication is mostly perceptible having an externalized expression as it involves two or more people. It can range from being very formal to intimate to impersonal. The different types are as follows:

  • One-on-One Communication – It involves direct communication between two people through different medium of communication such as telephone, internet, etc.
  • Group Communication – Group communication involves small groups in conversation and is a very dynamic process. It mostly involves three-to-eight people in conversation. The larger the group, the more likely it is to disintegrate into smaller ones to ease the communication. The age, likes, dislikes, culture education, sex and demographic features are some of the determinants to understand the participants in a group discussion. At times, group discussion can be mutual or other times, it can become one-way. However, the following are the different variations of group discussions.
  • Team-based communication – Team communication is a part of group communication. The various forms of communication between different team members can be interpersonal. Team communication becomes very important to how the business operates and it becomes a challenge, at times, for the managers as well as the employees involved in such communication. Given its importance, team communication will be discussed in greater detail in the next article.

Public Communication – Public communication takes place when one person presents his/her views in front of many people, similarly this communication can also be in written form where one person is writing for others. The speaker may initiate a dialogue or conversation to engage the audience and this can be done via email, or through point-counter-point letters sent to editor. This form of communication is inherently different from group communication that has a different set of rules. The speaker is often protracted by the group in a public speaking institution. With the change in tradition, culture and perceptions, there are possible exclamations that should not be regarded as obstacles. This should be instead regarded as affirmative expressions.

Mass Communication – Through mass communication, messages are sent out to large numbers of people.  It involves sending out one single message to an entire group. While it does allow for wider reach, the messages need to be curated keeping in mind the target group, their choice and preference, and other contextual factors that impact the content of the message.

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