3. Searches for possible solutions. Given the situation, in what different ways might the
communication challenge be tackled? What strategies could best further the interests of the
4. Selects a course of action. Here the writer/speaker decides not only what to say but also how to
say it. He or she makes basic decisions about the type of message that will be sent—which also
involves choosing the communication channel (phone? email? texting?) that will best support
the goals of the message.
5. Composes the message. You can preview the advice in Chapter 2 about the writing process. Help
students realize that whatever writing style works best for them is the one they should use, but
emphasize the importance of all three main composing stages (planning, dra:ing, and revising).
6. Delivers the message. Students often do not realize how important message timing is, or how
important it is to imagine the hectic work context in which the recipient will receive the
message. This step deserves some careful thought.
7. Receives the message. Now we’re over on the recipient’s side of the process. If the sender has
made wise decisions (about timing, channel, format, and framing of the message), the odds of
the recipient’s actually reading and/or hearing the message are promising. (Otherwise, as you
can remind your students, the message might get thrown away, buried under other messages, or
8. Interprets the message. As the recipient processes the message, he or she will be forming all
sorts of impressions—about the writer/speaker, about the writer/speaker’s company, about the
goal of the message, about the message’s specific contents, about why the message is significant
9. Decides on a response. If the recipient attend to the message, he/she will have a response,
whether it’s the one the sender intends or not. If the message has been tailored carefully to the
recipient’s interests, the recipient’s response—whether a return message, an action, or simply a
change in aGtude—will have a good chance of being the desired one.
10. Replies to the message. Here the recipient becomes the sender, and the communication cycle
begins again. And it may lead to another cycle—and another. The cycles may continue as long as
the participants wish to communicate. In oral communication, you can point out, the cycles tend
to happen quickly as the communicators work to create a mutual understanding, whereas the
communication cycles in written communication tend to occur more slowly.
There are no guarantees that any message will be successful—but the analytical process presented in the
communication model will make the odds of success as high as possible.