Chapter 1: Professional Business Communication

2 What is Communication?

two people seated on a bench having a conversationAll communication is composed of three parts that make a whole: sharing, understanding, and meaning.

Sharing means doing something together with one or more person(s). In communication, sharing occurs when you convey thoughts, feelings, ideas, or insights to others. You also share with yourself (a process called intrapersonal communication) when you bring ideas to consciousness, ponder how you feel about something, figure out the solution to a problem, or have a classic “Aha!” moment when something becomes clear.

The second key word is understanding. “To understand is to perceive, to interpret, and to relate our perception and interpretation to what we already know.” (McLean, 2003) Understanding the words and the concepts or objects they refer to is an important part of the communication process.

Finally, meaning is what you share through communication. For example, by looking at the context of a word, and by asking questions, you can discover the shared meaning of the word and better understand the message.

Watch the following 8 minute video reviewing Types of Communication

  • Interpersonal communication is any message exchanged between two or more people.
  • Written communication is any message using the written word.
  • Verbal, or oral, communication is any message conveyed through speech.
  • Nonverbal communication is any message inferred through observation of another person.


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Communication for Business Professionals Copyright © 2018 by eCampusOntario is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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