Human Communication is the foundation for many theories and can be defined an infinite number of ways. Human originates from the Old French word humain, which means, “of or belonging to man” (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2016). The American Heritage Dictionary defines communication as, “the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information” (Berube and Jost, 1993, p. 282). I connect the two words to form my own definition of human communication: “Human Communication is the sharing of information, verbally, or non-verbally, between people, or one person sharing information to no one in particular. This is a simplistic definition for a very intricate concept” (Zehner, 2016, p. 1). I find it fascinating that no form or message of communication is the same, or can be repeated in exactly the same way. This thought prompted me to dig deeper: if no communication can be repeated in the same way, can people then use what they learn from communication to change the way we respond to things and people in the future? I’m interested in this, in the business setting particularly, as I will be working in a company in the near future. “Innovative research and development fundamentally can be taught, and especially if can be fostered” (Gillette and Jayaswethavanagopal, 2008, p. 1). Communication is a vital part of today’s society because it is the foundation for human relationships; as a tool, communication allows humans to convey thoughts, ideas, needs, wants, etc. to other humans or devices in order to achieve a certain goal or outcome. The success of the communication depends on the communicator effectively interpreting the outcome, and it is most likely to be successful when the message and result is familiar to the communicator. It is this recognition that builds a stronger method of communication between parties and allows for innovative ideas to be exchanged and developed.
Companies need individuals with innovative minds to thrive and become and maintain excellence. An example of this is research and development; therefore companies need research and development. Joel Patrick, an Ardaugh Glass executive, taught the students of ICS 602.2 Human Communication, that the budget for R+D in companies is exponential. Highlighting its importance in business (2016).
R+D can be improved using principles of human communication through both human to human or self or human to system communication. “Learning more about theories of communication will enable you to recognize the unfamiliar, the complex, and the creative that is part of your everyday communication experience.” (Littlejohn and Foss, 2011, p. 3).
I would like to introduce to you my theory of communication: The Recognition Model of Communication, see Figure 1. The model starts with the trigger; a person, event, thing, feeling, thought, etc. that motivates a response from the communicator. The communicator then sends out information via human communication, and there is an outcome or response from that communication, breeding familiarity. Once there is contact between the trigger and the communicator, the trigger can be recognized in future encounters.
Figure 1 The Recognition Model of Communication
Trigger ——motivates response—->Communicator——-communication—->Outcome—–familiarity—–>Trigger
The trigger can be absolutely anything from a thought, device or a person. If you are nervous about an exam and start pacing back and forth, you may not realize you are even doing it, but that exam is the trigger and the communication is the pacing. “I believe it stands to reason that human communication can be both consciously, and subconsciously created” (Radtke, 2016, p. 3). It can be your favorite song coming on in the car, causing you to burst out in song, or you just realized you forgot to pick up your child and start running out the door.
“People all use their communication tools in different ways…Everything that makes humans up mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally can contribute to the way they communicate” (Sheridan, 2016, p.1). The communicator is the person communicating in some way.
We will dive deeper into the outcome of the communication model in the practice section. To summarize, the outcome is important in future encounters of the same or similar trigger. We will recognize the outcome or experience that has happened before. For example, barking orders at someone may lead to them not doing what you want, so the next time you try asking them and receive a more positive outcome.
All communication results in an outcome or response. In the business environment; team meetings, agendas, emails and video conferencing can be used to communicate. If the team meeting and interaction with technology is successful, you’re most likely going to use a familiar communication response in the future.
Human communication can also be putting information into tools or systems. “Human communication can also happen through tools or devices. Especially in the world today there are all of these new technological innovations that function as medians of communication…and the technology world is always changing and the different ways human communication is always evolving” (Sheridan, 2016, p. 2). People are creating massive amounts of data everyday which is why the recent buzz of Big Data is becoming so important to companies. For example, professionals in business settings communicate by entering information into the different software applications they have to send a message or share information. Communicating and interpreting results is something we do all day, every day of our lives.
Applying The Recognition Model of communication to practice in a business setting is essential for success and to align human communication with company goals (Zehner, 2016). Business teams learn to interact with each other best by evaluating and measuring productivity of previous communication outcomes. Let’s say you notice a team member who does not respond well to public recognition. You may recognize different responses from different recognition methods used with this individual to decide on the best way to recognize them. “Practical theory, which aims to improve life in concrete ways, is designed to capture the rich differences among situations and to provide a set of understandings that lets people weight alternative courses of actions to achieve goals” (Littlejohn and Foss, 2011, p. 30).
An example of praxis with technology is a survey. You surveyed 100 people and found the best way to manage that is your recording template, which is very orderly. You then choose to input the information to an excel sheet to be even more efficient because now you have an electronic copy that you can update easily. Applying the recognition model, you start looking at the different buttons in Excel and realize you can do even more with your data including analysis, regression. Etc. With my model of human communication, one can manipulate or strive for new and different outcomes to reach a goal.
“Human communication is a powerful ability that can be used to shape minds and change the world” (Studdard, 2016, p. 2). Research and development is critical in companies’ futures and by using enhanced versions of our communication through recognition of patterns and outcomes, they can achieve greatness. “Unprecedented information-sharing, interaction, and recognition are required to induce the attitude change and horizontal communication necessary to foster widespread involvement and commitment” (Peters, 1987, p. 366). Recognition and responding to outcomes provide us a foundation for new ideas, products, services, and most importantly, making them sustainable and a better version than their last. Human communication is instinctively needs based; therefore it is in our benefit to use communication outcomes to create a better future.
Berube, M. S., & Jost, D. A. (1993). The American Heritage College Dictionary (3rd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin (Trade).
Gillette, J. E., & Jayaswethavanagopal, V. (2008). Managing Innovative Research & Development Collaboration: A Practical Research Institute Model
Littlejohn, Stephen W., & Foss, Karen A. (2011). Theories of Human Communication. (10th ed.).
Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.
Online Etymology Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2016, from
Peters, Tom. (1987). Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution. New York: Harper and Row.
Radtke, R. Preston. (2016). Definition of Human Communication (1.2)
Sheridan, Quinn. (2016). A Definitive Script of Human Communication
Studdard, Déjà Nicole. (2016). Human Communication: Process and Theory
Zehner, Katelyn. (2016). Human Communication: To Each Their Own