The Receiver

The receiver of the information has to use the same skill set as the sender. Communication skills, attitudes, knowledge level, social positions, culture, and feedback are all important. Furthermore, the receiver has an additional variable: credibility of the speaker.

If the receiver perceives the sender as credible, objective, and having expertise in the topic being discussed, then the receiver is more likely to accept the message being sent. Therefore, the sender must have the expertise or find someone with the topical expertise to communicate the message.

There are times when we believe we must be the expert in everything. This is an unrealistic goal. For effective communication to happen, one must communicate both what she/he knows and what one does not know. Remember the goal of communication is for the receiver to accept an accurate message from the sender. This does not mean the receiver will agree with the message, rather that the receiver accurately understands the message.

The receiver accepts a message through attention and comprehension. Attention is tuning in to the message being sent, and comprehension involves understanding the message and accepting or rejecting it. Accepting a message involves both a cognitive acceptance of the message and an affective acceptance of the message.

The value in thinking about communication through a model such as the SCRM model is to demonstrate that effective communication is a complex process, rather than just listening and speaking. Therefore, each of us should think about the effectiveness of our current communication patterns—whether as the sender or the receiver.


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