Skill-Fill E-Book: The Communication Cycle

Match4Business HR Academy

Six Steps to Better Communication

Get your communications right every time.communication

  • “The ability to express an idea is well-nigh as important as the idea itself.”
    – American businessman, Bernard Baruch

Whether you are writing an email to a co-worker, delivering on the job training to a new team member, or giving an important presentation to your board of directors, you must communicate in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

However, do you ever get lost while organizing your message, or struggle to identify what your audience truly needs to know?  There are so many factors to consider during preparation and presentation that it is easy to forget an important point.

The Communication Cycle is a six-step process that helps you develop and refine your message.  It helps you ensure that you do not forget anything essential the first time you present it, and it helps you maximize its impact in the times that follow.  By putting the process into the form of a cycle, this approach encourages you to use the feedback you receive to improve your communications in the future.

In this Skill Fill Read, we will examine the Communication Cycle, and look at how you can use it to improve your daily communications.  We will also give an example that shows how you can use the Communication Cycle when delivering an important communication.

Understanding the Communication Cycle

The communication cycleThe Communication Cycle (shown below in Figure 1) provides a checklist that helps you communicate effectively with your audience.

Note 1:
You can apply the Communication Cycle to any situation where communication is involved, but you will likely find it most useful for preparing and delivering important or complex communications, such as team or organizational emails, marketing materials, and presentations.

Note 2:
The Communication Cycle does not include a “test” step.  However, you can still apply steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 to testing your communication.  (For example, by asking colleagues to proofread and comment on text, or by practicing a presentation in front of a small group.)  You then use any feedback to change and improve your message when you restart the cycle.

How to Use the Communication Cycle

Follow these steps to use the cycle:

Step 1: Clarify Your Aim

Organize your thoughts about the message that you want to communicate by answering these questions:

  • To whom am I communicating?
  • What message am I trying to send, and what am I trying to achieve with it?
  • Why do I want to send this message? Do I need to send it at all?
  • What do I want my audience to feel?
  • What does my audience need or desire from this message?
  • What do I want my audience to do with this information?

Step 2: Compose/Encode

Now that you have organized your thoughts with the questions in Step 1, start creating your message.  Think about:

  • What is the best way to communicate this message?
  • What level/type of language should I use?
  • Does the audience have any background information on my topic?
  • Will my audience need any additional resources to understand my message?
  • Am I expressing emotions in my message? If so, which emotions?
  • Will the audience assume anything about me or my motives that will hurt communication?

Our Skill Fill Reads on The Rhetorical Triangle and Monroe’s Motivated
can show you how to structure your communications effectively, so that you can inspire your audience to act.

Step 3: Transmit/Deliver

If you wish to receive the full e-book, please send a request to

The Communication Cycle
Six Steps to Better Communication
Understanding the Communication Cycle
How to Use the Communication Cycle
A Communication Cycle Example
Key Points
The Rhetorical Triangle
Making Your Writing Credible, Appealing, and Logical
Understanding the Tool: Rhetoric
The Writer
The Audience
The Context
Using the Rhetorical Triangle
Key Points
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence
Perfecting the Call to Act
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence: The Five Steps
Key Points
Body Language
Understanding Non-Verbal Communication
First Impressions and Confidence
Difficult Meetings and Defensiveness
The Losada Ratio
Balancing Positive and Negative Interactions (Also known as the Losada Line and the        positivity/Negativity Ratio)