Communication And Comprehension: Which Comes First?

Communication | Comprehension | 08th September 2022 | Virtual Wire



Every day we communicate our ideas, experiences, and even other people's experiences to our friends, family, or audiences but if what we say isn't understood by the receiver, did we even communicate?

Let's look at it like this; I speak French, and you speak English. No matter how much eloquence and knowledge I speak in French, because you don't speak French, you won't understand me–– we couldn't indulge in a conversation.



Communication is the sending and receiving of information, ideas, thoughts, or signals through a medium. For communication to take place, there has to be;

  • The Sender (source).

  • The message.

  • The medium (channel).

  • The receiver.

For example, I (source) want to invite you (receiver) to my birthday party (message), so I'm sending you a soft copy on Whatsapp (channel). The above example shows the elements of communication, and communication isn't complete without feedback from the receiver. That's why if you didn't reply to my message (via the example), how would I know if you're coming?



This is the ability to grasp, understand and interpret what you read or watched. So it's like, you finished watching a movie and want to narrate it to a friend. After all, that's said, they would have to respond to show that they understand you––– that's comprehension.

Communication Vs Comprehension


Studies have shown that a person with poor communication skills will not be able to pass their message accurately as they want to. For effective communication, there has to be comprehension; the source must first understand the message they want to send and why they want to send it. The receiver has to comprehend the information sent to them to give feedback. From the picture above, we can see that comprehension facilitates communication.

If information is delivered and the recipient understands (comprehends) and gives a response, then the communication process is complete. So we can say lack of comprehension negates communication. What do I mean by this? If one thing negates something, it causes that thing to lose its effect; when an idea or message is unclear to the receiver, it interrupts the communication process. So whether it's a date with your crush, or you're to project and speak on a proposal, the idea or speech if not spoken in the language and grade (experience) the recipient has, you're leaving a bridge for communication gap.

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