Two-way communication is a form of [[transmission (telecomunicative\ fr)|transmission]] in which both parties involved transmit information. Two-way communication has also been referred to as interpersonal communication. Common forms of two-way communication are:
- Amateur radio, CB or FRS radio contacts.
- Chatrooms and instant messaging.
- Computer networks. See backchannel.
- In-person communication.
- Telephone conversations.
A cycle of communication and two-way communication are actually two different things. If we[who?] examine closely the anatomy of communication – the actual structure and parts – we will discover that a cycle of communication is not a two-way communication in its entirety. Meaning, two way communication is not as simple as one may infer. One can improve two-way or interpersonal communication by focusing on the eyes of the person speaking, making eye contact, watching body language, responding appropriately with comments, questions, and paraphrasing, and summarizing to confirm main points and an accurate understanding.
Two-way communication is different from one-way communication in that two-way communication occurs when the receiver provides feedback to the sender. One-way communication is when a message flows from sender to receiver only, thus providing no feedback. Some examples of one-way communication are radio or television programs and listening to policy statements from top executives. Two-way communication is especially significant in that it enables feedback to improve a situation.
Two-way communication involves feedback from the receiver to the sender. This allows the sender to know the message was received accurately by the receiver. Communication is also negotiated which means that the sender and receiver listen to each other, the messages then gathers information to respond. One person is the sender, which means they send a message to another person via face to face, email, telephone, etc. The other person is the receiver, which means they are the one getting the senders message. Once receiving the message, the receiver sends a response back. For example, Person A sends an email to Person B --> Person B responds with their own email back to Person A. The cycle then continues. This chart demonstrates two-way communication and feedback.
[Sender] ←------- | \ [Encoding] \ | | [Channel] [Feedback] | | [Decoding] / | / [Receiver]---------->
Two-way communication may occur horizontally or vertically in the organization. When information is exchanged between superior and subordinate, it is known as vertical two-way communication. On the other hand, when communication takes place between persons holding the same rank or position, it is called horizontal two-way communication. Two-way communication is represented in the following diagrams:
(Superior)---------------> (Subordinate)---------------> (Superior) (Information) (Feedback)
There are many different types of two-way communication systems, and choosing which is best to use depends on things like the intended use, the location, the number of users, the frequency band, and the cost of the system. “Regardless of the type of system chosen, the one common feature is that all of the components must be compatible and work together to support a common purpose.”