Patterns of Communication

in Communication / General

Communication means transferring messages from one to another and it has several forms such as intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and mass communication. While it comes to group communication it has a certain patterns in its own. Few patterns are popular in mainstream communication studies. Such as

  • Circle
  • Chain
  • Y
  • Wheel

All communication patterns are all have certain problems with each other. In circle, Chain and Y patterns all group members can’t directly communicate with the group leader. They can communicate to leader only through group members. In Wheel, all the group members can communicate directly with the group leader.

   – Leader

   – Group Members

Fig. A. Circle Pattern

In Circle pattern, the sender (Group Leader) can communicate with the receivers (group members) who presents next to him/her. No others group members can’t receive the sender’s message directly and they receive messages from the other group members who sharing the message from the sender. In this pattern of communication the sender messages travels all over the group through sharing by its members will take time to reach sender again.

Fig. B. Chain Pattern

In Chain pattern, the same problems were appearing as like a circle pattern. The worst part in the pattern is the last member receives the modified messages from the leader. In this case the leader can’t find whether the last member receives the correct information or not because there is no feedback to identify the message distortion.

Fig. C. Y Pattern

In Y pattern, it’s more complicated pattern and also has the communication problem which appears in both circle and chain pattern. The group is separated into three and the group members can communicate with the other members group through leader only.

Fig. D. Wheel Pattern

In Wheel pattern, one of the best pattern while compare to other three. The leader has direct contact with all the group members and there are no communication problems, time issue and feedback from the group members. But all the group members can’t connect with one another.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

salim bakuli June 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm

i like it

yumgal August 5, 2013 at 4:52 am

Very clear lov it

Kirui Benard Kipkorir October 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Vivid and well elaborated. Just wish you to add there advantages because demerits are clear from the discussion.
Jah bless.

Hazina allen November 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I think these aint pattern of communication

Daavo Samuel January 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

It’s explicit and well understood

Fannie M'bwana January 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm

How about a Star Pattern?

FOSTER ATTOR February 25, 2014 at 1:45 am

is nic but i guess there are more new one comin up as time pass by

silas March 20, 2014 at 11:54 am

This site have helped me to learn more communication skills. but try show the advantages

Corina Baltierra March 31, 2014 at 10:34 pm

This was exactly what i was looking for.

Linda Addo June 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

The wheel is the same as the star pattern.but in all i think its a good job done

As June 12, 2014 at 2:57 am

There are all-channel (Common) pattern and it looks like star but it is different from circle pattern. Read the Mullin (2005) Mnagement and organisational behaviour

muzie August 31, 2014 at 10:28 pm


moroga dickson September 14, 2014 at 10:08 pm


Maryam kumba November 12, 2014 at 1:30 am

this is so amazin no nd of gettin in to i thnk thea mo patterns

maryah December 30, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Good, my finals are near

maryah December 30, 2014 at 4:45 pm

The other one is all channel is similar to free flow of communication in a group that encourages all mbers to become involved in decision making.informal communication pattern and produces a high level of satisfaction between members

omari February 18, 2015 at 6:19 pm

that lesson was wholesome,i liked it! thanks!

Leoh March 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm

I like Dwheel, very strong and fast to comuicate to

Mercy April 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm

satisfactory, i liked it, thanks.

ainomugisha peter April 22, 2015 at 11:03 am

this is a precise elaboration

Kenneth Imo Kalu August 7, 2015 at 1:00 am

what exactly is wrong with email address?

glyn September 2, 2015 at 2:25 pm

how can a chain pattern be changed to circle pattern

puia January 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Is it comparable to church worship in communication patterns

antidiusalex March 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Very interesting I like it

Wasika March 22, 2016 at 8:13 pm

May I ask some question, when I want to tell something such as local wisdom to another (story telling) what is the most appropriate pattern?

helen sebastian May 4, 2016 at 1:28 pm

this is amazing ideas

Lenwick May 19, 2016 at 1:21 pm

The explanation is good but you have to the the advantages and disadvantages

patrick M kirumba September 5, 2016 at 11:10 am

well summarized and understandable, kudos

MARLON MANHANGO September 14, 2016 at 4:27 pm

good and understood notes

Marea N. Godfrey September 22, 2016 at 8:11 pm

very good explanations…good diagrams. Brief and to the point.

Marea N. Godfrey September 22, 2016 at 8:12 pm

But what about the network pattern?

abdulrasheedsale October 20, 2016 at 9:18 pm


regina October 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm


regina October 27, 2016 at 1:26 pm

i enjoyed it

Celestine Galgitele November 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm

wow.. well elaborated and understandable…

waseem abbasi January 9, 2017 at 9:20 pm

Good article

William Bisayi January 25, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Very nice. Have enjoyed it.

Arash Verma April 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Wow.. This is great. 😀

Nandkishor namde April 18, 2017 at 6:59 am


Sani October 29, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Well elaborated. As a communication student, thus from theoretical point of view, the Wheel Pattern seems to make more sense, as it facilitates the observance of all the major Communication ingredients (Sender, Receiver, Message, Channel and Feedback). But in practice, we tried the same Pattern in our organization (group) but the result was not desirable, because direct contact between the group leader and members of the group requires more skills and team-spirits from the leader (which are mostly lacked). So we end up with dysfunction heads of departments and dictator-like leadership. So from experience, i see the effectiveness of Wheel Pattern in small group Communication not in large group.

BRUNO November 11, 2017 at 10:57 pm

What about things like horizontal, downward and upward communication, are they also communication patterns and if not what could they be?
I came across them in some other publication stated as patterns of communication.

Thank you.

Harsh Kalavagok December 22, 2017 at 7:21 pm

Pictures communicate everything about the pattern

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