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Patterns of Communication

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.

{ 64 comments… add one }
  • salim bakuli June 20, 2013, 4:16 pm

    i like it

  • yumgal August 5, 2013, 4:52 am

    Very clear lov it

  • Kirui Benard Kipkorir October 22, 2013, 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, 2:05 pm

    I think these aint pattern of communication

  • Daavo Samuel January 12, 2014, 2:31 pm

    It’s explicit and well understood

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

    How about a Star Pattern?

  • FOSTER ATTOR February 25, 2014, 1:45 am

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

  • silas March 20, 2014, 11:54 am

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

  • Corina Baltierra March 31, 2014, 10:34 pm

    This was exactly what i was looking for.

  • Linda Addo June 1, 2014, 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, 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, 10:28 pm


  • moroga dickson September 14, 2014, 10:08 pm


  • Maryam kumba November 12, 2014, 1:30 am

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

  • maryah December 30, 2014, 4:40 pm

    Good, my finals are near

  • maryah December 30, 2014, 4:45 pm

    The other one is all channel network.it 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, 6:19 pm

    that lesson was wholesome,i liked it! thanks!

  • Leoh March 22, 2015, 1:28 pm

    I like Dwheel, very strong and fast to comuicate to

  • Mercy April 12, 2015, 9:32 pm

    satisfactory, i liked it, thanks.

  • ainomugisha peter April 22, 2015, 11:03 am

    this is a precise elaboration

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

    what exactly is wrong with email address?

  • glyn September 2, 2015, 2:25 pm

    how can a chain pattern be changed to circle pattern

  • puia January 11, 2016, 3:10 pm

    Is it comparable to church worship in communication patterns

  • antidiusalex March 1, 2016, 12:25 pm

    Very interesting I like it

  • Wasika March 22, 2016, 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, 1:28 pm

    this is amazing ideas

  • Lenwick May 19, 2016, 1:21 pm

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

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

    well summarized and understandable, kudos

  • MARLON MANHANGO September 14, 2016, 4:27 pm

    good and understood notes

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

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

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

    But what about the network pattern?

  • abdulrasheedsale October 20, 2016, 9:18 pm


  • regina October 27, 2016, 1:25 pm


  • regina October 27, 2016, 1:26 pm

    i enjoyed it

  • Celestine Galgitele November 2, 2016, 4:24 pm

    wow.. well elaborated and understandable…

  • waseem abbasi January 9, 2017, 9:20 pm

    Good article

  • William Bisayi January 25, 2017, 6:43 pm

    Very nice. Have enjoyed it.

  • Arash Verma April 3, 2017, 12:40 pm

    Wow.. This is great. 😀

  • Nandkishor namde April 18, 2017, 6:59 am


  • Sani October 29, 2017, 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, 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, 7:21 pm

    Pictures communicate everything about the pattern

  • cosmas March 1, 2018, 12:57 pm

    Nice one well explained

  • clay haonga May 11, 2018, 9:06 am

    When we talking about upwards, downwlward and other is communication flow in certain direction. This can be from bottom to top of management or top of management to bottom or whatever. It is different from communication pattern.

  • Krishna Mtamu July 2, 2018, 7:05 pm

    It is really helping me

  • thorbee January 22, 2019, 5:10 pm

    i disagree with this

  • cliff oyola June 18, 2019, 2:07 pm

    its really gud

  • Agnes naipa November 26, 2019, 6:17 pm

    It’s the fact

  • DR.SILADITYA BALIAL April 23, 2020, 11:09 am


  • Brenda October 13, 2020, 1:33 pm

    Great information and very easy to understand thanks

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