Interpersonal Communication

4 April 2017

Interpersonal communication is typically a dyadic (between two parties) form of communication. There are two major types of interpersonal communication used on a day to day basis: interpersonal (friends, family, partners), or impersonal (taxi drivers, shop assistants, etc. ). These can be utilised as an essential tool to enhance an individual’s ability in many facets: learning, relationships, professionally, socially and also helping others.

Interpersonal communication is considered the most important form of communication and the most conventional. It is interdependent (mutually dependant) on visual (sight), auditory (sound), and kinetic (body language) stimuli. Firstly this essay will outline a brief history of interpersonal communication. Also in the following paragraphs, I will include examples of nonverbal (sight, sound and kinesis), verbal (face to face) and emotional intelligence (EI).

Interpersonal Communication Essay Example

I will also try to elaborate on some of the key aspects of effective (works well) and ineffective (does not work well) interpersonal communication. Since the beginning of time the inhabitant’s of this earth have been searching for suitable means of communication, and also a way to improve/cultivate the process. Two examples of these early forms of nonverbal communication are; the hieroglyphics used by the Egyptians and also messengers and the Incan’s used Quipu (bundled knotted strings) Wikipedia. rg, (2011). The spoken word or verbal communication has a chequered history and is a topic of great debate. Another one of the key developments of verbal communication that could be considered is the transformation from pidgin “rudimentary grammar and a restricted vocabulary” language to creole “a more complex grammar, with fixed phonology, syntax, morphology, and syntactic embedding, Diamond, J, The Third Chimpanzee, (1992, 2006, para. 20), as cited by Wikipedia. org, (2011).

It could also be considered that the reformation in the 16th century to be a major evolution in interpersonal communication, considering that; primarily education, both verbal and particularly non verbal (such as literature) were originally considered a privilege; depending on class or stature in the community. One major example of this was when John Wyclif, an Oxford academic and preacher, translated, (too much opposition) the bible into english, New world encyclopedia, (2008). Before the reformation in the 16th century; there was onjecture about who was worthy for certain information, the poor were not able to attend schools and the elite decided who, how and what information was introduced, (could this be one of the earliest forms of non effective communication). In summary languages were formed, writing and literature were introduced, the desensitisation of the aforementioned to enable access of information to everybody helped along in time by educators, media (papers, radio and television) and eventually mainstreamed now in the form of CMC (computer mediated communication), the age of emails, text messaging and social networking platforms.

Interpersonal Communication refers to the process of relaying information between sender (encoder) and receiver (decoder), and is considered a reciprocal process. The individuals involved in this communication process act simultaneously, they act as both the “sender and the receiver” Johnson & Johnson, (1991). Arguably the second facet decoding/receiving has been considered to be the most important. Dresner, M, (2004), sites a quote from Tracy Peterson Turner Phd. Author of 5 critical communication vehicles, “We should listen twice as much as we speak”, recollecting the old adage, two ears one mouth.

Therefore we could expect that fundamentally, developing our interpersonal skills should lead to better interpersonal relationships. DeVito, J. A. (2008), states that, “interpersonal communication is purposeful” and these five purposes he indentifies are: “to learn, relate, influence, play and help” DeVito, J. A. (2008). Until recently interpersonal communication took place with the individuals in close proximity (face to face), however we are progressing at a rapid rate into the new age of CMC (computer mediated communication).

This is producing an ever increasing need to communicate with others via; emails, texting and social networking. According to the quote by Donnell King interpersonal communication is: “inescapable, irreversible, complicated and contextual” King, D. (2000), Therefore the need to be constantly developing interpersonal communication skills in all facets, would be considered essential in both establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. Nonverbal communication is communication without words. You communicate nonverbally when you gesture, smile or frown, widen your eyes, move your chair closer to someone, wear jewellery, touch someone or raise your vocal volume or even when you say nothing” DeVito, J. A. (2008). Nonverbal communication uses many sensory channels such as kinetics, sight and sound, on many occasions these may give more meaning to what is being said than the actual words themselves. Engleberg, Isa, N. (2006, pg, 133) as cited by Wikipedia. org (2011), “Physical expressions reveal many things about the person using them.

For example, gestures can emphasize a point or relay a message, posture can reveal boredom or great interest, and touch can convey encouragement or caution. Body language would be the most pronounced form of non-verbal communication”, Wikipedia. org, (2011). The ability to read someone’s body language could be monumental in improving our interpersonal skills. Engleberg, Isa, N. (2006, pg, 133) as cited byWikipedia. org (2011), cites “Research has suggested that between 60 and 70 percent of all meaning is derived from nonverbal behavior”.

In its primitive form, animals may have just mastered the essential aspects of nonverbal interpersonal communication. The use of zoosemiotics (study of animal communication) can show that animals rely profoundly on a nonverbal form of communication. Some examples would be sight, (an animal stalking its prey) sound, (mating calls for example) and kinesis (a gorilla beating their chest to express dominance). Wikipedia. org, (2011). Verbal messages can consist of both oral and written words, DeVito, J. A. (2008). Verbal and nonverbal messages complement each other, and alone the message is not as definitive.

As DeVito, J. A. (2008) quotes, “They are packaged; verbal and nonverbal signals interact to produce one (ideally) unified message”. Verbal communication could also be considered an essential tool in building rapport, and rapport is arguably the cornerstone of building an effective interpersonal relationship. Molden and Hutchinson suggest, “Rapport is essentially meeting individuals in their model of the world. We all have different upbringings, experiences and ways of being. We are all unique, with different beliefs, capabilities and identities.

We all see the world differently. To gain rapport with others you need to acknowledge them and their view of the world. You do not have to agree with it, just recognise and respect it”, Molden and Hutchinson, (2006). Verbal communication requires assertiveness, empathy, indiscrimination the ability to know fact from fiction and also the difference between the denotative (dictionary meaning) and connotative (personal meaning) meanings of the words we use or hear, DeVito, J. A. (2008). Emotional quotient (EQ) is a measure of emotional intelligence (EI), your non cognitive skills.

Gosling and Gosling, (2004), as cited by Gandolfi, F. (2006), “you are what you think, Emotional intelligence is your potential, or set of abilities, to reason with emotions and emotional signals, and to use emotion to enhance thought. An emotionally intelligent person has a firm grip on how to behave, when he or she doesn’t know what to do” Gosling and Gosling, (2004). According to Hughes,M, Bonita, Patterson,L, Terell, J, (2005), there are 15 competencies of emotional intelligence. Self regard: requires us to not only accept who we are but also be comfortable with whom we are.

Emotional self awareness: knowing when and why we are feeling a certain way and how we arrived there. Assertiveness: setting rigid boundaries regarding who you are, what you want and what you won’t accept. Independence: being able to make informed decisions without the reliance of needing to please everybody. Self actualisation: is very important in allowing yourself to know your limits and set realistic goals. Empathy: being able to understand how and why people feel the way they do, and relate to it. Social Responsibility: despite our own needs or beliefs, being able to adapt to meet requirements in different social situations.

Interpersonal Relationships: initiate and maintain lasting relationships. Stress Tolerance: being able to maintain and adapt our physical and emotional health in stressful situations. Impulse Control: such as getting angry or saying the first thing that comes to your head before you have evaluated the repercussions. Reality Testing: the ability to give yourself a reality check to make sure you understand that what is happening is real; and requires you to react in a specific way. Flexibility: this skill requires that we are able to adapt to change quickly.

Problem Solving: this is self explanatory, if there is a problem the faster we can analyse and solve the problem the better we can function. Optimism: the opposite of pessimistic, it helps us in many cases to realise the future is bright ahead. And finally, Happiness: more or less the majority of the time being happy with who, what and where you are. An important piece of information is that many companies are now considering the significance of Emotional intelligence over actual IQ (intelligent quotient), Gandolfi, F. (2006) Effective communication is considered paramount in interpersonal communication.

Active listening is a key skill of effective communication, stage one of this is receiving “listening begins with hearing, the process of receiving the messages the speaker sends” DeVito, J. A. (2008). It is important to understand what is being said, and avoid making assumptions, the use of feedback can be very helpful, ask questions, repeat back to the messenger your interpretation of what they are trying to convey. Enthusiasm in your demeanor and feedback can give the messenger a chance to clarify or to simply acknowledge that you have understood what they are trying to communicate.

Remembering what has been said is also very helpful and conveys to the messenger that you are giving them you full attention, body language can assist in this also good eye contact, not fidgeting etc. Evaluating the message enables people to provide some positive feedback or constructive criticism, understanding the messenger’s point of view and distinguishing between fact and fiction are helpful hints. Responding comes in two stages supportive (whilst the conversation is still midstream) it is suggested to minimise these responses to , reassuring head nods and or short verbal responses such as “I see” and “yes”.

Response to the messenger when they are finished talking is stage two and generally more elaborate,” DeVito, J. A. (2008). Some other things to consider for effective communication are: the use of empathy (“say what you mean, mean what you say and don’t be mean when you say it”) Dresner, M. (2005), timing and the selection of an appropriate location. Non- effective or underdeveloped interpersonal communication skills can have detrimental consequences. If a message is misunderstood or conveyed improperly it could cause considerable harm, and may cause irreversible effects to a relationship.

This is not to say that relationships cannot be repaired over time but prevention is generally better than a cure, the reconstruction of a relationship could take considerable time and effort. For example responses like, what was that or I don’t care, or bad kinesics such as rolling your eyes or no eye contact are just a few of the myriad of barriers needed to be broken down to avoid non effective communication. This essay provides a brief outline of the history of verbal and nonverbal communication. We have also learnt some of the keys aspects of interpersonal communication; it is shown to be universal, inescapable even irreversible.

I have shown examples of effective and non effective ways to communicate and some of the positive and negative outcomes from both. Also the use of several senses (visual, auditory and kinesis) whilst communicating interpersonally, and the importance of using these senses to the best of our ability to be able to flourish in our interpersonal relationships. Another important factor to consider is the value now given to EI/EQ (emotional intelligence, emotional quotient), over actual IQ (intelligence quotient).

This essay also shows the emergence of CMC (computer mediated communication) and the greater reliability on it for interpersonal communication. Therefore it would be safe to surmise that people are becoming ever more interdependent on interpersonal communication skills and there is a greater importance of mastering these skills to better equip themselves to mature in their interpersonal relationships, albeit on a private, professional or social level. . References DeVito, J. A. (2008). The interpersonal communication book (12th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education. Dresner, M. (2005) Get Results with Effective Communication. Retrieved from http://my. acap. edu. au/moodle/mod/resource/view. php? id=88176 Gandolfi, F. (2006) Mind your IQ. HR Monthly, August, pp44-45. Retrieved from http://my. acap. edu. au/moodle/mod/resource/view. php? id=88176 Hughes,M. Bonita, Patterson,L. Terell, J, (2005). Emotional intelligence in action. Retrieved From http://reader. eblib. com. au. elibrary. acap. edu. au/(S(z3yigi4se02r5g4z2uqvgv2r))/Reader. aspx? =238820&o=240&u=JJm6egC8%2f9E%3d&t=1311560049&h=BB9D7856A5E7694C614744EA539CCB931BABABEC&s=4549967&ut=787&pg=1&r=img&c=-1&pat=n# | | | | | | Johnson, D. W, Johnson, F. P. (1991) Joining Together: Group Theory and Group Skills (4th edn. ) Prentice-Hall, Inc. King, D, (2002). Four Principles of Interpersonal Communication. Pellissippi State Community College. 2002). Retrieved from http://www. pstcc. edu/facstaff/dking/interpr. htm (2011) New world encyclopedia, (2008). Retrieved from http://www. newworldencyclopedia. org/entry/John_WycliffeDiamond, J, (1992, 2006).

Oracle Think Quest Education Foundation (2010). Retrieved from http://library. thinkquest. org/5058/communication. htm (2010) The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal. pp. 141–167. Retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Origin_of_language#cite_note-thirdchimpanzee-16 (2011, para. 20) Wikipedia. (2011). Retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Body_language#cite_note- . (para. 2) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Zoosemiotics. (para. 21) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Egyptian_hieroglyphs (para, 2) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Incan_civilization (para, 25)

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