Interpersonal Communication

4 April 2017

. In society today, human interaction is an important part of our lives. Devito (2009) suggests that as people we need to interact, share our ideas, influence others, and feel needed. Communication occurs in everyday encounters and influences the development and maintenance of our relationships (Gudykunst & Shapiro, 1996). For these relationships to be successful we need strong communication skills. Effective Communication requires both verbal and nonverbal skills to assist the other person in understanding what we are trying to convey (Hargie & Dickson, 2003). At times however, communication can breakdown for variety of reasons.

Effective communication is complicated there are many elements that impact the communication process (DeVito, 2009). It is essential then, to develop and refine interpersonal skills by practising effective communication, this is beneficial to everyone in both personal and professional relationships (Dresner M 2005). The following paper will discuss the communication process, including verbal and non-verbal interactions and emotional intelligence along with key terms, and factors that impact on communication, Successful strategies and common failures will also be discussed using current literature.

Interpersonal Communication Essay Example

DeVito (2009) States that communication transpires in many characteristics, including Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Group, Organisational and Mass Communication. Intrapersonal Communication is the internal messages our inner thoughts; it involves memory, planning and imagination. Interpersonal or Dyadic Communication is the communication that happens between two people, whereas Group conversation is between three or more people. Organisational Communication is combination of both dyadic and group communication.

Mass Communication is planned for larger groups and involves elements of all communication contexts (DeVito, 2009). The impact of communication changes as the volume of people increase (Gudykunst & Shapiro, 1996). Group or Mass communications need an effective communicator to insure the message is relayed effectively. Effective communication can be defined as the process conveying a message between two people (Devito, 2009). The act of producing a message is called encoding conversely the act of understanding the message is called decoding.

Communication has a sender who encodes and a receiver who decodes. The sender will encode the message using both verbal and non-verbal communication and relays the message through the correct channel to the receiver, and then looks for feedback. The sender needs a verbal or non-verbal response to ensure effective communication (Gudykunst & Shapiro, 1996). Effective communicating needs effective interpersonal skills. This is entails emotional intelligence, motivation and how our emotions affect us personally and in relationships (DeVito, 2009).

Emotional Intelligence is essential to make good decisions, solve problems, cope with change and succeed in life (Caruso & Salovey, 2009). To communicate effectively one needs to understand their own thoughts and emotions, the better we understand our self the more we can share with others (Devito, 2009). However self-awareness is not an easy process as it can be confronting to look within. (Caruso & Salovey, 2009). For effective self-awareness we need to listen to others, share our hidden thoughts our ideas, and look at our self from different perspectives. Caruso & Salovey, 2009) Communication is not an easy process especially if we are meeting for the first time (Gudykunst & Shapiro, 1996). Building a rapport is the basis for building a relationship. We all have different views, upbringing, experiences, social skills and abilities which impact on the way we respond in conversation. DeVito (2009) suggest building rapport one must maintain an appropriate distance, use the person’s name, smile and be friendly, ask questions seek out information, maintain eye contact, respond to questions and make them feel comfortable.

It is essential then to make interpersonal discoveries to enhance communication (Caruso & Salovey, 2009). Communicating with individuals may at time be an unpleasant experience, as you may not agree with their opinion, but for effective communication to continue we must put aside personal views and thoughts, prejudice and cultural differences (Devito, 2009). To be effective in communication one must be effective in listening. Communication (Lewis, Graham, 2003).

Active listening requires that we block out noises and distractions around us and that we focus on the speaker’s message to attain a greater understanding of the communicator. (Devito, 2009) Listening is crucial in building relationships and resolving problems if we do not listen effectively and try to understand the message communication will break down (Lewis & Graham, 2003). Empathetic listening is a form of active listening it involves silence and open mindless to try and see how the other person is feeling.

It involves verbal and nonverbal feedback, as a listener we need to understand the message and to be able to relate to the message and respond with feelings and emotions, and notice the nonverbal signs that occur when they are speaking, to see their emotions are congruent with the verbal ones (Devito,2009). DeVito (2009) suggests that Interpersonal Communication is the process between two people sending and receiving information by verbal and nonverbal messages. In other words it is not just what we say but about changes in body posture, voice, eye contact all effect communication (Hargie & Dickson, 2003).

Therefore we need to be aware that nonverbal messages are entwined with verbal messages, and depending on who and where the conversation is we need to be aware that our nonverbal messages may overshadow or verbal ones. Communication has many barriers including language, perception, prejudice, stero typing, environmental factor, time, message complexity, poor listening skills, inadequate background knowledge, lack of feedback & cultural differences (Devito, 2009). Therefore we need to think before we speak, acknowledge that our words have an impact on other and can cause positive or negative effects (Dresner, 2005).

Our environment needs to be clear of noise and distraction and place where everyone can be comfortable. Prejudice and stereotyping have a large impact on communication, as we often judge people by what they are wearing, how they look and cultural difference (Devito, 2009). For effective communication we need to put this aside to treat everyone on a level playing field. Communication has numerous channels including verbal, non-verbal, written, media and electronic communication (DeVito 2009). Verbal communication is using our words to relay a message; non-verbal communication is our movements and physical response.

Written consists of letters, pagers, emails and text messaging. Media channels are film, television, radio and newspapers (Devito, 2009). Channels need to be selected correctly so the message is relayed the most effective way. Written communication is best used when a sender does not need immediate feedback. Face to face communication is the most effective form of communication as it allows for the most response and immediate feedback. Phone and email are good channels for a quick response as message can be short and effective. Devito, 2009) When sending messages verbally or through writing there is always the risk communication will breakdown as there are so many elements that affect the communication process (Gudykunst & Shapiro, 1996). Communication is not just defined by verbal and non-verbal messages other mediums in which we communicate include letters and emails. Communicating by writing a document or sending an email, texting a message can all have a negative consequence if we do not ensure we relay our message correctly (Devito, 2009).

When communicating in this medium the reader needs to understand the purpose of the document, any form of written documentation should have an introduction; body and conclusion with clear and precise meanings ensure there is correct spelling and that the document meets the needs and interest of the reader. (Devito, 2009) Written communication should be in the correct context for the person who is reading the document. The use of plan English, and ensure the document has consistent font and layout allowing the reader to see a structured document which allows for easy reading.

Written documents should also take into consideration the readers feelings, therefore a courteous, positive tone is usually appropriate for all communication, especially in business (Devito, 2009). Emails and text messaging now play a huge role in communication especially in a society that is so reliant on electronic forms of communication; text messaging is such a short communication process that the receiver can often misinterpret the sender’s message. When using this type of communication ensure the tone is appropriate, and avoid capitals. Following these guidelines may assist with effective communication. Devito, 2009) Communication by email is now a daily occurrence in personal and professional life, when writing an email they should be used along the lines of a written communication (Devito, 2009). Using technology as a medium may cause delays, which will impact on the communication process (Gudykunst & Shapiro, 1996), For effective correspondence via electronic means, it is important that the sender has the correct recipient, that personal and confidential information is considered before sending and that purpose of the email is in the subject line.

Emails may at times not reach the correct person, may not be read or deleted by the receiver if the subject line is not provided (Devito, 2009). The main problem with emails is that now, it is one of most used forms of written communication, people send and receive that much information, that due to limited time or interest that they miss documents rush to respond or choose one email over others, which can make emails an ineffective form of communication. Communication is a complex process, and one needs to consider all the aspects to communicate effectively.

Discussion on what is effective communication; books on emotional intelligence, self-awareness are beneficial in enhancing communication. Businesses now have procedures and plans in place on how to communicate effectively in the work place (Dresner, 2005). Whether communication is verbal or written, to ensure effective communication on must ensure one has chosen the correct channel of communication, that the environment is free from distractions and is a comfortable setting.

The first step is to build a rapport with the receiver, be willing to listen and to share our experiences. Understanding the persons point of view without judging or prejudice and being positive and reassuring enhances the receivers experience and allows for interaction , offers feedback, allows versatility to adapt to the circumstance. To be an effective communicator we must first be an effective listener. Communication has many barriers; we need to consider that what we say cannot be taken back, as there are always consequences to out messages.

We are all different, and have different thoughts and opinions. At times we are affected by communication barriers and unfortunately due these barriers communication can fail us. Reference Caruso, D. R. , & Salovey, P. (2009). The Emotional Intelligent Manager How to Devlop and Use the Four. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc. Devito, J. A. (2009). The Inerpersonal Communication Book Twelfth Edition. In J. A. Devito. United States of America: Perarson Education, Inc.

Dresner, M. (2005). Get Results with Effective Communication. www. stragies. com. Gudykunst , W. B. , & Shapiro, R. B. (1996). Communication in Everyday Interpersonal and Intergroup Encounters. Pergamon, 20(1), 19-45. Hargie, O. , & Dickson, D. (2003). Skilled Interpersonal Communication. In Resarch Theory and Practise. Routledge. Lewis, T. D. , & Graham, G. (2003). 7 Tips for Effective Listening. Institue of Internal Auditors, 23-24.

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