COM200: Interpersonal Communication
Professor Angela Gillette
03 October 2011
Communication Letter of Advice
Dear Anthony and Deidre,
Let me start by saying congratulations on your recent engagement. It is an honor that you both would like advice on how to effectively communicate in your relationship. In taking an interpersonal communication course, I have learned several concepts that I would like to share with you throughout this letter. Communication is important in developing and maintaining relationships. We communicate every day and learning how to effectively do so will strengthen your relationships both personally and professionally. We begin communicating from the time we are born. As we grow and mature so does our ability to communicate. Although communication can be challenging, understanding what communication is, how each of you communicate, the power of verbal and nonverbal expressions, the ability to listen, control emotions and understanding misconceptions, there are ways to make improvements for a healthier relationship. While communication has been defined as an exchange of words between two or more people, understanding that communication is more than that will give you both better insights on how to communicate. As Kathy Sole (2011) discusses “Communication is not simply the exchange of words and information; it is the means through which we share knowledge, thoughts, ideas, and feelings with other people” (2011, p. xix). Indeed, understanding that communication is more than just words causes people to view it as a complete way to expression themselves. When sharing an expression of yourself to another, it’s imperative to realize that you are trying to get someone to not only hear but grasp your thoughts. Now that you two have a better understanding of what communication means, it will allow you to conscientiously think about more than just the words but in fact realize that you are sharing yourself with your partner, and thus will cause the other person to take what is being said as being more meaningful. Communication is more than words. You each communicate with one another with both verbally and non-verbally. Kathy Sole (2011) defines nonverbal communication as “…a message without words…visual signs and behaviors” (p. 98). Since communication is more than just words, being aware of “visual signs” is important when delivering a message. According to Preston (2005) in the article, Do you really say what you mean?, he notes that “…nonverbal messages can support or interfere with the verbal messages that we are delivering” (para. 2). Realizing what is being verbally said may not be in sync with the nonverbal causing conflict. So it is important to think about your facial expressions, tone of voice and body movement when communicating with one another as it also plays a part in how the message you are conveying to one another is coming across. Now that you have a better understanding of communication, it is important to realize that communication is a process that must be worked on to be effective. A process, according to Merriam-Webster, is “a series of actions or operations conducing to an end” (WWW.Merriam-Webster.Com). Certainly, whenever there is a process involved to getting something to work, such as building a car, if one step is skipped or missed, chances are fairly high that the vehicle will not work properly. Just as in building cars efficiently, there are ways to work on the communication process resulting in a more efficient way to make the same product. By learning to use proper language, active listening and providing feedback the process of communication will continue to develop and enhance. If either of you forego a step in your communication process the results could be that your relationship will suffer. Yet as you grow together, you will continually learn how to improve your communication process that will...