Communication Rules

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Successful Communication

A communication event I recently attended was "rush" for a sorority. It was a series of days where I met with all the different sororities. The whole point of this is to meet many different people to decide which sorority is for you. The event is focused around communicating with people so they can get to know you and you can get to know them. If you send the wrong message about yourself you may not be invited back the next day to see the people that you would like to see again. Also if the person you talk to in the sorority sends the wrong message to you, you may not want to go back and visit that sorority again. You could not be successful with something like this if you cannot communicate properly and if you do not know the proper way of communicating. The context of a situation like this is almost like one you would find in a job interview. This is an example of a time when the rules of communication are very important. A communication rule is "a followable prescription that indicates what behavior is expected or preferred and what behavior is prohibited in a specific situation" (Shimanoff).

There are many different kinds of communication rules. Each of them applies to all kinds of situations. Most depend on how well you know the person you are communicating with and where you are. The two categories of rules are explicit and implicit. Explicit rules are specifically written or spoken. These kinds of rules are made clear so there is no confusion. Implicit rules are rules that are implied. You have learned them throughout life and through you experiences communicating with others (Beebee, Beebee, &Ivy, 2007). An example of explicit rule would be rules like when your boss tells you that you must dress in formal business attire except on Fridays when business casual is acceptable. Some implicit rules are how close you get to someone when talking to them, how personal your questions/topics get, and the volume of your voice. These...
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