Communication Skills

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Module: Interpersonal Skills
Student: Indiyana Saad
Tutor: Pauline Pearsons
Assessment name: interpersonal communication skills
Term: 1
Year: 2008
Assessment: 1
Assessment Type: Essay
Word Count: 1929
Date due 21/04/2008

Details of Assessment
Discuss the following statement in the light of the theory covered in this module: Communication is not an easy process. It involves verbal and non-verbal attempts to assist the other person to understand what we are trying to communicate. Yet it often fails.

Introduction

Everyone communicates, everyday, in a different situations, and places; be it at home, work, and college. This communication takes many forms and styles, has elements and processes. Likewise, interpersonal communication is useful art, and people effectiveness as a partner, student, and a friend will depend on their interpersonal skills. According to DeVito (2001), 'understanding the theory and research in interpersonal communication and mastering its skills will go hand in hand' (p.2). In other words, if a person knows more about interpersonal communication, he/she would gain knowledge, build up their interpersonal skills, and start to identify what does or does not work (DeVito, 2001). Communication is not a simple procedure, yet, it is impossible for people not to communicate, even by doing or saying nothing, they are making a point. Effective communication is complicated; the message may be unclear due to 'interference', mixed messages, or behaviors. It may be blocked due to poor listening skills, language, or cultural barriers. Practicing effective communication developing and refining communication skills helps everyone in both professional and personal relationships. All people could understand and improve their situations, by 'mastering their interpersonal communication skills' (Devito, 2001,p2), and to make it a more effective, may eliminate the barriers, improve the factors that assist an effective communication and develop personal awareness into effective strategies in a wide variety of situations. In order to facilitate effective communication, one must understand how the process works. Individuals that follow the communication process will have the opportunity to become more productive in every aspect of their lives. The communication process 'begins with Source-Receiver that involves at least two persons' (DeVito, 1991, p14). In other words, communication procedures need sender who initiate a message with someone; as well as receiver that take the role of recipient of the sender's message. Similarly, Encoding-Decoding, or the act of producing and understanding messages, for example, placing someone's meanings into sound waves, they are placing their thoughts and feelings into code; hence, they are encoding. In other words, speakers and writers are 'encoders' and listeners and readers are 'decoders'. Likewise, message that expresses feelings and thoughts must be sent and received; message does not need to be verbal, but also could be nonverbal, such as gestures, and touch, as well as by sound. A unique form of message is Feedback or that part of the communication process, which allows the message to be adjusted, depending on how well it has been received; however, once a person returns feedback he switched to the sender role. Feedback has important aspect, and can be located as 'negative-positive feedback, for example, a person can get feedback from his message and from others. According to DeVito (2005), feedback comes in a variety of styles and serves a variety of purposes' (p10). Feedforward is essential in any communication process, According to DeVito (2005), feedforward is vital since it serves a variety of functions, such as 'open the communication channels, preview the message, and disclaim'' (p.10). Such a statement will tell the listener something about messages to come in a different ways, for example, facial expression, eye contact, and bodily posture. The communication...
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