Interpersonal Communication

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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). 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.org, (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 conjecture 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)....
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