Interpersonal Communication

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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. 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...
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