Communication competence is broadly defined as "communication [that] involves achieving one's goals in a manner that, ideally, maintains or enhances the relationship that occurs" (Alder, Proctor, and Towne 32). This means that someone who is communication competent can alter their style to the situation. Competence can also be defined as "a measure of effectiveness" (Wrench and Punyanunt 224). A competent communicator will be able to: manage their emotions, overcome the problem with listening, and learn how to handle self-disclosure.
Ways to Improve Communication Competence From The Text
Someone who is communication competent knows how to express their emotions in specific ways to save their face, and the face of others. The first topic that will improve communication competence are the guidelines for expressing difficult emotions. The second topic that will improve communication competence are the ways to manage difficult emotions.
The first guideline for expressing difficult emotions is to recognize your feelings. Self monitoring your thoughts, nonverbal, and emotions can help you express the correct feeling for the situation. The second guideline for expressing difficult emotions is to expand your emotional vocabulary. The same everyday answer to "How are you doing?" is always "fine" when most of the time, that is far from the truth. By describing the situation with a more diverse vocabulary, the emotion will come out correctly. The third guideline for expressing difficult emotions is to share multiple feelings. For example, someone may be mad, but also disappointed. The anger over rides the disappointment and the person will never know unless both emotions are expressed. The fourth guideline for expressing difficult emotions is to recognize the difference between feelings. "Just because you feel a certain way doesn't mean you must always talk about it, and talking about a feeling doesn't mean you must act on it" (Alder Proctor and Towne 147). The fifth step for expressing difficult emotions is to accept responsibility for your feelings. The fault line for responsibility comes with "I" language and "you" language. Instead of expressing that "you make me upset because
" the action should be taken upon yourself as "I am upset with you because
" The fifth and final guideline for expressing difficult emotions is to consider when and where to express your feelings. Action is often taken on our first feeling, which is anger. If we let the anger subside and think over the situation and word choice, the outcome will be more desirable. In the same example, the recipient must also be ready for you to express your emotions.
The second way a competent communicator can become more effective is to mange their difficult emotions. The first guideline for managing difficult emotions is to recognize the emotion as facilitative "emotions which contribute to effective functioning" or debilitative "emotions which detract from effective functioning" (Alder, Proctor, and Towne 150). The main difference between the emotions is the intensity and time. The second guideline for managing difficult emotions is to recognize the source of debilitative emotions. Our emotions happen at an immense rate that it is hard to recognize them and where they are coming from. "Seemingly harmless events can trigger debilitative feelings if they bear even a slight resemblance to troublesome experiences in the past" (Alder, Proctor, and Towne 151). The third guideline for managing difficult emotions is irrational thinking towards debilitative emotions. This includes the seven fallacies. The first fallacy is the fallacy of perfection, someone who is competent should be able to handle any situation. The second fallacy is the fallacy of approval, "People who accept this idea go to incredible lengths to seek approval from others even when they have to sacrifice their own principles and happiness" (Alder, Proctor, and Towne 154). The third fallacy is the...
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