Communication Skills

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Paralanguage Pages: 3 (1212 words) Published: December 3, 2012
For this module interpersonal skills and therapeutic communication, we have been asked to write a reflective essay that examines our own communication and interpersonal skills developed to date. To do this I will research the theories behind interpersonal communication; during reflection I will identify areas of my own strengths and weaknesses, building my concept of self-awareness and acknowledging room for personal development. To do this I have decided to use a model based on ‘Stages of reflection’ (Gibbs 1988) (see appendices 1). By using this model it allows me to reflect in a structured way. I will start off by demonstrating my understanding of interpersonal communication. After reading information from various sources I now understand that ‘interpersonal communication’ is made up of both spoken language (actual words spoken), paralinguistic communication (tone, pitch, speed, volume) and non-verbal communication (facial expressions, eye contact, glaze, body posture) between two or more people. Mehrabian (1972) cited by Hargie (2011a. p.47) suggests that communication is made up of 55% body language, 38 % paralanguage and just 7% verbal content; however Guerro and Floyd (2006) cited in Peate (2012 p.159) offer a more modest statement that non- verbal communication consists of approximately 60 to 65 %. Although both theorists strongly advise that non - verbal communication plays a large part in communication, the exact proportion of verbal to non-verbal communication cannot be confirmed. Methuen (1975) cited by Price (1996.p.47) suggests there are two functions of non- verbal communication. The first is the expression of emotion, whilst the second illustrates and supports the speech. Before starting this course, I would have described my communication skills with other people as warm and kind, open and friendly and polite. If I were honest, I hadn’t really acknowledged my non-verbal communicative skills; this was not through ignorance but more of a...
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