Interpersonal Communication

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Interpersonal communication (IPC) is the verbal and non verbal interrelation of sharing and receiving information between two or more individuals (DeVito, 2008). Interpersonal communication is one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments and language has made it possible to differentiate homo sapiens from all other animals (Bolton, 2000). In modern civilization technological advances have been developed in the means of communication, yet it is quite ironic that individuals still find it hard to communicate effectively (Bolton, 2000). This essay aims to explain how communication is not an easy process and it often fails as the encoding and decoding of information is a times influenced by certain barriers; however it is possible to communicate effectively. The main obstacles are how self image and self esteem can have an influence on communication depending on one’s value system. It is shown how physical and mental distractions, bias and prejudice, lack of appropriate focus, premature judgement and culture are barriers to communication and how these barriers can be exchanged with specific factors that assist in effective communication.
Interpersonal communication is a circular process whereby one individual acts as a stimulus for a person’s message, which then serves as a stimulus for another person’s message, and the cycle continues (DeVito, 2008). Within the circular nature of communication, individuals send messages simultaneously, involving at least two persons (DeVito, 2008). Each individual has the ability to perform source and receiver functions (DeVito, 2008). A source function is when the individual forms and sends the message and the receiver function is when the individual perceives and comprehends the message (DeVito, 2008). The messages are then encoded and decoded. Encoding refers to the arrangement of communicative signs within the brain which transforms into the external expression, through speech or written forms, for example one might smile to



References: Bolton, R. (2000). People skills: How to assert yourself, listen to others, and resolve conflicts. Australia: McPherson’s Printing Group. Burton, G., & Dimbleby, R. (2006). Between ourselves: An introduction to interpersonal communication (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Hodder Education. DeVito, J. A. (2008). The interpersonal communication book. (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. Dresner, M. (2005). Get results with effective communication. www.strategies.com. (Accessed 01/09/2007). Lewis, T. D., & Graham, G. (2003). Seven tips for effective listening. Copyright Institute of Internal Auditors, 60:4, pp23-24.

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