Interpersonal Communication Elements

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Interpersonal communication is cyclic in nature. The message I sent and then feedback is given to complete the communication cycle. As it is on going hence the relationship that is impersonal at the beginning turns into interpersonal where one person is at times the sender and at other times the receiver.

A. Source [sender] – Receiver: Interpersonal communication involves at least 2 individuals. Each person formulates and sends message [sender activity] and at the same time receives and comprehends message receiver activity]. Who you are, what you know, what you believe, what you value, what you want, what you have been told, what your attitudes are, and so on all influence what you say, how you say it, what messages you receive, and how you receive them. Each person is unique and hence each communication situation is unique.

B. Encoding – Decoding: Encoding refers to the act of producing a message [spoken or written] Decoding refers to the act of understanding messages. By sending ideas via sound waves the ideas are put in a code, hence encoding. By translating sound waves into ideas, they are taken out of a code, hence decoding. Thus speakers and writers are called encoders and listeners and readers are called decoders. For interpersonal communication to take place messages must be encoded and decoded.

C. Competence: The ability to communicate effectively is an individual’s interpersonal competence. For example this competence includes the sensibility that in certain contexts and with certain listeners one topic is appropriate and another is not. Knowledge about the nonverbal cues and cultural norms is part of interpersonal competence. Communication competence is learnt by observing others, by explicit instructions, by trial and error and so on. At times people are better communicators as they have been exposed to richer communication situations and have extrovert personalities. These people are regarded easy and comfortable to be with.

It is observed that

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