Communication is the process of transmitting and receiving both non-verbal and verbal messages. It is a two way means of exchanging ideas and information from one party (sender) to another (receiver) and vice versa. Communication is considered complete or successful when the sender receives the desired feedback from the recipient. Communication consists of six major components. These include the context, message, the sender, medium, receiver, and feedback. Communication process begins with a context. The sender chooses the correct context for the message. The context may social, physical, cultural or even chronological. The sender is the person sending the message. The message is fundamental information/idea that the sender intends to communicate. The objective of the message should be very clear. The medium is the channel used to transmit the message. The choice of the medium should be appropriate or else the message would not be conveyed to the target audiences. The receiver is the person to whom the message is directed. The recipient should be able to understand the message and respond as desired.
Interpersonal communication refers to the exchange of verbal, nonverbal, and Para-verbal information between people aimed at creating understanding and influencing the course of a relationship. It helps to understand why people communicate and behave differently. In other words, interpersonal communication is systemic, selective, processual, and unique. These features allow people to develop personal knowledge about each other and thus create common meanings. Selective feature implies that we cannot develop intimate communication with everyone but rather a few selected individuals. Interpersonal communication is processual in that it evolves with time (continuous) and becomes more personal as people interact.
Self concept: refers to how we think and evaluate our own selves. Self concept significantly affects how we relate and communicate with people. The level of interpersonal communication depends on self concept of the parties involved. Self concept entails how we view ourselves (self image), the value we attach to our self (self worth/ self esteem), and how we think we should be (ideal self).
Self esteem: refers to how we approve or value our being. For example, a person who hates himself/ has low self esteem is less likely to develop strong interpersonal relationships. Conversely, a person with high self esteem has confidence in his or her ability and hence develops very strong relationship with others.
Perception can be defined as interpretation of communication cues. It involves the ability to extract meaning from sensory information. Perception affects how one understand the message in communication and hence the response. Perception is built on background knowledge, self concept and self esteem of the receiver. This is means that the receiver likely to interpret the message based on how he or she understands it.
Attribution theory refers the tendency of people to seek explanation to events.
Nonverbal communication refers to a form of communication using wordless cues (mostly visual). Nonverbal communication is very significant in interpersonal relationships. They we talk, sit, the level of eye contact we give, the tone of our speech, how near we stand, our walking styles all sends very strong messages that can enhance or destroy any relationship. These signals tell others whether or not we are interested, being truthful, or listening. Nonverbal cues include gestures, facial expression, nodding of head, sitting posture, and eye contact.
Listening is an act of paying close attention to a person with an aim of hearing, understanding, and responding. It is a vital aspect of communication since it dictates whether or not we will understand the message being communicated and respond appropriately. An example of one who is listening is ability to ask for clarification whenever one misses a point. One responds by saying ‘did you mean this? Or “come up again”.
Verbal communication involves the usage of spoken words to convey a message. Much of interpersonal communication involves verbal cues. Verbal communication may be face-face or over the telephone. Verbal communication is always very effective since feedback is immediate. In addition, any misunderstanding in the message can be easily rectified.
Communication climate has a bearing on the success of the exchange of information. The climate can be conducive or harsh. A conducive communication environment enhances the passage of information. a man would always give his engagement proposal to a lady in a romantic outing. Such a date is an encouraging communication climate. Some communication climates are harsh. A politician will always fail to deliver his massage to a crowd who are busy heckling him or her. The communication climate should be peaceful to enhance the success in communication.
Conflict refers to disagreements or difference in opinion. Conflicts always create tension during interpersonal communication. Conflicts always bring disagreements in the process of communication. A senate meeting can experience moments of conflict when one side of the government disagrees with the policy being pushed by another party. Very little success is always realized whenever a communication was marred with conflicts. Conflicts always result when different sides have different agenda to push in debates.
Conflict management is the effort put to create harmony whenever people disagree. It is important to note that one party must always compromise its position in order to help realize harmony. Conservatives are always known to maintain the status quo. Such habits always make conflict resolutions hard to come by. Conflicts in marriage relationships can sometimes make one partner to withdraw into silence. It is however important to note that silence can never create solutions. People should always be willing to talk so as to quicken solution of conflicts. The involved personal should always be willing to solve conflicts.
Culture is a set of beliefs that influence a person. Culture always exhibits itself in the way people communicate. Some people could dominate a conversation because of a cultural believe in supremacy. In some cultures, women are not permitted to look at men straight at the face. In other cultures, women should always agree to all decisions that come from a man. These are some examples of cultural influence on interpersonal communication.
Diversity in policing is a term that touches on the beliefs of members of a communication group. A policy is an agenda of concept that should be expressed and implemented. It is at this point that different objectives will be pushed for by different entities who are involved in communication. Two individuals could fail to agree on a point on the basis of implementation. This is primarily because of diversity in policing.
Groups always engage in communication in one way or another. There can be two or more groups involved in communication. It is however important that the groups get an in-depth understanding of the contents that they push for. Political groupings for example always have one agenda to disseminate. The democrats have one inclination while the republicans similarly have their message to pass across. Groups should always have a common spokesman to push their agenda.
Teams entail the actual persons who are engaged in a communication. Interpersonal communication can sometime involve people in seminars, classrooms and in other forums. It is important to note that different teams will always have different responsibilities during communication. For example, a debate always has teams that oppose and those that propose. Teams always have a common agenda to push through. Members of any team should be well briefed on the agenda of their team.
Express Emotion refers to the exhibit of joy, anger or general change of mood during interpersonal communication. The mood switch is determined by the content of the message under discussion. One will always wail and weep when they get informed of death of a loved one. On the other hand, one will get so happy when they get informed of a job promotion. Emotions work to provide checks and balances in interpersonal communication.
Leadership in interpersonal communication refers to the enhancing of control and direction to any conversation. There has to be one personal that pioneered the communication. Such a person if called the leader. The leader can always determine the direction of the communication. The leader always has the specific content of any particular communication. The other respondents will always follow in the direction that has already been started. The leader can always regulate the conversation.
Change refers to difference in mode. For example, early interpersonal communication modes included drums, messengers and smoke. In the present generation, a lot of technological advancements have taken place in the area of interpersonal communication. Two people can today experience communication through mobile phones, internet chat houses and other social sites. This was not the case some years ago. This is an example of change.
Stress Management is the effort put to take control of tough situations during communication. This normally occurs when the people involved in communication have a problem to sort out. Stress can sometimes create emotional pressure. An emotionally strained person can be abusive when communicating to other people. Communication can only be successful when a stressed person takes time to reflect on what they want to say. This can help prevent any harmful words that can always come during stress.