Communication

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・Communication Strategies ・APA ・2 Sources

Communication is the alternate of information between individuals, and interpersonal communication is, therefore, the change of information that comprises fewer persons, about two or three persons. The fine way to explain interpersonal communication is not focusing on the venue of communication or the number of humans involved in the information change but, by focusing on what is happening between the individuals. Interpersonal verbal exchange is, therefore, the distinct nature of interaction amid persons. Interpersonal verbal exchange can be verbal or non-verbal. Non-verbal communication is through gestures or facial expressions whilst oral communication is through speaking. Interpersonal conversation plays a pivotal role in our day to day lives and is additionally unavoidable in a personal environment like among friends and family, or at workplace environment. Effective interpersonal communication in the workplace is essential for it fosters productivity and effectiveness in performing one's task. The efficiency of communication is improved through the ability of efficient feedback relay among employees, from employee to the employer, and from employer to employee. Effective Interpersonal communication is paramount in business roles like management, training exercises, sales processes, and conflict resolution in the confines of the workplace (Cross, 2015). The paper will look at the primary constituents of interpersonal communication, discuss skills that ensure effective interpersonal communication, and finally briefly discuss some practices that hinder effective interpersonal communication in the workplace.

There are six main components of communication (Hussung, 2017). One is the communicators. Communicators are the sender and the receiver. These are the leading members of a communication channel. The sender is the person relaying information while the receiver is the individual who receives the data from the sender. In the workplace, the sender and the receiver could both be employees or employee and his employer respectively and vice versa. Other situations may bring about a sender being an employee while the receiver a customer. The second component is the message. A message is the bundle of information relayed by the sender to the receiver. A signal can be passed verbally or non-verbally. Both verbal and nonverbal methods of communication relay information that should be decoded and understood by the receiver.Verbal messages are conveyed through a speech while non-verbal signals are by gestures, body language, and facial expressions. In a business environment, the message could be in the form of instructions from the boss to an employee or employees. The message could also be in the form of an employee asking for directions or clarification from the boss. The other option may also be a customer seeking explanations from one of the staff.

The third section of communication is feedback. Feedback is the reply to a message, and so it is always given by the receiver in response to a signal relayed by the sender. Feedback provides an understanding of whether the message was well received and understood or not. In the workplace, feedback is essential as it allows a sender, for example, the boss, to ensure that the message is followed and so the employee can perform accordingly as per the message relayed. The fourth component of interpersonal communication is noise. Noise represents the distortion of the message or the feedback. Alteration of message or feedback is caused by lack of attention of either the receiver or the sender, language barriers like accents and use of foreign dialects, using hard vocabulary when passing the message or the feedback. In the business environment, it is vital to avoid the cause of noise when communicating.

The fifth component of interpersonal communication is the medium. The medium is the channel that is used to pass the message or the feedback. The channel is the mode of information. The most effective and the oldest channel is speech and visual cues of face-to-face communication. Other channels are written messages and feedback through electronic communication like emails and instant messages. Other electronic forms are being developed continuously to improve communication. For a business, several channels are used and it up to the company to choose the channels they deem to be most effective (Hussung, 2017). For example, speech is beneficial since a boss can get instant feedback through a non-verbal cue like a facial expression from the employees and also the boss can change the tone of the message to emphasize the seriousness of the message. The final constituent of interpersonal communication is context. Context is the environment in which conversation is happening. Context is a vast field with many aspects which include peripheral stimuli like the culture in the workplace, the social setting, political mood, and the location of the workplace. The internal stimuli are opinions, emotions, expectations, attitudes of the sender and the receiver (Nelson, 2016). Internal stimuli are manifested by the way the message or the feedback is conveyed. To ensure adequate communication in a business environment, managers and employees should always take into account all the contextual aspects when communicating. For example, in relaying that affect business, one must avoid any personal opinions that might hinder distort the message (Maubane & Rheede Van Oudtshoorn, 2011). Also, emotions must be kept in check when relaying a message or when giving back feedback in a business environment.

According to (Wood, 2015), there are five primary skills that when acquired ensure effective communication. First, broadening one's range of skills in communicating enables one to communicate in a wide range of situations effectively. These skills include assertiveness, negotiation skills, compassion skills, good listening skills, and problem-solving skills. In a workplace, an assertive employee can influence others in achieving a set objective, and so assertiveness is a valuable skill in business. Negotiation skills enable a manager to for example resolve conflicts between his/her employees quickly and promptly to allow work continuity. Excellent listening skills help a receiver understand the message well and also supports the sender appreciate the feedback. An employee that lacks strong skills in listening may fail to follow a supervisor's instructions, and so he won't be able to complete a task given.

Second, learning to adapt communication accurately enables to know which communication to apply in a particular situation. For example, sensitive information in business should not be communicated through emails or texts. Verbal communication, more importantly in a face-to-face scenario is the best choice. Another example is, a time-sensitive message should be relayed through a phone call rather than via email. With email, a sender cannot control the time the receiver will get the message. Another example in business, using emails is better to relay a message meant for many emails rather than making calls to each of the employees. Ability to discern the best communication method to apply in a given specific scenario is vital for effective interpersonal communication in the workplace (Maubane & Rheede Van Oudtshoorn, 2011).

Third, monitoring one's communication is the ability to give thought to a response before making the answer after receiving the message (Wood, 2015). Being able to respond without attaching your emotions is an excellent skill to acquire. Being able to understand the sender's perspective to respond appropriately and efficiently is very important for effective communication. For example in a workplace, when a fellow employee gives you some constructive criticism, the appropriate response should be of gratitude and that you the receiver of the critical message, will work on the issue raised by your colleague rather than being offended or giving back criticism of your own. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary conflict in the workplace, monitoring communication dynamics is critical.

Fourth, "committing to ethical communication" (Wood, 2015), is essential for effective communication. Ethical communication is avoiding prejudicial notions of gender, race, religion, social class, academic level, etc. In the workplace, one must respect other people's views; especially on religious matters even though you don't agree with the view. A boss should not dismiss an employee's message by gender or race but instead, give appropriate feedback by the message only. Committing oneself to ethical communication enables you to honor and respect a colleague's feelings, even if you are of contrary opinion. Also, commitment to ethical communication needs you appreciate your perspective and beliefs. Ethical communication also involves preserving the integrity of the message and feedback, i.e., conveying a message or feedback without changing the content of the message or the feedback. Therefore ethical communication is very important for smooth running of the business.

Fifth, engaging dual perspective in interpersonal communication is being able to understand both your perspective and the perspective of the person you are communicating with. According to (Wood, 2015), engaging dual perspective is being able to put yourself in the other person's context and in so doing you get to associate with the other person understand why they say or do specific things. In an organization, the more employees understand each other, the more their relationship strengthens. Strong relationships foster productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

Some of the negative interpersonal communication practices to avoid in the workplace are an interruption of a colleague when speaking. Interruptions are discourteous and destroy a sender's order of ideas. Another method one must prevent is displaying negative body expressions when receiving a message. "Communication is 50% non-verbal" (Nelson, 2016), and so showing unfavorable body language hinders effective communication in the workplace. Deviation from the main subject when giving information is a poor communication practice because it reduces the meaningfulness of a message. Having a high expectation of people when giving or receiving information often leads to disappointment. Lack of enough facts in a conversation limits your responses, and so one must strive to gather enough points before committing to an argument.

In conclusion, effective interpersonal communication is crucial in the business because it enables the business core functions, i.e., management, training, sales, and conflict resolution to run well hence bringing efficiency and productivity (Cross, 2015). From the say, components of communication include, communicator, message, feedback, medium, context, and, noise. Valuable skills that foster useful interpersonal skills are, committing to ethical communication, engaging dual-perspective communication, monitoring communication, adapting different communication skills, and developing a variety of communication skills. Some of the harmful interpersonal communication practices to avoid are interruptions, negative body expressions, deviation from the message, having high expectations of another and lacking enough facts for conversation.

References

Cross, V. (2015, March 4). The Effects of Interpersonal Communication in an organisation. Chron: Small Business, pp. 10-11.

Hussung, T. (2017, February 10). Developing Effective Interpersonal Communication Skills in the Workplace. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from Concordia University, St. Paul: httpps://online.csp.edu/blog/business/interpersonal-communicaation-in-the-workplace

Maubane, P., & Rheede Van Oudtshoorn, G. (2011). An Exploratory Survey of professional Accountant's Communicationin Organisations. Journal of Public Affairs, 297-302.

Nelson, D. W. (2016). Enhancing Interpersonal Communication: Positive Mood Effects. Social Behaviour and Personality: An International Journal, 1535-1539.

Wood, J. T. (2015). Interpersonal communication: Everyday Encounters. Boston: Cengage Learning.

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