I take time sometimes to imagine how lonely and meaningless my world could have been, without talking or communicating in one way or another with someone. The significance of communication is indisputable. Communication connects, but effective communication binds people to culture, an environment or a social circle. Interpersonal communication involves the exchange of information among individuals whose lives are mutually interdependent. It requires interpersonal communication skills for one to be successful in achieving their personal, social or professional goals and objectives. Leary (2001) observes that during the evolution period, human beings coordinated in groups to hunt or gather food. The chances of survival depended on interpersonal communication skills. Interpersonal communication skills include verbal, nonverbal, and listening skills. Verbal communication encompasses what we speak, the language, and how we talk it.
The success of an open verbal communication depends on following simple speech maxims such as politeness, calmness, and etiquette in first interpersonal encounters. The first impressions and expectations like introductions, handshakes and eye contacts should be met. Otherwise, there could be disinterest or breach in verbal communication. Show of interest, nodding, and the need to culture or maintain a relationship encourages verbal communication. It is the prevalent skill in interpersonal communication, and successful people have used productive conversations to argue their perspectives in different scenarios. It can be a valuable lingual tool for me to build relationships, create networks, and be an attractive person with people skills.
Verbal and nonverbal communication skills are inseparable in most circumstances. Gestures, body language, and signs or signals add meaning and emphasis to what we say. The tone and pitch of ones voice, the distance between two speakers, and facial expressions display implicit information, assumptions or presumptions meant to communicate something. Non-verbal communication can help me communicate interest in lively captivating conversations and at the same time avoid annoying conversations, discussions or arguments which I consider to be time wasting or insignificant to my wellbeing. Dennett Daniel shares the same opinion on this that ...theres no point in wasting your time on arguments that simply arent any good (Jones, 2013). I have employed nonverbal communication skills on various occasions to communicate what words cannot express such as emotions. Listening skills are also central to interpersonal communication. Effective communication is a two-way traffic. Most people tend to focus so much on what they want to say and how they say it than they think of listening.
Interpersonal communication skills also include persuasion, influencing and negotiation expertise. People will always have different opinions, beliefs, and perceptions when approaching certain issues or cultures. It always ends in disagreements and ideological clashes whose effects can ruin interpersonal relationships. Persuasion and negotiation skills can help an outsider to understand me, my behaviors and the ideologies of my culture. Le Gros acceptance principle supports this view that theyll be more able to acknowledge that behavior which does not reflect their value systems might be appropriate to the context of the host culture. These skills can also come handy when interviewing for a job and dealing salary negotiations effectively.
Conflict resolution and mediation abilities in ones language are vital interpersonal communication skills to have. Disagreements have always arisen when people communicate with each other. Interpersonal conflict is a common phenomenon in relationships, work environment and even in a cultural context. The causes include pressure to deliver within stipulated deadlines or even stress. Sometimes, demonizing conflicts is a mistake because, for instance, another persons interference with my schedule at work can stop me from achieving my objective and this issue has to be addressed; the stress has to be released. Conflict resolution and mediation skills can help me, and colleagues handle interpersonal disputes and achieve common ground.
Problem-solving and decision-making skills are also utilitarian interpersonal communication competencies. Life is a chain of decisions, both straightforward and robust. The ability to approach and analyze a problem requires a sound judgment of the situation at hand, and the capability to make a decision and communicate it to a group or team requires excellent interpersonal skills. A team of professionals has different levels or reasoning. It requires a verbal intelligence to express a stance assertively without creating tension. Such aptitude can aid my role in unraveling root causes of conflict, make sound decisions as well as help in team building.
It's More Than Just Language: It's About the Process, Fall 2011. (2011). Uwo.ca. Retrieved 26 June 2017, from https://www.uwo.ca/tsc/resources/publications/newsletter/selected_articles/about_the_process.html
Jones, J. (2013). Daniel Dennett Presents Seven Tools For Critical Thinking. Open Culture. Retrieved 26 June 2017, from http://www.openculture.com/2013/05/philosopher_daniel_dennett_presents_seven_tools_for_critical_thinking.html
Leary, M. R. (2001). Interpersonal rejection. New York: Oxford University Press
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