Reflective Paper Introduction The importance of understanding the main principles of effective communication cannot be underestimated, especially in modern times, when informational dynamics in the world continue to gain a momentum. It is common misconception to think that the process of communication only has informational properties. We will not be able to effectively convey our ideas to another person or group of people, unless we choose in favor of proper communicational strategy, which in its turn, incorporates the variety of relevant considerations. In his article The Art of Interpersonal Persuasion, Ray Hull rightly suggests that: interpersonal communication not only involves what we say, but very importantly what we do in communication interactions. What we do may involve our manner of dress, body language, gestures, manner of eye contact, and personal grooming. In many instances, nonverbal communication can be just as important as what we say (Hull).
Whether we like it or not, the effectiveness of interpersonal communication is affected by the variety of emotional factors, which have subjective nature.
Very often, the manner, in which communication takes place, is more important then the actual message, when it comes to persuasion. We need to keep in mind that most of people have a hard time listening, because they consider themselves being full of wisdom, regardless of whether they posses high intelligence or not. In order for us to be able to persuade listeners with utmost effectiveness, the ideas we want to convey must be adjusted to their perception of surrounding reality. In other words, the successfulness of communicational process is directly linked to our ability to define peoples existential mode, before they adopt our point of view on the topic of discussion, as their own. Therefore, effective communicator is always a good psychologist. In this paper, we will discuss different ways of increasing communicational efficiency, within a context of interpersonal communication. (1) effective interpersonal communication is a concept that has dualistic values.
... THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was written by Stephen R. Covey in 1989. This book ... habit. Covey suggests that we "diagnose before we prescribe in communication." That is we need to understand the situation before rushing ... that can be learned to improve one's personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Covey describes a habit as "the intersection of ...
As practice shows, it is not enough for us to be able to make a strong point, during the course of conversation, in order for our ideas to be accepted. The person we talk to needs to be assured that we respect his intellectual integrity. This can be accomplished with variety of different techniques. The most effective of them is convincing our opponents that we are not emotionally engaged with the topic of conversation. Therefore, it is crucial to base our arguments on sense of logic. Effective communicator knows how to win audience by assuming the role of mediator.
People, who we try to appeal to, must feel that we do not simply strive to impose our opinions on them, but to provide them with the insight on the essence of discussed topic. Therefore, the foremost precondition of effective communication is speakers reliance on common sense, during the course of argument. Communicator needs to know how to express its thoughts in logical and coherent manner. In his article Is “Intercultural” Communication a Moot Point?, Geoff Hart makes a good point, by saying that: Good communication, in any language, is clear, concise, and precise. These three points alone make a good starting point for any intercultural communication (Hart).
Clarity and concision is the key to effective communication. Speaker must always stay focused on the point he is making, during the conversation, otherwise he will lose intellectual credibility, in the eyes of an audience. However, speakers ability to logically formulate his ideas, cannot alone guarantee the effectiveness of interpersonal communication.
... 's used in the conversation, even though they speak the same languages; different levels of status can jeopardize effective communication too. An example ... changing the thinking of the person, and adopting a standard point of view when talking. Information overload can be overcome when ... or person, he / she will not speak in a standard point of view; Distance is a barrier when 2 parties cannot ...
He needs to find the mean of making these ideas appealing to the listeners. The best way to do it is enabling listeners to associate the practical implications of conveyed ideas with their personal lives. For example, if it comes to convincing people that legalization of illegal aliens is harmful to the country, we do not necessarily have to resort to abstract statistics; as such that supports our opinion. It will be much better if we simply point out to the fact that because of these aliens, the interlocutor is going to face the prospects of losing job. Thus, the second principle of effective social interaction is practicality. Listeners need to be assured that the topic of conversation relates to them in very practical manner, even though it might not be the case.
It is wrong to refer to process of communication as simply the mean of instilling other people with our own ideas. Communication implies the flow of information that proceeds in both directions. In other words, the effective speaker is always a good listener. Being able to listen, on the part of spokesperson, establishes the atmosphere of trust between him and the audience. In its turn, it opens up peoples minds, which is another important precondition that enables the acceptance of new ideas, on their part. Listeners must always be referred by name, because it makes them feel as being valued.
In its turn, it encourages listeners to pay closer attention to the message that is being conveyed to them. Speaker needs to know how to adapt his message to the audience, which is why he needs to do some research, in regards to listeners age, racial affiliation, age etc., before he begins to talk. For example, persons racial affiliation often defines his ability to operate with abstract categories. Thus, it is very unlikely for the communicational process, which involves newly arrived immigrants from Third World countries, to be effective, if topic of conversation is too abstract. Therefore, speaker needs to always keep its hand on the pulse of conversation, because he must be able to instantly simplify the line of his arguments or to add sophistication to it, in order to win audiences attention. (2) There are many barriers to effective communication.
... from birth that black people are inferior and grow-up with this idea in your head than ... to experience ideas that seemed far away but seemed rational. In addition these intelligent people finally had ... rash ideologies from scientists, philosophers and even people within religions to approach thinking with a more ... ability to gain access to new information people began to question the rationalism of the ...
The most important of them is speakers inability to narrow down the interpretational range, associated with the message. This often has objective reasons, especially in recent times, when concept of multiculturalism is being adopted as foundation, upon which socio-political policies are based, because more and more people in this country confuse word kitchen with word chicken. Another thing that often prevents the acceptance of speakers message, on the part of listeners, is when he indulges in generalized assumptions. Therefore, it very important to avoid coming up with generalized statements, during the course of conversation, because listeners will interpret it as indication of speakers lack of intelligence. Speaker must always radiate confidence. Listeners need to be assured that he really does believe in ideas he promotes to others and the best way to do it, is to prove to the audience that these ideas correspond to speakers lifestyle. For example, Mike Tyson will be more successful, while endorsing physical activities, as a part of healthy lifestyle, then four-eyed nerd, entrusted with the same task. Very often, we assume that people percept surrounding reality just as we do. This, course, is not the case.
Every individual has unique mental qualities, which correspond to the variety of independent and dependent variables, such as the aspects of his upbringing, ethnic background or his IQ. All these factors need to be taken into consideration by communicator, before he decides in favor of proper communicational strategy. In his article 8 Simple Ways to Effective Interpersonal Communication, Peter Murphy says: You should always try to judge how you are being interpreted by others too. Ask questions and mirror back what people seem to be saying to you, paraphrased, so that you can check that you have the correct understanding. This also shows that you care about how the other person is feeling; they will warm to you and you will ease communication with them (Murphy).
... religions and cultures, all have their own way of interpreting communication. People communicate to each other in the best way that they ... Communication is more than just one person speaking and another listening. There are 3 components, them being Verbal, Non-verbal and ... with feel at ease, and confident that we are actually listening to them, and taking an interest in what they have ...
Among other barriers to effective interpersonal communication, we can name: speakers emotionalism, the inclusion of slang words into the line of verbal arguments and overloading listeners with irrelevant information.
As we have mentioned earlier, cultural difference between speaker and audience also represent a solid barrier to effective communication. Unfortunately, there is no much can be done about it, on the part of speaker, because representatives of racial minorities often do not bother learning English, after coming to this country. (3) The concept of emphatic listening became very popular in recent years, as the mean of increasing communicational efficiency. In his article Empathic Listening, Richard Salem defines it as: Way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and trust. It enables the listener to receive and accurately interpret the speaker’s message, and then provide an appropriate response (Salem).
The emphatic listening, on the part of speaker, enables his counterparts to release their emotions, which in its turn, reduces tensions and helps building the communicational trust.
In order to be associated with emphatic listening, speaker needs to pay genuine interest to listeners reactions, in regards to his argumentation, during the course of discussion. This will enable him to adjust the line of his reasoning to correspond to audiences expectations, every time it proves to be necessary. The emphatic listening often relies on non-verbal means of assuring listeners that their point of view is being appreciated. For example, speaker might need to nod with his head periodically, while listening to contra-arguments, which will be interpreted as indication of his genuine concern about listeners anxieties. As practice shows, people like listening to what they want to hear, because it provides them with emotional comfort. Effective speaker knows how to present his own ideas as such that correlate with the ideas of listeners, even when nothing can be further from the truth.
When it comes to discussion of controversial topics, emphatic listening enables parties to avoid unnecessary confrontation, because its main purpose is finding a common ground. Emphatic listening, as part of interpersonal communication, makes it possible for the exchange of ideas to take place in civil and tolerant form, even when speaker and listeners believe in ideas that are essentially opposite. Active listening is a method of assuring speakers message being brought to the listeners. While trying to convince people to accept our point of view, on the topic of discussion, we need to be constantly checking whether they follow our reasoning. The best way to do it, is asking listeners to paraphrase, in their own words, what just has been said. In his turn, speaker must always be ready to answer any questions from the audience, as soon as they arise, in order to make sure that conversation proceeds according to speakers original plan. Critical listening can be thought of, within the context of active listening.
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It may be described as listening that pose questions, as its logical consequence. The reason why we need to be attentive to listeners is not just to make them feel better about themselves, but also to be able to point out to inconsistencies, in the line of their arguments. As practice shows, emphatic and critical listening often come hand in hand, because it is simply impossible to point out at logical fallacies, on the part of audience that actively participates in conversation, without having spent some time listening to contra-arguments. (4) We all know the Biblical story of creation. It emphasizes that, at the beginning, there was a logos word. This goes to show the power of words, as the mean of verbal communication. We can easily turn a friend into the enemy, by saying the word that might have a strongly negative connotation, in regards to the person. For example, the word nigger is being widely used by African-Americans, to refer to themselves.
However, if this word is being used by White person, in regards to Blacks, it will be instantly viewed as intentional offence, on his part. Therefore, we need to be very careful about what we say and how we say. Apparently, words carry not just a semantic meaning, as it is commonly assumed. They can trigger different sets of emotions, which might benefit speaker or to cause listeners to simply walk away, even before speaker has finished making his point. This is why it is very important for the speaker to understand that there are many words in English language, which meaning might vary, under different sets of circumstances. When it comes to interpersonal communication, it is crucial to insure that the words, that are being used in the process, are associated with the same semantic meaning for the both parties, otherwise we might be talking about one thing, while our listeners will think that we refer to something different. The reason why two people are often unable to reach a consensus, during the course of making conversation, is that they discuss different concepts, while using the same words. For example, such words as beautiful, valuable, necessary or lazy cannot be used at will, especially when speaker strives to appeal to multicultural audience, because, whatever is beautiful for the newly arrived immigrant from Jamaica, for example, will most probably be ugly to person of European descent, and vice versa.
... types of validation. I. Respectful communication is the type of communication where the listener feels worthwhile and an equal. ... of decision making. Supportive communication is very important when coaching or counseling other people. Coaching involves any ... invalidating. Validating statements make people feel important and needed. Invalidating statements make people lose confidence in themselves and ...
(5) The emotional intelligence is a relatively new concept that refers to persons ability to perceive, access and to mange its own emotions, as well as emotions of others. This concept has especially became popular in recent years, because classic IQ tests that prove peoples cognitive ability as such that is closely linked to their racial makeup, cannot be considered as politically correct anymore. The promoters of multiculturalism needed to be given a scientific tool, which would help them to substantiate their adherence to the concept of melting pot, without having to refer to the empirical data, which can only be obtained through application of mathematically based system of measurements. In other words, there are no universally accepted methods of measuring emotional intelligence, because of psychological essence of emotions. Nevertheless, various experts still operate with this concept, because it allows them to sound sophisticated, without having to base their line of arguments on solid scientific foundation. At the same time, it would be wrong to suggest that emotional intelligence is non-existent, as different people have different ability of subjecting their emotions to socially acceptable mode of behavior.
Effective speaker knows his audience very well, which is why he should still be able to persuade listeners with the mean of emotional manipulation, even when he lacks hard facts to substantiate his point of view. We can say that understanding what constitutes peoples emotional intelligence, on the part of speaker, corresponds to his ability to trigger the necessary set of irrational emotions in audience, which will prompt listeners to act in one way or another, according to speakers purely rational wishes. People that are less intelligent, in traditional context of this word, are more emotionally intelligent, because they reflect upon objective reality, rather then subjecting it to their rational needs. This provides speaker with many interesting opportunities, when it comes to interpersonal communication. Once he knows that his audience consists of reflectoid individuals, it often enables him to anticipate listeners reactions, even before these reactions become apparent. Stereotyping makes it possible to get the message from individual, affiliated with diversity, even before he opens up his mouth, which makes the interpersonal communication more efficient and prevents oversimplification of English language.
(6) To conclude this paper, we need to say that the concept of interpersonal communication is a subject to many different interpretations. Ideally, there should be no barriers that undermine the effectiveness of this process, for as long as message is being formulated in concise and logical manner. However, this can only be done in theory. Existentialist philosophers of 20th century had rightfully suggested that the reason why there is much misunderstanding between people in the world is that everybody wants to be speakers and nobody wants to be listeners. This desire is irrational, because people tend to exaggerate their worth in their own eyes, even without having a good reason for it. Thus, the effective interpersonal communication can only be possible, if it benefits the participating parties emotionally.
For as long as speakers flow of arguments is smooth and pleasing to ears, we will be able to win audience, even if ideas he promotes are counter-productive.
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