Interpersonal communication involves passing information from one person to the other in the most effective manner so that the sender and the receiver understand each other. The sender should always be brief and precise so that he gets the right feedback. In our current society, information is passed across different groups but the most common form of communication occurs between two people. There are problems associated with this form of communication in that if the information is not conveyed correctly then the receiver might not clearly figure out the meaning. This is the first thing that needs to be rectified. Verbal and non-verbal communication involves direct and indirect channels. The use of body language should be standardized, I sometimes find it difficult in interpreting some of the signs and symbols used, and in fact, I may not even respond because of misconception and complexity of this signs (Hartley 29).
Due to globalization increase language barrier is a hindrance to effective communication, one of my hobbies is travelling hence this is another big problem to me. I expect to meet people from the diverse environment and definitely, I will interact with them in one way or the other, therefore there is need to learn international languages so that we will not be faced with language barrier. Learning of foreign languages is so difficult sometimes that I only pray that one day I will make it. The first things that one has to do when he/she travels to a different country, they are suppose to learn the language of that place. I suppose the government should introduce these languages in our education system so that it becomes easier for us to communicate to anyone when travelling (Beebe et. al 37).
With the introduction of mobile phones and computers, communication has taken a different form all together. Writing of emails, short message services (sms) and chatting through the internet calls for more knowledge and skills since whatever one person writes could mean something different for someone else. Words are shortened, symbolized and some terms are included with different meaning to suit only a particular receiver. I always like being straight to the point and the use of synonyms is not part of me. I try as much as possible to discourage individuals who I find violating the language rules (Beebe et. al 42).
It is better not to talk if you cannot use the right channel of communication. This calls for revision of some terms and I normally incline myself towards face to face communication since by so doing I am able to understand the person better unlike phone conversation or internet whereby you can’t know exactly whether one is lying or not. Also during conversation, I am always selective and know the type of person I am communicating with. Children, teenagers, and adults have different forms and styles of communication. All these act as communication barriers in relation to the noise pollution that we are vulnerable to it daily (Hartley 21).
To understand deeply how human beings communicate, psychologist and philosophers have come up with different theories to explain this phenomenon. The first theory that was put across is the theory of uncertainty reduction theory. This theory suggests that people are always faced with uncertainties in their lives. We experience new things every day and most of them we have no idea of what they are. Physical interaction is the only way we can conclude on these uncertainties and because of curiosity, we tend to find more information concerning a particular thing (Beebe 62).
The theory further suggests that when individuals meet for the first time, there is always some level of uncertainty. I only employ the theory and follow every detail of to come up with the facts and it has the facts that will remove cases of suspicions make one free. After the first conversation, we tend to rely on the information at hand, of which I pick information from this point and try to build confidences in the person I am interacting with. However, the more we are uncertain about something the less confident we are (Hartley 27). To reduce these cases of uncertainty, non-verbal communication is applied where I can observe body language of the other person, I can also ask someone else to give me the details of that person and more so by asking the person related question and determining the accuracy of the information.
Social exchange theory deals with the behaviors of individuals and why they like to disclose some information relating to them and keep others from particular group. It state that a person will only discuss his/her life to another only if there is some mutual relationship between the two and when one has gain trust of the other (Wood 137). It further identifies some instances when there is social interaction existing between the two people or groups, communication will be very effective especially if they knew each other before. Community social structures also influence the strata of communication. In our society, women are not supposed to talk whenever men are discussing issues; this social set up can be dealt with by public educational forum.
Another theory that has been developed is the relational dialectics theory. This theory has a big impact in the society in that whenever we interact, there are always scores of information that we pass and it depends on how we bring them out, voice variation is a matter of concern here. Some words need to be stressed and even use gestures at some point to get the attention of the individual (Baxter & Braithwaite 349). Change in voice always portray or emphasize something in a conversation and it is usually upon the receiver to interpret and deduce the meaning otherwise the right message will not be relayed. Also the specific elements in every word we make create some tension on the receiver and it will be upon the two to reach some equilibrium. It is much easier for two people from same background to understand one another than two strangers who first met and discuss on something (Baxter 3).
Communication usually follows some format where each person is supposed to take part. From this perception, theorists came up with coordinated management of meaning theory. Persons involved in any interaction need to first set up some guide lines which are more than obvious normally accepted and clearly states that before one responds to the conversation listening is a tool that must be active all the time so as to enhance communication (Littlejohn 191). There are two rules that are known; the constitutive rules, which are used to internalize and comprehend the message, and the other rule is regulative rules used to decide what to say. In a dialogue the interpretation and feedback is always immediate so one has to be very keen in listening.
The last theory that I will focus on is the identity-management theory. This theory discusses the formation, progress, and continuity of identity groups. In the community, we belong to a particular class where we are recognized based on our status. People of low class group themselves together while those of high class flock together. Our desired identity is much affected by how we relate and socialize with others in the society. Cultural diversity is also a factor under this theory, our cultural beliefs vary from place to place and thereby influencing how we communicate and pass information across other cultures. For effective communication, one has to learn the cultural factors of each community and try as much as possible to appreciate them. This forms the basis of any understanding, as you will be careful not to provoke anyone (Baxter 16).
In most cases, we will find people from a particular group supporting a member they have identified with and try to offer protection even though they are not related. This implies that identity management is a continuous procedure that we cannot avoid and has people from different cultures live together, the tension that initially existed between them declines. This theory therefore is efficient in communication since it foresees the cultural differences and monitors the identity relations amongst the individuals (Beebe et. al 162).
For effective communication there need to be a strategic plan that offers guidelines to everyone. What am I suppose to do when I meet a stranger? What are some of the things I will expect for a successful interaction? We are in a dynamic world and everything has to be done in an acceptable manner and form. The guiding rule is that we all have to be flexible and understanding due to the cultural diversity. Principles and regulations have to be in place. Communication does not only involve spoken words, the body language convey even much more and confidential information, I should therefore learn to use gestures, tone variation, and facial expression when communicating this will enhance my communication with the person I am interacting with (Beebe et. al 214).
When I am given a task to deliver information, I should do so with the credit it deserves learn first the environment and the mood of the recipient. For once, you have said something, you cannot reverse it. I should first create a rapport with my clients to get to know him/her clearly and try to win their trust openness always prevails when there is social relation between two people. I need to think and conceptualize every detail before talking and keep in mind that for whatever word I say it has a meaning. People on the other hand interpret information differently and so I must make sure that I am precise and brief so as to get time for listening their side and their expressions (Wood 233).
The media houses should educate the public on some of the commonly used symbols and signs to reduce cases of confusion and misinterpretation of information. This will be possible with the help of the government emphasizing the need for effective communication and the use of public address system to get the attention of the people and conducting community based projects so as to be close to everyone.
Interpersonal communication is a continuous process; therefore, we should always be on the lookout for new terms and their related meaning. More research and analysis is needed to improve on learning activities and to standardize the languages to benefit the dynamic environment. The public libraries should ensure that their shelves are stocked with books on current affairs so that no one is left out and after reading recommendations should be made on every article, book, journal or magazines so that the authors realize some misuse of language and make necessary corrections. One should also sharpen his/her listening skills as this is considered the highest virtue in communication. For you to get the accurate information you have to listen keenly and respond by asking questions whenever something is not clear (Hartley 94).
For all these implications of communication, mutual relation should exist between the sender and the receiver. We are the one in control of all the information and therefore we should use a common form that is generally accepted and if need be consult for clarification before responding. Lastly, we have to keep in mind that it is the information that keeps the world moving forward hence each one of us should be concerned of what we say.
Beebe, S., Beebe, J. and Redmond, M. Interpersonal Communication: Relating to others.6th Edition. New York: Allyn and Bacon. 2010:15-432.