Communication is dynamic, especially if seen through the eyes of different cultures. It is important for the communicator to be sensitive to his or her audience in order to get the right message across. This was discussed in Halasek’s work, Pedagogy Of Possibilities. When talking about communication, we see that there are different styles. You can address an audience, have a conversation with someone or communicate in form of a letter or written words. Human communication is strange, not because of the different ways there are to communicate, but how the messages are translated. All three papers on communication have the same idea. However, these are all presented differently and speak of different means of communication.
This paper will discuss the means of communication as discussed by Halasek, Elbow and Lanham. Lanham’s model of C-B-S speaks of communication as “Clarity”, “Brevity” and “Sincerity” (Lanham, 2003). At first, this model seemed very unrealistic. It might have also been because it was written for a different time. One can easily be thrown-off by how this theory of human communication was explained. However, when you look into it, you will notice the truth within the model. After all, Lanham did saw (140) that the model is “less useful in practice”. Therefore, if you do use this theory as a means of communication, you will not get anywhere. It is merely an observation used through the perspective of a researcher, and not something that one should use in order to communicate with others. While the C-B-S model does work well in shorter conversations or smaller amounts of communication, I think that human communication is more on the side of the rhetoric. This is better seen in the way arguments are formed. This can be seen in how humans use style and arguments because there is something to compare to, instead of the C-B-S model. It is rare to see humans communicating with full clarity, brevity and sincerity, especially with those that they know well. Sometimes, it is hard to understand or grasp one another person is trying to relay because of the confusion brought about by a number of sources (Halasek, 2010). This, in turn, communicates a different message to the audience or the receiver.
Halasek speaks of the delivering the message that one wishes to communicate to an audience. Now, this type of communication can also lean towards the rhetoric because you will need to use symbols of comparison in order for people to understand what you are saying, especially if you are speaking to those of a different generation. There are a thousand and one possibilities that can arise when it comes to the audience depicting the message you are trying to get across. Whether you are speaking to an audience or trying to get a message across through text, the message received might be translated in a different way (Halasek, 2010). This is why he mentioned that there are dangers in speaking to an audience, and having that kind of power. When doing something like this, one should look for the past and the present. You need to understand who you are speaking to before you do decide what it is you say. Although Clarity, Brevity and Sincerity are also great things to take note of when doing something like this, these three things are often not what comes first in mind. The speaker will need to understand his or her audience before deciding what to say. For example, a much younger audience might not connect with the humor of an older speaker. Or, a speaker from a different culture might find it hard to get his message across to people of another culture which he does not understand. It is dangerous to do something like this because your message can be twisted into something else. Halasek speaks of the intended reader and a reader. Your intended reader is someone who you want the message to be for. Therefore, you write for that particular person. You understand how he things, acts and how he will find the message. This is why you write your text in a certain way, it is specifically for that type of reader, or that reader in particular. However, if another reader does read this text which is written for that specific reader, the message, style of writing or the content might not be something that will be understood. The original message in your piece will not be kept intact. A different message will arise out of your words (Elbow, 1973).
Looking for the message in your writing and trying to write for a specific audience was discussed in Elbow’s work. He says that trying to write right for the first time can be dangerous because your thoughts will be focused on trying to get it right, instead of actually writing what you mean (Elbow, 1973). Elbow talks about how it is important to define your message as soon as you try writing. If you do not have a clear message or anything concrete before you do start writing, you will not get anywhere. There is no point to writing without knowing where you are going. If you do feel that something is wrong along the way, why keep writing? Most people do this for the sake of writing. This can relate to how Halasek believes messages can be lost. If you do not have a particular message, your audience will be free to translate your work as they please. There are thousands of different possibilities that can arise from such writing.
When it comes to my personal style of communication, I think I would fall under the submissive style. All these styles seem very negative, and this is the one I feel a connection to. I can see it in my speaking and my writing. Some of the posture attributes could also be the things that I do, without knowing. For someone with a submissive communication style, I think it would be hard to relay a message or get one across. Many people often mistake people who are shy as being rude. Although, most of the time, this isn’t the case at all.
Elbow, P. (1973). Writing Without Teachers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Halasek, K. (2010). A Pedagogy Of Possibility. San Jose State University.
Lanham, R.A. (2003). Analyzing Prose 2nd ed. Continuum: New York.