Interpersonal communication is the interaction between two or more people. Good interpersonal communication skills are essential in the creation and maintenance of relationships with others. Dwyer (2009, p.62) explains that ‘in any context, our relationships are built through our interpersonal communication.’ Self concept, emotional intelligence, assertive behaviour, empathy and the ability to actively listen and provide feedback are all desirable interpersonal communication tools considered necessary to maintain relationships and aid in conflict resolution.
Dwyer (2009, p. 152) states that ‘Conflict arises when needs are not met. Those needs can be physical, financial, social, educational, intellectual, recreational or spiritual, tangible or intangible. However, even in a situation of conflict, it is possible, by finding areas of common ground, to remove some of the differences and to emphasise the similarities while tackling the conflict and working towards the solution’. Good interpersonal communication skills help to create an understanding between persons in conflict whereby they can make common ground and have a better understanding of where the other party is coming from. Dwyer (2009, p. 175) explains that ‘Conflict expressed and addressed in ways that respect relationships and consider as many needs as possible is positive and constructive’. In order to achieve common ground, emphasise similarities and work towards conflict solutions, the communication climate must be positive and both parties must be willing to resolve the issue.
The role of Interpersonal Communication in Conflict Resolution
In order to communicate effectively with others a sound understanding of your own self concept is required. Self concept can be described as your “self image”, it is the mental picture that you have of yourself. Yahaya, Azizi, Ramli and Jamaludin (2009) explain that ‘Self-concept refers to the totality of a complex, organized, and dynamic system of...