“Communication is not an easy process. It involves verbal and non-verbal attempts to assist the other person understand what we are trying to communicate. Yet it often fails.”
This essay will attempt to shed light on the statement above and the communication process, skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively. Communication is a complex and multidisciplinary concept, which has varied definitions in different fields. DeVito (2007) defines interpersonal communication as ‘the communication that takes place between two persons who have an established relationship; the people are in some way connected’ (p5). The individuals are not only connected but also interdependent on each other. The actions of one person incite reactions in the other. Interpersonal communication is an extremely practical art, if mastered, can prove to be very beneficial to one’s personal and professional life.
The act of interpersonal communication is purposeful. Every encounter has a purpose or a combination of them. Five of which have been identified as the following:
To Relate: Effective interpersonal communication helps one relate; to establish and maintain relationships. People communicate with family, friends, lovers and colleagues and at the same time they are responding to messages in these relationships. At the core of this is the need to feel liked or loved and to reciprocate these feelings. The success of these relationships gives individuals a positive outlook on life.
To Learn: Interpersonal communications helps one acquire knowledge. It helps individuals understand the world they live in and the people they interact with. Individual’s beliefs and values are influenced by interpersonal encounters more so than they are by formal education and the media.
To Influence: According to DeVito (2007) researchers argue that all communication is persuasive. It is possible that individuals partaking in interpersonal communication influence each other’s...