Introduction Interpersonal communication is defined as speaking to and listening to another person in alternation and thinking concurrently. It is the process of interacting with another person. Every communication situation like interview, meeting, conference, presentation requires a combination of interpersonal communication skills. Interpersonal communication is strongly influenced by each individual’s intrapersonal communicaton.
RELATION BETWEENINTRAPERSONAL ANDINTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION KNOWN TO NOT KNOWN SELF TO SELFKNOWN TO 1. 2.OTHERS OPEN BLINDNOT KNOWN 3. 4.TO OTHERS HIDDEN UNKNOWN
JOHARI WINDOWThe Johari Window indicates the relationship betweenintrapersonal and interpersonal communication. It isnamed after the first names of its inventors, Joseph Luftand Harry Ingham. The “window” with four panesrepresents the four aspects of a person’s awareness :open, blind, hidden and unknown. The lines dividing thefour panes move as an interpersonal relationshipprogresses.
1. The “open” pane represents things that both I know about myself and that you know about me.2. The “blind” pane represents things that you know about me but that I am not aware of.3. The “hidden” pane represents what I know about myself but you do not know. As acquaintance and trust between me and you grows, I may feel comfortable about disclosing more personal details about myself. This process is called “Self-disclosure”.4. The “unknown” pane represents things about me that I nor you are aware of.
COMMUNICATION SKILLSThere are four verbal communication skills; two areencoding skills: speaking and writing; two are decodingskills: listening and reading. There is a fifth skill which iscrucial to both encoding and decoding: thought orreasoning and competence in dealing with emotion orfeeling. This is intrapersonal. Language skill affects aperson’s ability to analyse one’s own purposes andintentions and the ability to express oneself. Ourcommunication skills deficiencies also limit the ideasthat are available to us and limit our ability to think.
Skills needed forinterpersonal communicationCertain skills are required for interpersonal communication. The first thing todo is to clarify to oneself the purpose of communication and be sure of whatoutcome one desires, so that one can aim at it and work towards it. Thefollowing are the various skills needed for interpersonal communication :-1. Self-Awareness2. Self Control3. Clear and Pleasant Speech4. Good Manners and Etiquette5. Listening6. Understanding of Non-Verbal Behaviour7. Feedback8. Asking Questions9. Assertiveness without Aggression10. Expressing Disagreement without being Offensive11. Summarising12. Closure and Taking Leave
Self-Awareness Knowledge of one’s own attitudes, prejudices and perceptions. Competent handling of one’s intrapersonal communication is required for effective interpersonal communication. Unawareness of the attitude may lead the communication to fail inspite of other communication skills.
Self Control It takes time and patient practice to gain self control. One should not speak without thinking the effect of one’s words on others. Self confidence is required to remain cool and composed. Holding one’s tongue is difficult, but if one has the ability to maintain peace and keep silent then one can save a great deal of energy.
Clear and Pleasant Speech This is the primary requirement of successful interpersonal communication. Some tips to be pleasant in speech are as follows :1) Make eye contact.2) Vary the voice to avoid monotone.3) Be brief and to the point.4) Ask questions. Some ways to ensure that one appears comfortable to be with:1) Move and speak slower , lower and less. Avoid high arm gestures.2) Refer to common places, backgrounds and experiences.3) Bring out other person’s best side.4) Do not make suggestions or requests when they are acting in an inappropriate way.
Good Manners and Etiquette An important situation that everyone needs to be able to handle gracefully is introducing both oneself and other persons. Another is being able to give and receive a compliment with grace.1.) Introducing :(a) Introductions are the few moments in which critical first impressions are made on all sides.(b) Personal impressions are made within 20-30 seconds.(c) Business introductions are based on hierarchy.(d) An elected official comes before a non-official.(e) Introduce a junior executive to a senior executive.(f) Client comes before anyone in an organisation.
2.) Introducing oneself : (a) Always say both one’s name and surname. (b) Be clear and concise. (c) Construct an interesting , easy to remember and yet professional introduction.3.) Paying Compliments: (a) Compliment is an expression of appreciation. (b) It should be temperate. (c) It should be expressed in a positive, sincere and friendly manner. (d) It should have no other motive than to recognize someone for something special.
4.) Responding to Compliments (a) Acknowledge the compliment. (b) Thank the person graciously. (c) Respond positively. (d) Do not feel embarrassed or rebuff the compliment . (e) Even a simple “thank you” and smile can create a circuit of positive energy.
Listening The following will help in exercising listening skills :-a) A broad mind to tolerate various styles of speaking.b) Thorough knowledge to topic of conversation.(c) Genuine desire to reach satisfactory conclusion. A good listener concentrates on speaker’s line of interest.
Understanding of Non-Verbal Behaviour When people speak, they say a great deal by body language. One must listen with eyes as well as with ears. Words and body language must match. Good interpersonal skill depends on control and command of one’s body language.Feedback Most delicate and difficult skills of interpersonal communication. It requires tact, honesty and self-control. Both parties should understand and appreciate each other’s point of view.
1. Giving feedback(a)Give feedback immediately or soon after the event.(b) Give feedback in a positive manner.(c) Be specific and not general.(d) Be descriptive not evaluative.(e) Give feedback only on those aspects which the person can control and correct.(f) Be sure of your own motive in giving feedback.2. Receiving Feedback(a) There is a difference between receiving feedback and getting feedback.(b) Seek and receive feedback with genuine desire to improve.(c) Be non-defensive.(d) Listen attentively.(e) If vague feedback is offered, seek clarifications. (f) Think over the received feedback.
Asking Questions Questions are a powerful tool in dialogue. They must be asked for clarification in a non-threatening tone. They must show genuine desire to understand better. They should be asked in a positive and comfortable style. They can be asked to get advice. They can be asked to know about the other person’s feelings. One should ask open-ended questions. One should always repeat back what the other person answered to avoid misunderstanding.
Assertiveness without Aggression Assertiveness is self-controlled, conscious, reasonable and cultivated behaviour. True assertive behaviour removes unhealthy competition. It requires self-knowledge, understanding of one’s own skills and limitations , a sense of self-worth and recognition of one’s own and other person’s rights and responsibilities. Assertive persons are neither over-bearing nor timid while aggressive persons are over-bearing. Assertive persons try to find solutions and try to reach constructive compromise that gives everyone something. Being assertive helps to achieve a “win-win” outcome.
Expressing Disagreementwithout being Offensive It is easy to become aggressive if one disagrees with someone’s statement. If one is assertive, one can express disagreement without being offensive. When one disagrees, instead of keeping silent or responding aggressively, one should try to be positively assertive. If someone is making a verbal attack, one should not interrupt , counter or counter attack.
Summarising It must be done in one’s own words. It is a restatement without any comment. It must be spoken in an objective tone and manner. It demonstrates that one has understood the statements and also helps to be objective and clear.
Closure and Taking Leave Always end a communication event on a pleasant note. Main points and conclusions should be summarized. Mention any unsettled issues. Pleasant closing remarks , expression of thanks and farewell greeting. A cheerful and pleasant tone can relax the mood and mark the conclusion of business.
Conclusion Interpersonal communication is interacting with other person. It is affected by our intrapersonal communication. The Johari window explains the process of communication. Four panes of Johari window represent the open, the blind, the hidden and the unknown areas of oneself. Communication skills needed for interpersonal communication are : self awareness, self-control, clear and pleasant speech, good manners, listening skills, understanding non-verbal behaviour, feedback, skills of asking questions, being assertive without aggressiveness, expressing disagreement tactfully, summarizing and leave taking.