AXIOMS OF IPC BY KMIIPC a Transactional ProcessInterpersonal communication is best viewed as an ever-changing and circular process. Everything involved ininterpersonal communication is in a state of flux: the individual is changing, the people he communicates withare changing, and at the same time the environment is changing. At times these changes go unnoticed, and atothers they continue to interrupt.The process of communication is circular, as each participant in the communication process servessimultaneously as a speaker and listener. Hence it is a mutually interactive process.Interdependent ElementsThe elements in IPC are interdependent. Each element is connected to the other and to the whole. The sender,receiver, message, medium, feedback can’t exist in isolation; they have to be connected together for IPC totake place. Because of this interdependency, a change in any one element causes changes in overallcommunication situation. For instance; a group of students are discussing about the recent exams that wereheld, and then a teacher joins the communication circle, this will change the overall manner in whichcommunication was taking place.Inevitability of IPCCommunication is basically regarded as intentional, purposeful and consciously motivated, but at timescommunication takes place without the willingness of a IPC participant. An assistant editor sitting with anexpressionless face, staring out of the window thinks he is not communicating with the manager. But themanager reads various meanings out of his behaviour. He might think that the assistant is bored, lacks interest,worried about something, is tired etc. The assistant did not intend to communicate any of these meanings. If hisbehaviour goes unnoticed then no communication would have taken place.A stranger who smiles at a passer by is communicating some kind of meaning, and is looking for some kind ofa response. The passer by may not respond in any way, which will be read as some kind of a response. HenceIPC is inevitable.Irreversibility of IPCSome processes can be reversed, for instance water may be converted in ice and then melted back into water.This process may be reversed as many times as wanted, but not all processes are irreversible. For instance anorange may be squeezed to extract orange juice, but the process may not be reversed.In the same way IPC is irreversible. What has been communicated cannot be uncommunicated. One may goon trying to negate, reduce the effects of the message, but can’t undo the message. In this way one needs tobe cautious to send out messages that are not wished to be withdrawn later.IPC is a Process of AdjustmentIPC can take place only to the extent that the parties communicating share the same system of symbols. This
becomes obvious when the speaker and listener belong to 2 different cultures, not sharing the same language.No 2 people share the identical symbol systems. People have different vocabularies, and at times havedifferent meanings for same word.Part of IPC is to try to understand the other person’s signals, how they are used and what they mean. People inclose relationships realize that learning g the other person’s signals takes a long time and often great patience.One needs to share his own system of signals to be understood by others.This principal is especially important in intercultural communication, largely because people from differentcultures use different signals to signify different things. Focused eye contact means honesty and openness inmuch of the US, but the same behaviour may signify arrogance or disrespect in Japan, Middle East, and manyHispanic cultures.IPC is a series of punctuated eventsCommunication events are continuous transactions. There is no clear cut beginning or clear cut end. Asobservers of the communication act, the continuous stream of communication can be broken into smallerpieces as causes or stimuli or effects or responses. A child may be losing interest in studies and the parentsmay be scolding him for it, but the more they scold the more loss of interest takes place. In this way it becomesa vicious cycle.This tendency to divide communication transactions into sequences as stimuli and responses is referred to aspunctuation. Understanding how another person interprets a situation, how he or she punctuates, is a crucialstep in IPC understanding. It is also essential in achieving empathy [feeling what the other person is feeling].Relationships may be viewed as Symmetrical or ComplementaryIPC can be described as either symmetrical or complementary. In a symmetrical relationship the two individualsmirror each others’behaviour. If one member expresses, passion, jealousy, passivity, aggression the otherresponds in the same manner. The relationship is of equality, with the emphasis on minimizing the differencesbetween the two individuals.In a complementary relationship the two individuals engage in different behaviours. The behaviour of oneserves as the stimulus for the other’s complementary behaviour. In complementary relationships thedifferences between the parties are maximized. The people occupy different positions, one superior and theother inferior, one passive and the other active, one strong and the other weak. At times cultures or contextsestablish such relationships; for example the complementary relationship between employer and employee,teacher and student, etc.The content and relationship dimension in IPCCommunication refers to the external world and also to the relationship between the parties. For example; thejudge may say to the lawyer “See me in my chamber immediately.” This message has both the content aspect[as the lawyer will see the judge immediately] and the relationship aspect [the use of simple command].However the lawyer is not expected to give the same command to the judge, who holds a superior position.Hence, the content has to be similar to the relationship in a particular communication situation. If they areincongruous the communication would essentially fail to have a desired impact.