Our everyday life rely on people understanding each other, building relationships with one another and exchanging information or there would be lack of connectedness among people. All that exist today is because of how people express their thoughts and feelings in such a way that the receiver will be aware and react upon the expressed behavior, even babies cry as means of communication if their needs are not being met and the parent wouldn’t know if the child is bothered by something if it wasn’t for the process of mutual understanding between the child and the parent. This assignment will be focusing on the most effective strategies and methods to ease communication in personal relationships, the types of communication, the importance of communication and the advantages and disadvantages of communication including my own personal life experiences based on communication.
Definition and the need for communication
Communication is a process of sharing what is meant by an action or word from a collection of individuals to another, which cannot be successfully established by a single person. It promotes unity among people, in my case I grew up as a shy child, being fearful around the company of other people and rather enjoying my own company. I was not socially active to such an extent that even my parents thought I was mute only to find out that it was by choice. I not wanting to associate with others caused me so much difficulties in that I ended up being depressed because I had no one to fulfill and attend to my needs, so I had to come with a plan to overcome my fear of talking to people, I had to be open and honest to my parents about the person I really am and it helped me so much that our relationship became stronger.
Without interaction there would be no meaning to live for, meaning that there would be nothing existing on earth leading to the end of the world. Everyone communicate as soon as they are born through certain methods like showing emotion through the mouth, body language or in a written way.
In order for communication to succeed for a long term there is a need to develop a plan or method that is going to give good results, for example if you need help with something and no one is there to help, instead of doing the work on your own which is going to result in dysfunction one should rather ask for help, helping one another is a successful strategy that strengthens communication. As we grow older we expand communication skills in order for us to communicate effectively in interpersonal relationships as stated that “Through communication we disclose who we are, and from this self-disclosure, intimacy grows (Strong & Cohen, 2016:240)”
Communication can either bring people together or keep them apart because a person may decide to avoid communicating and if he or she does, the communicator can conclude without proof which in most cases destroy relationships. In my opinion people should try listening and replying in order to avoid ruining the connection within their relationships.
An interpersonal relationship is a powerful bond between two people or more in which the closeness may be based among people who share similar interests, it may be based on inference and love or any other type of bond and dedication, this then lead us to having focusing on methods and strategies for the bond to never end which is communication.
Methods of communication
Communication can be classified into two groups that is verbal communication and nonverbal communication, with these types of communication a person can conclude a meaning by just looking at the person, share ideas and feelings. The types of communication should corresponds so that the message can be easily understandable and powerful, if for example I tell my friend that I’m excited, my expressions should also tell the same.
Verbal communication is a process of sharing suggestions, expressions, transferring messages or rather information using letters or symbols. These types of symbols are conveyed through the two sub categories of verbal communication which are oral communication and written communication. Verbal communication is the representation of things through spoken words and language, for example in a classroom full of pupils making an uncountable noise then the teacher enters the classroom yelling, appearing with an angry face at the kids and all of a sudden they keep quiet, it means that the got the message that the noise they were making doing was unacceptable and the teacher is not happy about it.
Oral communication is showing ideas or information through word of mouth including things like singing that is making sounds with the voice, answering, revealing ones feelings in speech and asking questions. Oral communication occurs within discussions, interviews, and presentations and through phone calls just to name a few. Written communication is the use of words, letters and other symbols to interact with people and examples includes postcards, email, faxes and letters.
Verbal communication depends both on the listening and speaking skill of a person so that there can be a rapid feedback.in verbal communication the voicing of thoughts is for others to understand, avoiding misunderstanding and uncertainty to unclear speech. Good verbal communication consist of the following:
Verbal communication strategies:
Listen effectively: you have to keep your mind open and pay attention and avoid being distracted most of the time.
Brevity: the communicated information should be short because long conversations can be confusing, easily understandable words are effective for good communication.
Being clear: before engaging in speech, a person must think clearly.
Choosing correct words: the correct exact words are essential for the listener.
Asking questions: one can ask a question for gaining information and as starting a conversation.
Voice control: the tone of voice should stay the same, it must not rise or fall.
For a person to be considered taking part in verbal communication he or she should respectively include or follow each of the above mentioned methods. Verbal communication has its advantages and disadvantages compared to the other type of communication already mentioned.
Verbal communication advantages
Verbal communication is effective in terms of producing aimed results, a person is able to get informed, and a group can argue debate or talk about any topic and or ask for information. It saves time, after my matric before enrolling in university I once applied for a job and I was called for an interview and soon after I was interviewed I was asked if I have any questions which I definitely had, I asked a few question and instead of the interviewee to refer back to the book he just answered straight away because it was a face to face interaction. Conclusions can also be made much quicker and there can also be changes to the decision taken before. Chances of understanding are high as the speaker and listener will be closer to each other, for example a lecture lecturing at university. It works as an advantage in terms of resolving dissimilarities because people can discuss the issue.it is also a simple method of communication, it does not need preparation.
Although there are many advantages of verbal communication, it also consist of:
Verbal communication disadvantages
Delayed decision: it may take time to reach to a conclusion and discussing inapplicable topics delays the time to make a decision.
Lack of confidentiality: in verbal communication secrets may be revealed.
Causes misunderstanding: misunderstanding may occur because the speaker usually sends a message without being prepared and might not be correctly clear to the listener, which may result in misunderstanding.
Little important: when information is written it is taken into consideration unlike when it is spoken, verbal communication may confuse the main focus of communication.
No authority: verbal communication are not kept record of meaning that they can be easily denied.
Unbalanced speech: the receiver may sometimes not understand the denotation of the message due to the way the speaker sounds.
No record: communicated messages cannot be saved for the future.
The stated advantages and disadvantages of verbal communication are necessary strategies for good communication in interpersonal relationships. I believe that the strategies for communication balance each other, from my own experience, I had a friend who was honest and a critical thinker. Every time we start a conversation she would use familiar words because I had a huge problem with her using difficult words that were not easy to understand and I also had to pay attention and listen attentively to what she was saying so that our friendship bond can be kept smooth and strong. In that manner, knowing what each other would appreciate was the results of a good communication because none of us would know what and how to say something if we did not talk through the matter.
The second type of communication is nonverbal communication. According to Matsumoto et al. (2013:4) there is no a way of talking with the exclusion of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is the sharing and exchanging of information without the use of words. It is the potential to understand and interpret clues without spoken words.
Nonverbal communication include the way one dress, facial expressions and body language. It is guided by the environment which is achieved through photos, color, and the quality of being hot and onward. A pub usually have color changing lights in it to communicate a welcoming impression to the drinkers, to let them feel comfortable and enjoy their drinks in peace, in agreement with this statement everyday on my to school there road signs like a traffic light which has the colors red which mean” stop”, “green “which means go and” yellow which means get ready to go”.
Secondly physical appearance goes along with nonverbal communication through physical characteristics like height, hair, eyes and skin color. According to Sheldon (cited by Matsumo el al, 2013:5), different body types were relating to personality, that a thin person might be smart and easily agitated and obese pleasant or are able to engage easily with other people. In my own view, body characteristics can match a person’s personality in terms of one’s own behavior but not through one’s own feelings because personality is the integration of qualities of an individual.
Nonverbal communication can also take place in nonverbal behaviors, these are automatic actions of the face the body the voice and the face, judging on how a person looks, walks and talk. As an expert of seeing students observing if a person if pretty or ugly, how the person walks around the campus shows that there are many people who use nonverbal communication everyday even though many of them are not aware that most of the time body movements are used.
Good communication concerning nonverbal communication include the following:
(a) Paralinguistic communication: which we recognize by the process of saying a thing that is not specified according to the volume of the tone, for example the wife can measure the tone of the husband it is out of anger or out of excitement.
(b) Body movement: which is also known as kinesics, it is in control of a great quantity of the verbal communication which include body movements that can be changed into words directly, for example we hide our faces or cover the mouth when we are nervous. The showing of feelings through body postures, and eye message that is the use of eye movement to show a certain information an example would be with me, in my African culture adults can tell by your eyes if you are telling the truth or not, if you look them in the eyes that means you are telling the truth. Being attractive is measured by body or face, for example saying that a tall man is more attractive than a chubby one.
(c) Space: ending the message about where you want to be around a person, if one wants to be closer or a distant.
(d) Clothing: usually people are judged by their clothes and norms around clothing in a certain way, in townships it is a norm that if you are wearing a suit carrying a briefcase you must be working at a bank or high standard jobs.
(e)Touch: it is used to indicate the information about the relationship, for example a doctor touching a patient for examination.
Nonverbal communication advantages: