Communication can be defined as the overflow and the transfer of the message from one person to another, from the encoder to the decoder. Merriam Webster then describes communication as, “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behaviour,” although Steinberg and Angelopulo (2015:25) argues that, “communication is not as simple as sending a message to someone and then magically the other person understands your message”. In this instance, communication differs from person to person and from time to time.
Effective communication is a major driving force in the communication process, how effective the communication is, the more the conversation is derived the more mutual understanding takes place. Communication is then broken into two parts which are the verbal (which is outspoken) and the non-verbal (which is not outspoken/ no words in between). In this assignment, I will be discussing, arguing and explaining the methods and strategies of communication which are different in various way but one at the same thing.
Firstly I’m going to discuss the methods of communication which are verbal, written, oral, face to face and non-verbal communication with the relevant contextual example in the addendum. Secondly, I will discuss, explain and give contextual examples from the addendum A and my life experiences of the strategies to communicate effectively, this includes the following Listening, asking questions, Smile, Humour, feedback, Honesty and speaking equally. Thirdly the proxemics in the relationship. Fourthly the advantages and disadvantages of effective communication and lastly, a conclusion of what I’m going to discuss.
Methods of communication
This is a communication strategy that helps in a relationship, either the intimate or friendship and family relationships; it is defined as the type of communication where the use of words and voice, emotions and appearance takes place. It is then defined as a form of communication where people feel free to express their thoughts out loud speaking, saying what they want without a waste of time for typing a message or sending a letter, email or text, this kind of communication is then modified and then covered by the Shannon and Weaver Model which is the diagram 2.1 in the addendum A, this diagram shows how the process of the verbal communication works, it then gives us a clear visual image of what happens in the passing or transferring of the message from one person to the other.
This diagram shows that a sender encodes a message directly to the receiver through the channel, this channel can be the environment where the communication is taking place, either in the student centre on in the other environment where there’s is noise in between but because of the verbal communication the receiver is then able to decode the message and send back the message through the channel to the receiver. Verbal communication is then again seen as essential to the wellbeing of the business, this was also argued by Siddiqui (2014) that “verbal communication is used rather than written communication, as it involves direct talk between speakers and listeners”, in this way as far as the verbal communication works well with the businesses then even in the personal relationships it can be as effective as possible.
E.g. it once happened in my time of growing that I had some personal issues with my friend, I then decided that it was better to end the friendship but then later I realised that that’s not exactly what I wanted to do, we then decided to have a verbal communication with each other which I might say it work very fast because then we had to express each other’s problems in a verbal manner, with mixed emotions and all that, then things gone from worse to better and now we are still friends, this I would say it happened nicely and worked because questions and answers where crucial and we could not ignore like in the text messages we used to send each other.
This is a form of communication that includes message texting, letter writing, email texting and social media networks. It is effective in a relationship because it keeps the bond between two people especially those in the long-distance relationships. As much as communication is the driving factor in the relationships, it is best to keep it in order for a relationship to keep on going and to do this is not only to keep the face to face communication only but also keeping the written communication. Ever since the formation of social networks like WhatsApp, Facebook and all other platforms was invented it is easier for us to communicate with people from as far as possible for us and this creates a hand in hand transfer of communication.
E.g. in my relationship we text and talk every time and the moment I see that she is not responding I then know that she is either mad at me or busy, as well as my friends from back home we keep texting each other and i9 believe that if it wasn’t of the written communication the relationship with them would’ve ended the moment I got to the Vaal.
Oral communication is another method that can be used in a relationships communications as it gives one the opportunity to express his/her feelings from the word of mouth. It can be said that it is also a verbal transmission of information or ideas of an individual from one person to the other or to the masses of people. This communication includes the face to face communication and other forms of communication which may include telecommunicating, video call and all call at large. Oral communication can be said to be a verbal type of communication.
Face to face communication
Strong, DeVault ; Cohen (2011:223) states that “when we communicate face-to-face, the messages we send and receive contain both a verbal and a nonverbal component”, I agree with this say because as we voice out, many physical reactions take place. This is a form of communication that includes both the verbal and non-verbal communication which is more effective and reduces the uncertainty between two people. It occurs and takes place between two or more individuals, it can be in a meeting of one with one’s employers or employees, relationship partners and family relationships.
This form of communication gives one an opportunity to read all the speech said by the other from the verbal characteristics to non-verbal, which includes body language. Face to face communication to me, I find it important and dangerous at the sometimes because when people communicate face to face in time of misunderstanding or conflicts, it can lead to physical fights to people losing temper easily and again it can be important I times of comfort, crises and in need of closure about something.
This is a type of communication that actually reads from the emotions gestures and the illustrations of things, this type of communication does not include the loud pronunciation of words but how high the tone of the word is well said. Non-verbal communication includes things like Tone of the voice, the tone of the voice normally elaborate if the person is angry, sad or heartbroken. Rate and volume of the speech also literate how someone is feeling the use of the words when providing a speech because the moment one uses a deep strong pitch then that shows that the person teaching or making us aware of something. Facial expression, the motive behind the use of the face is going to tell when you’re boring someone with your speech or either the person you are talking to is enjoying and wants to hear more of what you are telling him/her, hence according to psychologist Gottman (1994), “even seemingly simple acts, such as rolling one’s eyes in response to a statement or complaint made by a spouse, can convey contempt”.
The amount of eye contact we make, how often or scarcely the person is looking at you proofs the guilt in the person or how the person is scared of you. Gestures/touch, how someone touches you will tell you if the person is feeling about you, rough touch which shows that the person is angry at you or the smooth touch that tells if the person is feeling you in an intimate or loving way. Body language and posturing, how the person is standing can also tell how a person is feeling, either tired or happy. Non-verbal communication is again seen to be very important in communicating with deaf people as some of the languages like thumb up can mean the same thing to us and the deaf so it increases the literacy in the way people should engage with the deaf people.
Mehrabian (2007) proofs with a research that “when we communicate feelings and attitudes, only a small percentage of our overall message comes from the words we use. – 55% of our message comes from body language (especially from movements of the small muscles around the eye which can convey shock, disbelief, doubt or disgust) – 38% of our message comes from tone of voice – Only 7% of our message is conveyed by the words we use” it is also illustrated by the addendum A figure 2.2 these statistics show how important non-verbal communication is important in the communication system. The Shannon Weaver model from addendum figure 2.1 also explains the process even in the non-verbal communication.
Effective communication strategies
Listening in a relationship helps in understanding someone’s objectives or subjective on a particular information that’s shared. Relationships require good listening skills because as soon as one loses focus, the whole conversation is lost. Doell (2003) argues in his study that “there are two different types of listening, which is of understanding and of responding” and then again explains that “the one who listens to understand have a huge satisfaction in their interpersonal relationships”. This suggests that people who only listen to respond have a weak satisfaction in their interpersonal relationships.
This also happens in my personal relationships because there are times when I feel like I just want to respond my friend or my family but then later I forget what we were talking about because I just responded without letting the information or the conversation dwell in the skull. This often happens because of having a conversation with someone when one is in a lot of depression, being physically available for the conversation but mentally away from the conversation.
Most of the elderly people they know that there are two types of listening that’s why many of them when talking likes to ask the question “do you hear me?”, then one responds with a “yes” then ask again “what did I say”, this form of communication influence effective communication in personal and corporate relationships. Addendum B figures 2.3 shows how effective listening is, said by Oprah Winfrey.
Communication is more important when questions are asked as questioning shows that the person has been listening and wants to know more. Communicating demands talking, telling and asking, E.g. in a classroom of learners and a teacher there’s an academic communication taking place in between, during the teaching session a teacher then asks if there’s a question or if anyone in the classroom has a question to ask, then by doing that he/she is making the communication that has been passed off to the learners effective that weather is it building or grooming them, either they are lost in the whole teaching process or on the right track and then if there’s no question the teacher then continue with the lesson .
Asking a questions in a relationship is the best solution of breaking down doubts and mixed feelings between person X and person Y, because it is simple for them to ask each other if there’s something that is not holding them right in the relationship that they are having so then if there’s a problem it can be solved easily and faster.
Asking questions can be seen as a method of building trust and openness in the relationship but when I take a look at this opinion I feel that some of the time is not about building trust but be the matter of insecurity, that’s how some of the people in relationship can see this strategy and again some people in the relationships don’t like opening up to other people because of they feel like some of the things are not meant to be shared.
It is believed that it takes a smile to make a dark day shine brighter so why don’t we smile to make a relationship a bright relationship. Smile facilitates a good communication because it is a first thing that can tell if a person is in a great mood or not or even if the person is up for a conversation or not. E.g. the addendum 2.4 shows a waitress smiling to the customer; the main reason is that the waitress wanted to make a relationship with the customer and make the customer’s uncertainty reduced so because the waitress showed a warm welcoming smile it is easier to the customer to facilitate a good communication until the bill is paid.
I once had a friend last year first semester; I rarely smiled because I was new here still afraid of some things, having my own assumptions about things. My relationship with the person(him) did not last and I let it go, now because I have adapted to the environment and I can smile he once passed me around campus and he was like “wow you laugh so loud” so I realise that if I have a smiley welcoming face I would have saved the relationship.
Although there are different types of smiles that can usually mean different things to one. There are smiles of a flirt, the smile of pretending and smile that comes from the deepest heart “true smile” and the smile of friendliness, so one has to know how to differentiate these smiles.
Relationships require more humour in it because as we all know that we cannot always be serious and professional as a couple, or people in a relationship in each and everything we are doing, although humour sometimes can be offensive or irrelevant to the subject but, it can still make one forget about the past and try to move on. It is again then used in the advertising agencies which are a relationship between me the consumer and the producer of a specific brand.
This was also proven by expert Toncar (2001) that, “humorous advertisements account for 21 to 48 per cent of all advertisements”. This scale proven by Toncar states that the relationship between people requires more of humour not only in the advertising agency but also in the personal relationship. Even though trustworthiness and goodwill are influenced by humour it is also simple to engage with someone that makes you laugh than cry.
Immediate feedbacks are very crucial in relationships; avoiding answering specific questions in a relationship have a bad influence on the wellbeing of the relationship. In every relationship communication is something that keeps it going, it is a question and answer situation or bond. Relationships that lack feedbacks often end with something called an unfinished business because no one is willing to respond to the other person. This often happens on social media to me, I often send text to people and if it happens that the person I sent a text does not reply or give feedback but yet opened or checked my text, then I find myself hopeless and that maybe I’m boring people so I stop texting even if they text a day/ two days after. This goes along with change of topics avoiding to answer certain questions in face to face communication which leads to not finding closure to certain things happening in the relationship.
Being honest with one another is a major thing in the relationship because that honesty builds trust and then trust reduces the chances of being insecure in a relationship. There’s no better way of covering the truth so the only best thing to do is to open up to one another in a relationship and make sure that there is a mutual understanding that takes place. People who lack honesty in the relationship end up having conflicts with one another because most of the time when someone did wrong to the other and not telling the other, that can lead the other person to find and getting the truth that most of the time doesn’t end well. I personally think that honesty sometimes is one of the things that can seperate the relationships, there are some of the things that rather stay untold because they may not have the great consequences. I also believe that honesty can be handled differently by different people since we cannot tell the type of people that handle the honest truth in a manner that cannot cause harm in a relationship or the ones that can actually cause harm.
Giving each other a chance to speak is the best thing to do in a relationship and this can facilitate good communication because the moment person X starts listening to person Y only and person X does not give in input then the communication will lack. Each and everyone in the relationship has to have an input in every conversation that is taken, doing this it will be easier to engage with each other and keep the conversation rolling. Not speaking equally in a relationship has a disadvantage because it ends up being like only one person is taking part in it and the other member is not putting in the effort.
When making conversations with people, it is important for one to know the barriers to where the relationship between keeping its distance. Taking this proxemics to my personal relationships, I often find it offensive to me for a stranger to be as close to me because firstly, I do not know the person, he or she can be of harm to me, I cannot find myself safe around that person and he or she will be offending my intimate/personal zone. The more one knows where he or she stands with me the better the communication. I prefer a stranger to be on a social space as possible so that we don’t offend each other anyhow, but as for my family, partner and some friends I find it okay if they get into my personal zone because I know them and their capabilities around me.
Advantages of communicating effectively
Long lifespan of a relationship
Trust is developed
Matters and conflicts are easily dealt with
Disadvantaged of ineffective communication
Lack of trust
Effective communication requires both the verbal and non-verbal communications. Communication has always been a great and pure measure that keep relationships going. There will not be a meaning to anything without communication, from gestures, symbols, signs and statues. In this assignment I have discussed, criticised, provided my own views and things that happen in my personal relationships and references of the theorists, pictures to cover my arguments in the methods of communications, effective strategies, the proxemics in the relationship, listed the advantages and disadvantages of effective communication.
Doell, F. 2003. “Partners’ listening styles and relationship satisfaction, listening to understand vs. listening to respond.” Graduate thesis. The University of Toronto: Psychology Dept.
Gottman, J.M. 1994. What Predicts Divorce? The Relationship between Marital Processes and Marital Outcomes. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Merriam-Webster Communication Dictionary. 2018. Communication. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communication Accessed 14 Aug. 2018.
Mehrabian, A. 2007. Nonverbal Communication. New Brunswick, NJ: Aldine Transaction.
Siddiqui, F. 2014. Verbal Communication-why is it important in a business organisation.
Steinberg, S. and Angelopulo, G. 2015. Introduction to communication studies for Southern African students. 2nd ed. Cape Town: Juta ; Company.
Toncar, M. 2001. The use of humour in television advertising: revisiting the US-UK comparison. International Journal of Advertising, 20(4):521-539.
Reference list of pictures
2.1 Anon, (2017). image Available at: https://www.communicationtheory.org/shannon-and-weaver-model-of-communication/ Accessed 14 Aug. 2018.
2.2 Anon, (n.d.). image Available at: https://www.azquotes.com/quote/445257 Accessed 05 Aug. 2018.
2.3 Anon, (n.d.). image Available at: https://www.azquotes.com/quote/445257 Accessed 14 Aug. 2018.
2.4 Anon, (2015). image Available at: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-waitress-serving-customer-coffee-shop-smiling-image60531553 Accessed 14 Aug. 2018