Earnest Interpersonal Communication for Effective Situations

Keats said that heard melodies are sweet, but unheard melodies are sweeter. Similarly, said words surely communicate, but unsaid words communicate all the more. This happens more frequently in interpersonal communication. People exchange information, feelings and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages. It is face-to-face communication.

In interpersonal communication, what is actually said, is not important. But how it is said, is more important. Non-verbal messages are sent through tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language.

If two persons are present in a room, definitely communication takes place, whether they talk to each other or not. Posture, dress, emotion and personality always communicate even if one never intended to communicate.

Uses of Interpersonal communication:

-> Give and collect information

-> Influence the attitudes and behavior of others

-> Form contacts and maintain relationships

-> Express personal needs and understand the needs of others

-> Give and receive emotional support

->Make decisions and solve problems

->Anticipate and predict behavior


Communicators exchange information by two-way process. People send and receive messages simultaneously. Thus communication is an interactive process. When a person is talking, other person is listening, but listening, he is also sending his reaction in the form of smiles, head nods etc.

The use of complicated jargon, inappropriate body language, inattention, disinterest and cultural differences can affect interpersonal communication.

Suppose an employee’s work is unsatisfactory, the manager postpones telling it for avoiding an embarrassment. But the problem can be solved with a planned conversation. The manager may communicate the unpleasant news in a situation of minimum displeasure.

People look at emotions as positive or negative signals of communication. Happiness is positive. Sadness is negative. Calmness is positive. Anxiety is negative. Actually, emotions are neither positive nor negative. Emotions are just natural responses to certain situations. Emotions are appropriate or inappropriate; not positive or negative.

When we hear unexpected news, we may be excited or upset, depending on the nature of the unexpected news. That is quite natural. If we need to communicate information which may have an emotional impact, we must anticipate it and organize our message accordingly.

When we talk about changes, communication becomes difficult. It may be changes about a job or ways of doing things. It may be changes in finances or health or changes in a relationship.

Different people handle change in different ways. Some respond very positively. Others become suspicious and pessimistic. Our conversation models must be flexible to accommodate both types.

Tips for Impressive Communication:

-> Information Gathering

-> Being Assertive

-> Being Empathic

-> Being Prepared to Negotiate

-> Listen

-> Stay calm and focused

If interpersonal communication is conducted in this way, we can reach win-win situation instead of just I-win situation or you-win situation or both-lose situation.

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