Interpersonal communication refers to communicating beyond words. “It is a process involving the deliberate or accidental transfer of meaning” (fd..unl, n.d.). In other words, it is a communication or an exchange of information, feeling, and meaning by not only delivering verbal messages but also non-verbal communication through body language. Symbolic behavior reflects through on-verbal ways. While communicating with someone, it is important to not only pay attention to the words but also to the body language, gestures, and various other non-verbal messages that you or the other personal is trying to convey. The aim of this assessment is to critically evaluate the communication skills, in a self-recorded video with the help of credible sources.
In my conversation, I have demonstrated some positive communication skills as well as some negative ones which can be classified as communication barriers. I have demonstrated listening skills by attentively listening without interrupting. Faheem and Aparna (2014) describe listening skills as “Listening is one of the important skills to remove the physical barriers”. By paying attention to what my teacher is saying and speaking only when it is my turn, I engage in good interpersonal communication as she gets to say what she needs.
Gestures are an important part of interpersonal communication. They are non-verbal communication methods to employ in order to demonstrate something or to display a message. By constantly shaking my head in agreement to what my teacher is saying shows that I agree with what she is saying. Merely sitting there with no expressions would not only be rude but she would also not be able to understand whether what she is saying is understood or not. Additionally, my smiling and using polite language, I displayed respect and friendliness to my teacher which ultimately makes her comfortable in this one-on-one conversation.
In the beginning of the conversation, I engage my teacher with insightful information and provide with an example from the Bible. This is verbal interpersonal communication skills where I keep my teacher interested and make her want to get involved in the conversation. Additionally, my make head nods in place where I agree shows that I am paying attention to what she is saying and this encourages her to continue elaborating on what she is saying. Also, I do maintain eye contact from time to time but I do not continue with it throughout the conversation which is something I need to work on.
Relaxation and displaying comfort in the communication displays my confidence which reflects through my demeanor throughout the conversation. However, a barrier in communication from my end is my lack of maintaining eye contact with the teacher. I do not maintain eye contact with her when I speak at length. She may see this as me being disinterested in the conversation.
Also, my comfort level is displayed in the conversation which may be misinterpreted as having a casual and un-interested attitude towards the teacher or the conversation.
Apart from non-verbal communication, telling my teacher about how I would not forcefully do anything someone tells me says a lot about me as a person. It gives out the message that I am assertive and strong headed and I do not take to dictatorship (Beqiri, 2018).
I need to ensure that I maintain eye contact when I speak as this keep the listener engaged and does not give out the message that I am not interested or disrespectful because when it comes to verbal communication, a person who fails to maintain eye contact is seen as being dishonest or someone who has something to hide (Corporate Class Inc., 2012). My responses to the teacher, however, have kept her engaged and were insightful which demonstrated interest in the conversation, which, in turn, demonstrated my listening skills.
As the conversation progressed, I can see that at 5:54 in the video, my body language demonstrates that I am tired of the conversation as I am listening to her with a tilted head. Also, continuously adjusting my hair could have given out the message that I am distracted with my appearance and thus not being able to deeply engage with my teacher. Additionally, keeping both my elbows on the table with by arms up, in way, hides half of my face from my teacher and can be a barrier in communication as the teacher can barely see my face. Additionally, I started playing with my nails and shifted my focus on checking my nails while my hands were in the air and right in front of my face. This again, demonstrated un-interestedness in the conversation.
My hands should have been down to help the person I was communicating with see my face properly. Also, having my hands in midair served as a distraction because I ended up playing with my nails and my eyes were focused on my nails and not on the person I was communicating with. My teacher (the person I was communicating with) may have gotten the impression that I am no longer interested in the conversation or that I wish for her to end the conversation. I should have kept my hands down and faced her completely to show that I am very much still involved in the ongoing conversation. This is important because “the behavior of one individual (the sender) influences the behavior of another individual (the receiever)” (Mandal, 2014).
Interpersonal communication skills have a lot to do with body language and non-verbal communication though gestures and body language. In my conversation with my teacher, I have displayed both strengths as well as limitations in my own interpersonal communication skills. By keeping my teacher engaged through providing g my inputs where possible and by being an active listener I have demonstrated key strengths in interpersonal communication. However, I have developed limitations in the communicating by constantly playing with my nails, holding my hair up to middle my face, playing with my hair, etc. These are all types of body language which display un- interestedness in the conversation and something which needs to be remembered in future communications and conversations.
Bequiro, G. (2018). Key interpersonal communication skills need to improve. Retrieved from https://virtualspeech.com/blog/interpersonal-communication-skills
Corporate Class Inc. Top 4 interpersonal communication skills you need to get ahead at work. Retrieved from https://www.corporateclassinc.com/blog/2012/04/16/top-4-interpersonal-communication-skills-you-need-to-get-ahead-at-work/
Faheem, S. & Aparna, P. (2014). Interpersonal communication silks in academic and scholastic perspective: barriers and solutions. International Journal of Humanities, Arts, Medicine and Sciences, 2(12), 63-72.
Fd.unl. (n.d.). Interpersonal communication. Retrieved from https://www.fd.unl.pt/docentes_docs/ma/AGON_MA_25847.pdf
Mandal, F. (2014). Nonverbal communication in humans. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 24(4), 517-421.
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