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Class Notes 1: Interpersonal Communication


September 15th, 2009
Professor Joy Thomas
Interpersonal Communication

The word communication is used in a variety of ways. The word itself comes from the Latin word meaning to make common.

Communication: The process of understanding and sharing meaning

The importance of studying the communication process:

As educators, you guide, coordinate, counsel, evaluate and supervise through the process of communication.

  • Eg: Communication during a fire drill is very important.

Communication is an activity in which we participate that is ever changing, on-going, dynamic and continuous. It is a complicated process that starts long before the words begin and continues long after the words end.

  • Eg. A young child who cannot speak yet through body language can show their mother that they need help and the mother would understand.

Communication is a process whereby information is imparted by a sender to a receiver via a channel or medium. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender feedback. Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality.

  • Ex. Sender + receiver = channel

Issues come up when 2 people from different languages speak to each other. Lack of interest may cause a missing communicative commonality.

There are auditory
means of communicative, such as speaking, singing and sometimes the tone of voice, and non-verbal, physical means, such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, touch, eye contact, by using writing and etc.

  • Ex: When Celine Dion’s voice and lyrics speak to someone’s heart.

There are 3 major parts in human face to face communication which are:

  1. Body Language

  2. Voice Tonality

  3. Words

  • Ex: Demonstrate boredom through body language, voice tonality and words.

Please see the CHART: The Communication Process

  • According to research 55% of impact is determined by:

    • Body language – postures, gestures and eye contact.

    • Ex: Cashier at grocery store. You can tell their mood without them speaking.

    • 38% by the tone of voice

    • 7% by the content or the words used in the communication process.

    • Words have the lowest impact.

Note: Humans aren’t the only creatures that communicate. Animals send signals to each other to find food, migrate or reproduce.

Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another. It involves a sender transmitting an idea to a receiver.

(Draw chart here)

Effective Communication

Occurs only when what happens?
The receiver understands the exact information that the sender intended to transmit.

Many of the problems that occur in a classroom are the direct result of poor communication.

Poor communication causes the most problems. It leads to confusion and can cause a good plan to fail.

Ex: When a child is in a bad mood and doesn’t want to listen.

As educators please realize cultural differences that may appear within your classroom. And be aware of things like a nervous child in front of a group.

The 7 Components of Communication

1. People:

People are involved in the human communication process in two ways

One is the

The other is the

Characteristics such as race, culture, age, gender, values and special needs may affect how people communicate.

  • Ex: Looking directly at someone may be a sign of disrespect.

How men and women communicate with each other.

How the older generations views the younger generations.

2. Message:

This is the content of the interaction. It includes words, tones, and body movements.

Some messages are intentional and others are accidental.

  • Ex: Body language: Standing outside and the person is jumping around. They may be cold or they may need to go to the washroom

3. Channel:

This is the mode by which a message moves from the source to the receiver. When we are interacting with others we rely on sound and light waves to send the message.

4. Feedback:

This is the response you get from the receiver. It is both verbal and non-verbal. An unsatisfying response may be due to the receiver not understanding the message, so the sender must clarify the message.

5. Code:

The code is the way the person changes their thoughts and ideas into messages to share with others.

Code can be both verbal and non-verbal.

  • Ex: Having the thought to wave to someone and then performing that action.

6. Encoding and Decoding:

Encoding is the act of putting an idea or thought into a code.

Decoding is making sense of the message.

7. Noise:

Noise is a factor that hinders reception of a message. Loud noises, distracting sights, or unusual behaviors all can affect how easily a person can receive a message.

  • Ex: Broken Telephone game

  • Crowded restaurant on a Friday night

Please read Non-Verbal Communication

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