Monday, December 6, 2010

Can you hear me?


Communicating with others is an essential skill in business dealings, family affairs, and romantic relationships. Do you often find yourself misunderstanding others? Do you have difficulty getting your point across clearly? When it comes to communication, what you say and what you don't say are equally important. Being a good listener is quite crucial.

Good communication is very important. Not only in the aspect of social life, but it is also play an important role in the culture, religion and also community based aspect.

Communication is seen as the central to our everyday ideas about what makes life worth living (Katherine Miller, 2002)

What is communication?

Communication is a process when information is enclosed , channeled and imparted by a sender to a receiver via some medium. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. All forms of communication require a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, however the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication in order for the act of communication to occur.

Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. There are verbal means using language and there are nonverbal means, such as body language, sign language, and eye contact, through media like pictures, graphics and sound, and writing.

According to Miller 1966, the most highest level of communication is when a source transmits a message to receiver with conscious intent that can affect the latter’s behavior.

There are 4 principles of Interpersonal Communication (Donnel King, 2000), which are:

1. Inescapable.
We can't escape from communicate. The very attempt not to communicate communicates something. Even not through words, but it can be from tone of voice and gesture, posture or facial expression.Through these channels, we constantly receive communication from others. Remember a basic principle of communication in general: people are not mind readers. Another way to put this is: people judge you by your behavior, not your intent.

2. Irreversible
We can't really take back something once it has been said. The effect must inevitably remain. Like malay proverb says 'terlajak perahu boleh di undur, terlajak kata buruk padahnya' have a same meaning with Russian proverb "Once a word goes out of your mouth, you can never swallow it again."

3. Complicated
No form of communication is simple. Because of the number of variables involved, even simple requests are extremely complex. We don't actually swap ideas, we swap symbols that stand for ideas. This also complicates communication. Words (symbols) do not have inherent meaning; we simply use them in certain ways, and no two people use the same word exactly alike.

4. Contextual

  • Psychological context - which is who you are and what you bring to the interaction.
  • Relational context - which concerns your reactions to the other person.
  • Situational context - where place you are communicating. It may be different between in a room and in a bar.
  • Environmental context - physical "where" you are communicating. The example like furniture, location, noise level, temperature, season and time of day. 
  • Cultural context - all the learned behaviors and rules that affect the interaction. Different culture will give different understanding about certain things. It also influence by the knowledge, open-minded and also experience.

1. Practical session on Interpersonal and Organizational Communication.

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