Communication: Let’s Talk About It
Professor Cheryl Harris
January 12, 2015
Let’s Talk About It
Communication is a very complex topic, in that it has many definitions, interpretations and models that guide us through our world. It has been studied over the centuries by historians, and rhetoricians, from Aristotle, Plato, and Dance. They have studied and taught communication theory and correct speaking techniques from Ancient Greece to Modern colleges today. Communication theories seek to inform us of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, but it also studies and examines why we have certain thoughts about objects in our environment, why we feel a certain way ...view middle of the document...
Aristotle laid a foundation for persuasive rhetoric on the art of communicating. He felt that we needed to be able to convince an audience with character, arouse emotions by showing empathy, and present a logical argument that can be replicated or retested. He gave us three “pillars” of public speaking, Ethos; one has to show credibility, Pathos, one has to have an emotional connection to the audience, and Logos presenting a good argument with relevant backing. As we begin to think through communication and study how we communicate as humans we have to discover and construct for ourselves the meaning that we will associate to communication.
Interpersonal communication is conversation or interaction with two or more people. Communication begins in our thinking, we act on information received, and our psychological skills are awakened as we study our beliefs, values, and attitudes that we have either grown to accept from our cultural upbringing or learned from a similar environment, either way our behavior is influenced in some way. Understanding how theoretical perspectives work “is learning to understand our coherent set of assumptions about objects and situations” (Trenholm, 2011). From my psychological perspective I would have to say that most of my constructs and behaviors began at home. I was the “Cinderella” yet the authoritarian figure next to mom and dad. I tried to evaluate each one of my siblings individually and according to their attributes that they could contribute to the household.
My constructs, such as being honest, determined, helpful, and friendly, helped me with my interpersonal relationships in the family dynamic in that I had built up credibility with my sisters and brothers. For communication to work one must be willing to cooperate with one another by speaking in socially approved ways (Trenholm, 2011).
When using the dyadic characteristic in any interpersonal relationship situation, I can express myself in a way that is relevant to the conversation at hand; I also can assert myself so that the communication is personal and immediate so that the receiver can understand what I am doing, and where I am going with my information. This will therefore build or help improve the quality of and rapport with the business or personal relationship (Stanley, 1992). Not all interpersonal relationships are the same, something changes when we consider the developmental stage of the relationship. Communicating with my siblings that were older and some that was younger had to take many “turns”, as does my conversations with my children and my mate. It would also change when I was with my young clients or with my superiors.
My spoken language also changed within each given situation. I had one dialect for my sisters and brothers and another for work. I had to befriend my family to get cooperation and earn their respect, at work I felt a part of the team so I did not have to be the looking-glass self.