Report on Interpersonal Relationship and Communication
The role of interpersonal relationship and communication in any context is to provide individual with a platform of engaging in activities that enhance their ability to interact and co-exist. Throughout this course, the main objective has been to help students in understanding the essence of interpersonal relationships and communication for processional and societal activities. In addition, through this course it has become easier to learn and demonstrate the art of relevant and timely communication when engaged in any discourse. An essential element that I have acquired from attending lecture sessions, guest speaker forums, and group work activities is that there are different approaches that can be used in communication and in building interpersonal relationships. This is because of differences in terms of the socialization process defining an individual’s, cultural orientation, and the environment. The main objective of this report is to provide detailed explanations on the experiences and lesson learned throughout the course. This will be through the provision of an explanation on the key learning experiences, the significance of learning and feedback, and the effects of these learning experiences in relationships. In the process of engaging in the in-depth explanation, I will integrate different concepts and theories learned in the course with practical examples derived from interactions with the professor, classmates, the society, and the guest speakers.
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Key learning experience
The highest point of my learning experience throughout the course was during the topic of communicating cross culturally. This was considered as the highest moment because it provided essential insights in understanding the art of communication and the development of interpersonal relationships among individuals emanating from different cultures. This was the most informative session because the guest speaker was able to provide essential information on the best approaches that I can use when communicating with an individual or a group of people from diverse cultures. The socialization theory asserts that culture, which is an agent of socialization, plays an essential role in molding our perceptions and thoughts about the environment and people (Metge & Kinloch, 2011). People drawn from diverse cultural backgrounds populate the world and this makes it important to learn the techniques that can be used in enhancing effective communication and building interpersonal relationships across cultures. It is through such activities that a more cohesive and understanding society can be developed (Metge & Kinloch, 2011).
This session also qualifies to be part of my best learning experience because it covered a relatively different perspective of communication compared to other sessions. From the session, I learned that each culture harbors its own thoughts and feelings about issues in the society. This explains why even subcultures within a specific culture can have different opinions about the same phenomenon (Metge & Kinloch, 2011). During this session, I understood the negative effects of stereotypes in building interpersonal relationships and communication. Stereotypes from my understanding emanate from the socialization process. At the family level, communication between members is defined by the prevailing cultural orientation of that family. This influences the system of thought of those socialized within such a system and it may affect their ability to communicate or build relationships in the future.
When culture is characterized by prejudice and ethnocentrism, it is often relatively different for an individual to initiate a conversation leading to the development of an effective interpersonal relationship (Piller, 2011). I am an Arab and during this session, I got an opportunity of interacting with a group of Arab classmates. The most astonishing element during this process was that despite the perceived unity in other cultures, we had differences in the way we perceived the teachings enshrined within these cultures. This made every Arab classmate different from the other.
According to the uncertainty reduction theory, in the process of communicating and building a relationship with strangers, people are often inclined towards reducing their level of uncertainty about other by learning a few elements about them (Piller, 2011). This is based on the understanding that acquiring knowledge about someone in terms of his or her cultural orientation plays an important role in enhancing the possibility of building an effective relationship (Piller, 2011). For instance, in my class there is this person Maria, who has become one of my friends. In one of the group meetings, I was not aware of the possibility of him becoming a good friend.
Maria was withdrawn from social events a preferred being alone. My judgmental attitude about the possibility of her shy behavior became the defining feature of his behavior. In our first conversation, it was relatively difficult to ascertain that we would eventually become good friends because there was so much that I had to learn about him. However, I had to reduce my uncertainty levels by getting a better understanding of his personality through communication. According to the uncertainty reduction theory, two strangers such as Maria and I must undergo different stages in the communication process when building an interpersonal relationship. The first stage is the entry stage where communication is relatively unpredictable because of misconceived judgments drawn from stereotypical connotations (Piller, 2011).
During this stage of communication and building of interpersonal relationships, it is possible to develop a changing attitude after acquiring basic information about the person. The second stage in this process is the personal stage. When I was interacting with Maria, I was able to listen and learn from him because at this stage we were sharing beliefs and attitudes. This was an essential technique in considering the extent to which Maria and I were compatible despite emanating from different cultural backgrounds. The exit stage is the third stage according to the uncertainty reduction theory. This stage is essential in the communication process because it determines whether the individuals involved can develop a relationship or whether the relationship should be terminated (Piller, 2011).
The thoughts and feelings emanating from the guest speaker, classmates, and the professor played an essential role in enhancing my understanding of the art of communication in culturally diverse society (Hendon et al, 2012). It was during this process that I understood that for effective communication to occur the parties involved must be active participants. This will enhance their ability to understand the perceptions of each other while at the same time developing a new perception about the personality and the definitive attributes that define the thoughts of the other party. Inasmuch as Maria and developed our friendship prior to this session, I have understood that the procedure we followed was defined by differences in culture.
Significance of learning and feedback
Culture is defined by among other things, the society, the socialization process, the prevailing norms, and stereotypes. The session on communication cross culturally was significant because it provided a platform of understanding the differences that exist when communicating with an individual from a common culture or when interacting with an individual from a different culture. Prior to this session, my behavior and communication methodology was based on preconceived stereotypical assumptions that were acquired through the socialization process. However, by the end of this session I was able to understand that for effective communication to occur the parties involved must have a common understanding on the subject in question. This form of understanding is only possible in situations where every part to the relationship accepts that there are differences, which must be understood. This assumption is in agreement with the dialectal theory of interpersonal relationship and communication.
According to this approach, relationships are in a constant state of change. This means that the degree by which a relationship or communication process is unsuccessful is highly dependent on the approaches used in handling the changes. From this theoretical perspective, I was able to understand the essence of the element of conflict in communication. In the process of communicating or building a relationship, it is possible for parties involved to disagree on different elements. Conflicts or any form of disagreement must be perceived as divergence in perception, which is an essential part of communication. When conflict emanates from differences in culture, it is the responsbility of the parties involved to consider the development of an effective way of resolving the conflict (Hendon et al, 2012).
The world is increasingly becoming globalized and his means that there will be an increase in the levels of interaction and the creation of interpersonal relationships among individuals. Outside the class I will use the knowledge acquires in developing sustainable work and personal relationship within the society. This will enable the creation and sustainability of an effective network of operation. Such a network will be an essential resource that I can use to acquire information, advice and in the creation of more connections.
From the learning experience on cross-cultural communication, I was able to acquire the understanding that the approach used in sending a message is critical in effective communication and in the development of a lasting interpersonal relationship. Outside this class, the information acquired will be essential because I have now had an understanding of how to own my message. This process is defined by understanding the message to be communicated in relation to the nature of the audience. I will also enhance my ability to communicate by describing the behavior of other members of the society from diverse cultures without judgment to minimize the possibility of distorted communication.
Making the message appropriate to the receiver is also an essential skill that I will use when communicating and developing relationships outside this class. This is based on the understanding that effective communication is only possible when the receiver’s frame of reference is put into perspective during the process of communication. Asking for feedback will also form an essential part of my approach to communication and building of interpersonal relationships outside this class. Through feedback, it will be easier to evaluate the effectiveness of my approach and assist in developing the best possible strategies that can be used in the future, as tactics of enhancing the communicating process.
Effects on Relationships
During the course, I was able to learn about differently form of communication in diverse cultures and their effects on the way members of different cultural orientations perceive information. This has led me to the realization that before engaging in the development of a conclusion about people it is often important to understand their viewpoints relative to their cultural orientation. I consider this as an essential learning point in building interpersonal relationships outside this class because I have the knowledge and understanding of how to ensure that the context and the content of my messages are understood in the correct way.
To ensure that I am building an effective interpersonal relationship outside this class I am currently enrolled in volunteer related activities within the institution . Through these activities, I have begun the process of building lasting relationship by ensuring that I use the correct communication techniques when sending my message. One effective way of communication such information has been my ability to understand the context and shaping the message to fit the perspective of the listeners. In addition, through this approach to communication I have also been able to understand the differences involved when communicating from an open ended perspective and when communicating from a preconceived approach. The relationship I have been able to build outside the classroom have been enhanced by the group sessions in class which not only provided a means of effective interaction but also a technique of understanding the means of developing sustainable relationships in a culturally diverse society.
One way by which I have been able to ensure effective communication and building of relationships is by taking ownership of my statements. Through this approach, I ensure that I do not speak for anyone but communicate my genuine thoughts and feelings about the situation. The art of being descriptive in the process of understanding behavior has been beneficial in facilitating the development of a common understanding on how to address a prevailing problem despite differences in perspective (Chiocchio et al, 2015). Effective communication and building of interpersonal relationships requires an understanding of the perspective of the other person. I now consider such perspectives essential in the development of a common understanding because they provide a technique of understanding the situation from a societal and individual perspective hence increasing the possibility that the parties involved in the communication process will be focused on the definitive elements rather than prejudice and stereotypical connotations that disrupt the communication process (Motschnig-Pitrik & Nykl, 2014).
The understanding that the role of perspective in communication is to facilitate self-disclosure and enhance openness in communication makes it integral in facilitating the development of a solution-oriented relationship. From the cross-cultural communication class, I was able to acquire knowledge on the process of understanding the differences between different individuals. This explains when communicating to memebers of the society from diverse cultures, I consider every person independently. Independent consideration helps in building relationships that are not based on any form of misconceptions hence increasing the possibility that an effective and lasting relationship will be developed (Motschnig-Pitrik & Nykl, 2014).
Other than my involvement in volunteer activities, I am also actively involved in activities aimed at improving ion my self-esteem levels. This is because through high levels of self-esteem it will be easier to initiate conversations with other members of the society from diverse cultures. In addition, I will be open enough to be able to share my ideas without the fear of criticism or rejection hence improving on my communication skills and ability to engage in building effective relationships. The main objective groups in my class is to facilitate the integration of all classmates and groups members as a way of creating a highly cohesive team of communicators. Initially, it was relatively unsuccessful because there was low level of willingness among the classmates. In addition, the process of actively engaging members towards a common goal was relatively difficult considering the diversity in their perceptions about groups. However, following a series of meetings and the development of an understanding on the objectives of the course groups became the basis of the class considering that the diversity in cultural orientation provided a perfect platform of understanding the prevailing situation in the world outside class. The success experienced in the groups can be attributed to increased awareness on cross-cultural communication, stereotypical connotations, and improved willingness levels among classmates. It is therefore important to organize more sessions on communication skills with regard to cross cultural communication as this will provide the groups with more insight on the best strategies to use when communication to a diverse society.
From the `course, I acquired essential information that can be used in the development of powerful relationships outside the class. Resources play an essential role in persuading others to change the course of action or in the prevention of others from moving towards a goal. This means that even in communication and in the development of relationships, power struggles are inevitable and in most cases, they may lead to conflicts.
In my initial sessions at the during the course, I was exposed to different forms of I was unaware of how to handle opposition and arrogance from diverse cultures. This was highly negative and scary and at some point thought, it would lead to more conflicts. However, as I learned the behavior of my clients relative to their environment and experiences, I began understanding that when conflict is harnessed it can be used as an essential tool for development and change.
In class and outside class, I have faced different challenges related to conflicts arising from difficulty in cross-cultural communication. However, by harnessing the conflict and accepting it as part of change throughout the process, it has become easier to develop ways of merging the conflict with the situation. In addition, through effective communication skills, I have been able to understand the relevance of elements such as self-disclosure, high self-esteem, and message sending techniques with regard to building effective relationships (Hodgett & Hegar, 2013). Despite the challenges faced in my ability to integrate into groups, the progressive learning on diversity in communication has become a perfect learning platform on how to improve on my skills in communicating and in the development of interpersonal relationships.
The feedback I received from my classmates in group activities played an essential role in improving my levels of self-esteem. Self-esteem is considered an essential tool in communication skills. Prior to the class, I was shy and withdrawn. However, through feedback from classmates I am more open and talkative. The essence of feedback from classmates emanated from the understanding that I was communicating with my peers who experienced almost similar self esteem and confidence related problems. In addition, their sentiments were also beneficial because they provided informed and intuitive solutions on how to be an effective communicator. I took their comments as a essential information in facilitating my ability to engage in effective communication.
Summary and Conclusion
The course has been influential in the development of my communication skills and ability to develop interpersonal relationships. This has been facilitated by attending informative sessions led by the professor, interacting with guest speakers and engaging in group activities with my classmates. Throughout different topics, I have been able to understand the relevance of learning communication skills as a professional tool considering that communication is integral in everyday activities. Possessing the most appropriate skills is essential in building sustainable interpersonal relationships and in enhancing in the development of a more cohesive society. My professional field requires constant communication with personalities facing different drug and alcohol abuse related challenges. The course has provided essential insights that I can implement in the process of building relationships with my clients and developing effective interpersonal relationships. From the course, I was also able to acquire important information on the benefits of understanding the parties involved in the communication process. This was important because it provided an avenue of tailoring messages to fit in the framework of the audience.
From the course, I acquired information on the role of conflict in developing relationships. The lecture sessions were informative enough to assert that conflicts are inevitable in any discourse. However, it can be used as a tool that enhances change especially in the development of interpersonal relationships among individual from diverse cultural backgrounds. It is the responsbility of the communicators to harness the conflict and develop problem-solving strategies. The course was also informative in the provision of essential information on the means of sending and receiving messages. Ownership of message form an essential part of any communication process. This explains why it is important to understand the message before communicating it to an audience. This approach allows for the parties involve to tailor make information in ways that fits theirframweork.in addition, through this approach to communication and relationship development parties involved will always approach each communication platform open-minded.
Goals of improving interpersonal skills and relationships
Reduce my levels of prejudice when communicating with people from diverse cultures. This goal will be realized by increasing my level of interaction with individuals from different cultures to reduce. Being objective in conversations will also facilitate my ability to understand their perceptions by not being judgmental.
Develop an undertaking of an individual’s personality relative to his or her culture. This goal will be realized by developing relationships with individuals from different cultures and understanding the role of their cultural orientation in their personality and communication skills
Developing messages tailor made to fit the cultural aspects defining the communication behavior of the loiterer. This will help in minimizing the elves of generalization about a culture and ensuring that the content of communication is culture sensitive.
Engage in more group work activities with classmates by the end of the training. This relevance of this goal will be to acquire additional insights on communication and interpersonal skills from classmates and the professor.
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Hendon, D. W., Hendon, R. A., & Herbig, P. A. (2012). Cross cultural business negotiations.
Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Quorum Books.
Hodgetts, R. M., & Hegar, K. W. (2013). Modern human relations at work. Mason, OH:
Metge, J. & Kinloch, P. J. (2011). Talking past each other: Problems of cross-cultural
communication. Wellington: Victoria University Press.
Motschnig-Pitrik, R. & Nykl, L. (2014). Person-centred communication: Theory, skills and
practice. Maidenhead : Open University Press
Piller, I. (2011). Intercultural communication: A critical introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
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