Most of us engage in some form of interpersonal communication on a regular basis. How well we communicate with others is a measure of our interpersonal skills. Interpersonal communication is a key life skill and can be used to give and collect information, influence the attitudes and behaviour of others, form contacts and maintain relationships, express personal needs and understand the needs of others. It can also help to give and receive emotional support as well as regulate power. Therefore this essay will evaluate the importance of interpersonal communication to a primary school teacher after the term Interpersonal Communication has been defined.
Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages in a face to face way of communicating (Singh, 2014). Tradeau reinforces this by saying that interpersonal communication is not just what is actually said or the language user but it is also about how it is said and the non-verbal messages sent through tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language. Therefore given the above definitions it is important to note that for interpersonal communication to take place there must be a way of saying something for a given purpose. In the context of a primary school teacher interpersonal communication is the giving and receiving of accurate and relevant information with a purpose that could either be to effect change or to create awareness.
Interpersonal communication is important to a primary school teacher as it helps the teacher to model learners. Laible & Thompson allude that for learners to be motivated interpersonal communication has to be effective to their level so as to achieve the desired result. Since a teacher is a role model in the classroom, it is important for them to motivate learners also. If the teacher uses a harsh voice when settling any disturbances in class, some primary school learners may think that that is the way to solve problems for any teacher and they will imitate it even in adulthood in case they are to become teachers. Also a harsh voice may lead to demotivation by the learners as they may end up feeling intimidated or disrespected. Therefore, a teacher with knowledge of interpersonal communication will not be harsh, too soft or use sarcasm when communicating with their learners but will give learners room for motivation as they aspire to be like their teacher. Therefore interpersonal communication is important to a primary school teacher.
Social relationships are also enhanced where there are good interpersonal communication skills to a primary school teacher. Wentzel & Looney (2007) points out that social networks among teachers can support or constrain their learning, instructional practice and approach to change. Therefore social resources such as information, knowledge and expertise are exchanged through informal networks of actors in a system. For example just having a...