I possess both good and bad communication skills. When life is good and not stressful, I practice good interpersonal communication, but when things are crazy my interpersonal communication deteriorates. When things are good, I practice active listening, which helps me to maintain healthy relationships, where I develop a supportive communication climate. When things are stressful, I start to shortcut the communication process, which leads to a lower self-concept. Once in this cycle, I tend to use more nonverbal communication, and incomplete communication based on my perceptions of different situations. Throughout this course I have been able to recognize the interpersonal communication pitfalls I fall into in stressful situations, and I have been working on strategies to improve and use my good communication skills when they are really needed. I will describe how I use good communication to develop a supportive communication climate, how my nonverbal and incomplete verbal communication affects my relationships, and what strategies I can use to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships.
By recognizing the fundamental elements of the communication process and dealing with them appropriately, I am able to develop a supportive communication climate. The elements “present in all interpersonal interactions: source-receiver, encoding-decoding, messages, channels, noise, context, and ethics” (DeVito, 2013, pg. 8). If I am in a good place I take the time to recognize these elements and their effects on my communication. DeVito (2013) describes the sender as the person speaking and the receiver as the one listening, and tells us that in any interpersonal communication we will act as both speaker and listener. During good times I can evaluate whether or not a certain topic would be appropriate for certain contexts and how to change my communication to accommodate for different situations. DeVito (2013) would describe this as my interpersonal competence. My interpersonal competence allows me to communicate effectively in most situations when I am in a good place.
At work I was asked to be part of a working group to help with the design of our new hanger. I was excited to be a part of this project, because I would be able to use skills I developed when I did construction. At the end of the working group it was the interpersonal communication that was the most rewarding part, because I was able to apply a high level of interpersonal competence to different meetings I was involved in. (Brady, 2013)
In the work group, I used the encoding and decoding of messages to effectively communicate our areas needs and desires while going through the proper channels of communication. “Encoding refers to the act of producing messages-for example, speaking or writing. Decoding is the reverse and refers to the act of understanding messages-for example, listening or reading” (DeVito, 2013 pg.12). DeVito (2013) describes the channel of communication as the...