We all know that communication is speaking to one another, in some form. It is important to note that much of our communication is non-verbal. What we don’t say and our gestures, tone, and facial expressions convey huge amounts of information. We will be looking at non-verbal communication in subsequent posts. Today, we will look at some basic information about communication.

Interpersonal communication takes place between two people; it interdependent. The words, tone, and message affect both speakers and define the interaction. That sounds simplistic, but often we are so caught up in our thoughts prior to speaking that we sometimes forget about the impact on the communication relationship. Most Communication Theories state there are six components to interpersonal communication:

Source-receiver: The dual role of a person as both source of ideas and receiver of the other person’s ideas.

Messages: In face-to-face communication, messages are conveyed through words, tone, and gestures. In online communication, messages are conveyed by written word, emoticons, and videos.

Feedback: Feedback is verbal, nods, smiles, and gestures and is immediate. In online communication feed back is delayed, of course.

Channel: Channel refers to the method of exchange, face-to-face, or the written word. This is more important than it may seem. Have you ever sent a text that was misunderstood? I know I have!

Noise: Noise refers to any outside or internal distraction. It can be actual noise or inner chatter or semantics. It can be reduced but not completely eliminated.

Context: Context refers to an environment that influences the forms and types of communication.

a diagram showing process of interpersonal communication

*Graphic source: https://www.businesstopia.net/communication/interpersonal-communication-examples*

Now that we know the basics of communication theory, we can begin looking at skills to improve our interpersonal communication. Each component has skills that can be learned and implemented. Nearly everyone can become a more proficient communicator. Until next time, breathe, take time outs, be mindful of your words, if you can, and have a lovely day!