Interpersonal communication is a dynamic form of communication between two (or more) people in which the messages exchanged significantly influence their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and relationships.
Interpersonal communication is dynamic: in motion and changing; initially created spontaneously, based on our thoughts, moods and emotions, unlike planned business communication.
Interpersonal communication is mostly transactional:we must take into account common experiences.
Interpersonal communication is dyadic:most IPC occurs in dyads, pairs.
Interpersonal communication creates impact:it changes our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and relationships.
DISCUSSION STARTER 3: Think of an important conversation you’ve recently had with a close friend, family member, coworker, or romantic partner. How did your emotions, mood, and thoughts shift throughout that encounter? In what ways did these changes influence how the conversation unfolded?
V. Martin Buber’s Continuum
A. Martin Buberbelieved that we communicate either impersonally (talking to the role), or personally (talking to a person). He called the former I-It communication, the latter I-Thou communication, also distinguishing the I-You (in between).
B. Martin Buber Continuum Characteristics. (Michael’s Sound Bite 1-8).
|Interchangeability –I don’t care who talks to me, as long as they do what they have to do.||Uniqueness –I need a specific person to talk to, someone else would not do.|
|Measurability –I determine whether I am happy or not with communication judging by just a few criteria of effectiveness||Unmeasurability –I can’t say why I like my friend.|
|No choice –what we say is dictated by the roles we play||Always a choice –we always have a choice of topics and approaches|
|Non-reflectiveness –we don’t have to think about what we say, our roles are scripted.||Reflectiveness –we have to think about what we say|
|Unadressability –I am talking to the role, not the person||Addressability –I am talking to a person, not the role he or she plays.|
C. Being impersonal is not always bad.Impersonal communication is okay when we talk to the person performing a role in a situation where we perform a role, too: in a restaurant, a bank, on a taxi, etc.
D. With many people we assume the middle position.We do consider some personal characteristics of people in some roles: doctor/patient, teacher/student, etc. However, becoming friends with them may spoil the relationship!
E. Tri-Level Continuum by Maxim Dernyatin and Wave Model by Evgeny Frolov (Michael’s Sound Bite 1-9).
Michael’s student, Maxim Dernyatin, had proposed three levelsof impersonal/interpersonal behavior: (a) level of instincts, (b) level of social expectations, (c) level of personal beliefs. He believed that each interlocutor can be guided by only one of three levels (or any combinations thereof) in their impersonal or interpersonal behavior.
Another of Michael’s students, Evgeny Frolov,suggested viewing the levels as waves, present simultaneously in each person’s behavior, and taking different positions in terms of relative importance, depending on: (a) models used, (b) channels used, (c) noises, (d) topics, (e) previous and subsequent events, (f) contexts, (g) needs.
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