Monday, January 31, 2011

Interpersonal communication

Communication, (1) it happens, (2) you can't time travel to change what was done, (3) it isn’t easy and (4) you need to take everything going on into consideration…basically the four principals of interpersonal communication…….let’s discuss It Happens……

We’re always communicating – all of the time. Don’t even consider hiding from anyone, that’s communicating in itself and most likely a message that you did not want to communicate (or perhaps one that you did – but it’s not one you have real control over since you’re not guiding it……right?).

We need to realize that our communication flow is always on, we need to either take ownership of it or let it run wild: our choice, either way we’re responsible for the outcome. Like a mighty river, it can’t be stopped and at best only controlled for a temporary period of time. Let’s take our interpersonal communication lifecycle under s microscope and examine the major stages:

Pre- relationship communication – this is the communication that occurs prior to establishing a firm relationship with another person. From the moment you bump into them to you have a better understanding of each other. A good example is the sending of your resume up to the end of the first interview, how much does the recipient really know of you? And what do you think decides their understanding of you at this stage?
  • Your name
  • Your writing style
  • Your background – shared experiences, similar education…
  • What’s on their mind, what have they gone through getting to work, the coffee that just spilled on their desk
  • The format of your letter/resume – can they easily read it? Does the butterfly image in the upper right hand corner amuse them? Or distract them?
When communicating to an unknown person, there’s little you can do to control the above ‘feelings’, but the little can go a long way:
  • Keep it simple and keep it direct. 
  • Don’t assume anything about shared experiences or common terminology. 
  • Don’t overwhelm and don’t underwhelm. 
  • Make sure you tell the story the way you want the common reader to understand it.
(to be continued)