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What is communication, and how does it affect your everyday life?

  • Communication is the process of using verbal and nonverbal messages to generate meaning within and across various contexts, cultures, and channels.
  • Effective interpersonal communication helps you achieve your personal, professional, educational, intercultural, intellectual, societal, and ethical goals.

What do you need to know to become a more effective communicator?

  • Effective communicators make critical decisions about the seven guiding principles of human communication represented by the key elements self, others, purpose, context, content, structure, and expression.
  • The four types of communication context are psychosocial, logistical, interactional, and mediated.
  • The three interactional contexts are interpersonal, group/team, and presentational communication.

How do communication models help you address interpersonal communication challenges?

  • Unlike linear and interactional communication models, the transactional model depicts communication as a simultaneous transaction in which we continuously exchange verbal and nonverbal messages and share meanings.
  • In an interpersonal transaction, communicators encode and decode messages at the same time.
  • The components of a transactional communication model include all seven elements of effective communication as well as message, feedback, and noise.

How do theories help you choose effective interpersonal communication strategies and skills?

  • Your choices of communication strategies and skills are most effective when they are grounded in theory. Without theory, you may not understand when and why to use a particular strategy or skill to its best advantage.
  • Make communication an enduring habit by knowing what to do and why to do it (knowledge), knowing how to do it (skills), and wanting to do it (desire).

Why is ethical decision making essential for respectful interpersonal communication?

  • Questions of right and wrong arise whenever people communicate. Ethical communication is fundamental to respectful, responsible thinking, decision making, and the development of relationships and communication within and across contexts, cultures, and channels.
  • The National Communication Association Credo for Ethical Communication endorses principles of ethical communication for all communicators.