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What are the characteristics and benefits of effective interpersonal communication?

  • Good personal relationships positively affect your psychological and physical health, your happiness, your social and moral development, and your ability to cope with stress.
  • William Schutz’s fundamental interpersonal relationship orientation (FIRO) theory identifies three interpersonal needs: inclusion, control, and affection.

How do you form positive and lasting relationships with others?

  • Impression management strategies that help you shape your image in positive ways include ingratiation, self-promotion, exemplification, supplication, and intimidation.
  • Effective communicators know how to initiate, maintain, and end conversations as well as how to listen with interest and empathy.

How does interpersonal communication affect your relationships with friends and colleagues?

  • Strong friendships increase life satisfaction and help increase your life expectancy.
  • There are 10 common stages in most romantic relationships, divided into five coming-together steps and five coming-apart steps.

How does self-disclosure and sensitivity to feedback affect your interpersonal relationships?

  • Self-disclosure is the process of sharing personal information, opinions, and emotions.
  • The Johari Window model displays the extent to which you are willing to self-disclose and are receptive to feedback from others.
  • Social penetration theory describes the process of relationship bonding in which individuals move from superficial communication to deeper, more intimate communication.

How should you express your personal thoughts and feelings to others?

  • Effective self-disclosure requires the ability to focus on the present, be descriptive and understanding, respect and adapt to others, reciprocate self-disclosure, and move disclosure to deeper levels as appropriate.
  • Effective feedback requires giving and asking for information about behaviour, actions, perceptions and feelings, that you and others can change.
  • Gibb’s defensive-supportive communication behaviours are evaluation-description, control-problem orientation, strategy-spontaneity, neutrality-empathy, superiority-equality, and certainty-provisionalism.

How can you assert yourself and also respect the rights and needs of others?

  • Assertive communicators promote their own needs and rights while respecting the needs and rights of others.
  • Passivity is characterized by giving in to others at the expense of your own needs; aggression involves putting your own needs first, often at the expense of someone else’s needs; passive aggression may appear to accommodate others, but it is a subtle form of aggressive behaviour.
  • DESC scripting is a four-step process (describe, express, specify, and consequences) for becoming more assertive.