When considering essential qualities one needs to have to be successful in life, people typically outline the importance of intelligence, charisma, and the potential to be a leader. These aspects of one’s professional character are often cited on CVs along with language and computer proficiencies, the ability to think critically. And adaptability. However, one quality that generally gets underestimated is the skill of interpersonal communication, which is defined as the process in which two or more individuals share their feelings, ideas, and information with each other. Typically, it is postulated that the exchange should happen face-to-face. However, with recent technological developments, it is possible to participate in interpersonal communication with the help of messaging apps, although the particularities of it may differ. In general, his skill encompasses the ability to effectively relay one’s personal views to an audience, take in the opinion of one’s discussion partner, and work in a team. The purpose of this paper is to show that while the topic of interpersonal communication typically comes up in a professional setting, in reality, it permeates almost all areas of an individual’s life.
Interpersonal Communication Skills in a Professional Setting
Many individuals outline the importance of having the ability to maintain good interpersonal communications in one’s workplace without fully realizing why this is a necessity. This is explained by the fact that despite it being a popular topic of examinations, researchers fail to provide clear definitions for these skills or even all of the incidents they encompass (DeKay 449). However, while interpersonal communication remains uncharted territory to this day, there is intuitive knowledge of it. For instance, this ability should encompass the way one can maintain a good relationship with one’s boss or employee while adhering to the internal working hierarchy. Another important skill would be the ability to present one’s ideas to one’s colleagues and oppose competing ones without resorting to personal attacks. Additionally, it is essential to know how to solve work conflicts both as a participant and a bystander. The necessity of these abilities stems from the fact that the success of a company is reliant on its internal structure. This formation can only be maintained if all of the employees know how to be part of a team and have good interpersonal communication skills.
Interpersonal Communication Skills in One’s Personal Life
An important part of interpersonal communication, as outlined in the previous section, is the fact that it is only necessary when people are dependent on each other. This connection is transparent in a company setting where each worker knows their place in the organization’s hierarchy. These relationships are less apparent in one’s personal life where, at first glance, each individual seems to exist independently of the other. However, this is an illusion as all people are intertwined with one another, even if these connections are not as transparent. Therefore, an individual has a specific relationship with each member of their family, their friends, acquaintances, and even people they only see in passing, even if this relationship is not deeply rooted. Another point of consideration is that discussions in one’s workplace are often deliberate and serve a particular purpose while conversations one has in their personal life seem more causal. However, that aspect of interpersonal communication is not essential as researchers agree that the communication can be subtle or unintentional (Bajracharya). All interactions one has in their personal life, no matter how fleeting, are instances of the discussed phenomenon.
Interpersonal Communication through Messaging Apps
It is generally agreed that interpersonal communication takes place only during verbal discussions, which excludes such media as letters. However, with the recent technological developments, in particular, the creation of messaging apps, researchers were forced to consider these channels in their relation to the topic at hand. Instant messaging approximates face-to-face discussions with its quick reaction time to an extent where it can be considered viable for interpersonal communication. Its popularity has resulted in many individuals adopting their online habits of conversation in real life (Jimenez and Morreale 95). It is important to note that before the existence of social media, people would maintain a long-distance conversation with the help of letters, which could not be considered an instance of interpersonal communication. However, nowadays, messaging apps allow this phenomenon to be present in virtually all areas of an individual’s life.
“Interpersonal communication” is a phrase one can often encounter in a CV, with many people mentioning it in the hopes of finding work. However, the extent of this phenomenon is still being researched, as even to this day, there are no clear definitions for the skills it encompasses. Additionally, many individuals do not realize that interpersonal communication exists outside of the workplace. Every single conversation one has in their personal life is part of the phenomenon as it is the foundation of all relations one has. Despite the stipulation that the discussions need to be face-to-face with the creation of messaging apps, even long-distance chats can be considered interpersonal communication.
Bajracharya, Shraddha. “Interpersonal Communication.” Businesstopia, 2018, Web.
DeKay, Sam H. “Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace: A Largely Unexplored Region.” Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace, vol. 75, no. 4, 2012, pp. 449-452.
Jimenez, Yerika, and Patricia Morreale. “Social Media Use and Impact on Interpersonal Communication.” HCI International 2015 – Posters’ Extended Abstracts, vol. 529, 2015, pp. 91-96.