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How Does Perception Influence Our Interpersonal Communication?

Essay by   •  September 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  682 Words (3 Pages)  •  3,635 Views

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How many times have we try to convey a message of simply the way we feel but our non-verbal communications distorted the message and it got lost in translation? Non-verbal communication can be a barrier to the general understanding of your message and it has been proven that "emotions and attitudes both generate problems in the transmission of communications" (Porter, 1969). In order to ensure effective interpersonal communications one must make sure we do not include non-verbal communications when assessing a situation or gathering final understanding.

I can give several examples where I have allowed non-verbal communication to dictate the way my employees feel. It has taken face to face interaction for me to change the initial concept I had about the situation and make a better assessment. I have learned that when an employee is sitting at their desk without interacting with their peers and are been self-kept, it does not mean they do not like their job or the customers are getting the best of them. Often times, the employee is going through tough times in their personal life and needs somebody to talk to. I have learned to completely eliminate non-verbal communication in order to come to conclusions but instead to learn what then next step of dealing with the situation should be.

Non-verbal communication is an interpretation of what we see and humans are known for having the ability to interpret the same situation in many different ways, creating confusion and making effective communication hard to achieve. The way a person feels when receiving information can also influence the way we perceive communication. Often times, when a person is upset and it is approached by another person, we tend to believe the person wants to talk about the reasons why we are upset and we tend to dismiss them without even giving them the opportunity to state the reason for their approach.

"As individuals engage in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication channels them a wealth of potential information. The content, structure, and sequencing of verbal messages , as well as the paralinguistic cues, gestures, facial expressions, body movements and cues provided by the physical environment that accompany verbal messages, all afford considerable grist for social actors' comprehension and interpretative mills" (Burgoon, 2000 ). Simply stated, not allowing some of the concepts included in effective communication, such as non-verbal communication to take precedence over what a person is trying to verbally communicate, could be the decisive factor of whether we would be able to effectively understand what is been communicated. One common mistake we normally make when engaged in communication is focusing all of our attention on the person's gestures instead of focusing on the message the person is trying to convey. This could easily lead us to get the wrong impression about the person if for example,

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