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Sarah Lewis

December 3, 2016
Interpersonal Communication
Gina Johnson
Interpersonal Communication Competence Essay

It has come to my attention, that being naturally effective in communication

is not a born given talent, but is a skill that must be frequently reevaluated,

updated, and changed in various circumstances to ensure that the communicated

message is being sent and received as it was intended. I have learned that effective

communication takes practice through evaluating my own interpersonal encounters,

but also after reading the text and participating in our in class activities. Henceforth,

I know that my new found knowledge of the concepts and ideas of how to

appropriately communicate with others is due to this interpersonal communication

course. Interpersonal communication has enlightened me to re-analysis my own

self-concept and the way I listen and respond. These concepts are impactful

because they showed me where I am most effective in my communication skills.

In learning about the self-concept, I was taught to be honest with myself

about the things I am willing to tolerate and compromise about. Now, I am aware

that I am a task oriented person and that I used to engage in self-doubting. In

addition, I learned which life roles I valued as important and how those roles help to

contribute to the woman I am becoming, while also identifying the bad habits that

have hindered the effectiveness of my communicative messages. The self-concept

evaluation activity has revealed that self-doubting was my biggest downfall. I saw

that my self-esteem needed improvement in order get rid of self-doubt, by

changing the negative self-image I saw of myself into the positive, optimistic person

I wanted to be.

When learning about the concept of listening and responding, I took away

two important ideas from this lesson; the difference between listening and hearing
and actively listening takes practice. First, I learned that there is a difference

between listening and hearing. To listen you must be actively engaged in mindful

listening. You must have an honest interest in the topic by responding to

meaningful messages that are not vague, whereas in hearing, you tend to engage in

mindless listening because there is no interest in the topic, which then causes the

persons responsive messages to be inappropriate for the conversation. Secondly, I

noticed how people believe they are great listeners without understanding what it

means to listen. For instance, many think listening always requires a response

when in fact, that is not always the case. My personal evaluation showed me that

sometimes conversations are held because people want to be heard and not given

an answer.

My approach in communicating in an interpersonal relationship has changed

positively. I use more inclusive language and holding myself accountable for the role

I play in the conversations, whether it be listening or responding. In my listening

and responding concept journal, I said that I would engage in relational listening

and so far that has happened. Now, I have meaningful conversations rather than

meaningless conversations. Prior to enrolling into this course, I was aware that I

needed to improve and develop in certain areas of communication skills. I knew for

a fact my self-concept needed development because at times I was unsure of

myself . Also, I knew I needed improvement on my listening and responding

because I would only listen to what I wanted to hear. Then respond negatively to

what I need to hear.

Overall, my goal is to be honest with myself and others about needs and

wants by using my communicative strategies. Moving forward, I will continue to

become more encouraging to myself and others. Interpersonal communication has

shown me that we are not naturally great communicators as people, but that we
can be taught to be great communicators. In addition, this course has encouraged

me to redefine myself. Henceforth, I have discovered that my awareness of

nonverbal cues can be developed more because I sometimes can misinterpret

peoples nonverbal messages. The steps I am taking to improve my nonverbal

communication are, not assuming that the message sent is negative, asking the

person to clarify when I do not understand, and to evaluate the message that I am

sending. For the most part, interpersonal communication has provided me with the

necessary tools to be both a professional and personal communicator.