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Outline:

1.0 Introduction

  1.1 Thesis

2.0 The principles and barriers to effective interpersonal communications

3.0 The role of communication in developing and maintaining one’s self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem

4.0 The importance of self-disclosure and emotional intelligence

    4.1 The role self-disclosure play in a couple or partner’s relationship

    4.2 How relationships can be improved by becoming more emotionally intelligent

5.0 Strategies for using communication techniques to resolve interpersonal conflicts

6.0 The impact of gender and culture in interpersonal communications

7.0 Conclusion

 

 

Introduction

Effective communication is the bedrock of achieving stable relationships globally. Proper communication means that clear information is given at the right time and place between individuals. It requires high level of accuracy and adherence to the communication etiquette and principles. In light of the aspects, communication is a key determinant of the stability between married couples. It plays a critical role in shaping a lasting relationship or a short relationship. Wood (2013) affirms that when communication is poor between couples, nothing good can be achieved, instead constant quarrelling is bound to be witnessed. The couples cannot reason as grown-ups, agree on certain issues and make collective decisions. This harms the ability of the couple to advance socially, economically and spiritually (Wood, 2013). The inability for couples to sit and reason together is a major hindrance to social harmony and progress in the society given that where there is no peace, nothing good can materialize.

Latest statistics on relationship stability conducted in US indicate that most families are unable to stand the test of time especially in the recent past. The aspect is evident as over 65% of newly formed families disintegrate within five years of marriage (Wood, 2013). This paper provides an advisory opinion to Marshal and Gregg based on the comprehensive study about communication between couples. It covers the major principles of communication, barriers to effective communication, the role of communication and importance of communication among other aspects. The information is set to create awareness among young couples about the importance of effective communication including why they should strive to communicate well.

Thesis statement

Effective communication is a major factor of building strong and sustainable relationships that is worth practicing by couples amidst the growing challenges encountered.

The principles and barriers to effective interpersonal communications

Interpersonal communication is defined as sharing of information between two individuals or groups of people (Beeb, Beebe, Redmond & Geerink, 2014). It involves exchange of information about various issues that range from social, economic and culture. For instance, communication between couples such as Marshal and Gregg is classified as an interpersonal interaction. The communication system gives individuals the opportunity to understand the opinion of the other party, establish critical viewpoints and share problems. In a family setting, it creates a stronger relationship and understanding among couples including children (Beeb, et al, 2014). To achieve effectiveness, interpersonal communication must be undertaken based on clear principles of communication, best practices and communication etiquette. There must be a high level of accuracy with respect to the content and it must be necessary.

The notable principles of communication that couples must observe to ensure effective sharing of information include interpersonal skills, right timing, understanding of the purpose of the message and clarity of the information. In particular, interpersonal skills are imperative given that they help in building stronger interpersonal relationships that is based on openness (Beeb, et al, 2014). Such skills promote quality interaction between individuals and groups of individuals. It enables one to understand the behavior, attitude and psychological demands of the other. For example, communication skills enables assist in establishing when one partner is withdrawn and records diminishing concentration power.

Delivery of information at the right timing is an important element in communication. It is ethical and noble for couples such as marshal and Gregg to know the best times of communicating certain things. That is the time must be relevant for communicating the information to be passed across. For instance, there are good times for communicating money matters such as daily expenses, investment and school fees among others (Beeb, et al, 2014). Likewise, there are good times for communicating social events, spiritual information, work experiences and sharing information about relatives including discussions on those who need support. All the information is instrumental for sustained growth and development of couples such as Marshal and Gregg. Location, attitude, understanding and accuracy remains other major principles that facilitate exemplary communication between couples.

On the other hand, there are notable barriers of communication that couples must establish and observe. The barriers causes’ communication breakdown hence impedes understanding of issues. The evident communication barriers include noise room various sources, use o poor channels o communication, use of a language that is unknown, poor timing, content inaccuracy, misconception of facts and location issue (Beeb, et al, 2014). The barriers affect understanding of the information delivered thereby affect decision making and strategy formulation. The barriers are detrimental since they result to information distortion. They influence individuals understanding of facts as presented. Therefore, couples such as Marshal and Gregg must embrace conventional and effective channels of communication to foster understanding between them.

The principles matter given that they present a viable framework upon which interpersonal communication can executed. They ensure that the right channels of communication are embraced from the initial stages to the end. Likewise, the principles enable the communicating parties to know when to communicate and what to share at particular times. This guarantees accuracy in communication that remains a critical element in ensuring understanding among couples. As noted by Beeb, et al (2014), adherence to the best communication practices and etiquette holds the capacity of giving Marshal and Gregg the ability to share quality information with structured content. This is meant to build them socially, economically and morally. Effective communication promotes peace, stability and understanding between couples and other family members. When peace prevails, couples can always embark on undertaking well-identified projects that are necessary or economic and social growth hence the need for the young couple of Marshal and Gregg to embrace the communication etiquette.

When it comes to the management of the barriers, the couple can embark on developing strong interpersonal skills, understanding ability and knowledge of each other. They must also know the right time for communicating certain information, the right location and avoid misconceptions including negative attitude that affect elective sharing of information.

The role of communication in developing and maintaining one’s self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem

One’s self-concept is defined as the individual’s perception of his ability in diverse aspects and uniqueness. The concept that is also known as self-identity enables individuals to establish their abilities and capitalize on them to facilitate effective interpersonal relationships. Similarly, self-image is defined as the mental picture that is resistant to new things or change (Muller, 2013). It shows physical and non-physical details of individuals that include height, weight, color and hair among others. Self-image is a key driver of self-esteem and enthusiasm that is good for managing relationships. As noted by Muller (2013), self-esteem is another important aspect that promotes communication between individuals or couples. It is defined as a reflection of an individual’s evaluation of emotions subjectively. Self-esteem influences individual’s attitude and judgment towards himself.

All the three aspects determine the effectiveness of interpersonal communication in relationships greatly. They influence the way some people think about diverse issues, the confidence level that is necessary for quality expression and how they perceive others and themselves (Muller, 2013). In particular, self-concept that helps individuals to answer the question “who am I” affects communication between couples especially when one partner feels neglected or does appreciate his potentials (Muller, 2013). This aspect may affect Marsh and Gregg in their relationship especially as both partners may lack the strength of communicating to each other on serious things. When one has no idea of the kind of a person he is, he can hardly offer mature discussion or progressive sharing of information from an intelligence perspective.

Self-esteem is another detrimental aspect that Marshal and Gregg must work on to promote a vibrant two-way communication. The couples should have high self-esteem to enable them communicate with vigor, clarity and confidence. This helps in ensuring that both partners understand the meaning or the main message in a conversation to facilitate decision-making (Muller, 2013). Self-esteem also determines the mood and attitude upon which people communicate. Low self-esteem results to inferiority complex situation that compromises one’s ability to share adequately hence leads to communication barrier or inadequate sharing of key issues that are important for family growth.

Additionally, self-image plays a critical role in achieving successful communication between couples. It influences the listener’s perception on the credibility of the message being passed (Muller, 2013). For effective communication among couples, one must build an image of honesty, seriousness, caring and respect. Accuracy, flow of thought and decency is equally important.

Therefore, it is essential for Marshal and Gregg to build their relationship on the strong pillars of communication. They should have high standards of self-esteem, self-concept and self-image to enable them share information effectively. The three aspects will enable them to communicate well at the right time and for the right purpose.

The importance of self-disclosure and emotional intelligence

Self-disclosure is the ability for one to share openly and tell or give information about himself without reservations (McVey, 2011). The information may be related to social, economic and cultural growth. The skill is necessary and important in relationships as it fosters openness between couples including children thereby promote understanding. On the other hand, emotional intelligence is the individual’s ability of recognizing his or her own emotions or that of partners. It helps in shaping feelings, thoughts and behavior. Emotional intelligence is a major component of self-disclosure since it provides requisite capability of recognizing other people’s behavior and emotions.

The role self-disclosure play in a couple or partner’s relationship

Self-disclosure plays a significant role in strengthening relationship ties in family settings or in different teams. The ability to self-disclose will help the couple to communicate openly and share information freely without fear (McVey, 2011). Open sharing of information will build a higher degree of honesty and confidence with each other. It will also reduce or eliminate the fear of message distortion, creation o negative perceptions including destruction o inner feelings. The couple will leave happily and enjoy the moments they are together knowing that they operate to pursue a common agenda in an open environment. Indeed, open disclosures heals and develops strong bonds between couples (Beck, 2013). For example, if one of the couples decided to disclose that he had a baby outside wedlock frankly including other bad things and good ones in the entire life, the other may learn to understand and either accept or reject the person. This is noble instead of concealing the information up to alternate in life.

How relationships can be improved by becoming more emotionally intelligent

The relationship between Marshal and Gregg stands a chance of recording immense improvement and stability through emotional intelligence (EI). This is apparent given that EI will continually enable them to recognize their own emotions, feelings and behaviors (Beck, 2013). This will in turn help them to know when to communicate certain issues, what to disclose and how to treat information received from others. Since, EI guides thinking and behavior of individuals, it will enable the couple to practice self-disclosure. The ability to provide information openly is influenced by emotional intelligence. For example, emotional intelligence would enable Gregg or Marshal to disclose openly his or her past lifestyle undertakings using carefully thought out words or inoffensive words that are irritating.

Strategies for using communication techniques to resolve interpersonal conflicts

Communication techniques range from different forms of communication. These range from verbal communication also known as oral communication to non-verbal communication (sign language). It also includes touch and written messages. How we use these forms of communication largely impacts our relationships with our neighbors and those around us. With that in mind, it is also very important to note that good communication skills can help solve interpersonal conflicts. This can be observed where two individuals are in a conflict either due to poor communication skills that led to a misinterpretation of a particular message or even due other reasons.

In the case of Marshal and Gregg, one can use strategies of effective communication to resolve the conflict between them if conflict arises. First, the individual can use non-verbal communication skills to embrace that he is docile to the other individual. This individual can carefully listen to the other individual and give him all the attention the other person requires and at the end, the other individual will feel appreciated and thus ending the disagreement between them (Curtis, 2015). In addition, an individual can gently interrupt the other person that he is having disagreements with.

This would portray politeness and with everything being calm between them, the disagreement could come into an end. Verbal communication can also be very useful in resolving interpersonal conflicts. This can be very useful in talking out the problem that is affecting the two individual. Using effective communication techniques such as balancing the communication, the two individuals can talk out the problems affecting them and resolve them. Furthermore, while the two individual are having a talk to resolve their disagreement, one of the individual can use the power of touch to embrace docility (Adair, 2009). One individual touching the other while talk would portray that this individual has no problem with the other person and this would be a very imperative step to solve the differences between them.

For example, disagreement may occur over what to invest in with your savings. Marsha may prefer a store for fashion and beauty items but you on the other end may prefer a store for male shoes. In such a case, you can apply good communication strategies such as gentle interruption to talk out and straighten the matter. Also, you can aid your communication strategy by the use of non-verbal signs such as focusing your attention to her to show that you appreciate what she is trying to say and eventually the two of you may agree on combining the business or opening up a new and different business without any quarrels.

The impact of gender and culture in interpersonal communications

Holmes (2007) describes gender as either being male or female. This quality is very important in interpersonal relationships in our daily lives. It can be easier for people with the same sex to share private information than people of the opposite gender. This is because it is an embarrassing feeling to share that piece of information with individual of the opposite gender (Holmes, 2007). In that note, it is also true to assert that it easier for strangers of the opposite gender to converse than for strangers of the same sex. This is because of the mutual attraction the normally exists between individuals of opposite sexes.

Culture on the other hand refers to the collection of art and expressions of a group that is exhibited as their intellectual achievement (Kalman, 2009). People from different cultural backgrounds may find it difficult to communicate where as people from the same cultural background may find it very easy to communicate due to similar interests. As such, culture can largely influence the communication between two groups while the people sharing the same culture may feel the sense of togetherness thus having a positive influence on the communication among the group members. In other words, culture may contribute in the bringing of individual together or separating them and therefore affecting their communication (Kalman, 2009).

The two aspects above can largely influence the interpersonal communication in relationships such as the one between Gregg and Marsha. This is due to their differences in gender and cultural origin. For the purpose of our reference, I will use the two of you to demonstrate my point. Since you are newly wedded, you may have not felt the effect of gender and cultural difference in your personal level of communication. However, sooner or later, this problem may begin to present itself to the two of you. Either of you either may start feeling that there is a gap in communication to yourselves due to gender differences or to your families due to cultural differences (Gamble, 2015).

My advice to you is to try as much as possible to make good use of effective communication skills whenever you communicate to you partner, Marsha. In addition to that, you should also understand Marsha’s cultural and gender differences to you and your family and your friends. That is how you will be able to understand why she does or reacts how she reacts. For example, if Marsha decides to tell her fellow friends about a personal problem that she feels it is not right for you to know about and you find out about it, please understand that, that was a gender sensitive matter and she could not just communicate it to you. However, I would highly insist that the two of you should not necessarily keep secrets from each other.

To top up, if Marsha talks to her family more often than she speaks to your family on the phone, you should understand that she shares the same cultures with her family and that is why she so close to them and feels free to talk to them than your family (Samovar et al, 2016).

Conclusion

Interpersonal communication skills are a very important in our everyday life. We are able to effectively communicate to our neighbors thus making life easier for us and the people around. The lack of effective interpersonal communication may result to interpersonal conflicts due to the wrong interpretation of the message sent from the sender to the receiver. These techniques are very important especially in areas where we must interact with the people around such as in the workplace. As such, these places require loyalty and trust in order to optimally benefit from the relationships that we create in such places. These can only be achieved through effective communication techniques.

References

Adair, J. E. (2009). Effective communication: The most important management skill of all. London: Pan Books.

Beeb, S., Beebe, S., Redmond, M. & Geerink, T. (2014). Interpersonal Communication:

Relating to Others, Sixth Canadian Edition, New York: Pearson Education

Beck, J. (2013). Emotional Intelligence in Everyday Life. New York: Springer.

Curtis, M. (2015). Strategies for Effective Communication Techniques.

Gamble T. K & Gamble M. W. (2014). The Gender Communication Connection. M. E. Sharpe

Holmes, M. (2007). What is gender?: Sociological approaches. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Kalman, B. (2009). What is culture?. New York: Crabtree Pub. Co.

Muller, R. (2013). The Importance of the Concept of a Self-Image of Speakers. New York:

McVey, S. (2011). Building Trust at Work with Appropriate Self-Disclosure. Retrieved from, http://mcveymanagementsolutions.us/building-trust-with-self-disclosure/

Samovar, L., Porter, R., McDaniel, E., Roy, C. (2016). Communication between Cultures. Cengage Learning

Wood, J. T. (2013). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. Boston, MA:

Wadsworth.

 

 

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