Synthesis of the article: how it relates to course, principal theses and central arguments (highlights)
Written by Johnson Walter, the article The Introduction to Human Communication Theory explores the constituents of a subtle communication pointing out its relevance to business by showing how the communication process works.
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According to the article, presenting a precise definition of communication, as a central theme, does not adequately depict its nature. Rather, a detailed exploration of communication perhaps may adequately explain its nature and necessities for its effectiveness by considering principles behind it. “People, codes, channels, feedback, messages and decoding, coupled with mechanisms of decoding” (Walter, 2000, p.1), form the essential components that must exist in a complete model of communication. A concern regards to the importance of communication.
Walter attributes the success of communication with the ability to express one’s self fully and precisely: bearing in mind that freedom of expression constitutes one of the provisions in the constitution with which no one, irrespective of his or her capacity, has permission to tamper. Consistent with concerns of the course, Walter claims in the article that, communication can ensure success in one’s profession. In addition, among the sphere of importance of communication, is its ability to foster improvement of oneself since communication starts form generation of self-images, otherwise referred to as intrapersonal communication.
Significance of the Article
The article is significant since it presents communication as a complex process which is inevitable, unpredictable, and irrecoverable (Walter, 2000, p.7). It involves others in one way or another. During any situation, one is mediating, conceptualizing or even perhaps planning various issues including the activities of the day. On other occasions, one is listening to his or her fellow person’s speech. Although, one may presume that listening without altering a word can send messages on one’s perspectives on a debate.
However, this is precisely not the case. One cannot categorically avoid communication. Facial expressions, nodding or any other bodily expression communicate effectively one’s perceptions. However, sometimes, they may not present the actual feedback. Such a situation is when one smiles back to information sender indicating contentment while, in reality, the listener is recounting on some certain comic episodes encountered in life. If the second party hardly intended the information to reach a group of people, the people gather such information and make certain conclusions. Communication is unavoidable, unpredictable and or irreversible to this extent.
The article presents communication as a complex process, interfered with by the existence of noise within the environment. Noise has the capacity to create a mixture of signals, which in turn affect the message decoding process. Incorporation of proactive strategies to enhance its effective and precision, consequently, stands essential in the endeavors to ensure that the audience garners the requisite information attached a particular intended meaning and makes only the conclusions intended by the sender.
According to the article, effectiveness implies competence in communication. Walter defines effective communication as the capacity to, in an effective way, transfer meanings via some established common system comprised of behavior, signs and symbols (Walter, 2000 p.11). Discrepancies in the goals of the message’s sender and receiver provide substantive mechanisms that complicate competencies in communication. In addition, cultural beliefs, possession of deferring values and attachment to certain ideologies dictated by these differing cultural affiliations, help to stir up misunderstanding between the people involved in communication.
Indeed, people possess different perceptions of communication. Such differences have the capacity to impair one’s effective communication. Consequently, effectiveness in communication requires the communicator to have the ability to improvise subtle strategies that would ensure recognition and accommodation of such existing differences, evaluate them and twist his audience from holding such opposed stands before attempting to deliver his or her intended message.
Ways in which the article has enhanced your knowledge, clarified matters, or enlightened you (new perspectives, innovative observations, etc.)
On my part, the article has clarified and affected some additional knowledge that I never had relating to interpersonal communication. I have always held the position that any communication process requires senders and receivers. However, according to the article, in the case of interpersonal communication, the sender and the receiver of the messages is oneself. One argument satisfying is that:, all other forms of communication: public communication and mass communication among others rely on the ability to communicate ardently with oneself, as message sending entails expressing one’s perceptions and ways of thinking about some issues (Walter, 2000,p.22).
Intrapersonal communication is continuous. Surprisingly, given its relevance to other forms of communication, the article reveals how people do not give this form of communication a sufficient consideration. It is particularly appalling to learn that, although communication is part of every subject such as physics, history English or even Biology, majority of the people claim to know about it while they know remarkably little in actual sense (Walter, 2000, p.10).
In fact, in colleges and other institutions of higher learning, communication constitutes a subject taught across all curriculums. In its practical terms, communication serves as an accurate and consistent tool of interpersonal and interpersonal expression.
Important questions raised by the author. Resolved or open-ended?
In the article, the author presents queries on the precise definitions of communication as well as the importance of effective communication in the business sphere of management. As discussed above, Walter resolves the question of defining communication, which people can achieve through a detailed exploration of communication; by considering principles behind it and necessities for its effectiveness- something he eloquently does.
He gives the question on the relevance of communication in the business spheres an ardent consideration. He accomplishes this by unveiling how an attempt to build large clientele in business solely depends on the capacity of the manager as well as the staff who communicates directly with clients. They should also involve their clients in a communication that is consistent with the goals and objectives of the organization. Concepts of competence in communication alongside mechanisms of shaping the audience, as a way of preparing them for information, are vital.
Walter, J. (2000). Introduction to Human Communication. Oxford: Oxford UP.