Communication plays an important role in people’s lives. For instance, Japanese people who suffered from the quake were terrified because they felt isolated without any communication (Fackler 2011, p.A11). Reportedly, people who were deprived of electronic means of communication relied on such means as announcements from loudspeakers, or sirens.
Admittedly, verbal and non-verbal communication is essential for every individual. It goes without saying that every situation requires specific ways of communication, otherwise the major aim of communication will not be achieved. Thus, even informal private communication should be effective, and this can be achieved if the major principles of effective communication are taken into account.
In the first place, it is necessary to point out the major communication objective. Basically, communication objectives “include the effective exchange of ideas and opinions” (Tonn 2010). People are sharing ideas in the workplace and in their personal life. For instance, the conversation between David Carr and A.O. Scott who commented upon Oscars ceremony can be regarded as a private conversation (Oscars: Youthful Audience n.d.). The interlocutors feel free.
It is important to note that both of them pertain to one culture (they are Americans) which simplifies their communication since no cultural barriers exist between them. In fact, culture plays a very important role in communication since culture shapes individuals’ values and beliefs which influence greatly people’s behavior, which in its turn is essential when communicating.
Witsel (2009, p. 170) also stresses that cultural differences influence the effectiveness of communication greatly and it is essential to take into account these cultural peculiarities when sending and receiving messages. The present conversation is free from issues concerning cultural differences.
The communication between Carr and Scott is effective since the interlocutors manage to share their ideas. They send their messages waiting for the feedback, and they get the feedback since the interlocutor is an active listener. Both, Carr and Scott, support or refute arguments of each other, which is a very effective technique when communicating (Ulrich 2009, p.583). It is necessary to point out that sometimes the interlocutors interrupt each other, so certain barriers or, so-called noise appear.
They do not listen to the speaker attentively because they start talking and articulating their ideas (Oscars: Youthful Audience n.d.). The noise can lead to miscomprehension and it can also lead to less effective communication (Witsel 2009, p.135). However, there are only two cases of interruption, so it does not prevent interlocutors from communicating their ideas.
The present dialogue is a valuable example of the significance of non-verbal communication. For instance, the interlocutors use illustrators, “gestures that go along with” speech (Witsel 2009, p.170).
Carr and Scott laugh and nod, they make direct eye contact and these non-verbal means of communication (which are “very positive messages in US culture”) create a friendly atmosphere which is favorable for communication (Witsel 2009, p.163). Thus, it is possible to state that the dialogue can be characterized by effective communication since the interlocutors share their ideas on certain topic in a friendly atmosphere.
In my opinion, the dialogue is effective because the interlocutors had an idea about certain peculiarities of effective communication. It does not necessarily mean that they were studying those effective means of communication, but the majority of verbal and non-verbal means they used are determined by culture.
Thus, as far as non-verbal communication is concerned, smiles, nods and laugh are signs of active listening in American culture. Both speakers make use of these non-verbal means. As for verbal communication the interlocutors conveyed their ideas in explicit way so that their receiver could easily understand the message and provide his feedback.
It is necessary to point out that the work of Witsel (2009) was a very valuable source of knowledge which enabled me to learn about communication theories and, what is more important about their application in the real life.
For example, found out about the importance of paying attention to such four factors as feedback, channel, type of communication, language source (Witsel 2009, p.135). The right choice of each element is beneficial for reaching the major aim of communication. Thus, it is essential not to confuse formal or informal communication since every type has certain rules to follow.
Nevertheless, I believe that information about non-verbal communication, revealed in Witsel’s work (2009) was of primary importance for me. I acknowledged that this type of communication plays a very important (and sometimes crucial) role when sharing ideas. Many non-verbal signs can lead to misunderstanding and failing communication.
Thus, I now understand that before communication your ideas to some person or people it is essential to find out more about their cultural background. This is extremely important in the modern globalized world.
In conclusion, it is necessary to point out that communication theories help understand the major principles of communication and what is more important to reach communication aims. For instance, analyzing an example of informal conversation between two Americans, it is possible to identify the main principles of effective communication.
The example is quite valuable in terms of communication analysis since the dialogue reveals effective means of communicating ideas, used by the interlocutors and their drawbacks. Basically, I learnt much about verbal and non-verbal means of communication. Now I should admit that non-verbal communication have become essential in the modern globalized world since people from different countries should share ideas effectively and cultural differences can negatively influence communication.
Fackler, M 2011, “Quake Area Residents Turn to Old Means of Communication to Keep Informed”, The New York Times, 28 Mar. 2011, p. A11.
Oscars: Youthful Audience. The New York Times Video, video, The New York Times, viewed 31st March 2011, < http://video.nytimes.com/video/playlist/arts/movies-features/1248069018693/index.html#100000000670802>.
Tonn, VL 2010, “Meanings, Images of Interpersonal Communication, and The Iching.” China Media Research vol. 6, iss. 2, pp. 94-103, viewed 23 March 2011, Expanded Academic ASAP.
Ulrich, B 2009, “Engaging in Crucial Conversations.” Nephrology Nursing Journal vol.35, iss.6 (2009): 583. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 23 Mar. 2011.
Witsel, M (ed.) 2009, Communication in Organisations, 5th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.