Definition and Principles of Communication
Communication – as we grow up, our family, then society –teaches us how to speak then read and write. Through this practices, communication became integrated in our lives. It then became a basic human activity that enable us to connect with each other (Langley, 2006).
Communication – is a complex process.
• To be able to understand how it happens, we would need to dissect its characteristics and elements.
Mark Twain – sums up communication nicely, “The difference between a good word and the right word is the same as the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.” (Dean Brenner, Marni Lane). Learning how to be good communicator opens a lot of opportunity for us in relationships, career, and fulfilling our goals and dreams.
Communication started years ago with some of our ancestors surviving through drawings, sounds, and gestures. Along with the evolution of civilizations various mediums of communication also emerged. Through time, technology became integrated in our language processes and description.
Communication, originated in the Latin word communicare – meaning to share, unite or join, can be defined as the process by which people share ideas or thoughts which can be understood by another through a chosen medium. These said medium can either be verbal and non-verbal channels.
In a nutshell, it is to send and receive messages using a channel.
Principles of Communication
Before we delve in to oral communication, let us first through the principles of communication. Knowing these would make it easier for us to understand how to properly and adequately communicate with others.
Definition and Principles of Communication
The process of communication makes you either the sender or receiver. By taking one of the roles above, you will activate your schemata, background, or experiences.
Schemata or schemas provide a basis on how we relate to ideas concepts, and events based on past experiences. Prior experiences give meaning to conveyed messages. Having no previous experience nor ides will only resort pronouncing or sounding the words. No experience of any communicative act will trigger views, feelings or ideas.
2. Interpretive act
Communication is an interpretative act. The exact meaning of the message being transmitted is known only by the sender or speaker. The sender has the absolute idea of what the meaning of the message is. The receiver can only interpret, guess or infer based on how it appeals to his/her sense of hearing.
3. Communication is Active, forceful and powerful
In a communicative act, there will always be different effects to the participants. Any message conveyed may have various interpretations because of cultural, ideological, and environmental factors. What is rude in one culture can be perceived as something acceptable in another. For example, in western countries, calling an adult not related to you by their first name is acceptable; yet in the Philippines, this is rude. You need to use their titles or (i.e. Attorney, Miss, Mrs., teacher, etc.) general terms showing respect (i.e. auntie, kuya, Tito, etc.) when you call refer to them or call them by their name.
4. Communication is Symbolic
Signs, symbols, letters, graphs, pictures, etc. are concrete objects that stands for represents an idea. Non-verbal communication, on the other hand, expresses ideas through gestures, voice pitch, posture, facial expression, time, and space.
5. Communication always result in something
Two or more persons usually participate in any communicative act. One sends the message while another reacts to the message. As a transactional process, communication creates an effect on the involved parties. It will elicit either a verbal or non-verbal response.
6. Communication is irreversible
The adage “Think you click” suggests that you go over idea before posting it on your social networks or messages. The same concept should also be applied to the other form of communication. With Oral communications, the moment you utter the words to convey your message already creates an impact to listeners. Attempts to reverse, restore, or recreate the original mood or setting before these words were spoken would be irrevocable. The discipline of mulling over your thoughts before translating them into words can help avoid any instances which may cause problems directly or indirectly.
7. Communication is contextual
Ideas exchanges between the sender and the receiver involves communication setting like time, occasion, purpose or manner of communication. Consider cultural differences when communicating to avoid any negative impact due to the effects of the factors above.
8. Communication is Progressive
Communication is a process you learn from birth and continues to evolve as time passes by. Communicative competence is not learned in one sitting. You go through different levels as you strive to improve your abilities to interact with other people.
9. Communication is a process
Several stages of communication take place when people convey and exchange ideas with one another. Each stage differs from other. Elements or components work in a coordinated manner the complete the process.
10. Communication is ethical
A Communicative event is expected to follow rules, values, and beliefs agreed upon by members of society. These standards determine which cultural group you belong to. Going against these conventions make interaction with others wrong or unethical.
E.g.: In Russia Don’t give a thumbs-up sign-in and other hand gesture facts.
11. Communication is Influenced by technology and media
Communication in the current age of technology is characterized by the instant, real-time exchange of knowledge, messages, and services.
The rapid speed of communication influences how people construct their messages and what platform the use to send their messages.
Why we need to study Oral Communication?
Oral communication competence – both in listening and speaking – is mandatory to the success of a person academically, professionally, and in their personal lives. Poor listening skills lead to people being unable to absorb and understand instructions. This issue intensifies as they respond incorrectly or inappropriately because of deplorable speaking skills. Being able to articulate your ideas and opinions adds value to one’s self.
Skills in oral communication transcends the academic and professional setting. Competence in listening and speaking can also contribute to personal fulfillment.
• Communicare – to join, share, receive or divide with/ out
• Contextual – Depending on or relating to circumstances that form a setting of an event, idea of statement to clarify a meaning.
• Ethical – Pertaining to moral; To what is right and wrong; conforms to imposed standards or rules and regulations
• Process – A series of steps or activities that leads to a result
• Progressive – Continuous improvement.
• Schemata – A mental framework of preconceived ideas that are based on experiences and interactions which shape how the world is seen and understood.
• Scrutinize – To examine, inspect thoroughly.
Diaz, Rafaela Hernandez. (2014). Speech and Oral Communication for College Students, Revised Edition. Quezon City: National Book Store
Kinds of Communication
Learning these kinds of communication will greatly aid you in becoming more aware of how to create more emphasis or to tone down when transmitting your messages you receive.
To get an overview of the two main kinds of communication, refers to the illustration below.
Non-verbal communication transmits messages without relying on language or speech. It uses audio signals or visual signals to communicate a message.
Kinesics is the language of the body. Notice how our body movements and facial expressions add visuals. You may know a friend or an acquaintance who is entertaining to watch when telling a story because of the gestures or facial twitches. This friend is practicing this form of non-verbal communication.
Proxemics is the language of space. Distance and space are devices that can also be used to convey meaning. The relationship of people can be determine by observing the distance they maintain from each other.
Personal Space Distances
Intimate Zone <8’’
Personal Zone 8’’-5ft
Social Zone 5-10ft
Public Zone 10-25ft
However, one must also consider other factors when deciphering the relationship between people from other cultures. For example, Americans are naturally more aggressive in nature when it comes to positioning themselves when talking to others, on the contrary, and English person will maintain a relatively farther distance as compared to the American.
Haptics is the language of touch. This nonverbal communication reveals feelings and culture. If you have ever heard of the saying mother’s touch, it illustrates how someone can feel loved just through touching. Another example is when friends bump fists to show that they acknowledge another person’s idea or they absolutely agree on something. At work, it’s also important to remember that there are rules to follow when communicating with your superiors or colleagues. There is such thing as Professional-functional touch, which is used to communicate emotions of manager to their team members.
Chronemics is the language in time. This shows the interrelatedness of time and communication. A way in which one perceives and values time, structures time, and reacts to time frame communication. Across cultures, time perception plays a large role in the nonverbal communication process.
An example can be what they call Filipino time. During events, Filipinos allegedly come at least an hour or two late, thus, foreigners usually complain about the practice of Filipino time since foreigners, especially Americans, usually arrive on time. This goes to show that Filipinos and foreigners may have a different understanding of what “on time” really means.
The language of look-appearance, The way a person looks reflects on his/her status or position, mood, culture, taste, and grooming. As with working, certain companies require a specific look amongst their employees, say a brand ambassador for make-up brand versus a brand ambassador for a laundry soap.
Artifactual communication is the language of objects. “Artifactual communication is the aesthetic coding and decoding of symbols or representations. The coding and decoding is subjectively interpreted with culture in mind in order to establish cautious generalizations) about individual who adorns themselves with an artifacts. Artifacts and the representation, merely approximations. Objects, colors, body modifications, and environments make up criteria that may constitute artifacts. (2002. Rudrow, K.)
Paralanguage refers to various nonverbal cues we can hear in our voice.
This elements are the following:
a. Vocal Quality – refers to the how pleasant or unpleasant a person’s voice sounds. Voice quality is usually referred to as the timbre or tone color. As with communicating, emotions play a role.
b. Pitch – lowness or highness of tone. People vary in the pitch of their voice although it can be observed that nervousness, fright, and sometimes excitement may raise the pitch of the voice, on the other hand, sadness or disappointment makes the pitch lower (2008, Flores and Lopez).
c. Tempo – how fast or slow someone speaks.
d. Volume – describes the force of the voice or how loud or soft it goes.
e. Junctures – breaks or pauses applied at the end of utterances or between thoughts.
Verbal communication uses written or spoken language to transmit information or messages. It involves sound production; utterance of words phrases and sentences through speech.
There are five basic features of human language:
1. Phonology – studies the system of sound in language including how sounds is organized and structured to convey meaning.
2. Semantics – deal with meaning of words, phrases, and sentences in a language. Semantics “explains different connotations (associated meaning) and denotations (dictionary meaning words)”.
3. Morphology – studies the information of words. Words can be divided into two categories: content words and function words.
4. Syntax – is when one studies how words are put together to form grammatically correct sentences in language.
5. Pragmatics – touches on how language is used. It is how words can be interpreted in various scenarios.
How many basic features does the human language have? 5 from the exam. But it should be 13 normally. I made mistakes here.
Process and Elements of Communication
To be able to understand how communication happens, always remember that communication is a two-way process. Always remember that for every message sent to the receiver, we must expect a feedback or response either through non-verbal or verbal medium.
Process of Communication
The communication process pertains to the steps through which communication takes place between the sender and the receiver in an under stable manner. It is dynamic in nature rather than a static occurrence. The diagram above shows the communication process and the details are as follow:
Elements of Communication
The sender (source) is an individual, group, or organization who initiates the communication. All communication begins with the sender. The sender is the source of information for a target receiver or audience.
The first step the sender does involves the encoding process. This process translates the ideas or concepts into the coded message that will be communicated. The symbols can take on different forms like languages, words, or gestures. The message is the idea or information being conveyed by the sender to the receiver or listener. It includes content, structure, and style.
To start sending the message, the sender uses a channel which is also known as a medium. It is the method used to deliver the message. Most channels are either oral or written but, as technology evolves, visual channels are becoming more common. Usual channels include the television, radio, telephone/mobile phone, etc. The message begins with the decoding stage when the appropriate channel is selected.
Decoding is executed by the receiver. Once the message is received and reviewed, it is sent to the brain to be interpreted to appoint meaning to it. Successful communication occurs when the receiver correctly interprets the sender’s message.
The receiver is the individual or individuals to whom the message is directed. All interpretations by the receiver are influenced by their experiences, attitudes, knowledge, skills, perceptions, and culture.
Picture the next scene. Shelly is a shy student who says little inside the classroom. She may feel a bit nervous when her teacher asked her.
Feedback is a key element of the communication process since it allows the sender to review the effectiveness of the message. It may be in the form of a spoken comment, along sigh, a written message, a smile, or some other action. Without a feedback, the sender cannot confirm that the receiver has interpreted the message correctly.
Certain barriers are present throughout the communication process. Some usual barriers include the use of an inappropriate channel, incorrect grammar, provocative words, words that conflict with body language, and technical jargon. Noise is also another common barrier. Noise can occur during any stage of the process. Noise is essentially anything that distorts a message by interfering with the communication process. Noise can take many forms, including a radio playing in the background, another person trying to enter your conversation, and any other distractions that prevent the receiver from paying attention.
Forms of Communication
When we talk about communication, we usually think of sending messages to another person; however, communicating with one’s self is also possible. It is the first level of communication we experience.
The prefix intra means “within”. We experience this kind of communication when we meditate, analyze, think, study, and talk to one’s self. You talk to yourself when you are about to make a decision and you argue or try to persuade yourself. Sometimes you also do this when you’re rehearsing a message you intend to send to others.Talking to yourself is normal and necessary. You are simply engaging in intrapersonal communication. The study of this form of communication is not that popular; yet, awareness of this form of communication can greatly enhance the quality of life.
2. Dyadic Communication – is when two people communicate. Communication may take place through the phone, SMS messaging or face-to-face such as interviews, dialogues or ordinary conversations.
It is through interpersonal communication that you establish, maintain, restore and/or end relationships. At this level of communication, you learn about others and hopefully, you learn about yourself as well.
3. Small Group Communication – happens when more than three people are involved. This is simply an enlarged group which usually happens to solve problems. Examples of this are conferences, business meetings, symposiums and team meetings inside the classroom.
4. Public Communication – happens between one and several other people. This large group type of communication usually happens in public speaking. In public speaking, the speaker addresses the audience to persuade, inform, entertain, or do all of three. Just like the other forms, this kind of communication requires knowledge and good communication skills from the speaker.
5. Mass Communication – happens when you communicate to an extremely large audience. It is usually mediated by audio and/or visual means. The purposes are to entertain, persuade and/or inform.
Media and technology are used to reach a large audience in a variety of ways today. Examples of mass communication media are television, radio, newspapers, recordings, movies, magazines, comics, billboards, computers, and the internet. As seen in the image above, the newscaster is communicating to his audience via the radio, television, and YouTube.
The process of communication can be studied through the communication models. These communication models are conceptual models. Conceptual models aid in simplifying the explanation of how something works.
As mentioned in the previous module, communication is a process and to be able to understand how the process works, we will utilize the communication models below.
Linear Communication Models
The linear model was the first kind of model that experts have made to understand the process of communication. This kind of model has improved and has been updated through the years. Characteristics of the linear model are the following:
1. Unidirectional – The linear model is a unidirectional model. It is a one-way communication. The speaker sends messages to the receiver with or without effect. Senders can only transmit messages while receivers can only receive the messages and no feedback is expected to happen. Communication may not happen in turns – thus, the lack of feedback is seen in this model. This applies to mass communication.
2. Simple – This model presents a simple communication act. If you look at the figure below, you will observe that it doesn’t look like a process. Instead, it looks like the transmission of one-way causality, which is conveying of only a cause and effect. There is only the beginning and the end and there is no interchanging of roles between the sender and receiver.
3. Persuasion not Mutual understanding – This model promotes one-way direction of communication which promotes advice and influence rather than understanding from both receiver and sender. Again, the emphasis is on the lack of feedback.
4. Values psychological over social effects:
This model focuses more on the psychological effects (such as understanding the messages) rather than the social effects (like building the relationship amongst the communicators). There is no assurance that the message was effective because the receiver is only concerned with the delivery of the message and will now know the effect on the receiver/s because of the lack of feedback.
The Shannon-Weaver model, also known as the Information Theory model, was primarily developed to illustrate transmission of electronic information back in 1948.
This conceptual model has six elements:
a. Information source / Sender: The Sender / Information Source chooses the message /s to be communicated to the receiver and the channel to use and sends the message.
b. Transmitter / Encoder: This changes the message into a signal then sends it over the communication channel
c. Channel – This is the medium the sender uses to transmit the message /s
d. Receptor / Decoder – This does the opposite of the Encoder. It decodes the message sent over the channel.
e. Receiver / Destination – The receiver is the person or group of people who must get the message. The receiver can then provide a feedback which will then reverse their roles.
f. Noise – Noise is a kind of disturbance coming from people, the environment, internal knowledge, beliefs, etc. which hinders the receiver from getting and understanding the message.
An example how this model explains this process: The sender can be you and the receiver can be your friend. The channel you will use is your mobile network. The encoder is your mobile network company and decoder is the receiver’s smartphone. When you try to send SMS message to your friend and your friend receives only parts of the message due to disruption of mobile signal, that is the noise.
B. Berlo’s SMCR model
David Berlo conceptualized the Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver (SMCR) model during the sixties. He postulated this model from the Shannon-Weaver Information Theory model and emphasized on the encoding and decoding parts of the process.
Berlo’s model has 4 components: Sender, Message, Channel, and Receiver. He stated that each of the components are affected by many factors.
a. Communication Skills – of sender and receiver plays significant role in the process. Communication skills include writing, speaking, listening, presenting, reading, etc. If the sender is not good in communicating, the message might be lost in the process of transmittal.
b. Attitudes – The attitude of the sender and receiver also plays a part in the process. The sender’s attitude towards others, himself / herself, and the environment cab affect the meaning of the message.
c. Knowledge – Knowledge of the sender and receiver on the subject matter makes the sender and effective communicator. If the sender is familiar with the subject or topic at hand, it adds value and impact to the message.
d. Social System - Belief, religions, social status, values and other social factors can affect how the sender communicates the message and how the receiver understands it. The situation and place or environment where it happens are also part of this element.
e. Culture – Cultural difference can make it difficult to communicate. Some culture may accept something while the other may find it offensive. Culture may also be under social systems.
a. Content – the content is the entirety of the message – it covers the beginning until the end.
b. Elements – These are what comprise the message. This includes gestures, body language, language, Haptics, etc. Content is accompanied by elements
c. Treatment is how the message is conveyed. It is how you package your message.
d. Structure refers to the arrangement of elements in the content of the message. Arrangement of elements affects the affectivity and impact of the message.
e. Code – is the form in which the message will be sent. Message can be sent in the form of the videos, spoken word, text, culture etc. Improper use of a code may still lead to miscommunication.
3. Channel – simply means the use of the five senses.
a.Hearing is when you use your ears to get the message.
b. Seeing when eyes are used, the sense of sight is activated.
c.Touching communication through touching is also possible.
d. Smelling smell can also be used as a channel for communication. The smell of something burning can communicate the danger of fire nearby.
e. Taste can also be channel of communication. The tongue has millions of tastes buds that can be used to decipher.
4. Receiver – the receiver and the sender have the same elements. You can refer to the description above.
a. Communication Skills
d. Social System
Transactional Communication Models
The transactional models are communication models that illustrate how the sender and receiver take turns in conveying and receiver messages. We call the sender and receiver “communicators”. Their roles are reversed each time sending and receiving messages occur at the same time. For this kind of communication model we will scrutinize the Helix model.
Dance’s Helix Model
The Helical model of communication was conceptualized in 1967 by Frank Dance. A helix is “an object having a three-dimensional shape like that of a wire wound uniformly around a cylinder or cone” like a corkscrew or coil that grows bigger and bigger as it moves up.
The Helix communication model illustrates how the development and growth communication or communicative actions will always be based on previous experiences or behaviors. “That communication while moving forward is at the same time coming back to itself and being affected by its past behavior…” (Dance, 1967). This model shows how the knowledge base of a person deepens and expands throughout life. This model also shows that a person’s understanding of a message or thought is influenced by external and internal factors that are learned throughout life.
To better illustrate how this works, refer to the illustration and example below.
As babies, the only way we can communicate was through crying. Babies cry when they are hungry, scared, uncomfortable or startled. When babies cry, their parents will give them what they want – milk, a change of diapers, or be rocked to sleep. As they grow up they continue to use crying as a language in their toddler years but they also learn how to speak during these years. So aside from crying to get what they want, they also communicate using the vocabulary they learn. As they grow older, their vocabulary increases and they learn to utilize not only words but non-verbal cues to communicate what they want or need to others. This build-up of experiences to send and receive messages can be explained by the helical model of communication.
Interactive Communication Model
Interactive communication model, also known as convergence model, emphasizes the coding and decoding components of the process. It also focuses on the cycle of message exchanges between the sender and receiver. The source of the message will need to encode the message while the receiver will need to decode the message. These messages will always be affected by the “field of experience” – these are communication patterns rising from the factors such as psychological, social, cultural, societal or situational experiences or gained knowledge. This model also takes into consideration noise as a form of barrier in communication. Schramm’s communication model is an example of an interactive communication model.
Schramm’s Communication Model
Schramm’s model has the following components:
a. Sender (transmitter) – sends the message
b. Encoder – converts the message into codes before sending
c. Decoder – gets the encoded message then converts it into the language understandable by the receiver
d. Interpreter – tries to understand and analyze the message. Message is considered received after interpretation is done and message is understood. Interpreter and receiver are the same.
e. Receiver – gets the message. Decoding and interpreting is also part of his/her role
f. Message – data sent by the sender and information that the receiver gets.
g. Feedback – process where in receiver responds to the received message
h. Medium or media – channel used to send the message.
i. Noise – interference disruptions during the process. This is also created when the intended meaning sent by the sender is different from what was interpreted by the receiver.
j. *Field of experience – patterns which affect the communication process. This can be from society, culture, situations, psychological or sociological events or experiences of the sender and receiver.
Schramm’s communication model states the communication is a never ending process. This model emphasizes the encoding and decoding parts of the process. It suggests that the role of the receiver and sender will eventually switch each other as they continue the exchange of the messages. Feedback is seen as an important part of this model to ensure that communication takes place. The field of experience affects the messages being exchanged. It means that the background of the persons involved in communication process plays a role in how they interpret the messages received or how they encode the messages they will be sending.This model can be used in Interpersonal and Intrapersonal communication. A simple example of how this happens in real life: : You are the sender and your friend is the receiver. The communication is initiated by the sender. The message is first processed in the sender’s brain then sent to the mount to be transmitted. The message is then delivered to your friend through language, your voice, symbols, and non-verbal cues. While sharing the message you may encounter disruptions or noise. Your friend will in turn try to understand the message and will react or give feedback accordingly. This process repeats until one of them ends process.
Conceptual Models – A representation of a system, concept or abstract idea which can be help in making it understandable and easier to simulate or imitate.
Helix – a smooth curve just like spring which goes upwards also comes downwards.
The rise of the internet and the improvement of transportation and technology made it possible for us to get know our fellow humans from other countries. We are now living in a period where traveling from one place to another is easier than before and communication has become swift that we have found ways to work with other people from different time zones and regions.
As our world becomes smaller in a sense that we get to touch base faster and more frequently than before, we will then be more exposed to various cultures from different points in the world.
Culture is the accumulated learned behavior of a group of people. It is the way of life of people that they accept without thinking and it is passed along from generation to another through imitation and communication. Culture doesn’t have to be from another country, it can also be observed from people living in the same country but from different regions or states or even groups of people coming from different schools, religion or even family. Intercultural communication involves communicating with another person or group of people coming from a background or community who does not share your beliefs, tradition, symbolism, or values. This kind of communication should be done in mindful way to be able to engage each other properly and effectively.
Aspects of Intercultural communication
There are five basic elements or aspects to remember when participating in an intercultural or cross-cultural communication. These elements are:
1. Cultural Identity – As mentioned earlier, culture is the sum of the beliefs, traditions, values, symbols and practices of a group of people (Mulvaney, 2005). Different culture can be seen within a community; say, culture in rural areas versus urban areas, We can even observe different culture from another family who lives next door to us.
An example of culture difference: Chinese families teach children early on the value of handling money well as they want their children to focus more on business, math’s, and sciences. Also, it is part of their culture to be transparent when it comes to money matters. (Lee-Chua, 2012) (Li, 2008). On the other hand, Filipinos shy away from talking about money with their family as it is taboo. Money is often a topic avoided as it brings misunderstanding. (Rapisura, 2016).
2. Gender role – Gender is a social construct and is not synonymous to sex, which refers to the anatomical differences between male and female. Gender roles are learned and taught by culture. A culture’s language reflects the social roles of men and women.
An example can be calling an assertive girl “bossy” and calling an assertive boy “a leader”. Immediately you can observe the negative connotation of term “bossy” – that is usually used to describe women in a patriarchal society. Male language is often direct, commanding, and assertive while female language should be polite, collaborative and nurturing.
3. Age identity – This refers not only to their biological age but it is also about how they think and feel about themselves as they age. Age identity influences one’s self-image, language use, personality, attitude and communication with others. We consider that some children can be mature and not all adults are responsible and matured.
We may have dealt with cases wherein old people usually generalize that teenagers as brash and impulsive even if this is not true. Moreover, older people specially those have reached their 50s to be fragile and slow.
In other instances, advertisements use-span-related role identities can be used to trigger affect to a certain period. An example can be the infamous McDonald’s commercial aptly titled, “Lolo” (Notz, 2002). This commercial showed the relationship of “Karen” the granddaughter and her grandfather who were eating at McDonald’s. This commercial became popular as it showcases the relationship of the brand with the relationship of the two characters.
4. Social Status. Social Status is determined and assigned according to income, titles possessions, etc. Social classes in other cultures also differ from one another. General speaking, the lower classes usually work blue collar jobs or manage their own businesses.
Perception of a person’s status affects how the people around her communicate. In the Philippines, the use of the English language, with the slight twang, projects an elite social status. As Tolentino (2011) stated in an interview with The Guidon, a student publication, English proficiency of Ateneans is”…a marker of a kind of elitism in the country”. Showing this kind of language proficiency insinuates a wealthy background even if the student comes from the middle or lower classes and subsists on scholarships.
5. Religion. Religion is defined by Geertz, an anthropologist, as “ (1) a system which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.”
Religious identity is when someone sees themselves as a member of a religious group and may be active or inactive in practicing their rituals and customs. Religion plays a big part in the lifestyle of a person and seen as sacred and important. Thus, religious issues and prejudices should be handled respectfully.
Why is it important to learn more about cross-cultural communication? At this day and age travel has become easier and the internet have made cultures more exposed and accessible. To be able to communicate with another person from another country, religion, social status, and gender means to be able to have a smooth and harmonious relationship.
Problems in intercultural communication
To be able to avoid intercultural miscommunication, one must be able to identify first the problems that need to be addressed. The following are the problems that usually arise in intercultural communication:
1. Ethnocentrism is the term applied to ethnic bias. This term comes from the word “ethnos” meaning nation and the word “center”. This is the conscious or unconscious worldview coming from a person’s own perspective which establishes an archetype or rating of other groups in reference to the ideal of his or her own group. This kind of worldview often results to the inadequate understanding of other cultures and judging other groups according to the preference of the group they belong in which often leads to assertion of the inherent inferiority of other groups. “Tunnel vision” is the idiom used for ethnocentrism.
An example of ethnocentrism in the Philippines can be observed during the 2017 Bar exam results. When the results of the bar exam were posted online on social media, the comments section became a platform where people questioned the results, some even saying that they do not know the schools where the top examinees came from since these schools were not from Metro Manila. One netizen even questioned the integrity of a Dumaguete based law school. This behavior clearly shows how Manilenos see provincial schools and students subpar to those coming from NCR. They exhibit the superiority of those coming from Manila.
2. Stereotyping is the generation “made about a group of people underestimating their culture” (Baraceros and Lintao). Stereotyping assumes members of a group of people share the same characteristics. When one stereotypes, you judge how person behaves or looks based on what you believe about the group where they belong.
One of the usual stereotyping we hear are about women. Women are still being boxed by society when it comes to reading children. It is expected that women should have children in a certain age range while men are given the chance to do whatever they want until whatever age. That women must always prioritize building a family rather than building their own career. This stereotype is still rampant until now even if a lot of groups around the world have strived for equality in gender roles.
Another kind of stereotype can be seen in local television series. Usually women protagonists have long straight hair while antagonist women have short or curly/wavy hair. Another thing to observe is how rich families are usually seen in formal clothes even if they’re inside their house and will not be attending any formal event. These stereotypes are very far from real rich families who dress simply when going out or even dress in plain house clothes when they are inside their house.
3. Prejudice is when one has a negative preconceived notion, feeling, or attitude against a cultural group. These assumptions are often made even if there is a little or no interaction with this said group at all.
An example can be the prejudice towards Muslims. In Manila, it can be observed that Catholics are wary of Muslims. The author has observed how their neighbors are always hesitant or reserved when interacting with their Muslim neighbor. Rarely did anyone talk to their Muslim neighbors during events or gatherings. This prejudice usually comes from how Muslims are portrayed by media thus when one encounters a Muslim in society, their prejudice for this certain group kicks in.
How to Avoid intercultural miscommunication?
With these three problems in mind, how exactly do we ensure that we communicate effectively and properly with people from other cultures?
1. Delay attributing meaning – Non-verbal communication plays a big role in avoiding intercultural communication breakdown. Avoid interpreting non-verbal signals made by a person from another culture until you have read and studied their culture adequately. When visiting another place, say a province or country, study their culture before the trip and try to learn more about their non-verbal cues.
An example can be when attending church service with Iglesia ni Kristo. Men and women cannot sit together in one side even if they are already married. Women are also expected to wear dress or skirt during service. Another example can be you give your business card in Japan.
In Japan, you are expected to hold your business card with both hands and to bow when you give it to someone. The business card must be turned towards the receiver. The receiver, on the other hand, must also receive the business card with both hands with head bowed slightly and must display the card for the duration of the meeting.
2. Develop awareness of your non-verbal communication – Be mindful of how you use your face, gestures, body language, and voice when communicating. Understanding how certain cultures react to certain body language can smoothen and make the experience with other cultures pleasurable.
Be aware of your voice, of your fidgeting or even the space you allot when communicating with people from other cultures. A thumbs up sign in Filipino means you “approve” or you’re okay or you agree. While in other countries such as Middle East the thumbs up sign is almost equivalent to giving someone the middle finger.
3. Check whether non-verbal messages correspond to verbal messages. It is given that you will not be able to understand the language of another group or culture immediately so you have to be very observant and persistent in listening when you communicate with them. Sometimes misinterpretation can happen when the verbal and non-verbal messages come in conflict with each other.
Paying attention and being very mindful of how a person speaks or reacts can give you clues if you really are communicating with each other.
Blue collar jobs – Work that requires manual labor
Identity – A category or social group which is assumed to insinuate sameness or connection, such as gender, age, or nationality, or nationality, or to a large scale a sense of self to which the specific identity categorizes are assumed to contribute.
White Collar Jobs – Work that is done inside an office or cubicle or an administrative job
Week 7 Learning Activity
Team collaboration inside the classroom is what form of communication? Group Communication
A problem solving meeting belongs to what form of communication? Group Communication
Listening to Spotify ads shows what form of communication? Mass Communication
How many forms of communication are there? 5
You are trying to decide if you want to take Medicine or Engineering, what kind of communication is happening? Intrapersonal Communication
Listening – is a skill usually taken for granted especially since we normally consider ourselves to be good listeners already. Just like eloquence, listening is important achieving effective communication. Thus, it is crucial to develop this skill.
Listening helps us stay focused on the message being sent, aids in comprehension, and may improve or at the least maintain our relationships with other people.
Listening is the most basic kind of communicating activity that we do daily. Ang (2009), a researcher, said that we spend 45% of our time listening and that 90% of the information we gather are retained and received through our eyes and ears. It was stated in studies that “the level of our listening effectiveness is only about 50%” which means that we do not receive and understand the entirety of the message.
“But” you may argue, “I heard what my teacher said”. There is a difference between listening and hearing. Hearing is when we refer to the plain act of receiving sounds. While listening is a process where we use our sensory experiences or our background knowledge to recognize, interpret spoken or verbal language to satisfy a need. So, when you say that you “heard” your teacher it means you just received the sound of her voice but if you really understood and put meaning to the content of the sound she made, that is when you can say you “listened” to your teacher.
The very main goal of listening is get what the speaker has to say about a subject; however, listening is get what the speaker has to say about a subject; however, listening should not just be focused on the content. Listening must also be about structure, or organization of the topic (Galero Tejero).
Hearing is a natural process (psychological) of receiving aural and visual stimuli
Hearing is the passive phase of speech reception.
Good hearing is needed for effective listening.
Good hearing is NOT synonymous to good listening.
Listening is more than hearing; it is a SKILL that needs to be developed.
Listening is the active phase of speech reception.
Listening is a sub-process of communication that involves not only hearing
Listening constitutes understanding and remembering.
We are equipped with the sense of hearing; however, even if we are exposed to the same sounds, we attach different meanings to them. This is because we are individually different from each other. Each one of us is different in terms of character traits, gender, cultural knowledge, age, physical make up, and so on.
These differences are the reasons why various meaning can be assigned to a sound. To be able to be a good communicator, you must also be aware of these different reasons why a sound can have different meanings to different people. Understanding much about listening can often help in building social relationships, determine traits of people, perform professional duties, and many more.
Models of Listening
1. Active listening requires effort and concentration on the listener’s part. Listening to lectures, discussions, or conferences. This action demands your full attention and concentration so you can understand the message.
a. In critical or persuasive listening, it is important to understand the message based on evidence or proof presented by the speaker/ sender to prove their point. With this kind of listening, it is important to determine the differences of ideas to look in to the condition or state of the object of the talk and other aspects in order to get more information before deciding if you agree or disagree with them. This kind of listening leads to reflective thinking, thinking that requires to inquire and investigative on the values, reason of things before considering them valuable or meritorious. Reflective thinking hinders you from automatically agreeing with the speaker.
b. In discriminative or instructional listening we “listen to derive information, facts, ideas and principles.” This kind of listening is used in class discussions, business meetings and conferences where you hear people discuss their observations, opinions, feelings, and thought about the things that interest them. With this kind of listening, it is important to determine the differences of ideas, to look in to the condition or state of the object of the talk in order to get instructions or information.
2. Passive Listening does not rely on focus or effort. This usually happens when you do something else while listening. Simultaneously listening to two sounds divide your attention which leads to superficial or nonchalant listening. This also happens when you listen to while away your time or when you try to ease up from stress. An example can be listening to the radio while you talk to a parent.
a. Emphatic or therapeutic listening: This kind of listening is something that you do to relieve yourself from anxiety and tension. You listen as an output of pent-up emotions. This kind of listening does not necessarily have to be something you do to analyze, appreciate or judge.
b. In appreciative listening or emotional, we “listen for pleasure, entertainment or enjoyment.” The moment you find happiness and enjoyment in listening to a particular sound that you do it over and over again repeatedly in an engaged manner, that is already appreciated listening.
Barriers to Listening
In a perfect world, we would all be great listeners thus understanding every message being sent to us. However, the reality is we deal with certain situations or preconceived notions as barriers in listening.
1. Noise – this is any kind of sensory stimuli that affects the transmission of messages. It can dampen or boost your speaking engagements depending on how you deal with them or utilize them.
a. External – these are kinds of noise that come from physical objects such as the radio, roosters outside your house, temperature of the room, uncomfortable chair, taste of food, etc. that disturbs and prevents you from giving your complete focus and attention to what you’re listening to.
b. Internal - these are emotional or mental distractions that interfere with you attention while listening. Daydreaming, prejudice against the speaker, anticipating and predicting what will come up next can affect your focus.
Understanding yourself – preconceived notions about yourself will prevent you from getting the entirety of the message. How you feel about the speaker and the topic also affects how you listen to someone. If you see yourself superior to the speaker, you will have a hard time listening to them because you tend to mentally contradict their messages or criticize them in your mind. If you find the topic boring, you tend to space out and just hear certain parts which catches your interest- this is also called selective hearing.
Understanding others – these are about the preconceived notions or beliefs about others. You judge the speaker according to voice quality, gestures, appearance or social standing. These actions and thoughts affect how you listen to the speaker. You become preoccupied in criticizing the way they look or sound which makes you either an attentive listener or someone who totally disregards the messages coming from this speaker.
Extrinsic Noise - Hot or cold room, Noisy neighbors, Uncomfortable chair, Jeeps and buses outside windows, Classmates fidgeting with his pen, Old air conditioner, Poor motivation of speaker, Speaker’s style, Amount of information transmitted.
Intrinsic Noise – Feeling of pain or hunger, family problem, financial problem, fear of teacher, sleeplessness, constant self-focus, eagerness to talk, Lack of information or knowledge of the topic, Beliefs.
Listening is a fundamental component in communication. Practicing habits in improving your listening skills not only make you a more competent member of the workforce or school, it enhances your relationships with yourself and with other people. Business magazines such as Forbes and Success magazine still discuss the importance of practicing good listening habits to improve or maintain relationships at work and in business.
1. Stop Talking “If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two tongues and one ear.” Mark Twain
When somebody is talking, stop talking, do not interrupt and let them finish what they are saying. It is rude to talk while somebody else is speaking. Let the other person finish first then you can provide your feedback. If it’s not your turn to speak, respect the speaker and respect your role as the listener.
2. Concentrate on your task: Listening
Refrain from thinking about anything else other than what the speaker is talking about. Relax and take in what is being said. Do not think about your existing problems, pending tasks or favorite television series. Discipline your mind in focusing only on one task at a time. “ The mind is easily distracted by other thoughts” so start practicing good habits in listening.
3. Don’t criticize the speaker – there may be times where your dislike how your speaker looks, dress or sound, but you have to remember that the message she will be sharing or giving is more important. Help make the speaker feel at ease by nodding or using gestures to encourage them. Also, maintain eye contact – this shows that you are attentively listening and that you understand what is being communicated.
4. Remove Distractions: Focus on what is being said. Avoid shuffling papers, tapping your pen on the table or fidgeting too much. These actions not only distract you from listening but it also distracts the speaker and might communicate that you are bored or feeling hostile against him or her.
5. Avoid emotional reactions: Empathize. Be courteous and respect the speaker by thinking not about yourself but putting yourself in their shoes. See the topic from their perspective and disregard what you’ve heard about the topic while listening. If you disagree on some point, let the speaker finish first before you voice your opinion or feedback about the message. Keep an open mind.
6. Be Patient – If the speaker pauses, don’t interrupt. Put yourself in their shoes, sometimes it takes a bit of time to construct your thoughts and verbalize them so let them finish what they are saying.
7. Guard against prejudice. Try to avoid focusing on annoying mannerisms or how they look like. Be impartial and disregard any distractions coming from their appearance or sound. Focus on the message not how they delivered the message to you. If the speaker comes from a different background, let go of your preconceived idea about their culture and pay extra attention only to what they are saying. Make sure to take note of non-verbal cues.
8. Focus on main points – This may take some time to practice: sort through how they verbalized the message and focus on the main point of their message. There is no need to remember everything word for word. Just focus on the ideas that you pick up from them.
9. Take down notes – Develop your own system of note taking to make it second nature as you listen. Taking down notes is very different from taking dictation. Dictation entails word for word transcription while taking down notes may be more on using your own words as to how you understood topic. Practice on getting the main idea of the message.
10. Watch for verbal and non-verbal communication – Listening does not only make use of sense of hearing, it actually utilizes all of our senses. Look out for non-verbal cues such as gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. These non-verbal cues either add value or contradict what the speaker is saying verbally. Non-verbal communication also signals how confident or nervous the speaker is, which may affect how you perceive the message.
Always remember that in order for the communication process to happen, we should be mindful of our roles, both as speaker and receiver. In order to be effective in any competency we should build up our skills in listening as it is the foundation of other competencies.
Selective hearing increases our chances of understanding someone.
Which culture is more rigid with time?
Which Mcdonald’s commercial was used as an example in the module?
Why are Chinese kids ahead of Filipinos when it comes to Math?
It is part of their culture
The anthropologist who gave the definition of religion in the module:
Which culture is more rigid with time?
Low context cultures do not tolerate being rejected
Selective hearing increases our chances of understanding someone.
What are the main problems in intercultural communication?
b. Prejudice, ethnocentrism, and stereotyping
There are four kinds of noise that affect the communication process. List them down.
c. external noise, internal noise, semantic noise, factual noise.
High context cultures are more tolerant of being rejected.
Your cousins can have a different culture from you.
In the Philippines, where the majority is brow skinned, fair skin is equated to beauty and wealth. What kind of intercultural problem is this?
Ethnocentrism can also happen when someone from Mindanao is discriminated by someone rom Luzon.
It's okay to think about what you want to tell your friend while she's talking to you.
Who said that filipinos avoid talking about money?
b. Vince RApisura
Listening and Hearing are the same.
Noise only happens internally.
Which culture is more analytical and requires more verbal cues?
What problem is encountered every time this old adage is relayed to children: " Wag kang makulit, sige ka, kukunin ka nung bumbay".
a. All of the answers correct
When you use your own knowledge in interpreting the sent data and you find out that your preconceived notions and the meaning of the message are not compatible, which kind of noise is present?
a. internal noise
Roosters crowing at 2 a.m is an extrinsic noise.
Why are Chinese kids ahead of Filipinos when it comes to Math?
a. It is part of their culture
There is no need to understand yourself when listening.
The anthropologists who gave the definition of religion in the module
Listening is when we receive sounds.
What problem is encountered every time we hear this thought: " Why wear clothes that show too much skin if you're not interested in attracting men to think of lustful thoughts about you?!"
Noise only happens externally.
Which culture can cancel schedules or appointments due to personal and social responsibilities?
You're trying to listen to your teacher but you keep on remembering the fun night you had with your friends. When the teacher called you to recite and you did not hear what the question was, what kind of noise was present?
b. internal noise
Roosters crowing at 2 a.m is an intrinsic noise.
Hearing is synonymous to listening.
This is any kind of stimuli to our senses which affects how messages are conveyed.
True or False: These are the 11 principles of communication - schemata drive, interpretative act, communication is active, forceful or powerful, symbolic, result in something, reversible, contextual, progressive, process, ethical, and influenced by media.
In the movie Harry Potter, they never say the name of Voldemort and called him "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named". Which principle of communication can be observed in this practice?
a. active and powerful
Barriers and Strategies in communication
What is Effective Communication
Effective communication happens when the receiver does not only get the message but he or she must truly understand it. Effectively communicating with ones’ self or other can be hindered because of communication barriers. These barriers, however, are not permanent and can be dealt with accordingly. To be able to provide a solution, we must first learn to identify these barriers.
Barriers in Communication
a. Language Barrier – English is not our native language; thus, we are called second language learners. As a second language learners, there will be times when misinterpretation happens – this may be caused using terminologies or nuances that are not familiar to us; thus, creating confusion between the sender and receiver of the message. Keep in mind that misinterpretation can also happen even if we use our native tongue. Again, terms or jargons used may be the root of this issue.
Learning Activity 7
Madeline’s father died the night before her college entrance exam. She was so distraught with what is happening she snapped at her classmate who asked her to move closer to the person in front of her while she was lining up to get in the testing room.
Mateo, a three year old boy, went to the playground with his dad, Chuck. Mateo started playing on the slide. Another boy on the playground started following Mateo and trying to imitate what he was doing. After a few rounds of going up and down the slide, the boy would always race Mateo and would go on the slide first. Mateo remained patient until the boy shoved him to the side while scrambling up the stairs up the slide. Chuck saw everything and even if he was really angry inside, he calmly walked towards Mateo. He asked Mateo if he was fine, the boy just nodded while balling his fist. Chuck picked up Mateo and carried him back to their house. Before Mateo can burst out in tears, Chuck hugged him tightly and told him “you’re okay, anak, that was very brave of you”. Mateo hugged his father back and tried to smile. What communication strategy was used to comfort the little boy?
c. Pay attention to nonverbal cues and keep emotions at bay.
Tessa and Jayson were married and were living together in a small house. They agreed that household chores must be shared between them. One day, Tessa came home really tired from work. She cooked dinner and waited for Jayson to get home. Once Jayson was home, while eating dinner, Jayson’s boss called and told him to go online in an hour for an emergency meeting. Jayson hurriedly finished his food and put the dishes on the sink. He expected that Tessa would clean up the dishes. A few hours later, when they were both getting ready to go to bed, Tessa was not talking to him and kept silent even if he was initiating a conversation. The next morning, Jayson found the dirty dishes stacked on the sink. He called out Tessa and she got angry and hurriedly stormed out of their house. Jason was so mad he didn’t bother cleaning up. They both went to work angry at each other thinking that the other person was being unfair and was not following the rules they set. What barrier of communication transpired in this situation?
e. Systemic / Systematic
Resistance to believing in alternative medicine
f. attitudinal barriers
Talking about dogs to someone who hates animals
The correct answer is: attitudinal barriers
Which function of communication is used when you go for a job interview?
Negative motivation results to?
c. All of the answers correct
What is communication anxiety?
d. When a person is afraid to speak in front of a group
Motivation is always a positive experience.
When you express your grief over a relative who died, which function of communication can you use?
a. Avoidance of speaking in groups, public speaking or even in interpersonal situations
Creating a travel Vlog on Youtube
Laughing with a friend
c. Communicating to connect
This chapter's title
a. Functions of Communication
What is the result of positive motivation?
b. No correct answer
Negative motivation results to?
c. All of the answers correct
Changing how you talk depending on who you are talking to.
c. Emotional expression
b. Leads people in to developing anxiety and fear of communicating in different circumstances
Leading a business meeting shows the control/regulation function of communication
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