Interpersonal communication is the process of sharing information between two or more people or groups, through verbal, written and non-verbal channels.
While all of us do this on a daily basis, a brief overview of the 5 major components of interpersonal communication and their interplay will go a long way in understanding how people send and receive information.
1) The Communicators
Interpersonal communication requires a minimum of two people, where both persons share information to one another, and react to what the other person has said.
If only one person shares information, while the other only receives it, it’s called a one-way communication.
2) The Message
The message is the actual information that is sent from one person to another, as well as the words and gestures used to formulate the message.
In interpersonal communication, noise makes the sharing of information more difficult by corrupting the message sent from one person to another.
Because of noise, the receiver gets incomplete or false information, which makes communication difficult or even impossible.
Some examples of noise include: a loud environment where people can’t hear each other, poor choice of words, ambiguous gestures, indifference to conversation partner, bad translations etc.
Feedback is the response to the communicated message, and is the receiver’s way of signaling their to the sender’s messag, through verbal or non-verbal means.
Context governs how we communicate with people because it contains important underlying information that everybody knows (or should know), but doesn’t talk about because it’s obvious.
The medium through which a communication is conducted is the channel. In most day to day interaction, it’s speech and sight, but technology has opened up new mediums such as video, text, speech only and more.