Interpersonal Communication the Advancement of Technology Essay

Pages: 7 (2406 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Communication

Interpersonal Communication

The advancement of technology as well as the interdependence of the people on technology has created a world where many essential interpersonal communications occur via the telephone or other electronic means. As a result of this phenomenon many individuals have learned telephone communications skills that allow them to communicate effectively without the aide of informal cues, such as body language and attention. Yet, I often feel like I have miscommunicated a point or idea when I have completed a telephone conversation in both my personal life and my professional life. There have been situations stemming almost completely from initial contacts on the telephone that seriously effected my interpersonal life, and some that have harmed my relationships.

Additionally, personal and professional telephone communications have very different characteristics and styles and serve two significantly different purposes, even though they often take the same form, i.e. usually one on one privileged or non-privileged communication about a timely need or situation. Anyone, who has inadvertently answered a telephone call, at work, with the thought in mind that the person on the other end of the phone was a personal contact, understands the varied nature o the two types of conversations. Yet, both types of conversations are often intimate and meaningful as they often work as a measure to resolve communication gaps in other forms of communication and serve an essential purpose in communicating bilateral expectations regarding life events and needs.

I would therefore very much like to set a goal of improving my telephone communication skills. For the first identified goal I choose to improve my telephone communication skills in the work place. While for the second I choose to improve my telephone communication skills in my personal life. With the development of these goals I believe much about my life will improve, as conflicts that are a result of telephone conversations tend to be some of the most difficult conflicts I have had to resolve in my life, with regard to Interpersonal Communication.

The essential reason that I choose these two goals is because in my life I have often felt as if I miscommunicated my message when speaking on the telephone and have either misled the other party or even alienated them to some degree. An example of how this has happened in my professional life occurred when I attempted to delegate a task to a coworker, via telephone but failed to offer them enough information to actually complete the task. The result was that a project I was responsible for was not completed by the deadline assigned and I felt as if I had been ignored by the coworker when the deadline was not met because of the small but integral delegated task I asked the other person to do. The other person felt blindsided when I confronted her, because I had apparently failed to inform them of the deadline for the project and she did not feel like I had given her enough of an indication of the urgency of the project task. It took weeks to resolve the miscommunication and I now feel like I have no right to ask her for any additional task assistance because I do not feel I can trust her and because she is still, months later frustrated by my confrontation.

In my personal life I have also had problems regarding telephone communications. One example that comes to mind is when I was speaking with a close family member about another person in the family and he was offended by the way I communicated the problem. I was trying to help the other family member by communicating a problem that I was aware of but no one else was. The person I spoke to felt that I had betrayed a confidence and was making false accusations, and basically stirring up trouble. I believe if I had approached my concerns more delicately or with less confrontational language and more concern both family members would have been better served by my communication.

Strategies which might improve my communication skills, via telephone at work include speaking from notes, that leave a record of what I have and have not communicated to another, asking the other person to repeat my communication and/or request for clarity and following up the initial conversation with another "check in" conversation that allows the other person the opportunity to again reiterate what I said initially and give me an update on the progress of the communicated need.

Strategies that might improve my personal telephone communication include being able to express concern without giving to much information or to little, emotive communication that expressed concern rather than confrontation and lastly allowing the other member of the conversation ample time (with or without request from myself) to express their own concerns about what I have communicated.

The communication skill that I possess, which I am most proud of is my ability to communicate most effectively in person to person conversations. I communicate best this way and rarely confront problems that come from these essential communications. Yet, it is clear that in this technology dependant, time restricted world person to person conversations are not always possible and therefore must be augmented by other means. With this communication strength I also believe I can help assess how I can improve in other areas, but especially interpersonal communications on the telephone. I would like to apply the effective aspects of live conversations in telephone conversations as much as possible to help eliminate possible conflicts in the later communications.

1. I would like to improve my ability to communicate effectively via the telephone, as this has been a serious concern in my life for some time. People in both my professional and personal lives have told me that my telephone skills need to be improved, both directly and by their actions after I have spoken with them on the telephone. I know that there are ways in which I can improve these communications. I can think of several possible resolutions to this problem in both my personal and professional life, in the former I would like to be able to communicate with more concern, and not express frustration or concern as anger or hostility. In the later I would like to create a tracking system that allows me to look back on what I have and have no communicated via the telephone so I am sure that I have communicated everything appropriately and will not disappoint others or myself. I would also see the strength in doing follow up work to make sure that communications were effective, allowing the other individual to reiterate my communication in the initial and later conversations and allowing me to check up on the situation to make sure it is being completed with my own and the other's expectations in mind.

In specific situations at work, I have been confronted by coworkers and supervisors for failing to adequately communicate on the telephone. My boss has informed me that this is aserious problem as productive time needs to be spent on things other than person to person communication, as many of the employees I work with work remotely and therefore to much time is lost in travel for constant direct person to person meetings. I am often frustrated when coworkers express that I have not told them everything they need to know and I get a lot of follow up calls and emails about conversations I have had via telephone, that should have been resolved in one communication. In my personal life I sometimes fail to give adequate emotional merit to the way that my communications might effect others and therefore I need to be able to offer less information, while still emoting concern about whatever it is I am communicating about. Family resolutions are often very difficult, emotionally and take a long time to resolve, as we tend to take things more personally when we interact with our family or other close loved one and I need to take this into consideration when speaking with family on the telephone.

Due to the fact that this problem has been ongoing in my life, I do seem to be able to resolve the conflicts resulting from poor telephone conversations skills relatively well. Though, my ultimate goal is to reduce and/or eliminate the need for resolution of these problems in a person to person contact because there is little time for that and the problem would be better avoided.

2. If I had simply asked my coworker to reiterate what I said about the task I was delegating to her I may have been able to better communicate urgency. Her lack of concern about urgency should have given me a clue that she did not understand how important the task was and when it was needed. Additionally, if I had spoken from notes (a checklist perhaps) I would have known well what I did and did not say to her. Also if I had requested… [END OF PREVIEW]

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