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Interpersonal Communication

Communication is defined by Trenholm and Jenson (2000) as the ôprocess whereby humans collectively create and regulate human reality.ö Key words in this definition are ôprocess,ö ôcollectively,ö ôcreate,ö ôregulate,ö and ôreality.ö In other words, it is through structured formal and informal communication (the process) that individuals and groups (the collective) structure (create) activities (regulation) that shape the external environment (reality). What is important in interpersonal communication is what people do when they are together one-on-one, functioning as members of a team, participants in a group, or representatives of an organization. Different roles also impact interpersonal communication, like those of superior-subordinate, husband-wife, teacher-pupil, customer-waitress and a host of others.

A number of interpersonal communication skills remain significant to creating and sustaining viable business and/or interpersonal relationships. According to (Foxworth 2001), these include:

Knowledge of othersÆ communication styles;

Development of high personal self-esteem;

Intrinsic motivation toward excellence.

If we look at the interactions between Melvin Udall and his neighbor and girlfriend in As Good As It Gets and those between Morrie Schwartz and Mitch Albom in Tuesdays With Morrie, we see just how significant these interpersonal communication skills are in maintaining successful personal relationships. In Mitch AlbomÆs (1997) Tuesdays With Morrie, Morrie is a dying man whose success in life makes him determined to spend his final days with dignity and as much life as possible. A well-regarded sociologist, Morrie has an inquisitive and intelligent nature. The way that he handles his disease is consistent with his quest to find out what people do what they do and react individually and separately to life-cycle ev


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Interpersonal Communication. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:35, May 19, 2019, from