Chapter 1: The Importance of Interpersonal Communication in Pursuing Personal Goals
A Goals Approach We use interpersonal communication to pursue our personal goals. Interpersonal communication is a critical part of achieving our goals. Goals indicate what we generally seek to accomplish in our daily lives.
Defining Interpersonal Communication Interpersonal Communication the exchange of symbols used, at least in part, to achieve interpersonal goals. (This is based on six assumptions.) Point: Goals are the driving force underlying interpersonal communication.
Assumptions of Interpersonal Communication Assumption 1: Interpersonal Communication requires an exchange between people. Assumption 2: Interpersonal Communication occurs between people who are themselves developing (changing.) Assumption 3: Interpersonal Communication involves the use of symbols. Symbols include verbal and nonverbal representations of ideas, emotions, or events. Meaning are in people.
Assumptions Continued… Assumption 4: Interpersonal Communication is strategic. Assumption 5: Communicators must be competent in order to achieve their goals. Competence means being both appropriate and effective. Assumptions 6: People should consider how their communication affects others. Ethics are a part of interpersonal communication. Ethics – the use of principles to guide action.
Defining Goal/s Goal – a state you want to achieve. Goals have both cognitive and emotional elements; they combine thoughts and feelings. People who share interpersonal goals are interdependent.
The Nature of Goals 1.Goals vary in their degree of abstractness; general to specific. 2.Goals differ in clarity. Goals vary in their degree of challenge. Self-efficacy – the achievement (attainment) of a goal. 4.People often engage in multiple goals. Primary goals – the most important to the communicator. Secondary goals – less important to the communicator.
The Nature of Goals Continued… 5.Goals vary in terms of immediacy. Goals that occur in the immediate future are called proximal goals. Goals that are realized in the distant future are called distal goals. We are more likely to focus on proximal goals than distal goals. 6.People’s goals are affected by the communication event itself. Goals can be changed or modified during interaction. 7.Goals prompt plans for action. Plans differ in complexity and completeness. Plan – the production of one or more mental models detailing how you might achieve your goal through interaction.
Types of Interpersonal Goals 1.Self-presentation goal (identity management) – we perform facework. i.e. competent; friendly; intelligent; funny, etc. 2.Relational Goal – we maintain or neglect our relationships. Relationships are the products our interpersonal communication. How we communicate depends in turn on the nature and quality of our relationships. 3 Types of Relational Goals: Escalating – growing more intimate and more interdependent Maintaining – activities and communication behaviors used to sustain a healthy relationship De-escalating – drifting apart
Types of Interpersonal Goals Continued… 3.Instrumental goals – we try to get others to do us a favor or offer some kind of resource; desires for self- advancement. i.e. getting a ride to school, obtaining a day off from work, persuading someone to help you print something from the computer. Communicators sometimes pursue one type of goal at the expense of other goals. People communicate to achieve multiple goals.