Primarily we study the individual’s communication system because of its inherent relationship to interpersonal communication. Interpersonal communication deals with communication between people. As such, interpersonal communication is formed when a person interacts with another person, learns about them and others who they are.
Interpersonal communication is the universal form of communication that takes place between two individuals. Since it is person-to-person contact, it includes everyday exchange that may be formal or informal and can take place anywhere by means of words, sounds, facial expression, gestures and postures. In interpersonal communication there is face-to-face interaction between two persons, that is, both are sending and receiving messages. This is an ideal and effective communication situation because you can get immediate feedback.
You can clarify and emphasize many points through your expressions, gestures and voices. In interpersonal communication, therefore, it is possible to influence the other person and persuade him or re to accept your point of view. Since there is proximity between sender and receiver, interpersonal communication has emotional appeal too. It can motivate, encourage, and coordinate work more effectively than any other form of communication. Also, in a crisis, through interpersonal channel, flow of information is tremendous e. G. News of violence, famine or disaster.
Interpersonal messages consist of meanings derived from personal observations and experiences. The process of translating thoughts into verbal and nonverbal messages increases the communicator’s self-concept. In fact, effective interpersonal communication helps both participants strengthen relationships through the sharing of meaning and emotions (http:// www. Mbabane. Com/business-communication/definition-of-interpersonal- communication’). Frontline staff is defined as someone who works directly and deals with the customers.
Government agencies and employees, receptionist, flight attendances and railway station workers are the best examples of frontline staff. Wisped stated that a receptionist is an employee taking an office/ administrative support position. The work is usually performed in a waiting rear such as a lobby or front office desk of an organization or business. The title “receptionist” is attributed to the person who is specifically employed by an organization to receive or greet any visitors, patients, or clients and answer telephone calls.
Like the other receptionists, the airport receptionist at the Malaysia Airlines (MASS) also faces with the same job situation when it comes to dealing with customers. Figure 1. 1 Airport Receptionists with Customers 2. Identification and Evaluation of the Interpersonal Communication Elements between Customers and Frontline Staff in an Organization People, channels, interferences and context are amongst the elements of the interpersonal communication existed between airport receptionist and customers. 2. 1 People Interpersonal communication involves at least two persons.
When you send a message, you are the “encoder,” the writer or the speaker, depending on whether your message is written or oral. Decoding, on the other hand, is the reverse and refers to the act in which the receiver understands your messages, for example by listening or reading. For interpersonal communication to occur, messages must be encoded and decoded. By ending your idea via sound waves, you are putting these ideas into a code, hence encoding. By translating sound waves into ideas, you are taking them out of code, hence decoding (Yap, 2009).
For example, an airport receptionist deals with customer explanation, TV persons involves in this interactions, hence, interpersonal communication occur because the messages sent are being received. 2. 2 Channels A message is sent and received with and through all your senses; equally, messages may be sent and received through verbal and non-verbal modes, channels. Channel is a medium through which messages are sent to a achieve. It is a kind of bridge which connects the source and receiver. Communication rarely takes place over only one channel; two, three, or four channels are often used simultaneously.
The most common communication channels are television, radio, film, books, magazines, newspapers and brochures. It is through these channels that messages are transmitted to media audience. However, in face-to-face communication, messages are sent during the process of speaking and listening (vocal channel) and through signals (visual channel). In interpersonal communication, the wired telephone, cell phones, and the computer serve as Hansel of communication (Yap, 2009). For example, the customers in the airport among someone who in need for air transportation services travel to another place.
They can get information about the airlines, airlines schedule, services, packages and anything else through airlines magazines, brochures, advertisements and also mostly in the websites. Figure 2. 1 Yap K. H. Defines interference as a form of disturbance that reduces and distorts the ability to send or receive messages. It changes the meaning of an intended message, thus affecting the accuracy, clarity and misunderstanding of a message. As a result, a sender fails to get his message across. Others (receiver) will perceive and interpret a message differently by observing the nonverbal CUes by a speaker.
F-or example, the aroma of perfume, noise Of announcement boarding type of attire wore by customers represents country and culture or non-verbal movements affects the attention of a particular situation. Interferences at airport may be in various forms such as physical (a loud announcements or low flying airplanes), physiological (hearing or visual impairment), psychological (preconceived ideas), or semantic (misunderstood meanings) as clearly explained in Table 2. 2. All communications contain interference. Interference cannot be totally eliminated, but its effects can be reduced. Table 2. : Four Types of Interferences Types of Interference Examples of Interference Physical A loud announcement/l_owe flying airplanes Physiological Hearing or Visual Impairment Psychological Preconceived Ideas Semantic Misunderstood Meaning Communication always takes place in some context or setting which influences the form and content of the messages. Sometimes a context is so natural that you hardly notice it like background music or smell of perfume. At other times, it dominates and exerts considerable control over our behavior. A context is where communication occurs in a situation.
It can take place in formal or informal settings such as in the airport where people are gathering in several areas like the food court, services counter, waiting seats hall, boarding departure and shops available in the airport where communication occurs. The importance of understanding communication context is the ability to determine the type of communication approach that would be appropriate and effective (Yap, 2009). The social context also needs o be considered, for example the roles, responsibilities and relative status of the participants (both airport receptionist and customers).
The emotional climate and participants’ expectations of the interaction will also affect the communication. Figure 2. 3: Frontline Staff and Customer Cycle 3. Identification and Description on the Possible Causes of Interpersonal Conflict between Customers and Frontline Staff According to Yap K. H. , for most relationships to succeed, one will have to learn how conflict situation arises from time to time. Conflict in relationships occurs for various reasons. Different people deal with conflict situation differently.
In a relationship, conflict exists when there are gaps in terms of views, interests, objectives, norms and responsibilities between people who depend on each other. In interpersonal conflict, a person experiences a situation in which: The relationship is interdependent and the act of a person is affecting the other; Both parties perceive their objectives and interests to be incompatible; One sees the other as interfering with the achieved objectives in the relationship Figure 3. 1 Some of the interpersonal communication conflicts are: Source: http://frontierswomen. Bloodspot. Mom/2011 /03/chapter-1 2- interpersonal-conflict-and. HTML) 3. 1 Conflict is Inevitable As an airport receptionist, one may faces some difficult situation when interacting with the customers. It may be the consumers biased for woman receptionist, language differences and the difficulty in understanding unfamiliar accents and mostly consumer impatience behavior itself. Sometimes, even a simple matter may also results in conflicts. Hence, conflicts between persons are unavoidable. 3. 2 Conflict Can Have Negative and Positive Effects Negative effects: Often leads to increased negative regard to the receiver.
May deplete energy better spent elsewhere. May lead you to hide feelings and hatreds. Rewards may become more difficult to exchange leading to dissolution. Positive effects: Forces you to examine a problem and work toward a solution. May emerge with a positive attitude towards each other. Enables you to state your needs. Often prevents hostilities from festering. Emphasizes the interaction is worth the effort. 3. Conflict can on content Content conflict focuses on objects, events, and persons usually external to he people involved in the conflict.
Interpersonal communication conflict focuses on a concern with interpersonal issues such as who is in charge. These issues are often hidden or disguised as content conflicts. For example, as frontline staff who deals with customers it is a priority to serves them professionally and pleasantly even though the customer is incorrect or misbehave. While, as customers, one’s have to understand others situation and do not put others in bad situation no matter how worst the situation is. There are five basic styles of engaging in conflict. When you compete, the errors who loses concludes the conflict hasn’t been resolved, just concluded for now.
When you avoid, the conflict festers and probably grows, which will likely resurface later on. Accommodating means that you sacrifice your own needs to maintain harmony, but your needs are not likely going to go away. Compromising maintains the peace, but there will still be dissatisfaction over the losses endured. Collaborating is the ideal style. For instance, for every word and action intended must be careful so that no one is getting hurts. 4. Recommendation on the Strategies to Resolve the Interpersonal Conflict According to Yap K. H. 009, if conflict is managed successfully, this will not lead a relationship to come to an end. Whether a conflict is resolved or prolonged will depend on one’s attitude towards the conflict and the choices he or she makes on how to manage it. This situation happened between a customer and frontline airport receptionist. John (the customer) stated that he missed his flight because of he assumed that receptionist telling him wrong information about his boarding time which had been changed due to the air pollution. Then, John and the receptionist have an argument in which tot sides refused to lose.
This situation can be resolve if both sides manage their conflict by: The strategy involves withdrawing physically or psychologically. In this case, a person deals with the arguments or problems instead of avoiding the issues. Avoid statements or actions and take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings. Negotiation or a win-win solution is more effective in interpersonal relationships (Yap, 2009). For example, the receptionist may just avoid the situation getting tougher by saying sorry and solve John’s problem by offering him another available flight ticket. 2 Focus on Issues, Not Personalities When confronted with conflict, most people refuse to deal with issues but instead force their position on others. This technique is commonly used in interpersonal relationships. It involves emotional and physical force at times. Focus on the conflict rather than on personalities to avoid miscommunication conflict (Yap, 2009). For instance, John has to say sorry for his mistakes of being rude to the receptionist. John should focus on the issues happened to him which was he missed his flight because of having confused With the changes of flights time.
Attack or acceptance is a common strategy in resolving conflicts. The art Of attacking comes in many forms of personal rejection in his or her favor. However, acceptance such as expressing positive feelings can sustain a relationship for a longer time (Yap, 2009). Both John and the receptionist may use this strategy to manage their conflict effectively. They both can be either the attacker or the accepter. 4. 4 Be Mindful and Flexible Mindfulness is a state in which you are aware of the situation, the logic and rationality of your behavior.
Being open in discussions or negotiations to efferent points of views or perspectives are examples of how to handle conflict mindfully. By being flexible, you will be able to respond differently depending on the specific situation (Yap, 2009). John and the airport receptionist manage their conflict mindfully and professionally. John has to understand the situation happened not intentionally. On the other hand, the airport receptionist be responsible and try to find solutions to solve John’s difficulties. Other Ideas for Resolving Conflict: (Source: http://leonine. Us. Due/uh- fact/0020. HTML) 1. Talk directly to the parties involved. Assuming there is no wreath of physical violence, a one-on-one or private setting is best. Be certain that no one is being misquoted or misinterpreted by using reflective listening, simply repeating back to the speaker what you think he/she is trying to say. Direct conversation is much more effective than complaining to everyone else. 2. Choose a good time. Plan to talk to the other person at the right time and allow enough time for a thorough discussion.
Don’t start talking about the conflict just as the other person is leaving for work, after you have had a terrible day, or right before you have something important to do. Just before a child enters the show arena is not a good time to discuss a conflict with them. Try to talk in a quiet private place where everyone can be comfortable and undisturbed for as long as the discussion takes. 3. Plan ahead. Consider what you want to say ahead of time. State clearly what the problem is and how it affects those involved. 4. Don’t blame or name call.
Antagonizing the other party only makes it harder for them to understand you. Don’t blame the other person for everything or begin the conversation with your opinion of what should be done. 5. Give factual information. Don’t interpret the other art’s behavior. Instead give information about your own feelings. This doesn’t judge if the feeling is right or wrong, but allows the speaker to know he/she has been heard. Remember the area of disagreement is a joint problem. Attack the problem, not each other. Keep in mind that you both are responsible for solving the problem. It is not just your problem. . Listen. Give the other party a chance to tell his or her side of the conflict completely. Using reflective listening, try to learn how the other party feels. Although you may not agree with what is being said, tell the other person that you hear him r her and are glad that you are discussing the problem together. 7. Talk it through. Get all of the issues and feelings out in the open. Don’t leave out the part that seems too “difficult” to discuss or too insignificant to be important. The solution will work best if all issues are discussed thoroughly. 8. Brainstorm for solutions.
Consider a variety of ideas to help solve the problem. Don’t judge the ideas as right or wrong, or good or bad. Look for options that emphasize the common good. Two or more people cooperating produce lasting solutions more effectively than one person telling another to change. 9. Look for win-win solutions. Try to settle differences in a manner which achieves everyone’s need for security, being needed, validation, and respect. Compare and evaluate the different options to find something that can please all parties. See if there are one or more options that are agreeable to both parties.
FOCUS on what is needed and not what is desired. Strive to develop a compromise to reach this goal. 10. Follow through. Agree to check with each other at specific times to make sure the agreement is still working – then do it. 5. SUMMARY Knowing the importance of communication will encourage someone to come a good communicator and be able to interact and adapt to various communication contexts. By developing good communication skills, one will be able to interact successfully with others. In addition, through expressing yourself, the perceptive element within can be sharpened.
The interpersonal communication process that seems difficult at first will naturally become simplified as you develop patience and acceptance towards the weaknesses of others. Ultimately, the understanding of interpersonal communication will change your behavior, opinion and perspective towards life. Thus, this factor will empower one to successfully address one’s interpersonal goals and upgrade the quality of life. To comprehend the relationship established in interpersonal communication, first of all, one must understand how human relate to each other.
When a particular relationship is formed in the best of manner, it creates a fulfilling experience in communicating. Likewise, inadequate communication is a source of conflict and misunderstanding (Yap, 2009). Interpersonal communication happen when the elements of interpersonal communication (people, channels, interference and context) existed whether intentionally or unintentionally and mostly on face-to-face interactions. The customers and the frontline staff engage in interpersonal communication because there are sender and receiver of messages.
The interpersonal conflict between frontline staff and customers arises when there are arguments, gaps in terms of views, objectives and responsibilities. According to Rinehart, S. H. , while conflict may seem negative, it is a natural event in relationships between people. We simply cannot avoid it. It occurs because people care about each other, personal goals, individual priorities, ND themselves. Depending on how they are handled, conflicts may have negative or positive consequences. The results depend on how we choose to resolve conflict.
In itself, conflict is neither good nor bad. It was something of what we do with it that makes the difference. We can become more effective in conflict situations if we respond by consciously selecting behavior, instead of merely reacting based on our first impression of a situation.