In general communication comprises of basic components such as information ender, recipient, the message itself, the media of communication, feedback, and noise that exists in between the communication. All these are integrated into a single unit and makes up what is called communication. Communication is more effective when it involves the movement of information from one person to another, or between specific groups of people. At this point, interpersonal communication comes into value. Communication, as it is in general, has major limitations that have been eliminated by interpersonal communication.
It is significant to note that “interpersonal communication is central to our daily lives” (Wood, 201 3). Interpersonal communication refers to the transfer of information to a specific target person or group of persons. It may therefore take many dimensions; between individuals and individuals, individuals and groups, or between groups and groups. The major point that distinguishes it from general communication is that there is a message that is intended to be transferred or shared between a known target people. The numbers are not related in any way to the effectiveness of the communication.
Relevance of Interpersonal Communication to our daily lives and needs More often than not, we are faced with the need to satisfy our needs and ants. These needs vary in different ways according to the situations in which they are. Proper interpersonal communication is vital towards the achievement Of these needs and wants. The needs come in different forms and levels. To understand into details how interpersonal communication is important in meeting the daily human needs, it is important to categorize the various needs into distinct classes.
Abraham Moscow (1968) designed a theory that held that in our daily communication, we do so to satisfy different objectives, and more specifically, to meet our daily needs. According to his heron, these needs could be classified into specific classes as illustrated below. Physical Needs- Abraham Moscow ranked this as the least in the hierarchy of human needs. He held that effective interpersonal communication is essential in the satisfaction of these needs. They are the most basic needs that are important in the sustenance of life.
Without these needs, lives would not be sustained since in a bid to do away with them, survival becomes difficult, and the end result may be as serious as death. An example in this category is food. In real life situation, we see babies crying when they are hungry. The cry is a form of direct and interpersonal communication with the care taker assigned or in charge of taking care of the child’s needs. Why do they simply go silent after the food has been given to them? It is merely because their needs have been met to their satisfaction.
Having communicated to its mother through the cry, the child is in a position to have its needs satisfied by the parent. The communication is cyclical, since after being fed, there are all chances that the child will get hungry all over again. In a classroom situation, especially those lectures that are adjacent to munch breaks, the lecturer would observe some of the students yawning suggestively in trying to communicate that they are hungry and would really like to break for lunch. The feedback that is provided determines whether the needs will be met.
Safety Needs- In his rank of needs, the safety needs are the next in line after the physical needs. These are needs that relate to feeling of being secure from any risks or threats of danger. Abraham Moscow took a keen analysis into these needs to prove that human beings are creatures that prefer tranquility and calmness in their areas of residence (Hartley, 2001). Take the example where there is a criminal attack in bank, where the criminals are highly armed and ready to depart with the loot.
In the event that an attendant gets access to any telecommunication device, he would immediately, and secretly communicate to the nearest possible security officers, to come and rescue the loot, and more specifically to rescue the hostages to safer locations. The safety of the bank attendants would be the very first factors under consideration. Just by sending a signal, maybe in the form of a text message, the safety of the bank attendants would be guaranteed.
Interpersonal communication, in this view helps in obtaining the safety and security needs of the people that are encountered in a given insecurity situation, such as that of a bank attack. The people that are in the banking hall would be relieved of the feeling of being insecure under the control of guns. The simple dial Of a button would rescue the whole communication. Belonging Needs- There is need by everybody to feel, part of a group or family organization. This aspect of needs is important to the employees of the organization.
The students in a school must always strive to feel part of the earning community. In addition to this, age groups have the tendency of being close to each other, and for each other. In order to feel part of a community or group, people must engage in participative communication. Through involvement in debates and conversations, we are able to feel welcomed and recognized within a particular group that we belong to. The interpersonal communication that is applied in this case is an associative or interactive form.
We must interact with our fellow students at the learning centers to feel a sense of belonging to the groups that exist in those set-ups. The group discussions that we do participate in, and the brainstorming exercises we engage in, are clear signs of seeking for a sense of belonging. We feel more comfortable when our belonging needs are satisfied, since the satisfaction of these needs will eliminate suspicion that would be levied on us by the members of those groups. Self -Esteem Needs Moving to the upper levels of Mason’s hierarchy, the self-esteem needs seem to bear more importance, having looked into the belonging needs.
Self- esteem gives us that Sense that we have some potential that is identified with us in particular. These are intangible property that we seek to satisfy through the participation of our colleagues. It appears more convincing to be told about your potentiality by someone else, other than identifying it on your own. The self-esteem in us is best identified by those that we interact with. Having been communicated to us, we feel more encouraged to meet the self-esteem needs. These needs are very important to our motivation in performing duties.
The children feel more encouraged perform just by appreciating just the little that they do. Through this interpersonal communication with the child regarding their potential, they feel more encouraged and motivated to meet their ultimate goals and needs related to the esteem that is appreciated. Self- Actualization Needs- This is the top-most ranked need by Abraham Moscow. The actualization needs are very critical, especially to those that are rich and have the urge to obtain more from the riches that they own. They never seem to get convinced with the little that they own.
The self-actualization needs have the tendency of being cumulative, that is to say, they keep recurring and advancing as time moves on. Upon the satisfaction of one of the needs, the next level of satisfaction would target there related needs and wants. The need to acquire large tracks of land is one of these needs. Having acquired the plot, the same person would feel like to drive a more luxurious car in a prestigious city. The feeling to have control over other people not in the same rank follows. At this time, political leadership becomes of great importance and value to the person who in question.
The political leaders have to engage in one-on-one communication with the citizens to make sure that they acquire the numbers needed at the ballot. This kind of communication takes the persuasive form and they have to use all means to invoice the voters to ballot them into the leadership positions. At this stage, they are no longer interested in wealth creation, but they want to enjoy ultimate authority over those people that they control. Self- actualization helps to develop us further, and may as well involve using our talents and abilities to realize the needs that we seek to achieve.
Interpersonal “communication fosters our personal growth” (Wood, 2013) and this is essential in actualization of our needs. The extent to which these needs are satisfied depends on the degree to which this communication is effective. How to make the Interpersonal Communication Effective in Satisfying Our Needs In relying on interpersonal communication to satisfy the needs that we need to satisfy, there are certain factors that have to be put in place to ensure that the communication is effective and precise to the point.
Much consideration has to be put on the effective model to use in delivering or communicating certain ideas and needs that we strive to satisfy. Some of the models that can be used are explained below, and the relevant areas where they can be put into use to ensure the highest levels of efficiency in communication. Linear Model This model takes a linear format and the communication is based on a one- on-one basis. This model of interpersonal communication is applicable when the especially when striving to achieve the physical needs.
Using the example of the baby and the care taker, the cry will be specifically directed to the care taker, and in most instances it will be noted that the baby identifies the person to whom the cry should be directed, either through facial expressions or movements. Interactive Models The interactive models are used to acquire those needs that require the attention of more than one person at the same time. It takes associative format since we have to interact with other people to achieve and satisfy these needs. The extent to which these needs are satisfied depends on the level of participation of all the members in meeting these goals.
The overall attainment is attributable to the entire group, and will more often reflect their contribution within it. The belonging needs are the best category according to Mascots theory that can be satisfied by this model. In line with the example on students’ participation in group discussions, it is necessary that the participation of all the other members be taken into proper consideration to ensure that the belonging needs are fully met. Transactional Models This category of models is one that “emphasizes the dynamism of interpersonal communication and the multiple roles people assume during the process” (Wood, 2013).
This model operates on an environment that keeps on changing and has tendencies of including new ideas in its operations. The kind of information that is communicated changes with seasons. The political area is one of the most relevant areas associated with these characteristics. In line with this, the communication of information relating to the attainment of self-actualization needs requires high degrees of ramifications models. This kind of model enables changes to be done. Discussion The attainment of human needs and wants is fully dependent on the type of need in question, and the type of model that is in use.
Interpersonal communication plays a great role in the attainment and satisfaction of these needs, in their order of importance. According to Abraham Moscow, the order mentioned would be most appropriate to follow when striving to achieve these goals. Conclusion We all prefer to communicate with each other to meet our unique needs. Proper communication with the people that surround us is very important in raying to come up with more advanced and effective methods of satisfying our needs.
The needs come in their own unique forms, and the interpersonal communication that we employ in trying to accomplish them helps a great deal in determining the chances of achieving these needs. Irrespective of the noise that might exist within the channel of communication, it becomes very important to consider the various relevant models of interpersonal communication. The level of effectiveness in satisfying our unlimited wants using limited resources heavily relies in the communication of ideas and Houghton, as well as those feelings that necessitate the implementation of the steps necessary for satisfaction of the goals.