Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory, and Practice

By Owen Hargie; David Dickson | Go to book overview

Chapter 1

Introduction:The importance of interpersonal skills

INTRODUCTION

THERE is A FUNDAMENTAL, powerful, and universal need or desire among humans to interact with others. As expressed by Afifi and Guerrero (2000:170): 'There is a long history of research establishing the importance that individuals place on connectedness… individuals' needs for initiating, developing and maintaining social ties, especially close ones, is reflected in a litany of studies and a host of theories.' The mere presence of another has been shown to be arousing and motivating and this in turn influences our behaviour-a process termed compresence (Burgoon et al., 1996). We behave differently in the company of another person from when alone. When we meet others we are 'onstage' and so give a performance that differs from how we behave 'offstage'.

We also enjoy interacting, and indeed the act of engaging in facilitative interpersonal communication has been shown to contribute to positive changes in emotional state (Gable and Shean, 2000). While our dealings with others can sometimes be problematic or even contentious, we also seek, relish, and obtain great reward from social interaction. Conversely, if we are unable to engage meaningfully with others, or are ostracised by them, the result is often loneliness, unhappiness and depression (Williams and Zadiro, 2001). This seemingly innate need for relationships with others has been termed sociation (Wolff, 1950). As Ryff and Singer (2000:31) put it: 'Across time and settings, people everywhere have subscribed to the view that close, meaningful ties to others is an essential feature of what it means to be fully human.' In other words, individuals need to commune with others.

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Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory, and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contents vii
  • Figures viii
  • Boxes ix
  • Preface to the Fourth Edition xi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction- The Importance of Interpersonal Skills 1
  • Chapter 2 - Interpersonal Communication:A Skill-Based Model 11
  • Chapter 3 - Nonverbal Communication 43
  • Chapter 4 - Rewarding and Reinforcing 81
  • Chapter 5 - Questioning 115
  • Chapter 6 - Reflecting 147
  • Chapter 7 - Listening 169
  • Chapter 8 - Explaining 197
  • Chapter 9 - Self-Disclosure 223
  • Chapter 10 - Set Induction and Closure 259
  • Chapter 1- 1 - Assertiveness 291
  • Chapter 12 - Influence and Persuasion 325
  • Chapter 13 - Negotiating 369
  • Chapter 14 - Groups and Group Interaction 401
  • Chapter 15 - Concluding Comments 439
  • References 443
  • Name Index 509
  • Subject Index 521
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