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What Is Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace? - Definition, Process & Examples

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
Interpersonal communication in the workplace is an essential skill to master. In this lesson, you'll learn about interpersonal communication and its fundamental processes. You'll also have a chance to take a short quiz.

Process of Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is the sending and receiving of information between two or more people. Interpersonal communication in the workplace also involves this interaction in varying relational situations, such as between co-workers and between superior and subordinates.

Interpersonal communication is a process of exchange. The components of this process include sender, message, channel and receiver. The sender is the one initiating the message. The message is the information that will be sent. The channel is the manner in which the message is sent. The receiver is the one to whom the information is sent. Let's look at this process step by step.

  1. A sender composes the message in his mind. In composing the message, he may take into account such things as the reason for the message, such as to persuade or inform. This involves encoding, which is the transferring of your mental thoughts for the message into words.
  2. The next step is selection of the channel of communication. Channels include speaking, writing, video transmission, audio transmission, electronic transmission through an email, text or instant message, or even non-verbal communication through body language and signals.
  3. The next stage of the communication is when the receiver of the message processes the information into understanding, called decoding. For example, you decode a written message by interpreting the meanings of the symbols (letters and punctuation), including their arrangement (sentence and paragraph structure), on a printed page.
  4. An optional step in the process is feedback, which is a message sent from the receiver to the sender in response to the original message.

Noise is basically anything that can interfere with the transmission and interpretation of the message from its sender to the receiver. Noise is a major concern in interpersonal communication. These are different types of noise:

  • Physical noise is the type with which you are most familiar; it is loud or distracting sound.
  • Semantic noise occurs due to confusion caused by ambiguity in words and sentence structure.
  • Physiological noise occurs when a bodily function distracts you, such as a headache or blurry vision due to tears.

Types of Organizational Communication

There are many different types of communication that occur within an organization, including communication between members and communication between the organization and the outside environment. Here, we are going to focus on two types of internal interpersonal communication processes.

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