Communication and Relationships Building in Crisis Situations

DEFINITION OF COMMUNICATION:

  • Is a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants do not only exchange (encode-decode) information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meanings
  • In general, communication is a means of connecting people or places
  • As an information age, messages are sent, received and processed numbers of messages every day

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective Communication:

  • Is more than just exchanging information; it’s about understanding the emotion behind the information
  • We are able to express ourselves, verbally and non-verbally, in ways that are appropriate to our cultures and our situations.
  • This means being able to express opinions and desires, but also needs and fears.
  • It means being able to ask for advice and help in a time of need

BENEFITS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:

Effective Communication can:

  • Improve relationships at home, work, and in social situations as it deepens your connections to others
  • Improve teamwork, decision-making and problem-solving
  • Enable you to communicate even negative  or difficult messages without creating conflict destroying trust
  • Combine a set of skills including non-verbal communication, attentive listening, the ability to manage stress in the moment, and the capacity to recognize and understand your own emotions  and those of the person you are communicating with
  • As it is a learned skill, it is more effective when it is spontaneous rather than formulated. For example, a speech that is read does not have the same impact as a speech that is delivered
  • It takes time and effort to develop these skills and become effective communicator
  • The more effort and practice you put in, the more instinctive and spontaneous your communication skills will become.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS:

There are four major effective communication skills. They are:

  1. Listening
  2. Non-verbal communication
  3. Managing stress
  4. Emotional awareness

Listening Skill

It is the most important aspect of effective communication. To become a successful listener, it means you don’t just understand the words or the information being communicated, but also understand how the speaker feels about what they are communicating.

Effective listening can:

  • Make the speaker feel heard and understood. This can help build a stronger, deeper connection between you.
  • Create an environment where everyone feels safe to express ideas, opinions, and feelings, or plan and problem solve in creative ways
  • Save time by helping clarify information, avoid conflicts and misunderstanding
  • Relieve negative emotions.

Quick stress relief for effective communication

When stress strikes, you can’t always temper it by taking time out to mediate or go for a run, especially if you’re in the middle of a meeting with your boss or an argument with your spouse, for example.  By learning to quickly reduce stress in the moment, though, you can safely face any strong emotions you’re experiencing, regulate your feelings, and behave appropriately.  When you know how to maintain a relaxed, energized state of awareness- even when something upsetting happens- you can remain emotionally available and engaged.

Non-verbal communication

When we communicate things that we care about, we do so mainly using nonverbal signals. Wordless communication, or body language, includes facial expressions, body movement and gestures, eye contact, posture, the tone of your voice, and even your muscle tension and breathing. The way you look, listen, move, and react to another person tells them more about how you’re feeling than words alone ever can.

Developing the ability to understand and use nonverbal communication can help you connect with others, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships at home and work.

  • You can enhance effective communication by using open body language arms uncrossed, standing with an open stance or sitting on the edge of your seat, and maintaining eye contact with the person you’re talking to.
  • You can also use body language to emphasize or enhance your verbal message- patting a friend on the back while complimenting him on his success, for example, or pounding your fists to underline your message.

Managing Stress

In small groups, stress can help you perform under pressure.  However, when stress becomes constant and overwhelming, it can hamper effective communication by disrupting your capacity to think clearly, creatively, and act appropriately. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to misread other people, thus sending confusing messages. When you find yourself in that situation:

  • Be willing to compromise. Sometimes, if you can both bend a little, you’ll be able to find a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone concerned. If you realize that the other person cares much more about something than you do, compromise may be easier for you and a good investment in the future of the relationship.
  • Agree to disagree, if necessary, and take time away from the situation so everyone can calm down. Take a quick break and move away from the situation. Go for a stroll outside if possible, or spend a few minutes meditating. Physical movement or finding a quiet place to regain your balance can quickly reduce stress.

Emotional Awareness

  • Emotions play an important role in the way we communicate at home and work.
  • It’s the way you feel, more than the way you think, that motivates you to communicate or to make decisions.
  • The way you react to emotions, such as nonverbal cues affects both how you understand other people and how they understand you.

If you are out of touch with your feelings, and don’t understand how you feel or why you feel that way, you’ll have a hard time communicating your feelings and needs to others.

Emotional awareness provides you the tools needed for understanding both yourself and other people, and the real messages they are communicating to you. Although knowing your own feelings may seem simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. But your ability to communicate depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions or if you insists on communicating only on a rational level, it will impair your ability to fully understand others, creatively problem solve, resolve conflicts, or build an affectionate connection with someone.

Interpersonal Relationship

Interpersonal relationships are those relationships you have with persons that have the same interests and ideals as you have.  It is very important for care workers/caregivers to have these skills so that their clients do not feel like a burden

A person with good interpersonal skills is one who:

  • get along with others in the work place
  • is polite in talking with other people
  • is pleasant
  • work in a team
  • a good listener and
  • has a pleasant speaking intonation

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP SKILLS 

  • Interpersonal Skills refer to your emotional intelligence of solving problems, managing conflict with people in work place or community as well as your ability to build effective relationship
  • It is anything working with other people
  • Help us to relate in positive ways with the people we interact with. This may mean being able to make and keep friendly relationship, which can be of great importance to our mental and social well-being.
  • It may also mean keeping good relations with family members which are important sources of social supports
  • It may also mean being able to end relationship constructive

ARE PEOPLE BORN WITH INTERPERSONAL SKILLS?

No, since they are not born with the understanding that there are other people. However, people are born with the capacity to learn interpersonal skills through observation and emulation which they must do when they are quite young. Children growing without other people around them, cannot be born with this because they are too old.

VARIOUS TYPES OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

When two individuals feel comfortable in each other’s company and decide to be with each other, they enter into a relationship.

Individuals who are compatible with each other enter into an interpersonal relationship. People must get well for a strong and healthy/positive relationship (positive/healthy)

FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is an unconditional interpersonal relationship where individuals enter into any of their own sweet will and choice.

Friendship is a relationship where there are no formalities and individuals enjoy each other’s presence.  Friendship can be between:

  • Man and a woman
  • Man and man
  • Woman and woman

Must have in friendship:

  • Transparency is the most essential factor for a stable friendship. Do not hide things from your friends. Be honest to them.
  • Guide them whenever required. Never give them any wrong suggestion or advice.
  • Feelings like ego, jealousy, hatred, anger do not exist in friendship.
  • The entire relationship of friendship revolves around trust and give and take. No relationship can be one sided and same with friendship. Try to do as much as you can for your friends.

LOVE

An interpersonal relationship characterized by passion, intimacy, trust and respect is called love.

Individuals in a romantic relationship are deeply attached to each other and share a special bond.

Must have in a Romantic Relationship:

  • Two partners must trust each other in this relationship.
  • A sense of respect and mutual admiration is essential

Partners must reciprocate each other’s feeling for the charm to stay in the relationship for a longer period of time.

Case – 1

Marriage happens when two individuals in love decide to take their relationship to the next level.

Marriage is a kind of formalized relationship where two individuals after knowing each other well decide to enter the wedlock and stay together life- long through thick and thin.

PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP

A relationship between two individuals without any feelings or sexual desire for each other is called a platonic relationship.

In such a relationship might end in romantic relationship with both the partners developing mutual love and falling for each other.

FAMILY RELATIONSHIP

Individuals related by blood or marriage are said to form a family.

PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP (WORK RELATIONSHIP)

Individuals working together for the same organization are said to share a professional relationship.

Individuals sharing a professional relationship are called colleagues.  Colleagues may or may not like each other.

CHARACTERISTICS OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP

There are different characteristics of interpersonal relationships. These characteristics range from brief to long lasting.  They are based on love, friendship, family, kinship, work related, marriage, mutual agreements, neighbourhoods, places of worship and social groups.

WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP

Interpersonal relationship helps to maintain your ability to- successfully communicate, interact and socialise in public.  If you- always live alone, you’d get more and more…… (MORE)

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  • In Relationships
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