​Interpersonal Communication



The ability to choose an appropriate communication behavior that is effective for a certain situation is referred to as communication competence. I understand that interpersonal communication competencies can allow me to achieve my communication goals effectively wile preventing the other party from losing face. Therefore, is important to know the behavior best suited for a particular situation, applying that behavior in the given context and desiring to communicate in a manner that is competent (DeVito, 1999). 

After reviewing the communication competence summary I have identified six interpersonal communications competencies that are very important in achieving effective communication. These are verbal communication, listening, assertiveness, non verbal communication, questioning and channel options. While I feel I am good at some, I also feel that there are others in which I require some improvement.

Three Communication Competencies I Currently Feel Strong In

Verbal Communication

            I am fully aware that to effectively have verbal communication, I have to be clear. I believe that I am strong at verbal communication competence because I slow down and speak thoughtfully. I am never rushed to speak to respond to any question. For this reason, I believe that it is always better to pause for some time and consider the question or the conversation before I respond. For example, whenever I am addressed, I stay focused, calm and polite, which enables me to also match the emotion of the situation. As a result, I speak smoothly, confidently and with a lot of clarity


            I have always known that listening is the sole appropriate to follow communication. Without listening, I am not able to respond or even interpret the message appropriately. For example, under influence of noise, I have noticed that listening is impaired and communication becomes difficult. Moreover, I have realized that I have to listen more than I speak to make sense of the situation and reason to respond effectively. I therefore believe that I am good in listening during interpersonal communication because I make sure that I understand and interpret the messages before I open my mouth to respond back.


            I have always known that being assertive is an important competence in interpersonal communication. I am good at getting my ideas onto a competitive table as I also take care not to offend other by being too aggressive. For example, I always stand up for what I believe in, while defending my ideas with confidence. For example, when I wanted a raise in salary at my work place, I made it happen and got it. This is because I was tactful in asserting what I believed in, thereby gaining myself respect.

Three Communication Competencies I Currently Feel In Need Improvement In

Non Verbal Communication

            Even though I feel that I am strong in verbal communication, I have always underestimated non-verbal communication despite knowing that it has the ability to reinforce what I say verbally. I believe that I need improvement in the non verbal communication competence because I have never been at a position to respond tactfully to a question without speaking verbally. For example, when I ask my friends about whether or not I am good at non-verbal communication, they have always told me that they cannot notice it, this means that I need to improve on my body language so that I am able to let others know what I am feeling about something without having to speak verbally.


            Even though I am a good listener, I do not ask questions in a conversation as it should be the case. However, I realize that questioning is important in communication as it serves many important purposes. Even when I believe I am a good listener, I have not well developed the art of questioning even when I need some clarification. For example, I always thought that questioning will make the other party feel as if I want to obtain more information from him or her that might make them uncomfortable. However, I now know that questioning can be used to initiate a conversation, and shows that I am interested in the topic under the conversation. Especially, I want to improve on the quality of questions I have during conversation so that the conversation proceeds without the other party feeling uncomfortable.

Channel Options

            I appreciate the fact that the choice of communication channel is essential in ensuring that the message is delivered and received as intended. However, I feel that I am weak in making the correct decision concerning channel options. I should be at a position to evaluate if my message will be effective when delivered through a certain channel. For example, I realized that I was week in making this decision when I sent a mail to my friend about a party we were having two in two days because he failed to read the mail and failed to show up. When I later got his call in a week’s time, he was quick to ask me why I did not call him to tell him about the party. I therefore need to improve in making the right channel options for my messages to be delivered and be received effectively.


            Even when an individual comprehends the importance of interpersonal communication competencies, chances are that he or she is strong in some, and needs improvement in others. Effective communication requires that individuals integrate all the competencies to enable them know the behavior best suited for a particular situation, applying that behavior in the appropriate circumstance and communicate in a manner that is competent.