Interpersonal Communication: A Strategic Perspective

Interpersonal Communication: A Strategic Perspective

Johnny R. O'Connor Jr. (Lamar University, USA) and Keonta N. Jackson (Texas A&M University – Commerce, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch023
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Abstract

This chapter provides information regarding the importance of interpersonal communication in work settings. Whether in corporations or in educational settings, effective interpersonal communication is paramount, and required to ensure that pertinent information is properly conveyed. This is important to strategic leadership in that much thought and discussion must be focused on how, when, where, and what leaders communicate. If these elements are properly considered, organizations will be better positioned to benefit from positive outcomes yielded from a strategic approach to communication. Interpersonal communication is an abstract element that has significant implications for all organizations.
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Introduction

For decades, communication has proven to be essential to effective leadership (Attwater & Waldman, 2008; Terek, Glusa, Nikolic, Tasic, & Gligorovic, 2015; White, 2015). In fact, it has been stated that leadership can only exist through effective communication (Witherspoon, 1997). According to Miulescu (2014), communication is fundamental to human existence. Moreover, its importance has become increasingly essential, given the emergence of the many collaborative leadership structures within today’s work environments (Katzenback & Smith, 1993). Consequently, leaders that truly understand the value and impact of communication are able to carefully view the related complexities of this phenomenon, while recognizing its multifaceted effect on work related outcomes (Clampitt, 2005). Whether communication is necessary to complete a meeting, convey a message, or display an emotion, nearly all actions within an organization involve some aspect of communication (Katz & Kahn, 1966). However, communication as a standalone construct is not very effective or efficient. It is the actual communicative interaction between individuals or groups that begins to shape its strategic basis. This type of communicative interaction is commonly known has interpersonal communication.

It is not only important to recognize the mere existence of communication, but yet, attention must be given to how communicative interactions present, in terms of quality and context, as well how communication supports the overall attainment of organizational goals (Young & Post, 1993). This requires a more interactive and direct interpersonal communication platform. According to Bedwell, Fiore, and Salas (2014), interpersonal communication skills are vital in today’s work environment. Current research has noted that interpersonal communication skills are fundamental for those seeking both career and organizational success (DeKay, 2012; Du-Babcock, 2006). This is important namely because information conveyed to stakeholders is critical to the decision making of organizational leaders, and the cultivation of work related relationships (Halawah, 2005). When managers learn how to effectively address the power of interpersonal communication, it can pay big dividends (Jackson, 2016). This chapter will seek to provide the reader with foundational information regarding interpersonal communication, its strategic implications, as well as several considerations that a strategic leader must make when communicating to various stakeholders.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Communication: A verbal or non-verbal exchange of information.

Nonverbal Communication: Expression that includes the use of facial expressions, body gestures, and other non-verbal forms of communication.

Interpersonal Communication: An exchange of information between two or more individuals that includes decoding and processing information in such that an action is executed.

Verbal Communication: Structured vocalizations and sounds of expression.

Communication Barrier: Any impedance to the ability to communicate.

Communicative Constructs: Notions, ideas, and environmental elements that impact the exchange of information.

Strategic Leadership: Deliberate data and outcome driven decision-making.

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