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Interpersonal communication is simply communication between two people. Interpersonal communication may also occur between small groups such as those that exist at Global Couriers. The definition of interpersonal communication is not simply one that is quantitative; the concept cannot be defined merely by determining the number of people involved. Communication scholars take a qualitative approach to the concept. It is said to occur when people communicate in their capacity as unique individuals. According to Wood (1999, p. 24), interpersonal communication occurs when individuals build knowledge of another in order to create shared meanings. During the interpersonal communication process, those involved should always have the desire and motivation to know each other as individuals. At Global Couriers, there exists a negative communication climate. This is evident through poor morale and low motivation. In such an environment, employees are not motivated to know more about each other. The tension that exists between age-based and cultural-based sub-groups is a clear indication of poor interpersonal communication in the company. In order to deal with this problem, the level of negative communication needs to be minimized while that of positive communication should be maximized. The extent of negative communication is often determined by levels of self disclosure, empathy and response to emotions. Every communication made should also be assessed and judged as either confirming or disconfirming in nature, the nature of feedback given and the communication styles used. Through self-disclosure, people reveal information about themselves to other people with whom they engage in interpersonal communication (Afzalur & Magner 1995, p. 124). Self disclosure is about information that is not readily available to the recipient. It is a excellent source of motivation, a factor that contributes to the success of interpersonal communication. Self disclosure works out well through the application of the rule of reciprocity.
At Global Couriers, the existing negative communication environment needs to be transformed into a positive one. Communication climate, according to Wood (1999, p. 245), refers to the overall emotional mood or feeling between two people. Confirming and disconfirming climates need to be considered closely at Global Couriers.
Confirming climates exist when messages are received from those with whom one has a relationship, demonstrating one’s worth and value to these people. On the other hand, in disconfirming climates, the messages received devalue are meant to devalue the recipient. Both climates should be understood in three main dimensions. These dimensions include recognition, acknowledgement, and endorsement (Luft 1969, p. 117). Many employees at Global Couriers would want to be in confirming climates because of the emotional safety that is often implied. According to Mathews, Derlega & Morrow (2006, p. 86), a disconfirming climate is a prime cause of turnovers in organizations. One may say that Global couriers’ is a case of disconfirming climate owing to the high turnover rate and a sense of vulnerability among workers. However, as Baxtor (1990, p. 69) points out, in most cases, interpersonal relationships may fall somewhere between these two extremes. In order for interpersonal communication to be improved at Global Couriers, the balance between confirming and disconfirming environments should be understood and acted upon professionally, mainly through close monitoring and regulation. All interpersonal messages whereby there is potential for recognition should be vetted in order to point out disconfirming climates. Employees should be encouraged to recognize the presence of others regardless of their cultural or sub-group affiliation. The same thing should be done with regard to acknowledgement and endorsement of messages. In conclusion, the root of failure of interpersonal communication at Global Couriers should be understood in order the communication crisis that is hampering growth at the Global Couriers to be solved. It is extremely important to increase the qualitative level of emotional engagement. This is because it enables employees to derive shared organizational meanings that are necessary for interpersonal communication to succeed.