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Human communication refers to an activity whereby human beings express meaningful information to one another. Human communication can be either verbal or non-verbal. For successful human communication to occur there should be a sender, the intended recipient, and the message to be passed across. Human communication can occur over a great distance in space and time and the communicating individuals should have a common communicative area. For a communication process to be complete, the receiver should have understood the sender’s message. Since human communication can be either verbal or non-verbal, they can be expressed in form of eye contact, paralanguage, body language, sign language, and haptic communication, among others. For people with disabilities, communication can be done through text display, large print, tactile communication, or accessible multimedia among others.
Verbal and non-verbal human communication can be interpersonal, intrapersonal, organizational, or cross-cultural. Interpersonal communication is when information is exchanged between or among participants who are interdependent. In interpersonal communication, there should be sending and receiving of messages between the two parties or individuals. The basic concept involved in this type of communication is the communicative acts basing on few individuals rather than communication areas where there is an interaction within a group of individuals (Corson & Bryant, 2000).
Generally, this type of communication can both be indirect and direct mediums, like computer-mediated or face-to-face interaction respectively. Interpersonal skills are behaviors that people learn and are enhanced through practice, knowledge, reflection, and feedback (Barge et al, 2006). On the other hand, intrapersonal communication is where a person communicates within himself; it is the situation in which the communication occurs in a person’s mind, and there exist a model of ‘sender-receiver-feedback loop’. Research carried out by Charles and Jones shows that intrapersonal communication is more less a regular speech. Intrapersonal skills begin in childhood, reflected in toddlers and are common for almost everyone. For an adult, this occurs when a person daydreams, participates in monologues or dreams nocturnally. Organizational communication on the other hand, entails passing of information within members in organizations (Barge et al, 2006).
Non-verbal communication entails sending and receiving messages, which are wordless. In non-verbal communication, passing of messages takes place in form of posture, body language, eye contact, facial expression, and gestures among others. These communication methods succeed depending on the distance between the sender and the receiver. Since this communication method may not be accompanying a verbal communication, it remains a polite way of passing information and in some other cases, helps in avoiding embarrassments, and to maintain good relationships between individuals (Feldman & Riggio, 2005).
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To ensure that nonverbal communication is effective and there exists understanding between the two parties, the symbols should have same meaning to both parties. Broadly, non-verbal communication is of two basic categories. This communication can be body based, where the body produces the message and the recipient infers its meaning. It can also be a setting based on time, silence, and space. Other than these, non-verbal communication can be in terms of written information. This is an appropriate method when the parties are not communicating face-to-face. Unlike other forms of non-verbal communication, it becomes easy to understand what the message, provided the two parties understand the language used (Floyd & Guerrero, 2006). In most cases where body language is used, verbal communication is also involved, except for people with disabilities. In cases where both methods are applied, non-verbal communication substitutes, regulates, complements, accents, conflicts, and repeats verbal communication.
Generally, there are different barriers to effective communication, depending on the form utilized. For a case of senior managers who are going to Japan for business purposes, there is a probability of misunderstanding among them especially when non-verbal language is used (Hall & Knapp, 2009). Much Japanese Sign Language is almost similar and these members may not be able to understand. This misunderstanding may lead to failure of the business trip to this new country. Because it is not possible to have physical group meetings and the only time they will meet may be few minutes to flight time, then I can advise that web conferencing is the best option. This is because it can allow all the members of the group to share ideas from their remote places. Additionally, I would encourage each of the members to create a chat account by utilizing the various platforms like Google groups, Yahoo groups, facebook, and twitter. Through these, we can be able to share the likely problems they can encounter there especially with use of sign language. Fundamentally, it is prudent for me to provide the link, which will guide them to learn the sign language. I can send this link through Sms, individual e-mail addresses, facebook inbox, or other chat windows.
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As observed in the video, Japanese sign language looks almost alike. This may lead to misunderstanding between the managers and the Japanese businesspersons whom they will interact with. Research has shown that Japanese language is hard to learn and there has been many miscommunications witnessed (Tubbs, 2009). To avoid chances of communication breakdown, I will ensure that there is use of both verbal and non-verbal communication methods. In case of misunderstandings, I will ensure that the parties use other forms of communication like written, rather than sign or otherwise gestures and body signs. Using written language is the most effective way that will prevent chances of misinterpretation. It is therefore, advisable to employ this during the entire time in Japan in order carry out the business successfully.
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