Hi, Dr. Bob here.

Conversations, in the field of communication, fit nicely into a category called interpersonal communication. Different than public speaking, communicating in groups, or interpretive speech,   interpersonal communication starts with face-to-face communication with a small number of people, maybe two or three. But effective interpersonal communication is much more than just two or three people having a conversation.

There’s an interesting discussion, from a business point of view, at the following link:

This article quotes another author who says that “interpersonal communication occurs not when you simply interact with someone, but when you treat the other person as a unique human being” (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2002).

The University of Northern Iowa article says that building trust is at the core of effective interpersonal communication, giving four specific areas to build trust:

  • Consistency, meaning that we should be “steady,” or “predictable”
  • Communication, when, for example, we tell others ahead of time about problems before they are surprised by them
  • Commonality, where we focus on things that we have in common
  • Cooperation, which is having a spirit of “good-natured” interdependence

It’s so easy in conversations with others, to focus on problems, negative thoughts, complaints about government, or work. Of course we’ve never focused on these things ourselves, but we’ve heard others focus on the negative.

The Bible says, “I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us . . . .” (Isaiah 63:7)

Whatever our walk of life, whether teaching, being a student, a parent, a brother or sister, or a friend, we will improve our conversation skills when we focus on the “kindnesses of the LORD.” It’s hard to complain when we have a thankful heart.

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