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PRCA MENA

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The intricacies of interpersonal communication and its organisational significance

UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION:

Interpersonal communication may be regarded as a study of language, social cognition, and behavioural psychology, but before the 1960s, very little was explored about this integral communication field. Today, it is an extensive area of study, research, and experimentation as the world now recognises it as a pillar and a point of contact between individual and group psychology.


THE JOURNEY TOWARDS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Interpersonal communication saw its rise during an era when the wider PR and communication industry was experiencing significant achievements heralded by the increasing influence of technology on the field and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This encouraged communication professionals to consistently adapt to changing trends, effectively evolving their field into a highly complex network that continuously surpasses its verticals.


WHERE DOES THE CONCEPT RATE IN TODAY’S WORK WORLD?

Reports suggest that out of 16,400 online courses available on educational platforms, four of the top 20 most popular courses host communication skills training, while three others cater to related skills, including remote-work foundations and learning personal branding. It comes as no surprise, then, that effective communication has been cited in more than 2.3 million job openings, far outpacing the next most-sought-after soft skill of leadership.
This makes it clear that not only is the art of interpersonal communication highly relevant, it is an integral factor that companies seek when hiring those who understand this art better and can use it in their day-to-day operations for more effective and lasting results.
In today’s world, this narrative opened new possibilities and opportunities thereby changing the standpoint from which this particular skill has been understood over previous years. Traditionally, you might think of it as communication that occurs between two people or a group of people in-person, but the contemporary world is a different stage; we are global beings working for organisations across different time zones for shared common goals.


THE NEED OF THE HOUR:

The technologies implemented have provided businesses and workers new ways of effective remote communication, goal-oriented planning, and improved organisational skills. Additionally, it provides access and sharing of information while retaining the comforting and familiar experience of in-person communication and social interaction. Audiovisual tools, for example, have offered a collaborative platform for people to engage, creating sophisticated methods for co-workers to stay connected regardless of their geographical location. New mixed-reality technologies and interactive digital rooms also took the idea of remote socialisation to the next level by recreating a corporate, office environment in a virtual setting. This in turn allowed teams to interact with individuals beyond intranet, via digital platforms, granting them the opportunity to collaborate in real-time.
Benefits aside, this gave rise to problems of a distinct nature. After the online world became more apparent, evident, and important than the physical one, a growing number of people were struggling with screen fatigue and burnout as a result of remote work, and therefore, putting their health on the line. So, we did what we as humans do best: we identified solutions. Companies across industries started weighing health and wellness on a different scale all together, and today, new wellness solutions are assisting both individuals and businesses in staying on track and connected.


THE ORGANISATIONAL EFFECT:

Given the current context, the journey of interpersonal communication has changed. You have a ready-made recipe for conflict when considering the generational factor, audience preferences, as well as the complexities of work nature, and the organisational structure. This is where interpersonal communication skills come to the rescue.
If members of an organisation are aligned and well-equipped with the necessary skills and talents to communicate effectively with those around them, the challenge is all but eradicated. In an organisation, it is important that top-level management is conscious of the importance of strong interpersonal communication skills and are willing to invest in them by encouraging its people to learn and polish their abilities to communicate effectively.


CONCLUSION

A thorough understanding of interpersonal communication processes offers insight into the complexities of togetherness and reflects an important behavioural aspect for both employers and researches in the field. Interpersonal communication is dynamic, challenging, closely-knit into human psychology, and transitory due to the uncertainties that govern the times we live in.
Today, we have AI-powered tools that are assisting individuals in becoming more empathetic and engaged in their communication with deeper meaningful messages. Concepts like emotional quotients, social orchestration, and mirror worlds have become foundational in today’s world and are important to understand the role and importance of interpersonal commination.
It is important to recognise that even in formal organisations and office set ups, work-related relationships are also managed through interpersonal communication. The onus to weigh the positives and start working towards a workforce that is strong in interpersonal communication and sound in intrapersonal communication skills is of imperative need to ensure our progress and that of our communication skills.

Ahmad Itani – Chairman, PRCA MENA

The need for interpersonal communication was made more relevant than ever over the past two years during a time when we collectively deemed it a fundamental tool to uplift the industry beyond the set norms towards catering to the complex needs of our modern times.
As we regain our standing and seek normalcy in organisational functioning, it is time that we prioritise these skills in paving the path forward by implementing its principles and elevating our industry to greater heights.

 
Hayley – GM, PRCA MENA

Interpersonal communication in today’s ecosystem transcends its closed reach to emphasise the formation and maintenance of relationships as a whole – both personal and professional.
It is driven by the need to reduce uncertainty, even though, in an act of karmic irony, it is the major factor and cause for the rise of contemporary uncertainty among scholars, practitioners and people in general.
The field of interpersonal communication is thus an important area that we as communications professionals must address to enhance and further our knowledge of its dynamics and impact.