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1Running head: LETTER OF ADVICELetter of Advice to a Newlywed CoupleFelicia Dougherty COM200: Interpersonal CommunicationCarol GrinageDecember 9, 2019
LETTER OF ADVICE2 Kelley and Jake,First, congratulations on getting married; thank you for requesting me to share what I’ve learned in my interpersonal communication course! Going into the course, I felt that I already knew about communication, especially having been married for seven years. But what I learned was, although I indeed had a few tools, I was missing some vital context to be able to use those tools. As you both learned in your journey already as a couple, the foundation for any relationship is good communication. Communication theorist David Berlo, in 1960, described communication as “a constantly evolving interaction or activity that changes each of us and changes our relationships over time” (Bevan & Sole, 2014). In an interpersonal conversation, such as between you both, two people send and receive messages almost simultaneously. Bevan and Sole (2014), the authors of our reading for this course, explain communication less like “shooting an arrow…or hitting a tennis ball back and forth…, communication is more like a dance” (Section 1.2, para 4). Just as dancing with someone can involve missteps, communicationinvolves misunderstandings. The goal in any communication is shared meaning, which can become hard with obstacles like culture, gender roles, distance, misperception, and psychologicalnoise that impairs the communication.Basic Principles and Barriers to Effective CommunicationEffective communication does not happen on its own very often. For this reason, the principals of competent communication are elements that matter and, when implemented with intention, help create shared meaning and more understanding. Six primary principles work to help you be a more competent communicator. These principals are taking responsibility for your communication, every interaction must have a shared meaning, acknowledge there are multiple views to every situation, respect each other, listen carefully to what the other person has to say,
LETTER OF ADVICE3 and practice being a good communicator (Bevan & Sole 2014). Taking responsibility for your behavior is a priority to my marriage. Bevan and Sole expand on this, saying we should "strive tobe truthful, accurate, and clear in [our] communication with others" (2014, 1.4). In other words, it is our responsibility to communicate in a way that our partner can understand — striving to deliver the message as clear as possible instead of getting stuck in a limiting belief. The limiting belief could be that the other person "just doesn't get it," which is destructive to competent communication.Another principle of effective, competent communication is knowing that your view is not the only one; a great way to acknowledge this is by using active, empathetic listening (AEL).

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