1Running head: LETTER OF ADVICELetter of Advice to a Newlywed CoupleFelicia DoughertyCOM200: Interpersonal CommunicationCarol GrinageDecember 9, 2019
LETTER OF ADVICE2Kelley and Jake,First, congratulations on getting married. And thank you for requesting for me to share onwhat I’ve learned in my interpersonal communication course! Going into the course I felt that Ialready knew about communication, especially having been married for seven years. But what Ilearned was, although I indeed had a few tools, I was missing some vital context to be able to usethose tools. As you both learned in your journey already as a couple, the foundation for anyrelationship is good communication. Communication theorist David Berlo, in 1960, describedcommunication as “a constantly evolving interaction or activity that changes each of us andchanges our relationships over time” (Bevan & Sole, 2014). In a interpersonal conversation, twopeople send and receive messages nearly simultaneously. Bevan and Sole, the authors of ourreading for this course, explain communication less like “shooting an arrow…or hitting a tennisball back and forth…, communication is more like a dance” (2014). Just as dancing withsomeone can involve missteps, communication involves misunderstandings. The goal in anycommunication is shared meaning, which can become hard with obstacles like culture, genderroles, distance, misperception, and psychological noise that impairs the communication.Basic Principles and Barriers to Effective CommunicationEffective communication does not happen on its own very often. For this reason, theprincipals of competent communication are elements that matter and, when implemented withintention, help create shared meaning and more understanding. Six primary principles work tohelp you be a more competent communicator: you must take responsibility for your owncommunication, remember that every interaction must have a shared meaning, acknowledgethere are multiple views to every situation, respect each other, listen carefully to what the other
LETTER OF ADVICE3person has to say, and practice being a good communicator (Bevan & Sole 2014). Takingresponsibility for your behavior is an extra priority to my marriage. Bevan and Sole expand onthis, saying we should "strive to be truthful, accurate, and clear in [our] communication withothers" (2014, 1.4). In other words, it is our responsibility to communicate in a way that ourpartner can understand. Striving to deliver your message as clear as possible instead of gettingstuck in a limiting belief that the other person "just doesn't get it," which is destructive tocompetent communication.Another principle of effective, competent communication is knowing that your view isnot the only one. When you know that your view is not the only one, conversation flows easierbetween you two because you are listening more intently to what each other's view might be(Bevan & Sole, 2014). My partner and I employ the use of active listening, which helps greatly.