Importance of choosing when to speak and what to say

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importance of choosing when to speak and what to say or not to say! Involves Ethical Choices Ethics is the branch of philosophy that focuses on moral principles and codes of conduct. Ethical issues concern right and wrong. Because interpersonal communication is irreversible and affects others, it always has ethical implications. What we say and do affects others: how they feel, how they perceive themselves, how they think about themselves, and how they think about others. Thus, responsible people think carefully about ethical guidelines for communication. For instance, should you not tell someone something that might make him less willing to do what you want? If you read a message in a chat room that makes you angry, do you fire off a nasty reply, assuming that you will never meet the person and so won’t face any consequences? Do you judge another person’s communication from your own individual perspective and experience? Or do you try to understand her communication on her terms and from her perspective? In work settings, should you avoid giving negative feedback because it could hurt others’ feelings? In these and many other instances, we face ethical choices. People Construct Meanings in Interpersonal Communication Human beings construct the meanings of their communication. The significance of communication doesn’t lie in words and nonverbal behaviors. Instead, meaning arises out of how we interpret communication. This calls our attention to the fact that humans use symbols, which sets us apart from other creatures. Instead, we must interpret them. What does it mean if someone says, “You’re sick”? To interpret the comment, you must consider the context (a counseling session, a professional meeting, after a daredevil stunt), who said it (a
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79 psychiatrist, a supervisor, a subordinate, a friend, an enemy), and the words themselves, which may mean various things (a medical diagnosis, a challenge to your professional competence, a compliment on your zaniness, disapproval). In interpersonal communication, people continuously interpret each other. Although typically we’re not aware that we assign meanings, inevitably we do so. Someone you have been dating suggests some time away from each other, a friend turns down invitations to get together, or your supervisor at work seems less open to conversations with you than in the past. The meanings of such communications are neither self-evident nor inherent in the words. Instead, we construct their significance. In close relationships, partners gradually coordinate meanings so that they share understandings of issues and feelings important to their connection. When a relationship begins, one person may regard confrontation as healthy, and the other may avoid arguments.
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