BUS210 Study Guide

Unit 7: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Business Communication

7a. Define intrapersonal and interpersonal communication

  • Explain the differences between intrapersonal and interpersonal communication
  • Discuss the role of culture and language in the intrapersonal communication process
  • Define Uncertainty Theory and the role it plays in interpersonal communication

Do you ever find that you talk to yourself or visualize a situation in advance of an event? What about recalling an event that occurred in the past? This is known as intrapersonal communication. We experience this within ourselves while incorporating the eight basic communication elements (source, receiver, message, channel, feedback, environment, context, and interference).

During interpersonal communication, we interact with at least one other person. However, there is so much more to this type of interaction. The relationship we have with this other person, or persons, the number of people with whom we interact, and the nature of the interaction all play a role in communication.

Our native culture and native language are integral parts of the intrapersonal communication process. What we value, the language in which we think, and the symbols relevant to our lives all impact how we communicate with ourselves.

To reduce any anxiety we may experience with the unknown, we apply the Uncertainty Theory, where we choose to know more about people with whom we associate. and interact. When we know more about the people we interact with, we have a greater understanding of how they communicate and can better determine how they will respond in future situations.

To review, read Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Business Communication.


7b. Assess your own self-concept and predict how your self-concept might influence your perceptions

  • Discuss the role of the internal monologue in how we view ourselves
  • Identify the Dimensions of Self and how they impact our potential

An internal monologue is the self-talk discussed earlier when we reviewed intrapersonal communication. This monologue can be continuous or sporadic, as well as being rational or illogical. It can prevent us from hearing what others have to say and affect our ability to focus and absorb information. By turning off our internal monologue, we can interact with others for more effective communication.

By having a greater understanding of ourselves, we can determine how we want others to view us and identify how we can improve. Elements to be explored include what we know, what others know, and what we all know. Exploring these dimensions allows us to adapt to new situations, learn, grow, and more effectively positively impact communication.

To review, read Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Business Communication.


7c. Solve problems related to interpersonal communication by applying an understanding of interpersonal needs and relations

  • Discuss the role of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in the interpersonal communications process
  • Explain Schutz's Theory of Needs and how it differs from that of Maslow

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs progresses through various steps in our lives, beginning with the most basics of needs (food, shelter, clothing) up to the highest level of needs, which is beauty, aesthetics, and other factors for which we may not have had the time to consider. By meeting these various needs, we can gain a better sense of ourselves and, as a result, improve our ability to communicate with others.

For example, our need to seek companionship is valuable when forming groups and committees in the workplace. Our "need to know" enables us to strive to reach higher levels of professionalism and seek new experiences. Explore all of the categories defined by Maslow and apply them to your own personal and professional practices.

While Maslow is a staple among organizational behaviorists, Schutz's theory also has merit. While William Schutz explores our various needs, he views them in a continuum rather than in steps. He looks at each experience as a part of a spectrum and considers those seeking to balance all elements to be "personal individuals". Some of the factors in Schutz's continuum include people who are underpersonals, overpersonals, abdicrats, oversocials, and others. Explore all of the factors in Schutz's theory to evaluate your own personal characteristics and needs.

To review, read Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Business Communication.


7d. Describe the principles behind social penetration theory and self-disclosure

  • Discuss the levels of communication within social penetration theory
  • Define self-disclosure and explain how we make ourselves known to others

Getting to know others takes time. We begin with casual conversation and move on to more detailed and intimate knowledge as we become more familiar with each other. This process is known as social penetration, enabling us to develop positive interactions as we learn more about the people with whom we are interacting.

How we move. The clothes we wear. Verbal and non-verbal communication. These are all factors in how we present ourselves to those around us. This process of self-disclosure defines what we communicate to others, both intentionally and unintentionally.

The stages of self-disclosure, as in social penetration theory, occur slowly and in steps. We share a little bit of information about ourselves as we get to know others and seek to learn about the people we are communicating with. We may ask someone a personal question and also be willing to share personal information about ourselves. We seek to gain and build trust and recognize that there is a risk of the other parties disagreeing with us or taking offense at something we have said.

To review, read Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Business Communication.


7e. Recognize the interpersonal strategies used in interviews, business conversations, workplace conflicts, and evaluations

  • Identify the stages of a conversation
  • Discuss the steps a job candidate should take in advance of an interview
  • Explore strategies for resolving workplace conflict
  • Discuss strategies for participating in the evaluation process

Conversations have an ebb and flow and generally follow similar patterns. The stages in most conversations include initiation, preview, talking points, feedback, and closing. Consider a recent conversation in which you have participated and match these elements to your conversation.

One of the most important actions a job candidate should take before going on an interview is to be prepared. This preparation can include everything from understanding the nature of the interview and the questions that may be asked, choosing appropriate attire, researching the company, and ensuring a good fit between your qualifications and the job's requirements. Following an interview, it is important to send a thank-you note to the interviewer. This shows your ongoing interest in the position and also presents a professional image. Consider your own actions at a job interview. Did you perform at your best? In what ways can you improve your opportunities in future interview situations?

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. There are many personality types, and workers come to their jobs with varying personal and professional issues. However, conflict can be effectively addressed, resolved, and even have a positive outcome. When dealing with conflict, it is important to hear all sides of an argument. All parties should be treated with respect and empathy, and emotions should be kept to a minimum. During these kinds of situations, good communication skills become more important than ever. Effective conflict resolution includes listening to the other party without interrupting, demonstrating that you listen carefully, apologizing where appropriate.

We are all subject to job performance evaluations at one time or another. While this can be a source of stress and anxiety, it can also be a source of information and guidance that can improve our skills and enable us to be qualified for new opportunities. When we are being evaluated by a superior, it is important to understand the nature of the evaluation. We should give the speaker our full attention and paraphrase any comments to indicate that what the person is saying is clear. When we agree or disagree with the evaluator, we should do so with respect and understanding, keep our emotions in check, and learn from the experience.

To review, read Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Business Communication.


Unit 7 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you with the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

Try to think of the reason why each term is included.

  • Intrapersonal communication
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Culture
  • Uncertainty theory
  • Internal monologue
  • Dimensions of Self
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • Schutz's Theory of Needs
  • Overpersonals
  • Underpersonals
  • Abdicrats
  • Oversocials
  • Social Penetration Theory
  • Self-disclosure
  • Conversations
  • Job interviews
  • Preparation
  • Post-performance
  • Workplace conflict
  • Evaluations