Chapter 1: Introduction to Communication

About 70% of our days are spent communicating (Alberts, Martin, & Nakayama, 2016), either face-to-face or through mediated platforms, such as email or text message. Yet, we often overestimate how well others understand us and how well we understand others. The purpose of this text is to provide knowledge and skills to help minimize miscommunication in interactions and increase communication competence. Even though we have been communicating our entire life, there are always ways to improve and techniques we can learn to be more effective and accomplish our goals, in both personal and professional contexts. In this chapter, we will begin our journey into communication by becoming familiar with the communication process, addressing contextual considerations, exploring the principles of communication, and discussing communication competence.


Essential Questions

  • How does the communication process work?
  • What does it take to be a competent communicator? And why is it important in our lives?

Successful students will be able to:

  • define communication
  • recognize components of the interpersonal communication process
  • recognize how context can affect shared meaning
  • explain seven principles of interpersonal communication
  • explain three interrelated types of interpersonal competence
  • identify three ways to grow interpersonal competence

  • Interpersonal Communication Abridged Textbook (I.C.A.T.); Central New Mexico Community College; 2019; CC BY NC SA 4.0 except where noted below:
    • Section 1.3.1: adapted from Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies; University of Minnesota; 2016; CC BY NC SA 4.0
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