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NSE - Interpersonal Communication: Interpersonal Communication

The following lesson explores select topics in communication. Such topics include the communication process, self-awareness, verbal and nonverbal communication, self-monitoring, and building communication skills.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is "the ongoing, ever-changing process that occurs when you interact with another person" (Gamble and Gamble, Building Connections, 3)  Essentially, when you communicate with friends, family members, co-workers, and significant others, you are engaging in interpersonal communication.  Throughout your time here at Valencia, you will continue to expand the network of people that you communicate with; in addition to the people in your personal space, you can now expect to interact with Valencia students, faculty, staff and administrators. Therefore, it is important that you understand the foundation of communication.

Let's start by learning about the communication process and what happens when people interact. Click the play button below to watch "The Communication Process" video below. 

Characteristics of a Competent Communicator

Are you a good communicator?
Yes, I am an awesome communicator!: 6045 votes (33.55%)
No, I am a horrible communicator!: 710 votes (3.94%)
Well, it really just depends on the situation.: 10758 votes (59.7%)
Wait, what makes a good communicator?: 507 votes (2.81%)
Total Votes: 18020

Here is the good news: communication is a skill that can improve with practice.  Therefore, regardless of your perceived skill level, you can evolve into a great communicator.  

So what is a great communicator? Author Kory Floyd suggests that a competent communicator is one who communicates "in ways that are effective and appropriate in a given situation" (25).  He offers that competent communicators have five characteristics in common. Review each of the characteristics and their respective descriptions below.  


 Based on the information above, answer the questions below. 

Pause and Reflect

Which is your strongest characteristic?
Self-awareness: 3280 votes (20.21%)
Adaptability: 3346 votes (20.61%)
Empathy: 5340 votes (32.9%)
Cognitive complexity: 2189 votes (13.49%)
Ethics: 2077 votes (12.8%)
Total Votes: 16232

Pause and Reflect

What is your weakest characteristic?
Self-awareness: 3416 votes (21.13%)
Adaptability: 3024 votes (18.71%)
Empathy: 2869 votes (17.75%)
Cognitive complexity: 5269 votes (32.6%)
Ethics: 1586 votes (9.81%)
Total Votes: 16164

Our Focus

By pausing and reflecting on your strongest and weakest characteristics, you're one step closer to becoming a competent communicator.  Such reflection is key to enhancing your self-awareness. All of the other characteristics are important, but we will we will focus our attention on self-awareness.  After all, it quite difficult to improve on the other characteristics if you are not aware of your current conversational behaviors and how they impact other people.  

To proceed to the next topic, click the "Self-Awareness" tab above. 


Gamble, Teri K. and Michael W. Gamble. Interpersonal Communication: Building Connections Together. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications Inc., 2014. Print.

Gamble, Teri K. and Michael W. Gamble. Communication Works. 10th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2010. Print.

Floyd, Kory. Interpersonal Communication. 3rd edition. New York: McGraw Hill Education, 2017. Print.