Relational Communication Theory


The process of communication is a very important undertaking in any relationship in society today because it assists in the passage of information from one entity to another. Effective communication is beneficial in various organizational and personal realms. A process of collaboration is created by communication through the formation and maintenance of consistent and stable conversations between parties. This normally occurs when individuals have common interests surrounding essential goals and objectives. Therefore, the process of effectively communicating is imperative for the regulation of processes which pass information from one party to another. This is best achieved be focusing on maintaining the intention and purpose of the process in a relationship. Consequently, communication is a procedural process that makes use of a structured model and scheme to promote an effective and efficient communication process. There are many communication theories which present critical points of view for evaluating the communication process. Often, these theories provide conceptual frameworks and certain, basic ideologies that serve to guide the communication process in varying organizational and personal circumstances. The theory discussed, The Relational Communication Theory, is one of the primer conceptual frameworks explaining basic communication ideologies and perspectives within society today, and provides a framework with which to evaluate communication in different settings.

The foundations of relationships are based on culture and identity. The formation of relationships between members of a certain group or organization is based on the ability of the members to have mutual satisfaction from their collaborative engagements. This perspective gives critical information about the communication process because the information and ideas that are passed from one individual to another engages people in the creation of relational bonds. The main motivator for this bonding is an individual’s level of satisfaction with the communication process, as reflected in a deeper relationship. In turn, this depth increases the level of motivation and willingness, on the part of the individual, contributes to the overall success of the common interest pursued.

Without question, relationships are evident is various contexts in today’s society. The establishment of relationships is based on the ability of the individual parties to have essential factors necessary that lead to the formation of the relationships. The sustenance of relational life is heavily embedded in the ability of all parties have the willingness to share and engage others in a positive and supportive manner. Once an individual is positively engaged and reinforced within a relationship found at the organizational level, it increases the ability of the individual to contribute positively towards the maintenance of that relationship. This is supported by the Relational Communication Theory, and posits that those individuals engaged in a relationship must have high levels of awareness of the behaviors of their partners, in order to have a valid basis for the relationship. The mutual understanding that can exist between parties is important in establishing clear mechanisms for enhancing the benefits people gain through positive and genuine communication.

The Constructive Exchange also supports the Relational Communication Theory in that this exchange is inspired by communication that promotes higher levels of commitment to the members in relationship. Despite the occurrence of encountering a difficult situation, the members in a relationship that has mutual benefits can operate within the confines of the group - because of their level of commitment and personal dedication. As noted in both the Relational Communication Theory and the Constructive Exchange, the involvement of all members in a particular situation (should there be more that just two) is important as a realistic approach towards sustaining the relationship(s). This can be seen within a family or marriage system in which all of the engaged parties have something to gain from their counterparts in being willing and committed in relationship. Yet, it must be remembered that for the relationship(s) to be healthy and operational in for optimal success, all individuals must consider the interests and feelings of those with whom they are communicating to increase satisfaction all around.

Many relationships are often confronted with difficult conversations because of the manner in which people communicate. Often, difficulties are inspired by a conflict of interest, and all the personal differences and opinions individuals accumulate. The ultimate benefit of any conversational process is based on the emotional intimacy among the involved parties. This closeness is essential in driving an amicable solution to any challenges that may exist. Consequently, mutual understanding and the willingness to consider the feeling, thoughts, and interests of others assists in increasing tolerance within relationships. Nevertheless, this is most effectively achieved when individuals have an increased level of personal commitment toward discussing and eliminating the difficulties in the relationships. This is true for all situations in which difficult situations can arise; among colleagues, members of a family, or between friends.

When the Relational Communication Theory is in successful operation, emotional and irrational modes of communication can lead to the emergence of various difficulties in a relationship. Being aware of certain dangers in the communication process can enhance one’s control and promote the acquisition of a common framework in which to communicate in a manner intent on maximizing each other’s the potential and ultimately maintaining good healthy and stable relations. This is a process that often needs to be repeated frequently between all individuals wishing to create healthy and dynamic relationships. For instance, in the Romantic comedy “500 Days of Summer” the two main characters, Tom and Summer, encounter difficult situations aggravated by the manner in which they communicate in the movie. This significantly impedes the progress of their relationship. However, Tom is fortunate enough to benefit from the voice of reason presented by Summer’s sister, Rachel. This good advice saves Tom from depression, and essentially leads to an improvement of the communication process, ultimately assisting in the eradication and elimination of the situation that lead to the struggle in the relationship. This is a clear example that the tenets of Relational Communication Theory held true – as all served to benefit from understanding one another. Any and all information obtained in the communication process can be applied positively toward creating the success of the mutual goals determined by those in bonded relationship.

It should also be noted that past experiences play an essential role in determining the level of engagement and interaction between people in a group or pair. The differences in these experiences often serve to form the structural basis for the differences that can lead to difficulties in relationships. Most of the behaviors of those who are working together towards achieving a common goal are brought together by a set of beliefs and values that are important towards achieving that common objective. The mutual relationships that exist within today’s society are managed and controlled by those with certain agendas, that then allow for the commitment to an individual or group in order to achieve a goal. This also ties into the Relational Communication Theory from a cultural perspective, as culture is determined by all that we bring with us from the past. Mutual perspectives, created either by a common past, or an effort to understand one another, allows for the establishment of respect and consideration among those in relationship. As such, constructive sharing and support for one another can take place.

The Relational Communication Theory further emphasizes how a culture stresses the importance of the collaborative activity initiated toward achieving certain goals and objectives that are important to individuals within a society. In each society, different people have various abilities and skills that are unique, and to increase the quality of life, it is important for the members of any society to embrace cooperative activity through collaboration. This ultimately allows for the support that can lead to a positive improvement of one another. Therefore, the effective management of difficulties in a relationship promotes the communication process, and can inspire the necessary sharing (and eventual benefit) that is achieved by those relating effectively. In this perspective, the relational philosophy encourages individuals to forego their personal interests for the benefit of their common goals. The basis of mutual understanding motivates all toward the common goals and objectives.

In conclusion, communication is one of the most important processes that take place in the society, crucial to the formation of a relationship. The process of communication assists in the transfer of important information from one party to another and assists in the achievement of certain goals and objectives. To ensure there is an optimum use of the communication process, people must engage with one another openly to aid in the formation of stable relationships. The flow of information through various communication platforms is motivated and inspired by the relational philosophy evident in the Relational Communication Theory, which emphasizes the ability of individuals to form and maintain relationships – based on mutual understanding as realistic way of solving any difficulties or challenges that may exist.

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