How Emotions are used in regards to interpersonal communication


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Emotions play a significant role in daily decision making process of individuals. Individuals react to specific circumstances and make decisions based on whether they are happy, sad, frustrated, bored or angry. An emotion is defined as a complex psychological condition that provides subjective experiences, behavioral response, and physiological response ((Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007). Emotional experiences are subjective because every individual experience different circumstances and such experiences differ; some are mild while others result in outright rage.

Physiological responses may also occur through the regulation of the sympathetic nervous system. Such physiological responses include increased heartbeat, lurching stomachs caused by fear, and sweating palms (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007). Behavioral responses are the elements that show specific emotions through actions, e.g. smiling and frowning.

Robert Plutchik developed a model known as the wheel of emotions which suggested that emotions can be mixed in the same manner that primary colors can be mixed to form other secondary color. For instance, anticipation and happiness can be mixed together to form excitement. Emotions are created based on the three components: subjective experiences, behavioral response, and physiological response. James-Lange theory suggests that an emotion is felt by an individual due to physical body changes and the understanding of the body changes by the individual due to an emotional event. Physical body changes occur first and the mind interprets those changes. As a result, an emotion is created.

How are emotions used to navigate and regulate interpersonal communication?

Emotions play a significant role in enhancing interpersonal communication. Analysis of how this happens can start with an example of Japanese culture whereby the behavioral responses to emotions such as frowning and anger are suppressed when one is speaking with a person of higher authority (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007). From this example, it is clear that emotions affect interpersonal communications in different environments.

Emotional intelligence is important in enhancing effective interpersonal communications in corporations and business organizations, leading to improved performance (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007). Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to use emotions to guide interpersonal communication in a social environment. Emotions are used by organizations to promote effective negotiations that create win-win outcomes in their businesses (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007). Leaders are always considered as key communicators in the organization that pass the mission and vision of the organization to staff members who perform specific tasks in the workplace.

Emotions determine the traits and behaviors of leaders. Individual abilities of leaders and followers can also be established through their emotional expressions. Furthermore, emotional experiences of followers affect their interpersonal communications at the workplace (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007). For instance, when they experience emotions of fear due t o harsh treatment from the supervisors, then they are likely to communicate poorly with the supervisors and other line managers. The emotional behavior of leaders also influences the perception of followers on their leadership effectiveness (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2007). Therefore, emotions determine the interpersonal communication relationship between the leader and his or her followers.

Emotions also influence decision making during conflicts. When two parties have conflicting interests, they often use interpersonal communications to resolve their problems (Ehrenreich et al, 2007). In this regard, emotions such as happiness can be displayed through smiling in order to create a good conflict resolution environment and reduce the tempo of interpersonal communication during conflict resolution and negotiations.

How do we assess the emotions of clients and how might this be beneficial?

It is also important to assess the emotions of customers to provide effective customer service. Assessing clients’ emotions can be assessed consciously or through monitoring of emotional reactions. Service providers may also feel themselves into the emotions of the clients to understand them and respond appropriately to their needs and interests (Hsee et al, 1992). The first step in assessing emotions of clients is to identify the emotions to be assessed. The person assessing the clients’ emotions should consider whether to assess the structural content or the functional role of emotions. In this regard, the functions and structures of emotions are important for the assessment of clients’ emotions.

Emotions of clients can be assessed by measuring the changes in emotional behaviors of clients over time. The methods of assessing emotions of clients need to be chosen carefully, considering the aims and purpose of the assessment (Ehrenreich et al, 2007). For specific clients, it is important to use self-report measures focusing on traits of clients to determine their emotional behavior or emotional experience (Ehrenreich et al, 2007). In this case, emotional changes are noted and recorded over time to establish their influences and effects on the clients’ actions. Physiological methods may also be used to determine dynamic changes in emotional changes of clients.

The assessment of client emotions is important because it enables service providers to gain emotional intelligence that will guide them in interpersonal communications with clients (Ehrenreich et al, 2007). It enables organizations to develop effective strategies to communicate effectively and satisfy clients so that they can maintain good relationships with their clients.

Describe the importance of context when assessing emotions

Context when assessing emotion can be cultural, social, internal, situational or developmental. These contexts are important considerations during the assessment of emotions because they determine the experience and function of emotions depend on the context within which they occur (Hsee et al, 1992). For example, internal context of clients determine the role of emotions in the individual life of the client. Therefore, understanding the internal influence of emotions is needed to initiate change with the client.

Developmental context is also important because it enhances understanding of the ability of clients to develop self-awareness, express, and reflect on their emotions. Social context is important for the assessment of the emotions of young clients because modeling of emotions and acceptance of emotional displays among young people in their social environment affect their emotional functioning. Lastly, situational context affects assessment of client emotions by determining the adaptation of emotional functioning of clients to different situations.

Explain whether or not emotional expressions are universal

Emotional expressions are universal, but they are influenced by cultures to develop emotional intelligence that reflects the values of each culture. There are six universally recognized types of emotions: disgust, sadness, happiness, surprise, fear, and anger. Each of these types of emotions has a specific purpose (Waller et al, 2008). These universal emotions are essential in navigating communication throughout the world. Although people have different muscular arrangements, facial expressions are universal across cultures. The universality of emotions expressed through the face is caused by the universal occurrence of facial muscles responsible for facial expressions. These muscles exhibit minimal asymmetry and accommodate individual variation in terms of physical body development (Waller et al, 2008). All individuals also have similar complex communication systems which enable them to convey their intentions, thoughts and feelings in a universal emotional manner.

Emotions are basic functions shared universally among all human beings. For example, throughout the world a normal human being feels sad when he or she loses a relative, and all normal human beings are happy when their relatives recover from an illness (Waller et al, 2008). Therefore, emotions such as anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, fear and surprise are shared universally among various cultures of the world.


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