Communications in the Workplace

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Interpersonal Vs Intrapersonal

What is the difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal?

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"Inter-" is a prefix meaning "between"; something that is "interpersonal" takes places between people. "Intra-" is a prefix meaning "within"; something that is "intrapersonal" takes place inside one individual. Someone that is great at interpersonal communication is great at talking to others. Someone who has great intrapersonal awareness has a very solid sense of their own identity and personality.


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Interpersonal and intrapersonal are directed at different people. Interpersonal refers to anything occurring between individuals—such as interpersonal communication. Intrapersonal, on the other hand, refers to anything inward—relating to the inner life and thoughts of one individual.

Interpersonal communication deals heavily with public speaking, communicating with others, and the ability to comport oneself in a conversation. This is the ability to communicate effectively with others. Intrapersonal communication, however, is communicating internally with one's own inner thoughts and mind. Someone who is experienced in intrapersonal communication is good at internalizing and understanding their own thoughts and feelings. There are many benefits to both, as interpersonal communication and interaction helps to build relationships and networks, while intrapersonal communication and interaction helps develop a healthy sense of self.

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Intrapersonal communication is the communication that occurs within an individual. An individual uses this type of communication for various purposes such as analyzing situations, clarifying concepts, and reflecting upon phenomena. There are three elements that govern intrapersonal communication, namely self-concept, perception and expectation. An individual employs certain methods to communicate within themselves and these are internal discourse where thinking, concentration and analyzing occur, solo vocal communication which involves speaking out aloud to oneself, and solo written communication that encompasses writing not intended for others.

Interpersonal communication on the other hand is the type of communication that takes place between people. People communicate with each other for a number of reasons such as to explain, to teach, to inquire, and to inform. The channel of interpersonal communication consists of four basic elements; sender, message, medium and receiver. There are verbal and non-verbal forms...

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