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Theories of communication Essay

There are two main theories of communication. The first is Argyle’s communication cycle. This is based on a more one-to-one conversation than group conversation. The cycle starts from an idea occurring. This means that a person has only thought of an idea to start a conversation with. The next step in the cycle is for the message to be coded. The person who has thought of the idea needs to think about how they are going to approach another person. They need to ensure that the person will not feel uncomfortable. This is a vital stage in the cycle as how one person sees something another may perceive it differently. Next the message is sent. This is when the person has now said the idea they originally had and thought about. After, the message is acknowledged by the other individual. This means that they have heard the message.

The message is then decoded by the person, this means that they try to work out what is meant by the message they heard. The last stage of this cycle is the message being understood. At this final stage, the person who has heard the message then understands what was meant by what they heard: they can then begin the cycle all over again so that they can respond. Argyle’s communication cycle is used every day and no one realises this. However, there can be complications within the cycle. For example, the person receiving the message may decode it as a different meaning than the person that sent the message meant it to be. This is very common in conversations through technology, e.g. texting. In a health and social care setting you can see Argyle’s theory being used all the time. In a care home we can see that when a carer is helping an elderly person move they are using this theory. They will need to re-think the way they are working and helping because the elderly person may feel uncomfortable or be getting hurt.

The second theory of communication is Tuckman’s stages of group interaction. This is more based on a group interaction rather than a one-to-one. Tuckman has four main stages: Forming – is the stage where you begin to meet new people and start telling people information. Storming – is the stage where you begin to work together and may find differences in the way you work, possibly leading to arguments and awkwardness. Norming – at this stage the group starts to come together, you will see them beginning to settle on the decisions being made. Performing – at this stage the group is fully settled and will begin to show this through performing effectively. We can see this in a health and social care setting, such as a hospital. The nurses must work effectively as a team so that the patients can get the best quality of care. The nurses need to be able to communicate things clearly to one another and this is helped by Tuckman’s theory.

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