Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)
TITLE: Conversation (face to face) (i)
By Bola M. Eyinla
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Conversation is a process in which two people interact by exchanging information, opinions or ideas. Conversation is accomplished by the utilization of speech. The process of conversation involves two people orally communicating with each other. In face to face conversation, the two people have to be physically present. This is not the kind of conversation that occurs over a medium such as telephone or computer. Face to face conversation in essence conveys more body language, and gestures that are easily perceived by both parties. The blatancy of face to face conversation makes it the most effective method of communication. However, this asset also makes it the most intimidating method. Face to face conversation can be more time consuming and less cost effective when compared to any other form of conversation.
Even though face to face conversation can be the most effective and natural method of conversation, It has the tendency to be the most intimidating kind of conversation. Face to face conversation can be intimidating to people, because it is the most overt form of conversation. Body language and gestures are obvious and the participants cannot hide them as in the case of other methods of conversation. One good example of conversation that shields participants is a phone conversation because participants cannot see each other. Human beings naturally shy away from face to face conversation due to the level of transparency involved. Face to face conversation can also be viewed as confrontational in some cultures. Naturally, humans do not like to feel like the other party is reading their mind or psychoanalyzing them. For this reason, people tend to put up their guards during face to face conversation. In face to face conversation, the participants are able to exchange and maintain eye contact during the conversation. This allows them to really get their points across. In face to face conversation, the attitude of each party involved is easily discerned by the other party. Attitudes such as lack of interest, impatience, and anger can be easily perceived through body language and gesture. There may also be a conflict in how different body language, and gestures are perceived in different cultures. For instance, a culture that views looking someone straight in the eyes as rude and confrontational. This is why face to face conversation can be intimidating to some people and culture. In my opinion, most people would rather have a phone conversation, send an e-mail or text message rather than have a face to face interaction with another person.
Ultimately, the success and outcome of any conversation depends on the interpersonal skills presented on both sides. It depends on the listening skills of each participant. It also depends on their willingness to accommodate one another during the conversation. Each participant must be willing to fully listen to the other participant. This would insure that the conversation is not one sided, which may lead to communication barriers. Cultural differences must also be kept in mind. A phone conversation may be more appropriate in cultures where looking someone straight in the eyes can be perceived as being confrontational and rude. For any conversation to be successful and accomplish its goal, each side must give the other the chance to be heard and understood. Conversation has to be a two way street and not a one way street that leads to a dead end road.
Society it seems has found other ways to replace face to face conversation. Technological advances has created various methods to replace face to face conversation. Because this medium of conversation can be time consuming and not cost effective, technology has aided the world in minimizing face to face conversation. Hence, face to face conversation is gradually becoming obsolete.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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