|← What is Business Communication?||Global Organizations and Cultural Issues →|
From the ancient times people tried to utilize their abilities and possibilities to better keep in touch with each other. It meant that members inside of each community or far beyond it used many peculiar techniques and means to communicate, to transmit the message to others. Nowadays, there is different picture of the world, but the role of communication between people is still increasing. It concerns the whole development of humanity, including many innovations and modern look at a variety of problems, such as psychological and social. Evidently, human life cannot be complete without communication, because healthy personality is not able to live isolated. Only divergence of interactions with environment and people supports a person to move on and feel needed. In order to distinguish impact of communication on a concrete person or a group of people, it is necessary to explain the notion.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica (2012), communication presupposes the exchange of information between people. In addition, the common system of symbols is necessary for this purpose. It is the simplest understanding of any communicative act. Moreover, this is a complicated operation, because it is within the power of not only human beings but also animals. Communication is a kind of interaction and includes a lot of aspects.
Comba (2002) has referenced to Waztlawick about communication: “It is clear that if there is nobody nearby you, you have to answer the old question: “Is the tree falling down in the forest making noise, if there isn’t anybody to listen to it?” To communicate at least two persons are needed”.
Doubtless, there is a sender and a receiver of a message. The depth of communication includes several levels and has a profound explanation in the field of linguistics. Waztlawick was saying about the importance of syntax, semantics as well as pragmatics. The first one concerns the coding and physical transfer, including different special channels, noise and verbosity. Second evolves the meanings of words, phrases and sentences. The study of the pragmatics deals with behavioral sides and shows psychology of interaction (Comba, 2002). It is clear that any communication has its own scene of performance. It means the context, which helps to understand distinctly whether communication is accordant or not. There should be some balance and harmony between information sent and environment ready to receive it. In addition, Waztlawick set forward some axioms that, probably, have extraordinary approaches to the problem of communication. There are six statements which, nevertheless, are based on experiments and proofs. He said that it was impossible for a human being to exist without communication; people use digital and analogical ways to communicate; content together with relationship builds the essence of communication; the role of punctuation for sequence is significant; the principle of symmetry and complementary abilities is evident, as well as the weightiness of the context that can change a lot (Comba, 2002).
There are some similar notions, such as interaction and interpersonal relations. They are linked and summarize the people’s activity and their co-operation with others. Mostly, in order to be successful in social life, people need to get balance in communication. It is the first step to get understanding of a surrounding and to be comprehended by the members of a society. Speech act and communication have many in common, but it is not the same. Language is the means of communication between people. Speech act is the ability to use language to have the interaction. Bach (1994) cited Austin, besides statements there are many types of speech acts. People widely represent their thoughts with the help of language in different social spheres. At the same time, as Wittgenstein added, “Don’t ask for the meaning, ask for the use” (Bach, 1994). The most valuable utterance is obvious in comparison between the meaning of concrete words or sentences and the meaning, covered by these words or sentences by speaker. The purpose of a person is not always the same as the meaning of the represented statement. It can be wrong to think of their total equality. Bach (1994) said about Austin’s levels of interaction: “the locutionary act, the illocutionary act and the perlocutionary act”. The first one concerns the act of saying some message, and the second one deals with a person’s actions while saying the message and the third one evolves his/ her activity by saying the message. Strawson investigated that illocutionary acts have special communicative intention (Bach, 1994). In this case, a hearer should get the reason of communication and understand the intention of the speaker. It is a big challenge for a sender to transmit information and make an input in another person’s mind correctly. Communicative success is possible when the speaker says his words in such a way that the receiver will accept them correctly. The circumstances of communicative act (context) are very important (Bach, 1994).
Communication includes verbal and non-verbal sides. Nowadays, new technologies decrease the value of face-to-face communication despite many advantages of hi-tech communication; people meet a lot of psychological problems connected with social disbalance. They forget about facial expression, eye contact, gestures and other natural things. It provokes social abnormality inside society. Nevertheless, the development in this field may have great impact on the governmental operation and personal lives of people (Stojcovic, Klofas, Kalinich, n.d.).
Communication is connected with self-performance. Thus, it is unseparated from organizational behavior or ethics. It belongs to social studies and psychological disciplines. In order to professionally utilize ethics in communication and vice versa, it is useful to investigate the sphere of criminal justice.
The informational and technological breakthrough influences all levels of human activity. It touches not only peaceful citizens but also prisoners. Their safety, as well as many organizational activities directed on the improvement of their behavior, is of a big importance for authorities. It is a vivid problem for Criminal Justice Agencies (CJA) to retrieve such means of communication as cell phones from prisoner’s communities (Stojcovic, Klofas, Kalinich, n.d.). Lawbreakers can easily continue to run their criminal bands and lead operations from a prison. The authors told about Kim Severson’s research in 2011: almost every inmate at Georgia State Prison has a smart phone; it is convenient to call and use social network like Facebook. Personnel confiscated about 1, 188 cell phones, but the problem is not solved. Stojcovic, Klofas, Kalinich (n.d.) said about the dividing rules between each CJA and their responsibilities based on different communication skills and organizational processes. Besides, the government of the U.S. provides inmates with TV sets or radios, but it depends on the type of prison and its aim. According to concrete department’s purpose agencies follow special rules and requirements. Each assignment needs the knowledge of general prison operations and includes a “wide range of human relations and communication skills” to carry it out (Stojcovic, Klofas, Kalinich, n.d.). Generally, management presupposes leadership on every level, and decision-making process is a result of communication goals to build well-organized system of social institutions. Bureaucratic structure of jurisdiction follows the formal duties, code of ethics and some informal rules inside definite department. The highest level of jurisdiction includes defense and prosecuting attorneys, judges and others which are the samples of perfect ethics, good reputation and virtues (Stojcovic, Klofas, Kalinich, n.d.). Doubtless, it is impossible to gain success without confident, clear and tactful mastery of communication.
According to A. Le Poire and Dailey (2006), communication cannot be defined only by features of a certain situation and orientation of participants to it, but also by socio-historical circumstances. In order to be clearer, the authors give an example, like an encounter between a policeman and a citizen that can be disfigured by previously inimical meeting between representatives of those two groups in neighborhood or surrounding. Besides exchanging the information about experience or facts, communication presupposes that the process of accommodation is hostile for people and they refuse to take it with no worry. For instance, the bilingual police officer communicates with Latino citizens in English. Hence, he can create more or less pleasant picture for citizens, because when the policeman is also Latino and shares their mother tongue, he shows his personal attitude and respect towards their culture and language. Otherwise, it can be strange for Latino citizens to hear English words from Latino policeman (A. Le Poire, Dailey, 2006).
According to Stojcovic, Klofas, Kalinich (n.d.), communication and power authority are evident in relations between levels of criminal justice. It means that superiors give orders and subordinates simply obey because it refers to their responsibilities. Written rules are necessary for everyone in the criminal justice organizations. The code of ethics presupposes the development of personal leadership and ability to manage. The importance of studying the main principles of relations with members of the organization creates a great discipline inside each department. Motivation provokes the personnel’s growth. There are special classes at law schools that teach the students criminal procedure and its specificity.
At the same time, A. Le Poire and Dailey distinguish (2006) the importance of Relational framing theory dealing with general view on the “interpersonal communication”. It evolves the peculiarities of behavior that is the person’s ability to take the inference from interaction when the notion of relationship remains dominant. It represents the problems of social character, such as ambiguous cues concerning criminal aspect, especially sexual harassment.
In broad terms, communication with its variety of possible ways brings positiveness and advantages. Unfortunately, psychological dysfunctions may often be the result of interpersonal relationships, too. It shows bad experience like a world of criminals. It is necessary to understand that communication between people includes not only transmission of some information but also emotional part which is very valuable. The possibility of human beings to hold conversation and support it with logically structured scheme defines a sender’s ability to show the intention of utterance. In order to be more persuasive and natural when communicate, people use special methods and techniques. The establishments concerning criminal justice are not exceptions. According to Ruth E. Masters (2004), it is precisely emotions that build the foundation for psychological development of people and render emotional effect in communicative act. Despite the importance, emotional basis gets minimized attention from the side of criminal justice administration. Negativeness is set inside of the offender’s mind. The challenge for the counselor is to make it less felt, because it directs the criminal’s behavior. Criminal justice professionals should be sensible about biological roots of emotions. Generally, there are neither good nor bad emotions, they simply exist inside of the human mind. There should be special trainings that presuppose the influence of psychological tactics and tricks on the offenders’ behavior and their further steps. In different situations criminal justice representatives should be ready to meet different people with different backgrounds. In order to build good step-by-step interaction, each counselor has to know the key aspects how organize it: first contact, resistance, doorknob communication, counseling contact, empathy, concreteness, self-disclosure and others up to collateral contact, positive blame and mirroring (Masters, 2004).
Generally, the process of criminal justice counseling has the stages of beginning, middle and end. For the first time it is necessary to “set the tone” of relations (Masters, 2004). The author highlighted the feeling of criminal’s shyness during the first interaction between them. Such communication skills as listening, concreteness, probes, summarizing, feedback, confrontation and immediacy are of a great value for every criminal justice professional. The feeling of anger is always present. Masters (2004) explained that professional counselor must be ready to invert this feeling far from himself and try to diminish the offender’s feeling. In order to get success during the whole process, calmness and smart psychological approach are needed. Besides, the process of interpersonal relationships between a lawbreaker and a representative of criminal justice demands several important statements: in case of a crisis for the offender, it is better to manage it with the counselor’s assistance; to start with the most important for the offender issue; in order to relief his/ her pain to begin with its causes. The author advises to disclose the fist of “manageable subproblems” which lead to more valuable facts with relevant and increasing intention.
Having referenced to Meehl, Masters (2004) said about Barnum effect. It presupposes the specificity of diagnosis in communication between the criminal justice member and the offender. Generalization is meant to be a good start, but should include plan of disclosure and further development according to the lawbreaker’s problem. Standard way of diagnosis for all the offenders is almost impossible, because it differs from general diagnosis for average people. Reaction on the first impression of the lawbreaker is also very important.
Representatives of the criminal justice sphere have the rights to order depending on the position inside the jurisdictional organization. Hierarchical relations include special ways of interpersonal relationships. Hence, interpersonal communication behavior very often can determine the urgent role in management (A. Le Poire, Dailey, 2006).
According to Davies, Lloyd-Bostock, McMurran and Wilson (1995), jury comprehension plays a significant role. It is necessary to prove if members of jury can correctly understand statements of the trial participants. Statistics revealed that about 90% of judges, counsels and expert witnesses exactly comprehend everything that has been said or shown. Similarly, around 77% answered about their “most or all understanding” (Davies, Lloyd-Bostock, McMurran and Wilson, 1995). Another concern touches less comprehension of some instructions, such as the necessity of taking notes during the process. As a result, they can omit some important facts and change general picture of the issue.
In everyday life each citizen may have communications with police officer, for example. According to Cox and White, in 1988 there were many people who had negative thoughts about police because of their previous hostile contacts with policemen. As people concerned, they were victims of the police decisions, and often the unfair ones. After all, about 69% of them outlined negative behavior of the police and 35% told about verbal abuse (A. Le Poire, Dailey, 2006). It means that a lot depends on the level of responsibility and duties. The right way in this case is to develop general understanding of the importance and role of communication at different organizations, either lower or more structured. Police-civilian interaction is of independent origin which meets people on the degree of interpersonal relationships and social surrounding.
Interpersonal relationships distinguish the character of next steps of personal development. Everyone lives in a concrete community and place, follows its traditions and tries to gain something peculiar in life. There are no identical people, in spite of many common factors and features. Still each person has the ability to communicate in a special way. One person prefers non-verbal communication, such as mimicry, another likes to use gestures. In addition, non-verbal interaction is the only possibility for disabled people to show their thoughts and feelings. Even if they cannot speak and utilize the most valuable weapon of the word, they are given the opportunity to substitute it, at least partly. Body language is on the same range with general human language. In order to communicate, a person should be ready to understand others, to listen to them and respond relevantly. Any kind of communication creates interpersonal relationship, because human brain actively uses emotional background. Exactly psychology directs the tempo of utterances, sequence and appropriateness according to situation. The feeling of happiness and entire positiveness, evidently, provokes a person to continue the act of interaction with the interlocutor. Otherwise, when interaction is forced, it leads to misunderstanding and brings no desire to develop a subject.
In conclusion, according to A. Le Poire and Dailey (2006), “Stress, substance abuse, violence, health problems, divorce, safety and aging are but a few of the problems individuals address in their day-to-day interpersonal communication. That communication is critical to coping successfully with these challenges”.