About communication skills

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Communication skills are very important in today's world and they affect how we communicate with our surroundings (Adair, 2012). They often involve some kind of social contact using a shared language and collection of roles that everyone involved understands (Adair, 2012). However, it is said that good communication skills or a solid understanding of how to implement them are critical for a variety of social gains as well as in the workplace (Tulsky, 2015).

Having good interpersonal contact skills is a very useful quality to have while engaging with one's daily life. Without a strong competence, one would expect to have trouble adapting to others, managing conversations, being involved in conversations, being empathetic towards others, being effective when conversing, and even being appropriate during interpersonal communication; therefore, as previously stated, it is a necessity to have strong interpersonal communication competence skills.

The writer of this article asserts that competence in interpersonal communication is very strong as he is able to be conversationally involved and appropriate. Overall, the writer is a great communicator; however, he could use improvement in effectiveness, adaptability, and empathy. In this paper, I will discuss how interpersonal communication competence skills allow people to be an above average communicator in a world filled with distractions in the Parenthood film. I will also discuss how some of communication skills, which may not be too strong, hinder the ability to be effective in some conversations.

Effectiveness of interpersonal communication is extremely important when needing to get a point across to someone or even a group of people. Effectiveness can be described as one’s ability to successfully set and complete goals he or she has within a conversation (Tulsky, 2015). Effectiveness is arguably one of the most important assets within interpersonal communication because if the point of the conversation is to get an idea across or even to get something done and the communicator is not effective, then nothing will be done and the purpose of the conversation will not be achieved.

By recording customer feedback, businesses can listen to what their customers need and ultimately provide a sufficient level of service, if not surpass expectations especially when strong communications skills are used to facilitate this (Adair, 2012).In addition, it allows for trust to be built within the work place, when open communication is used (Tulsky, 2015). This can prove important, not only for customer relationship building but for employee satisfaction too (Adair, 2012).

Tulsky (2015) defined interpersonal communication as the ultimate interaction between human beings. In the Parenthood film the cases of conflict in the Buckman family that took place was inevitable. This is as a result of the lack of the opinions and mindset of the families. However, conflict can bring the lead to breaking of relationship. Conflict can also promote mutual tolerance and understanding between individuals if they are handled with optimum care. Therefore, people are argued to carefully implement proper ways of handling interpersonal conflict that enhance quality communication in the healthy relationship.

Movie Analysis: Parenthood

In the analysis of the Parenthood film, we are going to analyze several families that are represented. This film represents the two biological families of Karen and Gil together with all their children’s. Further, the film also represents the family of Susan and Nathan together with their child Patty. Single families are also included in the film, the families of Helen and her child, Gary and Julie, Son Cool and his father Larry. Todd and Julie dominate the film since they represent the partners who are very much committed to each other.

The family in this film is described as the extended family since all the players Gil, Helen and Susan they all live nearby and close to each other. The aforementioned families present different theories such as symbolic interactionism, dialectical theory, and family systems theory. Family system theory describes families that come together to form the relationship that forms more and greater interaction that are complex in nature than a combination of individuals that are referred to as systems.

Therefore, systems of the family are built through the interaction that is holistic. On the other hand, symbolic interactionism is primarily focused on the symbol connection, interactions and shared meanings through nonverbal and verbal communication. Moreover, families are regarded as the group which is social and promotes the development of group and self-identity. Lastly, the theory of dialectical argues that relationships are the inherent pressures that exist between contradictory impulses of the dialects.

Moreover, relationships refer to the directions in which partners manage to handle the contradictions between themselves for over a given period of time. In the Parenthood film, the family of Buckman extended the centers on the theory of the dialectical. Every family in the entire extended family of Buckman is striving on to raise the children in the proper and acceptable ways since they are enthusiastic on how themselves they were brought up by their p[parents and they are fighting such that their own children’s should be brought up in the far much better than they were brought up.

In the Parenthood film Karen and Gil are fighting with the issue of son and Nathan are caught making the patty to be the genius and he completely forgets in spending some time with the Susan. Other side Hellen is striving on how to communicate better with her children’s. Larry is heavily indebted and he is fighting on how to provide help to his son Cool. The aforementioned problems in this film are caused by the lack of proper communication channels and lack of cohesion.

Messages and Their Meanings

Metacommunication is an essential element in any given family simply because it gives room for the family members to air their requirements, get clarification over the confusion in the family and provide better strategies that promote healthy relationship in the family.

Metacommunication is well demonstrated in the parenthood film. Particularly, where Gil trains his son on pronouncing ‘hubba – hubba’ and where the beautiful girls walk and he is not authorized to say so in front of Karen. He normally does it before he goes to sleep and Gil gave his son strict instructions that he was not supposed to do that. Therefore, they were specifically, communicating about what was recommended to talk in the sight of Karen.

Functions of the Family and Patterns of Communication

The main objective of the family to create a pattern of separation, connectedness, and cohesion. The family has also the responsibility of creating the pattern of change and adaptability. The secondary responsibility of the family is to ensure that family’s messaging system is well integrated and that every process is in the position of interacting within the points of adaptability and communication pattern. Notably, the family that is extended is normally very chaotic and separated as well.

Patterns of Communication and Creation of Family Meanings

Notably, when you are raised from a particular family then that family is referred to by your family of origin (Tulsky, 2015).In the Parenthood film, it was clear that Gil’s father tried as much as he cannot be involved in the life of his son. Gil’s father portrayed parenthood as a burden and not as responsibility the way it supposed to be. Consequently, Gil’s father never wanted his children to experience the same burden but rather he tried as much he can to be the good parent just as Susan and Hellen were the perfect parents that cared for the children. Arguably, secrets of the family normally create reinforcement boundaries either between family members or in the entire world.

Adair (2012) argued that whatever is held secret by the family members is what normally shapes the relationship that exists in the family. In the film of parenthood, the secrets that existed in the family of Buckmen greatly involved his children and other secrets were kept by Larry. Surprisingly, one day Larry turned up with the child at dinner to share out family secrets but he remained silent on the issues of debts.

However, Larry’s father was aware of the reason why he came back after staying away for a long period of time. It was a big relief to Larry when his father agreed to settle his huge debt that he was keeping silent with that had accumulated up to $26,000.Larry was also offered a job by his father and promised to inherit the business in future. Larry’s secret confirmed that his father was to accept him back and therefore he worked extremely hard to restore their previous relationship.

Relationship Maintenance and Symbolic Meanings

Adler and Rodman (2013) defined maintenance strategies as the activities that help in restoration, sustainability, and continuation of the relationships in the suggested manner. These strategies help in the recovery of the relationships. They also prevent relationships from collapsing as well as helping in the restoration of the relationships with issues. These situations present itself in the parenthood film where Karen and Gil were very positive to each other regarding feelings, emotions, and problems that their family was facing.

They publicly discussed their problems and they feel about each other with their friend Kevin. Tulsky (2015) referred to relational currencies as the behaviors relating to the communication that carries weight of the love and affection of people’s relationships. Therefore, the relational currency is portrayed in a greater manner when Larry was given funds to settle his debt with his father.

The Closeness and Intimacy

Confirmation and talk are the two blocks of the building that were observed in the entire Parenthood film. In line with Tulsky (2015) talking plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of intimacy. Moreover, confirmation is very significant as it helps is showing that one party has agreed to interact or cooperate with others. In the Parenthood film, the character Susan and Nathan at one point did not prolong their conversation because they were occupied by the patty. Often, their talk was always reversed to pasty whenever they tried to talk.

Therefore, Susan bravely approached Nathan and opened her heart and uttered to Nathan that she wanted a divorce but Nathan was of opposing opinion to Susan’s proposal. However, Nathan extended his efforts and even went ahead and chanted slogans of love songs to Susan even when she was in the class teaching. Nathan suggested to Susan that he was to confirm about her proposal and that he was to stop rejecting what he was being told by Susan. A good example where the obstacle to intimacy was portrayed was in the case of Helen dating Gary who was a biology instructor. The main barrier to this relationship was the fear of being hurt like in their previous relationship.

Arguably, Hellen was reluctant to commence her relationship with Gary because she still recalls the pain that she went through when she was left by her husband and eventually she was subjected to a lot of suffering together with her children without any support of her former husband. Adler and Rodman (2013) argued that when any human being is rejected or neglected he/she tends to develop attachment system of behavior.

They develop a stereotype against every individual that no one can be of help since their previous encounter left them in pain or sorrow. The children’s who are resistance is usually regarded to twist together. The caretakers usually portray themselves to be more concerned with the affairs of the kids but they are typically occupied and they don’t have enough time to get committed to such kind of relationships. Consequently, children appear to be aware that when they consistently continue to seek the attention of their caretakers some point they can capture their attention.

In the Parenthood film, the son of Hellen, Gary ceased to communicate with her mother. It’s clear that Gary has some intentions of talking to her mother Hellen but she appears too occupied such that she won’t understand her son. Although Gary has refused to talk to her mother, it appears that he was looking for her mother’s attention at any cost.


The paper has critically brought an insight of the significance of the communication in our daily lives. Additionally, the writer directed his attention to parenthood film as the requirement of the paper to analyze the particular film and concludes that the film ended when the entire family members were at the hospital to welcome their newborn. Additionally, the film came to an end when the whole members were together and each member was very happy.

This clearly confirms that they managed to eliminate the tension that dominated the entire film. Notably, the theory of dialectic was well applied in the family of the Buckman. Lastly, from the analysis of the film, the writer concludes by posting that the family of Buckman became adaptive and the tension in the family was successfully cleared off.


Adair, J. (2012). Effective communication: The most important management skill of all, Pan Books, London.

Adler, R.B., Rodman, G. (2013) .Understanding human communication. New York: Oxford University Press.

Tulsky, J. A. (2015) “Beyond advanced directives: Importance of communication skills at the end of life”, Journal of the American Medical Association, 294 (3), pp. 359-365.

December 08, 2022

Sociology Life


Communication Emotions

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