Strategiccommunication encompasses systematic planning for the flow ofinformation through communication using various media (Sandhu,2009).The objective of strategic communication is to convey a deliberatemessage to the intended audience at the most suitable time to achievethe desired effect. In essence, in strategic communication, threefactors come to play the communication, media, and the intendedaudience (Sandhu,2009).Communication can take various forms depending on the intendedmessage, the media used, and the proposed intentions. On the samenote, the relationship between the different parties in thecommunication also affects the communication strategy to be adopted(Sandhu,2009).In concern to this, a communication strategy that is adopted whencommunicating with peers is different from when communicating in anofficial meeting. On the same note, in a public speaking, the personcommunicating should have a well-planned strategy that is developedthrough architect of a statement of purpose and an analysis of thecurrent situation. Also, if there is a conflict between parties in acommunication, the objective of strategic communication shall not beachieved.To elaborate on various communication strategies, the papershall apply the context in a film titled BreakfastClubto demonstrate the importance of competent communication at aninterpersonal and small group communication.
TheSummary of the Film
BreakfastClub is a film that revolves around five high school students in thesuburb of Illinois who are subjected to stereotyping by their teacherwho detains them for violation of his order. The five studentsnamely, Bender, Claire, Brian, Andy, and, Allison were ordered bytheir teacher to write about what they think they are as the teacherhad a preconceived mentality that they are a criminal, princess, thebrain, athlete, and the basket case respectively (Hughes, 1985).However, the students believe that they are not destined for suchtitles, which makes them defy the orders and hence get detained. Thefilm scenes unfold as the students fail to communicate with eachother properly as would be in the case of interpersonal communicationas there are initial conflicts amongst themselves. However, theylater keep off their difference and come up with a common goal andBrian writes an essay that challenges the teacher’s notion (Hughes,1985). Then the five students develop good relations to an extentthat they even romance courtesy of ideal interpersonalcommunications.
Definitionof communication terms and relation to the film
Interpersonalcommunication is a process that encompasses the exchange of information andemotional feeling through non-verbal and verbal messaging in a faceto face communication mode (Canary,Cody & Manusov, 2008). In essence, the message is passed from the sender to the receiver ina real time situation either between two or more people. If there aremore than two parties in the communication, the interpersonalcommunication takes the form of a small group communication (Canary,Cody & Manusov, 2008). In the context of the film, the communication between the parties isinterpersonal as they engage in a face to face situation with theexchange of emotions and feeling explicit in the various scenes. Thecommunication is verbal, and the five characters finally engage in aconstructive interpersonal communication where they come up with aconcrete solution while in an eight hours of detention.
RelationalDialectics: Amaxim that tries to unveil how interpersonal communication can beimproved by eliminating the conflict among the parties in acommunication (Montgomery& Baxter, 2013).The theory developed by Baxter and Montgomery states that in acommunication scenario, parties in a communication experience aconflict pull that causes a flux in the relationship among theparties, commonly known as dialectical tension (Montgomery& Baxter, 2013).Further, the theory delineates that the dialectical tension occur inthe cyclical way over time. In concern to this, the more closer theindividuals in a communication get, the conflicting pull is limitedwhile in a situation where there is explicit conflicts, parties to aconflict experience more dialectical tension that prevent propercommunication between parties Montgomery& Baxter, 2013). In the context of the film, there is a conflicting pull between theteacher and the five students that causes a disagreement betweenthem, since the teacher does not want to hear the student`s side ofthe story. The conflicting dialectical tension causes the teacher toput the students in an eight hours detention due to poorcommunication. Moreover, among the students, initially, there was aconflict that had caused conflict and harassment among them. However,after they eliminated the conflicting pull, they engaged in an idealinterpersonal, small group communication that saw they decide on theway forward. The elimination of conflict pull demonstrates thatdialectical tension inhibits proper communication between parties incommunication.
Connectednessand Separateness:It is imperative to keep a close interpersonal relationship betweenparties in a conversation. However, due to varying nature of partiesin a small group communication, it is not possible to have a lastingpermanent bond between the parties unless people in the communicationcircle spend most of their time alone (Justice,2013).Indeed, too much connection between the parties leads to a loss ofidentities as exhibited in the film Breakfastclub.In the film, initially the five students were strangers to each otherbut some connections were established after some time. However, sincethe five were in the small group for a reasonable time, theydeveloped close bonds that led to the change of identities of somepeople. In this case, Bender became a lover with Claire while Andrewloves Allison. The change of identity is in tandem with thepostulations in the connectedness and separateness elements in theinterpersonal communication. The bond developed between them enhancedcommunication.
Opennessand Closedness: Inan interpersonal communication, there exists some level ofrelationships between parties. The relationships sometimesnecessitate the parties to develop internal pressure to exhibittransparency leading to the revelation of personal information(Justice,2013).This is contrary to the individual desires of maintaining some levelof privacy that restrains disclosure of personal information andsecrets. The openness and closedness are demonstrated in the filmwhere the five students engaged in conflicts owing to the limitedopenness. However, after sharing their stories, through a revelationof personal information, it emerged that the teacher wasdiscriminating them by seeing them as criminals, basket case,"brain", and "princess". Moreover, they realizethat their parents were also stereotyping them, which formed theground for subsequent close relationships. The film demonstrates theimportance of the openness in interpersonal communication in ensuringan ideal communication between the parties.
Situationalcrisistheory (SST):SST a theory hypothesized by Timothy Coombs explains how the crisisin communication acts as a threat in enhancing effectiveness.(Canary,Cody & Manusov, 2008). Timothywanted to reveal that it is important to evaluate any crisisprevalent in a communication scenario and offer a resolution toensure effective communication. In the film, the major problemcreating animosity between the teacher and the students is theprevalent crisis between them. On the same note, lack ofunderstanding amongst the students leads to a temporary crisis thatis resolved after some time hence creating a conducive atmosphere foreffective communication. Timothy stated that there were variouscommunication crises categories that ought to be resolved througheffective communication.
Interpersonalcommunication encompasses communication between parties at a personallevel thereby establishing a relationship (Sandhu,2009).Establishing good relationships is paramount in ensuring an effectiveinterpersonal communication. However, as demonstrated by the film,there are many hindrances that deter and ideal communication to beexpedited. First, conflicting pull that is commonly referred to asdialectic tension prevents the development of an ideal relationshipthat will ensure an effective interpersonal communication. Theproblem of dialectic tension is aggravated in a small groupcommunication where the conflict between several parties within agroup worsens the relationship. On the same note, it has beendemonstrated that for effective interpersonal communication to takeplace parties must be ready to open up and reveal some of thepersonal information for mutual understanding. Communication crisisevaluation and management has also been stated as a measure ofenhancing communication.
Conclusively,competent communication among parties helps in creating a closerelationship and coherent passage of the message. In a situationwhere parties in a communication are exhibiting conflicts,communication is hindered, and corrective actions that ought to havebeen executed are not expedited. In conclusion, competentcommunication, especially in interpersonal communication, enhances ahealthy relationship between parties hence creating a harmoniouscoexistence.
Canary,D. J., Cody, M. J., & Manusov, V. L. (2008). Interpersonalcommunication: A goals-based approach.NY.Macmillan.
Hughes,J. (Director). (1985). TheBreakfast Club[Motion Picture]. Retrieved fromhttp://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ddrxp_watch-the-breakfast-club-full-movie_shortfilms
Justice,A. I. (2013). Social Justice in Interpersonal and FamilyRelationships. SocialJustice and Communication Scholarship
Montgomery,B. M., & Baxter, L. A. (2013). Dialecticalapproaches to studying personal relationships.Sussex. Psychology Press
Sandhu,S. (2009). Strategic communication: An institutional perspective.InternationalJournal of Strategic Communication, 3(2),72-92.