Mar 31, 2020 in Exploratory
Communication

Among many great films, which show the depth of people’s relations and difficulties of communication, Jerry Maguire stands out as an exceptional example. It reveals how one individual can change the communication system around him as well as develop more meaningful relations through newly-discovered skills and attitudes. Throughout the film, its title character Jerry Maguire develops new relationships, shows genuine emotions, and changes the entire communication process he has been experiencing, and the movie serves as a guideline to effective communication and changing communication strategies.

The movie shows a variety of relations the title character develops with other characters. One of the main relations is with his only client, a famous sportsman. The movie shows how the relationship progresses from a strictly professional one, with Jerry trying to please the man, to a man more personal communication with both men caring and respecting one another. The film shows the transformation of the relationship through the communication because both men overcome the barriers of formal communication and come up to know one another through deeper conversations and the necessity to devote time to each other’s statements. The changing role of the relationship is its main part, which signifies the movie’s idea about developing meaningful relations with the people and having communication that has an importance instead of professional formalities or small talk. 

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The other relationship is with Jerry’s love interest, a single mother Dorothy and her son. To Dorothy, Jerry delivers the most meaningful of the entire movie, when he discusses the relationships and his inner transformation. The latter is also seen with the communication between Jerry and Dorothy’s son because Jerry begins to act more like a father toward the child. The relationships show affectionate side of the title character unlike the relationships he has with his former colleagues and clients. There, the viewers see hypocrisy, lack of meaningful communication, and its inefficiency because of the relationships between the two parties. 

The movie is also interesting in terms of its description of self-identification. The title character goes through a personal breakdown when he reevaluates his life and his perception of the people, work relations, professionalism, and overall mission. Previously, Jerry identified himself with his career only, so his successes were related to his professional performance, and he acted in order to achieve the results he wanted. Personal qualities and values were adjusted to his professional interests, which often contradicted morality and meaningful ties. As a result, Jerry perceived the world from the professional point of view, and it was distorted because his professional values contradicted universal principles of morality and meaningful relations. As the film begins, the viewers see a change within character’s personality as he begins to question the values and his own perception of himself and the world around him. As a result, the perception of the character changes because he embraces a new perspective, which is based on different values and beliefs. He begins identify himself as a human being with clear and brighter goals in life, who is not defined by his paycheck and praise from his bosses. Perception plays a crucial role in the movie because it changes the behavior of the character and leads to unexpected life changes as he starts a new path in his professional career and acts in a new way comparing to his previous ways.

When it comes to the communication of the title character, Jerry displays some very specific characteristics, which distinguish him from the rest of the people in the film. Firstly, it is the manner of speaking Jerry demonstrates as he speaks very clearly and always looks into the person’s eyes. In his words, he tries to convey the empathy he is feeling, and his words are strengthened by his nonverbal communication. Jerry uses gestures and mimics in order to convince the listeners he really means what he says, and he also changes the tone of his voice. His direct appeal to an individual and the confidence of looking the others in the eyes makes his speeches influential and convincing. 

Mass media communication plays an important role in Jerry’s life and professional career. Media perception of success and sports is a major reason for his work to be the way it is, and it is also the reason for him to be fired as he is perceived to be weak and unlikely to get the positive publicity the company needs. Ironically, it is also the media that restore Jerry’s image after the success of his only client and emotional thanks to Jerry. The movie shows how media play with the professional and social perception of different individuals and social beliefs, and how people begin to view certain things based on the ideas instilled in the media. Therefore, when Jerry loses his job, he break the system of media stereotypes only to reappear with his successful sportsman as an exception of media-constructed rules. 

Although Jerry succeeded in the end of the movie, he could still do a lot to improve his communication, as can be seen with his conversation with his potential clients and the only client he had. For example, Jerry lost a potential client because of different strategy he used toward the client. He did not show as much interest and attention (or so the client thought), and it caused the latter to choose the sports company instead of Jerry. It shows that Jerry is not always capable of listening and finding unique approaches to the people he communicates with. Jerry’s communication with his only client is another example of difficult communication that could be improved. Jerry managed to succeed and make the client happy, but the movie shows how strained and difficult communication was from the very start. Jerry had to please the client, but because of his inability to listen and convince, there were many conflicts between the two men. As a result, the main character almost failed, which could have been avoided if Jerry improved his communication skills. Firstly, he could have chosen a different approach when dealing with the client, the one, which would match the personality of the latter and also enable Jerry to present his point of view in a less aggressive way. Also, Jerry’s communication with Dorothy shows that although he managed to convince her that he loved her, he still had limited understanding of her desires and fears, which made his communication less effective. Therefore, one of the suggestions for Jerry would be to think of the other person more and imagine what he or she was thinking. 

Thus, Jerry Maguire is an important movie to understand how professional communication changes depending on the people’s perceptions of themselves. The title character demonstrates a change of heart because his perception of himself shifts, and thanks to that, he is able to develop new relationships and use his communication skills to reach the goals he set for himself. The film also shows how mass media play an important role in developing people’s ideas and perceptions of themselves and society in general. Although Jerry could still improve the way he communicates his ideas and approaches the people, the movie shows that the genuine emotions and values lead his communication to much nobler goals than his previous perception and communication strategies were.

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