Barriers in Communication - Essay Example

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Effectiveness of communication, however, depends much on certain explicit elements, without which the intention of the message passed across can be…
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Barriers to Effective Communication Details: al Affiliation: Barriers to Effective Communication
From the usual social interactions to the administrative activities, effective communication is fundamental in getting things done. Effectiveness of communication, however, depends much on certain explicit elements, without which the intention of the message passed across can be misunderstood or lost altogether (Lunenburg, 2010). Understanding the type of barriers that may exist to impede accurate message delivery is, therefore, critical in the entire process of communication. Quite generally, communication is but a complex, give-and-take process susceptible to breakdowns that can emanate from barriers that are classified into different categories that include but not limited to:
1. Physical Distractions
These set of barriers refers to the environmental elements that hinder individuals’ ability to convey and/or receive information as originally intended. The fact of the matter is that communication messages, however skillfully imparted, are at the mercy of a barrage of physical blocks that includes faulty communication gadgets, noise, distances between the sender and the receiver, the speaker’s mannerisms, time, climate, the listeners’ sitting posture, drop-in visitors, walls, among many more physical factors (Keyton, 2011). Noteworthy, some of the physical distractions can be anticipated, and thus can be eliminated through appropriate timing and/or choosing suitable surrounding devoid of such distractions. Early preparations which include but not limited to finding a setting that permits concentration on message delivery, removing/turning off gargets such as cell phones in the presentation vicinity, ensuring speakers/microphones are properly working for audible sounds, making prior sitting arrangements, and respecting boundaries of others by not interrupting while they speak, are but a few tips of overcoming physical barriers to communication (Wood 2010).
2. Semantic Barriers
The semantic barrier in communication simply refers to the usage of words or word-combinations that have more than single meanings, which are subsequently taken out of context by the receiver (Lunenburg, 2010). Accuracy of messages conveyed is related to the connotative and denotative meanings of words; for words, depending on circumstances, may mean different things to different people. Executing communication free from language barriers demands proper communication skills; that is, first assessing the language and communication needs of the target audience and subsequently being sensitive to their points of view. Use of direct, simple, common and popular vocabulary away from high sounding and bombastic words is highly recommended to limit such barriers in communication (Wood 2010). In cases where possible, sourcing of feedback as well as the use of aiding signs also does help a great deal to avoid degenerative/selective perception.
3. Interpersonal barriers
These are barriers that affect the transmission of real-time and/or face to face communications that allow prompt feedback. Interpersonal communication includes the spoken words as well as non-verbal signals such as eye contact, vocal cues, touch, facial expression, color, silence, language mastery and/or the body language. While the above communication elements aid message delivery to the receiver in one way or another, every individual has own filter of life experiences that finds their way in the message package. Eye contact, voice tone and body language, for instance, forms a huge percentage of daily communication, but may at one point in time, be altered, misread or lost completely due to the choice of technology preferred as a channel or poor language mastery (Lunenburg, 2010). Overcoming these barriers first requires knowledge of the target audience and his/her/their attitude as a guide in designing a message in the most easily understandable way possible to the receiver. Ability to articulate issues concisely in familiar words/phrases is crucial in avoiding personal barriers to communication. Ability to articulate issues concisely, in an environment where emotions are constrained, and where listening is a virtue are essential for effective communication. In keeping with the simplicity principle, the 5Ws [What, Why, Who, Where, and When] as well as the How of a message must be addressed to limit/eliminate any of the barriers discussed (Wood 2010).
Keyton, J. (2011). Communication and organizational culture: A key to understanding work
experience. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Lunenburg, F. C. (2010). Communication: The process, barriers, and improving effectiveness.
Schooling, 1(1): 1-11.
Wood, J. T. (2010). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters (6th ed.). Boston:
Wadsworth/Cengage Learning. Read More
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