Communication Barriers

Topics: Communication, Message, Sound Pages: 11 (2557 words) Published: January 20, 2015

Communication Barriers
Stephen Dallas

Communication Barriers
"So the whole war is because we can't talk to each other," Orson Scott Card. Ineffective communication is a major risk when working in health care. Both speaker and listener need to be in agreement about the message transmitted between each other. There are many factors that influence the way we communicate, and the intended message may not be understood. A person’s gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age, culture, language, economic status, stereotypes, regional differences and noise are several barriers to effective communication. For communication to be effective, everyone needs to be responsible for clear communication, endeavoring to send and receive clear messages with as little distortion as possible. What is communication? Communication is a process involving several steps, among two or more people, for the primary purpose of exchanging information. It takes place when people interact in both verbal and nonverbal conversations. To get the point across to a person that is going to be involved in the conversation the information must pass through various channels. There are different steps required to get any information across. The first step is to transmit your idea or message. This begins with the source or the originator of an idea. The source takes this idea and puts it into a code and then transmits this message through a channel. The channel is a means by which the message is expressed, and there is a variety of channels that can be used. Various channels include phone, face to face, text messages, emails, and even Twitter. Next the receiver takes the message and interprets the code, or decodes it. Once this is done the receiver responds or gives feedback. The message or code can be misinterpreted due to noise or barriers.  Communication barrier is what makes communication complex, difficult, and sometimes frustrating.

Communication barriers can have a large impact on getting the message across. People tend to erect barriers hindering their ability to communicate. Physical barriers are defined as the specific area of transmission of communication. There are various kinds of physical barriers like the presence of closed office doors, separator screens, specified cabins, cubes, workstations, sections for people of different status and task or anything that physically separates people from one another. In organizations, physical barriers can be effective in the overall spread of the message. With a variety of checks and a strong platform, they can avoid encroachment of strangers and create cohesive teams.  Emotional barriers are related to the emotions of both the source and receiver. A person's emotions can have a great effect on their message. When various emotions are involved, the message could be no more than an emotional outburst. People will focus on these emotions rather than focus on the message. The challenge is to examine and evaluate emotional barriers in communication and focus on what the other person is saying.

Cultural barriers are created when people of a different culture communicate. When they communicate there is a tendency to share less information than those of our cultural heritage. Translating messages into words and behaviors is based on a person’s cultural background and is not the same for each person. Culture is a combination of various formative influences placed on us as we grow up. The major factors in this development of culture are religion, caste, creed, nationality, social status, values, beliefs and many such elements. Cultural elements have their big role to play when a person participates in communication. When someone becomes a part of a group and become attached to it, sooner or later, they get adapted to that group in terms of the cultural code of the group. Intercultural communication occurs when people who have different cultural traditions start a conversation. In...
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