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Barriers to Effective Communication

Autor:   •  April 2, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  941 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,527 Views

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Communication is the process in which messages are sent and received between two or more individuals in a verbal or nonverbal manner. For communication to be successful and effective, one needs to keep in mind and make use of the key components of communication. These components include:

• Transmission of an idea

• Use of a medium to send an idea

• Reception of the message

• Understanding of the idea in the message

• Giving feedback to the sender of the message

If any of these components is eliminated, communication will become flawed leading to a potential misunderstanding by either party. A certain degree of flow is needed to achieve effective communication. Presenting a clear and concise message verbally and nonverbally is a key factor in communication. If the receiver does not understand a message because of a negative level of clarity, he or she will likely not be able to respond appropriately. For example, if one person cannot understand what another person is saying, he or she cannot reply accordingly. The room for improvement lies in effective speech and writing skills of some individuals as well as an individual’s ability to differentiate between hearing what someone is saying and listening to what someone is saying (Wallace & Roberson, 2009).

Hearing and Listening

The meanings of hearing and listening are quite different, despite the idea that many individuals think they are the same thing. According to Hellesvig-Gaskill (2011), “Hearing is a passive occurrence that requires no effort. Listening, on the other hand, is a conscious choice that demands your attention and concentration” (para. 1). What this means is that some people will hear what is said but not comprehend and understand the context of the verbal message (listening). An individual can hear someone speaking without listening to what is said. Hearing is defined as physical sound as it is sent through the ear to the brain. This sound is processed by the brain into audible form. When an individual simply hears words rather than listening to what is said, complications can arise that may lead to misunderstandings of the message (Wallace & Roberson, 2009).

The process of listening goes beyond what one hears. For one to listen, one must pay attention and understand the words spoken by another. Certain prejudices may affect the amount of information one listens to. For example, if an individual on the receiving end of a conversation believes he or she is superior to the speaker he or she may dismiss what is said saying because of perceived superiority. Listening to another takes a degree of consciousness that enables information to register in one’s mind. (Hellesvig-Gaskill, 2011). In either form of communication,


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