Communication helps to develop a vital communication skill that can be used throughout one's career and these skills can be helpful to launch an interesting and rewarding career. Courtland L. Bovee and John V. Thill noted that, "the essence of communication is sharing, providing data, information, insights, and inspiration in an exchange that benefits both you and the people with whom you are communicating. (Courtland L 2012: 14). This assignment will discuss the physical barriers of communication.
Selective perception refers to filtering what we see and hear to suit our own needs. This process is often unconscious small things can command our attention when we are visiting a new place, a new city or new company over time, however we begin to make assumptions about the way things are on the basis of our past experience. Often, much of this process is unconscious, we simply are bombarded with too much stimuli, every day to pay equal attention to everything so we pick and choose (Pope 2008).
Cultural barrier is one of the widely seen barrier in communication. Ignorance about each other’s cultures may make us skeptic and we may shy away from expressing our self freely. It is as a result of living in an over shrinking world. Different cultures, whether they be a societal culture of the race or simple the work culture of a company can handle developed communication if two different cultures clash. Andersen (2001).
Distortion as a barrier. This is the name given to barriers which arise at the encoding and decoding stages. For instance, if the sender uses language or other signs which do not convey the intended message to the receiver. Break downs are not caused only by what is said, but also by facial expressions, gestures and the way in which a message is conveyed can all result in the receiver gaining a false impression. Some receivers might interpret a friendly smile as a patronising gesture, others might feel put off by language which is too formal. While some people will be flattered that the sender has tried to use language which he/she will understand? Others will be angry and feel that they are being talked down to (Bovee and John V. Thill 1996).
Similarly to poor listening, poorly defined aims are also a barrier on its own. This is when the sender has clear idea of what the communication aims to achieve before encoding the message. The information which is to form the basis of the message must be clear and accurate. For example, if either or both are unclear, the message will be inaccurate and breakdown will result (Courtland L 2012).
Information overload can be defined as “occurring when the information processing demands on an individual’s time to perform interactions and internal calculations exceed the supply or capacity of time available for such processing messages reach us in countless ways every day. Some are societal advertisements that we may hear or see in the course of our day (Schick 1990).
Language problem is one of the barriers that hinder effective communication. This is when a sender chooses the words to send that imposes its own barriers on it. For example, the language of a lawyer differs from that of an accountant or a doctor, and when the difference in their vocabularies affects their ability to recognise and express ideas. Barriers also exist because words can be interpreted in than one way. John V. Thill and Courtland L. Bovee furthermore illustrated that, "language uses words as symbols to represent reality it is an arbitrary code that depends on shared definition, but there is a limit to how completely any of us can share the meaning for a given word." (Courtland L 2012:
Gender difference in communication have been documented by a number of experts including linguistics. Men and women work together every day, but their different style of communication can sometimes work against them generally speaking, women like to ask questions before starting a project. While men tend to jump right in. a male manager who’s unaware of how many women communicate their readiness to work may misperceive a ready employee is not ready. Another difference that has been noticed is that men often speak in sports metaphors, while many women use their home as a starting place for analogies. Women who believe men are “only talking about the game” may be missing out on a chance to participate in a division’s strategy and opportunities for teamwork (Krotz 2008).
Noise is also another physical barrier of communication. “Noise can be defined as a physical sound or a mental disturbance that disrupts the flow of communication as the sender or the receiver perforce gets distracted by it”. According to this definition, noise can be classified into two categories: (I) physical noise and (ii) psychological noise. Physical noise is that sound which emanates from the surroundings and hampers the listening process, e.g. while speaking on the telephone, disturbance might hinder the smooth transmission of message or just at the time when the sender wishes to transmit an important point, there might be queer speaking sound, while psychological noise this is a type of noise which occurs as a result of thoughts; whenever there is psychological noise, it results in un-welcome ideas or thoughts crowding the mind, which are of more relevance than the ensuring communication to either of the participants. Listening, as a result, is hampered and responses are not well formulated. Some of the common forms of noise are mental turbulence, pre-occupation., ego hang-ups, anxiety, tiredness, pre-conceived ideas and notions. These are mostly involuntary and no cause can be assigned to them (Asha Kaul 2000:23).
Emotions can play an important part in any conversation. It usually occurs when a person is not able to communicate effectively because the effectiveness has been hindered his/her emotions. When one is emotional he/she is able to communicate properly because there will be no exact manner of sending message to the receiver. One’s voice acquires an aggressiveness when speaking on an issue that is strong, this type of barrier disallows appropriate communication. This barrier can be tough to overcome but are important to put aside to engage in conversations. Mostly we are taught to fear the words that comes out of our won mouths, as in the phrase “anything you say can and will be used against you.”Overcoming the fear is difficult but necessary, the trick is to have full confidence in what you are saying, and sometimes people oftenly pick up on insecurity. By believing in yourself you will be able to communicate clearly without becoming overly involved your emotions (Walton1991).
In conclusion, In order to solve these communication barriers, people should not try at all times where communication is involved, to apply the same solution to every problem, but look for solutions to fit specific problems. Moreover, messages should be formed in terms that have meaning for the audience as well as the receiver so that something meaningful may be found in the messages that are passed on.
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