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The Barriers To Communication

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 950 words Published: 4th May 2017

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While there are many subtleties to communication between people with some basic skills can actually help you to be even effective communicator. On this assignment we will explore barriers to listening and strategies for effective listening, Barriers to accurate perception and barriers to effective verbal communication and strategies for accurate perception and lastly strategies for effective verbal communication. Listening may not seem like a complicated process when someone speaks you listen. As you are ready to receive the information and being communicated you are likely not actually realizing that you are decoding the dialogue or interpreting it

Barriers to Communication

If noise is whatever interferes with communication between sender and receiver (and

vice versa), it’s important to understand what causes noise-what are the main barriers

to communication. There are three main types of barriers: external, internal, and semantic.

• External barriers to communications include environmental and visual distractions.

Suppose you are listening to your professor and suddenly you see your favorite

movie star walk by in the hallway. Do you think you would hear and understand

everything your professor was saying at that moment? Or maybe you’re on a date

and having a hard time hearing what your companion is saying because of the racket

in the restaurant.

• Internal barriers come from within the receiver. They include not paying attention

or not listening, boredom, and lack of interest. If a student is sitting in class

daydreaming instead of listening to the instructor, for example, how much

communication is taking place?

• Semantic barriers come from differences in language, education, and culture.

Obviously if the sender is speaking in English and the receiver doesn’t understand

English, there’s a problem. But even if the sender and receiver speak English, they

may not speak the same dialect. The words they use may not mean the same thing.

If you order a soda in Washington, DC, for example, you’ll get a soft drink. If you

order a soda in Detroit, you’ll get a drink made of soda water and flavored syrup

with ice cream floating in it. If you’re from the United States and you’re speaking

to a Scot from Glasgow, you may have a hard time simply understanding his

Pronunciation. And your accent may be incomprehensible to him!

Four Steps to Effective Interpersonal Communication

If you are the sender, it’s your job to find ways to penetrate the noise that prevents clear

communication. Following these four steps in your communication will help you do so:

1. Focus your message

2. Magnify the listener’s attention

3. Penetrate barriers

4. Listen actively.

Focus Your Message

Focusing your message means planning before you speak. Think carefully about what

you want to say and how you want to say it. Decide what your goal is: to inform, to persuade,

to direct, or to do something else. Be sure you understand who your audience is so you

understand where the audience is coming from as it receives your message. Make sure your

message is specific and concise. Get to the point; don’t be diverted into side issues.


your message politely, and be objective-state all sides’ positions fairly before arguing your

own. (If the listener perceives that you are biased, this itself can become an important

barrier to communication.)

Magnify the Listener’s Attention

Ask yourself: Why should my listener care about what I have to say? You must create

interest-make your message relevant to the listener. If your instructor suddenly announces

that something will be on your next exam, you’re more likely to pay attention. If you

announce that what you’re about to say will save your listeners money, you’re likely to

grab their attention. Find something in your message that your listener can relate to and

make sure you highlight that.

Make it clear that your message is important. For example, if you suddenly announce

that “What I’m about to say could save your life,” before you discuss a crucial safety

issue, you’ll grab the listener’s interest. But your ideas must really be important. Simply

declaring that they are won’t do it-you must persuade the audience through the clarity

and logic of your arguments and your evidence that your message really is significant.

Again, think about your message from the audience’s perspective instead of your own.

This means knowing your audience. Deliver your message so that it naturally draws your

listener’s attention.

Penetrate Barriers

One serious barrier to clear communication is vagueness. If you say, “There was a fire

downtown last night,” you have communicated little. If you say, however, “Twenty fire

trucks from three different towns fought an inferno last night that destroyed an entire

city block, including a fireworks factory,” your concrete description has communicated a

good deal more. The listener now understands that you’re talking about a major disaster,

not a fire in a trash can. Your concrete description helps the listener create a mental picture,

or visualize the blaze.


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