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Please discuss some barriers to effective communication.Explain, common barriers to...

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ranger1980 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 1, 2013 at 10:27 PM via web

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Please discuss some barriers to effective communication.

Explain, common barriers to effective communication like:

. Emotion 

. Language 

. Silence

. Information overload

. Communication Aprehension


6 Answers | Add Yours

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 1, 2013 at 11:57 PM (Answer #2)

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Emotion can be a serious barrier to communication.  This happens in two main ways.  When people are very emotional, they can stop listening.  They no longer listen rationally to what the other person is saying.  Instead, they "listen with their emotions."  They filter the other person's words through their own emotions and end up receiving a message that is very different than the one that the speaker meant to send.  When people are emotional, they stop considering their words well.  They might say things that they do not really mean because their emotions have taken over for their rationality.  Both of these problems can impeded effective communication.

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 2, 2013 at 10:12 PM (Answer #3)

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The common barriers to communication listed are all ways in which communication is ineffictive.  Post 2 explained the emotional barrier, and I would add that when people become emotional, they talk but do not listen and revert to their childish methods of communication.  If communication is to be effective, both sides need to do their part.  If the language is different or words used which are buzz words for one of the people, communication stops because listening stops.  Name calling is one example of language problems.  Silence is usually used as a means to punish the other person, to refuse to participate in the essence of communication.  Information overload is just that; if I am given so much information at one time, I need to absorb it and its meaning before I can respond.  Apprehension may be that communication doesn't happen for fear of what the other person may say or do in the process of communication.  I believe that the biggest barrier to communication is that most people are not active listeners.  Active listeners truly listen to the person speaking as if they would have to paraphrase what is being said.  Non-active listeners are only half listening to the person speaking while they prepare their response at the same time.  Miscommunication is just as much a barrier as no communication at all.

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jpope1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted February 3, 2013 at 11:53 PM (Answer #4)

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Emotion and silence stand out for me as barriers that can be hard to break. Emotion can be a barrier to effective communication because emotion can block our self-awareness. For example, in anger or rage we may not be aware of how we are expressing ourselves, or of the other emotions also present. Silence is a barrier because in silence we withhold information about what's going on inside of us. The other person can't empathize with us because we aren't letting them into our inner emotional world. 

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 6, 2013 at 4:26 AM (Answer #5)

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Preconceptions can create significant barriers to communication. When one person already has ideas, opinions, or expectations regarding a situation, that person may use "selective hearing" to take in only the input that supports what s/he wants to hear. For example, if you ask someone about the weather forecast for the day on which you hope to go hiking, you may hear them say there is a chance of rain and decide to pack an umbrella without hearing them say there is a chance of high wind and hail, which might suggest additional protective clothing or a postponement of the hike altogether!

True communication involves being open and receptive to the entire message and considering or making use of all the information transmitted, not just selected portions.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:15 PM (Answer #6)

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Two barriers to communication come from both sides:

  1. The speaker does not have command of language through lack of vocabulary, knowledge of sentence structure and correct verb and pronoun usage, and diction, or word choice.
  2. The listener is not objectively receptive and/or is not educated well enough to discern the nuances of meaning or implications of what is said and not said. Or, the listener has an emotional block to receiving objectively the message.

George Orwell wrote an essay on the English language in which he purported that one cannot have great thoughts without a great vocabulary, and conversely, one cannot use a great vocabulary unless one thinks greatly.  In this mediocre world of pretend greatness, people are ill-educated and unversed in the importance and significance of language; consequently, they are often, at best, mediocre in their communications with others.

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ranger1980 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 12, 2013 at 8:12 PM (Answer #7)

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Thanks, I'm glad I have a better understanding  

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