Communication is a two-way street.
Communication is the sharing or exchange of thought by oral, written, or nonverbal means… the sender has an idea, which he transmits to the receiver through signs and physical sensations capable of being perceived by another.… The receiver takes those signs, interprets them and then reacts with feedback.
It requires understanding between two or more people. When communication is achieved several things must occur. Communication due to technology has expanded in the last decade: texting, cell phones, and email. These technological advances have broadened the definition for communication.
Effective communication requires thinking skills. What is being said must be enhanced by how and where the message is communicated. Any interference in these three areas prevents complete communication. In addition, it is necessary for the receiver of the message to be a good listener. Without this skill, communication is impossible.
What are the barriers that might prevent successful communication?
- Distractions during the communication
- Excessive noise, overstimulation
- The area in which the communication may not be conducive to effective communication
2. Lack of motivation to listen
- The topic may not be of interest to the other communicator
- Uninvolved listener
3. Disagreement with the other communicator
- Shutting down because of anger or frustration
4. Lack of knowledge
- Talking about a subject that the speaker does not have enough information to successful convey his message
- Getting off the subject and rambling
- Listening without responding
- Passive listening
5. Outward forces preventing communication
6. Acceptance that everyone may not have the same perception
7. There may be gender barriers; ethnic barriers; and racial barriers.
- These must be considered in choosing the right approach in communicating ideas.
8. Lack of reflective listening
- Cell phone ringing; individua comfort; too hot or too cold; hungry or thirsty; prior commitments
- Not letting the other person know that you understand what they are saying
- Not using non-verbal communication [nodding head, eye contact]
All of these barriers can be easily overcome with practice, awareness, and the desire to improve communication skills.