Barriers to Effective Communication

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Barriers to Effective Communication
“Barriers are influencing factors which impede or breakdown the continuous communications loop. They block, distort, or alter the information. By identifying the barriers and applying countermeasures, team members can effectively communicate.” (Wallace and Roberson, 2009) Chapter four speaks of four obstacles that can prevent effective communication. Emotional barriers, physical barriers, semantic barriers, and ineffective listening all prevent effective communication on both the giving end and the receiving end.

Emotional barriers are not limited to the sender; it can also be present in the receiver. For an officer who has low self-esteem, they will often look for acceptance by adding a question to the end of their statement. They want acceptance, and are trying to stay clear of rejection. “An officer with low self-esteem may not be forthcoming with opinions about the cause of an accident or who committed a crime.” (Wallace and Roberson, 2009) Physical barriers have to deal with the environment in which you are communicating in. According to the text, the barriers include, but are not limited to the chain of command that the officer has to follow and equipment malfunctioning and the environment itself.

A sentence can be interpreted many different ways; this can be defined as a semantic problem. When writing a report, your sentences must be clear and leave no room for other interpenetrations. The text gives this example, “He is a real juvenile delinquent.” From that one sentence, three officers interpreted it three different ways. If the sentence had been clearer there would have been no room for interpretation and miscommunication. If the sentence read “John Doe is a juvenile delinquent.” then the officers would know who they were talking about. Ineffective listening is the final barrier on the list, just because it is last doesn’t mean it is not important. Many times people want to be listened to, but do not know how to...
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