CJA/304 Interpersonal Communication
Professor: Heather Arambarri
Barriers to Effective Communication Paper
February 11, 2013
I. The Process of communication and its components:
The process of communication is broken down in five steps:
1.)Transmitting an idea: This step implies the formation of one or several thoughts and the desire to express these ideas. Every day, people have thoughts that are better left unsaid, but they act on these thoughts anyway—even though expressing these thoughts or the reason for certain actions, to another person might be inappropriate. For example, a fellow officer might have a bad body odor. In such a situation, another officer might express his or her feelings, either in a joking manner or otherwise” Boy, I can tell you love garlic on your bread; I can still smell it this morning. Why didn’t you bring me some? “This kind of message, coupled with the act of moving away from your partner, is an expression that has been transmitted and acted on. In contrast, you might simply move away and not express any offense if the person is unknown to you or you are uncomfortable communicating sensitive thoughts or ideas. Therefore, for communication to occur an idea must be formed and an intentional act must take place to transmit that idea to another person. 2.)Sending the idea through a medium: Once a message is formed, it must be sent. There are many ways to transmit ideas: orally, in writing, or by action. Everyone understands the difference between an oral reprimand and a written reprimand that is made a permanent part of an officer’s personnel file. The same information can be conveyed by either medium; however, a written reprimand is considered more grave than an oral reprimand. By the same token, written memorandums are more formal and more serious than oral directions are. Even spoken communications have many variations, and the tone of voice may have a dramatic impact. “I would like you to leave” can be a soft-spoken, friendly request, or it can be shouted and delivered as an order. Thus, the medium—the method by which an idea is transmitted—will determine how it is received and acted on. 3.)Receiving the message: Drafting a memorandum or standard operating procedure (SOP) without distributing it to department personnel does not accomplish anything. In addition, the memorandum or SOP must be understood by the parties it affects. Thus, receipt of the message is a critical step in the communication process. It is the reverse of message transmission in that the message must be received and acted on for it to be effective. 4.)Understanding the idea: Transmitting a message is useless unless someone comprehends its content. Because this step occurs prior to receipt of any feedback, the sender should attempt to place him- or herself in the receiving party’s position and frame the message so that the essence of the idea is communicated. Therefore, it is critical that the message be clear and easily understood by the receiving party. 5.)Providing feedback to the message sender: Providing feedback is the last step in the communication process, the point at which the communication loop is closed. By this, we mean that the sender receives data indicating that the message was understood or needs clarification. Feedback may also occur orally—such as when one partner tells another, “I don’t understand what you want me to do”—or by actions, such as a quizzical look or a shrug. No matter what form feedback takes, its purpose is to acknowledge the receipt of the message, to clarify the content of the message, or to indicate some response to the message. II. Differences between listening and hearing in communication: The difference between listening and hearing in communication is simple. When you are quiet, people will think you are listening. But in order to hear what the other person is saying, you have to stop thinking about anything else and focus your attention on what is...