Overcoming Barriers to Communication

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Communication, Emotion Pages: 5 (1796 words) Published: January 6, 2013
Communication essay

There are many factors that may influence communication including environment, culture, abuse of power, drugs and alcohol, misunderstanding speech, body language, emotional difficulties, health issues and sensory factors. In health and social care settings there are strategies used to overcome these barriers. Some strategies may be more effective than others. It is important to know the strategies and be able to overcome these barriers in health and social care settings because there are many situations where communicating with a person may not be easy. Environmental- It can be hard to communicate if there is a problem with the area such as the light, space and sound. For example it could be hard to communicate with someone in a noisy room. Poor lighting could lead to not being able to see a person’s facial expressions clearly. Not having enough space could lead to being uncomfortable because there might not be enough personal space for the people talking. Awkward seating could be uncomfortable for example chairs being unsuitable. It could be hard to talk to someone who is to close or at a distance. The room mat be to hot or cold with could affect peoples mood and ability to communicate. There could be distractions such as phones, another person being in the room or background noise. These barriers can be overcome by going to another room or seeing if you can change the amount of light, space and noise in background. Chairs may be able to be replaced with other chairs for more comfort. The temperature of a room may be adjustable by turning on heating or air conditioning. Distractions like phones and TV can be switched off/muted. If you are communicating with more than one person organise seating so that you can all see and hear each other. It may be easier to communicate with smaller groups of people at one time. The negatives of using these strategies are that it may not always be possible to make the required changes to the room for example problems with heating, overcrowded, no other rooms to use or any other restricted use to facilities. It is positive to switch off phones or other technological equipment because it can’t distract for example start ringing in the middle of talking to someone. Using different seating could be positive because other chairs may be more comfortable and suitable for the person e.g. adjusted to be higher or lower so one person isn’t sat above or below the other people they are communicating with. Culture/religion- Having cultural differences can be difficult because different cultures have different meanings and beliefs. The same thing could mean two different things in two different cultures. Having a different culture/religion could cause two people or a group of people with different cultures/religions to clash because of having different beliefs for example believing in different gods. Situations like this lead to discrimination. Non verbal messages in communication may vary between different cultures. For example hand gestures could mean different things in different cultures. In some cultures it is seen as rude to look someone in the eyes but in our own culture it’s seen as rude not to give eye contact whilst communicating with someone. When communicating with someone who has a different culture/religion to you should be careful about the non verbal messages you use. It might be helpful to research cultures and religions that you work with. You should always be respectful, polite and understanding about someone’s beliefs and don’t be judgemental. Don’t say things you think could be offensive to another person’s culture/religion. This may be difficult if you don’t know enough about the culture/religion because you could accidently say or do something that upsets another person when communicating. The person you’re communicating may think your being rude. People who are very opinionated and only think there culture/religion is right may find it hard to...
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