Sometimes they are inescapable or unpreventable, however, some of them can be avoided, for example: mobile phones, people arriving late, changing the subject,the way we format an email, talking about a different topic, making the receiver feelcomfortable, changing a meeting place etc can all be solutions to distractions which mayhinder effective communication. 3. Cultural Barrier -
You will always find diverse culture barriers to effective communication inthis world. These communication barriers arise when people of different places or organizations as well as those from the same places or organizations belong to differentcultures, or religions. There are many other factors of cultural barriers like age, social position,mental difference or thinking behavior, economic status, political views, values and rules,ethics or standards, motives and priorities. The communication done without mixing anyculture will not miss its meaning, but once a culture is mixed with the communication, then itmay loose its exact meaning. Cultural Barrier Solutions -
Effective communication requires deciphering the basic values,motives, aspirations, and assumptions that operate across geographical lines. To overcome thebarriers associated with differing backgrounds, avoid projecting your own background or cultureonto others. Clarify your own and understand the background of others, spheres of knowledge,personalities and perceptions and don't assume that certain behaviors mean the same thing toeveryone. We live in a culturally diverse world. People will encounter individuals from differentraces,religions, and nationalities in their day to day encounters. There is often anxietysurrounding unfamiliar cultures.The desire tocommunicateis the first step in being effective. No matter what tools you gain incross cultural communication. The desire toconnectwith another human being is the bondthat will express itself clearly. A genuine effort to understand another person goes alongwayinthepathtocommunication.Knowing about other cultures will help you develop your skills. Be proactive whenapproachinga new culture. This is a learned skill which means it will require research, practice, and growth.
People from different backgrounds may have varied approaches to conflict management,learning styles, family structure, religion, and most other aspects of life. It is impossible to knowthe varied systemsof all cultures, so approach this process one culture at a time as you meetand deal with new people.When dealing with diverse people look for similarities. Our goals, dreams, and aspirations maybe more alike than our skin color
Parenting approaches may differ, but the common bond of amother and a child crosses many barriers. Most people have basic needs in common, likeMaslow¶s hierarchy of needs that suggest all people have physiological, safety, acceptance,self-esteem, and self-actualization needs. Considering these things it is easy to see our essential common ground. And this is where we can begin our comprehension of others.
Put your new information about other people into action. Make a personal inventory of your ownbiases. Where has your ignorance held you back from appreciating other people? What haveyou learned that makes this old paradigm obsolete? Help to educate people in your family andgroup of friends about your new leanings. Be careful.
People become attached to their ignorance, and have difficulty accepting new ideas. It may have taken you a while to gain theknowledge necessary to deal with people. Encourage others to be open, but know that information is integrated when a person is ready to accept it. Form alliances with people fromdifferent cultures to know what challenges they have dealing with your culture.
Stereo Typing -
Stereo typing derives from one's perception; every individual has a differentperception or views of the world, situations and people around them. It can be said that no twopersons are the same due to the environment in which they grew, certain principles that theywere brought up with, their ethnic group e.t.c. especially one's past experiences.If your experience with or impression of a particular group (groups can be categorized bynationality, cultures, sex, age, status) is negative in nature then stereo typing occurs andchances of communication or effective communication with the individual belonging to thatparticular group is less likely to occur. Stereotyping
Stereotyping causes us to typify aperson, a group, an event or a thing on oversimplified conceptions, beliefs, or opinions. Stereotyping is a barrier to communication when it causes people to act as if they alreadyknow the message that is coming from the sender or worse, as if no message is necessarybecause "everybody already knows. Stereo Typing Solutions -
Both senders and listeners should continuously look for andaddress thinking, conclusions and actions based on stereotypes. To change a person¶s view of your stereotype, be consistently different from it. Beware of your own stereotyping blinding youto the true nature of other individuals. Stereotyping can be reduced by bringing peopletogether. When they discover the other people are not as the stereotype, the immediateevidence creates dissonance that leads to improved thoughts about the other group. 5
Poor listening skills -
Listening is difficult. A typical speaker says about 125 words per minute. The typical listener can receive 400-600 words per minute. Thus, about 75 percent of listening time is free time. The free time often sidetracks the listener. The solution is to be anactive rather than passive listener. One important listening skill is to be prepared to listen. Tuneout thoughts about other people and other problems. Search for meaning in what the person issaying. A mental outline or summary of key thoughts can be very helpful. Avoid interrupting thespeaker. "Don¶t Talk" is a useful listening guideline. "Don¶t Talk Some More" is a usefulextension of this guideline. Withhold evaluation and judgment until the other person hasfinished with the message. A listener's premature frown, shaking of the head, or bored look caneasily convince the other person there is no reason to elaborate or try again to communicate hisor her excellent idea, this is very discouraging. Poor listening skills Solutions-
Providing feedback is the most important active listening skill.Ask questions. Nod in agreement. Look the person straight in the eye. Lean forward. Be ananimated listener. Focus on what the other person is saying. Repeat key points. Allow thespeaker to observe and see that you are paying attention and absorbing what they are offeringyou. Active listening is particularly important in dealing with an angry person. Encouraging theperson to speak, i.e., to vent feelings, is essential to establishing communication with an angryperson. Repeat what the person has said. Ask questions to encourage the person to say againwhat he or she seemed most anxious to say in the first place. An angry person will not start listening until they have "cooled" down. Telling an angry person to "cool" down often has theopposite effect. Getting angry with an angry person only assures that there are now two peoplenot listening to what the other is saying.
Although it is evident that communication is an integral instinct of all living thingsand is important to every aspect of our lives, it is sad to see that the importance of communication is only best understood when there is a lack of it. We must realize that noteveryone is equally endowed with the ability to effectively express themselves and this is wherethe importance of communication skills can be truly fathomed. The importance of communication is equal in every walk of like, be it in personal, professional or social life. Asliving beings, we need to express and understand the expressions of others. The importance of communication at no time cannot and should not be underestimated. I am sure that anagreement could be made that sometimes, difficult situations in life can be resolved by talking itout! Similarly, most personal, professional and social disasters can be avoided by maintainingclear, appropriate and unambiguous communication. All we need is some effort on our part andof those around us is to identify and avoid barriers to effective communication which wouldmake our lives and those around us easier, smoother and better.