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Barriers to Effective Communication

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Barriers to Effective Communication

Jacinta Ingram

University of Phoenix

Interpersonal Communication


Michael Morlan

September 20, 2011

Barriers to Effective Communication


Communication has been used for over a million years in different forums and fashions. However, it still comes out the same way whether it is verbally or written. With communication we have to listen and hear what is really being said to us, even though we all have barriers that stop us from communicating properly. We as a people can overcome anything put in front of us even communication.

The process of communication and its components

Communication can be defined as "a process involving several steps, among two or more persons, for the primary purpose of exchanging information" (Wallace & Roberson, 09). The process of communication has many steps to it that everyone follows when trying to get some things across to another person. Communication is susceptible to considerable modification and mediation. Entropy distorts, whereas negative entropy and redundancy clarify. As each of these types of modification and mediation occurs differently on the communication process, the chances of the communication being received and correctly understood vary (Wallace & Roberson, 09). Here are some of the steps that compose the communication process. (1) Transmitting an idea, this step implies the formation of one or several thoughts and the desire to express these ideas (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). (2) Sending the idea through a medium, once a message is formal, it must be sent. There are many ways to transmit ideas: orally, in writing, or by action. (3) Receiving the message, Drafting a memorandum or standard operating procedure (SOP) without distributing it to department personnel does not accomplish anything (Wallace & Roberson, 20096). (4) Understanding the idea is a transmitted message useless unless someone comprehends its contents. When this happens, the sender should put him or herself in the receiving party's position and frame the message so that the essence of the idea is communicated (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). (5) Feedback this is the last step in the whole communication process, when the communication loop is closed. This means the sender received data indicating that the message was understood or needs clarification, feedback also occurs orally- such as when a person tells another, "I do not understand what you want me to do"- or by actions, such as a quizzical look or shrug (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). These communication steps are need in order for us to communicate to each other properly.

Differences between listening and hearing in communication

Listening goes far beyond a person's natural hearing process. It means paying attention to the words that are being spoken with the intention of understanding the other person. With listening, it means being an active participant in the communication process. Hearing occurs when a person's ears physically pick up sound waves, which are then transmitted to the brain (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). It is also hearing someone speak without listening to the words being spoken; when this happens it can lead to misunderstandings, missed opportunities and resentments. So always, remember everyone wants to be understood and heard even though at one time or another most people do not listen and fail to understand the meaning of another person's word.

The formal and informal channels of communication in criminal justice organizations

Channels and directions of communication deal with the flow or movement of information from the sender to the recipient. There are two different communication channels used in the organization: formal and informal (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). Formal communication is the method police organizations use, following the chain of command. This channel is used in many forms like, formal orders, directives, and written memorandums (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). This command provides a sense of security and order to a police organization. Informal channels are more of any open discussion between detectives and patrol officers, which can be detrimental to the effective operation of the police department



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