Q1. What are the eight different barriers to communication?
Answer 1. The eight different barriers to communication are:
1. Failure to make a great first impression (and second) impression: When an individual meet someone for the first time, they are judged positively or negatively on various basis, and this basis forms a basis of the continuation of the communication with the other person. If they can impress the other person, the communication may continue for long, if not then the communication gets stalled and does not go further than the initial conversations. It does not depend on how does the person speaks but what s/he does in the moment that defines his or her attributes for conversations. The non-verbal communication such as making eye contact and showing interest in the conversations help in leaving an impression on the other person (Burgoon, Guerrero & Manusov, 2016).
2. Flubbing the story: If a person is not able to express himself well, he will not be able to captivate the audience’s attention for an ongoing conversation. Thus, making it a barrier to communication. Telling about your life experiences to another person should be done only if the other person is interested in them, it is important to understand how much of the information is to be shared to not lose the attention of the listener and still leave a lasting impression on them (Rolens, 2016). Hence, making it of prime importance to understand the audience’s intent before sharing the information a person has.
3. Not listening: Listening is truly understanding the context of what is being spoken to. When an individual spends a lot of some people, it is natural to understand their thought processes, they tend to complete the sentences for them. They often forget that along with understanding the other person, it is also important to listen to their stories. Not listening to their stories would make them feel unwanted, insecure, uncomfortable (Lakshmi, 2017). When an individual feel that he will be judged, or will not be heard without any interruptions, it makes them loathe them and shut themselves to share their feelings with the world, becoming a barrier to communication.
4. Arguing with the intent to harm: Constantly offering your unsolicited opinions, make the people feel unwanted around you. People will not be happy in your company if you are constantly making them feel unworthy, uninformed, or stupid. Even if the speaker has good intentions he is shunned and people become uncomfortable around them. Thus, a conversation ends if the person is not able to understand the intention of the other person, or feels that they will not understand and argue on their choices (Lasarov, 2019). If a person argues a lot, even if he has a lot of information on the topic, people become afraid to include them in the conversations because they feel their intellect will not be valued.
5. Criticism: The good thing about words is that they have the ultimate power in the world to encourage someone and along with this, they have the immense power in the world to destroy someone’s morale. If a person continuously criticizes the other person, without approving or praising their work ever, the person would not be comfortable talking to the other person or sharing their innermost feelings with that person, with the sheer fear of being judged (Churchman, 2016). Continuous criticism is a conversation killer, people do not like to get involved in a conversation where they know, their perception would be criticized.
6. Hostility and contempt: Treating other people is disrespectful and continuously mocking them with sarcasm are forms of contempt and hostility towards other people. It is not possible to have a productive conversation when the one partner thinks they are disgusting the other one. It is generally a form of attack from an authoritative position, making the subordinate one feel not trusted or competent enough of doing something. It is a complete communication barrier as the person will not be comfortable in approaching the person who is always ready to insult the other person and show them they are worthless (Enachi-Vasluianu & Malureanu, 2017).
7. Ignoring body language: Body language is an important part of non-verbal communication. Not being aware of the body language, and showing that you are not interested in speaking to them is a conversation killer. People do not like to talk to people who are least interested in speaking to them. Additionally, not being to understand if the person is interested in talking to you, is also a conversation killer as it displays your lack of understanding (Rani, 2016). Communication is a two-way process and should demonstrate to the other person that you are interested in speaking to them. If people do not show that they are interested in the ongoing conversation, they will be considered as not being worthy of paying attention to.
8. Ignoring the cycle of communication: One of the reasons people communicate is to express themselves knowing that the listener will give them the required importance and will understand them. If one person speaks, the other needs to listen, and when this does not happen, the person may feel dejected and unimportant. Simply hearing and not understanding what the other person is trying to convey is a serious conversation killer (Mortensen, 2017). Everyone does communicate in the same manner, but has different communication patterns, for one it may not be important to look at the other person while conversing where for the other it would be a sign of interest. Thus, ignoring it will become a problem in the communication pattern.
Q2. What are the two methods to manage the eight barriers?
Answer 2: The methods of managing the eight barriers of communication are:
1. Failure to make a great first impression (and second) impression: According to Koprowska (2020), the two methods of managing the problem for leaving a good impression are:
a) Ask them for their advice: understanding from their way of interaction, seek guidance on one of the topics you think is relevant to the discussion going on. It will demonstrate to the speaker that you are interested in their knowledge and the subject of discussion.
b) Always make eye contact while shaking hands firmly: Shaking hands with new people you meet is an excellent of showing the kind of person you are, thus, making a brief but firm handshake along with constant eye contact makes the person believe that you are a worthy character, and they should speak to you to know you more.
2. Flubbing the story: (Hoyt, 2017) Two methods of ensuring that you are not flubbing the story are:
a) Think before speaking: Being mindful of your words is an important and the easiest way of ensuring that the listener does not get offended or is hooked to the story you are presenting. It is important to ensure that the story is not boring and is inspiring the other person.
b) Inspire: Understand the context of the conversation and tell the people that you have gained success after your share of failed attempts. Tell them your story which tells them that you are human, have flaws but have overcome those flaws, and emerged a winner.
3. Not listening: (Turaga, 2016) Managing the problem of not being a good listener:
a) Do not interrupt: when a person is trying to tell you something, let them finish their story. Because when a person feels that his or her feelings are heard and understood, it helps them to open up to their most fearful or intimidating feelings that they wouldn’t otherwise share. Thus, opening a new hemisphere of conversations for them.
b) Be attentive, turn of selective hearing: Pay attention to what the speaker is saying, and once they have completed. If you find them rambling, stop them, and summarise what you heard and ask them if that is correct, this would make the person feel that you have been listening and are interested in their conversation.
4. Arguing with the intent to harm: (Kobayashi & Kitsuno, 2016) methods of managing the communication without arguments:
a) Ask more questions: asking more questions helps you to understand the perception of the other person better. It will help you form a better way of presenting your opinion in the given discussion. This will ensure that one does not make the other person feel wrong or stupid in their opinions.
b) Always be clear of your intention: When you know your intention is not to argue or counter-attack the other person’s view, you will only illustrate your views when asked and not to make the other person feel wrong. To understand how not to argue, one can seek suggestions from our friends to let us know how can one communicate without appearing to be arguing.
5. Criticism: managing being a critic:
a) Criticize a behavior, not the person: it is important to mention the behavior or the act which was not right or could have been done in a specific manner which encourages them to use the correct method and not get demotivated. It is important to direct the criticism at the act, not the person for keeping the communications open (Eloy, 2017).
b) First, empathize and then criticize: while criticizing someone always praise them for their efforts and trying to do things. Then criticise their method of doing it constructively. Criticism should be focused on ensuring that the more appropriate way of doing the work is adopted and people learn and not get afraid of doing the work completely (Eloy, 2017).
6. Hostility and contempt: (Roseman, 2018) managing hostility and contempt while conversing:
a) Communicate: Tell the other person, how you feel when they being hostile and showing contempt towards your actions. Hostility is not good for anyone and destroys relationships than anything else. Hence, it is important to express your feelings and the activities of the other for preventing it.
b) Create an atmosphere of positive communication: Be proactive in changing the negative behaviour towards other people. Make an effort of not deliberating harming anyone through the words. Be careful of you say. Hence, encourage people to speak positively and create an atmosphere of positive communication around you.
7. Ignoring body language: (Burgoon, Guerrero & Manusov, 2016) being mindful of our body language:
a) Smile: If you are not a smiling person while talking to people, make a constant effort while communicating, it is the easiest way of letting the other person know you are interested in the conversation. Slowly, you will reach a point when you will not have to make efforts, and resisting a smiling person is not possible for the other person in conversations.
b) Maintain eye contact: While in a conversation, it is important for the people to maintain eye contact as it ensures that the communication is well-intended and focused. It does not make the other person feel that the person in the conversation is not interested. Thus, will ensure continuity of the conversations.
8. Ignoring the cycle of communication: (Mortensen, 2017) being mindful of the communication:
a) Undivided attention: When someone approaches you to share their feelings, give them their undivided attention. Make them feel that they are important and so is their information. This will help in forming a good relationship where people are free and comfortable sharing their feelings and information.
b) Let the person sharing the information have their share of limelight: Do not interrupt, let the person speaking enjoy their attention without interruption. Be respectful of their conversation and let them complete. It is important for letting the other person complete their point for ensuring that the communication cycle is complete. With this, the communication channel will be kept open and people will be happy to communicate.
Burgoon, J. K., Guerrero, L. K., & Manusov, V. (2016). Nonverbal communication. Routledge.
Churchman, M. (2016). Principled persuasion in employee communication. Routledge.
Eloy, E. (2017). Diplomatic Communications: Strategic Organizational Communication and Embassies (Doctoral dissertation, Empire State College). Communication and Mass Media, University of New York.
Enachi-Vasluianu, L., & Mălureanu, F. (2017). Nonverbal and paraverbal aspects in teacher’s communication perceived as hostile by students. On Virtual Learning, 509.
Hoyt, M. F. (2017). Brief therapy and beyond: Stories, language, love, hope, and time. Routledge.
Kobayashi, Y., & Kitsuno, J. (2016). Discussions without argument in English classrooms. Focus on the learner, 348-354.
Koprowska, J. (2020). Communication and interpersonal skills in social work. Learning Matters. Sage Publishing: United States.
Lakshmi, R. (2017). Effective Listening Enhances the Process of Communication. IUP Journal of English Studies, 12(1), 7.
Lasarov, W., Mai, R., de Frutos, N. G., Egea, J. M. O., & Hoffmann, S. (2019). Counter-arguing as barriers to environmentally motivated consumption reduction: A multi-country study. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 36(2), 281-305.
Mortensen, C. D. (2017). Communication theory. Routledge.
Rani, K. U. (2016). Communication barriers. VEDA’S Journal of English Language and Literature (JOELL), 3(2), 74-76.
Rolens, S. C. (2016). You don’t know what you are saying. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/content/qt4q09w22g/qt4q09w22g.pdf.
Roseman, I. J. (2018). Rejecting the unworthy: The causes, components, and consequences of contempt. The moral psychology of contempt, 107.
Turaga, R. (2016). Organizational models of effective communication. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 10(2), 56.
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