Types of Communication
This is the type of communication where individuals use sounds as a way of expressing themselves or passing messages from one person to another. Verbal communication is classified into four categories. The first is intrapersonal communication which is private in nature and restricted to an individual. It is a conversation that individuals have with themselves. Interpersonal communication on the other hand is a form of verbal communication that takes place between two people. Group conversations are those that are between small groups of people. Public communication on the other hand is verbal communication that is intended for anybody willing to listen and use information that is being provided.
Barriers to verbal communication
The lack of interest
The first major barrier is the lack of interest of the intended audience. This affects the attention that the audience will pay to the message that is being conveyed through verbal communication. Audiences that lack interest in what is being communicated affects how the communication is carried out. They are often distracted from the main communication and tend to engage in behaviors that show their disinterest. A great example is when students are murmuring r telling stories in a lecture all when a speaker is trying to convey information. It shows that the students are not interested in what is being said and acts as a tactic for the speaker to change their tactics.
The first solution to the barrier is to identify the topics that interest the audience. Audiences will concentrate and be interested while discussing topics that affect their lives and that resonate with them. Another solution is for the speaker to use the art of language such as having attention grabbers through their communication. They could begin their communication with a question or a story that will capture the minds of the audience and make them glued to the speech being provided.
Physical disabilities might affect the effectiveness of verbal communication. Individuals that have hearing problems are likely to miss out on verbal communication especially if the person conveying the message is not aware of such problems.
The first solution to the barrier is to understand the group of individuals that the speaker is communicating with. The speaker should understand the physical needs of the group before starting the conversation. In case there is physical impairment in hearing the speaker should know the needs of the crowd and thus use a different means of communication. The other solution is having a sign language interpreter for those that have hearing impairments.
The language that the communicator uses may act as a barrier. The communicator may not be conversant with the language that the intended audience understands and that makes it difficult to communicate. A good example is a native Chinese speaker trying to communicate with an English speaking audience. Communication might be impaired.
The first solution to the barrier is to have an interpreter available at all times, one that would translate word for word for the audiences that cannot understand the language being used. The other solution is the use of technology to translate the language of the speech to languages that many individuals can understand. Communicators should also try to communicate in a language that is most common to the intended audience.
This is communication that is inscribed on paper or through electronic form. The audience decodes information through reading the written communication and makes meaning of the same.
Barriers to Written Communication
Poor presentation of information
This includes the way that the written information is presented to the intended user. The fonts and the layouts that the writer uses may impair the ability of the audience to decode the meaning that the written communication was intended to pass.
The first solution is for the writer to go through the information they are providing to the audience and ensure that it is legible. Proofreading the written communication will help identify errors that may occur in communication. The other solution is to use fonts and writing designs that fit the educational capabilities of the audience. For instance, one would use different designs to communicate with a younger crowd compared to when communicating with adults. It is evident when one is reading storybooks for younger ages compared to when they are reading novels for a more knowledgeable crowd.
Lack of Instant Feedback
Written communication does not yield instant feedback from the intended audience. This way the communicator remains unaware of the reaction that the audience has towards the information they are receiving.
The solution to such is to reach out to the audience once they have received the written communication and solicit remarks on the information provided through the feedback. For electronically published communications, reviews would be a way of getting feedback. Another solution is to create avenues where communicators can follow up on a piece of information and understand how it affects the audience. Having metrics that measure the impact of the information would lead to an understanding of the effectiveness of the information.
Costs of Raw Materials
Written communication often uses raw materials such as writing pens and pads which might be costly if an individual is communicating to a large group of people. Electronic communications such as publications are also costly and time-consuming and thus may hinder the ability to pass the intended message.
The first solution is to have a budget before writing communication. The communicator should know the intended audience and how much it would cost to provide a written communication to all of them. The other solution is to rely more on electronic forms of writing other than paper forms of writing. Electronic writing is cheaper faster and can be passed to a multitude of people at a go.
It can be defined as the transmission of messages through nonverbal signals such as facial expressions, gestures, signs, and postures among others. The communicator might also produce sounds as a way of communication.
Barriers to Non-Verbal Communication
Gestures might have different meanings among different communities. One gesture in a community might mean something different in another community. Such differences make the meaning of the intended message to be misinterpreted by the audience.
Cultural competence is the best solution to such barriers. Being culturally competent will mean understanding the meaning of signals and signs within different cultures and that will help avoid vague or ambiguous non-verbal communication. Another solution is to seek clarification on what certain gestures mean from the intended audience. That way a communicator will be able to understand whether the audience receives the intended message or not.
Different individuals have different expressions when reacting to different situations. Individuals might be in a similar situation but their facial expressions are different but mean the same emotion. This affects how individuals understand communication. Body language also creates physical barriers. The position and symbols made using the body might be hard to understand.
The communicator should be conversant with common body language such as those that show common human emotions like anger and happiness. They could then understand such body language and know what to communicate to the intended audience.
These are barriers that affect non-verbal communication and lead to bias and prejudice. Perceptual barriers to communication in healthcare for instance affect the way that individuals think of others they are communicating with. Negative perceptions lead to ineffective communication.
Healthcare workers should change their perception towards the people they are communicating with non-verbally. They should have a positive attitude and understand that non-verbal communication is also an effective way of passing information. Another way is to promote competency in the workplace where healthcare workers will reduce or eliminate any prejudice. Workers should also be taught the best ways of communicating in a non-verbal environment. Some nurses and caregivers specialize in sign language which makes non-verbal communication effective especially to those that only understand that form of communication