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Organizational Behavior & Effective Communication

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What are the barriers to effective communication and what to do to improve them?

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Let's take a closer look at some of the barriers to effective communication and ways to improve them (e.g., solutions to the problem).

1. What are the barriers to effective communication and what to do to improve them?

At the individual level, skills are important. and according to Jenkins (2007), barriers to effective communication at work at the individual level include:

* The choice of words or language which a sender uses (called 'encoding the message') will influence the quality of communication. In the English language, there are about 500 basic words that are used everyday. These 500 words have over 10,000 different meanings. Because language is a symbolic representation of a phenomenon, room for interpretation and distortion of the meaning exists.
* Misreading body language, tone, and other non-verbal forms of communication
* Ignoring non-verbal language
* Selective hearing
* Hesitation to be candid
* Distrust
* Value judgment
* Power struggles
* Unreliable transmission (due to noise or inconsistent sending)
* Defensiveness (a typical barrier in a work situation, especially when negative information or criticism is involved)
* Distorted perception (How we perceive communication is affected by experiences. Perception is also affected by the organizational relationship two people have. For example, communication from a superior may be perceived differently than from a subordinate or peer.)
* Guilt
* Distortions from the past
* Stereotyping (assuming the other person has certain characteristics based on the group to which they belong without validating that they in fact have these characteristics)
* Cultural differences (Effective communication requires deciphering the basic values, motives, aspirations, and assumptions that operate across geographical lines. Given some dramatic differences across cultures, the opportunities for miscommunication in cross-cultural situations are enormous.)

Possible solution: It is critical to understand and be aware of the potential sources of communication ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the barriers to effective communication and what to do to improve them.