L33T Index communication skills

Explaining barriers and different skills

Effective Communication - General Communication:

For communication to take place there must be a listening or watching audience. This can be face-to-face, video call or even just a conversation using a telephone. People must adapt for conversations, with different people. This is as simple as speaking in an informal manner to friends and family, as a opposed to a very formal manner when speaking to someone you have never met before or someone with power over you. When speaking to someone of a different background you should bare in mind how words have different meanings in different locations. An example of that would be in American English a room that has a toilet is called a "Restroom." Whilst in British English Restroom would be considered as a room that people can take a break away from something they are doing. The key part of General communication is simply keeping the audience interested and finding the best specific technique that will keep your audiences attention. This may mean changing the tone of your voice if you think they have stopped paying attention, or presenting your speech in a different format through singing or rhyme depending on your audiences interests.

Effective Communication - Interpersonal Communication:

When in a face-to-face conversation we give more information to the people we are speaking to away through Interpersonal communication. This consists of using non-verbal signals, gestures, facial expression, body language and even your appearance. Listening however is the most important interpersonal communication skill. Most people take listening for granted, but unlike hearing it doesn't just happen naturally. Reflection and clarification are both popular techniques used to ensure that what you have heard and understood is what was intended from the person who was speaking to you. Positive and Negative language give a lot away from your mood in a conversation. Positive language like nodding your head, a smile or leaning towards the speaker coveys your agreement and willingness to listen to what is being said. In contrast negative language like cutting in while another person is in the middle of speaking can either transmit a sense of enthusiasm to some people but may also be seen as antagonistic to others.

Effective Communication - Written Communication:

Written communication is very different to the other two forms. It requires a special degree of eye for detail as punctuality and grammar is key. For handwritten the person must also be neat and tidy so that the writing can be understood and read clearly. When communicating through Written form you can't use visual cues such as body language or oral cues such as tone of voice. Organisations have their own template for letters and documents that they may ask the staff to use to give the businesses documents an easily recognisable and distinguishable difference that separates them from other companies. You can also use Smileys or emoticons to express a frame of mind or current mood. However they are not suitable for serious and formal conversations and would be frowned upon in the workplace. Whatever format a written communication is, there will always be a key message trying to be conveyed. Within a letter this may be flagged by the inclusion of a heading, whilst in an e-mail or fax the subject column can give the reader a quick and brief indication of the purpose of the letter.

Effective Communication - General Communication - Barriers:

For general communication, background noise is a major impact on a conversation. Loud noise from another room or from people speaking amongst themselves can cause the speaker to shout and as a result become much less clear. This could also cause conflict in the workplace and as a result it is detrimental. Distractions can also have a big effect on a conversation. These can happen when someone joins the conversation late and possibly as a result interrupting the flow of the conversation. Another distraction could be sounds like a mobile phone being called, a clock ticking or even an air conditioning unit humming. There could also be a visible cultural difference that makes it very challenging for people to understand the conversation clearly, or they could become offended by an action taking place, which might be accepted in another country. Sometimes the same words have different meanings in other countries, this as a result should be considered when writing out a speech. A visibly bored audience is a barrier that has to be crossed. It can affect the confidence of the speaker and great way to overcome this is adjust for the audience.

In order to try and overcome these barriers there are some general tips and strategies that you can try. These include listening to other people properly, and sending them the message in your tone and facial expressions that you are. You must always look directly at the person who is talking and input in the conversation when you can by nodding or laughing. Another way to show that you're listening to someone is asking questions or mentioning related things to what they're saying. That way they at least are aware that you're both on the same page.

Effective Communication - Interpersonal Skills - Barriers:

People who show poor body language when in a conversation with someone else this can affect the speakers opinion and confidence in the person they're speaking too. They may feel the person listening doesn't care, they might be bored or just have no interest in what is being said. This is called negative body language and should never be shown at an interview as it sets a terrible impression to your potential employer. Another barrier is inappropriate language such as swearing when speaking to someone of higher authority than yourself. This sets a terrible example and the chances of getting employment would dramatically decrease, or if you were already employed a possible disciplinary might be brought forward. Negative language such as jumping in and talking over someone who is halfway through what they're saying is considered very rude. A lack of concentration is another barrier that will affect a conversation. It comes from poor listening skills and they person who is being spoken too repeatedly asking for them too go through what has already been said more than once. Another reason for a lack of concentration is if there is an argument that affects the mood in the room.

The tips and strategies in order to overcome Interpersonal skill barriers are very similar to the ones of general communication. The main other skill is adapting how you speak to different people. For example, phrases that you'd say to your friends such as "mate" or "pal" should not be said to your boss or teacher. A person with good Interpersonal skills can speak formally to the relevant people and casually to close friends and family outside of the workplace.

Effective Communication - Written Skills - Barriers

Writing is effective when it communicates a message and achieves your purpose.

Sometimes barriers to communication can prevent understanding of the message, making writing ineffective. Sometimes barriers can lessen the credibility of your message. For example, if you send a letter without proofreading it for correct spelling and grammar, your reader may not understand all of the words, or may be annoyed since you seem not to have taken the time to communicate clearly. Either reaction is a barrier for you in communicating with your reader. Or you may have asked a colleague to help you with an urgent project, but you realise that she has been encouraged by her manager to cut back on her workload. This presents a barrier for your request that you need to consider; otherwise, your request is bound to receive a poor reception.

Another way to think of these barriers to communication is to view them as noise that interferes in the communication process. If you are speaking to someone face-to-face in a very noisy room, it can be difficult (although not impossible) to communicate your message. That is an example of physical noise that prevents communication. Perceptual barriers, semantic barriers and cultural barriers are examples of noise that can interfere with written communication.

For overcoming written skills barriers there are a few tips an tricks that you can do. These include asking for someone to proof read your work or letter before you send it. Sometimes it is difficult to find mistakes in something that you did yourself, by asking another pair of eyes to read it they can spot things that you might not otherwise of been able to. Similarly to the Interpersonal skills using different type of language for certain people is a key skill. An example of this is using slang words on text messages to friends, and not to important emails to teachers or your boss. Learning when to separate these instances and when talking in slang is acceptable and when it isn't, is a great way to having good written skills.