L33t Index Newsletter

Ethan Owen

Effective Communication

There are three separate sections for Effective Communication. They consist of:

General Communication

Cultural differences and adaptability are both examples of General Communication. People from different cultures have different meanings linked to their body language, gestures and facial expressions. For example; in Russia it is offensive to smile at somebody as they believe it to mean you are calling them stupid; or how patting somebody on the head in Asia is considered inappropriate and offensive as the head is considered a sacred part of the body.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal Skills include body language and intonation. Your body language says a lot about how you're feeling. Whether you're interested in the conversation, happy with a group decision or upset for whatever reason, your body language will advertise this to the world around you. Body language also has embedded conversational cues in it for example, in western societies, people tend to break eye contact when they're finished what they were saying giving the person they're talking to a cue to reply. Intonation also works as a conversational cue as you can sometimes tell by the tone of someone’s voice if they're at the end of their sentence, therefore giving you a cue to begin with your reply.

Written Communication

Forms of written communication include letters, or more modernly, emails and instant messaging. With instant messaging, we were introduced to emoticons - small, expressive images of cartoon-like faces used to express ones emotions at any given moment. Spelling and grammar also play a big part in written communication and verify the formality of a piece of writing. If your writing is intended for a friend, the chances are you've used some slang terms and emoticons in your text whereas if it was intended for your boss then you probably take an extra couple of minutes to ensure your spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct before sending the message off.

Barriers to Effective Communication

For effective communication, you must prevent the effect of communication barriers as much as you can. There are different types of barriers each different type of communication.

Barriers to General Communication

Cultural barriers - such as cultural clothing which covers the face - is a barrier to effective communication as it hinders the ability to read facial expressions and body language, leaving a person to rely on tone of face and eye contact during conversation. This can't really be prevented much as you can't go around telling people what they can and can't wear on the grounds that it's a barrier to communication.

Barriers to Interpersonal Communication

Negative emotion and body language is a barrier to interpersonal communication because the person, or people, you're communicating with are unlikely to know why you're showing a lack of interest so therefore see you as being rude and disrespectful. This can be prevented by ensuring you don't bottle up bad feelings and emotions - especially no before any important meetings.

Barriers to Written Communication

An obvious barrier to written communication would be language. Not everybody in every country around the world speaks a common language. This makes it hard for anyone to communicate on an international level unless you're multi-lingual. One way we could prevent this from being an issue is if we all made an effort to try to learn at least one extra, widely used language.