Overcome of Barriers to Communication

In view of the barriers to effective communication, the following specific suggestions can be made to ensure the effectiveness of communication:
  1. Language: Experience suggests that complex language, technical terms, and jargon make communication difficult to understand and frustrating to the listener. It is not true that complex ideas require complex words to explain them. Hence, while preparing the communication message, its language should be relatively simple and the ability of the receiver to interpret the message accurately should be kept in view. Efforts should be made to explain abstract ideas and avoid the vague expressions.
  2. Regulating the Flow of Communication: Priority of messages to be communicated should be determined so that the managers may concentrate on more important messages of high priority similarly, the messages received should be edited and condensed to the extent possible, to reduce the chances of overlooking or ignoring important messages.
  3. Feedback: Communication is complete when it receives feedback. Feedback may include the receiver’s response in terms of acceptance and understanding of the message, his/her action, and the result achieved. Thus, the two-way communication is considered to be more helpful in establishing mutual understanding than one-way communication.
  4. Repetition: Repetition of message helps improve effectiveness of communication. It helps the listener interpret messages that are ambiguous, unclear or too difficult to understand the first time they are heard. Repetition also helps avoid the problem of forgetting. A popular strategy to help the managers remember the main points is “Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them what you have told them.”
  5. Restraint Over Emotions: As strong feelings and emotions on the part of either the sender or receiver of the message distort the meaning of the message. One may, therefore, defer the communication for some time. He/she should response to communication with a composed mind only.
  6. Mutual Trust and Faith: Communication becomes effective having mutual and faith between the sender and receiver of the message. The honesty of the purpose is the best means breeding trust and faith between the two parties, i.e. sender and receiver.
  7. Listening Carefully: Misunderstanding and confusion are often caused by the half-hearted attention to the communication. Therefore, a receiver-listener needs to be patient mentally well composed, and avoid distractions while receiving the message. He/she should seek clarification, if necessary, on the message. At the same time, the sender of the message must also not be prepared to listen to what the receiver has to say, and respond to his questions, if any. 
  8. Pygmalion Effect: In the ancient Greek mythology, a sculptor named Pygmalion craved the statue of a most beautiful woman. The result was so perfect that the sculptor fell in love it the statue and sat in front of it for a long time. He sat in front of it hoping that someday the statue will come to life- and it ultimately happened. Since then, this is called the ‘Pygmalion Effect’. Thus, the Pygmalion effect refers to power of one’s expectation. In other words, people’s expectation determines their behavior. Let it be clarified wit an example. If a professor believes that a particular student is not very hard working and sincere, then all his/her communication, be it verbal or non-verbal, will communicate this message to the student. What will happen is in the long run, a perfectly hard-working student may become lazy and insincere.

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