Effective Communication is the thread that binds our society together. Effective communicators are able to use thread to shape the future. To be an effective communicator, one must know how to put words together that communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings. That is why communicating effectively in the workplace is so important. It helps us better understand a person or situation, enables us to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and create environments where creative ideas, problem solving, affection, and caring can flourish. As simple as communication seems, much of what we try to communicate and others try to communicate to us, can get misunderstood. This usually can cause a conflict and frustration in professional and personal relationship. That is why it is critical to understand and be aware of the potential sources of communication barriers. Some of these barriers can include language, defensiveness behavior, and misreading of body language. Avoiding these barriers can be very important, because it provides employees with a clear understanding of what is demanded of them, with knowledge of what to do and what to expect. For organizations, such a communication style creates effective performance of staff and, in return, increases customer loyalty and profit. What is effective communication and why is it important? In today’s world, we have to send, receive, and process numbers of messages every day. But effective communication is about more than just exchanging information. According to Maxwell (1999), “Effective communication requires you to also understand the emotion behind the information” (8). It can improve relationship at work, and in social situations by deepening your connections to others and improving teamwork, decision-making, caring, and problem solving. It enables you to communicate even negative or difficult messages without creating conflict or destroying trust. Effective communication combines a set of skills including nonverbal communication, attentive listening, the ability to manage stress in the moment, and the capacity to recognize and understand your own emotions and those of the person you are communicating with (Cohn, 2007). Although effective communication does not always guarantee success in an organization, its absence usually signals problems.
Culture and Language
The inability to converse in a language that is known by both the sender and receiver is the greatest barrier to effective communication. Language is essential and important to every aspect of interaction in our everyday lives. We use language to inform the people around us of what we feel, what we desire, and question or understand the world around us. We communicate effectively with our words, gestures, and tone of voice in a multitude of situation. That is why language cannot be overlooked when it comes to communication. Believe it or not, some people can be arrogant to believe they can go to foreign countries without knowing anything of the language or culture of the people in the places they visit. When a person uses inappropriate words while conversing or writing, it could lead to misunderstanding between the sender and receiver. Truly effective communication is conveyed when both speakers speak the same language and the speakers have some knowledge of each other’s language. But, you always have to keep in mind; language, which describes what you want to say in your terms, may present barriers to others who are not familiar with your expressions (Bennett & Olney 1992). Communication with people of different cultures is especially challenging. Cultures provide people with ways of thinking, seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world. Thus the same words can mean different things to people from different cultures, even when they talk the same language. When the languages are different, and translation has to be used to communicate, the potential for...
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