Overcoming Barriers to Communication

Topics: Meaning of life, Writing, Linguistics Pages: 5 (1791 words) Published: November 5, 2008
Overcoming Barriers in Communication
Communication is a key part in everyone’s life. Communicating is a skill that requires constant learning. As easy as communicating may seem to be, communication is a rather complex skill for all people to master. Multiple barriers exist for communication. For the purpose of this paper there will be three specific communication barriers discussed, which consist of: differences in people’s cultures, language interpretations, and a person’s ability to listen properly. When it comes to the differentiations between cultures, three prominent aspects are present. These are: language, cultural background (i.e. age, gender, level of education), and economic status. People must understand that every language has words that can be taken the wrong way, or that can be misunderstood. People must watch how they say whatever they are trying to say, so as not to be misinterpreted. Then hand in hand with that people must be open-minded and view all the different ways of interpreting what has been said, rather than jumping to conclusions. This flows in with listening properly. A person can not simply hear what is being said, they must listen to what is being said and the way the person says it.

Our team has personally used these skills in the writing of this paper. Everyone in our team lives in different areas of the United States, and all team members have different backgrounds and lifestyles. As our group came together everyone had to learn about and understand each other. Our team did not have to face the challenge of different languages, because English was spoken, however, because of the online-classroom environment, our communication has been via the internet, which creates an added challenge. When all communication is done through writing and not face-to-face, it makes for a greater level of difficulty. This difficulty proved to be a fairly easy task for our group to overcome. From day one, each team member jumped in, discovered and understood each others thoughts, and developed a plan to create this paper. A team leader, chosen by the team, guided us. Each person chose which section of the paper they preferred to write, and decided on one person to organize what each team member wrote. The finalized product will prove to be an informative resource for our readers. Barrier #1

Cultures have many different barriers that can be encountered. Described below are three of the most common cultural barriers. First is cultural language barrier. Here in the United States many diverse languages are spoken such as English, Spanish, Arabic, Latin, German, and many other languages. With diverse cultures come diverse languages, which can be difficult to interpret what other people are speaking. Language barriers can be overcome in many ways. Some example are accepting our differences, learning other languages, and asking someone to interpret what is being said. Different cultural backgrounds can also create barriers. Often assumptions are made with age and gender. Furthermore, believing a senior citizen is too old to make sense or possibly out of touch with today’s reality is a form of disrespect. An example of stereotyping in the business world is viewing a woman as a teacher and a male as an entrepreneur instead of either sex capable of either job. The best way to avoid cultural barriers is to avoid prejudice thinking. Classifying people by their age or gender is a discrimination against their abilities and knowledge. Educational status can create a cultural barrier. Employers can often assume that a person with a college degree is the best choice for hire, and overlook the person with years of experience. Businesses may show favoritism towards a person with a high school diploma over someone with a GED instead. Avoiding prejudice and favoritism in the workplace is the best way to overcome this barrier. Stop and look at the qualifications for the position. Assess the qualification that the person desiring...

References: International Listening Association (1996). Retrieved 14 October 2008, from http://www.listen.org/Templates/try_new.htm
Tannen, D. (1995, September). The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why. Harvard Business Review, 73(5), 138-148. Retrieved October 10, 2008, from Business Source Complete database.
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