Communication can be described in so many ways according to different people. However, all these definitions and description can be gathered and combined to give an account on what is communication. Communication is a process of encoding and decoding information. The message sent is the content information and must have a meaning. According to Sole (2011), communication is the process of transforming information, ideas, emotions and skills by use of symbols, words, figures, pictures and graphs with a specific meaning. Communication is an activity that all people should participate.
However, communication is often challenged by obstacles and barring. Barriers to effective communication can be physical, semantic or psychological. Semantic barriers are those that relate to meaning of words or the scientific meaning of words. Different people interpret words differently. Physical barriers include geographical gaps between the communicating parties, network failure, inadequate stress, noise and communication overlook (Sole, 2011). The psychological barriers include ones opinions and emotions during communication. All these factors can either allow effective communication or bar communication. There are many types of communication. They include verbal, non-verbal and written. The choice of communication depends on its effectiveness at that particular time.
During human interaction and day-to-day activities, communication is a vital as it brings about understanding. However, in most cases misunderstanding occurs when some instructions are by-passed. Many people overlook some important information that the sender of information wants them to grab but to the receiver they are not important, therefore, a misunderstanding arises. For effective communication, people must learn to be good listeners. Good listeners will pay attention to all words and ask for clarity in case of misunderstanding. Communication is also influenced by closeness of the communicating parties. For instance, communication between couples is different from communication between a stranger and another.
An anthropologist called Edward Hall discovered that distance differences that occur among people, how they vary and what they mean across the cultures portrays the people communicating. He found that intimate distances occurred from 0-45 centimeters, and this is common for couples, girlfriends and boyfriends. This closeness and reduced distance shows closeness .For general friends, he found that the distance varied from 45 centimeters to 150 centimeters. Misunderstanding occurs mostly to close people such as a couple. For a good and effective relationship, proper communication should be involved (Sole, 2011).
Communication is not about the uttering of words but also understanding. One should understand their partners and try to figure out how their listeners perceive their communication. Learning to stress where emphasize is needed, and repetition can improve communication to prevent forgetfulness. Bias comes in when people are too close due to overestimation of how people communicate. As mention earlier, the concentration on meaning of words can be of great and crucial importance. For instance, in the article “Close Relationships Sometimes Mask Poor Communication” (U.S. News & World Report, 2011, January), people especially the couples, tend to misunderstand each other due to over thinking and overemphasize on unnecessary information.
The fear for offending a partner or misunderstanding them contributes to over thinking thus giving wrong answers to questions. People can be so close that they take each other’s words for granted thus leading to ineffective communication. Due to this is, I would support and agree with Boaz Keysar on bias of communication due to proxemics. However, these can be overcome by other means such as practicing good listening skills and proper channeling of the message. Taking into account the main idea that is being discussed and avoiding unnecessary distracters can help in improving how we do communicate.
Some people cannot be audible while speaking. Training to be a bit loud enough can improve understanding since every important word will be heard clearly without confusion and complication. In times of giving instruction, they should be very clear and simple to understand. They should give proper details of the procedures and steps to be undertaken without leaving the listener with questions to ask them.
Proper communication also involves etiquette. Practicing to know when to take turns .In the case of an argument, it is necessary to quit talking if the other person does not give you time to express one. After they are done, and you have listened to their points then you can counter them but not trying to make your points sound superior to theirs (Sole, 2011). One should not rush at just uttering words since the choice of words is important in communication. Simple natural words, with little vocabulary, are important and more understandable. All people who are good listeners are also good communicators. Effective and efficient communication can be achieved by learning and practicing. In addition to this, proper use of body movements and facial expressions that match the words used at that time is an important element in communication.
Sole, K. (2011). Making connections: Introduction to Human Communication. San Diego: Bridge point Education, Inc.