Communication is a way in which people try to share the meaning through the transmission of symbolic messages. Communication gives us the opportunity to influence others and ourselves, affect the behaviour of others and share experiences with others. Despite the fact that communication brings people together and help them to connect, it can also draw people apart due to the communication barriers. They include; role expectations, gender bias, emotion and attitude. A person who practices good communication skills should be emotive, that is, have a high sociability and high dominance. To be able to achieve high dominance and high sociability, one has to be a good critic, and there are six steps of giving good criticism.
My younger brother had been practicing truancy from school since the beginning of the new term. I was worried about his trending habit, and I decided to have a talk with him. First, I reminded him how much our parents and I loved him and that we were proud of his achievements in life so far. I told him that the habit he developing of skipping school will ruin his future. “The chains of a habit are too weak to be noticed but too strong to be broken” I told him. I gave him a painful example of our neighbour who had dropped out of school and was now living a miserable life. I had to remind him of how intelligent he is and that he has always had a dream of beginning a pilot. I told him that he still has time and can achieve his dream if he got back on track. My brother was very angry, and he did not talk to me for days. However, he changed his ways, and he is taking his studies seriously and even getting better grades.
The most difficult step in criticism is criticising directly. This is because nobody is perfect, and we all have our faults. The communication barrier experienced was gender bias because boys get a lot of pressure to do well in life while not a lot is expected from girls and role expectation because my brother assumed that I was talking to him because I was the elder, one and thus it was my responsibility. Despite the harsh reaction from him, the process was successful since he changed his ways and became a better person. However, the next time I repeat the process, I would like to make it more interactive by asking him the reasons for his actions.
The process of critising my brother was more difficult than the role-play in the lecture because when talking to my brother, emotions were involved, and I took it seriously unlike the role-play, which I considered an acting session. Criticism helps an individual to realise a mistake and make it right without regretting it.
Feedback, either verbal or non-verbal is vital to clear communication, as it is what tells the sender of a message that the recipient has gotten the message. It enables the receiver to express that they have received the message, and we are also able to get from the feedback what the receiver of the message understood from the message. It helps the sender of the message to assess whether his intended message was received or whether the receiver misinterpreted it or understood it. This gives the sender of the message a chance to clarify his point or stress on what is important. Therefore, without the feedback or poor feedback it may lead to misinterpretation of information and thus no clarity in communication.
Sometimes the urgency of the emails that may require an urgent reply may cause carelessness to the sender due to the pressure to reply. To minimise the likelihood of miscommunication can be reduced by creating a personal rapport between the sender and receiver to avoid misjudgement or misinformation. Also, the sender can be briefly and concise and head straight to the point to avoid misinterpretation or be very thorough and detailed in a way that no one can misinterpret the message that was intended.
Noise factor contributes to poor communication in various ways. They include factors such as emotions, attitude, and non-verbal communication among others. They affect the communication mainly in the way the message is understood or passed on. Non-verbal communication is a contributor to poor communication as it lacks lots of cues like facial expressions and total variation. It is, therefore, subject to misinterpretation, and this may lead to poor communication. The attitude of the recipient towards the sender of the message may distort the communication between the parties. This is because the recipient has expectations of what the message may be, and this may lead to the recipient misinterpreting the message from the sender to suit his or her thoughts. The attitude may also lead to the recipient not giving the sender of the message a chance to deliver their message. Emotions also may affect communication and lead to poor communication. For example, an angry person may not be open to communicating with anyone and even when they do, their emotions distort the message they receive, and this may lead to misinformation hence poor communication.
Dominance and sociability affect the communication skills of an individual. In order to communicate well with people, one has to have high sociability and high dominance. Just like the style emotive which I role played during the lecture. An emotive person is a good critic because he does not have to follow people’s opinions blindly, and he is very social hence he connects well with other people, unlike the supportive, director and reflective type.