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The Communication Process Barriers to Communication Active Listening Feedback Nonverbal Behaviors of Communication
or feeling to a receiver (U. Effective communication occurs only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit. Army. Lodge. 2008).o o o o Speaking Hints On Communication Per Se — a few random thoughts Next Steps References Communication and Leadership No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others. information. Meliones. Frush. Jaggers. — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another. Mericle. 1983). which leads to confusion and can cause good plans to fail (Mistry. it involves a sender transmitting an idea. Many of the problems that occur in an organization are the either the direct result of people failing to communicate and/or processes. .S. Alton.
During the transmitting of the message. the receiver translates the words or symbols into a concept or information that he or she can understand. hand gestures. body language. two elements will be received: content and context. Many physical and psychological barriers exist: . and what must be done with it. Jr. not just a give. This can be a concept.Studying the communication process is important because you coach. Decoding: Lastly. “I don't know why it did not get done. How do you know it has been properly received? By two-way communication or feedback. or feelings. — Freeman Teague. and side to side. bottom to top. and state of emotions (anger. so even simple messages can be misunderstood. Jim misunderstood the message. its level of importance. The Communication Process Communication That is what we try to do Speak to those near us o o o Thought: First.) that can be detected. A message has NOT been communicated unless it is understood by the receiver (decoded). coordinate. fear. information exists in the mind of the sender. and supervise throughout this process. we often trust the accuracy of nonverbal behaviors more than verbal behaviors. Some leaders think they have communicated once they told someone to do something. I told Jim to do it. This feedback tells the sender that the receiver understood the message. It is the chain of understanding that integrates the members of an organization from top to bottom. We all use and interpret the meanings of words differently. Barriers to Communication Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood. Encoding: Next. they are powerful communicators that help us to understand each other. a message is sent to a receiver in words or other symbols. idea. Content is the actual words or symbols of the message that is known as language — the spoken and written words combined into phrases that make grammatical and semantic sense. Although paralanguage or context often cause messages to be misunderstood as we believe what we see more than what we hear. confidence. uncertainty. Anything that prevents understanding of the message is a barrier to communication. Communication is an exchange. information. as all parties must participate to complete the information exchange. the look in the sender's eyes.” More than likely. Indeed. And many words have different meanings to confuse the issue even more. evaluate. Context is the way the message is delivered and is known as paralanguage — it is the nonverbal elements in speech such as the tone of voice. counsel. etc.
The “Me Generation” is out when it comes to effective communication. values. background. Semantic distractions occur when a word is used differently than you prefer. Our culture. etc. knowledge. We listen uncritically to persons of high status and dismiss those of low status. Also our preconceived attitudes affect our ability to listen. and goals. and is then heard by the receiver. not fluently. o o Environmental — Bright lights. These filters may muffle the message. Smothering — We take it for granted that the impulse to send useful information is automatic. we may dismiss the person. These barriers can be thought of as filters. o Message — Distractions happen when we focus on the facts rather than the idea. that is.. and bias can be good as they allow us to use our past experiences to understand something new. Some of the factors that cause this are defensiveness (we feel someone is attacking us). rather than the other person can lead to confusion and conflict. What we see and believe at a given moment is influenced by our psychological frames of references — our beliefs. or any other stimulus provides a potential distraction. unusual sights. . The sender and the receiver must both be able to concentrate on the messages being sent to each other. Ourselves — Focusing on ourselves. an attractive person. o Stress — People do not see things the same way when under stress. background.o Culture. And the way to overcome filters is through active listening and feedback. does not articulate clearly. goes through the above filters. may cause you to focus on the word and not the message. experiences. and bias — We allow our past experiences to change the meaning of the message. the word chairman instead of chairperson. o o Noise — Equipment or environmental noise impedes clear communication. o Perception — If we feel the person is talking too fast. the message leaves the sender. Not true! Too often we believe that certain information has no value to others or they are already aware of the facts. Our educational institutions reinforce this with tests and questions. and ego (we feel we are the center of the activity). superiority (we feel we know more that the other). it is when they change the meaning of the message that they interfere with the communication process. For example.
Never daydreams or become preoccupied with their own thoughts when others talk. such as when listening to music. Walk others through by summarizing. share interest.Active Listening Hearing and listening are not the same thing. This forces them to concentrate on what is being said. We all have them. Plan responses after the others have finished speaking. It requires the receiver to hear the various messages. etc. and then verify the meaning by offering feedback. say what you know. Keep conversations on what others say. see how another person feels. Do not finish the sentences of others. but they can listen intelligently at 600 to 800 WPM. television. Provide feedback. understand the meaning. Analyze by looking at all the relevant factors and asking open-ended questions. It takes the same amount or more energy than speaking. NOT while they are speaking. It may be to gain information. or when being polite. Take brief notes. Do not dominate the conversations. We need to control them. It occurs when the receiver of the message has little motivation to listen carefully. but do not interrupt incessantly. understand others. Do not answer questions with questions. — Kung Fu Tzu (Confucius) The purpose of feedback is to alter messages so the intention of the original communicator is understood by the second communicator. Since only a part of our mind is paying attention. solve problems. The following are a few traits of active listeners: o o o o o o o o o o o Spend more time listening than talking. It is involuntary and simply refers to the reception of aural stimuli. Hearing is the act of perceiving sound. That is knowledge. it is easy to go into mind drift — thinking about other things while listening to someone. It involves decoding the sound into meaning. People speak at 100 to 175 words per minute (WPM). Let the other speakers talk. . Are aware of biases. obtain directions. It includes verbal and nonverbal responses to another person's message. Listening is a selective activity which involves the reception and the interpretation of aural stimuli. The cure for this is active listening — which involves listening with a purpose. Feedback When you know something. NOT on what interests them. It requires that the listener attends to the words and the feelings of the sender for understanding. say that you don't know. show support. Listening is divided into two main categories: passive and active. Passive listening is little more that hearing. When you don't know something. story telling.
Interpretive: Paraphrasing — attempting to explain what the other person's statement means. They are listed in the order in which they occur most frequently in daily conversations. Understanding: Attempting to discover completely what the other communicator means by her statements. or clarify a point. dipping your eyebrows shows you don't quite understand the meaning of their last phrase. before they tried to evaluate what someone is saying. Nodding your head or squeezing their hand to show agreement. continue the discussion. goodness. Carl Rogers listed five main categories of feedback. or appropriateness of the other person's statement. but also nonverbal ones. Supportive: Attempting to assist or bolster the other communicator. or sucking air in deeply and blowing it hard shows that you are also exasperated with the situation. “This is what I understand your feelings to be. am I correct?” It not only includes verbal responses. Probing: Attempting to gain additional information. Nonverbal Behaviors of Communication . Your words should be saying. rather than repeating their words. Restate the sender's feelings or ideas in your own words. Imagine how much better daily communications would be if listeners tried to understand first. Notice that we make judgments more often than we try to understand: o o o o o Evaluative: Making a judgment about the worth.Providing feedback is accomplished by paraphrasing the words of the sender.
friendliness.To deliver the full impact of a message. warmth. makes the conversation more interesting. friendly. use nonverbal behaviors to raise the channel of interpersonal communication: o Eye contact: This helps to regulate the flow of communication. and facilitates understanding. concern. o Gestures: If you fail to gesture while speaking you may be perceived as boring and stiff. . and liking. Interpersonal closeness results when you and the listener face each other. Smiling is often contagious and people will react favorably. A lively speaking style captures the listener's attention. and credibility. warm and approachable. o Facial Expressions: Smiling is a powerful cue that transmits happiness. warmth. It signals interest in others and increases the speaker's credibility. So. People who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest. o Posture and body orientation: You communicate numerous messages by the way you talk and move. receptive and friendly. Standing erect and leaning forward communicates to listeners that you are approachable. They will be more comfortable around you and will want to listen more. if you smile frequently you will be perceived as more likable.
and gaze aversion. and inflection. o Vocal: Speaking can signal nonverbal communication when you include such vocal elements as: tone. but on the other hand. Look at the receiver. Make sure your words match your tone and body language (nonverbal behaviors).Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided as it communicates disinterest. Some of these are: rocking. loudness. Be clear about what you say. Listeners perceive this type of speaker as boring and dull. leg swinging. do not complicate what you are saying with too much detail. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes — consider the feelings of the receiver. rhythm. You should look for signals of discomfort caused by invading the other person's space. learn to vary these six elements of your voice. ask the listeners if they are following you. On Communication Per Se — a few random thoughts Mehrabian and the 7%-38%-55% Myth We often hear that the content of a message is composed of: o o o 55% from the visual component 38% from the auditory component 7% from language . Ensure the receiver has a chance to comment or ask questions. Do not be vague. One of the major criticisms of many speakers is that they speak in a monotone voice. tapping. For maximum teaching effectiveness. o Proximity: Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with others. Do not ignore signs of confusion. pitch. Vary your tone and pace. Speaking Hints Speak comfortable words! — William Shakespeare o o o o o o o o o When speaking or trying to explain something. timbre.
yet the percentage derived can vary greatly depending upon a number of other factors. Paul Ekman In the mid 1960s.” with the pictures of the models.07. In one. if someone reports to me that they have this great ideal that they would like to implement. fear. he designed a couple of experiments. sadness. facial expressions. and/or words are sending conflicting signals. the above percentages only apply in a very narrow context. For example.” Thus.However. Mehrabian and Ferris (1967) researched the interaction of speech. such as a facial expression showing dislike. and dislike. hence different muscles are used.38. and were asked to rate the attitude of the speaker. tone. . but I look on them with a frown. and I say that would be great. Most emotions are difficult to imitate. a different part of the brain is used — the cerebral cortex (under voluntary control). Three different speakers were instructed to say “maybe” with three different attitudes towards their listener (positive. what can be concluded is that when people communicate. and how well the communicators know each other. neutrality. Mehrabian and Ferris caution their readers about the limitation to their research. Test groups were then instructed to listen to the various renditions of the word “maybe. Significant effects of facial expression and tone were found in that the study suggested that the combined effect of simultaneous verbal. or negative). and surprise. A researcher named Mehrabian was interested in how listeners get their information about a speaker's general attitude in situations where the facial expression. is it possible that I could be thinking about something else? The trouble with these extra signals is that we do not always have the full context. Would it evoke the same response? Emotions Trust your instincts. has a fake look when he forces a smile. Although they were controversial at first (he was booed off the stage when he first presented it to a group of anthropologists and later called a fascist and a racist) they are now widely accepted. and tone. with the word “maybe” spoken in a positive tone. One of the controversies still lingering is the amount of context needed to interpret them. the muscles used for smiling are controlled by the limbic system and other parts of the brain. anger. which are not under voluntary control. photographs of the faces of three female models were taken as they attempted to convey the emotions of like.55. and verbal cues. when you are truly happy. such as actions. Thus. Next. listeners derive information about the speaker's attitudes towards the listener from visual. For example. What if the person emailed me and I replied great (while frowning). Note that the emotion and tone were often mixed. and . neutral. who might not have any real interest in you. Paul Ekman studied emotions and discovered six facial expressions that almost everyone recognizes world-wide: happiness. context of the communication. disgust. respectively. vocal and facial attitude communications is a weighted sum of their independent effects with the coefficients of . This is why a clerk. . tonal. “These findings regarding the relative contribution of the tonal component of a verbal message can be safely extended only to communication situations in which no additional information about the communicator/addressee relationship is available. When you force a smile.
Meliones J.. Alton M. (2008). yet we categorize it. some actors learn to control all of their face muscles.. yet it is discussed all the time — we do not leave it to the academics.Of course. while others draw on a past emotional experience to produce the emotional state they want. and others to write about so that we can read about it. Mericle J. that is. but the emotions they discover in others become part of their knowledge base. they would do more harm than good (Pinker. — Anonymous But what forms of human behavior are not messy? Learning is not antiseptic. 1997). Yet we all communicate almost every single day of our lives.. Tony. we call it too messy to play with and leave it up to Chomsky. Ph. Leadership and management seems to be even messier.. build models of it. But this is not an easy trick to pull off all the time. On Discussing Communication Trying to speak of something as messy as communication in technical terms seems to be another form of the 'math and science' argument. and generally have a good time discussing it. Pinker. and Hope. Gillian.. Dugan. index it. Jaggers J. they can also be communicated to others to help them in their decisions. of course their emotions will be the ultimate guide. which is much more than we will ever do with learning or leadership. Lodge A.The Johari Window Main Leadership Menu References Butler. math.. or Rossett.. So our emotions not only guide our decisions.D. New York: Oxford University Press. build pyramids out of it. M. such as Bloom..D. If these emotions could easily be faked. Knowles. There is a good reason for this — part of our emotions evolved to deal with other people and our empathic nature. Using Six Sigma Methodology to Improve Handoff Communication in High Risk Patients. Frush K. Managing Your Mind. Next Steps Leadership and Motivation Communication Activity . science and technology are the answer to all of our problems. chop it and slice it and dice it. But when it comes to communication. In: Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and . (1996). Mistry K.
Illinois: Scott. Military Leadership. Foreman and Company. DC: U. J. Albert and Morton Wiener. 1967. Notes 01713940891277 Search Updated May 22. August 2008. 1967. (October 1983). U. Government Printing Office. Pinker. Ferris. Little Dog and Knowledge Jump Production . How the Mind Works.Alternative Approaches. Washington. 1997. Decoding of inconsistent communications. W. Mehrabian. MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.S. Glenview. FORID:0 Find out more about me (copyright. Interpersonal Communication.) ~ Email me at donclark@nwlink. Rockville.com ~ A Big Dog. Army. Albert and Susan R. Pearson. 08-0034-3. New York: W. Created May 11. APA formatting. Norton & Company. etc. 3.S. FM 22-100. 2010. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 6:109-114 Mehrabian. Performance and Tools. Vol. AHRQ Publication No. (1983). Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels. Steven (1997). Journal of Consulting Psychology 31:248-252.
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