So you Call Yourself a Manager, an Operator Essay

As a manager, in addressing the question as to how one might overcome barriers to effective communication there are four primary types of barriers to consider: process barriers, personal, physical, and semantic barriers. Process barriers can include any range of aspects within the communication process and any individual step within each possible range of process steps. Trust level, for this example would serve as one process barrier. In the process of communicating with another person, particularly about a sensitive topic, for example, sexual harassment policies or allegations that need addressed might require a higher level of trust than a manager’s situation may call for at the time. A simple way of overcoming this trust barrier (process barrier) would be to have at least one additional person present for the conversation, preferably one of opposite gender of the person that the manager needs to speak or otherwise communicate with.

Trust in this case is a two-way avenue, that is to say that the manager may be as concerned about legal matters as the opposite party and may find comfort n having more than a couple people present for the conversation (in such a way that does not unnecessarily oversteps privacy boundaries (Four Key Barriers to Communication, 2013). Overstepping privacy boundaries by having too many individuals present for a sensitive conversation may lead to a personal communication boundary and limit the amount and the quality of information that could otherwise have been for achievably passed. Another type of communication boundary might include the physical boundary of an individual’s communication impairment. Say, for example, if a person is deaf, hard of hearing, or perhaps is blind and cannot read body language, one could say that they have the potential to experience a physical communication boundary. Also consider something as simple as geographical distance.

Tools such as GoToMeeting, Skype, FaceTime, and Tango et al., have added to the ability to overcome distance related physical barriers as well by bridging the gap and bringing real people closer together in virtual ways. Finally, semantic communication barriers are plausible potential barriers to effective communication in the way that sometimes and perhaps much more often than we would like to consider, people use differing definitions to key words in communication that can change in part or in whole that way a message is interpreted. For example, if one party to a conversation uses the phrase “arguing over semantics” they might be intending to communicate a phrase similar in meaning to “conversing aggressively over the correct definition of a word that was previously used a communication.”

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Alternately, perhaps if less educated and a bit misguided another party the conversation or one that overhears the conversation might think that the first person speaking was talking about something related to an anti-Jewish statement. As a manager, I would generally be paying very close attention to the way that my communications are being perceived, checkup and follow up to confirm that the correct message was received and interpreted correctly, and all the while I would be attempting to understand how my messages may be misperceived while I am speaking so as to address those concerns as they come up, or better yet, to address those concerns in preparation to a potentially sensitive conversation or lecture.

Works Cited

Four Key Barriers to Communication. (2013). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from StudyMode.com: http://www.studymode.com/essays/Four-Key-Barriers-To-Communication-1933259.html

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