Barriers To Hinder Communication
The term barriers to communication generally means the factors which could hinder the communication between individuals or groups, without fully stopping the communication this can therefore lead to the message being misunderstood or misinterpreted. Communication can become blocked or hindered when a person cannot make sense of a message, this could be due to a number of things
The use of different languages including sign language can affect whether the service user is able to make sense of the message, the service user may not understand the same language as the service provider is using, therefore the communication is hindered as the service provider can’t make sense of the message The use of different terms in language can also affect whether the service user is able to make sense of the message being sent.
If I had a strong Irish accent and I was interacting with a service user who had an English accent, the service user may not make sense of the message being sent, because the service user wouldn’t understand it due to the accent. If the service provider used slang, during a conversation and the service user didn’t understand what was being said then that could cause the service user to not be making sense of the message and this is the same for technical language being used in a conversation.
If the service user didn’t understand some of the technical language being used then this could cause misinterpretation as the service user might mistake a word for meaning something else, this therefore causes the service user to not make sense of a message. Times where the service user cannot receive the message from as service provider could be due to visible disabilities or hearing disabilities as the service user is either unable to see or hear. Environmental factors such as poor lighting can also hinder the communication as if the service provider is using sign language the service user wont be able to see what is being done.
Noisy Environments can also hinder the communication, as the service user may not be able to hear what the service provider is saying and this is also similar to either the service user or service provider sitting to far way from each other as they may not hear each other as clear as they could have, if they were sitting closer to each other. Service users could misunderstand a message for any number of reasons, it could be that they are not from this country or they might be feeling upset when the message is being sent out.
Different cultures interpret non-verbal, verbal behaviour; humour and gestures in different ways the service user may misunderstand a message as in their culture it may mean something else. Emotional differences could lead to a message being misunderstood by a service user and can be seen as a personality clash or just differences.
Emotional barriers could have also been a reason for misunderstanding a message as the service user own emotional needs may stop the service provider wanting to know about 4 Assumptions about people e. g. ace, age, and gender could make a service use or provider misunderstand a message, and this could be due to prejudices that the service provider or user possess which could make them think in a certain way about a certain kind of person.
This is also similar to labelling and stereotyping someone as your prejudices could hinder communication due to a particular attitude that the service provider or service user possesses about a practically kind of person. Whilst on my placement I faced a number of barriers to effective communication.
Effective Communication is a way of inteacting between two people, it is also a way of giving and receiving information or messages and it also expressing our thoughts (Hickman 2006). These barriers I faced were both internal and external. An internal barrier to communication is a barrier found within yourself that can effect communication that you are giving out. Reactions, emotions and feelings affect the communication. e. g. , depression. An external barrier to communication is a barrier in the user environment.
Whether it’s the temperature of the setting or a language barrier. I as the service provider faced the internal barrier of anxiety as I had been suffering it for a couple of months previous to the placement. The second day of placement at the care setting I faced new troubles as the night before I hardly slept, resulting in me being tired the next day for work. At the begging of the day I felt that I listened badly to the other care worker because the act of listening takes up too much mental and physical effort.
I think I also felt a little nervous when I worked with the groups of clients as I had never worked with a client group of that size and age so I was just nervous as I did not want to make the clients uncomfortable which then would have created a barrier between me and my clients. External barriers I faced whilst on placement was that the background noise interfered a lot with me hearing the clients therefore I could have missed something vital out and not meeting one of their basic needs.
When I worked in the computer room with the clients I found that there was a lack of space and also lack of resources and facilities, so there was little of everything and a lot of clients. Due to the lack of space the temperature of the room increased, as there was such a great number of people in such small space. The lack of facilities and resources meant that the clients were getting bored and therefore arguments and tantrums were occurring. This resulted in more clients being attracted to come to the room to see what was going on, therefore more overcrowding occurred and more clients get upset.
So in order to make sure I was obtaining effective communication I had to identity any barriers present in my interactions and overcome them. Firstly to overcome my personal internal barriers I decided to plan ahead any group activities that I was in charge off. I also had to think of strategies to get he group comfortable with me and then also to keep the group on task. To get the group comfortable with me I showed respect and value when the clients were speaking and I also respected that the group was a multicultural and mixed gendered group.
Whilst working in the group activity I made sure that each client was supported and valued and I also praised the clients when they completed the task, as I knew by giving the client praise it encourages learning and also influences the client. I also used the tactic of laughter, as I knew that laughter relives tension and creates a warm friendly atmosphere and I was right, as after this the clients felt more comfortable as they were asking me more questions and they also became interested in me.
Through out the day, the tiredness I felt in the morning soon vanished as I became more active and more involved with the group activities. I also made sure that, that night when I went home that I settled in bed much earlier then I did the night before, so I had more of a chance of getting more sleep resulting in me being not tired the next day for work. I am currently going through counselling for my anxiety as my anxiety had lead to depression. But whilst on the placement in order to stop myself form having anxiety attacks I made sure I wasn’t to stressed in situations as that can trigger my anxiety off.
Finally to over come the external barriers to effective communication around me, I decided to reduce the client group I was working with in the computer room and when I reduced the number of clients in the room, I also realised that the noise and the temperature in the room had decreased too. To overcome the resource barrier, of lack or facilities for the clients I decided to get some extra books from the main room and bring them into the computer room where I was working and this resulted in all the clients doing something constructive and waiting their turn for the computer patiently, where as to begin with it was nearly a riot.