Essay on Barriers to Effective Communication

1670 Words Sep 23rd, 2012 7 Pages
Barriers to Effective Communication

CJA 304

Barriers to Effective Communication Effective communication is a major element to success in any relationship, business, or organization. Communication barriers attempt to impede, and in some instances stop, the successful completion of the communication process. Law Enforcement agencies are susceptible to the consequences of ineffective communication and should work toward reducing and eliminating barriers blocking the flow of communication. Organizational flaws in the entangled hodgepodge of agencies within the American criminal justice system cause various communication barriers resulting in confusion and inefficiencies throughout the system. Law enforcement agencies began sharing
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Criminal justice professionals can overcome emotional barriers by using peer support systems within the police department or support from outside sources (Wallace & Roberson, 2009).
Physical barriers are obstructions that interfere with movement of a message and are the hardest to overcome. The weather, distance, and failures in technology are a few examples of physical barriers a police officer may encounter (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). Some barriers are out of the officer’s control and cannot be overcome quickly such as an ice storm that becomes a physical barrier when power and telephone lines go down ending communication.
Semantic barriers consist of language differences and ambiguous word meanings and prevent a clear exchange of ideas resulting in failed communication. Hiring a diverse group of officers can reduce language barriers and choosing words carefully with the receiver in mind can help ease semantic barriers.
Ineffective listening is another barrier present in the criminal justice system and occurs from disinterest, speaker bias, emotions, distractions, and words that invoke emotion (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). Every officer needs active listening skills. An officer using active listening skills can diffuse dangerous situations when armed with a clear understanding of the circumstances. Active listening is different from hearing. Hearing is an automatic response to sound and