Some communication barriers happen when the person doesn’t know if someone is deaf, blind etc. So this may make things a lot difficult as the person trying to understand the message being sent may think they are ignoring them or just trying to use signals to get them to understand that they may not be able to hear or see them. Communication between people is mainly about sharing new information to one another. For example someone may ask someone what number bus they might need to catch or if they can have a glass of water. Sometimes communication will be complex. A relative may want to know something about wanting to fund for care.
Communication involving funding may involve complex communication. In a situation like this then it would be important to make sure that the relative understands the information that has been provided. Most care workers like to build a strong relationship with someone to get a better understanding of them which can provide emotional support. Most communication involves emotional issues being difficult or sensitive. There would be no advice or information that would be useful to a person if they are feeling overwhelmed by most people do like the comfort of other people at these emotional times.
Difficult or sensitive situation is focused on the person’s emotional issues rather than giving them information on stuff they don’t feel like talking about. Sometimes by creating a caring relationship with someone then it is about being able to understand the person feelings that they may be experiencing at that moment in time. Sometimes being with a person who is often lonely, anxious or depressed can provide them with comfort. Sometimes using nonverbal communication about how you are feeling then it can be more effective than words being spoken.
Most care workers like to create their own barriers as they feel stressed by listening to the emotional needs of the people that they work with. Mainly listening to other people’s emotional needs can be often frightening or depressing. Most carers will sometimes stop listening in order to not hear about their painful emotions. Tiredness and lack of time to avoid the emotional stress of others can create a barrier from providing a caring environment. Building an understanding of another person can be rather difficult if their personality or self-esteem is low and they need to create a barrier. People who may be depressed or anxious can experience negative thoughts that can just come to them. By attempting these thoughts and feelings can make them try to find a way through a brick wall.
It may make them feel like there is an emotional barrier stopping them from experiencing some positive emotions. Some people may have a preferred language that they like to use to communicate with others. This preferred language will sometimes be obvious to that person. Most people in different communities will use their own language. Some people will use jargon, dialect or slang to communicate effectively with the people of their own language. These sometimes can create barriers to an understanding.
Sensory impairment means that people’s senses do not work effectively. Impairments can create the first kind of communication barrier when information isn’t fully or received or misunderstood. A disability is not the same as impairment. But some people experiencing the barriers may be different as they may have a communication disability by not being able to say what they want to say. For example, a deaf person will have no problem communicating to a person who is good at sign language as they will understand them. But the person may not be able to communicate with people who only use spoken English without the aid of an interpreter.
Building an understanding of other people’s needs will take some time and effort. Making assumptions may cause people to misinterpret what another person might be trying to communicate. For example, people might believe that they don’t need to listen to what another person has to say because they might already know what their needs might be. Most care workers who might use the communication cycle are less likely to make assumptions as they will check that they understand. Assumptions can create barriers as people can stop listening and might stop checking that they understand other people’s communication. Many people make assumptions based on people who have a disability which can mean that they are damaged as a normal person. When disabled people are seen this way then they may get ignored. Some people who have communication difficulties are sometimes assumed to be mentally impaired.
People who are older will sometimes be seen as demented or confused if they are not able to answer questions quickly, correctly or clearly. Many care workers do not bother to check their assumptions about people, but those assumptions can be turned into prejudices. Prejudices can lead into discrimination against someone. When a person experience strong emotions or if their self-esteem gets threatened then that person may become aggressive and may use submissive communication so they will be creating their own barriers. Most barriers are associated with cultural variation culture which refers to the different customs and assumptions that many communities of people adopt. Different ethnic and religious groups may have different cultures, different ages, occupational and geographical groups which can also make different cultural assumptions. Using words and non-verbal communication can be interpreted differently depending on the context and the culture of the person using them.
For example, the word ‘hot’ may have different meanings depending on the context in which the person is using it. Using formal context, ‘hot’ can also refer to someone having a high temperature. In other speech communities an object may be hot if it has been stolen or if it is desirable. Also a hot person might be very good at something, or maybe someone who has overcome a certain desire. Communication may be interpreted by a fixed cultural standpoint, where serious misunderstanding may occur. To make sense of spoken and non-verbal language then people need to understand the context of the person they are communicating with. An example of non-verbal cultural variation might be someone communicating by using hand gestures in which the palm is held up and facing forward. It is also important that people do not make assumptions about non-verbal messages as they should always be checked. Non-verbal messages can mean different things depending on the circumstances if the people sending the messages.
Also if someone cannot control or make decisions about their own life then they may fail to develop or they might lose their sense of wellbeing. If care workers control someone then their self-esteem may get damaged. Care workers should seek to empower people who also use that service. Empowerment means giving power to other people. Also people who may use that service should be empowered to believe that they are allowed to make their own choices and to make sure they take control of their own life. Many people have different belief systems about what is important in their life and how people should live their lives. The values and principles that we think as being important or valuable, show’s how we live our lives. When people have different belief systems and values then it may be easy for them to misinterpret someone else’s intentions when attempting to communicate.
Many assumptions, belief systems and values can therefore create barriers for an understanding. Also it is important that people try to learn about other people’s beliefs and values in order to make an understanding of what they are trying to communicate. The use and abuse of power requires that all workers respect one another and support the people who use the same services and to be able to control their own lives. However, there is always danger that if a care worker is short of time then they will seek to control the people they work with. Also it may be an abuse power if care workers deliberately control others. People who use alcohol and drugs can influence a person’s ability to send a clear verbal or non-verbal message. Drugs that affect the functioning of the central nervous system can then result in messages not being received or misunderstood and can also distort interpretations of the messages. Alcohol and drug abuse can therefore create all barriers to communication as it can cause people to become frustrated or aggressive when trying to communicate.
Courtney from Study Moose
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