One of the most challenging issues, any manager will face, is communication barriers. Process, personal, physical, and semantic barriers is what I will focus on throughout this essay. For me, as a manager, the combination of lack of formal upbringing and non-traditional schooling contribute to my communication flaws. The process by which a person interprets a message being delivered is known as the process of communication. When an error occurs while two people are communicating this is known as a process barrier. This type of error can occur while using any form of communication including face to face, or media and can occur for many reasons. I, as a manager, struggle with encoding the messages I am trying to send. Due to my lack of formal upbringing and non-traditional schooling I have a hard time with vocabulary and correct word usage. While writing papers or emails I can use the built-in review tools to assist me such as spell check or grammar correct. I use a program like Word to check my grammar and spelling when possible.
While speaking face to face with people I use simple vocabulary and ask detailed questions to better understand them when needed. Personal barriers is defined as any individual attribute that hinders communication. This particular area of communication is one that I have struggled with my whole life. I have a tendency to talk very fast and not listen so well. I have trained myself to remember that listening is one of the most important steps in communicating with people. I have attended effective communication seminars to help me understand the importance of listening. My main source of communication is face to face and not through media. When communicating through email or text I tend to lose a lot of what I am trying to say. I also focus on using constructive criticism. I have learned from personal experience that it is easier to get your point across when the sender is open to hearing it.
Factors such as bad signal, different time zone, and loud noise are known as physical barriers. Physical barriers is another huge reason why I prefer face to face meetings and conversations over media interactions. During a conversation the communicator can misperceive the receiver’s distraction by loud noise and think they are not listening or being rude. This can lead to a very frustrated communicator. When having important conversations with customers, employees, or other supervisors I always practice active listening. In order for active listening to be effective I require the meetings to be in a designated quite open area that is distraction free. I make sure we have adequate funding for the best technology available to avoid any media physical barriers. We have the best modems, and routers available to a small business. This helps lessen the possibility of signal interruption during our virtual online meeting with the owner during our monthly meeting.
The way a person interprets frequently used words can create a semantic barrier. An example of semantic barrier is a situation I personally went through. I will never forget my first experience, I was a new hire for a company within an industry I knew nothing about. I had 8 years management experience in a service industry, but the fashion industry was foreign to me. My new boss said to me, “We need to get those mannequins done tomorrow before we leave.” The next day came and I assumed we would do them together, but to my surprise my boss never mentioned them. Three days later I was being formally wrote up for not completing an assigned task, also known as insubordination. I was shocked and very frustrated. Due to this situation, when speaking with employees, I always give clear, defined instructions and check for understanding before leaving an employee to perform a task.
During day to day operations I have developed Jargon for our office. Previously all the doctors were referred to as doctor and all the patients were known as patients. This became very confusing when trying to discuss specific doctors or specific types of patients. For example patient in room 5 ready for doc would be announced. Now each type of patient, hall, and doctor have a specific call. The same statement as above on the new system would be NP, blue hall, doc 5. It is very specific and leaves no room for wrong interpretation.
The new practice of Jargon in the office reduced our semantic barriers dramatically. I am currently a manager for several doctors within one office here in Amarillo, Tx. I have developed procedures for my employees to follow when requesting a meeting with myself or other administrators so that we do not have any physical barriers. During the meeting I use tools such as active listening, assertive communication, and constructive criticism to ensure that there are minimal process or personal barriers. I encourage all employees to ask questions if they are not clear on what is expected of them. I have also developed a training program for our office Jargon that requires all employees to attend meetings once a month to ensure their understanding of office terminology.