Tips & Co. #408 - Communication is by its nature a source of unintended ambiguities and distortions
How many times have we been certain of what we have said, yet so surprised when we realize how the receiver has understood or interpreted our words?Interferences hinder the communication process and are a source of distortion, misunderstandings and misinterpretations. These are barriers to effective communication. Several kinds of interference can occur at the various stages of the communication process. For example:
An effective communicator anticipates possible failures in the communication and the many ways in which the message can be understood.
- Differences in the frame of reference (language, age, culture, education, experience, social environment, habits, etc.)
- When the message is too long or too dense, the information is difficult to retain
- Physical interference (noisy environments, distractions, interruptions, etc.)
- The receiver’s internal state (emotions, attitudes, values, etc.) or the presence of observers who can interfere. They produce "snags" or intellectual paralysis linked to stress
- Mental distractions such as being preoccupied with other topics or preparing an answer instead of listening