Figure Challenges facing effective communications

Coirtmürticatlüii Skills

Listening

FOCUS

Language

Learning Styles

Visual

Auditory

Kinesthetic

Expectations

Past Experience

Current State

Physical Emoironal Sell-Concept Noise

Assumptions

Filters

Culture Attitude Values Beliefs

Resulting Perception

Culture Attitude Values Beliefs

Intended Message

Challenges Facing Effective Communications

For any message to accomplish its goal, it must clear two key hurdles. First, it must register with the receiverit must hit their radar screen. Depending on the current state of the receiver (physical state, emotional state), other things happening in the environment (noise), and ability of receiver to focus and listen to the message, this may or may not occur. Second, if it does land on the receiver's radar screen, the message must then pass through a series of filters in the receiver's mind, including past experiences, assumptions, expectations, culture influences, values, and beliefs. And then, even when the message clears these two primary hurdles without significant distortion, the receiver's general ability to decode the message will vary depending on their natural learning style (such as auditory, visual, or kinesthetic). Heck, when you think about it, it's a wonder we ever clearly communicate anything.

So why bring all this up? Three reasons:

1. As a sender, recognize that successfully getting your message across is not trivial and cannot be assumed.

2. As a receiver, recognize the factors that can impact your ability to accurately "understand" (or hear) what the sender is trying to communicate.

3. Most importantly, it gives your ego an out. Too many people let their ego get in the way of improving their communications. Don't take it personal if you are not understood the first time. As we have mentioned, there are many challenges. The more you can take your ego out of the equation and focus on "understanding," the better your communication abilities will become.

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