Communication, a process where an individual expresses his/her concerns, is an important factor in today’s society. Effective communication broadens the perception allowing the content to be understood and interpreted by the human being in the way it was intended. Thoughts and feelings are expressed through speaking, writing, and also, body language. There are a few goals to being an effective communicator, which includes, altering behavioral patterns, generating common insights, and obtaining information. This leads to explaining both verbal and non-verbal communication.
Verbal communication is one of the most common ways for many people in society to communicate. Some of the key components of verbal communication are sounds, tone of voice, words, speaking, and language. Sounds are originated as far back as birth. Infants are born with vocal cords, which allow the child to actively communicate with his/her parents alerting them that care is needed. When a baby’s cries, does his/her diaper need changing? Is the baby hungry? Crying is one form of communication via sound where a child is attempting effective communication. Over time, the child develops mentally, learning words, such as “Dada,” “Mama,” or “Eat Eat” to further specify which individual, or the exact meaning of the issue at hand, the child is attempting to convey. Through speaking, you need to speak clearly and loud enough for them to hear you, but not so loud that they do not want to listen; use a language that everyone could understand, as well as speak and behave respectfully as if you want to be listened to; staring hard at someone can make them feel uncomfortable.
Speaking can be viewed as either interpersonal or public. Major of speaking is interpersonal, which is very important; it is a more one on one approach where you are relaying messages to a single person receiving the information. On the other hand, there is speaking publicly, where the information is directed to a group of people. When speaking in general, you are persuading, informing, or motivating individuals. The key to communicating effectively would be to enhance our language and learn to express to people the point trying to be articulated on a more personal level.
In some cases, people have hearing and speaking disabilities, and there are more diverse means of communicating effectively, such as nonverbal communication. Facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and posture are examples of nonverbal communication. How is one to know if he/she is offending another party? If it were not for the frown or the smile, how would we know? The human face exemplifies innumerable emotions without saying a single word. Facial expressions allow a person to express whether the individual is happy, sad, angry, afraid, ecstatic, and many more emotions human beings express on a daily basis. Gestures are involuntary actions with most human beings. Whether a person is pointing their fingers, rolling their neck, or using hands when speaking, all are excellent examples of gestures. When using either of these methods, one must be careful to avoid misinterpretation.
In order for a person to truly understand what is being said to them, they must at least hear or listen to what the speaking party is saying. When an individual is quiet, people automatically assume that they are listening. In order to hear and understand any subject at hand, one should focus all attention on the person and what is being said. A good listener is one who while listening, allows the speaker to feel as though they are being heard. A good way show someone you are a good listener, make listening interjections, such as “uh huh,” “yes,” and “no,” when needed and not to interrupt the speaker during his/her speech. A good listener also pays attention to body language and gesture. When an individual’s mind is preoccupied, there is no way that one can hear what is being said. The individual’s undivided attention is not on the subject at hand, and therefore making it difficult for him/her to fully understand what is being said to them; in this circumstance, a person is considered to be daydreaming.
According to eHow Contributor’s, Claudia Sinclairs, article “Formal and Informal Channels of Communication in the Criminal Justice Field,” both formal and informal channels of communications are easily decoded within a criminal justice organization, such as courts, police, and corrections. Formal channels are strict procedures defined by the policies of the organization. Informal channels consist of undocumented sharing of information. Each channel shares the efficiency and inefficiency of incoming and outgoing information. Formal channels of communication consist of upward, downward, and horizontal communication. Within the hierarchy of all organizations, directors dictate to whom each subordinate is to report their acquired written policies and procedures, as well as the means of communication. Downward formal communication is directors pass down information to subordinates until it reaches the lowest, this method is only efficient when information is passed down from level to level in a verbatim procedure. Upward formal communication, on the other hand, is just the opposite whereas the subordinates provide feedback to directors. Information being withheld, causing the information to become inefficient in some cases could lead to subordinates to become suspended or even terminated permanently; therefore, effective communication is important among the different levels of hierarchy. Horizontal formal communication is totally different; each individual branch communicates among them, not sharing information between the different levels of hierarchy.
Communicating across language barriers is difficult even under the best of circumstances. There are language barriers that can make police officers less effective. The federal law requires that each police department deal with all the language barriers. Dependable communication is evident in most situations for example a person who is suspected of driving under the influence with very minimal English skills. When a police officer makes assumptions and ignores details in certain situations often leads to misconceptions. Habitually paying attention to negative aspects of conversation or conditions causes the positive aspects to become obsolete.
The importance of effective communication requires that the right messages are passed along and clear communication is used. It also entitles much more than hearing in most cases. In some cultures it can be bad manners to look at a person face when he or she is speaking to you. Always remember to pay attention to one’s body language.
Sinclair, Claudia (2012) Formal and Informal Channels of Communication in the Criminal Justice Field. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/info_8462470_formal-communication-criminal-justice-field.html
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