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Barriers To Effective Comunication Essay

1381 words - 6 pages

Barriers to Effective Communication Paper
John F. Stepney
CJA/304
January 7, 2011
Estaban Santana

Barriers to Effective Communication Paper
Communication is the process of transferring information or news from one individual to another. It basically involves two or more individuals with a sender, receiver, and a message. Effective communication requires the individual that is receiving the information to hear, accept, and process the communicated information. It also requires some form of response or feedback so that the sender knows the communication took place. Communication in its fundamental sense is transferring information from sender to receiver. In regards to the ...view middle of the document...

Although this is the traditional course of communication, it does have it advantages and disadvantages. First and foremost, formal communication ensures uniformity because every officer within the department receives the same information. Another advantage is that formal communication is usually clearer and more concise and finally it establishes a paper trail for purposes of court hearings (Wallace & Robertson, 2009).
Several drawbacks of formal communication in any police organization include strict devotion to it requires a lot and personnel-consuming exertion; the effect that it has on the free flow of information; formal routes usually require a written record, which may further restrict the flow of information because many people hesitate to put their ideas in writing; and finally the inability to this form of communication to respond rapidly to changing situations. Formal channels are naturally rigid, and any change or modification must be reviewed within the same channels. If new situations arise, the modification process may not be able to keep pace with the need for change (Wallace & Robertson, 2009).
Informal channels, which are basically departmental gossip, are the unofficial routes of communication within a law enforcement agency. While serving as an instrument for redundant gossip, informal channels of communication provide a needed link within the organization. Unlike the formal channel which requires the information to go up the chain of command and come back down to the intended recipient, using informal channels of communication officers have the ability to bypass lines of authority and responsibility to pass on information quickly.
Information may travel in any number of directions within an organization, but the most common movements are upward (performance communication, information, and clarification), downward (orders, procedures, and personnel information), and horizontal (coordination, social issues, and problem solving) (Wallace & Robertson, 2009). The channels and directions that communication takes are important in understanding how information moves from the sender to the receiver. This arrangement of information within an organization holds and keeps the department together.
In addition to oral communication skills written communication skills are required by law officers in order for them to fill out various police reports, draft narrative summaries, and understand written policy directives. Oral communication is the foundation on which written skills are built. The ability to write in a clear and precise manner does not come naturally; it must be practiced until it is mastered (Wallace & Robertson, 2009). The main problem with written communication is the lack of instant feedback. Written communication does not provide the luxury of instant feedback to clarify any misunderstanding because it is not interactive like oral communication. Written communication requires more...

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