Bradley R. Lord
CJA/304: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS
Instructor: Clark Nissan
September 18, 2013
Effective communication is essential in any workplace, especially within a criminal justice organization. In this paper, the author will discuss the process of verbal and nonverbal communication and the associated components of each, the differences between listening and hearing in communication, the formal and informal channels of communication in criminal justice organizations, and the strategies that may be implemented to overcome communication barriers therein.
Communication is defined as “a process involving several steps, among two or more persons, ...view middle of the document...
Nonverbal can also include facial expressions. Face expressions and body language oftentimes are used to convey emotions when words are absent.
The process of communication involves the transmission of an idea through a medium which then receives the message and acknowledges the idea, and in turn provides feedback to the message sender. The first step of transmitting and idea suggests the formation of one or several thoughts and the desire to express these ideas. The next step involves choosing a method of communicating that idea. This can be done through verbal or nonverbal communication. Despite what method is used, it is imperative to know who the audience is and decides what tone the message is to be delivered. The tone, especially with oral communication can make a world of a difference in how the receiver interprets the message. When the receiver receives the message, his interpretation may not be how the message was originally intended to be received. The understanding of the idea or message relies strongly on interpretation of the person receiving the message. The process is completed when the receiver provides feedback to the message sender by clarifying what he or she understood and agrees or disagrees with the message itself. These steps are part of the communication process; if one step fails the communication becomes ineffective.
Hearing can include the capacity to hear the audio of the message being received and the words being enunciated, but it cannot ensure whether the message was indeed understood. Hearing is only one part of the communication process. The ability to comprehend by actually listening to what is being said, understanding the message by using the aids such as tone, facial expressions and body language completes this process. Active listening is important to effective communication.
Channels of communication in a criminal justice organization help demonstrate how the information flows from one person or group to another. The flow of communication or channels can include formal or informal methods. Formal channels of communication include orders, directives and written memorandums that follow a chain of command. Communication in this scenario usually flows downward from the highest level of the totem pole, such as a police chief down to its subordinates. This type of channel of communication has both its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of using a formal channel promote uniformity within the department. All officers, despite their rank, receive the same information. The disadvantage of using formal channels is that it sometimes stops the free flow of communication. If this channel type of communication is used it does not leave much room for officers to exchange freely any information within their department. That is to say that patrol officers usually are not encouraged to communicate amongst their peers but rather just receive instruction from their superiors. This...