Criminal Justice Example: Communication Issues

Effective communication is the exchange of information between two or more people. The sharing of thoughts, ideas, and messages in a meaningful manner is also known as effective communication. Communication is most effective when certain elements are present. These elements are sending a message, receiving the message, understanding the message, and providing feedback. Communication is a process, not an isolated event. (Wallace & Roberson, 2009). The process of verbal and nonverbal communication and the associated components of each The process of verbal communication begins when an individual is a child and cannot actually speak.

A baby cries, moans, and groans when it is hungry, sleepy, or needs his or her diaper changed. That form of verbal communication lets his or her parents know that they require something. The process then turns into spoken words. Children begin forming sentences and communicating with adults early in life. Components of verbal communication are sound, speech, language, and conversation. These components are vital when communicating. The process of nonverbal communication is receiving wordless messages. The components of nonverbal communication are kinesics, oculesics, haptics, proxemics, chronemics, paralinguistics, and physical appearance.

Kinesics is the study of facial expressions, gestures, and postures. Oculesics is the study of the eye role. Haptics is the study of touching. Proxemics is the study of measureable distance between people as they interact. Chronemics is the study of time. Paralinguistics is the study of pitch, speed, volume, and pauses to convey meaning. Your physical appearance contributes to how others perceive you. (“Non Verbal Communication: Actions Speak Louder Than Words”, 2009-2013). Differences between listening and hearing in communication There are several differences between listening and hearing.

The major difference is attention. When a person is merely hearing what another is saying, the person that is hearing is not paying full attention to the person that is talking. On the other hand, when an individual is listening to another individual that is talking, their full attention is on the individual that is talking. Active listening is a key component in the communication process. Messages are sometimes misinterpreted or misunderstood when the message is not clear. An unclear message may be the result of the individual that is receiving the message being distracted.

Distractions can occur in many forms. Communication distractors are noise, distance, and language barriers. Communication distractors can be mitigated or eliminated, but individuals must work together to achieve the ultimate goal of effective communication. The formal and informal channels of communication in criminal justice organizations. The formal channel of communication in criminal justice organizations is the traditional route or method. This channel is commonly referred to as chain of command. The formal channel of communication uses orders, directives, and memorandums.

There are several disadvantages to the formal channel of communication in criminal justice organizations. Time and personnel consuming effort, restriction of free flowing of information, hesitation of individuals writing down their thoughts on paper, and inability to respond to rapidly changing situations are the disadvantages to formal channels of communication in criminal justice organizations. There are advantages to formal channels of communication in criminal justice organizations as well. Uniformity, clear and concise, and by using memorandums, a paper trail is established.

Typically, in the formal channel of communication in criminal justice, information flows from the top to the bottom. The informal channel of communication in criminal justice organizations is gossip and grapevine. Gossip and grapevine communication can have both positive and negative effects in criminal justice organizations. A positive effect is that gossip and rumors travel fast. A negative effect is at times gossip and rumors may not be reliable and accurate. On a positive note, officers can share information faster without it getting tied up in the bureaucratic choke-hold of the chain of command.

However, sharing incorrect information can be detrimental to any organization. Different barriers to effective communication in criminal justice organizations There are four barriers to effective communication in criminal justice organizations. These barriers are emotional barriers, physical barriers, semantic barriers, ineffective listening, and listening speed. Emotional barriers may lie with the person delivering the message or the one receiving the message. Messages are interpreted based on the receivers experience and expectations. Physical barriers are barriers that are present in the environment.

For example, trying to communicate effectively on a construction site may be nearly impossible due to loud noise produced by loud engines and other machinery. Semantic barriers is not understanding, or having a difference of opinions on the use of words. Depending on one’s background and upbringing, certain words may be interpreted differently. For instance: I grew up in the south. The dirty south to me means the deepest part of the sought, but to someone from another region the interpretation may mean unclean. Ineffective listening refers to one not hearing the message that is being sent.

There are several reasons why a sender may not hear what the messenger is saying. The message may be boring, the receiver may be pre-occupied, or the messenger may be improperly using words in the message. This will surely result in ineffective communication. Strategies that may be implemented to overcome communication barriers in criminal justice organizations. Some strategies that may be implemented to overcome communication barriers in criminal justice organizations are active listening training, language classes for those individuals that do not speak or understand English, and effective communication seminars.

Active listening is very important in effective communication. In order to receive the correct message, make a sound decision, and give proper feedback, the messenger must possess active listening skills. Language barrier is definitely present in the process of communicating. When two individual are communicating and one of them does not understand what the other is saying, the communication process is flawed. Both parties must be able to understand as well as articulate what their thoughts and ideas are to the other.

Seminars that incorporate effective communication are extremely helpful and will increase to effectiveness of the communication process. Recording yourself speaking and then listening to yourself will let you know how you sound, or how others hear you. One should know what they are talking about and be well versed on the subject before they speak about it. It is very embarrassing to speak or to use words that you do not know the meaning of. Articulation and annunciation of words are equally important. Summary

In closing, I have attempted to explain the process of verbal and nonverbal communication and the associated components of each, the differences of listening and hearing in communication, the formal and informal channels of communication in criminal justice organizations, the different barriers to effective communication in criminal justice organizations, and strategies that may be implemented to overcome communication barriers in criminal justice organizations. In all, effective communication is important in our daily lives. Speaking and understanding plays a vital role effective communication.