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Effective Communication

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Effective Communication
CJA/304

Abstract In this paper, I will discuss the process of effective communication. This paper will explain the differences between verbal and nonverbal communication, and the related components between them, the differences between listening and hearing in effective communication. This paper will also explain formal and informal channels of effective communication, the various barriers to effective communication, and methods applied to overcome communication barriers within the criminal justice organizations.

Effective Communication The process of communication can be a difficult process, has many different barriers, forms, and components within it. There are three different forms of communication, which include verbal, nonverbal, and symbolic. These forms of communication are a process between two or more individuals. These individuals can be either the senders or receivers. There are also a number of components, with the primary purpose of exchanging information (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). These components include listening versus hearing and feedback, which is when the receivers respond to the senders. There are vast differences between listening and hearing within the communication process. Hearing can be defined as the physical element of listening to sound or noises, such as, hearing vehicles driving by, a gunshot, or dogs barking. Listening, however, has a more complex meaning. When one is listening, he or she is showing interest and is engaged in the conversation. Listening is an important process of effective communication. If an individual or an officer is not listening, he or she may not be able to interpret the information he or she is receiving. There are also two types of channels when it comes to communication, which are formal communication and informal communication. Formal communication within a criminal justice organization entails directives or memorandums, which can be delivered in written form or verbally.
Formal communication channels in written form can be delivered through e-mail, memos, or policy manuals, were as, formal communication delivered verbally is usually done within a meeting setting, such as, police briefing. A formal communication setting can be between two or more individuals. This formal information is usually passed downward through the chain of command not only within a criminal justice organization, but most business organizations as well. Formal communication is a great way to insure that everyone within the organizations receives the information that has been sent, yet, formal communication can hinder feedback between the receiver and the sender. Formal communication is usually held in a formal setting, which can intimidate some individuals. Those individuals that are intimidated in a formal setting may be reluctant to discuss feedback.
Informal communication channels are usually delivered verbally; however, informal communications can be expressed through body language, such as a glance, nod, body gesture, or sign. Informal communication usually takes place between peers within an organization or friends and family. Informal communications does not follow guidelines or policies and has been characterized as hearsay or gossip. While, informal communication may be characterized as hearsay or gossip it still plays an important role within a criminal justice organization. Informal communication helps the flow of communication between officers by opening up a setting that is less formal or intimidating, thus opening up the flow of information in a more comfortable setting.
There are many different barriers that can affect the communication process. These barriers are emotional, physical, semantic, and ineffective listening (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). Emotional barriers can affect the sender and the receiver as well. The sender must believe in the ideas, he or she is trying to convey, and be confident in their communication. For example, if a superior officer is conducting a meeting, and he or she seems disengaged from what the sender is trying to explain the sender’s message will not come across clearly, and will lose its validity. Criminal justice organizations have developed peer support systems to help with these emotional barriers (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). Physical barriers make effective communication even more difficult. Physical barriers can entail employees, or officers to report to a supervisor, or use the chain of command to communicate information back-and-forth. Technology, such as, radios or computers also can play a physical barrier if these tools malfunction (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). A semantic barrier is the failure to agree on the meaning of certain terms with a resulting loss, and the ability to communicate clearly (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). With semantic barriers, the receiver must ensure he or she is using effective listening, and feedback, if he or she is uncertain of a term, or slang the sender is using. Finally, ineffective listening is the inability to hear, or receive what the sender is conveying. If an officer is trying to convey information, he or she must ensure that the message being delivered keeps the interest of the receivers. The information also needs to be clearly understood by all, and not too complex (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). Some strategies that can be implemented to overcome communicational barriers are effective listening exercises, misplaced modifiers, squinting modifiers, dangling modifiers, and faulty parallelism (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that is improperly separated from the word it modifies or describes (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). A squinting modifier is defined as a modifier that could modify either the words, before it or after it. A dangling modifier is a modifier that describes a word that does not appear in the sentence (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). Finally, faulty parallelism is how one combines two or more sentence elements (Wallace and Roberson, 2009). These modifiers can happen in both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication. As an officer, he or she must ensure that these modifiers are not misplaced. Misplacing these modifiers can cause an officers reports or testimony to be confusing and misunderstood.
Conclusion
Proper communication plays an important role not only in ones day-to-day lives, but also a more important role within the criminal justice system. While, proper communication may be difficult to understand at times, it is important for one to understand the entire process, especially one within the criminal justice system. An officer represents their community, so it is important that officer understands the communication process so that he or she does not misrepresent a situation, or the community. An officer must continue, his or her education in understanding of the communication process to best aid and represent his or her community.

References
Miller. L. S., & Whitehead, J. T. (2011). Report writing for criminal justice professionals (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Anderson Publishing.

Wallace, H. & Roberson, C. (2009). Written and interpersonal communication: Methods for law enforcement (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.…...

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