Describe the different sources of noise that interfere with the effectiveness of the communication process.
Common sources of noise include information filtering, poor choice of channels, poor written or oral expression, failures to recognize nonverbal signals, and physical distractions.
1. Information filtering: It is the intentional distortion of information to make it appear most favorable to the recipient. The problem with information filtering is someone telling the boss what they think he or she wants to hear. Whether the reason is a fear of retribution for bringing bad news, unwillingness to identify personal mistakes, or just a general desire to please, the end result is the same. The higher-level gets biased and inaccurate information from below and ends up making bad decisions.
2. Poor choice of channels: A communication channel is the pathway or medium through which a message is conveyed from sender to receiver. Good communicators choose the right channel, or combination of channels, to accomplish their intended purpose. Written channels—paper or electronic—are most acceptable for simple messages that are easy to convey and for those that require extensive dissemination quickly. They are also important as documentation when formal policies or directives are being conveyed. Spoken channels such as face-to-face or virtual meetings work best for messages that are complex and difficult to convey and where immediate feedback to the sender is valuable. They are more personal and more likely to be perceived as supportive or even inspirational.
3. Poor written or oral expression: Communication will only be effective when the sender expresses the message in a way that is clearly understood by the receiver. Words must be well chosen and properly used, something we all too often fail at.
4. Failure to recognize nonverbal signals: Nonverbal communication takes place through gestures, facial expressions, body posture, eye contact, and the use of interpersonal space. Mixed message results when words communicate one message while actions, body language, or appearance communicate something else.
5. Physical distractions: Any number of physical distractions can interfere with communication effectiveness. Some of these distractions include telephone interruptions, drop-in visitors, and lack of privacy.
Source: Management, 11th Edition & 12th Edition- John R. Schermerhorn