There are a wide number of sources of noise or interference that can enter into the communication process. This can occur when people now each other very well and should understand the sources of error. In a work setting, it is even more common since interactions involve people who not only don’t have years of experience with each other, but communication is complicated by the complex and often conflictual relationships that exist at work. In a work setting, the following suggests a number of sources of noise: Language: The choice of words or language in which a sender encodes a message will influence the quality of communication.
Because language is a symbolic representation of a phenomenon, room for interpreation and distortion of the meaning exists. In the above example, the Boss uses language (this is the third day you’ve missed) that is likely to convey far more than objective information. To Terry it conveys indifference to her medical problems. Note that the same words will be interpreted different by each different person. Meaning has to be given to words and many factors affect how an individual will attribute meaning to particular words.
It is important to note that no two people will attribute the exact same meaning to the same words. fensiveness, distorted perceptions, guilt, project, transference, distortions from the past misreading of body language, tone and other non-verbal forms of communication (see section below) noisy transmission (unreliable messages, inconsistency) receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues power struggles self-fulfilling assupmtions language-different levels of meaning managers hesitation to be candid assumptions-eg. assuming others see situation same as you, has same feelings as you distrusted source, erroneous translation, value judgment, state of mind of two people
Perceptual Biases: People attend to stimuli in the environment in very different ways. We each have shortcuts that we use to organize data. Invariably, these shortcuts introduce some biases into communication. Some of these shortcuts include stereotyping, projection, and self-fulfilling prophecies. Stereotyping is one of the most common. This is when we assume that the other person has certain characteristics based on the group to which they belong without validating that they in fact have these characteristics. Interpersonal Relationships: How we perceive communication is affected by the past experience with the individual.
Percpetion is also affected by the organizational relationship two people have. For example, communication from a superior may be perceived differently than that from a subordinate or peer Cultural Differences: Effective communication requires deciphering the basic values, motives, aspirations, and assumptions that operate across geographical lines. Given some dramatic differences across cultures in approaches to such areas as time, space, and privacy, the opportunities for mis-communication while we are in cross-cultural situations are plentiful.