Communication Breakdown in a Group

As a member of the school basketball team, there are often schedules that are prepared for practice and teamwork development. At one such session, the captain gave an unwritten announcement of an urgent practice session the following day during recess. However, because only a few members had turned up, they were given the responsibility of passing the information to others in the group. Based on past meetings, we rarely receive verbal announcements for practice sessions and at the same time the captain rarely calls for urgent sessions abruptly. Therefore, despite receiving the message of an urgent practice session we ignored it by interpreting it as a false rumor thus missed a second practice session although the information had been successfully sent and received. The communication barrier occurred at the last stage of the channel where the recipient interpreted or decoded the message differently from its original meaning.

Had the decoding being as expected then no one could have missed the practice session because they would have interpreted the message correctly (Johnson & Johnson, 2009, pp. 130). The barriers could have occurred due to utilization of the wrong mode of communication which was rather new to the group. The consequences of the communication breakdown resulted into failure of basketball members to turn up for practice as expected. A strategy that can be used to reduce communication barriers is ensuring that the physical environment poses as minimal distractions as possible. This is because the distractions are bound to hamper effective communication.

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Thus creating or choosing an environment which is favorable improves communication as every group member will be obliged to pay attention to what is being communicated (Johnson, 2009, pp. 150). The other strategy is ensuring that any information that will affect the entire group should be communicated when everyone is present. This strategy creates opportunities for clarifications as well as providing immediate feedback on what other members think concerning the message. This strategy will improve communication as all will get to hear the same information at the same time and no one will go seeking confirmations from other members.