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Barriers to Effective Communication, Essay Example

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Essay

Barrier to Communication:  During a vacation with Marie, a friend of mine, to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, to visit her grandmother, we had Marie’s 14-month-old daughter Christine with us.    However, Marie and I soon realized that with no car and a baby in a carriage, it was difficult for us to see St. John’s.  Consequently, when Marie’s grandmother offered to babysit Christine, we accepted.  Upon our return, we were barely inside the house when we asked Marie’s grandmother how she and Christine had fared.  We were told that she had no problems because for a good portion of the day Christine was in her carriage sleeping on the bridge.   We were shocked, a reaction that the grandmother could not understand.  She kept saying that she could keep an eye on her through the kitchen window.  We agreed that she could because the house was right next to the bridge. But to leave a baby on a bridge!

The Barrier:  It did not occur to Marie and me that in the grandmother’s culture the meaning of the word, “bridge” was not confined to how we thought of it; and it did not occur to the grandmother that we would have only one definition for bridge.  The Channel:  Face-to-face-to-face verbal and body language.

Overcoming Barriers:  The grandmother, confused and upset,  opened the kitchen door and beckoned us to step onto what she called a bridge and we call a balcony.  There lay Christine safe and sound in her carriage!

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