Day in the life of a conference and events organiser/Activities/Communication Barriers

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New Years Eve Sydney       Image courtesy of linh_rom


To be able to identify communication barriers


Read the following scenarios and identify the communication barriers from the following: Discuss with your group how these barriers can be overcome ;

  • Physical barriers e.g. poor spelling or handwriting
  • Personal barriers e.g. your own person feelings or moods interfering with a work communication situation
  • Educational barriers e.g. lack of knowledge on a certain topic creates a barrier
  • Age differences e.g. understanding slang between different generations can cause barriers
  • Non-verbal communication e.g. closed body language can create a barrier to good communication
  • Stereotyping e.g. making negative judgements about a person based on the way they look or their employment
  • Cultural barriers e.g. eye contact, language difficulties
  • Word choice e.g. no slang or jargon

1. You are a conference and events organiser planning a New Years Eve celebration and you are having trouble hearing a phone conversation due to bagpipes being played outside your office window. The week has not started well because your dog has just had to be 'put down' and you are trying to cope with a group of Japanese journalists who have arrived to see the fireworks spectacular on the harbour. The intepreter has not arrived and the journalists have little knowledge of spoken English.

2. The events centre where you are working is extremely busy as a staff member has gone home because of illness. You are having trouble understanding the information about a proposed science festival that your young colleague is saying to you because she is speaking so fast. You do not feel she is doing her share of the work because you think she is out "partying" all night and comes to work too tired.

3. You are employed as a tour guide and you are trying to ensure that your international tourists are understanding the health and safety instructions prior to embarking on a rafting trip. You think that their knowledge of the English language may not be extensive so you are trying to get a "thumbs up" signal from each of them to show they are happy. You are attempting to speak loudly and clearly as the noise from the rapids is making it difficult to hear.

4. A group of elderly tourists have called into your office to confirm bookings for your overnight walking tour. You have suggested that it might be more suitable for them to take the half day walking tour as it will not be so strenuous. They advised you that they are all members of an athletics club and have just finished competing in the New York Marathon!