Barriers to Communication – Why Communication Fails

Isn’t it frustrating when you tell something to someone, or email them about something, and they didn’t understand, or they don’t remember?

A barrier to communication appeared, and your communication failed. You told them, but they didn’t get the message or didn’t process it or take action on it the way you wanted.

When we speak or write, communicate, our message, what we are saying or meaning to say is not what is heard or understood. When you listen to someone talking or read what they are writing, you don’t necessary hear or read exactly what they meant.

The reason is that we all have filters in place – Kind of like a strainer that separates water from spaghetti noodles or a water filter that filters out all the particles we don’t want to drink. Our filters interpret the messages that we are receiving. This is true for the people we are communicating with as well.

All communication is filtered through past experiences, frustrations, and perceptions of the people communicating. On top of that what’s going on around you and the person you are talking with impacts how the message is received and what the message is received.

These filters act as barriers to communication. Some of the filters or barriers that can impact how your message is received and processed include:

  • workload
  • physical aches and pains
  • tiredness
  • distractions
  • family
  • culture
  • verbal and non-verbal cues, like tone of voice and body language

For example, it’s obvious that if you are trying to have a private conversation at a rock concert, that the noise is going to be a barrier. Well that same affect is true if the other person has a lot happening in their world at the time, or if they are tired or hurting, or if they come from a completely different culture than you do.

The words we use, and how we say them also make a difference in our communications. The way we are communicating certain words hold very different means. Take the phrase “I hate you”. Said in anger it is hurtful and inappropriate. But said in jest and with a smile, it is fun and a tease. So your tone of voice and body language give the meaning to the words.

In email, you lose the benefit of body language and tone of voice, so the other person has to completely run what you are saying through their filters and experiences to try to understand what you mean. Email leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation.

What I’m writing to you in this article is going your own filters – your past experiences, frustrations, and perceptions. And how you interpret what you just read just went your own filters. The same goes with every bit of communication you have with others.

By being aware of these barriers to communication or filters, you are less like to have your communication fail. If you consider the barriers that can arise and adjust your message for them, you are the road to effective communication with those around you.

What Are the Advantages of Using a Web Based Project Management System

Every project needs a large number of people for the completion of any task. Projects are of several kinds, and there capacity level is also variant. In order to help the managers control all tasks, management system was introduced. Project management system is used to make the managers feel easy. The first type of a project management system is manual.

However, nowadays much web-based project management software is available in the market. There is no need to process data manually. Everything is computerized; managers just have to enter the basic information into the system. Nowadays, lots of project managers are opting for web-based project management systems. They have access to the web-based project management software’s, and tools.

Using a web-based management system has several benefits. Project managers can reach their computers from anywhere, not only computers, but they can also contact their team members and check the progress of work. Discussing any problems that arise with the team is a lot easier. Team members can also interact with each other via e-mail.

Project scheduling is the basic solution of web-based task management plan in a large organisation. In many ways a web-based activity management plan can help your managers achieve optimum results. Whether a project is based on finance, marketing, construction, or information technology (IT), and web-based project management plan can help t.

Web-based activity management plan helps managers to make a proper scheduling plan of the project. Web-based software has many tools which help in managing time, and activities. The software includes spreadsheets, network diagrams, or Gantt charts to control the task management scheme.

In project-management scheme, HTML, ASP, or PHP are the supported languages coded into the software, and browser. The team can access it through a web browser. Moreover, main software is installed on to the server for multiple clients.

Project management scheme helps managers to supervise all the team easily. If the manager finds any team member late in the completion of the task, he/she can track the problem, and change that member, thus, avoiding any delays.. Web-based project-management-system enables the mangers to distribute the workload according to the capability of human resource (HR). In addition, he/she can monitor the performance of each person involved in the completion of a job. This web-based project management system also enables the manager to measure the achievement, and performance of the team in accordance to the strategy chalked down for completion, or achievement of the target.

Web-based project-management system keeps the human resources satisfied from the point of view that whatever performance he/she is given is being registered, and is not over looked. If, a company is using a custom-made programme, which is flexible to different projects, it remains cost effective, and is not a burden on the bottom line. For different projects, which have different dynamics, companies may need a tailor-made programme for them, This can be a little costly, but it ensures better management, proper monitoring, and timely completion of tasks, ultimately ensuring good performances. Nowadays, this web-based project software is a very important tool for the management of any project. Furthermore, using the correct project management scheme, and software, can help managers to manage their project smoothly, and effectively.

SMS Marketing – Advantages And Disadvantages

An increasingly popular mode of marketing tool, SMS marketing enables easy communication with the consumers. With a single message being used to reach out to the entire customer base, it is cost effective and also saves time.

A rapidly growing sector, SMS marketing has emerged as a marketing tool with huge potential. Short messages of 140-160 characters in length, SMS enables messages to be sent to a large number of receivers within a few moments. It is this extent and ease of reach of the application which makes it a powerful tool for advertising and marketing of products.

Increasingly being adopted by more and more business houses as a preferred mode of marketing tool, SMS marketing has several advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages

Ease of Reach: Also known as mobile marketing, through this application, marketers can use a single message to communicate to their entire customer base. Instead of contacting each customer personally like in telemarketing, in mobile marketing through bulk messaging, an advertising message can be distributed to several consumers all at once.

Personal Communication: SMS has become the most popular mode of communication today with most of us using it to communicate with our friends, family and acquaintances. Unlike an email or a newsletter, nearly every message that is sent on a mobile phone is generally read by the user. Being an extremely personal mode of communication, you can establish a direct contact with your client, building on the relationship.

Economical Nature: Instead of spending millions on multiple advertising campaigns, a single message can be used to reach out to all consumers, thereby drastically cutting down on marketing costs. With SMS prices dropping, through bulk messaging thousands of text messages can be sent at wholesale prices.

Time Saving: An instant mode of communication, marketers can reach out to their customers whenever they want. As most mobile phone users keep their phones with them at all times, through quick messaging time sensitive messages can be sent and responses can also be tracked.

Disadvantages

Spam messages: Bombarding cell phone users with repeated advertising messages does more harm than good. These frequent spam messages annoy, irritate and frustrate users who develop a negative attitude towards the companies that are sending the messages which affects their brand name adversely.

Cost to recipient: Not quite your usual form of messaging, for SMS marketing mobile phone networks charge both the sender as well as the receiver of the messages. These extra charges often irritate the receivers and create a negative image of the business house sending the messages.

Limitations of Messages: With messages being limited to 140-160 characters, it becomes difficult to create an effective message within such short word limit. Moreover, additional information in the form of hyperlinks may not always be received properly by the user’s phone.

While there are some disadvantages, yet its extent of reach and cost effectiveness, make SMS Marketing a lucrative option as a marketing tool.

Disability Retirement For Federal Workers – The Importance of a Coherent and Consistent Application

Federal and Postal employees either fall into one of two possible retirement systems: FERS (an acronym for Federal Employee Retirement System) or CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System). Whichever system the Federal or Postal employee falls under, the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement is an option which is available, in the event that a Federal Government worker is no longer able to perform at least one of the essential elements of one’s job. Remember that, in order to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the medical condition or injury does not have to be job-related. Indeed, one could have incurred a career-ending spinal injury while on a skiing trip, and still qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under either FERS or CSRS.

The Agency which determines that a Federal or Postal Employee is entitled to Federal Disability Retirement benefits is the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). They are empowered by statutory authority to scrutinize each application for approval or disapproval. In order to be eligible for the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement, one must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, three basic components:

(A) a Federal or Postal employee under FERS or CSRS has a medical condition;

(B) the medical condition prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job; and

(C) that the Agency is unable to accommodate the individual or, alternatively, to reassign the individual to a position in the same pay or grade.

In order to successfully prepare and submit an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, two overarching elements should always be kept in mind: Coherence and Consistency. “Coherence” has to do with the form of the application, while “consistency” has to do with the content, or substance of the application. Both elements are important in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application. Thus, an effective Federal Disability Retirement application will make logical sense and “fit together” with everything (coherence), as well as have an internal structure of information which agrees with one another (consistency).

How does one prove that he or she is eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits? Is there a table or schedule of accepted medical conditions? As to the latter question, the general answer is “No”. Qualifying medical conditions have more to do with the symptoms of a medical condition, rather than the formal diagnosis. Thus, physical conditions can range from Cervical & Lumbar diseases, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spondylolisthesis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Failed Back Syndrome, Chronic Pain; Fibromyalgia; to total hip replacements which limit and restrict flexion and mobility; cardiac issues; migraine headaches; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Chemical Sensitivity issues; Asthma; Hypothyroidism; Plantar Fasciitis; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; shoulder problems, often referred to as bursitis or shoulder impingement syndrome; trochanteric bursitis; lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, as well as a great many other conditions which are not named here, and which are too numerous to catalogue. As for Psychiatric conditions, the list can be just as long: Major Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Bipolar Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ADD & ADHD; Paranoia; Schizophrenia; Asperger’s Syndrome; and multiple other psychiatric conditions. Whether attempting to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits based upon a physical medical condition or a psychiatric medical condition, it is important to prove that one is eligible for the benefit.

Which brings us to the first question: How does one prove that he or she is eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, either under FERS or CSRS? In any application for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits, one must make sure that the application is both coherent, as well as consistent. Coherence of an application results when all of the various components of the application “fit” together. Thus, for example, in preparing the Applicant’s Statement of Disability (SF 3112A), Block 4 asks the applicant to “Fully Describe Your Disease or Injury”. If the disease or injury is a physical one, then the focus of the narrative should be to describe the pain, the physical restrictions and limitations, etc. Then, when one comes to Block 5, where it asks how your disease or injury interferes with the performance of “your duties, your attendance, or your conduct,” the focus should have a coherence with the previous answer – meaning that, if the narrative described physical issues, the impact upon one’s job should therefore focus upon the physical aspect of the job. Thus, by way of example, to say that you “cannot concentrate or focus” upon a certain aspect of the job, would only be coherent if either (A) the job required cognitive-intensive work and the severity of the pain impacted one’s cognitive faculties, or (B) the medications prescribed to alleviate the physical condition impacts one’s focus or concentration. Conversely, if the narrative concerning one’s medical condition entails primarily psychiatric issues, then the impact upon one’s job should encapsulate cognitive issues (i.e., focus, concentration, ability to analyze, evaluate, etc.). As you can see, coherence in an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is an important component.

Furthermore, an effective application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS should be consistent. Each element of the application should “agree”, wherever possible, with all of the other components. Where inconsistencies occur – for example, between what the treating doctor says and what the applicant states in his or her explanation on SF 3112A – a red flag may arise, providing an opportunity for a denial from the Office of Personnel Management. Thus, don’t try to “oversell” the description of the medical condition. Remember how, when you were deathly ill but your voice sounded perfectly normal over the telephone? You had to call in sick, and you had to “sound like” you were sick, even though you were in fact deathly ill. In preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, this is not the time to “sound like” something more than what the treating doctor states.

Ultimately, the success or failure of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS as submitted to the Office of Personnel Management will depend upon the coherence and consistency of the application. Preparation is the key to success, and it is important to always remember that coherence and consistency are two elements which must always guide the formulation, preparation and submission of a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.