If you are excited about the release of the new iPhone 6 you are in a unique group of consumers, who like me, geek-out at upgraded gadgets! The downside of innovations like this in today’s society is that technology has changed the way we interact and communicate with one another. In my eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers (2013), also available in audiobook format, my research work revealed that transmitting information can easily be misinterpreted without having access to observe components like nonverbal cues (Berry, 2013). Furthermore, although many of us speak the English language fluently, that does not always mean we will receive a message accurately. A woman from Aberdeen, Scotland, for instance, may encounter a level of difficulty communicating with someone from Queens, New York that has a thick Brooklyn dialect, or vice-versa.
Sometimes we are not even aware communication barriers exist until we make an attempt to transmit a message. For example, I resided in Central Virginia years ago. One morning we stopped at a local Farmer’s market and began to converse with one of the local vendors. As we were getting acquainted with him, he looked at me and with a very thick Southern drawl, said, “Could you repeat that? I didn’t understand. You have an accent!”
This was quite a shocking statement coming from a gentleman that was speaking to me with a thick Southern dialect! I was intrigued by his comment because clearly in my mind, it was he that spoke with the thick accent typical of a Southern gentleman.
“What kind of an accent do I have?” I politely asked him.
“Why you talk like them folks on the TV,” he instantly responded.
Silently I thought how happy I was that the performance and diction training I received from my Bachelor’s degree in theater had not been in vain! In reality however, what this situation helped me understand more clearly was that having an accent is a matter of interpretation. To the southern gentleman, I was the one with the strange dialect. Needless to say, I was now residing in a region that created an opportunity for me as a performer to study and learn the wonderful dialects of the Central Virginia region.
In summary, communicating can become a challenge not only from the absence of nonverbal cues, but the gentleman in Central Virginia taught me that speech patterns, dialects, and local colloquialisms can make the communication process a bit exciting if you can maintain a light-hearted attitude about it. In the meantime, as many age and begin to experience hearing impairment issues transmitting messages can become even more challenging … but that’s another conversation altogether.
That wraps things up for this post. We will continue with our discussion on communication comedy next time. Until then … stay organized!
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
Hey everyone don’t forget for one day only, this Wednesday, October 1st, complimentary copies of Mayr’s titles will be available on amazon.com! For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:
Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.