Aug 6, 2013
Effective Communication Paper
In this paper, I will discuss what efficient communication is in a Criminal Justice environment. Merriam Webster describes communication as “: a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.” (Communication, 2009) Verbal and no-verbal communication, are what are thought to be characteristics that divide humans into two types, inside the concept of communication. Each type of human is believed to have subsets or components, therefore letting us shatter the concept of communication down and analyze it. Inside verbal communication, the next phrase implements the following, “Researchers are unable to reach a consensus on the exact number of styles; however, most are willing to concede that they cluster around four dimensions: blaming, directing, persuading, and problem solving.” (Grubb, Hemby, 2003) Inside non-verbal communication, there’s body language, the written word, sign language, etc. “Criminal justice professionals must be able to write clearly and coherently. Excerpts from reports are often introduced into court proceedings, and superiors review them as part of the investigative process.” (Grubb, Hemby, 2003)
Communication can be divided into 4 parts: Persuading, Directing, problem Solving and Blaming. Within verbal communication, you have various methods of approach to these ends. Comprehending that verbal communication isn't just talking, but listening as well is critical, necessary and should be further studied. To be able to comprehend what somebody is telling you or us, takes great listening skills. “Generally there are three purposes associated with either casual conversation or public speaking: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain.” (Grubb, Hemby, 2003)
When someone is trying to tell you of an event that happened to them or that they heard/saw, it’s imperative that you listen carefully. “Numerous tests confirm that we are inefficient listeners. Studies have shown that immediately after listening to a 10-minute oral presentation, the average listener has heard, understood, and retained 50 percent of what was said.” (Lee, Hatesohl, 1993) By repeating what that person is saying back to them, you are promoting better communication, letting them know that you are listening. For example, if someone told you, “I was walking along 17th street when the car jumped over and hit that lady, then she ran away.” You could relate back saying, “So you were on 17th street – do you remember the cross street- the car came over the curb and hit one of the ladies, which lady walked away?” This shows you are paying close attention and lets the person you are speaking with to verify that you are listening intently.
When English is somebodies second language or he/she doesn’t speak English, this can make verbal communication very difficult for all parties involved in the conversation. Inside the U.S.A. there are thousands of different languages and dialects of those languages spoken today. “As a result of dramatic shifts in the demographics of immigration since the early 1990's, many criminal justice agencies are finding they are ill-equipped to communicate with growing numbers of people in their jurisdictions who do not speak English well.” (Rahman, Hirsch, Shah, 2007) Although it can be impossible to understand and/or speak each language, always be ready for situations where you might come across someone who doesn’t speak your language, this is where nonverbal communication come into play. In the Southwest of the U.S.A., Spanish is spoken frequently, you can have difficulty communicating if you do not know the language. Part of communication, with so many different languages, is to understand and/or acknowledge cultural differences, which can affect both verbal and non-verbal communication. For example, most Hispanic cultures promote