AAA000 Course Title

Lesson 3
Effective Communication and Barriers

Introduction: Connecting Your Learning

In this Lesson 3, you will examine three skills necessary to communicate effectively with others:

  1. Identifying personal communication patterns that lead to effective communication.
  2. Identifying personal communication patterns that create barriers to good communication.
  3. Exploring strategies to reduce or eliminate barriers to effective communication.

"Everything in my past has brought me to this day, and I eagerly anticipate what I will learn about myself."

Readings, Resources, and Assignments
Required Readings

"The Golden Triangle of Communication"

"Barriers to Effective Communication"

Multimedia Resources (optional)


Required Assignments

KWL Table: Effective Communication and Barriers to Communication

The Golden Triangle of Communication

See "Assessing Your Learning" for details on each assignment.

Check Prior Knowledge

Check this out! Which one are you aiming to become?

Are you a successful student or a struggling student?

Comparison of Successful Students and Struggling Students
Successful Students: Struggling Students:
Use good listening skills and care about other peoples’ feelings. Exercise poor listening skills, demonstrating a lack of desire to understand another’s point of view.
Identify healthy patterns of communication to effectively interact with others. Often unaware of poor commination habits which reflect in ineffective patterns of communication.

Focusing Your Learning

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  1. Define the term effective communication.
  2. Identify skills that result in effective communication.
  3. Describe personal communication patterns.
  4. Compare and contrast your personal patterns with effective communication patterns.
  5. Identify barriers that interfere with or prevent effective communication.
  6. List strategies that can reduce or eliminate barriers to effective communication.

In Lesson 3, you will discuss effective communication strategies. Effective communication occurs when two people, a sender and a receiver, exchange messages and readily understand them.

It is also beneficial to discuss communication barriers, habits and behaviors that interfere with effective communication.

You will have a chance to practice effective communication and also to recognize barriers that might interfere with communicating your message to others. Developing great communication skills is critical to becoming a successful student.

Approaching the Objectives

To help you prepare for the information contained in Lesson 3 and to help you complete the assessments found in the Assessing Your Learning Section, visit the Key Terms Link and play the interactive games using the terms from this lesson.

Key Terms: Flashcards

Presentation and Practice

Effective Communication

Communication is the exchange of information between two or more people - a sender and a receiver. Typically individuals take turns being the sender and the receiver. Communication can be verbal and nonverbal, and it will always happen when people are interacting; you cannot avoid communicating.

Click on the KWL worksheet link and fill out the first two columns (What I Know and What I Want to Know about Effective Communication and Barriers to Communication). You will fill out the rest of the worksheet as you progress through Lesson 3.

KWL Table: Effective Communication and Barriers to Communication


The Golden Triangle of Communication

Your understanding of verbal and nonverbal communication is influenced by your attitudes and background, or life experience. Often your words (verbal) and expressions or body language (nonverbal) can mean one thing to you as the sender, and something completely different to the receiver of these messages.

Effective communication occurs when both the sender and receiver correctly understand the messages being sent.

A few simple skills can greatly increase the effectiveness of your communication.

Click on the Web site below and read "The Golden Triangle of Communication." Pay particular attention to the description of the three skills, how to improve them, and tips for good communication skills. Record your findings on the Golden Triangle of Communication worksheet. You will be submitting this worksheet as an assignment later in Lesson 3.


Golden Triangle of Communication

The Golden Triangle of Communication Article


Barriers to Communication

Take a moment to think about how you communicate with friends and family, colleagues at school, or co-workers at your job. How would you compare your communication skills with the skills that were presented by the "experts"?

Often, barriers can get in the way of effective communication, even when you don't want them to. A critical step in learning how to improve your communication skills is knowing the barriers to effective communication.

Take a look at the six barriers. Identify which ones you have experienced either as the communicator or as the one receiving the message.

Now that you have discovered some barriers, watch them acted out in this video. Notice how communication differs in the vignettes.

Communication Barriers and How To Overcome Them Vignette

Did you notice that a change in attitude and communication from the father caused a different attitude and resulting communication from the daughter?

It is possible to remove barriers to effective communication. Click on the Web site link below and read about the one simple first step in learning how to overcome these barriers.

Barriers to Effective Communication

Summarize and Review

KWL Worksheet

Fill in the third column on your Effective Communication and Barriers KWL worksheet (What I Learned). If necessary, look back at the articles you have read for this lesson to find the most important points you want to remember.

Assessing Your Learning

Complete the assignments in the Assessing Your Learning section that follows. Type your answers in the templates provided and upload them in the submit section below each assessment.

  1. The Golden Triangle of Communication: Fill in this worksheet and submit it at the link below.

    Submit The Golden Triangle of Communication

  3. KWL Table: Effective Communication and Barriers to Communication: On the last section of the KWL worksheet, complete the one action step you will take to improve your interpersonal communication. (Successful Student Tip: Just pick one item. When you have mastered that skill, pick another, then another.)

    Then submit your completed KWL Worksheet. (Be sure you have filled out: What I Know, What I Want to Know, What I Learned, and One Action Step.)

  4. Submit KWL Table: Effective/Barriers to Communication


The Golden Triangle of Communication

Barriers to Effective Communication


Additional Attributions