Barriers To Communication
Communication is the process by which an understanding is achieved and meaning is experienced. But there may be some barriers in the communication systems that prevent the message from reaching the receiver correctly.
Communication is the process by which meaning is perceived and an understanding of the message is reached. It is the exchange of ideas, information and factors between the sender and receiver. Not all communications are effective. Communications are not effective when there is a delay in transmission or distortion in the meaning of the message.
The barriers between the sender and receiver because of the message losing its original form are known as communication barriers. The ineffectiveness is due to barriers in the communication systems that prevent the message from reaching the receiver. Barriers affect the message design (form, style, meaning, and order), and transmission (time of delivery and message interpretation). Communication barriers in the way of transmission harm the message in many ways. Sometimes the damage is done to such an extent that the form of the message is completely altered and the results are very bad.
If the information sent by the sender reaches the receiver exactly in the same form as it is intended by the sender, it is known as successful communication but, it is not always possible to do so. If the sender’s message does not reach the receiver as it is meant to, then there must be some hindrance or barrier. Due to communication barriers, the message gets distorted and does not convey its true spirit to the receiver which destroys the basic purpose of communication.
Communication barriers in the way of transmission harm the message in many ways. Sometimes the damage is done to such an extent that the form of the message is completely altered and the results are very bad.
There has been a lot of improvement in the communication network in recent times, yet a lot remains to be desired. Communication barriers that exist distort the message and directly hinder the success of managers in the performance of their functions. Poorly communicated messages create misunderstanding and friction and adversely affect employee morale. A large number of managerial problems are the result of incorrect communication. Good communication requires anticipating and overcoming barriers. Barriers to communication range from a bad microphone to an emotional attitude that prevents the recipient from fully receiving the intended message. (E.g. a child unwilling to pay attention to a reason until his demand is met).
Barriers to communication are as follows:
It is the inability to communicate effectively in a language that is known by both the sender and receiver is a great barrier to effective communication. If a person uses inappropriate words while conversing or writing, it could lead to misunderstanding between the sender and the receiver. Different vocabulary, languages, accent and dialect represents national/regional barriers.
Semantics is the study of how words convey their meaning. The semantic gap is words with similar pronunciation but multiple meanings. Inappropriate, difficult wording, and poorly explained or misunderstood messages can be confusing. In business life, to deal with realistic situations, semantic barriers arise from the inability to read the recipient’s mind. If the sender knows the recipient’s level of understanding, fine. If not, it’s an obstacle. A good communicator tries to remove all kinds of ambiguity and misrepresentations of words. A good communicator tries to read the words between the lines.
Cultural barriers arise as a result of a misunderstanding caused by cultural differences between sender and receiver. These differences can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations that can hinder effective communication. It can be the reason for outright conflict, but more often, it creates stress in the workplace. Cultural barriers usually exist between religions, countries, castes, colours, etc. Age, gender, education, social status, economic position, cultural background, temperament, health, beauty, popularity, religion, political belief, ethics, values, motives, assumptions, aspirations, rules/regulations, standards, and priorities can separate one person from another and create a barrier.
These barriers may arise due to an individual’s perceptual and personal discomfort. Even when two persons have experienced the same event, their mental perception may or may not be identical which acts as a barrier. Individual barriers to effective communication include Style, selective perception, halo effect, selective perception, poor attention and retention, closed-mindedness, defensiveness and insufficient filtration. These barriers can hinder effective communication, exchange of information, ideas and collaboration within an organization or a team.
Organisational barriers are those barriers that are caused due to poor organisational culture, climate, stringent rules, regulations, status, relationship, complexity, and inadequate facilities or opportunities present in the organisation for growth and improvement. The nature of the internal and external environment like poor lighting, large working areas, physically separated places from other areas, staff shortage, outdated equipment and background noise are physical organisational barriers that hamper communication in an organisation.
Effective communication is essential in any workplace, but it can be hindered by superior-subordinate relationships where the free flow of communication is not possible. The complexity of the organisational structure and multiple managers make it difficult to convey information properly. As a result, information gets distorted leading to miscommunication and misunderstandings.
One of the major barriers to communication in the workplace affects both verbal and non-verbal communication. Physical barriers within an organization may appear as vast work areas that are physically separated from others by other areas. Other distractions that could cause a physical barrier in an organisation environment are noise, design problems, technical problems, or background noise.
Attitudinal barriers can arise due to a variety of factors, such as overconfidence, poor management, lack of motivation, and behaviour problems of the people. Limitations in physical and mental ability, intelligence, understanding, preconceived notions and distrusted source divide attention and create a barrier that hinders people’s opinions and attitudes.
Emotional barriers can impact a person’s ability to communicate with ease and comfort. This barrier arises due to a lack of emotional intelligence, which can hinder one’s understanding and respect for the emotions of others. To effectively communicate, it is important to overcome emotional barriers and develop the necessary skills to navigate emotional complexities.