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BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION

Commonly experienced barriers to communication are noise, lack of planning, wrong/unclarified


assumptions, semantic problems, cultural barriers, socio-psychological barriers, emotions,
selective perception, filtering, information overload, loss by transmission, poor retention, poor
listening, goal conflicts, offensive style, time and distance, abstracting, slanting, inferring and
wrong choice of medium.

VERBAL BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION

Differences in interpretation:
Sometimes senders and receivers attribute different meanings to the same words. When this
happens, miscommunication can occur.Words have both a denotative and connotative
meaning.Denotation refers to the dictionary meaning. Connotation refers to the subjective,
emotional meaning that you attach to a word.
For example: The word Plastic is a synthetic material that can be
easily molded into different form this is denotation.
For some people, the word also has a negative connotative meaning cheap or artificial

Language Differences:
In ideal world, all managers would know the language of each culture with which they deal.
International business people often say that you can buy in your native language anywhere in the
world, but you can sell only in the language of the local community.
For example:
General Motors product Chevrolet Nova, when they advertised in Spain . In Spanish phrase
NOVA means it doesnt go. Customers reacted to it negatively.

Inappropriate Use of Expressions:
Expressions are groups of words whose intended meanings are different from their literal
interpretations .They include Slang, jargon.
Slang: It is an expression ,often short lived, that is identified with a specific group of people.
For example: Circle of death A lousy pizza,
Mad Very ( as in Mad Cool)
Jargon: It is the technical terminology used within specialized groups. They provide a very
precise and efficient way of communication with those familiar with it. The problem comes
either in using jargon with someone who doesnt understand it or in using jargon in an effort to
impress others.

Over abstraction and Ambiguity:
An abstract word identifies an idea or feeling instead of a concrete object.
For example: in communication memorandum is a concrete word.
Similar problem results from the overuse of ambiguous terms such as some, several or far away.
Which have too broad meaning for use in much business communication.

Polarization:
Some people act as though every situation is divided into two opposite and distinct poles, with
no allowance for a middle ground. But most aspects of life involve more than two alternatives.
For example: you might assume that a speaker either is telling the truth or is lying. In fact, what
the speaker actually says may be true, but by selectively omitting some information, which might
be inaccurate or not important.

NON VERBAL BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
Difference in perception
Individuals when they hear the same speech or read the same document, people of different ages,
cultures and so forth often form very different perceptions. As a sender, you choose the details
that seem important to you, as a receiver if these details doesnt fit, you are inclined to distort the
information rather than rearrange the pattern of communication

Inappropriate Emotions:
In most cases, a moderate level of emotional involvement intensifies the communication and
makes it more personal. However, too much emotional involvement can be an obstacle to
communication. For example: excessive anger can create such an emotionally charged
environment that reasonable discussion is not possible. Such emotions tend to create a blocked
mind that is closed to new ideas, rejecting or ignoring information that is contrary to ones
prevailing information.

Distractions:
Any environmental element that restricts ones ability to concentrate on the communication task
hinders effective communication. Such distractions are called noise. For example: extreme
temperature ,uncomfortable seating. Competent communicators make the effort to write and
speak clearly and consistently and try to avoid or minimize barriers

TYPES OF BARRIERS
Physical barriers
Semantic and language barriers
Emotional or psychological barriers
Different comprehension of reality
Organizational barriers
Personal barriers
Physical barriers
Noise-(physical interference) factory, external disturbance in telecom facilities, smudged copies,
poor writing, bad photocopies.

Semantic and language barriers
Sender and receiver assign different meaning to the same word or use different words for the
same meaning. To minimize semantic barriers use familiar words, clarify the shades or nuances
and use words with positive connotations

Socio psychological barriers are the persons attitudes and opinions, emotions, closed
mind,status-consciousness, the source of communication, inattentiveness, faulty transmission,
and poor retention

Different comprehension of reality are abstracting, slanting and inferring. Abstracting - its all
about picking a few details and leaving others. The process of focusing attention on some details
and omitting others. Slanting- giving a particular bias or slant to the reality. Inferring- drawing
inferences from observation

Organizational barriers are organizational policy, organizational rules and regulations, status
relationship, complexity in organizational structure, and organizational facilities

Personal barriers are barriers in superiors, attitudes of superiors, fear of challenge to authority,
insistence on proper channel, lack of confidence in subordinates and ignoring communication.
Barriers regarding subordinates are unwillingness to communicate and lack of proper incentive

COMMUNICATION BARRIERS CAN ALSO BE BROADLY CLASSIFIED INTO TWO
MAIN CATEGORIES THEY ARE SENDER BARRIER AND RECEIVER BARRIER.

Sender-oriented barriers are badly expressed or encoded message message, loss in
transmission, semantic problem, over/under-communication, i-attitude, prejudices, lack of
planning, vagueness about the purpose of communication, objectives to be achieved, choice of
wrong language, unshared and unclarified assumptions, different perception of reality and wrong
choice of the channel

Rules for overcoming sender-oriented barriers
Plan and clarify ideas
Create a climate of trust and confidence
Time your message carefully
Reinforce words with action
Communicate efficiently

Receiver- oriented barriers are poor retention, inattentive listening/ poor listener, tendency to
evaluate/ premature evaluation, interest and attitudes, conflicting information, differing status
and position, resistance to change, refutations and arguments, mistrust/lack of trust, semantic
difficulties, bias, different perception of reality, attitudinal clash with the sender, not in a
physical state.

Rules for overcoming receiver-oriented barriers are jot down points, keep the mind open, delay
evaluation, find an area of interest , check reliability and validity, listen to ideas, be open to
changes, enter into healthy discussions.
Steps to make communication effective
Two-way communication
Strengthening communication network
Promoting participative approach
Appropriate language
Credibility in communication
Good listening
Selecting on effective communication channel

Guidelines for Overcoming Barriers of Communication
Adopt an audience centered approach: It means focusing on and caring about your audience ,
making effort to get your message across in a way that is meaningful to them. When you address
strangers, try to find out more about them; if thats impossible ,try to project yourself into their
problem by using your common sense. By writing and speaking from your audiences point of
view, you can help them understand and accept your message.

Open Communication Climate: Successful companies encourage employee contribute by making
sure that communication flows freely down , up and across the organization chart. They
encourage candor and honesty and their employees feel free to confess their mistakes, disagree
with the boss and express their opinions.

Facilitate Feedback: Giving your audience a chance to provide feedback is crucial to maintaining
an open communication climate. To encourages feedback, many companies use techniques such
as employee surveys, open door policies etc