Many people think that communicating is easy. It is after all something we've done all our lives.

There is some truth in this simplistic view. Communicating is straightforward. What makes it complex, difficult, and frustrating are the barriers we put in the way. Here are the 7 top barriers.

1. Physical barriers
Physical barriers in the workplace include:
  

marked out territories, empires and fiefdoms into which strangers are not allowed closed office doors, barrier screens, separate areas for people of different status large working areas or working in one unit that is physically separate from others.

Research shows that one of the most important factors in building cohesive teams is proximity. As long as people still have a personal space that they can call their own, nearness to others aids communication because it helps us get to know one another.

2. Perceptual barriers
The problem with communicating with others is that we all see the world differently. If we didn't, we would have no need to communicate: something like extrasensory perception would take its place. The following anecdote is a reminder of how our thoughts, assumptions and perceptions shape our own realities: A traveller was walking down a road when he met a man from the next town. "Excuse me," he said. "I am hoping to stay in the next town tonight. Can you tell me what the townspeople are like?" "Well," said the townsman, "how did you find the people in the last town you visited?"

"Oh. it is a way of excluding others. Over-charged me for what I got. Kept to themselves. Took me for a fool. While some caution may be wise in certain relationships. they were an irascible bunch. "you'll find them pretty much the same here. sooner or later we need to adopt the behaviour patterns of the group. "Don't speak until you're spoken to". When we couch our communication in such language. It is comprised mainly of fear." said the townsman. Cultural barriers When we join a group and wish to remain in it. mistrust and suspicion." "Well. These are the behaviours that the group accept as signs of belonging. 5. then. . In a global market place the greatest compliment we can pay another person is to talk in their language. They feel vulnerable. Gave me very poor service. and where you are happy to conform. there are barriers to your membership of a group. there is a mutuality of interest and a high level of win-win contact." 3. Language barriers Language that describes what we want to say in our terms may present barriers to others who are not familiar with our expressions. The group rewards such behaviour through acts of recognition. As a result many people hold back from communicating their thoughts and feelings to others. a high level of game-playing replaces good communication. however. Emotional barriers One of the chief barriers to open and free communications is the emotional barrier. excessive fear of what others might think of us can stunt our development as effective communicators and our ability to form meaningful relationships. approval and inclusion. The roots of our emotional mistrust of others lie in our childhood and infancy when we were taught to be careful what we said to others. 4. In groups which are happy to accept you. "Mind your P's and Q's". Where. buzz-words and jargon. "Children should be seen and not heard".

Games are subtle. Rituals are meaningless. Pastimes fill up time with others in social but superficial activities. 7 Interpersonal barriers There are six levels at which people can distance themselves from one another: 1. features of both sides of the brain.000. It also explains why women talk for much longer than men each day. When a man talks. It is both refusal to be in touch and time alone. girls speak earlier than boys and at the age of three. This means that a man talks in a linear. 2. .000 and 25. Gender barriers There are distinct differences between the speech patterns in a man and those in a woman. repetitive routines devoid of real contact. Withdrawal is an absence of interpersonal contact. 4. The reason for this lies in the wiring of a man's and woman's brains. In childhood. the speech is located in both hemispheres and in two specific locations. his speech is located in the left side of the brain but in no specific area. However. but the fear and suspicion that the West had of the Soviet Union that led to the more alarmist and sinister interpretation. 5. It was not just the language. When a woman talks.000 words a day whereas a man speaks between 7. features of left-brain thinking. Working activities are those tasks which follow the rules and procedures of contact but no more. logical and compartmentalised way. 3.000 and 10. 6. A woman speaks between 22. whereas a woman talks more freely mixing logic and emotion. They include "rackets" and "stamps". manipulative interactions which are about winning and losing. have a vocabulary twice that of boys.One of the more chilling memories of the Cold War was the threat by the Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev saying to the Americans at the United Nations: "We will bury you!" This was taken to mean a threat of nuclear annihilation. a more accurate reading of Khruschev's words would have been: "We will overtake you!" meaning economic superiority.

The main barriers of communication are summarized below. Closeness is the aim of interpersonal contact where there is a high level of honesty and acceptance of yourself and others. Working on improving your communications is a broad-brush activity. your feelings. the message will be destroyed. thus making communication ineffective. Communication is fruitful if and only if the messages sent by the sender is interpreted with same meaning by the receiver. Due to such disturbances.6. You have to change your thoughts. and your physical connections. These barriers interrupt the flow of communication from the sender to the reciever. you can break down the barriers that get in your way and start building relationships that really work. Thus the managers must locate such barriers and take steps to get rid of them. . That way. There are several barriers that affects the flow of communication in an organization. managers in an organization face severe problems. If any kind of disturbance blocks any step of communication. It is essential for managers to overcome these barriers. auto Communication is a process beginning with a sender who encodes the message and passes it through some channel to the receiver who decodes the message.

For example a traveler may pay attention to one “NO PARKING” sign. Similarly use of loud speakers interferes with communication. he no longer listens to it.e. unhygienic room also affects communication in a meeting. Complexity in Organizational Structure: Greater the hierarchy in an organization (i. 8. c. All generally want to receive messages which are significant to them. . repetitive messages should be ignored for effective communication. The HR Manager might be in confusion whether to retain that employee or not.e. 7. i.Following are the main communication barriers: 1. Poor retention: Human memory cannot function beyond a limit. Time Pressures: Often in organization the targets have to be achieved within a specified time period. Information Overload: Managers are surrounded with a pool of information. Inattention: At times we just not listen. but if such sign is put all over the city. Perceptual and Language Differences: Perception is generally how each individual interprets the world around him. 3. the formal channels of communication are shortened. b. not completely transferred. Thus sufficient time should be given for effective communication. Same word may mean different to different individuals. poor lightning.. For example: consider a word “value”. 5. Distraction/Noise: Communication is also affected a lot by noise to distractions. A same event may be taken differently by different individuals. a. more is the chances of communication getting destroyed. Only the people at the top level can see the overall picture while the people at low level just have knowledge about their own area and a little knowledge about other areas. or messages are partially given. the family members might take him as an emotional support. What is the value of this Laptop? I value our relation? What is the value of learning technical skills? “Value” means different in different sentences. the superior may not get what he is saying and it leads to disappointment of subordinate. In a haste to meet deadlines. Thus. The linguistic differences also lead to communication breakdown. uncomfortable sitting. more the number of managerial levels). the failure of which has adverse consequences. Physical distractions are also there such as. As a result communication is less effective. 2. One cant always retain what is being told specially if he is not interested or not attentive. Emotions: Emotional state at a particular point of time also affects communication. For example : A person is on leave for a month due to personal reasons (family member being critical). Similarly if a superior is engrossed in his paper work and his subordinate explains him his problem. 4. If the receiver feels that communicator is angry he interprets that the information being sent is very bad. While he takes it differently if the communicator is happy and jovial (in that case the message is interpreted to be good and interesting). This leads to communication breakdown. It is essential to control this information flow else the information is likely to be misinterpreted or forgotten or overlooked. the immediate manager might think of replacement because his teams productivity is being hampered. but only hear. Communication breakdown occurs if there is wrong perception by the receiver. 6. But any message which is against their values is not accepted.

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