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BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
Communication is one of the most common and essential human activities. Perfect communication takes place when the receiver understands the message exactly in the way the sender intends.
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
Quite often miscommunication arises due to one barrier or the other. Barrier or problems can arise at any stage of the communication.
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION Problems/ barriers/breakdown may arise at any of the following levels. THE SENDER’S LEVEL IN— Formulating/ organizing thought. message. ideas. Encoding the message .
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION THE RECEIVER’S LEVEL IN Receiving the message. Decoding the received message Understanding/ interpreting the message .
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION TRANSMISSION LEVEL WHERE NOISE OCCURS THE FEEDBACK/ REACTION LEVEL THAT IS NECESSARY CONDITION FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE ENTIRE PROCESS. .
communication barriers crop up and our written and spoken messages are misunderstood.TYPES OF BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION How often you have said. . ―I meant to this and not that? Even with the best intentions.
Semantic Barrier .TYPES OF BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION 1. Interpersonal Barrier 3. Intrapersonal Barrier 2. Organizational Barrier 4.
value and personality. .INTRA-PERSONAL BARRIER Individuals are unique because of their idiosyncrasies. This is mainly because of differences in experience. education.
INTERPERSONAL BARRIER Each of us interpret the same information in different ways as our thinking varies. Certain common causes are responsible for an individual’s inbuilt barriers. .
For example.When a doctor tells his patient that he has to take some medicine only ‘SOS’ he is creating a barrier in their communication.WRONG ASSUMPTIONS Many barriers stem from wrong assumptions. Here the doctor has made a wrong assumption about his patient’s level of knowledge. .
WRONG ASSUMPTIONS Wrong assumptions are generally made because the sender or the receiver does not have adequate knowledge about each other’s background. . A skilled communicator keeps these issues in mind to prevent them from becoming barriers.
.SELECTIVE PERCEPTION Selective perception means that the receivers selectively see and hear depending upon their needs. While decoding the message they project their own interest and expectation in the process of communication further leading to a particular kind of feedback. background experience and other personal characteristics. motivation.
age.Differing Background People vary in terms of their education. . language. environment. financial status etc. culture. A computer company representative would not make much sense to a group of doctors if in his presentation goes into details. sex. Our background plays significant role in how we interpret the message.
The multiple meanings of a word increases the problem of communication barriers. it is necessary to know the background of your audience. .Differing Background To enhance your communication skills. Use language understood by the receiver to avoid ambiguity and reduce multiple meanings in your communication.
. How well do they understand the language? Select your words with care specially technical terms.WHEN WRITING OR SPEAKING Think of your audience. Words must be suited to your audience’s language skills.
try to explain these as part of your communication.WHEN WRITING OR SPEAKING If you have to use slightly difficult or unfamiliar words. Don’t fall into the trap. however of oversimplifying your language. . your audience could get put off if you use words that sound babyish.
WRONG INFERENCES • Communication quite often breaks down or becomes an embarrassing affair if we keep acting an assumption without caring to seek clarification. .
it would be regarded as a case of incomplete communication. • It may lead to loss of goodwill.WRONG INFERENCES • For example—a customer writes to us that he/ she would be visiting our office on a particular day without caring to write/ telephone that he/ she would like to be picked up assuming that we will do that as a routine. .
you draw an inference that they have been laid off. Since there is a recession on. They do not turn up for several days. .WRONG INFERENCES • For example—You have returned from a business trip and you find that two of your colleagues are absent. The fact is that they have been promoted and sent to another department.
. • It has happened because you failed to distinguish between what actually exists and what you had assumed to exist.WRONG INFERENCES • This is an example of fact-inference confusion.
• When presenting any inference in the course of your work, you could use qualifiers such as ‘evidence suggest’ or ‘in my opinion’ to remind yourself and the receiver that this is not yet established as fact.
• The expression ‘closed mind’ refers to thinking tendency of the people that they know everything about the issue and therefore refuse to accept any further information on that topic. • People who feel that they know it all are called pansophists.
• This type of thinking can pose a major barrier, leading to failure in communication. • In such instances, the receivers refuse information because of their ‘know it all attitude’.
• To avoid this barrier use phrases like ‘it appears to me’ or ‘the evidence indicates’. everything. • If your data is insufficient. everybody. never. every time and their opposites like none. it is better to admit that you are unaware of the rest of the information rather than stone walling. nobody and nothing. .CLOSED MIND • The clue to detect this barrier is the use of words like—all. always.
. • Conversely. when we receive information that does not conform to our personal views. we tend to react negatively or even disbelieve. habits and attitudes or appears unfavorable to us.IMPERVIOUS CATEGORIES • We react positively to information only if it is in consonance with our views and attitudes.
such people fall into impervious categories because they may not be able to accept any deviation from their points of view.IMPERVIOUS CATEGORIES • People who are very rigid in their opinions may face problems in communicating effectively. • For example– one of your fellow students may think that only students of sc. are only good at reasoning. .
.INTER-PERSONAL BARRIERS • Intrapersonal barriers stem from an individual’s attitudes or habits whereas Inter-personal barriers occur due to inappropriate transaction of words between two or more people.
if you are at loss of words. • If you have a varied and substantial vocabulary.LIMITED VOCABULARY • During your speech. . your communication will be very ineffective and you will leave a very poor impression on your audience. you can create an indelible impression on your listeners.
. However the expression on his face shows just the opposite of what he is saying. • For example– In a small speech CEO conveys the message that he is very delighted to have the new manager appointed in his office.INCONGRUITY OF VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL MESSAGES • Ignoring non-verbal cues or misinterpreting them can result in the message being completely misunderstood.
adding to their effectiveness and enhancing your image as a competent and interesting communicator. .INCONGRUITY OF VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL MESSAGES • The stark difference between the verbal and non-verbal aspects of his communication leaves his listeners feeling confused and puzzled. • Your non-verbal cues should consistently match with your verbal message.
EMOTIONAL OUTBURST • Encoding and decoding of messages depend to quite some extent on one’s emotional state at a particular time. . • A message received when one is angry is likely to be interpreted in a very different manner than one is calm and composed. • Extreme emotions like jubilation or depression are likely to hinder effective communication.
• Positive emotions like happiness and excitement also interfere in communication but to lesser extent than negative feelings. .EMOTIONAL OUTBURST • Extreme anger can create such an emotionally charged environment that rational discussion is just not possible.
. you are imposing a barrier known as communication selectivity. • In such a situation the sender is not at fault.COMMUNICATION SELECTIVITY/ FILTERING • If you are a receiver in communication process. and you pay attention only to a part of the message.
• During the meeting he discusses various topics but he will not be able to get across the entire message to each one of the participants. held by the Chairman of a company he called all his executives from various divisionsProduction. unless he gets their individual attention. . Marketing.COMMUNICATION SELECTIVITY/ FILTERING • For Ex– In a meeting. Finance etc.
COMMUNICATION SELECTIVITY/ FILTERING • If the Production Manager and the Marketing Manager pay attention only to matters related to their respective areas. they may not be able to get the total perspective of what the chairman is conveying. .
COMMUNICATION SELECTIVITY/ FILTERING • Communication selectivity may act as a barrier in written forms of communication as well. if you read only certain parts and omit others. you are posing this barrier. . • When you read a story.
. • The same category of words.CULTURAL VARIATION • In International environment. symbols. actions. colors mean different things to people of different countries/ cultural background. phrases. cultural differences often cause communication problems.
social customs and etiquette of a particular country.CULTURAL VARIATION • For ex– In western countries black color is associated with death and mourning while in the east white is the color of mourning. lies in knowing the business practices. . • Your success whether as a student or as a professional.
. • In order to become a good listener we have to learn to rise above our egos. keep our eyes and ears open and empathize with others.POOR LISTENING SKILLS • Misunderstanding and conflicts can be mitigated if people listen to the message with full attention.
.POOR LISTENING SKILLS • One can be a good listener by paying proper attention to the speaker through non-verbal responses and asking questions at the appropriate moment. • Do not jump to conclusions hastily but maintain your composure and allow the speaker to finish before interpreting his message.
• Noise occurs primarily at the transmission level which distorts interpretation or the decoding part of the communication process. .NOISE • Noise can be defined as any unplanned interference in the communication environment. which causes hindrance in the transmission of message.
NOISE • Noise can be classified as channel and semantic. . illegible hand writing can be termed as channel noise. • In written communication.
• For ex. noise in telephone lines. • Channel noise develops externally.CHANNEL NOISE • Channel noise is any interference in the mechanics of the medium used to send a message. or too high a volume from a loud speaker.Channel noise is distortion due to faulty background. .
SEMANTIC BARRIERS • Semantic barriers arise due to problems in language. . • Language is the most important tool of communication but its careless use can be dangerous.
SEMANTIC NOISE • Semantic noise is generally internal. • For ex– on the sender’s part encoding may be faulty because of the use of confusing or ambiguous sentence structure. . resulting from errors in the message itself.
clarity and brevity so as to minimize the chances of different interpretations. • Semantic noise are faulty grammar. . misspellings and incorrect punctuation. • One must aim at simplicity.SEMANTIC NOISE • At the receiver’s level reception may be inaccurate because of inattention.
hierarchical structure usually restricts the flow of communication.ORGANIZATIONAL BARRIERS Rigid. delay or lose the message. To obviate this. . there should be a direct contact between sender and receiver with minimum transfer stations. This is because there are numerous transfer points and each of these points has the potential to distort.
• The message gets distorted at each level because of poor listening or lack of concentration. .TOO MANY TARNSFER STATIONS • When messages pass on from one person to another in a series of transmission they are likely to become less and less accurate.
TOO MANY TARNSFER STATIONS • Some employees may filter out a part of the message which they consider unimportant. .
some employees may either shun all communication with their superiors or they may present all the information that they have.FEAR OF SUPERIORS In rigidly structured organization. fear or awe of the superiors prevents subordinates from speaking frankly. . To avoid speaking directly to their boss.
In written communication this results in bulky reports. where essential information is clubbed with important details.FEAR OF SUPERIORS Sometimes out of fear employees do not communicate available information. Fear of full disclosure or non-disclosure misleads a superior. It may result in sending partial information. .
computer presentations. telephones.USE OF INAPPROPRIATE MEDIA • Some of the common media used in organizations are graphs. teleconferencing and video-conferencing. . slides. charts. • While choosing the media you should therefore keep in mind the advantages. disadvantages and potential barriers to communication. fax machines. e-mails.
for instance would be an ideal medium for conveying a confidential information. • Typed letters which provide permanence are preferable for information which requires to be stored for future reference.USE OF INAPPROPRIATE MEDIA • Telephone. .
USE OF INAPPROPRIATE MEDIA • Usually a mix of media is best for effective communication. • For ex. .a telephone call to book an order to be followed by a confirmatory letter ensures that there is no possible misunderstanding of the message.
.INFORMATION OVERLOAD One of the major problems faced by organization today is the availability of huge amount of data which the receiver is unable to handle. Receiver should receive only that amount of facts and figures at one time that he/ she can absorb.
boredom and disinterest. Firstly.INFORMATION OVERLOAD The usual results of information overload are fatigue. People respond to this kind of information in many ways. they may disregard certain information .
they are likely to make errors when they become overwhelmed with too much information. they may delay responding to information at least for he time being. . Thirdly. they may become highly selective in their response. Fourthly.INFORMATION OVERLOAD Secondly.
INFORMATION OVERLOAD Very often. screening of information is mandatory. To reduce information overload in an organization. vital information gets mixed up with too many irrelevant details and therefore goes ignored by the receiver. .
INFORMATION OVERLOAD major points should be highlighted. . This kind of reducing can reduce the problem of information overload to a great extent. leaving out all irrelevant things.
language etc. 2. 5. Do not communicate when emotionally disturbed. Always keep the receiver in mind 3. Avoid having too many transfer stations 4. . Be aware of diversity in culture.TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION 1. Create an open communication environment.
Analyze the feedback . 3. 2. Select the most suitable medium. Use appropriate non-verbal cues.TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION 1.
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