BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION

MEANING • Communication is the process through which the source transmits any message. • Barriers of Communication are the hindrances or difficulties involved in the process of Communication whereby the message is distorted and is not properly understood by the receiver. 2 . idea or information to the receiver through a medium.

TYPES OF BARRIERS • Noise • Semantic Barriers • Organizational Barriers • Psychological Barriers • Other Barriers 3 .

4 . but a break in the communication process. After they leave. While you are talking. You go to meet your boss to seek permission to visit the automobile exhibition being held in New Delhi. you resume talking but find your boss has not really grasped the message.NOISE • What is Noise? • Any interference in the message sent and the message received leads to the production of Noise. • Your colleagues intervention led to you boss’ lack of concentration. two of your colleagues also come in to get some bills signed. Noise here does not mean cacophony. • For Example: You have just joined as a trainee at an automobile company. Hence the communication failed. This intervention or ‘NOISE’ did not let your boss decode the message fully.

• The example shared in the previous slide refers to physical noise which does not involve loud sounds but interference prevents communication. Ex. This example also speaks about the Boss’ psychological noise where he fails to grasp your message because his attention was diverted. Noise of Heavy machines.• • • • However. 5 . Physical noise can also be understood in terms of cacophony where external noise makes it difficult to pass on the message. noise can be of two types: Physical Psychological. • Psychological noise is when the person has too many things going on in his mind which make it difficult for him to concentrate on the message being given by the speaker.

SEMANTIC BARRIER • Lack of common Language: Linguistic barrier occurs when the sender and the receiver belong to different Language backgrounds. A student of Humanities might be unable to understand the technical terms of Engineering. Technical terms of one field may sound ‘Greek and Latin’ to the person belonging to a different field of work. A Japanese and a German might face this barrier in absence of a common language. • Poor Vocabulary: An inadequate vocabulary can be a major hindrance in communication. At times your pen falters or your tongue fumbles as you search for the exact word or phrase. • Use of Jargons: Not everyone is familiar with the terms associated with a particular field of work. For Ex. 6 . For Ex.

Correct: Hang him not. Correct: I want to get my daughter married. can also lead to the distortion of the message. Leave him. (Punctuation: Story of the king who ordered to leave a convict to be hanged. 1. rather beats about the bush. • Poor Grammar.SEMANTIC BARRIER CONTD. For Ex. Not Leave him.(Grammar) I want to marry my daughter. keeping the listener/receiver guessing about the actual issue. 2. Punctuation: A major barrier occurs when the sender. 7 . • Round About Verbiage: This sort of barrier occurs when the speaker does not come to the subject directly. if not placed properly. in encoding the message. after finding him innocent) Hang him. Punctuation marks. does not pay attention to the grammatical structure of the sentences.

SEMANTIC BARRIER CONTD. This happens when the sender is not well versed in the topic under discussion and fails to hold the attention of the receiver. 8 . barrier of this nature can come up. • Lack of Clarity in the Message: If the sender is not able to structure his ideas accurately and efficiently. What he wishes to say and what he finally imparts may not be the same and the listener feels that the interaction is a waste of time.

Neither there should be excess of information nor should it be too scanty. Excess information may confuse the receiver as he has to figure out the exact import of the message and scanty information would make him grope for the actual intent of the message. Negative Tendencies: Bonding between people who share similar values. Communication barrier here surfaces often due to a conflict between the members and non-members or among the members themselves. opinions. attitudes. beliefs and behaviours is often termed as Group-ism. the greater are the chances of miscommunication that will occur. 9 • • . Over/Under Communication. Often organizations too create work groups to facilitate certain organizational tasks.ORGANIZATIONAL BARRIERS • Too Many Transfer Stations: The more links there are in a communication chain. Have you ever played ‘Chinese Whisper’ as a child? This will help you understand this particular barrier better.

If the choice of the channel or medium is not right the impact of the message is lost. slides. While choosing the medium you should keep in mind the advantages. films. An employee may not be pleased with the way his boss works but is unable to put his point across because of losing his boss’ goodwill. • Use of Inappropriate Media: Some of the common media used in organizations are graphs and charts. However. teleconferencing and videoconferencing. 10 . fear or awe of superiors prevents subordinates from speaking frankly.ORGANIZATIONAL BARRIERS CONTD. boards. computer presentations. email. fax machines. • Fear of Superiors: In rigidly structured organizations. the responsibility lies with the sender. This is mostly a physical noise. telephones. disadvantages and potential barriers to communication. as he should ensure that all channels are free of noise before commencing communication.

For Ex. The story of the six blind men.S.. A doctor may tell a patient to take a medicine only as an S.PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS • Wrong Assumptions: Wrong assumptions are generally made when the sender or the receiver does not have adequate knowledge about each other’s background or entertain certain false notions. 11 . (i. • Varied Perceptions: Individuals in an organization perceive situations in different ways as each man’s understanding differs. education and experiences of different people can be different. which are fixed in their mind. For Ex. who in turn thinks it is to be taken regularly.O. In dire emergency) but does not make it clear to the patient.e. Sometimes the speaker does not realize that background.

habits and attitudes. or appears unfavourable to us we tend to react negatively or even disbelieve.Psychological Barriers Contd. Resistance to adapt oneself to the advancing technology. • Prejudiced Views: Be careful not to hold on to preconceptions about people or things. emotional outbursts also hinder communication. 12 . and assuming that to be highly representative of the whole person or situation. We often have a tendency to see what we want to see. Similarly. forming an impression from a small amount of information or one experience. • Resistance to Change: When we come across information which is not in conformity with our views. For Ex.

For Ex. Not seeing them again for several days on the row. As you start gossiping about it you learn the fact that actually they’ve been promoted and transferred. • Jumping to Conclusions: Not being aware of facts and drawing inferences on a given situation on the basis of one’s perception causes this barrier. They. look out only for the information which they do not know and in this process often lose out on several minute points of the discussion. therefore. you jump to conclusion that owing to recession they’ve been laid off.Psychological Barriers Contd. You’ve just returned from a business tour and find two of your colleagues missing. 13 . Inferences are more dramatic than facts and for this reason they give more scope for gossip and rumour to thrive. • Communication Selectivity: This barrier comes up when someone feels he/she has quite some knowledge on the topic being discussed.

and business practices of the companies of other nations we are dealing with. • • 14 . he would probably get lost in the proceedings. Poor Listening Skills: A common obstacle to communication is poor listening habits. There would be no connection between what was said initially and what is being said now. Maintaining Eye-Contact during conversation is seen as a sign of self-confidence in the USA. whereas the same activity is termed rude in Japan. As global residents we need to be aware of the customs.Other Barriers • Cultural Variations: This is one of the predominant factors in communication failure. For Ex. Poor Retention: If the listener has poor retention capability. Sometimes the individual is so engrossed in his own thoughts that he is unable to concentrate on listening. laws.

whereby he loses the entire message in trying to compare the two differing information. it gradually leads to what is called the I-syndrome. However. Incongruity of Verbal & Non-Verbal Messages: Actions speak louder than words. He would not be receptive to the changes as suggested by the receiver as they would go against his personal formulation of certain views. not showing any kind of emotions which match the spoken message. and thus. For Ex.Other Barriers Contd.Attitude: If the speaker every sentence with “I”. Ignoring non-verbal cues or misinterpreting them can result in the message being completely misunderstood. • The ‘I’. This leaves your friend wondering whether you are really happy on his achievement or is it otherwise! 15 • • . your face remains serious. Conflicting Information: Conflict between the existing information and fresh one results in the growing confusion of the listener. non-verbal cues provide a deeper insight into the sender’s message. when you do express your joy on his achievement. Your friend has topped the examination and you go to congratulate him.

Ways to over-come Barriers • • • • • • • • Sharpening communication skills Use simple Language Being receptive to changes Improving Listening skills Avoid Jargons Open-mindedness Avoid prejudice Message should be clear and brief 16 .

WAYS TO OVER-COME BARRIERS CONTD. 17 . • • • • • • • Avoid fear Build credibility Understanding receiver Selection of proper channel Develop emotional stability Receive feedback Dress according to the occasion.

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