Barriers to Communication

Learning outcomes
• At the end of this session you should be able to
– List & define the different types of communication barriers – Discuss each barrier with examples – Discuss the reasons for the barriers to occur – Explain problems in developing, transmitting, receiving & interpreting messages – Explain how you can improve communication to minimize barriers

Introduction • Communication is a process by which you convey your message to someone or a group of people If the message is conveyed clearly and unambiguously. then it is known as effective communication When your message is not clearly understood you should understand that you are facing a barrier to communication • • .

interference or distortion. which may block communication. you cannot be sure that your meaning has been received exactly • This loss in meaning.• Even if you work hard to understand a subject and write or speak effectively about it. . is often called noise.

Barriers to effective Communication • Physical Barriers • Semantic Barriers • Psychological Barriers .

environment. technical problems.Physical Barriers • Barriers are caused by your own physical appearance. and uncomfortable seating. mumbling. • tiredness. ringing telephones or outside the building. or the context of the document or presentation.such as traffic. grammar. inadequate lighting. hearing. sight or speech problems. • Poor connections . bad sound system. blowing air conditioning. punctuation and sentence structure • hissing ventilation. construction • speaking too quickly. your audience. spelling.

accent. varying response to meaning of words. • Connotations and denotations . jargon. idiom. the influence of one language to another. differing abilities with language.Semantic Barriers • Linguistic problems such as not knowing the language. tone.

• denotation – a literal meaning of the word • connotation – an association (emotional or otherwise) which the word evokes Cheap vs Inexpensive Slim vs skinny .

• Phrases that may have different meanings – When you have the time – ASAP – Moderate – OK .

45pm as opposed to 9. hatred. announcing something unpopular etc • Selectivity – exists because of competition for people’s time and attention . close minded thinking. rush assignment given to a secretary at 4.45am • You may read an article in a journal recommended & not if it appeared in another .Psychological Barriers • Emotional – Prejudice.the selectivity block – Information overload -> selecting relevant piece – Can be affected by TIME & CONTEXT • i.e. anger. mood.

e. distortion and error • i. Personal interests and perceptions of what is important are going to result in FILTERING.Psychological barriers contd. managers can filter out what they feel should be the message and inform the employees . filtering bad news based on the person you would be delivering the message to • When messages are passed from the top level to the operational staff.. – Selectivity also occurs as information goes upwards and downwards in an organisation. – This may result in confusion.

• i. sunshine and dry weather for a kid as opposed to a farmer .• Selective perception – refers to filtering what we see and hear to suit our own needs. This process is often unconscious. Influenced by past experience etc. -> we hear/read what we want to hear/read • Subjective Perception – How one interprets the same situation differently based on context.e.

sending.Questions • Why do these barriers occur? • What are the problems in developing. receiving & interpreting messages? • How can you improve communication? .

. – received or – interpreted between sender and receiver.How do Barriers Occur? Most communications are only partly successful because some meaning is lost while the message is being – developed. – transmitted.

Problems Developing Messages • Indecision about message content • Unfamiliarity with the situation or receiver • Emotional conflicts • Difficulty expressing ideas Slide 8 (of 16) .

• Conflicting messages and meanings – verbal vs. • Too many links – message transferred from person to person.Problems Transmitting Messages • Physical – bad connections. illegible copy. nonverbal. etc. etc. Slide 9 (of 16) . poor acoustics.

Problems Receiving Messages • Physical – distracting signals and sounds. • Lack of attention by Receiver. bad lighting. . etc.

health. social status. gender. culture. . etc. political beliefs. popularity. • Different Emotional Reactions – different reactions to the same words on different occasions depending on the emotional relationship between Receiver and Sender. religion. temperament. economic position. education.Problems Interpreting Messages • Different Backgrounds – age.

– emphasise and review key points. – connect new information to existing ideas. – stick to the point. .Ways to Improve Communications • Create the message carefully – think about your purpose and audience. – tell the audience what to expect. – use precise and specific language.

Ways to Improve Communications cont. – Choose the medium that will most likely attract the Receiver’s attention and maintain his/her concentration. . • Minimize Noise – Try to eliminate potential sources of interference.

• Facilitate feedback – Encourage feedback – Be receptive to responses received.Ways to Improve Communications cont. .


Questions? .

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