Communication barriers refer to factors that affect the effectiveness of the communication process. These factors create an obstruction in the flow of information between sender and receiver during communication. Barriers in communication lead to misunderstanding of message among sender and receiver. It becomes difficult to interpret the message correctly leading to a complete failure of communication due to these barriers.
Barriers may arise at any stage of the communication process and distort the message. Both sender and receiver should be well aware of the communication barriers and take steps to overcome them so that a concise and clear message can be delivered. Effective communication is one which avoids and reduces the effect of these communication barriers.
Types of Communication Barriers
Language is one of the main barriers to the communication barrier. It is important that all persons involved in the communication process should clearly understand the language used. Language barriers arise when people are not able to understand the language used in communication as different people have different linguistic skills.
Sometimes these barriers arise during encoding and decoding of the message into words. Use of inappropriate words, different interpretations and faulty translations during the encoding-decoding process leads to miscommunication among persons.
The psychological and emotional factors of persons affect the communication process. It is essential that both sender and receiver should be mentally fit and of sound mind while communicating with each other.
Speech disorders, depression, phobia, emotional IQ of persons are very difficult to manage and will affect the ease of communication process. It is important that a person communicating with each other should be emotionally mature.
Physical barriers arise due to noises, faulty equipment, closed doors, closed cabins while communication process. Geographical distance between the sender and receiver in the communication process creates a physical barrier.
Communication is easy when the distance between them is shorter as more channels are available. Modern technology and appropriate communication channels can help to avoid these barriers.
Attitudinal barriers are values, attitudes, perceptions and attitudes of people that affect the communication. Problems with organisation staff, poor management, resistance to change and lack of motivation among the people are factors which affect communication effectiveness.
Sender and receiver personal factors become barriers to communicating. Superior may think that his authority might be adversely affected by particular communication and therefore he might suppress such communication. Superiors will not ask for their subordinates advice they don’t have confidence in their competency.
People with different cultures and regions have different beliefs, values, beliefs and perceptions as per their cultures. Different cultures have different meaning for society basic values like dressing, religion, drink, food and general behaviour.
Therefore, it is quite important to take these cultural indifferences into account while communicating with each other. To overcome the barriers to communication arising due to culture, empathy is important. Empathy is simply sensing people’s feelings and attitude to understand their cultural beliefs.
Environmental barriers include certain environmental factors that affect the effectiveness of communication. Only peoples are not responsible for barriers to communication. Many environmental factors like situation or physical setting where communication takes place may lead to blocking of messages in the communication process.
It should ensure that an environment where communication is taking place should be comfortable and secure. It should not distract the communicators. Communicators should feel safe and be happy in the environment while listening and giving their suggestion.