4 Barriers of Communication
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What are Barriers of Communication?

  1. Wrong Choice of Medium
  2. Physical Barriers
  3. Semantic Barriers
  4. Socio-Psychological Barriers

What is Communication?

The process of passing knowledge, information, or an idea from one person to another or a group of people is known as communication. Unfortunately, communication obstacles always exist in an organization’s communication system. Let’s take a look at each of the communication hurdles one by one.

Physical Barriers

The first obstacle among the barriers of communication is the presence of physical barriers in the surroundings. Some of them are within management’s control, while others are not. The first is noise, which we all encounter daily. While we converse with others, the noise works as a barrier. Similarly, when two individuals seek to interact in an organization, such as a factory, noise acts as a barrier due to the noise of the machines.

The second factor is the factor of time and distance. When two individuals try to communicate but the receiver doesn’t have time to listen to the communicator, the communication becomes a barrier. Or there is excessive space between person one and person two. The distance acts as a communication barrier once again.

The third reason is that there are flaws in the communication medium. Two persons are conversing via a phone line, for example, and there is a disruption in the connection. The receiver would then be unable to receive the sender’s intended message. It also functions as a communication barrier.

Psychological Barriers

Attitudes, emotions, feelings, and moods of people are examples of psychological obstacles. The first is the concept of feeling. Emotion has a big influence on how we interpret messages. When we are upset, for example, we will understand the same information differently than when we are calm and composed, as we witness in our daily lives.

The second issue is a lack of self-confidence. When there is a lack of trust between the sender and the receiver of communication, the sender loses faith in his ability to deliver his message.

Communication is also hampered by laziness. Managers in a company may believe that the message has already been transmitted or propagated. In such instances, they do not formally pass the message, which explains idleness, which functions as a communication barrier.

The selective perception We only want to get material that is relevant to our interests. For example, based on previous experiences or background, it will only interpret the path for the message that we are interested in. This, too, creates a barrier to communication.

Semantic Barriers

Language hurdles to communication are also semantic barriers. The first is a lack of a shared language. When two individuals interact with each other but do not speak the same language, the message will not be delivered properly or as the sender meant. For instance, an English-speaking boss and an Urdu-speaking employee will be unable to interact unless they share a common language.

The second is inefficient vocabulary. For example, while using sentences, we must use certain phrases if the message is formal; if we are unable to use the appropriate words at the appropriate moment, we will be unable to format and convey the message. It operates as a communication barrier once more.

The third issue is a lack of understanding of language and punctuation. It is not enough to have an excellent vocabulary to communicate. We must also include terminology into sentences while maintaining correct grammar and punctuation. There will be no communication barrier if this method is applicable. Personal obstacles to communication arise when we compose a message.

Organizational Barriers

Then there are organizational obstacles, which are the limitations that exist inside the organization. The first is a poor middling selection. When it comes to communicating in an organization, we have a variety of options. Written communication, for example, spoken communication, video communication, communication, or audio-visual communication.

The status-relationship is the next one. The individual in a position of power has the authority but is unable to communicate effectively with his or her subordinate. Subordinates will be afraid to report the superior as a result. It also functions as a communication barrier.

Lengthy Process

There is a hierarchy in an organization through which communication flows, which can be upward communication, downward communication, or diagonal communication. If the hierarchy is long, communication from the top to the bottom or from the bottom to the top takes a long time. It also functions as a communication barrier.

Social-Psychological Barriers

The social-psychological hurdles are personal kind of barriers to communication. The first is inference, which is a conclusion that a person forms about another person based on his or her prior knowledge or experiences. When a manager or superior in an organization has already made assumptions about a subordinate, it creates a communication barrier.

Bad Listening

Listening is an essential component of every conversation. If a person cannot adequately listen to the feedback provided by the receiver, he or she will be unable to communicate effectively. The next category includes negative emotions such as wrath and greed. Act as a communication obstacle as well. When our minds are full of negativity, we will be unable to effectively communicate the message.

Inattentiveness is the last one. As we all know, inattentiveness is a communication obstacle. If students in the class, for example, are not paying attention to what the teacher is saying, they will not be able to grasp the notion that the teacher is expressing. Inattentiveness also acts as a barrier to communication.

Personal Barriers

The first is one’s attitude. If the individual giving the message isn’t comfortable with it, he won’t be able to convey it appropriately. and which the person receiving the message will be unable to comprehend. That is a personal attitude that works as a communication barrier.

The second issue is a lack of self-assurance. When the superior/subordinate relationship in an organization is not correct, or when the superior does not have faith or trust in the subordinates. The subordinates lack trust in their ability to convey the message to the superior clearly and concisely. It operates as a communication barrier once more.

The next point to consider is message saturation. When a person in an organization has multiple messages running through his thoughts, he is overwhelmed with messages and will be unable to communicate effectively with anybody. This, too, creates a barrier to communication.

By Waqas Sharif

Mr. Waqas Sharif is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Professional, Trainer, and Course Instructor at a Public Sector Institute. He has more than ten years of Eng Language Teaching experience at the Graduate and Postgraduate level. His main interest is found in facilitating his students globally He wishes them to develop academic skills like Reading, Writing, and Communication mastery along with Basics of Functional Grammar, English Language, and Linguistics.

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