Barriers of Effective Communication

Describe the barriers of effective communication. Introduction: If an individual (Sender) sends a message and the receiver interprets it in the same way as the sender had intended to express,the process of communication is said to be complete. But it is not always so. Certain barriers in communication affect the clarity, accuracy and effectiveness of the message. The barriers could be related to the communication system, mechanical devices being used, language or symbols being used for encoding, the sender and the receiver himself. There exist many barriers to communication and these may occur at any stage in the communication process.
Barriers may lead to your message becoming distorted and you therefore risk wasting both time and money by causing confusion and misunderstanding. Effective communication involves overcoming these barriers and conveying a clear and concise message. Below are some common barriers to effective communication include: • Physical Barriers: this has to do with poor or outdated equipment used during communications. Physical barriers are often due to the nature of the environment like background noise, poor lighting, temperatures that are too hot or too cold which in turn interfere with effective communication. Organizational Barriers: System design faults refer to problems with the structures or systems in place in an organization. This happens due to the physical distance between the sender and the receiver due to their task, power, and authority and status relationship. examples could be inefficient or inappropriate information systems, a lack of supervision or training, and a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities which can lead to staff being uncertain about what is expected of them. • Ambiguity of words/phrases or Semantic Barriers:
Different people assign different meanings to one specific message. Hence the communicator must ensure that the receiver receives the same meaning. It is better if such words are avoided by using alternatives whenever possible. • Attitudes or Interpersonal Barriers: Another main barrier is the fear and mistrust that form the roots of our emotional barrier which stop us from communicating effectively with our co-workers. These are based upon relationships, values held and attitudes of the members involved.

Shortage of time for subordinates, lack of trust, can be a major hurdle in effective communication. emotions like anger or sadness can taint objectivity. Also being extremely nervous,having a personal agenda can make communications less than effective. • Cross cultural/ Geographical Barriers: This barrier arises due to time, geographic locations and the effect of time upon reception of the message. Social relationships, words, colors, symbols concepts of time and space and perception are barriers peculiar to different cultures. Language Barriers: this can seem like an easy one, but even people speaking the same language can have difficulty understanding each other if they are from different generations or from different regions of the same country. Slang, professional jargon and regional colloquialisms can even hurt communicators with the best intentions. • Information Overload: it takes time to process a lot of information and too many details can overwhelm and distract the audience from the important topics. Keep it Simple and short. Insufficient Knowledge of the Subject: If the sender lacks specific information about something, the receiver will likely receive an unclear or mixed message. For example: Have you shopped for an item such as a computer, and experienced how some salespeople can explain complicated terms and ideas in a simple way ? Others cannot. • Lack of Basic Communication Skills: The receiver is less likely to understand the message if the sender has trouble choosing the precise words needed and arranging those words in a grammatically-correct sentence. Lack of Sensitivity to Receiver: A breakdown in communication may result when a message is not adapted to its receiver. Recognizing the receiver’s needs, status, knowledge of the subject, and language skills assists the sender in preparing a successful message. one can improve effective organizational communication is by changing one’s thoughts and feelings with one’s colleague. In this way, we don’t just break down communication barriers, but also build relationships that work successfully for long.

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