Barriers to Effective Communication
Posted Date: 18-May-2008
Barriers to Effective Communication
Barriers to Communication may be broadly classified as below: -
1. Physical Barriers – Following are the physical barriers:
(a) The Competing Stimulus: It becomes very difficult to pass on the message orally, if another confirmation giving information simultaneously within hearing distance, sometimes-loud music or traffic noise creates barrier in the communication process.
(b) Environmental Stress: A strong light puts hindrance in case of visual communication. Because of undesired strain on the eyes of the communicatee, message is not received properly. A high temperature, humidity, bad ventilation etc. contribute in the sending and receiving of message.
(c) Subjective Stress: Due to sleeplessness, ill health, consumption of drugs, mental strain etc. communicator can not interpret the message in desired manner.
(d) Ignorance of Media: User should be well conversant with media that is adopted for conveying the message. The use of a media with which the receiver is not familiar would turn the media itself into a barrier. For example, the uses of visual media like maps and charts to instruct workers, who have not been familiar with maps and charts, would switch off their attention for lack of knowledge of the media.
2. Psychological Barrier: Every person has his own way to look at the world, at people, at events and situations. A way of thinking of a person many times takes a shape of strong base of communication. No two persons possess accurately similar frames of reference.
Following are the psychological barriers –
(a) Unjust Assumptions: It creates a lot of misunderstanding. A manager, for example, incorrectly assumes that the subordinates understand the technical terms he adopts to give the instructions.
(b) Barrier of Allness: Certain people think that they know everything about a subject. Usually they are not prepared to accept that they could be mistaken. Many make the generalized statements like women can not become superior to men or insincerity is the base of business. An attitude of allness is an outcome of biased approach.
(c) Snap Reactions: Some listeners tend to pass remarks or criticize the communicator even though his communication is not completed. Hurried interpretations are not needed. Audience needs to be patient enough to let the communicator finish his speech.
(d) Apathetic Listener: One who is psychologically dead and indifferent to speaker. Receiver’s apathy is an intolerable condition, when the communicator tries to carry out effective communication.
(e) Sophisticated Role: The receiver is not willing to learn from the communicator. That means he is
unteachable. In such situations the communicator should try to create right impact.
(f) Defensiveness: Man always tries to justify himself. He thinks that admitting the mistake means a loss of face. Therefore, he tends to rationalize the mistake that he commits. This type of attitude of the communicatee is a great hindrance in the effective communication.
(g) Fear: A fear gives rise to slow and narrow thinking. It is clearly destructive to communication. So the primary objective must be to eliminate fear.
3. Linguistic and Cultural Barriers: Language is perhaps the greatest barrier in communication area. A language is ambiguous by nature. The words of a language are mere symbols and they rarely represent only one meaning. These symbols are understood differently by the communicator and communicatee. Ultimately this results into misinterpretation.
The words possess objective and subjective meaning. It should be kept in mind that the words carry numerous associations depending upon the political and cultural situation.
4. Mechanical Barriers: Mechanical barriers include any disturbances, which interfere with the fidelity of the physical transmission of the message. A telephone in poor working condition creates mechanical barrier. In mass communication, mechanical barriers also include smeared ink in the printed matter, a rolling screen on TV, a type too small to be read in the newspaper. A good business communication requires the communicator to try and ensure that the message is received properly by the communication. Mechanical devices used for the communication need frequent checking and proper maintenance.
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22 May 2008
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