Barriers to Effective Communication
Communication is a process by which you convey your message to someone or a group of people. And if the message is conveyed clearly and unambiguously, then it is known as effective communication. In effective communication, the message you had sent would reach the receiver with very little distortion. However, it becomes successful only if the receiver understands what the sender is trying to convey. When your message is not clearly understood, there is every likelihood that you are facing a barrier in communicating effectively. Barriers could cause a roadblock in your professional and personal life and it could be one of the major hurdles in achieving your professional goals.
Communication barrier is one of the problems faced by many organizations. Many social psychologists opine that there is 50% to 70% loss of meaning while conveying the messages from a sender to a receiver. They estimate there are four basic places where communication could be interpreted wrongly. A few barriers are given below.
One of the major barriers of communication in a workplace is the physical barrier. Physical barriers in an organization includes large working areas that are physically separated from others. Other distractions that could cause a physical barrier in an organization are environmental factors such as background noise.
Inability to converse in a language that is known by both the sender and receiver is the greatest barrier to effective communication. When a person uses inappropriate words while conversing or writing, it could lead to misunderstanding between the sender and a receiver. People speaking the same language can sometimes find it difficult to comprehend what is being said. For example, a lorry is a ‘truck’, and an elevator is a ‘lift’. This difference in vocabulary can pose a barrier.
Your emotions could be a barrier if you are engrossed in them for some reason. In such cases, you tend to have trouble listening to others or understanding the message conveyed to you. A few of the emotional interferences include hostility, anger, resentfulness and fear. People who suffer from ailments such as anxiety and depression, tend to misconstrue what is being said about them. Also, as they are battling something in their head, they may or may not be able to pay full attention to the speaker, which may make them appear disinterested and spaced-out.
Lack of Subject Knowledge
If a person who sends a message lacks subject knowledge then he may not be able to convey his message clearly. The receiver could misunderstand his message and this could lead to a barrier. This is visible in cases where people may try to cover-up their ignorance with some unverified facts. When I was working for a customer care organization, I saw many employees say irrelevant and unverified things to customers, just to avoid being labeled as ignorant. This creates confusion in the mind of the listener.
Overdose of Information
Have you been to a meeting where the presenter talks about relevant things but goes on with it in such a quick manner that you have no clue as to what was mentioned earlier.
by Maya Pillai.