Barriers to Communication means ‘noise’ or we may refer it as ‘barrier’.
During the process of communication, there may be some faults which prevent message from reaching. Some of these defects are in medium, tools which we use for communication.
It can be at three levels
- At the level of transmitter.
- At the level of medium.
- At the level of receiver.
Barriers to communication can be of many kinds
1. Semantic barriers
2. Physical and mechanical barriers
3. Organizational barriers
4. Socio-psychological barriers
5. Sender oriented barriers
6. Receiver oriented barriers
7. Culture barriers
Refers study of meaning of words and signs.
People interpret the same word differently due to economic social cultural and educational backgrounds.
Miscommunication of meanings due to problems in language are called semantic Barriers. Three ways of semantic barriers
1. Interpretation of words - It is quite possible that receiver of message does not interpret the same message of word used by sender.
2. Technical terms - Such terms are used by limited group of persons who work together. But they have other meanings in day to day spoken language.
3. Idioms & Phrases - Sentences can convey entirely different meanings on how they are spoken.
Physical and Mechanical Barriers
Noise (traffic, human sound, machine sound, Companies install A.C. for sound proof rooms)
Time gap (workers in different shifts, faulty seating arrangements can block eye contact)
Physical distance (unavailability of phone or telex facilities, break down in phone, postal services)
Defects in the mechanical devices (phone, public-address system, fax, computer, internet, courier)
Defects in organization (messages have to be passed through too many levels, likely to be distorted (loss of meaning of the message in handling.) in upward communication juniors don’t give all information to seniors)
Long chain of command
Poor spatial arrangements
Poor organizational culture
Status and relationships
inadequate opportunities of growth and improvement
Attitudes & opinions
Resistance to change
Sender oriented barriers
Irregularly expressed message
Loss of transmission
Self centered attitude
Irregularly expressed message:
To be sent in a simple, easy to understand.
Channel or medium for message to be chosen carefully.
Information which is unknown should not to be given to the receiver.
Loss of transmission:
The message by sender may not reach to receiver at its original form.
Long resolution of board of directors should be translated in a simple language.
Important to take feedback upon all communication.
Self centered attitude:
The message which matches opinion and view point of a person then, will tend to pay more attention to it.
Self interest prevent the person from seeing the view point of others.
The sender will transmit the message only to those who will agree with himself.
Speaking too little of any matter will get the impression that it is not important.
Speaking too much of any matter will create irritation and confused in receiver.
Talking too little gives impression that speaker does not know much.
Receiver oriented barriers
Lack of attention.
Difference of status.
Subordinates are afraid of conveying unpleasant information to seniors.
Too conscious of their inferior status.
Seniors think that to consult a junior means to compromise their dignity and position.
Seniors think that they know everything.
Over load of information.
Legal & ethical differences