“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place”
-George Bernard Shaw
People believe that communicating with others is an easy process, as they have done all throughout their lives. The process seems to be simple as such in real sense it is not, as many complexities of the persons are involved, that makes communication incomplete, ineffective, and imperfect. The obstructions in any form, affects the free flow of information which ultimately ends in misunderstanding.
The factors which affect the free flow of information from sender to receiver in the process of communication are termed as barriers. Communication is straightforward and barriers make it difficult, frustrating and complex.
The barriers to communication are categorized into following kinds:
Physical barriers to communication are-
- Noise: The most common barrier though of varying degree, disturbs the communication process. For e.g. Noise of heavy traffic and human sound.
- Distance and Time: Both time and distance are considered as physical barriers to smooth flow of Communication. Long distance between sender and receiver often resorts to disturbance in telephonic connection. Time refers to the teaching of message. If an important message reaches late it is sure to affect communication.
2. Language or Semantic Barriers.
The Semantic barrier in communication can be defined as the misunderstanding and interpretation of meaning which hinders effective flow of communication . It can be in form of language , sign and symbol. The word semantic is derived from the Greek word “semantikos” which indicates “significant”
3. Socio-Psychological Barriers.
Every human being has a unique mind which is composed of varied emotions, beliefs, perceptions, opinions, and thoughts that facilitate different forms of communication. The psychological barrier of communication is the influence of the psychological state of the communicators (sender and receiver) which creates an obstacle for effective communication as, inattention, distrust, difference in perception, closed minds, cultural difference, difference in attitude, etc.
4. Organizational Barrier:
For having Better communication in an organizational relationship it is possible only when we recognize the differences and become flexible in accepting and understanding the other person’s views, opinions, or communication styles, or else there will be communication barriers. Communication barriers, therefore, are the results of several inadequacies that tend to distort the communication and affect the success of managers in achieving the organizational goals. For e.g. complex organizational structure, status relationship,rigid rules and regulations, etc.are causes of organizational barrier.
5. Personal Barriers:
Personal barriers are obstructions put in place by individuals that negatively affect their achievement in specific areas or their lives in general. For example, some people have personal barriers that obstruct their ability to communicate. Such barriers include poor listening skills, limited vocabulary, misinterpretations based on prior experiences, inattention to feedback and narrow thinking.
Steps to overcome communication barriers:
Effective communication has a vital role to play in achievement of success. So to communicate correctly and transfer unchanged information, the sender should clearly find the errors and should work to rectify for effective and proper communication. Some steps are suggested to resolve this problem.
- Body language
- Organization structure
- Simple & proper language
- Good listening skill
- Use of informal channel
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